Declension of Nouns

There are three declension of nouns i.e general forms of inflection.
(1) The first declension belong to all whose stems end in α
(2) The second declension belong to all whose stems end in ο
(3) The third declension belong to all whose stems end in other than

The first and second declensions are parisyllabic, i.e. the terminations are blended with the stem-vowel in one syllable. The third declension is imparisyllable, i.e the termination of most of the cases forms an additional sylable to the stems.

First Declension

Feminines, in the nominative case, exhibit the simple stem, excepting that in cetain cases the alpha is lengthened into η. Hence the following varieties:

Stems γραφα-
Nominative γραφη
a writing (subjective)
a language (subjective)
a house (subjective)
Genitive γραφης
of a writing
of a language
of a house
Dative γραφη
to a writing
to a language
to a house
Accusative γραφην
a writing (objective)
a language (objective)
a house (objective)
Vocative γραφη
O writing
O language
O house
Nominative γραφαι
writings (subjective)
languages (subjective)
houses (subjective)
Genitive γραφων
of writings
of languages
of houses
Dative γραφαις
to writings
to languages
to houses
Accusative γραφας
writings (objective)
languages (objective)
houses (objective)
Vocative γραφαι
O writings
O languages
O houses


  1. Like γραφη are all nouns of this declension whose nominative ends in η.
  2. Like γλωσσα are nouns in α preceded by a consonant except ρ.
  3. Like οικια are nouns in α preceded by a vowel or ρ
  4. The terminations of the plural are alike in all three.


Masculines of this declension form the nominative in σ added to the stem, the α being lengthened into η after a consonant, excepting ρ. Hence these varieties:

Stems κριτα- judge νεανια- young man
Nominative κριτησ a judge (subjective) νεανιασ a young man (subjective)
Genitive κριτου of a judge νεανιου of a young man
Dative κριτη to a judge νεανια to a young man
Accusative κριτην a judge (objective) νεανιαν a young man (objective)
Vocative κριτα O judge νεανια O young man
Nominative κριται judges (subjective) νεανιαι young men
Genitive κριτων of judges νεανιων of young men
Dative κριταισ to judges νεανιαισ to young men
Accusative κριτασ judges (objective) νεανιασ young men (objective)
Vocative κριται O judges νεανιαι O young men


  1. The Vocative Singular gives the simple stem.
  2. The Plural terminations are precisely like the feminines.
  3. Proper names in ας which have a consonant before the stem-letter, form the genitive in α instead of ου. Thus Κηφασ Kephas, genitive Κηφα, but Ανδρεασ Andrew , genitive Ανδρεου.

When the predicate is a noun (or pronoun. adjective, or participle) joined to the subject by a form of the substantive verb (copula) it must correspond in case. This is sometimes expressed by the rule, "The verb to be take the same case after as before it." Subject and predicate are in apposition.

Second Declension

Masculines and feminines add ς to the stem, and are similarly declined throughout. Neuter nouns add ν.

  Masculine   Feminine   Neuter  
Stems λογο- word οδο- way εργο- work
Nominative λογος a word (subjective) οδος a way (subjective) εργον a work (subjective)
Genitive λογου of a word οδου of a way εργου of a work
Dative λογω to a word οδω to a way εργω to a work
Accusative λογον a word (objective) οδον a way (objective) εργον a work (objective)
Vocative λογε O word οδε O way εργον O work
Nominative λογοι words (subjective) οδοι ways (subjective) εργα works (subjective)
Genitive λογων of words οδων of ways εργων of works
Dative λογοις to words οδοις to ways εργοις to works
Accusative λογους words (objective) οδους ways (objective) εργα works (objective)
Vocative λογοι O words οδοι O ways εργα O works

Nouns Of Varying Declension

A few nouns in -ος alternate between second declension and the third:

ελεος mercy , genitive ελεους, dative ελεει, accusative ελεος and ελεον.

νους mind genitive νοος, dative νοι

σαββατον sabbath, dative plural σαββασι.

Μωσης or Μωυσης, Moses, in genitive Μωυσεως, varies in dative and accusative between the first and third declensions: Μωυσει and Μωυση, Μωυσεα and Μωυσην.

Jerusalem appears in 3 forms:

1.’Ιεροσολυμα – feminine singular first declension .
2.’Ιεροσολυμα, ‘Ιεροσολυμων, ‘Ιεροσολυμοις – neuter plural second declension.
3.’Ιερουσαλημ – indeclinable from the Hebrew.
Many proper names from the Hebrew are indeclinable, also a few other words, such as πασχα passover.

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