The Nominative Case

A. Primary Uses of the Nominative

1. Subject
2. Predicate Nominative
3. Nominative in Simple Apposition

B. Grammatically Independent Uses

4. Nominative Absolute
5. Nominativus Pendens
6. Parenthetic Nominative
7. Nominative for Vocative
8. Nominative of Exclamation

C. Nominatives in Place of Oblique Cases

9. Nominative of Appellation

The nominative is the case of specific designation. The Greeks referred to it as the "naming case," for it often names the main topic of the sentence. The main topic in a sentence semantically is, of course, similar to the syntactical subject, but the two are not always identical. Hence, the most common use of the nominative case is as subject.

Primary Uses of the Nominative


Predicate Nominative

Nominative in Simple Apposition

Grammatically Independent Uses of the Nominative

Nominative Absolute

Nominative Pendens (Pendent Nominative)

Parenthetic Nominative

Nominative for Vocative (Nominative for Address)

Nominative of Exclamation

Nominatives in Place of Oblique Cases

Nominative of Appelation

The Vocative Case

1. Simple Address
2. Emphatic (Emotional) Address

The vocative is the case used for addressing someone or, on occasion, for uttering exclamations. A substantive in the vocative is used in direct address to designate the addressee. It technically has no syntactical relation to the main clause.

Simple Address

Emphatic (Emotional) Address

The Genitive Case
A. Adjectival Genitive
1. Descriptive Genitive
2. Possessive Genitive
3. Genitive of Relationship
4. Partitive (Wholative) Genitive
5. Attributive Genitive
6. Attributed Genitive
7. Genitive of Material
8. Genitive of Content
9. Genitive in Simple Apposition
10. Genitive of Apposition
11. Genitive of Subordination
characterized by, described by
belonging to, possessed by
which is a part of
Genitive of Quality
made out of, consisting of
full of, containing
which is, namely, who is
B. Ablatival Genitive
12. Genitive of Separation
13. Genitive of Comparison
out of, away from, from
C. Verbal Genitive
14. Subjective Genitive
15. Objective Genitive
16. Plenary Genitive
D. Adverbial Genitive
17. Gentive of Time
18. Genitive of Association
within which, during which
in association with
E. After Certain Words
19. Genitive After Certain Verbs
20. Genitive After Certain Adjectives
(as a Direct Object)

In the eight-case system, the genitive defines, describes, qualifies, restricts, limits. In this respect it is similar to an adjective, but is more emphatic. Under the five-case system, the genitive case may be defined as the case of qualification (or limitation as to kind) and ( occasionally) separation. The genitive is the most exegetically significant case to understand for exegesis and it must be mastered. We have had to omit large portions of Wallace's discussion and all of the exegetical examples. Be sure to read his full grammar on the genitive.

A. Adjectival Genitive

This broad category really touches the heart of the genitive. If the genitive is primarily descriptive, then it is largely similar to the adjective in functions. "The chief thing to remember is that the Genitive often practically does the duty of an adjective, distinguishing two otherwise similar things" (Moule, 38). However, although the genitive is primarily adjectival in force, it is more emphatic than a simple adjective would be.

Descriptive Genitive [characterized by, described by]

Possessive Genitive [belonging to, possessed by]

Genitive of Relationship

Partitive (Wholative) Genitive [which is a part of]

Attributive Genitive (Hebrew Genitive, Genitive of Quality)

Attributed Genitive

Genitive of Material [made out of, consisting of]

Genitive of Content [full of, containing]

Genitive in Simple Apposition

Genitive of Apposition (Epexegetical Genitive, Genitive of Definition)
[which is, that is, namely, who is]

Genitive of Subordination [over]

Ablatival Genitive

The ablatival genitive basically involves the notion of separation. This idea can be static (i.e., in a separate state) or progressive (movement away from, so as to become separated). The emphasis may be on either the state resulting from the separation or the cause of separation (in the latter, origin or source is emphasized). For the most part, the ablative gentive is being repaced in Koine Greek by ek or apo with the genitive.

Genitive of Separation [out of, away from, from]

Genitive of Comparison [than]

Verbal Genitive (Genitive Related to a Verbal Noun)

The subjective, objective, and plenary genitives are used with head nouns that involve a verbal idea. That is, the head noun has a verb as a cognate (e.g., Basileus has Basileuw as cognate).

Subjective Genitive

Objective Genitive

Plenary Genitive

Adverbial Genitive

This is the use of the genitive that is similar in force to an adverb. As well, often this use of the genitive has the force of a prepositional phrase. Thus the genitive will normally be related to a verb or adjective rather than a noun. (Even in instances where it is dependent on a noun, there is usually an implicit verbal idea in the noun.)

Genitive of Time [within which, during which]

Genitive of Association [in association with]

After Certain Words

There are some uses of the genitive that do not neatly fit into any of the above categories. Or, if they do fit into one of the above categories, they are related to a word other than a noun.

Genitive After Certain Verbs (as a Direct Object)

Genitive After Certain Adjectives (and Adverbs)

The Dative Case
A. Pure Dative Uses
1. Dative of Indirect Object
2. Dative of Interest
3. Dative of Reference/Respect
4. Dative in Simple Apposition
to, for
for the benefit (disadvantage) of
with reference to
B. Local Dative Uses
5. Dative of Sphere
6. Dative of Time
in the sphere of
C. Instrumental Dative
7. Dative of Association
8. Dative of Manner (Adverbial)
9. Dative of Means/Instrument
10. Dative of Measure/Degree
11 Dative of Cause
in association with
by means of
because of
D. The Uses of the Dative After Certain Words
12. Dative Direct Object
13. Dative After Certain Nouns
14. Dative After Certain Adjectives

The true dative is used to designate the person more remotely concerned. It is the case of personal interest, pointing out the person to or for whom something is done. Since the dative, instrumental, and locative share the same form, we will consider them as one case ("case" being defined as a matter of form rather than function within the five-case system). The instrumental idea involves means and generally answers the question, "How?" The locative notion involves place and answers the question, "Where?" Thus, a broad view of the dative case suggests that it answers one of three questions: To/for whom? How? or Where?

A. Pure Dative Uses

The subgroups here are specific uses built on the root idea of personal interest and reference/respect.

1. Dative of Indirect Object [to, for]

Dative of Interest [for the benefit of, in the interest of / to the disadvantage of, against]

Dative of Reference / Respect [with reference to]

Dative in Simple Apposition

B. Local Dative Uses

The subgroups here are specific uses built on the root idea of position, whether spatial, nonphysical, or temporal.

Dative of Sphere [in the sphere of]

Dative of Time (when)

C. Instrumental Dative Uses

This subgroups here are specific uses built on the root idea of means, although some loosely fit under this umbrella.

Dative of Association (Accompaniment, Comitative) [in association with]

Dative of Manner (Adverbial Dative) [with, in (answering "How?")]

Dative of Means/Instrument [by, by means of, with]

Dative of Measure/ Degree of Difference [by]

Dative of Cause [because of]

D. The Uses of the Dative After Certain Words

There are some uses of the dative that do not neatly fit into any of the above categories

12. Dative Direct Object

13. Dative After Certain Nouns

14. Dative After Certain Adjectives

The Accusative Case
A. Substantival Uses of the Accusative
1. Accusative Direct Object
2. Double Accusative
3. Predicate Accusative
4. Accusative Subject of the Infinitive
5. Accusative in Simple Apposition
B. Adverbial Uses of the Accusative
6. Adverbial Accusative (Manner)
7. Accusative of Measure (Time)
8. Accusative of Respect (General Ref)
for the duration of

The accusative is used to limit the action of a verb as to extent, direction, or goal. "The accusative measures an idea as to its content, scope, direction" (Robertson, 468).

A. Substantival Uses of the Accusative

Accusative Direct Object

Double Accusative

Predicate Accusative

Accusative Subject of the Infinitive

Accusative in Simple Apposition

B. Adverbial Uses of the Accusative

Adverbial Accusative (Accusative of Manner)

Accusative of Measure (Extent of Time or Space) [for the extent of, for the duration of]

Accusative of Respect or (General) Reference [with reference to, or concerning]