When is 'εξ used?

AVGVSTA

Member
I'm starting Greek with From Alpha to Omega. It mentioned that the preposition"out of" is 'εκ when the following word starts with a consonant and 'εξ when the following word starts with a vowel. As all accusative forms of the definite article starts with "τ", I don't see how this preposition could be followed by a word that starts with a vowel. Nor did any of the practices I've found so far show "'εξ " being used.

Are there indefinite articles in Greek that starts with a vowel in the accusative? Are there times when the definite article can be omitted? What constructions would create a scenario where 'εξ would be used?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
εξ takes the genitive, not the accusative.

You seem to be under the misapprehension that the definite article is used all the time. It isn't. Notably, when the meaning is indefinite (i.e. when you would use "a(n)" in English rather than "the"), you won't use a definite article.

Greek doesn't really have an indefinite article. While τις, much like quidam in Latin, will sometimes best translate as "a(n)", its basic meaning is more like "some", "a certain", and, in most cases where an indefinite article would be used in English, in Greek you'll just find the noun phrase alone.
 

AVGVSTA

Member
Thank you so much!! I guess I thought the definite article should always be there because I used to forget it all the time.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I guess I thought the definite article should always be there because I used to forget it all the time.
It's used slightly more often than in English, I believe. Notably, it can be used before general concepts that in English wouldn't take any article at all like, say, "love" or "courage". It generally won't, however, be used where the English indefinite article is used. Simply, the Greek definite article is strictly definite, not both definite and indefinite. ;)
 
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