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Highligts

On the following links you will find some highly qualified websites on English Grammar, including parsing sentences:

Grammarpedia
UCL-English Grammar

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This preposition is a one of the basic prepositions in MG

In the Greek spoken language «από» - of, from, since, etc. is often abbreviated to «απ'» before a definite article, or before a noun beginning with «α» or «ο». In more exalted styles the final vowel is retained before the definite article.

Like «σε» «από» denotes a movement and uses adverbs to avoid indistinctnesses.

Whilst «σε» indicates a direction to a location and a spot somewhere inside or on top, which is located at least in the nearness of the relevant noun or personal pronoun, «από» denotes the direction from (origin) a location or spot.

The versatile usage of «από» can be divided into two categories:

A. Visible
B. Abstract
A. Clearly visible relationships as:

1. The movement from a location, the origin of someone or something and the distance to someone or something.

ελληνικά αγγλικά
1Η γάτα πήδηξε από τον καναπέ στον πάτωμα. The cat jumped off the couch on the floor.
2Βγήκα από την κουζίνα και μπήκα στο δωμάτιο. I left the kitchen and I went into the living room.
3Έφυγα από το μαγαζί. Ι left the shop.
4Πήγα από τον Πειραιά στην Αθήνα. Ik went from Piraeus to Athens.
5Φύγε από αυτό το φαράγγι. Get away from the ravine.
6Είμαι από την Αγγλία. I'm from England.
7Στο φαγητό βάζουμε λάδι από την Κρήτη. We add oil from Crete to the food.
8Το κρασί από την Ισπανία είναι πολύ καλά. The wine from Spain is very good.
9Μένω δέκα κιλιόμετρα από τη θάλασσα. I live ten kilometers from the sea.
10Ήρθα από του Νίκου (το μπαράκι). I came from Nico (his bar).
N.B.
  • The sentences 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 are indicating the movement from a location somewhere.
  • The sentences 6, 7 and 8 are denoting the origin of someone or something.
  • Sentence 9 denotes the distance to a location.
  • In sentence 10 «από» is followed by 2nd case (genitive) because the starting point Nico's bar has a possesive nature. Modern Greek is not looking at the movement from a location in this case. The same occurs with the preposition «σε».

2. A passing move (by, along, via, beyond or across)

ελληνικά αγγλικά
1Πέρασα από το σπίτι σου αλλά δεν μπήκα. I came along your house but did not enter.
2Την πέρασε από τη γέφυρα. He escorted her across the bridge.
3Πέρασα την κλωστή από την τρύπα της βελόνας. I pulled the thread through the eye of the needle.
4Πήγαμε από το Σύνταγμα στήν Ομόνοια. We went via the Syndagma Square to Omonia Square.
5Οι αστυφύλακες μπήκαν στο σπίτι από το παράθυρο. The police entered the house via the window.
6Μπήκα από την πίσω πόρτα. I went in through the back door.
7Έφυγα από το σπίτι να μείνω μόνος μου. I left home to live alone.
8Από ποιο δρόμο ήρθατε; Προτιμότερο ελάτε από εδώ! Which road you took? Better come over here!
9Μην τολμήσεις να περάσεις από εκεί. Do not you dare to go along there.
10Ταξίδεψαν από την στεριά αντί από τη θάλασσα. They travelled by land instead of by sea.
N.B.
  • «από» is often used in phrases denoting a passage. The association with the verb «περνώ» - to pass, to come across, to go by regularly occurs. (sent. 1, 2 and 3)
  • Phrases of other verbs with a moving sense as to come, to enter and to go are used too. (sent. 4, 5, 6 and 7)
  • When «από» is not preceded by an adverb, as in the above sentences, a movement of the subject and the relation of the indicated position by the prepositional phrase (by, along, via, beyond or across) is not specified, it is generally left to the listener or reader to draw the right conclusion. In such cases «από» usually means through, along, accross and via.
  • On the first part of sentence 8 «από» is preceded an interrogative pronoun and in the second part an adverb, as well as in sentence 9.
  • Sentence 10 has a moving meaning with the verb «ταξιδεύω» and in that sense «από» is used. However in combination with the preposition «αντί» a contrast is expressed.

3. In an adverbial clause or together with an adverb:

ελληνικά αγγλικά
1Τα λουλούδια είναι πάνω από το τραπέζι. The flowers are on the table.
2Μένει μακριά από την πόλη. He/she lives far from town.
3Το κάπνισμα πρέπει να είναι έξω από το κτήριο. Smoking must be outsite the building.
4Το πάρκο υπάρχει απέναντι από το σπίτι της. The park is located opposite her house.
5Το σκυλί ξαπλώνει κάτω από το δέντρο. The dog lies underneath the tree.
 
  • «από» is used among others with the following adverbs and adverbials:
  • πάνω = up, top
  • κάτω = beneath, under
  • έξω = outside
  • πριν = ago, prior, afore, previous to
  • κρυφά από = secretly, in secret
  • από εδώ = from here, this way
  • από τότε = since, syne
  • από τότε κι ύστερα - since then
  • από τότε που = sinds
  • από μέσα = from inside
  • από έξω = from outside
  • από πάνω = above, over
  • από (ε)δω = from here
  • από (ε)κει = from there

Next some examples using the abovementioned adverbials:

ελληνικά αγγλικά
Βοηθήστε με να ντυθώ και να φύγω από εδώ. Please help me to get myself dressed, to enable me to leave from here.
Κι από τότε μου διηγείσαι όλη την ιστορία της; And from now on you tell me your whole story?
Νομίζω πως όταν το βγάλεις από μέσα σου, όλα θα είναι καλύτερα. I think if you put it all out of your mind, verything will be better.
Εγώ θα σε προστατεύω από έξω. I'm standing guard outside.
Πήγαινε από κει! Go that way!
Κάνεις κάτι κρυφά από 'μένα; Do you keep something hidden from me?
 
  • Other adverbs of place, often used with «από», are:
  • γύρω = around, round
  • μπροστά = in front of
  • δίπλα = by, beside
  • κοντά = close, near
ελληνικά αγγλικά
Υπάρχουν πατημασίες γύρω από το σπίτι. There were footsteps round about the house.
Είμαστε πολύ μπροστά από τους εαυτούς μας. We are way ahead of ourselves.
Τα σκουπίδια είναι δίπλα από τον κάδο. The garbage is beside the bin.
Φαίνεται μεγαλύτερη, από κοντά. Up close she seems to be older.
Μένετε κάπου κοντά από εκεί. Will you stay here around somewhere

4. Items grouped together:

ελληνικά αγγλικά
1Της έδωσε ένα μάτσο από σαράντα τριαντάφυλλα για τα γενέθλιά της. He gave her a bouquet of forty roses for her birthday.
2Ένα κοπάδι είναι μια μεγάλη ομάδα από ζώα. A herd is a large group of livestock.
3Ένα πλήθος από γυναίκες είχα συλλεγεί A crowd of women had gathered.
4Μια ομάδα από είκοσι παιδιά περίμενε μπροστά από το σχολείο. A group of twenty children was waiting in front of the school.
5Αυτή η σειρά αποτελείται από δέκα μαθήματα. This series consists of ten lessons.
6Ένα σύνολο από δώδεκα πρόσωπα ή πράγματα λέμε μια δωδεκάδα. A total of twelve people or things is called a dozen.
7Φύτεψε ολόισιες σειρές από ντομάτες και αγγούρια. I planted straight rows of tomatoes and cucumbers.
8Η πρόταση αποτελείται από διαφορά μέρη του λόγου One sentence consists of various parts of speech.
N.B.
  • «από» is often used to express parts of which a group consists and is an informal alternative to the more formal genitive. Depending on the role which the preposition has in the sentence subsequently the above sentences in the 2nd case are:
  • (sent. 1) Της έδωσε ένα μάτσο των σαράντα τριαντάφυλλων για τα γενέθλιά της.
  • (sent. 2) Ένα κοπάδι είναι μια μεγάλη ομάδα των ζώων.
  • (sent. 3) Ένα πλήθος των γυναικών είχα συλλεγεί.
  • (sent. 4) Μια ομάδα των είκοσι παιδιών περίμενε μπροστά από το σχολείο.
  • (sent. 6) Ένα σύνολο δώδεκα πρόσωπων ή πραγμάτων λέμε μια δωδεκάδα.
  • (sent. 7) Φύτεψε ολόισιες σειρές ντοματών και αγγουριών.
  • In spoken laguage «από» + the 4th case (accusative) is often used as an alternative for the 2nd case (genitive). In particular the possessive genitive, the genitive of type, the genitive of content or the partitive genitive. In fact it's more preferred to use «από» + the 4th case, firstly because some nouns lack a normal genitive plural form and secondly often a stress shift takes place in de 2nd case plural, as in sentence 7 with «ντοματών» and «αγγουριών».
  • Especially for female nouns ending on «-α» in which one part of the sentence has a possessive function the procedure «από» + the 4th case is favoured over the usage of the genitive. In these cases trisyllabic words with the stress on the first syllable will have a stress shift even to the final syllable.
  • In sentences 5 + 8 «αποτελούμαι από» means made of or consist of.

5. The time, as the start of an event:

ελληνικά αγγλικά
1Είμαι άγρυπνος από τις έξη το πρωί. I am awake as from six o'clock in the morning.
2Δεν έχει δουλέψει από χρόνια. He has not worked for years.
3Το σταμάτησε από δέκα ώρες της εργασίας. After three hours of work, he stopped.
4Έχω να τον δει από τρεις μήνες. It's three months since I've seen him.
5Από την μια στιγμή την άλλη εξαφανίστηκε. From one moment to another he disappeared.
N.B.
  • In sentences with a time «από» is to a large extent the opposite of «σε». In fact it specifies the periode which elapses from a certain point in time. Nevertheless confusion regarding the meaning, may occur by the usage of other prepositions such as «σε», «μέχρι» and «ως»:
  • Σε περίμεινα από τις οχτώ.
  • Σε περίμεινα στις οχτώ.
  • Σε περίμεινα μέχρι τις οχτώ.
  • I waited for you from 8 o'clock.
  • I waited for you at 8 o'clock.
  • I waited for you till 8 o'clock.
 N.B.

with a movement to and a location on a certain point, usually only the concerned adverb is used:

  • από πού είσαι; (a movement from)
  • πού πας; (a movement to)
  • πού είσαι; (location on)
  • where do you come from?
  • Where are you going to?
  • Where ar you?
B. Abstract connections such as:

1. In expressions with a possessive character:

ελληνικά αγγλικά
1Τα πόδια απ'τις καρέκλες. the legs of a chair.
2Η ουρά απ'το άλογο. the tail of the horse.
3Τα ονόματά από αυτούς τους ανθρώπους είναι στη σειρά. The names of these people are in sequence.
4Η υποστήριξη από την οικογένειά του. The support of his family.
5Οι καταγγελίες από τους πελάτους. The complaints of the customers.
 N.B.
  • As indicated above, «από» is often used in the common language as an alternative to the genitive (2nd case), especially in the possessive form, and in the 2nd case plural of this form:
  • Τα πόδια των καρεκλών.
  • Η ουρά του αλόγου.
  • Τα ονόματά αυτών των ανθρώπων είναι στη σειρά.
  • H υποστήριξη της οικογένειάς του.
  • Οι καταγγελίες των πελατών.

2. «από» in ablative (6th case) use: liberating, robbing, taking away or hiding something from someone etc.:

ελληνικά αγγλικά
1Το πήρα από τον Γιάννη και το έδωσα στην αδελφή μου. I took it from John and gave it to my sister.
2Έκλεψε τα πράγματα από το μαγαζί και τα πήρε στο σπίτι. He stole things from the shop and took them home.
3Τράβηξε τα λεφτά από την τράπεζα και τα έβαλα μέσα στην τσέπη μου. I took money from the bank and put it in my pocket.
4Κρύψαμε το γράμμα από τη μητέρα μου. We hid the letter from my mother.
5Μοιάζει με οτί εξαφανίστηκε εντελώς από τη γη. It seems to me that he has completely disappeared from earth.
N.B.
  • The ablative is one of the eight cases of the Indo-European languages, which ceased to exist in Modern Greek. Its function was adopted by the genitive. Originally, verbs that express an ablation such as such leaving, going away and dissapearing were indicated.
  • In the above phrases «από» is used with the meaning of to take away, to steal, to withdraw and to hide something from somebody, as well as the adjectives robbed and liberated .
  • In stead of the genitive an expression with a preposition is often used because some words don't have a 2nd case in plural at all and because less educated speakers avoid the 2nd case, in particular, the plural of it. When we use 2nd case of a noun without the related pronoun ambiguity might arise. Information and explanations about the genitive can be found on this page.

3. «από» expressing the agent, cause and reason (by)

ελληνικά αγγλικά
1Η ηρεμία ακολουθείται από τη θύελλα. After the silence follows the storm.
2Επιτέθηκαν από τον εχθρό. They were attacked by the enemy.
3Το τραγούδι έγινε από τραγουδίστριες. The song was performed by female singers.
4Ήταν απρόσιτη από το πλήθος. She was inaccessible for the crowd.
5Aπό το χιόνι τα δέντρα ήταν άσπρα. Because of the snow, the trees were white.
6Έγινα παπί από τη βροχή. I was soaking wet from the rain.
7Σώθηκε από εκείνο φοβερό ατύχημα. He had been saved during that terrible accident.
8Το πρόσωπό της έλαμπε από χαρά. Her face gleamed of joy.
9Αγνοώ επιθετικά σκυλιά από φόβο. I avoid aggressive dogs out of fear.
10Την φίλησε από ενθουσιασμό. He kissed her out of enthusiasm.
N.B.
  • The agent is the person or thing that execute the action, but grammatically not the subject of the verb. This construction is applied with passive verbs (sent. 1 + 2).
  • Sentence 3 however indicates that the agent may be expressed by means of «από» even when the verb is active, whilst sentence 4 shows the agent behind a non-verbial pronoun.
  • The cause is the question why or by what something happens, as in the sentences 5, 6 and 7.
    («γίνομαι παπί» in sent. 6 literal means: to become a little duck.
  • In the sentences 8, 9 and 10 it's clear that «από» can express a reason when the clause, denoting it, shows some emotion.

4. By the material out of which something is made or the content of something:

ελληνικά αγγλικά
1Tο δαχτυλίδι της είναι από χρυσό. Her ring is made of gold.
2Συχνά το χαρτί υγείας φτιάχνεται από ανακυκλωμένο χαρτί. Toilet tissue is often made from recycled paper.
3Η Άννα φοράει ένα φόρεμα από λινό. Anna is wearing a linen dress.
4Δεν μου αρέσει τσάντα από δέρμα κροκόδειλου. I do not like bags made of crocodile leather.
5Αυτό είναι ένα μεταλλικό κουτί από επικίνδυνο υλικό. This is a metal container for hazardous material.
6Σε αυτό το σημείο είναι τον τενεκές από σκουπίδια. On this spot is the container for rubbish.
7Τα μπισκότα είναι στον κουτί από μπισκότα. The biscuits are in the biscuit tin.
 N.B.
  • The sentences 1, 2 and 3 express the material of things and objects.
  • The sentences 4, 5 and 6 denote the content of something

5. «από» in partitive constructions (parts of one whole):

ελληνικά αγγλικά
1Δύο από τους φίλους μου ζουν στην Αθήνα. Two of my friends live in Athens.
2Αυτός είναι ένας από τους κορυφαίους τραγουδιστές μας. He is one of our top singers.
3Κανένας άλλος από την οικογένειά μου έμαθε ελληνικά. No one else from my family learned Greek.
4Οι περισσότεροι από τους γνωστούς μου ζουν στην Ολλανδία. Most of my acquaintances live in the Netherlands.
5Έφαγα μια μισή μερίδα από εκείνα τα τροφίμα. I ate half a portion of that food.
6Δεν ήξερε τίποτε από ιστορία. He did not know anything of the story.
7Kόψτε μου τρία μέτρα απ΄ αυτό το ύφασμα. Cut three meters from that material for me.
8Έχεις από κείνο το γλυκό; Do you have some of the dessert?
 N.B.
  • The sentences 1, 2, 3 and 4 denote parts of a whole group.
  • The sentences 5, 6, 7 and 8 denote a certain part of something.

6. «από» in comparative construction, and in combination with a number:

ελληνικά αγγλικά
1Η Ελένη είναι εξυπνότερη από τη Μαρία Helen is more intelligent than Maria.
2Αυτή είναι η πιο ενθουσιώδη γυναίκα απ'όλους. She is the most enthusiastic women of all.
3Αυτή είναι διαφορετική από τους άλλους. She is different from the others.
4Ο Δημήτρης είναι ο πιο καλύτερος μάγειρας απ'όλους. Dimitri is the best cook of all.
5Αυτος δεν είναι άλλο από εκείνο τον διάσημο τραγουδιστή. He is none other than that famous singer.
6Φάγαμε από δύο μήλα We ate two apples each.
7Οι άντρες ήπιαν κι από δυο τρία κονιάκ. The men drank three cognacs each
8Έφερε από ένα δώρο στον καθένα. He brought along a gift for everyone.
 N.B.
  • «από» is used in the comparative and superlative forms of adjectives and adverbs, (sent. 1, 2, 3 and 4)
  • Sentence 5 is a comparison nobody else than
  • «από» + a figure is equal to the figure + the word each, as in the sentence 6 and 7.
  • The literal translation of sentence 8 is: from one of the gifts.

7. Various other uses with «από», such as coming from a location, a house or a bar, in standard expressions of time or manner and in concepts and contrasts:

ελληνικά αγγλικά
1Έρχομαι απ΄ του θείου μου. I come out of the house of my uncle.
2Από μιας αρχής οτάν τον είδα τον σθμπαθούσα. From the very beginning I saw him, I liked him.
3Ελπίζω, από το βάθος της καρδιάς μου ότι είναι η αλήθεια. I hope from the bottom of my heart that it's the truth.
4Από καλλιτεχνική άποψη η ζωγραφική είχε δεχτεί. From an artistic perspective, the painting was accepted.
5Αφενός από το ενδιαφέρον θα δεχτούν την πρόταση. For one thing from interest they will accept the proposal.
6Tους υποσχέθηκε μεν ότι θα το κάνει, αλλά τελικά δεν το έκανε. First he promised them that he will do it, but in the end he didn't.
7Από τη μια μεριά τους το υποσχέθηκε, και από την άλλη δεν το έκανε. On the one hand, he promised it to them, and on the other he didn't do it.
 N.B.
  • In sentence 1 the possessive pronoun is used together with «από» (απ΄το σπίτι του θείου μου).
  • The sentences 2 and 3 are standard expressions like from the beginning and from the heart.
  • In sentence 4 a concept is expressed by the clause from an artistic perspective.
  • In sentence 5 is a contraposition, because the sentence can be complemented with «κι αφετέρου από....» - and on the other hand....
  • In the sentences 6 and 7, the opposing relation of two contrasting phrases is clarified.

At some standard expressions, orginated from the katharevousa, «από» is abbreviated till «αφ'». This way the words «αφενός»..., «αφετέρου» have been originated by combining «αφ + ενός» and «αφ + ετέρου», which means together: on the one hand..., on the other hand... or firstly..., secondly....

«από'τη μια μεριά... από την άλλη...» also means on the one hand..., on the other hand....

ελληνικά αγγλικά
Δεν το αγοράσουν, αφενός μεν γιατί ήταν ακριβό, αφετέρου δε γιατί δεν τους το άρεσε. They didn't buy it partly because it was expensive, partly because they didn't like it.
Aφενός μεν δε συμφώνησα, αφετέρου δε δεν είχα τα χρήματα. Firstly I disagreed, secondly I had no money.

N.B

«μεν» is a conjunction from Ancient Greek, that is still in use.

In sentences the combination «μεν..., δε ...» is used together with «αφενός»..., «αφετέρου», to express a negation in both clauses.

The conjunction «μεν» - namely, that is to say, meaning, particularly in combination with «δε», not to confuse with the negative particle «δε(ν)», also means on the one hand..., on the other hand....

When we write «αφενός»..., «αφετέρου» - for one thing... , on the other hand... , the addition «μεν..., δε ...», which actually means the same seems to be unnecessary, partly because of the fact that subsequently in the second negative clause for instance «...αφετέρου δε δε θέλω...» in stead of «... αφετέρου δε δεν έχω...», might be menioned, in case «δεν» is preceding a verb beginning with «θ», like «θέλω» and not with a vowel where the final «-ν» is required. So it can be quite confusing when we do not know what is meant with the combination «μεν..., δε ...» or only the negative particle «δε(ν)»

However, the two terms together are well established such a way in the last dictionaries and are often used in order to give effect to the expression on the one hand not..., on the other hand not.....