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UCL-English Grammar
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Irene Droppert
English - Modern Greek
The Netherlands


The preposition = η προθέση (προ + θέτω = in front of + put) is placed in front of a word, whether in a composite sentence or in a apposition.

Prepositions are indeclinable in MG, as well as in English. They are placed in front of nouns and personal pronouns in the 2nd and 4th case, optionally in combination with an article or adjective.

There are still many prepositions coming from the Katharevousa, where the noun is followed by the 2nd and 4th case. The old prepositions are generally followed by the 2nd case. Their usage tends to be limited to the formal language or the fixed expressions.

Some prepositions, derived from the Ancient Greek, are used as a prefix to verbs. Some old prepositions don't exist anymore in Modern Greek.

Ancient Greek prepositions, still in use
prep. English. case Greek English
ανά per, over 4th ανά δύο two by two
ανά τον κόσμο all over the world
ανά λεπτό per minute
ανεύ without 2nd άνευ αξίας worthless
άνευ αποδοχών unpaid
άνευ σημασίας without opinion
διά gedeeld door 1ste δέκα διά δύο ten divided by two
door 2nd διά μαγείας by magic
διά ξηράς over land (by road)
εις in, on 4th εις μνήμην In Memoriam
εις βάρος του on account of
εις μάτην for nothing, in vain
εις υγείαν! here's to your health.
εκ, εξ on, of, to 2nd εκ νέου anew, newly, again
εξ αριστερών to the left
εκ δεξιών to the right
εκ μέρους on behalf of, in respect of
εξ ολοκλήρου completely, all, entirely
εκ των πραγμάτων in fact
εκτός outside of, except 2nd εκτός υπηρεσίας out of service, off duty
εκτός εαυτού except for himself
εκτός ενέργειας no energy
εκτός κινδύνου out of danger
εκτός λειτουργίας inoperative
εν on, in etc. 3rd* εν ψυχρώ in cold blood
εν ανάγκη if it is necessary
εν γένει generally
εν γνώσει knowing, intentional
εν τη γενέσει starting, to be born
εν δράσει acting
εν εξάψει feverishly, hectic
εν κινήσει in motion
εν λόγω considered, discussed
εν μέρει so-called, pretended
εν τω μεταξύ meanwhile
εν ολίγοις in brief, in a nutshell
εν όψει at sight, in the prospect of
εν πάση περιπτώσει in any case, at any rate
εν πρώτοις at first sight, at first view
εν πτήσει in the air
εν συγκρίσει in comparison, compared
εν συνεχεία then, afterwards, later
εν τέλει (εντέλει) at last, finally, after all
εν τούτοις nevertheless, nonetheless
εντός in, into, within 2nd εντός κτίριου indoor
εντός πλοίο on board
επί within (time) 1st επί δύο εβδομάδες for two weeks
επί μάκρον long, in length (duration)
on, in 2nd επί του θέματος to the point, to the purpose
επί τάπητας on the threshold
on 3rd* επί πιστώσει on credit
επί απόδειξει by prescription
various meanings 3rd* επί τη ευκαιρία in parentheses
επί τη εμφανίσει in sight
επι λέξει word by word
κατόπιν after, thence, afterwards 2nd κατόπιν αιτήσεως on request, by desire
κατόπιν αναθεώρησης following statement (reflection)
κατόπιν τούτου thereafter, next, subsequently
λόγω because, due to, because of 2nd λόγω κακοκαιρίας due to bad weather
λόγω της έλλειψης due to a lack
because of λόγω ενός ατύχημας because of an accident
μείον minus 1st είναι μείον δέκα it's minus ten
τέσσερα μείον δύο four minus two
μέσω via 2nd μέσω του πλοίου amidships
μέσω Αθήνας via Athens
περί approximately, about 4th περί τα εκατό κομμάτια. about a hundred pieces
περί τις πεντακόσιες ευρώ around five hundred euros
about 2nd περί ανέμων και υδάτων about wind and water
περί τίνος πρόκειται what's the point
πλην without, less 4de πλην του ότι that not taken into account
πλην τα έξοδα διοικήσεως without any administration fee
exceot 2de όλοι ήταν εδώ πλην ενός they were all here except one
minus 1st πέντε πλην δύο five minus two
προ before (time / place) 2nd προ μεσημβρίας ante meridiem (before noon)
προ πάντων first of all
συν to, with, plus 1st/4th πέντε συν δύο ίσον τρία five minus two is (equal to) threee
with, on 3rd* συν τοις άλλοις among others
συν τω χρόνω in time
υπέρ for (in favor of) 2nd ο αγώνας υπέρ της δημοκρατίας the struggle for democracy
μάχονταν υπέρ πίστεως και πατρίδος they fought for faith and native country.
over, above 4th υπέρ το δέον more than (expected)
υπέρ to εκατομμύριο over one million
υπό under, below, underneath 4th υπό το ύδωρ underwater
υπό την εποπτεία του under his supervision
with, by 2nd υπό της βίας with / by violence
υπό της εξουσίας του under / by his leadership


The old 3rd case (the dative) survived in some adverbial expressions. Although the dative has no function in the spoken language since long, there are still a few vestiges in the form of clichés and fixed phrases.

Many of those expressions are to be found in phrases, preceded by one of the old prepositions

The other prepositions
ελληνικά αγγλικά
αντί instead, lieu in
από from, since, of
για about, for, about to, to, unto
εναντίον versus
εξαιτίας because of, owing to
έως until
ίσαμε until, up to
κατά at, versus, on, perr
με with
μετά with, past
μεταξύ amid, betwixt, twixt, between
μέχρι to, until, unto
παρά from, despite, notwithstanding, in spite of
πριν preparatory to
προς concerning, to, on, unto, toward, towards
σαν like
σε in, into
χωρίς / δίχως without
ως concerning, as

The simple prepositions of one word, originated in the MG from the traditional vernacular language are «από», «για», «με», «σαν», «σε», «χωρίς» or «δίχως» and «ως». They are all used with the 4th case (accusative) and are primary prepositions. The most frequently used prepositions are «από», «για» and «με», but the most used of all prepositions together is «σε».

The prepositions «αντί», «κατά», «μετά», «μέχρι», «παρά» and «πρός», derived from the katharevousa, also belong to the primary prepositions because they are used with the 4th case too.

The most important prepositions are «από» and «σε»:
  • the usage of «από»:
  • in expressions of time or place with the meaning of: of, from or since
  • in expressions with the meaning of: along, past and beyond
  • in expressions with the meaning of: by means of (made by)
  • the usage of «σε»:
  • in expressions of a location with the meaning of: on, in or to, at
  • in expressions of a movement with the meaning of: on, in or to

These prepositions are often used, and although their meaning may depend on a situation or is prescribed by linguistics, the basic relationship nevertheless is expressed by the distance.

We see that both prepositions don't designate the relationship between the connected point and the location indicated with the preposition by the sentence. Instead, they denote the proximity with «σε» and the distance with «από».

They are used in sentences with a noun including a strong personal pronoun in the 4th case (not a weak personal pronoun) and after numerous adverbs of place.

Apart from the old prepositions, where the usage of the case system differs, the new prepositions, with a few exceptions, are followed by the accusative. These prepositions can be used in sentences with nouns and strong personal pronouns, just as «από» and «σε».

Some of the abovementioned prepositions as «αντί», «για», «μέχρι», «παρά», «πριν». «σαν» and «χωρίς/δίχως» can also be used in the aorist of the subjunctive with the particle «να».

Numerous prepositions, including «από», «για», «με» and «σε» can be followed by a number or by most of the types of non-personal pronouns.

Behind some prepositions like «από», «για», «μέχρι» and «ως» adverbs of time and place can be placed.


«παρά» can appear in comparisons:

«Μέχρι», «μετά» and «ως» occur with a «που»-clause. «Μέχρι» in expressions of events that have already taken place, whilst «μετά» can be followed by a «που»-clause, as an alternative for the use of the conjunction «αφού» - after, because or since. «Ως» is regularly followed by a «που»-clause, but as a combination in one word: «ώσπου» - until, at the time when

Prepositions, used in another case than the accusative.

When a part of a sentence with the noun is a complement to the subject, that phrase appears in the nominative (1st case):

  • He is studying to become a doctor.
  • He applies for president of the association.
  • The weather changes from sunny to rainy.
  • Σπουδάζει για γιατρός
  • Πάει για πρόεδρος του συλλόγου.
  • Ο καιρός θα είναι από βροχερός έως ευήλιος.

Some prepositions or words used for that matter can appear in sentences with a noun including the strong personal pronoun or in sentences with the weak personal pronoun in the genitive (2nd case). These are in particular «εναντίον» - versus, «εξαιτίας» - because of, on account of, «μεταξύ» - between and «λόγω» - owing to.

Generally prepositions can not be separated from the noun phrase. The words «εξαιτίας» and «λόγω» are original noun forms which use the genetive case, although they can be used as prepositions for many purposes. However, they differ from most of the prepositions as they can be separated from the nouns phrase that is dependent on them.

Είναι λόγω κυρίως του καιρόυ οτί δεν το θέλω. It is mainly because of the weather that I do not want it.
Εξαιτίας και της βροχής και του άνεμου. Due to both the rain and the wind.

The conjunction «μεν» - nevertheless, regardless, nonetheless is derived from the Ancient Greek. It is still used in combination with the particle «δε» - anyway, however, in any case, though, not to be confused with the negative particle «δε(ν)». This expression can separate a preposition from noun phrase.

Για μεν τους γνωστούς είναι καθαρά, για δε τους ξένους όχι. For acquaintances it is on one hand clear, however not for foreigners.

A detailed explanation of the combination «μεν»...«δε»... can be found here