Prepositions are usually small words that link or relate two words together. Often they tell position in space or time.They often work in conjunction with the cases extending and clarifying the use of a particular case. Wallace notes prepositions that are found with the accusative and dative often function adverbially and the genitive functions adjectivally (Wallace, 160).
I saw the book on the table (adjectival use—modifies the noun, book).
Tells of the spatial relationship of the book to the table.
He went after the game (adverbial use—modifies the verb, went)..
Connects the person’s going to the time of the game.
A phrase is a string of closely connected words. A clause is a string of connected words and/or phrases, including both a subject and a verb.
A prepositional phrase is usually composed of a preposition followed by a noun, which is called the object of the preposition.
Prep. + noun = in + the car (“the car” is the object of the preposition “in”)
In English, the object of the preposition is usually in the objective case. Thus, we would say, “Send the disk with him (accusative),” and not “with he (nominative).”
Greek prepositions may be followed by nouns in the genitive, dative, or accusative inflectional forms. Each preposition will have a particular case(s) that usually inflects the following noun or pronoun.
Like English prepositions, Greek prepositions are connecting or linking words. Each preposition will take a noun/adjective/pronoun in a certain case (genitive, dative, or accusative). This case must be learned along with the preposition’s main meaning(s). The most common meanings are listed with each preposition, but it is important to observe the context because many other meanings are possible. Note that the genitive often has the idea of separation, the dative the idea of location, and the accusative the idea of motion toward.
Prepositions Used with One Case
The following prepositions are used with only one case:
a]po< = “from” (with the genitive)—also may mean “because of,” “by,” “of”
]Ihsou?n ui[o>n tou? ]Iwsh>f to>n a]po> NazareJesus son of Joseph from Nazareth (Jn. 1:45)
a]po> tou? nofrom the law (Mat. 5:18)
a]f ] u[mw?n (a]f ] is a form of a]po< when it is followed by a word with a rough breathing mark, the vowel drops and the consonant shifts upward before a
rough breathing mark)
from you (Jn. 16:22)
ei]j = “into,” “to,” “in” (with the accusative)—also may mean “among,” “for”
ei]j th>n zwh>n
ei]j th>n oi]kiinto Peter’s house (Mat. 8:14)—notice the article is not translated
ei]j th>n basileiinto the kingdom of heaven (Mat. 19:23)—first article is translated the second is not
e]k = “from,” “out of” (with the genitive)—also may mean “of,” “because of”
e]k tw?n Farisaifrom the Pharisees (Jn. 1:24)
e]k th?j basileiout of the kingdom (Mat. 13:41)
e]c ou]ranou? (e]c is a form of e]k when it is followed by a word that begins with a vowel) from heaven (Mat. 28:2)
e]n = “in,” “on,” “at” (with the dative)—also may mean “among,” “when,” “by,” “with”
e]n tai?j kardiin the hearts (Mat. 9:4)
e]n t&? a]nqrw
in the man (Jn. 2:25)
e]n h[meon the day of judgment (Mat. 10:15)
proe@rxetai pro>j au]to>n lej Fi(because a great crowd) came to him, he said to Philip (Jn. 6:5)
pro>j tou>j maqhtato the disciples (Mat. 26:40)
pro>j to>n o@xlon
to the crowd (Mat. 17:14)
susu>n toi?j maqhtai?j
with the disciples (Mk. 8:34)
su>n t&? a]ggewith the angel (Lk. 2:13)
su>n toi?j presbutewith the elders (Lk. 20:1)
The following prepositions are used with two cases:
dia< (with the genitive) = “through,” “by,” “during”
dia> ]Ieremithrough Jeremiah the prophet (Mat. 2:17)
dia> tw?n profhtw?n t&? ui[&? tou? a]nqrw
by the prophets about the Son of Man (Lk. 18:31)
dia< (with the accusative) = “because of”
dia> to>n lobecause of the word (Mat. 13:21)
kata< (with the genitive) = “down,” “against”
kata> tou? ui[ou? tou? a]nqrw
against the Son of Man (Mat. 12:32)
kata> tou? laou?
against the people (Acts 21:28)
kata< (with the accusative) = “according to,” “during”
kaq ] h[meand the consonant is shifted upwards before a rough breathing mark)
during a day (Mat. 26:55)
meta< (with the genitive) = “with”
meta> tw?n ui[w?n au]th?j
with her sons (Mat. 20:20)
meta> ]Ihsou? tou? Nazwraiwith Jesus of Nazareth (Mat. 26:71)
meta< (with the accusative) = “after”
meq ] h[meafter six days (Mat. 17:1)
peri< (with the genitive) = “for,” “concerning”
peri> tw?n duconcerning the two brothers (Mat. 20:24)
peri> tou? i[erou?
concerning the temple (Lk. 21:5)
peri< (with the accusative) = “around,” “about”
peri> th>n a]lh
about the truth (2 Tim. 2:18)
Prepositions Used with Three Cases
A few prepositions are used with three cases:
e]pi< (with the genitive) = “on,” “over”
on earth (Mat. 6:10)
e]pi< (with the dative) = “on,” “at,” “on the basis of,” “against”
path>r e]pi> ui[&? kai> ui[o>j e]pi> patri<
father against son and son against father (Lk. 12:53)