8A: Declarative Clauses

In previous lessons, you have frequently seen the words ότι and πως. In Modern Greek, these words are often used to “open” new sentences, that is, secondary clauses. There are many types of secondary clauses in Modern Greek, but this lesson focuses on declarative clauses. Declarative clauses help to express an opinion, convey some piece of information, etc. 

In Ancient Greek, clauses like these would have typically begun with ὅτι or with ὡς. In Modern Greek, they start with ότι or πως: the similarity should be obvious. In both Ancient Greek and Modern Greek, words that introduce secondary clauses like these are called conjunctions.

Consider some of the following examples, both in Ancient Greek and in Modern Greek. How do the conjunctions in both stages of the language get translated into English?

Ancient Greek

Ἔγνωσαν ὅτι κενὸς ὁ φόβος εἴη. (“They recognized that fear was empty.”)

Λέγουσιν οἱ σοφισταί ὡς οὐδὲν δέονται χρημάτων. (“The thinkers say that they do not need any money.”)

Modern Greek

Ξέρω ότι με αγαπάς. (“I know that you love me.”)

Νομίζω ότι χάνω χρόνο. (“I think that I am wasting time.”)

Θεωρώ πως δεν ξέρει ότι είμαι εδώ. (“I see that she doesn’t know that I am here.”)