Genitive: patient as modifier

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ἐν γὰρ τῇ τῆς πονηρίας ὑπερβολῇ τὴν ἐλπίδα τῆς σωτηρίας ἔχει

Zijn hoop op redding baseert hij op zijn ultieme verdorvenheid.


The genitive signals the macrorole of patient (or experiencer) as a modifier with a deverbative noun.

Lexical usage

Words of ‘fear’ (e.g. δεινός, κίνδυνος), which usually take this type of genitive, can sometimes be used with a causative subordinate clause (μή + subjunctive).

Syntactic behaviour

The difference between this genitive and the genitive of separation is not always clear: θανάτου λύσις ‘release from death’ (Homeros, Ilias 10.421).

Other information

This genitive is traditionally called an objective genitive because the content of these noun phrases can be converted into a sentence in which the original genitive becomes the subject: ἡ τοῦ τείχους ποίησις ‘the building of the wall’ - ποιοῦσι τὸ τεῖχος ‘they build the wall’. In reality the objective nominative and genitive share their semantic role, not their syntactic function. Just as an objective accusative usually signals the role of a patient or a result, so also does the objective genitive.

Example Sentences: 


στέργει γὰρ οὐδεὶς ἄγγελον κακῶν ἐπῶν

Want niemand houdt van een brenger van slecht nieuws.



οὐχ ἡ δόσις τῶν χρημάτων λυπεῖ, ἀλλ’ ἡ πρᾶξις τοῦ λαμβάνοντος, ἐὰν ᾖ κατὰ τοῦ συμφέροντος

We are not distressed by the giving of the bribe but by the action of the man who takes the money, if this is directed against our interests.