[B-Greek] Grammar Drills in Ancient Greek

Mark Lightman lightmanmark at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 17 09:21:48 EDT 2010

A few months ago, John Sanders recommended that people construct and record 
grammar drills in order to improve their ability to read Ancient Greek.  Among 
other things John wrote:

<So you go to your computer, record verbally a noun and an assoicated adjective 
or participle as the exemplar,  then record a list of other nouns.  These lists 
then can be MP3ed and downloaded to whatever device you use to listen to music 
and such.  The list can be made up of only nouns in one gender, or the list can 
be mixed.  I would recommend using many lists, both gender specific and gender 
mixed.  For adjectives I use EIS, MIA, EN and PAS, PASA, PAN, and a couple of 
others randomly selected.  You can also use a program such as "Anki", a 
flashcard program, or some other program that can give a series of words whereby 
you write out the "answer".  These drills should be timed.  That is, the program 
should have a limited time for you to respond.  The object is to get you to 
answer quickly, without thinking but responding instinctively.
The setup time is extensive and does not count toward your goal of fluency.  So, 
you need to do the drills constantly, over and over, hour after hour.  When I 
was young I recall that my brother and I would go outside and catch a softball, 
hour after hour.  We used no gloves, catching first with our right hand and 
throwing it back with our left hand, then catching the ball in our left hand and 
throwing it back with our right hand.  Hour after hour we did that, not thinking 
it was tedious at all, because we wished to gain "fluency".  But I had no such 
interest in basket ball, dribbling was just tedious.  Those who wish to gain 
"fluency:, doing drills will not be tedious, but it will be a lot of work.>

I've been doing something like John suggests for the last couple of months.  The 
latest drill can be viewed here


I'm glad John suggested this.  It has helped my Greek.

My advise to you is not so much that you listen to my drills, nor that you 
recite my drills, but that you use my drills as an example to construct and 
recite and record your own.  John points out that the drills should be 
customized to your own areas that need work.  Doing your own drills also allows 
you, of course, to choose  your own preferred pronunciation.  If your goal is 
active use and repetition, constructing drills gets you there quickly.  One must 
become, as Barry H. might say, one's own Rosetta Stone. 

 Mark L



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