Parataxis and Hypotaxis

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604. When two sentences, independent in form, are so united in speaking that one is subordinate to the other in thought, they are called Paratactic1 (παρατάσσω arrange beside). In form, as written, they are simply coordinate sentences not joined together by a conjunction.

Ἐπίστασθε καὶ ῡ̔μεῖς, οἶμαι.
You knοw it yourselves, I think.
Xen. Anabasis 3.2.8

ἥδιστʼ ἂν ἀκούσαιμι τὸ ὄνομα, τίς οὕτως ἐστὶ δεινὸς λέγειν;
I should like very much to hear the name, who is so skilled in talking?
Xen. Anabasis 2.5.15

εὖ μέντοι ἴστε, πᾶσαν ῡ̔μῖν τὴν ἀλήθειαν ἐρῶ.
Be assured, however, I shall tell you the whole truth.
Plato Apology 20d

ἱκνοῦμαι μὴ προδοὺς ἡμᾶς γένῃ.
Do not abandon us, I entreat.
Soph. Ajax. 588

605. Out of such paratactic sentences have grown all types of subordination, or Hypotaxis (ὑποτάσσω arrange under). A sentence is subordinate when it is made part of another, with the value of a noun, adjective, or adverb.

  • 1. Such sentenees are even more common in English of familiar style than in Greek literature as we have it.

Suggested Citation

Meagan Ayer, ed. Goodell’s School Grammar of Attic Greek. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2018. ISBN: 978-1-947822-10-8. http://dcc.dickinson.edu/grammar/goodell/parataxis-and-hypotaxis