Greek and Latin Prepositions!

by Nina Raby, CAPS Latin & Greek Tutor

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Here is a quick guide to some important Latin and Greek prepositions! Whether you are learning Latin and Greek, or just want to improve your vocabulary for standardized tests, writing, STEM vocab, or just in general, this post should provide a way for you to reference prepositions efficiently. For those of you using this to read Latin or Greek, I have included the cases for each preposition in instances where the meaning differs depending on which case is going with the preposition. I have also tried to transliterate all the Greek words on this sheet as accurately as possible so that you can recognize them when you see them composed in English words.

Greek Prepositions:

ἄνευ (aney) – without
ἀντί (anti) – instead of
ἄνω (ano) – above παρά (para)-from (+gen),
ἀπο (apo) – away from
διά (dia) – through (+gen), on account of (+acc)
ἐγγύς (engys) – near
εἰς (eis) – into, onto, to, for a purpose
ἐκ, ἐξ (ek, ex) – out of, from
ἔμπροσεν (emprosen) – in front of
ἐν (en) – in, on, among
ʻένεκα (heneka) – for the sake of
ἔξω (exo) – outside
ἐπί (epi) – on upon (+gen), on (+dat), against, onto (+acc)
κατά (kata) – under (+gen), by way of, according to (+acc)
μετά (meta) – with, among (+gen), after (+acc)
ὄπισθεν (opisthen) – behind, beside (+dat), to (the presence of) (+acc)
περί (peri) – about, concerning (+gen), around (+acc)
πλήν (ple(e)n) – except
πρό (pro) – before, in front of
πρός (pros) – against, near, in the presence of, in addition to (+dat), to toward, in addition, against (+acc)
σύν (syn) – with, together with; completely
ʻυπέρ (hyper) – on behalf of, for, over, above, exceedingly
ʻυπο (hypo) – by (personal agent), from, by reason of (+gen), under, behind (+dat)

Latin Prepositions:

a* (ab) – (away) from (+abl)
ante – before (+acc)
ad – to, toward (+acc)
de – (down) from, concerning, on (+abl)
circum – around (+acc)
contra – against (+acc)
cum – with, (+abl)
e (ex) – out of, (out) from (+abl)
extra – outside of (+acc)
inter – between (+acc)
in – into, onto, against (+acc); in, on (+abl)
ob – on account of (+acc)
per – through, because of, thanks to (+acc)
post – after, behind (+acc)
prae – before, in front of (+abl)
praeter – beyond, except for (+acc)
pro – for, on behalf of (+abl)
propter – on account of (+acc)
sine – without (+abl)
super – above, beyond (+acc or +abl w/verbs of rest)
sub – under (+abl or +acc w/verbs of motion)
intra – within (+acc)
trans – across (+acc)
versus – against (+acc)

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Originally posted by eubilla-empress-of-suburbia

If you’re using this for English vocabulary, these definitions won’t always translate flawlessly one-to-one into English, so you might have to logic out how each part of the word is fitting together in order to get an accurate sense of the meaning.

I hope this was helpful! You can view the Latin and Greek tutoring hours here.

Nina Raby is a Latin and Greek Tutor at CAPS on the Writing and Language team. She is double-majoring in Classical Languages and History and minoring in Mathematics.

*Careful! The letter “a” by itself in composite words can also be an alpha privative or simple negation, but only in composition not (in Latin/Greek) as a preposition (for example the word “atypical” in English is using the alpha privative, i.e. something is “not” typical)


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