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παρά ένας παράδεισος

Discussion in 'Ελληνικά (Greek)' started by anastasia0000, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. anastasia0000 Senior Member

    New York

    I am reading the book «Οδύνη», and I am not sure why the article and the noun «ένας παράδεισος» are in the nominative case, rather than the accusative, in the following sentence, as I thought the preposition «παρά» was followed by the accusative case.

    Θυμάμαι και το παιδικό μου βασίλειο, αλλά κι αυτό δεν ήτανε παρά ένας παράδεισος από κείνους που καταλήγουνε να γίνουνε παραμύθια.

    I remember my childhood kingdom, but that was not more than a paradise, of those which end up becoming fairytales.

    Thank you in advance!

  2. Perseas Senior Member

    In this case παρά is an adversative conjunction and indicates the exemption.

    Let's isolate this part of the sentence:
    1.αυτό δεν ήτανε (τίποτα άλλο) παρά ένας παράδεισος: παράδεισος is --through παρά-- juxtaposed to άλλο (which is meant) and should be in the same case (i.e. nominative).

    Other examples:
    2. Δεν ακουγόταν τίποτα άλλο παρά ο θόρυβος των βημάτων του.: ο θόρυβος is in nominative because άλλο is in nominative as subject of ακουγόταν.
    3. Δε βλέπεις τίποτα άλλο παρά το συμφέρον σου: συμφέρον is in accusative, because άλλο is in accusative as object of βλέπεις.

    The general scheme is: "negation (δεν/τίποτα...)+ (άλλος-η-ο) / παρά / noun in the same case as άλλος-η-ο.
  3. anastasia0000 Senior Member

    New York
    Thanks a lot!

    So, just to make sure I understand, the noun following «παρά» is in the nominative or accusative case depending on whether it is the subject or object of the verb?
  4. Perseas Senior Member

    The noun following παρά refers (usually) to a previous "άλλο", which might be ommited. The case of the noun following "παρά" depends on whether "άλλο" is the subject or the object of the verb. What is before (e.g. "άλλο") and after παρά ("a noun") are equivalent and should be in the same case.

    If this might be a help, replace παρά with another adversative conjunction, e.g. αλλά, and then we will get: αυτό δεν ήτανε (άλλο) αλλά ένας παράδεισος. <<which is however not very idiomatic in Greek; I just used it to show how adversative conjuctions work).

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