Ancient GreekEdit

Alternative formsEdit


Probably from *ge. Possible cognates include Gothic -𐌺 (-k); Sanskrit हि (hi), (ha), or (gha); Latin hic, Russian же (že).




γε (ge) (discourse particle)

  1. often translatable with italics or stress
    1. (limiting) at least, at any rate, only
    2. (intensifying) in fact

Usage notesEdit

As an enclitic, γε follows the single word that it affects, or if it affects a phrase or clause, follows the first word in the phrase or clause. Hence, when it modifies a substantive that has the article, it usually follows the article. In the following examples, phrases are enclosed in square brackets:

  • 386 BCE – 367 BCE, Plato, Meno 80e:
    Σωκράτης   [] οὔτε γὰρ ἂν [ὅ γε οἶδεν] ζητοῖ—οἶδεν γάρ, καὶ οὐδὲν δεῖ [τῷ γε τοιούτῳ] ζητήσεως [] .
    Sōkrátēs   [] oúte gàr àn [hó ge oîden] zētoî—oîden gár, kaì oudèn deî [tôi ge toioútōi] zētḗseōs [] .
    Socrates: [] For he can neither inquire into [what he knows] — since he knows it, and [in a case like that] there is no need for inquiry [] .

Because δέ () must always follow the first word in a clause, γε always follows δέ when it modifies the first phrase in the clause.

  • 366 BCE – 348 BCE, Plato, Theaetetus 164a:
    Σωκράτης   [ὁ δέ γε ὁρῶν] καὶ ἐπιστήμων γεγονὼς οὗ ἑώρα, ἐὰν μύσῃ, μέμνηται μέν, οὐχ ὁρᾷ δὲ αὐτό.
    Sōkrátēs   [ho dé ge horôn] kaì epistḗmōn gegonṑs hoû heṓra, eàn músēi, mémnētai mén, oukh horâi dè autó.
    Socrates:   [But the one who sees] and has become knowledgeable about what he saw, if he closes his eyes, he still remembers it, though he no longer sees it.

It may also attach to other particles, with a mild intensifying effect.

Derived termsEdit

Further readingEdit