γε

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Ancient Greek[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Probably from either Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰe or *ǵe. Possible cognates include Gothic -𐌺 ‎(-k); Sanskrit हि ‎(hi), ‎(ha), or ‎(gha); Latin hic.

Pronunciation[edit]

 

Particle[edit]

γε ‎(ge)

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

Usage notes[edit]

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:

  • 386 BCE – 367 BCE, Plato, Meno 80.e
    Σωκράτης   ... οὔτε γὰρ ἂν [ὅ γε οἶδεν] ζητοῖ—οἶδεν γάρ, καὶ οὐδὲν δεῖ [τῷ γε τοιούτῳ] ζητήσεως ... .
    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 164.a
    Σωκράτης   [ὁ δέ γε ὁρῶν] καὶ ἐπιστήμων γεγονὼς οὗ ἑώρα, ἐὰν μύσῃ, μέμνηται μέν, οὐχ ὁρᾷ δὲ αὐτό.
    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 terms[edit]

References[edit]