How does one differentiate between the copulative και and the adjunctive και in Koine Greek?

Greek grammars give a confusing array of explanations.

For example:

Adverbial και – 59.56 Basic function: expresses addition/extension- και signals that the applicability of an utterance also extends to the word or phrase following it. (The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek, 2019, p. 693)


και 2. as adjunctive, i.e. introducing someth. in addition to what has already been mentioned, also Mt 5:39f; 8:9; J 14:7a; Ac 13:9 (ὁ ϰαί = a.k.a.); Ro 1:13; 2 Cor 8:11; Gal 6:1b; Hb 8:6. W. intensive force even Mt 5:46f; Ac 10:45; Gal 6:1a. (Danker, F. W. (2009). The Concise Greek-English Lexicon of the new Testament. Chicago: The University of Chicago.)

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    Why not focus the question with a concrete example such as Gal 6:16? This is a perfect example of where such a distinction is important. – Dottard Feb 11 at 5:17
  • @Dottard Your demonstrating that would be an answer. – Thomas Pearne Feb 12 at 5:35
  • Questions that are properly about the Greek language are off-topic here. I'd suggest either focus on a particular text as the above comment suggests or you can try your question on Linguistics.SE. – Soldarnal Feb 13 at 2:57
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    This would be on-topic at the Latin SE, I think? They regularly do questions about Koine Greek. – Agnes Feb 13 at 9:39
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    Sorry, no grammars... Abbott-Smith's A manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament has all you should need... Its entry on καί is impeccable.... – Cosmas Zachos Feb 13 at 17:38

I think just illustrating some of your examples and the ones of Abbott-Smith's adduced in the comment should illustrate the adjunctive καί, which has survived into modern Greek after 2 millennia. I feel bad I cannot find the analog English usage including and.

A rough-and-ready rule is to translate the adjunctive as "as well", or equivalent, or "even"; a non-primary tack-on to a list, so with subordinate or hypothetical status. English doesn't use "and" for that, but, as I indicated, some other languages do...

Mt 5:39. ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν μὴ ἀντιστῆναι τῷ πονηρῷ: ἀλλ' ὅστις σε ῥαπίζει εἰς τὴν δεξιὰν σιαγόνα [σου], στρέψον αὐτῷ καὶ τὴν ἄλλην: [even the other cheek, as well]

Mt:40. καὶ τῷ θέλοντί σοι κριθῆναι καὶ τὸν χιτῶνά σου λαβεῖν, ἄφες αὐτῷ καὶ τὸ ἱμάτιον: [hand over even your coat, as well]

Mt 20:4. καὶ ἐκείνοις εἶπεν, Ὑπάγετε καὶ ὑμεῖς εἰς τὸν ἀμπελῶνα, καὶ ὃ ἐὰν ᾖ δίκαιον δώσω ὑμῖν. [you, as well, go to my vineyard]

Mk 2:20. ὥστε κύριός ἐστιν ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου καὶ τοῦ σαββάτου. [Lord even of the Sabbath]

J 7:47. ἀπεκρίθησαν οὖν αὐτοῖς οἱ Φαρισαῖοι, Μὴ καὶ ὑμεῖς πεπλάνησθε; [have you been deceived as well?]

J 14:7. εἰ ἐγνώκατέ με, καὶ τὸν πατέρα μου γνώσεσθε: καὶ ἀπ' ἄρτι γινώσκετε αὐτὸν καὶ ἑωράκατε αὐτόν. [you will know my father as well]

Ro 1:13. οὐ θέλω δὲ ὑμᾶς ἀγνοεῖν, ἀδελφοί, ὅτι πολλάκις προεθέμην ἐλθεῖν πρὸς ὑμᾶς, καὶ ἐκωλύθην ἄχρι τοῦ δεῦρο, ἵνα τινὰ καρπὸν σχῶ καὶ ἐν ὑμῖν καθὼς καὶ ἐν τοῖς λοιποῖς ἔθνεσιν. [among you as well. the first καὶ is in between conjunctive and adjunctive, to my ear: as I have been prevented until now]

Personally, I cannot contradistinguish adverbial from adjunctive καὶ .

  • Thank you. My current working theory for the adjunctive/adverbial και is that if there is a verbal idea on a term to the left of και it can be repeated or understood on the term following και. Mt 5:40 appears to fit that profile. I see adjunctive and adverbial used interchangeably. The Cambridge definition appears to support that. Do you see all adjunctives as adverbial? – Thomas Pearne Feb 13 at 23:44
  • I should say so... But I am not a philologist, just a lifelong reader. So I approach these issues like a speaker, not a rigid rule-maker. You are aware of this, right? – Cosmas Zachos Feb 14 at 0:01

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