Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary
The particle δε (de) indicates a mild objection or simple transition and can sometimes be translated with "but" or "indeed, but" or "also". More often, however, it carries the mere force of a sentence's natural progression and as a result leaves little to be translated in English. Hebrew has a silent particle like that as well, albeit of slightly different function and origin: את ('et).
Our particle δε (de) frequently occurs with other particles in formulaic contexts: with μεν (men), which expresses affirmation, it forms a construct that means something like "indeed" or "if truly... then surely" (see our article on μεν, men, for an exhaustive look at this formula). With the copulative και (kai) it literally forms "and but" but takes on the meaning of "also".
Our particle δε (de) is used 2867 times in the New Testament; see full concordance.
The obviously related adverb δη (de) serves as a particle of confirmation or affirmation: truly, by all means. It is used 6 times, see full concordance, and from it derive:
- Together with the adverb ποτε (pote), meaning when(ever): the adverb δηποτε (depote), meaning whatever. It occurs only once, in John 5:4.
- Together with the interrogative adverb που (pou), meaning where: the adverb δηπου (depou), meaning doubtless or surely. It also occurs only once, in Hebrews 2:16
The peculiar adverb δευρο (deuro) means hither (i.e. unto here, or until now), and implies a reversal of mood or narrative: "to here and no further" or rather "events happened a certain way until here and now, but from now on they will happen in some other way". It often translates as an imperative: come!, not unlike the English command we bark at our dogs: "[to] here!" which means "come here!". It appears to be constructed from the particle we discuss above, δε (de), plus a Proto-Indo-European suffix denoting where.
In the classics, our adverb is often used as an interjection: Well, here now, or Come on [you guys], or come! [and let's do such as such], but may also denote some specified here-and-now in time or place: up to here, up to now (Romans 1:13), or even up to this point in some lengthy argument.
Translators of the New Testament tend to interpret our adverb as a kind of irregular 2nd person single (for plural see below) imperative form of the verb ερχομαι (erchomai), to come (for genuine 2nd person imperatives of this verb, see Matthew 14:29 and John 4:16). But this may not be warranted: certain evergreens that indeed contain a command to come, actually do so because of an adjacent imperative. For instance, Matthew 19:21, Mark 10:21 and Luke 18:22 combine our adverb with the 2nd person imperative of ακολουθεω (akoloutheo), to follow or accompany. Likewise, Acts 7:3 combines our adverb with an imperative of the aforementioned verb ερχομαι (erchomai), to come.
Our adverb is used 9 times; see full concordance, and from it in turn comes:
- The adverb δευτε (deute), which is really the plural of δευρο (deuro), see above, and means the same: up to here, or: [come] here! Like its singular parent, this plural adverb tends to generate an imperative in translations, but this may not be warranted: Matthew 4:19 does not say: "Come and follow me and I will make you fishers of men" but rather: "Up to here, after me, I will make you fishers of men". The difference isn't subtle. The first translation assumes Jesus to be the distant and superior leader of a band of inferior and inert followers (this is the Roman pagan model), whereas the second translation assumes Jesus to be the first of many (Colossians 1:15), namely a whole tribe of friends (John 15:15) and colleague shepherds (John 14:12). Likewise, Matthew 11:28 does not say: "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest", but rather "I will give you rest, until you (plural) are me", which, likewise, demonstrates that Christ does not lead his people like a Roman emperor with instructions from his heavenly headquarters far away, but rather by being incarnate in his people. Whether consisting of one man or a whole bunch or them, the Body of Christ has always been animated by the soul and spirit of Jesus.
This curious plural adverb is used 13 times; see full concordance.
Whether or not formally related to the above, the adverb of time ηδη (ede) means already, by this time, now. It occurs 59 times; see full concordance.