Key to the Exercises in

Thomas O. Lambdin,


Prepared by

Prof. William E. Arnal

University of Regina

© 2006


Thomas O. Lambdin's Introduction to Sahidic Coptic, published by Mercer University Press, remains the only English-language grammar of Sahidic that is oriented to teaching, and that is both accessible and comprehensive. The following list of answers to the exercises is intended to supplement this textbook and to help make it more user-friendly. It was felt that a key against which to measure one's success at the exercises would not only serve the interests of those using the text to teach themselves Coptic, but would also reduce the work-load for teachers of the language using this text for the first time. The copyright for the exercises in Lambdin's grammar is held by Mercer University Press, and includes rights over translations of these exercises. The following key is therefore "published" to the web only with the explicit permission of the copyright holder.

Nearly all of the exercises in Lambdin's grammar involve translating Coptic sentences into English. Translation, of course, is not an exact science. So the translations offered below should not be understood as the only possible answers to each question, but as giving the general sense of the Coptic, for which various English synonyms, sentence structures, word order, or possessive expressions ("the king's son" versus "the son of the king") and the like could perhaps be substituted. Generally, the translation provided is the one that seemed most natural - in many of these cases, various alternatives employing different words but essentially the same basic meaning are also correct. In such cases, students should prefer the translation that makes most sense, and should definitely avoid translations that make little sense, even if they are technically possible. The answers substitute some more familiar English words for those Lambdin provides, e.g., "to where" for "whither"; "from where" for "whence"; "relatives" for "kinsmen"; etc.

Where there is real ambiguity, e.g., in deciding whether to translate the 3rd person pl. of transitive verbs in the active or passive voice (from lesson 13 on), a note explains the ambiguity where it first occurs. In three-part pe sentences with two definite nouns (from lesson 5 on), either element can usually be the subject or the predicate: these have been translated fairly arbitrarily. If the answer is given as "This man is my father," often "My father is this man" will also be possible. However, is one element is indefinite, that element must be the predicate, so a translation along the lines of "a carpenter is my father" is incorrect. Following Lambdin, affirmative second tense verbs have usually been rendered with English cleft sentences: "it was because of you that I came here." Any translation, however, that conveys the appropriate emphasis should be understood as correct, e.g., "I came here because of you." The particle de, appearing from lesson 9 forward, has been left completely untranslated, unless it has significant meaning for the individual sentence.

I wish to offer particular thanks to James Leonard, Rev. Judy Redman (Chaplain, University of New England), and Rich Weaver for drawing my attention to several errors. If any other users find errors, typos, or the like in any of the answers, please contact the author (william[dot]arnal[at-sign]uregina[dot]ca), with the subject-line "Key to Lambdin," so they can be corrected.

For the few places where Coptic is required in this key, I have used the CS Copto Manuscript font. It is available for download at





Lesson 1

Lesson 2

Lesson 3

Lesson 4

Lesson 5

Lesson 6

Lesson 7

Lesson 8

Lesson 9

Lesson 10

Lesson 11

Lesson 12

Lesson 13

Lesson 14

Lesson 15

Lesson 16

Lesson 17

Lesson 18

Lesson 19

Lesson 20

Lesson 21

Lesson 22

Lesson 23

Lesson 24

Lesson 25

Lesson 26

Lesson 27

Lesson 28

Lesson 29

Lesson 30




Lesson 1: Exercises (p.4)


A. 1. on the road

2. on the mountain

3. in the road

4. in the house

5. under the house

6. under the stone

7. in / on the book

8. with the man

9. with the woman

10. upon the roads

11. under the houses

12. on the mountains

13. in the houses

14. with the women

15. on the gold

16. the gold and the books[1]

17. the old man and the old woman

18. the man and the woman

19. the men and the women

20. the old men and the old women


B. 1. The stone is on the road.

2. The old men are on the road.

3. The old women are in the house.

4. The gold is under the stone.

5. The book is on the stone.

6. The house is on the mountain.

7. The men are on the mountain.

8. The woman is with the man.[2]

9. The books are in the house.


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Lesson 2: Exercises (p.7)


A. 1. on the boat

2. under the sky

3. in the heavens

4. about the king

5. with the (female) slave

6. in the harbor

7. on the river

8. about the gold

9. in the harbors

10. under the boat

11. about some kings

12. some men and some women

13. some mountains and some roads

14. under a stone

15. on a mountain

16. in a fish

17. on some houses

18. with an old woman

19. about a book

20. about the light


B. 1. the fish (pl.) of the river

2. the men's boats

3. the king's houses

4. the old man's name

5. the light of the sky

6. the water of the harbor

7. the queen's name

8. the monk's books

9. the water of the river

10. some stones of the mountain

11. a slave of the king

12. the wife of the slave


C. 1. There is (a) light in the heavens. / Light is in the heavens.

2. There are no fish in the harbor. / No fish are in the harbor.[3]

3. There is no water in the river. / No water is in the river.

4. An old man is on the road. / There is an old man on the road.

5. There are some stones in the harbor. / Some stones are in the harbor.

6. There is no house on the mountain. / No house is on the mountain.

7. The boats are not on the river.

8. No boat is on the river. / There is not a boat on the river.

9. The books are not on the boat.

10. There is no gold in the slave's house. / No gold is in the slave's house.


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Lesson 3: Exercises (pp.10-11)


A. 1. at the entrance of the church

2. in the presence of the king

3. in the tomb

4. with the disciples

5. the door of the house

6. the boat's owner

7. the owners of the boats

8. the (male) slave's daughter

9. at the entranceway / doorway of the house[4]

10. a church of the village

11. a letter of Paul

12. the disciples of Jesus

13. in the name of the Lord

14. in the presence of God

15. the bank of the river

16. upon the shore of the sea

17. in darkness

18. at the entrance / door of the tomb

19. the disciple's books

20. the men of the villages


B. 1. the stone which is in the harbor

2. the disciples who are with Jesus

3. the darkness which is upon the city

4. the churches which are in the city

5. the light which is in the heavens

6. the fish which are in the sea

7. the slave who is in the presence of the master

8. the water which is in the river

9. the angels who are in the heavens

10. the monks who are in the monastery

11. the men of that city

12. those villages

13. that man's disciples

14. the children / sons of that (male) slave

15. the ships which are on the bank of the river[5]


C. 1. God is in heaven.

2. No church is in that village. / There is no church in that village.

3. There is an angel at the door of the tomb. / An angel is at the door of the tomb.

4. The letters are with the books.

5. There is no book there. / No book is there.

6. There is a disciple of Paul in the doorway. / A disciple of Paul is in the doorway.

7. There is no light in the darkness.

8. The owner of the house is not in the house.

9. The boat is not on the river.

10. The children of the village are on the road.

11. There are some tombs in those banks.

12. There is (a) darkness upon the city.


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Lesson 4: Exercises (pp.13-14)


A. 1. behind his disciples

2. in the presence of their lord

3. at the entrance of his tomb

4. with his daughter

5. behind her son

6. in the presence of our lord

7. on their church

8. about your (pl.) village

9. in your (fm. sg.) city

10. in this world

11. with this wine[6]

12. with his brothers

13. about / concerning our sister

14. in the other house

15. in another place


B. 1. the commandments of our ancestors

2. my father's name

3. the door of your (ms. sg.) house

4. the door of the other house

5. concerning our sins

6. beside our house

7. in peace

8. in the presence of our bishop

9. Jesus' mother

10. the wine of these monks

11. the gold of their master

12. the name of your (pl.) mother

13. near your (ms. sg.) church

14. near these villages

15. under your (fm. sg.) sins / because of your sins

16. with the ones (i.e., people) of the village

17. this letter of Paul

18. this boat of our Lord

19. in the marketplace of the city


C. 1. Our Lord is not on the boat.

2. There is no wine here.

3. A monk is at the entrance of the church.

4. There is no peace in this world.

5. My father and my mother are in the house.

6. There is (some) bread there.

7. Our brother is on the shore of the sea.

8. A boat is near the bank.

9. An old woman is in the doorway of his house.

10. Our brothers are on the mountain.

11. Your (fm. sg.) brother is not in the tomb.

12. Your (pl.) father is on my boat.

13. Our boat is in the harbor.

14. His book is on that stone.

15. There is no road in that place.


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Lesson 5: Exercises (p.17)[7]


A. 1. She is a slave of my mother.

2. It is a fish.

3. It is a book of your brother.

4. She is a virgin.

5. They are priests.

6. He is the son of my sister.

7. She is the daughter of the carpenter.

8. She is the mother of our savior.

9. It is his father's camel.

10. It is not a boat.

11. It is a sin.

12. He is not a god.

13. It is not our house.

14. They are teachers.

15. They are the commandments of our Lord.


B. 1. This is the power of God.

2. This (man) is not her husband.

3. This is a (female) camel.

4. These are the words of the gospel.

5. Their village is in the hill country.

6. His house is in the middle of the city.

7. My father is a carpenter.

8. His son is a priest.

9. His brothers are priests.

10. Perhaps he is her husband.

11. Your (fm. sg.) husband is at the doorway.

12. Her name is Elizabeth.

13. Elizabeth is the mother of John.

14. John is the son of Zacharias.

15. My name is not Joseph.

16. Your (pl.) house is beside the temple.

17. Perhaps this man is the Christ.

18. This is Mary's greeting.

19. Mary is a virgin.

20. There is a crowd in the middle of the marketplace.

21. There is no peace here.

22. There are some villages in the hill-country.

23. Perhaps there is a teacher in the village.

24. These are our sins.

25. These are loaves. / This is bread.


C. 1. the villages which are behind the mountain

2. the man who is a bishop

3. these words which are her greeting

4. the crowd on the shore

5. the old woman who is a virgin

6. the roads in the hill country

7. the ships in the midst of the sea

8. the Christ, i.e., our Savior

9. the temple, namely, the house of the Lord

10. this book, that is to say, the gospel


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Lesson 6: Exercises (pp.20-21)


A. 1. I am a slave of the governor.

2. There is a shepherd there in the field.

3. You (ms. sg.) are our teacher.

4. We are his sheep.

5. It is not us.

6. He is the glory of his people.

7. Who are you (fm. sg.)?

8. I am an angel of God.

9. There is a sword there.

10. What is this marvel?

11. He is your (fm. sg.) husband.

12. This is God's law.

13. What is the gospel?

14. His people is Israel.

15. It's them.

16. Who are they? They are her relatives.

17. You (fm. sg.) are my wife.

18. It is not a stone.

19. I am Joseph.

20. The glory of the Lord is upon this man.

21. What is this? It is a sign.

22. Perhaps he is the Christ.

23. It is a village of Galilee.

24. Whose temple is this?

25. This book is a gospel.

26. It's you (pl.).

27. What is the way?

28. There is a governor in Syria.

29. What is this power?

30. You (pl.) are priests.

31. The old woman is in the presence of the governor.

32. There is no village in that hill-country.

33. This is the king's law.

34. There are some shepherds on the mountain.

35. This light is a sign.

36. She is a virgin.

37. Whose camels are they?

38. John is not the Christ.

39. The other man is my relative.

40. He is the son of the carpenter.

41. What is the darkness which is upon the city?

42. They are my brothers.

43. These are the words of your (pl.) law.

44. The other sheep are in the field.

45. What is the governor's name?

46. This is my sword.

47. It is a sign of his power.

48. Who is John's mother?


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Lesson 7: Exercises (pp.24-25)


1. The brothers went to the city.

2. The boy came to our house.

3. His sister went to the doorway of the church.

4. They came after their children.

5. His mother walked to the tomb.

6. His disciples climbed onto the boat.

7. He went to another brother.

8. We came to the entrance of his house.

9. Jesus walked on the shore of the sea.

10. The monks went up to the monastery.

11. His disciples ran to another place.

12. He prayed for his children.

13. Why did you (pl.) run onto the road?

14. We walked with our wives to the village.

15. A monk went to the bishop.

16. He prayed for our sins.

17. The (female) slave came into the presence of her master.

18. Our Lord ascended to heaven.

19. Why did you (ms. sg.) pursue my father?

20. Why did you weep over those men?

21. He sat down on the river's bank.

22. The old woman wept for her son.

23. They sat down with their brothers.

24. I walked on the road with my daughter.

25. They went on that road to the city.

26. His (male) horse ran up to the mare.

27. The bishop mounted his horse.

28. His mother came to the king in / of the city.

29. We prayed for our brothers who were / are in the monastery.

30. I wept over my sins.

31. The king sat down on his throne.

32. The disciple sat down in the doorway of the house.

33. The children ran on the road to the harbor.

34. The donkey walked behind its owner.

35. We mounted our donkeys.

36. His wife and his daughters sat down at the table.

37. Some men came near the church.

38. Why did you walk behind the donkey on the road?

39. Jesus sat down with his disciples.

40. The shepherds walked behind their sheep.

41. The camel ran to the field.

42. We prayed for a sign.

43. The people of the city came to the governor of Judea.

44. The girl sat down with her relatives.

45. The governor went to Syria.

46. This is the God of Israel.


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Lesson 8: Exercises (pp.28-29)


A. 1. through your (ms. sg.) prayers

2. against our brothers

3. out through this road

4. away to the river

5. out of the city

6. away from the table

7. about his task

8. against your (pl.) words

9. through his words

10. into Alexandria

11. up to the platform

12. up onto the mountain

13. into my cell

14. under these tasks / because of these things

15. to his disciples

16. at the entrance of his cell

17. about your (fm. sg.) weeping

18. in his flight

19. down to the sea

20. down to the water

21. back to their village

22. ahead to the mountains

23. away from the platform

24. up onto the horse

25. out through the door of the house

26. away from here

27. against the name of the king

28. through the agency of the Lord

29. about your (pl.) flight


B. 1. They got up and ran away.

2. We came in and sat down.

3. He went back to his village.

4. He sat down and spoke with the men.

5. I got up from the table.

6. We walked in to Alexandria.

7. The other man got up onto the donkey.

8. Why have you (feminine sing.) run out of your house?

9. The monk went into his cell.

10. Why have you (pl.) spoken against our Lord?

11. I sat down beside my father.

12. They spoke about their wine.

13. There are some donkeys and some horses there.

14. He came down from the platform.

15. The men rose up against the king.

16. I talked about my sins.

17. The women walked down to the shore.

18. We went up / down to our villages.

19. She fled from those men.

20. We went into the presence of the bishop.

21. Why did you (ms. sg.) go back to the marketplace?

22. He went out of this world.

23. She spoke with her mother about her children.

24. The men mounted their horses.

25. They spoke about the bread and the (pl.) fish.

26. They spoke against his commandments.

27. He arose from the throne.

28. We walked ahead in the darkness.

29. He went up to the platform.

30. He spoke about the monk's affairs.


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Lesson 9: Exercises (pp.33-34)


A. 1. onto the ground → ejwf, onto it

2. against their master→ oubyf, against him

3. on his bed → hiwf / hiwwf, on it

4. at the entrance of the tomb → hirwf, at its entrance

5. after his death → m=n=ncwf, after it

6. in the presence of God → nahraf, in his presence

7. in the rivers → =nhytou, in them

8. through these afflictions → hitootou, through them

9. to the fish → eroou, to them

10. about their hunger → etbyyt=f, about it

11. to her name → erof, to it

12. to his slaves → saroou, to them

13. upon the ground → hijwf, upon it

14. behind his son → =ncwf, behind him

15. through the famine → hitoot=f, through it

16. under my bed → harof, under it

17. after our flight → m=n=ncwf, after it

18. in his cell → =nhyt=c, in it

19. upon your (ms. sg.) boat → hijwf, upon it

20. under your (pl.) afflictions → haroou, under them

21. about the festivals → etbyytou, about them

22. at the entrance of the church → hirwc, at its entrance

23. to the old woman → saroc, to her

24. against my words → oubyu, against them

25. in the presence of his mother → nahrac, in her presence

26. through the light → hitoot=f, through it

27. near the harbor → hahtyc, near it

28. onto the platform → ejwf, onto it

29. in the water → =mmof, in it

30. after that festival → m=n=ncwf, after it


B. 1. away from us

2. with me

3. from among you (pl.)

4. against me

5. because of us

6. near us

7. down upon us

8. against you (pl.)

9. with you (pl.)

10. down onto me

11. in my presence

12. because of you (ms. sg.)

13. in your (fm. sg.) presence

14. on you (ms. sg.)

15. with us


C. 1. Death came into the world through our sins.

2. After these things, that king died.

3. The boy fell down onto the ground.

4. Why have these afflictions befallen me?

5. He lay down on the bed and wept.

6. The men approached the village which was / is on that mountain.

7. Afterwards, they found their son in the synagogue.

8. The men of this city died of a famine.

9. A festival happened here on that day.

10. We grew weary through the famine, and arose and went to another village.

11. He spoke with us about the books which were / are in the city.

12. I became weary, I lay down, and I prayed to God about these things.

13. The day of the festival drew near.

14. The monk died at the doorway of his cell.

15. They became hungry and they came back to the village.

16. Afterwards, our city perished by means of it / him.

17. The boy arose from the ground and ran to his father.

18. After these things, our Lord died.

19. It happened that she found the gold under the bed.

20. The boats approached the harbor.


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Lesson 10: Exercises (pp.37-38)

A. 1. He gave me a tunic.

2. I sold him my boat.

3. I gave the gold to him.

4. We fought with those men.

5. They fought against us.

6. He gave the gold to his son.

7. They lifted the stone off of him.

8. He lifted up his son.

9. We did not agree with them.

10. He lifted up his bed and went away.

11. They built a temple there.

12. They did not obey their master.

13. I heard the voice of the priest.

14. I did not hear about her death.

15. We saw a boat there.

16. They sought me in the marketplace.

17. We found him on the shore with our teacher.

18. I visited him in his cell.

19. He saw an angel.

20. I received them from my father.

21. They took it from me.

22. We entrusted her to you (fm. sg.).

23. He found it under his bed.

24. His father did not enter.

25. Why didn't you (pl.) fall asleep?

26. We tolerated those afflictions.

27. She did not approach the tomb.

28. I did not sell the cloak.

29. I did not give you (fm. sg.) this tunic.

30. Why didn't you (fm. sg.) come to me?

31. We did not speak with them.

32. Why did they fight with you (pl.)?

33. He did not find us there.

34. They did not climb onto their boat.

35. You (pl.) did not receive these commandments from your fathers / ancestors.

36. He did not arise from the ground.

37. He heard their voices and fled.

38. The crowd agreed with the bishop.[8]

39. We did not hear his words.

40. He took my cloak.

41. His disciple did not obey him.

42. My son did not come back.

43. I heard about these things from my brother.

44. He entrusted his mother to his disciples.

45. They found him in the midst of the crowd.

46. The carpenter built us a house there.

47. Perhaps your (fm. sg.) husband has died.

48. I saw the glory of the Lord and his power.

49. They fled with us to the hill-country.

50. He spoke with me about the gospel.


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Lesson 11: Exercises (pp.41-42)


A. 1. They entrusted me to you (fm. sg.).

2. We measured it out to them.

3. I received it from them.

4. You (pl.) gave it to us.

5. They took them out of it. / They received some of it.

6. You (ms. sg.) lifted me up.

7. I measured them out to you (pl.).

8. I gave them to her.

9. He carried you (pl.) away / out.

10. They entrusted you (fm. sg.) to me.


B. 1. I gave the bread to her. → aitaaf nac, I gave it to her.

2. He did not give the money to me. → =mpeftaaf nai, He did not give it to me.

3. We entrusted the books to him. → antaau etoot=f, We entrusted them to him.

4. He sold them his house. → aftaaf nau ebol, He sold it to them.

5. She gave us the tunic. → actaac nan, She gave it to us.

6. We received the gold from them. → anjit=f =ntootou, We received it from them.

7. You (pl.) received this peace through him (i.e., through his agency). → atet=njit=c ebol hitoot=f, You received it through him.

8. They measured the road. → ausit=c, They measured it.

9. I measured out the bread to them. → aisit=f nau, I measured it out to them.

10. You (ms. sg.) measured out the money to me. / You weighed the silver for me. → aksit=f nai, You measured it out to me.

11. He lifted away the stone. → affit=f ebol, He lifted it away.

12. He picked up the gold and ran away. → affit=f, afpwt ebol, He picked it up and ran away.

13. She measured out the wine to me. → acsit=f nai, She measured it out to me.

14. You (fm. sg.) took the cloak from my house. → arjit=f ebol h=m payi, You took it from my house.


C. 1. the boy who is behind him

2. the water which is in it

3. the friend who is with him

4. the ones (i.e., people) who are in the synagogue

5. my sister and her (female) friend

6. the gold and the silver

7. the day and the night

8. under this illness

9. to this measure

10. the weight of this stone

11. the shepherd and his companions

12. after her labor / giving birth

13. the tunic which is on the bed

14. the illness which is among the sheep

15. from his father

16. the weight of the silver

17. my friend's cloak

18. an offspring of his house

19. to my companions

20. the voice of my mother

21. in the darkness of the night

22. against their words

23. through the Lord

24. after that festival

25. the name of this illness

26. the men who are with him

27. in signs / with miracles[9]

28. with a sword


D. 1. His wife became very ill.

2. I set the gold and the silver on the table.

3. We abandoned our companions in the village and went ahead to the monastery.

4. Afterwards, the old man became ill and died.

5. He rejoiced exceedingly with me over the death of the king.

6. He loved that woman very much.

7. God sent his law to them.

8. The bishop sent for the monk.

9. I measured out the bread and the wine to them.

10. The men measured the field.

11. There is no moderation in his words.

12. They became filled, they got up from the table, and they left.

13. He sent the women and their children out of the village.

14. Why didn't God forgive you (pl.) your sins?

15. We became sated with his words and we sent him away.

16. We rejoiced over the words of our Lord.

17. He brought his son to the entrance of the monk's cell.

18. He brought the silver to us in the night.

19. She bore her son in that village.

20. She did not bear him here.

21. The (male) slave loved his master's daughter.

22. Why didn't you (fm. sg.) bring me the book?

23. They published his commandments.</