Matthew 21:40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard comes,

KJV Verse: 

Mat 21:40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

So, when the owner of the vineyard really comes back, is anyhing going to happen to the vinekeepers there?

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This is the typical simple language that Christ uses in his parables. When Christ asks a question like this he avoids double meanings and wordplay. He want the question to have a simple answer. In Greek, the question seems more open ended and milder than the KJV translation. It certainly leads to same place, but it sound like less of a threat.

The Greek word translated as "when" introduces a phrase that explains a certain condition so "whenever" or "since."

The Greek word translated as "therefore" either emphasizes the truth of something ("certainly", "really") or it simply continues an existing narrative.

"Lord" is from a noun meaning "having power", "being in authority" and "being in possession of."

The word translated as "cometh" primarily means "to start out." It indicates movement, especially its beginning, without indicating a direction toward or away from anything, so it works either as "come" or "go," but it is more like our phrase "being underway."

The word translated as "what" means "anything" or "anyone."

The word translated as "those" is an adjective that highlights its noun as in a specific place from a word that means "there."

The Greek word translated as "to do" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service. In sentences like this, it functions more like our word "happen."

Greek Vocabulary: 

ταν "When" is from hotan, which means "whenever (as a condition)," and "since (as a cause)."

οὖν "Therefore" is from oun, which means "certainly", "in fact", "really", "in fact," "so" and "then" (continuing a narrative), and "then" and "therefore."

ἔλθῃ (verb 3rd sg aor subj act) "Come" is from erchomai, which means "to start," "to set out", "to come", "to go," and any kind of motion. It means both "to go" on a journey and "to arrive" at a place.

κύριος (noun sg masc nom) "Lord" is from kyrios (kurios), which means "having power", "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family."

τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος, (noun sg masc gen) "Vineyard" is from ampelon which means simply "vineyard."​

τί (pron sg neut acc) "What" is from tis which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "they [indefinite]", "many a one", "whoever", "anyone", "anything", "some sort", "some sort of", "each", "any", "the individual", "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what."

ποιήσει (verb 3rd sg fut ind act) "Do" is from poieo, which means "to make", "to produce", "to create", "to bring into existence", "to bring about", "to cause", "to render", "to consider", "to prepare", "to make ready," and "to do."

τοῖς γεωργοῖς (adj pl masc dat) "Husbandmen" is from georgos, which means "tilling the ground," and from that, "husbandman", "vine dresser", "gardener," and "peasant."

ἐκείνοις; (adj pl masc dat) "Unto those" is from ekeinos (kakeinos), which means "the person there", "that person", "that thing", "in that case", "in that way", "at that place," and "in that manner."

The Spoken Version: 

"So then," he said, pausing to look over the crowd.

"When the owner of the vineyard makes his way back there," he continued. "Is anything going to happen to the vinekeepers there?"