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Introduction to Greek Grammar


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Greek Grammar

The Greek Grammar is quite complicated at first glance but this should not discourage you. Taking  one step at the time will help you absorb the things you learn and reach a satisfying level really soon. Below you will find some useful information and examples to move your first steps in the Greek Grammar world.

Gender

While in English there are nouns that are automatically thought of as masculine (like king for example) and others as feminine (e.g. queen), in Greek we have suffixes that determine the gender of the words. These are:

-ος/ -ης/ -ας  for masculine

-η/ -α          for feminine and

-ο/ -ι            for neuter

Examples:

M:  βασιλιάς (king)        [vaseeleeAs]

F:  βασίλισσα (queen)  [vaSEEleesa]

N:  παιδί (kid)              [peDEE]

*Note that in Greek all nouns are assigned to a gender.

The Definite Article

In English we use 2 articles, the definite (the) and the indefinite (a/an). In Greek we have genders in those articles.

M: ο          for example : ο βασιλιάς (the king)      [O vaseeleeAs]

F:  η          for example : η βασίλισσα (the queen) [EE vaSEEleesa]

N:  το        for example : το παιδί (the kid)          [TO peDEE]

Δώσε μου το αυτοκίνητο. (Give me the car.)        [DOse mu TO aftoKEEneeto]

The Indefinite Article

We use this article with count nouns in the singular. Those articles have genders, too.

M:  ένας        for example:  ένας κάδος (a bin /one bin)      [Enas KAdos]

F:  μία            for example:  μία ζωγραφιά (a painting / one painting) [ΜΕΕa zoyrafeeA]

N:  ένα          for example:  ένα δαχτυλίδι (a ring / one ring)      [Ena dachteeLEEdee]

**  "ένας / μία / ένα" also mean "one"

Plural

We explained above the noun's suffixes that can help you determine the gender in singular.

Let's see now the suffixes in plural:

Μ:      -ος (κεραυνός / thunder)  [keravNOs]      -οι (κεραυνοί / thunders) [keravNOI]

          -ας (άντρας / man)          [Antras]          -ες (άντρες / men)          [Antres]

F:      -α (γυναίκα / woman)        [yeeNEka]      -ες (γυναίκες / women)    [yeeNEkes]

          -η (κλωστή / thread)        [klosTEE]        -ες (κλωστές / threads)  [klosTEs]

N:      -o (λεπτό / minute)          [lepTO]          -α (λεπτά / minutes)      [lepTA]

          -ι (παιδί / kid)                  [peeDEE]        -ια (παιδιά / kids)          [pedeeA]

The Plural Definite Article

              Singular                  Plural

M:              ο                                  οι

F:                η                                  οι

N:              το                                τα

Examples:

          ο Έλληνας    [O Eleenas]        οι Έλληνες  [EE Eleenes]

          η μητέρα      [EE meeTEra]    οι μητέρες    [EE meeTEres]

          το παιδί        [TO peeDEE]      τα παιδιά      [TA pedeeA]

Numbers

0          zero          μηδέν        miden        [meeDEn]

1          one          ένα          ena            [Ena]

2          two          δύο            dio            [Deeo]

3          three        τρία            tria            [tReea]

4          four          τέσσερα      tesera        [TEsera]

5          five          πέντε          pente        [PEnte]

6          six          έξι              eksi            [Eksee]

7          seven      επτά          epta          [epTA]

8          eight        οχτώ          ochto        [ochTO]

9          nine        εννιά          enia          [enneeA]

10        ten          δέκα            deka          [DEka]

11        eleven      έντεκα        edeka        [Edeka]

12        twelve      δώδεκα        dodeka      [DOdeka]

13        thirteen    δεκατρία      dekatria      [dekatREEa]

14        fourteen  δεκατέσσερα    dekatesera      [dekaTEsera]

15        fifteen      δεκαπέντε        dekapede        [dekaPEde]

16        sixteen    δεκαέξι            dekaexi          [dekaEksee]

17        seventeen  δεκαεφτά      dekaefta          [dekaefTA]

18        eighteen    δεκαοχτώ      dekaochto        [dekaochTO]

19        nineteen    δεκαεννιά      dekaenia          [dekaeneeA]

20   twenty      είκοσι            ikosi                [eekosee]

30        thirty        τριάντα          trianta            [treeAnta]

40        forty          σαράντα        saranta          [saRAnta]

50        fifty          πενήντα        peninta          [peNEEnta]

60        sixty          εξήντα          eksinta            [ekSEEnta]

70        seventy      εβδομήντα    evdominta      [evdoMEEnta]

80        eighty        ογδόντα        ogdonta          [ogDOnta]

90        ninety        ενενήντα      eneninta        [eneNEEnta]

100      one hundred      εκατό      ekato            [ekaTO]

* To say 21 in Greek you say 20 + 1= εικοσιένα , 35: 30 + 5 =τριανταπέντε

That's all for now! I hope you'll find this post interesting and useful. More Grammar topics will be added soon  :smile:

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I added some more topics about Greek Grammar. After studying this material you will be able to form simple sentences!

Pronouns

Let's see now how pronouns are in Greek.

I            εγώ          ego        [eyO] 

you        εσύ          esi        [esEE]

he          αυτός        aftos    [afTOs]

she        αυτή          afti      [afTEE]

it            αυτό          afto      [afTO]

we          εμείς          emeis    [eMEEs]

you        εσείς          eseis    [eSEEs]

they        αυτοί        aftoi      [afTEE]

Verbs

This is a great chapter in Greek Grammar. Below are some basics.

The most important verb is "to be". It is also irregular in Greek and you have to memorize it as it is.

to be / είμαι

I am          εγώ είμαι        ego eimai          [eyO EEme]

you are      εσύ είσαι          esi eisai            [eSEE EEse]

he is          αυτός είναι      aftos einai        [afTOs EEne]

she is        αυτή είναι        afti einai          [afTEE EEne]

it is            αυτό είναι        afto einai          [afTO EEne]

we are        εμείς είμαστε    emeis eimaste    [emEEs EEmaste]

you are**  εσείς είστε        eseis eiste        [esEEs EEste]

they are      αυτοί είναι        autoi einai        [afTEE EEne]

** It can also be used , if you want to be kind with someone - just like in English

Now you should be able to form small sentences!

Εγώ είμαι μαθητής.    (I am a student)      [eyO EEme matheeTEEs]

Εσύ είσαι φίλος μου.  (You are my friend.)  [eSEE EEse FEElos mu]

Αυτός είναι ο άντρας μου. (He is my husband.)    [afTOs EEne O Antras mu]

Αυτό είναι ένα καινούριο αυτοκίνητο. (It is a new car.)    [afTO EEne Ena keNUryo aftoKEEneeto]

Εσείς είστε ψηλοί.            (You are tall.)                [eSEEs EEste pseeLEE]

Εσείς είστε πολύ όμορφη. (You are very beautiful.) [eSEES EEste poLEE Omorfee]

Αυτοί είναι ποδοσφαιριστές. (They are football players.) [afTEE EEne podosfereeSTEs]

Another commonly used verb is the verb "have"- in Greek "έχω". This verb is regular so there is a fixed pattern for its suffixes.

have/έχω

I have          εγώ έχω          ego eho          [eyO Eho]

you have      εσύ έχεις          esi eheis          [eSEE Ehees]

he has        αυτός έχει          aftos ehei        [afTOs Ehee]

she has        αυτή έχει          afti ehei          [afTEE Ehee]

it has          αυτό έχει          afto ehei          [afTO Ehee]

we have      εμείς έχουμε      emeis ehoume  [eMEEs Ehume]

you have      εσείς έχετε        eseis ehete      [eSEEs Ehete]

they have    αυτοί έχουνε      aftoi ehoun      [afTEE Ehune]

You can use any other regular verb using the suffixes.

Common Greek verbs:

see          βλέπω        vlepo        [vLEpo]

talk          μιλάω          milao        [meeLAo]

listen        ακούω        akouo        [aKUo]

play          παίζω          pezo          [PEzo]

drink          πίνω          pino          [PEEno]

buy          αγοράζω      agorazo      [ayoRAzo]

take          παίρνω        pairno        [PErno]

give          δίνω            dino          [DEEno]

love          αγαπάω        agapao      [ayaPAo]

Let's see now some sentences that you can form:

Εγώ βλέπω τηλεόραση.                                      (I am watching TV.)            [eyO vLEpo teeleOrasee]

Ο Δημήτρης παίζει ένα ηλεκτρονικό παιχνίδι.          (Jim is playing a video game.)        [O deeMEEtrees PEzee Ena EElektroneeko pehNEEdee]

Ο ταμίας έδωσε τα ρέστα στον πελάτη.            (The cashier gave the change to the customer) [o taMEEas Edose ta REsta sTOn peLAtee]

O Νίκος αγαπάει τη Μαίρη.                              (Nick loves Mary)            [O NEEkos ayaPAee tee MEree]

That's all for now! I hope you'll find this post interesting and useful. More Grammar topics will be added soon  :smile:

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