Category: Languages

Greek: Don’t Confuse Genitive Definite Articles with Possessive Pronouns

I got confused after using the word “his” to explain the genitive case of the definite article (here).

It’s especially confusing because the possessive pronoun for 3rd person plural (ie “their”), is the same word (“τους”) as the accusative form of the definite article for male plural (here), but NOT the same as the genitive form of the definite article for male plural (which is “των”).

Anyway, just to note that the definite article and the possessive pronoun are often, but not always, the same.

Full explanation here on the DuoLingo forum.

Basic Rules of Modern Greek – Some, a, the (Cases, definite articles, indefinite articles)

Basic Rules of Modern Greek – Some, a, the (Cases, definite articles, indefinite articles)

I’ve been learning Greek!

This is one in a series of cheatsheets. Full list here.

THE (NOMINATIVE / SUBJECT)

Singular masculine ο ο άντρας = the man
Plural masculine οι οι άντρες = the men
Singular feminine η η γυναίκα = the woman
Plural feminine οι οι γυναίκες = the women
Singular neuter το το παιδί = the child
Plural neuter τα τα παιδιά = the children

 

CASES

Nominative The Subject of the sentence She
Genitive Possessive His
Accusative The Object of the sentence Him
Vocative Calling someone Calling someone

 

A/AN/ONE

MASCULINE FEMININE NEUTER
NOMINATIVE ένας μία or μια ένα
GENITIVE ενός μίας or μιας ενός
ACCUSATIVE ένα or έναν μία or μια ένα

 

THE – CASES

MASCULINE FEMININE NEUTER
Nominative singular ο άντρας = the man η γυναίκα = the woman το παιδί = the child
Genitive singular του άντρα = of the man της γυναίκας = of the woman του παιδιού = of the child
Accusative singular τον άντρα = the man τη γυναίκα = the woman το παιδί = the child
Vocative singular άντρα = man γυναίκα = woman παιδί = child
Nominative Plural οι άντρες = the men οι γυναίκες = the women τα παιδιά = the children
Genitive plural των αντρών = of the men των γυναικών = of the women των παιδιών= of the children
Accusative Plural τους άντρες = the men τις γυναίκες = the women τα παιδιά = the children
Vocative Plural άντρες=men γυναίκες=women παιδιά = children

 

SOME

MASCULINE FEMININE NEUTER
NOMINATIVE μερικοί μερικές μερικά
GENITIVE μερικών μερικών μερικών
ACCUSATIVE μερικούς μερικές μερικά
VOCATIVE μερικοί μερικές μερικά

 

Basic Rules of Modern Greek – Phrases

Basic Rules of Modern Greek – Phrases

I’ve been learning Greek!

This is one in a series of cheatsheets. Full list here.

PHRASES

Καλημέρα Good Morning
Καληνύχτα / Καλό βράδυ Good night
Καλησπέρα Good evening
Όχι No
Ναι Yes
Ευχαριστώ Thanks / Thank you
Παρακαλώ Please / You are welcome
Λυπάμαι I am sorry
Συγνώμη Sorry / Excuse me
Αντίο Goodbye
Σ’ αγαπώ / Σε αγαπώ I love you
Γεια Hi / Hello
Τι κάνεις; How are you? / What are you doing?
Πόσο κάνει; / Πόσο κοστίζει; How much does it cost?
Εγώ είμαι ο / η ….. I am ….
Εγώ ζω (or μένω) στον / στην / στο …. I live in …..

 

Basic Rules of Modern Greek – I (you, she, etc), My (your, her), am, have (Pronouns and auxiliary verbs, conjugation)

Basic Rules of Modern Greek – I (you, she, etc), My (your, her), am, have (Pronouns and auxiliary verbs, conjugation)

I’ve been learning Greek!

This is one in a series of cheatsheets. Full list here.

PRONOUNS

If “they” refers to a group all males or male and female or its gender composition is unknown, αυτοί is used.

Εγώ I
Εσύ you (singular)
Εσείς you (plural)
Εμείς we
Αυτός he
αυτή she
αυτό it
Αυτοί they (male)
αυτές they (female)
αυτά they (neuter)

TO BE

Important note: the pronoun (Εγώ, εσύ) …is not always needed.

Εγώ είμαι I am
Εσύ είσαι you (singular) are
Εσείς είσαστε you (plural) are (or είστε)
Εμείς είμαστε we are
αυτή είναι she is (or he, or it)
αυτές είναι they (female) are

TO HAVE

Singular Plural
First Person I have – έχω (“echo”) we have – έχουμε, έχομε
Second Person you have – έχεις you have – έχετε
Third Person she has – έχει they (f) have – έχουν, έχουνε

First Conjugation Verbs

Many Greek verbs fall into this same pattern for changing their endings (or conjugating.)

We call this group of verbs the first conjugation verbs.

Here are a few more of them, given, as always, in the first person form:

I see βλέπω
I buy αγοράζω
I drink πίνω
I know ξέρω
I take παίρνω
I give δίνω
I eat τρώω

POSSESSIVE PRONOUNS:

Person Pronoun (own one thing) Pronoun (own many things)
1st person singular (Δικός/Δική/Δικό) μου (Δικοί/Δικές/Δικά) μου
2nd person singular (Δικός/Δική/Δικό) σου (Δικοί/Δικές/Δικά) σου
3rd person singular (masculine) (Δικός/Δική/Δικό) του (Δικοί/Δικές/Δικά) του
3rd person singular (feminine) (Δικός/Δική/Δικό) της (Δικοί/Δικές/Δικά) της
3rd person singular (neuter) (Δικός/Δική/Δικό) του (Δικοί/Δικές/Δικά) του
1st person plural (Δικός/Δική/Δικό) μας (Δικοί/Δικές/Δικά) μας
2nd person plural (Δικός/Δική/Δικό) σας (Δικοί/Δικές/Δικά) σας
3rd person plural (Δικός/Δική/Δικό) τους (Δικοί/Δικές/Δικά) τους
(masc/fem/neuter) (masc/fem/neuter)

EXAMPLES:

Ο άντρας μου=My husband 

Ο δικός μου άντρας= My own husband (emphatic).

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN Δικός, δική, δικό?

Δικός is used if the owned object is of masculine gender: Ο άντρας είναι δικός μου=The man is mine. 

Δικός becomes δικοί when the owned object of masculine gender is in plural. 

So, οι άντρες είναι δικοί μου=the men are mine.

Δική is used if the owned object is of feminine gender: Η γυναίκα είναι δική μου=The woman is mine. 

Δική becomes δικές when the owned object of feminine gender is in plural. 

So, οι γυναίκες είναι δικές μου=the women are mine.

Δικό is used if the owned object is of neuter gender: Το παιδί είναι δικό μου=The kid is mine. 

Δικό becomes δικά when the owned object of neuter gender is in plural. 

So, τα παιδιά είναι δικά μου=the children are mine.

THE DOUBLE ACCENT RULE

When μου,σου,του,της,μας,σας,τους comes after a word that is accented on the antepenult (second syllable from the end e.g. αυτοκίνητο), then it is accented also on the last syllable.

Example: 

το αυτοκίνητό μου=my car 

το ραδιόφωνό της= her radio 

η τσάντα του=his bag (no double accent here because the word τσάντα is not accented on the antepenult!)

Basic Rules of Modern Greek – The Alphabet

Basic Rules of Modern Greek – The Alphabet

I’ve been learning Greek!

This is one in a series of cheatsheets. Full list here.

Alphabet

Α-α Άλφα Alpha A as in Ant
Β-β Βήτα Veeta V as in Vase
Γ-γ Γάμμα (Γάμα) Gama g as in Good, or y as in Yellow
Δ-δ Δέλτα Delta TH as in THe
Ε-ε Εψίλον Epsilon E as in Element
Ζ-ζ Ζήτα Ζeeta Z as in Zoo
Η-η* Ήτα Eeta EE as in sEE
Θ-θ Θήτα theta th as in Thing
Ι-ι* Ιώτα (γιώτα) Iota EE as in sEE
Κ-κ Κάππα (κάπα) Kapa K as in Kitten
Λ-λ Λάμδα Lambda L as in Lemon
Μ-μ Μυ (μι) Mee M as in Mother
Ν-ν Νυ (Νι) Nee N as in North
Ξ-ξ Ξει (Ξι) Ksee X as in foX
Ο-ο* Όμικρον Omicron O as in Organ
Π-π Πει (Πι) Pee P as in Pet
Ρ-ρ Ρω (ρο) Row R as in Rhapsody
Σ-σ/ς* Σίγμα Sigma S as in Sit
Τ-τ Ταυ Taf T as in Table
Υ-υ* Ύψιλον Ypsilon EE as in sEE
Φ-φ Φει (φι) Fee F as in Fun
Χ-χ Χει (Χι) Chee / Hee H as in Hurry
Ψ-ψ ψει (ψι) Psee PS as in liPStick
Ω-ω* Ωμέγα Omega O as in Organ

 

Η-η, Ι-ι and Υ-υ have the same pronunciation (“ee”)

Ο-ο and Ω-ω have the same pronunciation (“o”)

Sigma has 2 types in lower case: Start of or inside word = σ, but end of word = ς

 

Diphthongs

ΑΙ αι sounds like E-ε, or “eh” as in element
ΕΙ ει sounds like Η-η, Ι-ι, Υ-υ or like ee
ΟΙ οι sounds like Η-η, Ι-ι, Υ-υ or like ee
ΥΙ υι sounds like Η-η, Ι-ι, Υ-υ or like ee
ΑΥ αυ sounds like “av” or “af”
ΕΥ ευ sounds like “ev” or “ef”
ΟΥ ου sounds like “u” as in “soup” .

 

Double consonants

ΜΠ μπ sounds like b
ΝΤ ντ sounds like d
ΓΚ γκ sounds like g
ΓΓ γγ sounds like ng
ΤΣ τσ sounds like ts
ΤΖ τζ sounds like tz

 

Accents

Modern Greek has only ONE accent.

It is placed above the accented vowels, like this: ά, έ, ή, ί, ό, ύ, ώ.

The accent goes on one of the three last syllables.

Accents help you give emphasis to the right syllable.

E.g. “βιβλίο” (veevLEEo), ”μιλώ” (meeLO) etc.

 

Punctuation Marks

The Period, or full stop, the comma and the exclamation mark are the same as English.

The Greek question mark looks just like the English semi colon ;

Basic Rules of Modern Greek

Basic Rules of Modern Greek

I’ve been learning Greek!

I’ve been using DuoLingo, which is great in some ways, but utterly bewildering in others. The app asks you to remember random sentences and words with no apparent attempt to explain any basic grammatical rules or word endings. In fact that info is available on the DuoLingo website, but is still a bit haphazard even there, so I’ve created some cheat sheets with some useful basic rules:

The Alphabet

Some, a, the (Cases, definite articles, indefinite articles)

I (you, she etc) am, have (auxiliary verbs and pronouns, conjugation)

Phrases

Don’t confuse the genitive definite article with the possessive pronoun