Lesson 3: Pronunciation, Article & Noun Declension, Verb “to have”

Aims:

  • Learn one more set of letters (vowels) combinations
  • Declension: definite article, nouns (Part 1)
  • Auxiliary verb έχω (to have)

1. Vowel combinations

In Lesson 2, we learnt how to pronounce two-letter vowels, i.e. a combination of two vowels that sound as another vowel, completely different from what we see on the page.
In Greek language there are also combinations of two vowels that produce a vowel + consonant sound. This happens as follows:

Vowel combinations:

Greek Pronounced When followed by
αυ af κ, χ, π, φ, τ, θ, ξ, ψ, σ, τσ
ευ ef κ, χ, π, φ, τ, θ, ξ, ψ, σ, τσ
αυ av vowel
γ, β, δ, λ, ρ, μ, ν, ζ, τζ
ευ ev vowel
γ, β, δ, λ, ρ, μ, ν, ζ, τζ

According to the above table, we will pronounce:

ο ευγενικός (adj.) ο evyenikòs gentle, civil
η αυλή i avlì yard
αύριο (adverb) ávrio tomorrow
o ευνοϊκός (adj.) o evnoïkòs favorable
το πεύκο to péfko pine
το αυτί to aftì ear
αυθαδιάζω (verb) afθaδiázo to show impertinence

——————————————————————–

2. Declension: Definitive Article

Greek is a highly inflected language. Greek articles and nouns (as well as adjectives and pronouns) are inflected for gender, number and case.

 

Singular Number

Case Masculine Feminine Neutral
Nominative ο η το
Genitive του της του
Accusative το(ν)* τη(ν)* το
Vocative

*Note: The final consonant is added when the next word (noun, article, etc) begins with:

(i) a vowel or any kind of vowel combination,

(ii) κ, τ, π,

(iii) a double consonant (μπ, ντ, γκ).

 

Plural Number

Case Masculine Feminine Neutral
Nominative οι οι τα
Genitive των των των
Accusative τους τις τα
Vocative

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3. Declension: Nouns (Part 1)

The next step is to inflect some nouns.

Greek nouns consist of a word root and an ending denoting the word’s gender, number and case. Thus, we can have:

Masculine


Singular Plural
Nom. o ήλι-ος οι ήλι-οι
Gen. του ήλι-ου των ήλι-ων
Acc. τον ήλι-ο τους ήλι-ους
Voc. ήλι-ε ήλι-οι

Feminine


Singular Plural
Nom. η γυναίκ-α οι γυναίκ-ες
Gen. της γυναίκ-ας των γυναικ-ών*
Acc. τη γυναίκ-α τις γυναίκ-ες
Voc. γυναίκ-α γυναίκ-ες

*Note: We see that, in the genitive of plural, the stress moves to the ultimate syllable of the noun. This phenomenon pertains to the general rules governing Word Stress, which we will explore in one of our next lessons.

Neutral


Singular Plural
Nom. το μωρ-ό τα μωρ-ά
Gen. του μωρ-ού των μωρ-ών
Acc. το μωρ-ό τα μωρ-ά
Voc. μωρ-ό μωρ-ά

——————————————————————–

4. Auxiliary verb “έχω” (to have)

εγώ έχω (eyo eho) εμείς έχουμε (emis ehoome)
εσύ έχεις (esi ehis) εσείς έχετε (esis ehete)
αυτός έχει (aftos ehi) αυτοί έχουν (afti ehoon)
αυτή έχει (afti ehi) αυτές έχουν (aftes ehoon)
αυτό έχει (afto ehi) αυτά έχουν (afta ehoon)
——————————————————————–
Up to now, we have learnt
  • the Greek alphabet and its pronunciation (Lesson 1)
  • how to pronounce double letters (Lesson 2) and other letters combinations (this lesson)
  • the numbers 1-10 (Lesson 1)
  • the 3 genders of Greek language (Lesson 2)
  • the definitive article (Lesson 2) and its declension (this lesson)
  • declension of nouns (Part 1, this lesson)
  • auxiliary verbs “to be” (Lesson 2) and “to have” (this lesson).
All these will help us start forming small phrases in Greek from Lesson 4 onwards.
Be sure to go through a thorough revision of these first lessons, for we are going to use them a lot!
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