Lesson 5: Nouns, Adjectives, Verbs – Greek Standard Phrases

In this lesson, we will learn:

  • Noun declension, Part 3: Masculine nouns in -ας, Feminine nouns in -η
  • Adjectives, Part 1
  • Greek verbs, Part 1: Present Indicative in -ω, -ώ
  • Greek standard phrases

…and, of course, we will continue forming phrases with the vocabulary and constructions we have learnt so far.


1. Noun Declension

In this lesson, we shall focus again on Masculine and Feminine nouns, as they are far more differentiated than Neutral nouns.

Masculine nouns ending in -ας

Stressed on the penultimate, but keeping the stress intact:


Singular Plural
Nom. o σωλήν-ας

(pipe, tube)

οι σωλήν-ες
Gen. του σωλήν-α των σωλήν-ων
Acc. το σωλήν-α τους σωλήν-ες
Voc. σωλήν-α σωλήν-ες

 

Stressed on the penultimate, but rolling the stress to the last syllable:


Singular Plural
Nom. o μήν-ας

(month)

οι μήν-ες
Gen. του μήν-α των μην-ών
Acc. το μήν-α τους μήν-ες
Voc. μήν-α μήν-ες

 

Stressed on the antepenult:


Singular Plural
Nom. o γείτον-ας

(neighbour)

οι γείτον-ες
Gen. του γείτον των γειτόν-ων
Acc. το γείτον-α τους γείτον-ες
Voc. γείτον-α γείτον-ες

As you can see again, the genitive plural ending in -ων (a ‘long’ vowel) compels the stress to ‘descend’ and rest on the penultimate. (See Lesson 4, for Greek Words Stress Rules)

Feminine nouns ending in -η: first group

Stressed on the last syllable:


Singular Plural
Nom. η φων-ή

(voice)

οι φων-ές
Gen. της φων-ής των φων-ών
Acc. τη φων-ή τις φων-ές
Voc. φων-ή φων-ές

 

Stressed on the penultimate:


Singular Plural
Nom. η τέχν-η

(art, craft)

οι τέχν-ες
Gen. της τέχν-ης των τεχν-ών
Acc. την τέχν-η τις τέχν-ες
Voc. τέχν-η τέχν-ες

 

Feminine nouns ending in -η: 2nd group

Stressed on the penultimate:


Singular Plural
Nom. η πόλ-η

(town)

οι πόλ-εις
Gen. της πόλ-ης των πόλ-εων
Acc. την πόλ-η τις πόλ-εις
Voc. πόλ-η πόλ-εις

 

Stressed on the antepenult:


Singular Plural
Nom. η κατάστασ-η

(situation)

οι καταστάσ-εις
Gen. της κατάστασ-ης των καταστάσ-εων
Acc. την κατάστασ-η τις καταστάσ-εις
Voc. κατάστασ-η καταστάσ-εις

This group of feminine nouns in -η is inflected using a more ancient scheme of endings – which, of course, influences stressing:

  • the double vowel -ει- in this position is considered a ‘long’ one and compels the stress to move down to the penultimate in the Nominative, Accusative and Vocative of Plural
  • the Genitive Plural ending -εων actually consists of 2 syllables, thus transforming the penultimate -στά- to antepenultimate.

Greek pupils have trouble too learning these rules. It’s one thing incorporating a language as your mother tongue and another, entirely different, to learn why you speak the way you do…

————————————–

2. The Adjectives

Greek adjectives have 3 genders. Today we will examine those with endings similar to the ones taught for Nouns.

Thus, we have:

ο μικρός, η μικρή, το μικρό (small)

ο μεγάλ-ος, η μεγάλ-η, το μεγάλ-ο (big)

ο ακριβ-ός, η ακριβ-ή, το ακριβ-ό (expensive)

ο φτην-ός, η φτην-ή, το φτην-ό (cheap)

ο καλ-ός, η καλ-ή, το καλ-ό (good)

ο κακ-ός, η κακ-ή, το κακ-ό (bad)

ο ωραί-ος, η ωραί-α, το ωραί-ο (beautiful)

ο νόστιμ-ος, η νόστιμ-η, το νόστιμ-ο (tasty)

They are inflected just like the respective nouns. You can do it yourself, go ahead…
—————————————-

3. Greek verbs, Part 1

Present Indicative in -ω (stressed on the penultimate)

εγώ κάν-ω (I do) εμείς κάν-ουμε
εσύ κάν-εις εσείς κάν-ετε
αυτός κάν-ει αυτοί κάν-ουν
αυτή κάν-ει αυτές κάν-ουν
αυτό κάν-ει αυτά κάν-ουν

Likewise, we can now form the verbs

πηγαίν-ω (to go)

ακού-ω (to hear, to listen)

βλέπ-ω (to see)

λέ-ω (to tell)

φτάν-ω (to arrive)

γνωρίζ-ω (to know)

γράφ-ω (to write)

διαβάζ-ω (to read)

αρχίζ-ω (to start)

λείπ-ω (to miss, to be absent)

τελειών-ω (to finish)

 

Present Indicative in -ώ (from -άω)

εγώ αγαπ-ώ (I love) εμείς αγαπ-άμε
εσύ αγαπ-άς εσείς αγαπ-άτε
αυτός αγαπ-ά αυτοί αγαπ-ούν
αυτή αγαπ-ά αυτές αγαπ-ούν
αυτό αγαπ-ά αυτά αγαπ-ούν

Likewise, we can now form the verbs

νικ-ώ (to win)

πετ-ώ (1. to fly // 2. to throw)

πηδ-ώ (to jump)

κοιτ-ώ (to look)

κρατ-ώ (to hold)

πον-ώ (to ache)

πειν-ώ (to be hungry)

βοηθ-ώ (to help)

Present Indicative in -ώ (from -έω)

εγώ κιν-ώ (I move, intr.) εμείς κιν-ούμε
εσύ κιν-είς εσείς κιν-είτε
αυτός κιν-εί αυτοί κιν-ούν
αυτή κιν-εί αυτές κιν-ούν
αυτό κιν-εί αυτά κιν-ούν

Likewise, we can form the verbs

λειτουργ-ώ = to function

χρησιμοποι-ώ = to use

καλ-ώ = to call // to invite

ωφελ-ώ = to benefit

— You can do it too…
——————————————————

Some more elements that will help us build sentences are:

1. The conjunctive particle να (~to), connecting verbs

  • Θέλω να κοιμηθώ. I want to sleep.
  • Πρέπει να φύγουμε. We must go. (The verb is impersonal, and the person is denoted by the verb of the subordinate phrase.)
  • Μου αρέσει να ξυπνάω νωρίς. I like waking up early. (One more impersonal verb; this is mere coincidence though…)
  • Πηγαίνω να κάνω ένα μπάνιο. I’m going off to take a bath.

2. The Preposition σε added to the Definitive Article to denote movement (to) or position.

σε + το => στο

σε + τα => στα

σε + το(ν) => στο(ν)

σε + τις => στις, etc…

Examples:

Η Μαρία πηγαίνει στο σχολείο. Maria goes to school.

Το βιβλίο είναι πάνω στο τραπέζι. The book is on the table.

Δώσε το πιάτο στον Αντώνη. Give the plate to Antonis.

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Now, you may combine all the elements we have learnt so far, i.e.
  • articles
  • nouns
  • adjectives
  • verbs + auxiliary verbs

using the rules concerning Greek sentence structure, to make your own sentences.

Go over all previous Lessons and prepare for a set of intensive Revision Exercises for next week.

Meanwhile, learn some Standard Greek phrases:

Ευχαριστώ = Thank you

Παρακαλώ = 1. You’re welcome // 2. Please,…

Πόσο κάνει; Πόσο κοστίζει; = How much does it cost?

Πού βρίσκεται; = Where is it?

Θα ήθελα μία / ένα… = I’d like a…

Θέλω ένα δωμάτιο, παρακαλώ = I want a room, please.

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2 Responses to Lesson 5: Nouns, Adjectives, Verbs – Greek Standard Phrases

  1. Demetra says:

    Hi, I recently found your Greek lessons page. Thank you for making the lessons available. They’re great.

    I have a question for you.

    Acc. τον μήν-α (Why the ν after το} ?

    How come it is not το μήν-α like with : το σωλήν-α?

    Thanks for your help.

    Demetra T.

    • Eleni says:

      Dimitra,

      You are so right. Thanks for the correction. :)
      Actually, it’s the way of posting the declension tables that is confusing and makes proofreading somewhat difficult.
      I will make the rules for when we put the final -ν (and when not) available in a later lesson.

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