Maybe you’ve had enough exposure to several different languages to know that many of them bear a lot of similarity to English in terms of their grammar. Greek grammar is no exception to this, especially when you consider the fact that, like English, Greek is an “SVO” language, which means that it’s based on subjects, verbs, and objects. It is precisely these kinds of similarities that often make learning new languages easier for native English speakers. Of course, there are also differences, and those differences sometimes present difficulties that bring discouragement to new language learners. This doesn’t need to be the case.
One of the biggest differences between Greek grammar and English grammar has to do with verb tense. Fortunately, by bearing in mind a few simple principles, you can make things much simpler for yourself. In English, a verb’s tense has to do with the timing of the action represented by the verb, whether it transpired (or transpires) in the past, present, or future. In Greek, tense is more a matter of the nature of the action being portrayed by the verb. There are three main categories of verb tense in Greek:
• Continuous Actions
• Completed Actions
• Simple Occurrence
In addition to this peculiarity of verb tense, Greek also makes heavy use of gender.
When we say that Greek grammar makes heavy use of gender, what we mean is that gender is assigned to every Greek noun. That gender will fall into one of the following three classifications:
Often, you can determine the gender of a noun by which Greek letters (or set of letters) it ends with. However, there are exceptions to this. Fortunately, you are going to have access the context of the rest of the noun’s sentence to assist you in determining its gender, including any modifying articles. Of course, there are rules governing the use of those articles, just as there are in any other language.
In Greek grammar, there are the same articles as there are in English. There is one definite article, and there are two indefinite articles. However, the difference here is that just like nouns in this language, Greek articles have genders. Needless to say, the gender of the article must match the gender of its corresponding noun. Plurals are a little more complicated in Greek than they are in English, too, as are many other things. Have patience, though. You can master this language.