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Lesson Transcript

Maria: Hey everyone, welcome back to GreekPod101.com. And congratulations to you for having the guts to click play on a grammar lesson!
Iro: Yeah, the word "grammar" seems so foreboding.
Maria: Yeah, a lot of us have grammar anxiety…post-traumatic grammar disorder.
Iro: Yes, I know I do - from learning English!
Maria: Fortunately, at GreekPod101.com, we have developed a therapy for this.
Iro: Yes! A painless therapy!
Maria: Yes, we know the current practice is to use grammar book shock therapy, which involves something to the effect of ordering ten pounds worth of grammar textbooks you'll never open from Amazon.
Iro: I've been there.
Maria: Sometimes I get nightmares and cold sweats…the grammar books sitting on the shelves laughing at me.
Iro: Well, what we do is take all that grammar and make it easy for you.
Maria: Yep. We're going to prove it to you today with a grammar head start.
Iro: And we have good news.
Maria: What’s that?
Iro: Well, you might have listened to the lesson all about the Greek alphabet in this series.
Maria: Yes, that is the lesson right before this one, right? .
Iro: Well, not to bring your spirits down, but learning the Greek alphabet is a lot easier than learning the grammar.
Maria: I know that very well. But you did choose to study one of the most complicated languages in the world, right!
Iro: Yes! That's true.
Maria: So if you hate conjugating verbs, can't accept that words have gender, or can't really be bothered with the correct pronunciation, maybe Greek isn't for you.
Iro: However, we can promise a few things…one of them being a simplified grammar class that will be easy for everyone to understand! Second, your life will be a lot richer after this class as you will have gained knowledge of the base of most European grammar!
Maria: We're about to tell you what you need to know right off the bat to give you a jump start on Greek.
Iro: Yes, and you will get the last laugh at the grammar books.
Maria: Okay, so first of all, we need to let you know the good news, which is that Greek is just like English. That is, it is an SVO language…Subject - Verb - Object. So if you know this basic structure, you should be okay.
Iro: Yeah, nothing is that easy!
Maria: However, as English has three tenses (present, past, and future), in Greek, although time does bear upon the meaning of tense, the primary consideration of the tense of the verb is not time, rather, the kind of action that the verb portrays.
Iro: Yeah, also in Greek, the verb meaning needs to be conjugated.
Maria: And the verb determines both gender and tense.
Iro: So let's start with the most basic kind of sentence to illustrate what we mean.
Maria: In a normal Greek declarative sentence, the word order is the same as what we use in a normal English declarative sentence…Subject - Verb - Object.
Iro: So, for example…"Egó spoudázo Elliniká." ("Εγώ σπουδάζω Ελληνικά.")
Maria: "I study Greek" is precisely the same as English. "Egó" is "I," "spoudázo" is "study," and "Elliniká" is the word for "Greek."
Iro: So, "Egó spoudázo Elliniká."
Maria: In Greek, however, the subject can be discarded in a sentence.
Iro: Yes, because the verb is showing us that the first person is speaking.
Maria: The verb determines tense, gender, and person. It's quite useful actually, wouldn't you say?
Iro: Yes. In this case, it's great to have a parallel foundation with English. It gives us an easy place to start. I mean, think of all the things you will be able to say right away. Let's have some more!
How about "(Egó) píno tsái." ("(Εγώ) πίνω τσάι.")
Maria : "I drink tea." Again, the same as English.
Iro: And how about "(Egó) didásko Elliniká" ("(Εγώ) διδάσκω Ελληνικά."), meaning "I teach Greek."
Maria: That’s a good one! So you can see how easy it is to start speaking Greek. You can already make three sentences.
Iro: I love it.
Maria: Yes, okay. But now, I'm sorry, we are going to get negative.
Iro: What? How can we go from all that awesomeness to that?
Maria: Negating verbs!
Iro: Ah yes, making sentences negative. Okay, this is easy too.
Maria: Yes! Throw that grammar book out the window! There is another great thing about Greek…making sentences negative. How do we do it?
Iro: Negation occurs before the verb and any prepositional phrase. And all we have to do is add our negation word there.
Maria: So in the example we just had, to make it negative, you just add a negation word, in this case "den" ("δεν"), in front of the verb.
Iro: "Den spoudázo Elliniká." ("Δεν σπουδάζω Ελληνικά.")
Maria: Which means "I don't study Greek."
Iro: Okay, but we are studying Greek, so let's talk about something else.
Maria: How about tense and everyone's favourite irregular verb, "to be."
Iro: Or not to be…
Maria: …
Iro: So let's start by saying "I am Greek." "(Egó) eímai Elliníida." ("(Εγώ) είμαι Ελληνίδα.")
Maria: Here we have the present, first person, feminine tense PLEASE CONFIRM THAT IT IS FEMININE.
Iro: There are distinct differences between English and Greek verb usage. In English, verbs emphasise the time of action, whether past, present, or future, with their related forms. Greek verbs emphasize the kind of action, with time relationships being secondary. While aware of time factors, Greek is more concerned with the manner in which the action takes place than the time at which it occurred.
Maria: The major features of verbs are tense, mood, and voice.
Iro: Tense expresses time and/or duration of action. Mood expresses the writer or speaker's attitude toward the action. Voice expresses the action as either performed by the subject of the verb or received by the subject. The subject is either acting or being acted upon.
Maria: It all sounds so complicated; so let's give some more examples!
Iro: Okay. Let's start with a sentence with the verb "to go," for example. In Greek, it's "pigaínete" ("Πηγαίνετε").
Maria: And put that in a full sentence, please.
Iro: "Pigaíno sto párko." ("Πηγαίνω στο πάρκο.")
Maria: Literally, "I go to park." Again, we see the simple subject – verb – object order of the sentence. So we get the essence of what is going on here, right? "I…go…to…park."
Iro: The past tense will look like this…"Píga sto párko." ("Πήγα στο πάρκο.")
Maria: "I went to the park." Not too difficult, is it?
Iro: And here is one example of the future tense. "Tha páo stin thálassa ávrio." ("Θα πάω στην θάλασσα αύριο.")
Maria: "I will go to the sea tomorrow." "Tha" means "I will," "páo" means "(I) go," "stin" means "to," "thálassa" means "sea," and "ávrio" means "tomorrow."
Iro: Exactly.
Maria: Ah, I'm feeling less "tense" already.
Iro: That's not funny.
Maria: Sorry.
Iro: Now let's have a closer look at gender.
Maria: In English, some nouns are automatically thought of as masculine or feminine, such as king, man, queen, and woman. Everything else is referred to as "it," such as pencil, dog, and so forth.
Iro: In Greek, however, all nouns are assigned a gender. Some of them, like the words for man and woman, go into the natural classification. Unlike English, nouns that we would think of as "it" are arbitrarily classified into one of these three categories. Here are some examples.
Iro: Masculine - "άντρας"
Maria: "man"
Iro: "πατέρας"
Maria: "father"
Iro: "κύκλος"
Maria: "circle"
Iro: Feminine - "γυναίκα"
Maria: "woman"
Iro: "μητέρα"
Maria: "mother"
Iro: "στέγη"
Maria: roof"
Iro: Neuter - "μολύβι"
Maria: "pencil"
Iro: "λεφτό"
Maria: "minute"
Iro: "κορίτσι"
Maria: "girl"
Maria: As you'll notice, there are some surprises, too. Would you have guessed that the word for "girl" is neuter? The question then becomes how you determine a noun's gender.
Iro: If a noun appears in isolation, the end of the word will give you some clues as to what gender the word is.
If a noun ends in "-ης" or "–ας," it's probably masculine.
If it ends with "-α" or "–η," it's probably feminine.
And finally, if it ends with "-ο," "-ι," or "–μα," it's neuter.
Maria: Whoa, tiring.
Iro: There are, however, exceptions and also some words that end with "–ος" that can be any gender. Luckily for us, nouns don't exist in isolation. In Greek, as in English, you'll almost always find a noun in company with an article.
Maria: Lucky us…
Iro: Now let's look at articles. English has three articles, "a," "an," and "the," right? "The" is the definite article in English. Well, the Greek definite articles are actually gendered.
Maria: You guys sure love gender…
Iro: Yeah! So the articles are as follows…
Masculine - "ο"
Feminine - "η"
Neuter – "το"
Maria: Do some extra examples come with that order?
Iro: Sure! I'll throw them all in there! But let's make them easy.
Masculine - "o ántras" ("ο άντρας"), meaning "the man"
Feminine - "i gynaíka" ("η γυναίκα"), meaning "the woman"
Neuter - "to molývi" ("το μολύβι"), meaning "the pencil"
Maria: There must be more than that, right?
Iro: Of course! We also have indefinite articles! The English ones are "a" and "an," depending on the vowel sound. The Greek ones are…
Masculine - "énas" ("ένας")
Feminine - "mia" ("μια")
Neuter - "éna" ("ένα")
Maria: Some examples, please.
Iro: Just exchange "-o," "-i," and "-to" with these!
Iro: Masculine - "énas ántras" ("ένας άντρας")
Maria: "a man"
Iro: Feminine - "mia gynaíka" ("μια γυναίκα")
Maria: "a woman"
Iro: Neuter- "éna molývi" ("ένα μολύβι")
Maria:"a pencil"
Maria: That's not too difficult I guess… So what's next?
Iro: Plurals!
Maria: Oooh, of course, we don't just talk about one book or a book. Sometimes we have to talk about books, two books, or many books. To make an English noun plural, we usually add "-s" or "-es" to the end. "Book" becomes "books," "fox" becomes "foxes," and so forth.
Iro: Making a noun plural in Greek requires knowing both its gender and the letters with which it ends. Take a deep breath, because here we go.
Iro: For masculine nouns, we start with the singular "ántras" ("άντρας")
Maria: meaning "man,"
which becomes "ántres" ("άντρες")
Maria: meaning "men."
Iro: Likewise, we have "patéras" ("πατέρας")
Maria: meaning "father,"
Iro: which becomes "patéres" ("πατέρες")
Maria: meaning "fathers."
Iro: Finally, "kýklos" ("κύκλος")
Maria: meaning "circle,"
Iro: becomes "kýkloi" ("κύκλοι")
Maria: meaning "circles."
Iro: Well done, so
for feminine nouns, we have "gynaíka" ("γυναίκα")
Maria: meaning "woman,"
Iro: which becomes "gynaíkes" ("γυναίκες")
Maria: meaning "women."
Iro: Similarly, we have "mitéra" ("μητέρα")
Maria: meaning "mother,"
Iro: which becomes "mitéres" ("μητέρες")
Maria: meaning "mothers,"
Iro: and "stégi" ("στέγη")
Maria: meaning "roof"
Iro: which becomes "stéges" ("στέγες")
Maria: meaning "roofs."
Iro: And last. For neuter nouns, here are some examples…"molývi" ("μολύβι"),
Maria: meaning "pencil,"
Iro: becomes "molývia" ("μολύβια")
Maria: "meaning "pencils"
Iro:"leftó" ("λεφτό")
Maria: meaning "minute,"
Iro: becomes "leftá" ("λεφτά")
Maria: meaning "minutes"
Iro: and "korítsi" ("κορίτσι")
Maria: meaning "girl,"
Iro: becomes "korítsia" ("κορίτσια")
Maria: meaning "girls."
Maria: That was an enlightening shot of grammar indeed!
Iro: We promised painless, and I think we delivered!
Maria: Remember that this is your head start on Greek grammar. Keep up with GreekPod101 for more lessons that will teach you Greek in the way you want to learn…without pain!
Iro: Thanks for listening!
Maria: Bye!
Iro: Geia sas!

26 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

GreekPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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Do you like learning grammar?

GreekPod101.com Verified
Saturday at 08:31 PM
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Γεια σου Olga,


Ευχαριστώ for taking the time to leave us your kind words. 😇


If you ever have any questions, please let us know.


Kind regards,

Λέβεντε

Team GreekPod101.com

OLGA
Saturday at 11:24 PM
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👍 thank you


euxaristo poli

GreekPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 12:06 PM
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Hi Matt,


Thank you for contacting us.


If you start from the Absolute Beginner series, you will find many lessons here and there that focus on verb conjugation and that build up as you advance, however, if you want to just have a quick look at all the verb endings collectively, here are two lessons that present all the different verb forms:


For the active voice (all conjugation groups):

https://www.greekpod101.com/2014/09/01/intermediate-9-never-let-your-greek-girlfriend-get-jealous/


For the passive voice (all conjugation groups):

https://www.greekpod101.com/2015/10/03/upper-intermediate-11-solving-a-problem-in-greece/


I hope this helps!


Stefania

Team GreekPod101.com

Matt
Tuesday at 08:45 PM
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I'd really love a lesson on the different basic endings for verbs. For example, I eat, we eat, you eat (singular), you eat (plural), he eats, they eat, etc.

GreekPod101.com Verified
Friday at 01:52 PM
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Hey Sara,


Thank you for your feedback.


Greek as you know, is one of the most difficult but very interesting languages to deal with. Greek grammar is usually complicated. Therefore, we try to introduce smoothly every grammatical phenomenon to our listeners. The current series (About) belongs in our introductory series.


Please feel free to check also our other series like Absolute Beginner, Beginner, Upper Beginner, Lower Intermediate etc. I hope you find what you are searching for or what fits you better.


We hope you are enjoying learning Greek with us. Please feel free to contact us for any questions.


Best regards,

Nektarios

Team GreekPod101.com

sara
Tuesday at 08:22 PM
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To much talking for the lesson. could you go straight to the point?.

GreekPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 04:17 PM
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Hi Elias,


Thank you for clarifying this for me.


Each lesson from our main series comes with a dialogue to help the student plus vocabulary, grammar, phrase usage and sample sentences. Right now you are in the All About series which is just an introduction and not a main series, so some things are not there.


Please check out series such as Absolute Beginner, Beginner etc. You'll find helpful texts/dialogues there:smile:.


Let me know if there's anything else I can do for you.


Kind regards,

Team GreekPod101.com

Elias
Tuesday at 07:02 AM
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Hello,

Well it would be a great idea if you can add some easy to read Greek texts related to each lesson on the website. I am sure everyone would find it very useful but until then can you just recommend some easy Greek texts so we can practice?

Thanks a lot.

GreekPod101.com Verified
Monday at 03:16 PM
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Hi Elias,


Do you mean that you would like us to recommend you some easy texts to read or you want us to permanently add on the website easy texts to read?


Kind regards,

Stefania

Team GreekPod101.com

Elias
Sunday at 07:56 AM
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Hello,

Would you please introduce some easy reading Greek texts for beginners?

Thank you.