Dialogue

Vocabulary

Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Fay: Hello, everyone! Fay here! Beginner Season 1, Lesson 17 - Weren't You Just in Greece?
Chrissi: And I’m Chrissi. Thanks for joining us at GreekPod101.com for this Beginner lesson.
Fay: What are we learning in this lesson?
Chrissi: We are looking at the past tense of emai ("to be").
Fay: The conversation takes place at Petra’s software company in Athens.
Chrissi: It’s between Petra and her co-worker Dimitris Triantafyllou.
Fay: The characters are friends, so the conversation is informal.
Chrissi: Let’s listen.

Lesson conversation

Δήμητρα Τριανταφύλλου: Πέτρα, δεν ήσουν στο σπίτι εχτές;
Πέτρα Γκόρντον: Στο σπίτι ήμουν. Γιατί;
Δήμητρα Τριανταφύλλου: Σε πήρα τηλέφωνο και δεν απαντούσε.
Πέτρα Γκόρντον: Όλοι στο σπίτι ήμασταν. Περίεργο...
Δήμητρα Τριανταφύλλου: Καλά, δεν ήταν κάτι σημαντικό...
Fay: Now let’s listen to the slow version.
Δήμητρα Τριανταφύλλου: Πέτρα, δεν ήσουν στο σπίτι εχτές;
Πέτρα Γκόρντον: Στο σπίτι ήμουν. Γιατί;
Δήμητρα Τριανταφύλλου: Σε πήρα τηλέφωνο και δεν απαντούσε.
Πέτρα Γκόρντον: Όλοι στο σπίτι ήμασταν. Περίεργο...
Δήμητρα Τριανταφύλλου: Καλά, δεν ήταν κάτι σημαντικό...
Fay: Now with the English translation.
Δήμητρα Τριανταφύλλου: Πέτρα, δεν ήσουν στο σπίτι εχτές;
Fay: Petra, weren't you at home yesterday?
Πέτρα Γκόρντον: Στο σπίτι ήμουν. Γιατί;
Fay: I was at home. Why?
Δήμητρα Τριανταφύλλου: Σε πήρα τηλέφωνο και δεν απαντούσε.
Fay: I called you but you didn't answer.
Πέτρα Γκόρντον: Όλοι στο σπίτι ήμασταν. Περίεργο...
Fay: We were all at home. Strange...
Δήμητρα Τριανταφύλλου: Καλά, δεν ήταν κάτι σημαντικό...
Fay: Anyway, it wasn't anything important.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Fay: So you don’t have any special protocol for speaking on the phone in Greece, do you?
Chrissi: No, we are pretty casual; I’m talking about everyday situations, because in corporate communications, there are all kinds of “must’s and “must not’s.”
Fay: How do you normally answer your phone?
Chrissi: You say Παρακαλώ (parakalo) "please", λέγετε (legete) "talk", ορίστε (oriste) something like “in your orders", μάλιστα (malista) sort of like “of course”, or simply ναι (nai) "yes”.
Fay: “Ναι” ("yes”) doesn’t sound very polite.
Chrissi: Well, it is the most casual of all. I use parakalo, which I think of as the best balance between casual and polite. And it works in all situations!
Fay: Greeks don’t state their names when they call someone?
Chrissi: Not as a rule, no. This is mostly done in companies—or in the army. You know, a “state your name and rank” kind of thing.
Fay: Thanks for these tips. Shall we move on to our vocabulary?
Chrissi: Sure!
VOCAB LIST
Fay: First, we have…
Chrissi: ήσουν [natural native speed].
Fay: You were.
Chrissi: ήσουν [slowly - broken down by syllable]. ήσουν [natural native speed].
Fay: Next…
Chrissi: χτες [natural native speed].
Fay: Yesterday.
Chrissi: χτες [slowly - broken down by syllable]. χτες [natural native speed].
Fay: Next…
Chrissi: ήμουν [natural native speed].
Fay: I was.
Chrissi: ήμουν [slowly - broken down by syllable]. ήμουν [natural native speed].
Fay: Next…
Chrissi: γιατί [natural native speed].
Fay: Why, because.
Chrissi: γιατί [slowly - broken down by syllable]. γιατί [natural native speed].
Fay: Next…
Chrissi: απαντούσε [natural native speed].
Fay: He/she/it answered.
Chrissi: απαντούσε [slowly - broken down by syllable]. απαντούσε [natural native speed].
Fay: Next…
Chrissi: ήμασταν [natural native speed].
Fay: We were.
Chrissi: ήμασταν [slowly - broken down by syllable]. ήμασταν [natural native speed].
Fay: Next…
Chrissi: περίεργος [natural native speed].
Fay: Strange.
Chrissi: περίεργος [slowly - broken down by syllable]. περίεργος [natural native speed].
Fay: Next…
Chrissi: καλά [natural native speed].
Fay: Well, anyway.
Chrissi: καλά [slowly - broken down by syllable]. καλά [natural native speed].
Fay: Next…
Chrissi: ήταν [natural native speed].
Fay: It was.
Chrissi: ήταν [slowly - broken down by syllable]. ήταν [natural native speed].
Fay: Next…
Chrissi: κάτι [natural native speed].
Fay: Something.
Chrissi: κάτι [slowly - broken down by syllable]. κάτι [natural native speed].
Fay: Next…
Chrissi: σημαντικό [natural native speed].
Fay: Important.
Chrissi: σημαντικό [slowly - broken down by syllable]. σημαντικό [natural native speed].
KEY VOCABULARY AND PHRASES
Fay: Let's take a closer look at some of the words and phrases for this lesson. Is Καλά (Kala) is an adjective or an adverb?
Chrissi: Here we are using it as an adverb, and conjunctive adverb, to be precise. Not just what it sound like, an adverb used to connect sentences. In the sentence Καλά, δεν ήταν κάτι σημαντικό (Kala, den itan kati simantiko), καλά (kala) means “well”, “ah, okay” or “anyway”.
Fay: But can’t it also be an adjective.
Chrissi: Yes. Actually the adjective is καλός (kalos) for masculine, καλή (kali) for feminine, and καλό (kalo) for neuter. Καλά (Kala) is what the word looks like in plural number neuter gender in nominative or accusative case.
Fay: Wow! That’s complicated.
Chrissi: It’ll make sense when we talk about adjectives make sense. An example of καλά (kala) as an adjective would be τα καλά παιδιά (ta kala paidia) “the good children”, or καλά νέα (kala nea) “good news”, or καλά παπούτσια (kala papoutsia) “good shoes”. Try to repeat these, listeners.
Fay: All right. I’m also wondering about the word for “yesterday”.
Chrissi: Oh, yes. The word has four different variations, but they aren’t all that different.
Fay: Four variations? Yikes! What are they?
Chrissi: εχΘές (echTHes), εχΤές (echTes), χΘες (chTHes) and χΤες (chTes).
Fay: Are they interchangeable?
Chrissi: Sure. Although the ones starting with “e”, εχΘές (echTHes) and εχΤές (echTes), sound a little more formal.
Fay: Got it. I’m also wondering about periergos.
Chrissi: It means either “curious” as in είμαι περίεργος από τη φύση μου (eimai periergos apo ti fysi mou) –“I’m curious by nature” or “strange” as in έγινε κάτι περίεργο χτες (egine kati periergo chtes) –“something strange happened yesterday”.
Fay: What else? Oh, the phone that answers itself?
Chrissi: Yes. In Greek we can say Πήρα αλλά το τηλέφωνο δεν απαντούσε (Pira alla to tilefono den apantouse) “I called but the phone didn’t answer”. What do you say when the call doesn’t go through in English?
Fay: We say, “No one answered” or “no one picked it up.”
Chrissi: So in English, it’s a person not answering the phone. In Greek, though, we can say το τηλέφωνο δεν απαντάει (to tilefono den apantaei) “the telephone doesn’t go through.
Fay: Don’t you close the phone instead of hanging up?
Chrissi: Yes. For almost all electronic appliances we use the verb κλείνω (kleino) “to close”. Κλείνω το τηλέφωνο (Kleino to tilefono) “I hang up the phone”, κλείνω τον υπολογιστή (kleino ton ypologisti) “I shut down the computer”, κλείνω το ραδιόφωνο (kleino to radiofono) “I turn off the radio”, et cetera.
Fay: Okay. Shall we move on to our grammar?
Chrissi: Yes!

Lesson focus

Fay: In this lesson, our focus is the past tense.
Chrissi: Yes, specifically at the past tense of the verb είμαι (eimai), “to be”.
Fay: Which is…
Chrissi: … εγώ ήμουν (ego imoun).
Fay: “I was”.
Chrissi: Right.
Fay: This is the simple past tense, yes?
Chrissi: Yes. And it’s very important because the stem of the verb, that is, the part that doesn’t change with person, number, or usually with tense. In the same way that the present stem can be a base for another tenses, the past stem can be a base for still other tenses.
Fay: Wow. So you’re saying that every verb has not one but two stems?
Chrissi: Yes, indeed – the stem from the simple present and the stem from the simple past.
Fay: Wow. Well, that’s good to know. Let’s get back to εγώ ήμουν (ego imoun), “I was”? Listeners, repeat the sentences you will hear!
Chrissi: Let’s see. Εχτές ήμουν μόνος στο σπίτι (Echtes imoun monos sto spiti). “Yesterday I was home alone”.
Fay: Another example?
Chrissi: Το καλοκαίρι ήμασταν στην Πάρο (To kalokairi imastan stin Paro) “In the summer, we were in Paris.”
Fay: And another?
Chrissi: Ο τροχονόμος ήταν πολύ αυστηρός (O trochonomos itan poly austiros) “The traffic policeman was very strict.”
Fay: Another?
Chrissi: Το φαγητό ήταν πολύ νόστιμο (To fagito itan poly nostimo) “The food was very tasty.”
Fay: One more?
Chrissi: Το ξενοδοχείο ήταν κοντά στη θάλασσα (To kesnodocheio itan konta sti thalassa) “The hotel was near the sea.”
Fay: Did you get a chance to repeat those? The past tense showed up in all of them.
Chrissi: As in Ήταν όλες, χρήσιμες φράσεις (Itan oles, chrisimes fraseis)!
Fay: Yes. That also used the past tense of eimai. Now how about we give the full conjugation of this tense?
Chrissi: Sure. Listeners, listen and repeat!
Fay: Go. “I was.”
Chrissi: Εγώ ήμουν. (Ego imoun.)
Fay: You were.
Chrissi: Εσύ ήσουν. (Esy isoun.)
Fay: He was.
Chrissi: Αυτός ήταν. (Autos itan.)
Fay: She was.
Chrissi: Αυτή ήταν. (Auti itan.)
Fay: It was.
Chrissi: Αυτό ήταν. (Auto itan.)
Fay: We were.
Chrissi: Εμείς ήμασταν. (Emeis imastan.)
Fay: You were.
Chrissi: Εσείς ήσασταν. (Eseis isastan.)
Fay: They were –masculine.
Chrissi: Αυτοί ήταν. (Autoi itan.)
Fay: They were –feminine.
Chrissi: Αυτές ήταν. (Autes itan.)
Fay: They were –neuter.
Chrissi: Αυτά ήταν. (Auta itan.)
Fay: Okay, thanks. Anything else? Our listeners need to know about the past tense of eimai.
Chrissi: A small point. You can say either ήμουν (imoun) or ήμουνα (imouna), ήσουν (isoun) or ήσουνα (isouna) and ήταν (itan) or ήτανε (itane). you will see these small differences better in the PDF.
Fay: Does it make any difference?
Chrissi: Not really. Some people feel that ήμουνα (imouna), ήσουνα (isouna) and ήτανε (itane) sound a little vulgar –but that’s just a matter of taste.
Fay: Now I’m guessing it’s pretty easy to make a negative “I was not” or a question “was I?”
Chrissi: Sure is. To make a negatives, just add den before the verb.
Fay: So Εγώ ήμουν (Ego imoun) becomes…
Chrissi: Εγώ δεν ήμουν (Ego den imoun).
Fay: And the question?
Chrissi: Just start with a statement and add a question mark at the end or, if speaking, raise the pitch on the accented syllable.
Fay: Εγώ ήμουν (Ego imoun) becomes…
Chrissi: Εγώ ήμουν; (Ego imoun?)
Fay: And with that we close. Be sure to download the PDF.
Chrissi: Want a free way to build your Greek vocabulary?
Fay: Follow our Greek Word of the Day at GreekPod101.com.
Chrissi: See and hear the Word of the Day.
Fay: Plus sample phrases and sentences.
Chrissi: Get these daily vocabulary alerts on Facebook, Twitter, and the GreekPod101.com blog.
Fay: And add this widget to your own website or blog. They’re available in 35 languages.
Chrissi: Get these easy instructions at GreekPod101.com/greekphrases.
Fay: Bye!

26 Comments

Hide
Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

GreekPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Where were you yesterday? Answer us in Greek!

GreekPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 05:26 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Xa Marie Van Derryt,


I see you can use the past tense :) Good job!


Keep it up,


Stefania

Team GreekPod101.com

Xa Marie Van Derryt
Saturday at 10:28 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

ήμουν στο σχολείο χθες

GreekPod101.com Verified
Friday at 12:50 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Anna,


That's a good question.


Actually, απαντούσε is not in the aorist tense but in the past progressive tense (παρατατικός). It literally means "he/she/it was answering". The way this sentence is in Greek, the third person (απαντούσε) implies the subject "it" as in "the phone didn't answer" which sounds weird in English but OK in Greek. This Greek sentence is rendered in a different tense and person in the English translation to make the English sentence sound more natural.

The aorist would be απάντησε as you correctly pointed out.


Regards,


Stefania

Team GreekPod101.com

Anna
Thursday at 06:07 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

I would like to ask about the word απαντούσε -it answered.

The dictionary form of this verb is απαντάω - I answer, so aorist will be απάντησα - I answered, and it answered should be απάντησε. Right? Why απαντούσε?

GreekPod101.com Verified
Friday at 10:54 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Sojeet,


Thank you for contacting us.


Πάω and πηγαίνω are the same verb, the only difference is that πάω, as an alternative form, sounds more casual than πηγαίνω:

http://screencast.com/t/4lLTtRikAC


Ξέρω and γνωρίζω can be used interchangeably in some cases because they are synonyms, however you should treat ξέρω more as a generic "to know" and "γνωρίζω" as a little bit more fancier (like "to have the knowledge"). For example γνωρίζω can be used even further when you talk about acquaintances, recognising someone or when you get to know something or someone:


- Γνωριζόμαστε από πέρυσι. = We've known each other since last year. (also in the sense of "to meet")


- Δεν σε γνώρισα με αυτά τα γυαλιά. = I didn't recognise you with those glasses.


- Τα παιδιά μαθαίνουν να γνωρίζουν το σώμα τους από μικρά. = Kids learn to get to know their bodies from when they are little.


Let me know if you need more help!


Kind regards,


Stefania

Team GreekPod101.com

Sojeet
Thursday at 10:04 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Γειά σας!

I have a question... what is the difference between πάω (I go) and πηγαίνω (I go), and what is the difference between ξέρω (I know) and γνωρίζω (I know)? There are some more verbs like this, but these two have sprung up the most... they seem to have the same meaning, but I do not know when to use one over the other...if anyone would mind helping me with this, that would be greatly appreciated! Ευχαριστώ! :)

GreekPod101.com Verified
Friday at 09:26 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Richard,


Παρακαλώ! Glad to be of help!


Cheers,


Stefania

Team GreekPod101.com

Richard
Thursday at 08:40 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Στεφανία, you've made the distinction clear and useful. Ευχαριστώ!

GreekPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 12:31 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Richard,


Thank you for asking me this!


Yes, there are two forms.


>>Is there a distinction between the two forms?

>>When to choose one or the other?


Yes, ήμαστε and ήσαστε are used in written speech, while ήμασταν and ήσασταν are used in oral speech.


The reason this distinction exists is because normally, the correct forms for the past tense would be:

ήμαστε and ήσαστε. The ει changes to η in the past tense. This change is a process called vowel augmentation in Greek. I'll put more details about it below.


The problem with the vowel augmentation here is that in oral speech, this results in the words sounding identical to their present tense counterparts: είμαστε, είσαστε. So in oral speech ONLY, you have to change the pronunciation to ήμασταν and ήσασταν in order to make yourself clear when talking. People otherwise wouldn't know if you are talking about the present or the past.


Now about the vowel augmentation:

This applies to a limited number of verbs that start with a vowel (or double vowel) that gets accented in the past tenses. In this case, the initial vowel changes to η-. Although this is called "vowel augmentation," the number of syllables in the verb remains the same.


For example:

ελπίζω ("to hope") → ήλπιζα - ήλπισα

ελέγχω ("to control") → ήλεγχα- ήλεγξα

αίρω ("to revoke") → ήρα - ήρα


There is a whole lesson on augmentation of verbs and you could have a look if you want... just for information. No need to study it carefully, as it is intended for a more advanced level:

https://www.greekpod101.com/pdfs/I_S1L3_072114_grepod101.pdf

(Intermediate series, lesson 3)


I hope this helps you! Let me know if you have any more questions.


Stefania

Team GreekPod101.com

Richard
Monday at 09:05 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Γεια σοσ,

When comparing different grammar resources, I noticed that there seem to be two forms of the aorist/simple past tense of είμαι for 1st and 2nd Person plural.


1st Person Plural: εμείς ήμασταν vs. εμείς ήμαστε

2nd Person Plural: εσείς ήσασταν vs. εσείς ήσαστε


The tables for this lesson in the PDF favor ήμασταν/ήσασταν. Is there a distinction between the two forms or any tips on when to choose one or the other? Ευχαριστώ.