Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

Intro

Michael: Is it common to omit the subject in Greek sentences?
Chrissi: And why?
Michael: At GreekPod101.com, we hear these questions often. Consider the following situation: Frosso Giannitsanou is in a bookstore with her friend, Sasha Lee. She points to a book and says,
"[Do you] see that book? "
Φρόσω Γιαννιτσάνου: Βλέπεις αυτό το βιβλίο; (Vlépis aftó to vivlío?)
Dialogue
Φρόσω Γιαννιτσάνου: Βλέπεις αυτό το βιβλίο; (Vlépis aftó to vivlío?)
Σάσα Λι: Είναι ενδιαφέρον; (Íne endiaféron?)
Michael: Once more with the English translation.
Φρόσω Γιαννιτσάνου: Βλέπεις αυτό το βιβλίο; (Vlépis aftó to vivlío?)
Michael: "[Do you] see that book? "
Σάσα Λι: Είναι ενδιαφέρον; (Íne endiaféron?)
Michael: "Is [it] interesting?"

Lesson focus

Michael: Did you notice that there were no personal pronouns or names used in the Greek conversation to indicate the subject? This conversation literally means "See this book?" and "Is interesting," which doesn't sound right in English.
Chrissi: In Greek, however, it is fine and actually very common to omit the subject because the verb itself indicates whether we are talking about the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd person in either the singular or the plural form.
Michael: Exactly. A verb can have up to six different forms for each tense so the personal pronoun or person's name is not really necessary to indicate the person or number, and it is only used to make the context clear or for emphasis.
Chrissi: For example, εγώ βλέπω. (Egó vlépo.)
Michael: "I see." Or "It is I that sees" with emphasis.
Chrissi: Εσύ βλέπεις. (Esí vlépis.)
Michael: "You see." Or "It is you that sees", again with emphasis. So you get the picture. Let's see all other forms.
Chrissi: Αυτός/αυτή/αυτό βλέπει. (Aftós/Aftí/Aftó vlépi.)
Michael: He/she/it sees.
Chrissi: Εμείς βλέπουμε. (Emís vlépume.)
Michael: We see.
Chrissi: Εσείς βλέπετε. (Esís vlépete.)
Michael: You see.
Chrissi: Αυτοί/αυτές/αυτά βλέπουν or βλέπουνε. (Aftí/Aftés/Aftá vlépun or vlépune.)
Michael: They see. In all the above forms, we can omit the pronoun and still know who we are talking about because each verb form is unique. Using the pronoun is okay, but it is mostly done to emphasize a person over another.
Chrissi: So, if I were to say, Εσύ βλέπεις αυτό το βιβλίο; (Esý vlépeis aftó to vivlío?), it could mean "Do you see this book?" as in "Do you see this book (as opposed to someone else who might not be seeing it)?"
Michael: Alright, just don't forget that in case you do use the subject in a sentence, it has to "agree" in person and number with the verb, like we saw just now when we conjugate the verb "to see."
Practice Section
Michael: Let's review. Respond to the prompts by speaking aloud. Then, repeat after Chrissi, focusing on pronunciation.
Do you remember how to say "[Do you] see that book? "
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Chrissi: Βλέπεις αυτό το βιβλίο; (Vlépis aftó to vivlío?)
Michael: Listen again and repeat.
Chrissi: Βλέπεις αυτό το βιβλίο; (Vlépis aftó to vivlío?)
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Chrissi: Βλέπεις αυτό το βιβλίο; (Vlépis aftó to vivlío?)
Michael: And do you remember how to say "Is [it] interesting?"
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Chrissi: Είναι ενδιαφέρον; (Íne endiaféron?)
Michael: Listen again and repeat.
Chrissi: Είναι ενδιαφέρον; (Íne endiaféron?)
[Beep. Pause 5 seconds.]
Chrissi: Είναι ενδιαφέρον; (Íne endiaféron?)

Outro

Michael: Do you have any more questions? We’re here to answer them!
Chrissi: Γεια χαρά! (Ya hará!)
Michael: See you soon!

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