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Lesson Transcript

Geia, legomai Chrissi. Hi everybody! I’m Chrissi.
Welcome to GreekPod101.com’s “Ελληνικά σε 3 λεπτά”. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Greek.
In the last lesson, we learned the main usage of the verb eimai, which means “to be” in Greek.
In this lesson, we are going to learn another basic usage of the verb eimai - we will use it to talk about your age.
It’s normal for young people in Greece to ask each other’s age. Of course, people over 30 don’t do it that often but still, it is not considered rude.
If someone asks you Poso chronon eiste? it means “How old are you?” in formal Greek
[slowly] Poso chronon eiste?
In informal Greek, it would be Poso chronon eisai?
[slowly] Poso chronon eisai?
Now you have to answer with your age! As you noticed from the question, in Greek you use the “to be” verb.
Here are some examples.
“I am 18” - Eimai deka okto chronon
“I am 20” - Eimai eikosi chronon
“I am 25” - Eimai eikosi pente chronon
“I am 40” - Eimai saranta chronon
Can you see what is happening here? We start with the basic, present form of the verb “to be”, eimai –we don’t use the pronoun because you can understand from the context. This, by the way, is not in any way rude and it can be used even in very formal speech. Then we add the number of the years – deka okto or “eighteen”, eikosi or “twenty” and so on – and then the word chronon which means “years”. If we want to be really formal, instead of chronon we can say eton; this also means “years” in polite Greek. As for numbers, we’ve talked a lot about them in previous lessons – you remember them, right?
[slowly] Eimai deka okto chronon
Sometimes young Greek people won’t ask your age directly, but instead, will ask your birth year.
You might hear this question in an informal situation-
Tou pote eisai?
[slowly] Tou pote eisai?
This literally means “Of which year are you?”
You just have to answer using the two last digits of your birth year- Such as Eimai tou ogdonta ennea which would mean “I am of 89.”
Now it’s time for Chrissi’s Insights.
Were you born in the year 2000? Sorry, you can’t say that you are ‘of zero-zero’. You have to say the entire year. Eimai tou dyo chiliades; we haven’t talked about numbers that big yet but “two thousand” is dyo chiliades, so keep that in mind!
In this lesson, we learned how to talk about your age and birthyear using the verb eimai. Next time we’ll learn how to use another useful verb, echo, which means “to have” so we can discuss possessions. Do you want to know how to say that you have a nice car? I'll show you how in the next lesson!
Tha ta ksanapoume sto epomeno mathima!


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GreekPod101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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Hi listeners! Please tell us how old you are in Greek!

GreekPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 10:51 PM
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Hi Julie Stacey,

Thanks for reporting that. I notified the team in charge for our database. It seems that it is an old entry. If you search in the dictionary with "πόσων" you will get the correct sentence.

Thank you and I am sorry for the inconvenience this error caused.


Team GreekPod101.com

Julie Stacey
Wednesday at 09:37 PM
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Ηι Στεφανια,

I was looking in the dictionary on Greekpod, by accessing the search lessons and dictionary field. See below

Πόσο χρονών είσαι; Poso hronon ise? How old are you?

Thank you for your explanation.


GreekPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 04:04 PM
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Hi Julie Stacey,

What dictionary do you use?

The ΛΚΝ dictionary I use (Λεξικό Κοινής Νεοελληνικής), which is the most official and widely accepted does not have "πόσο χρονών":


The initial form was πόσων χρόνων, but our people usually move the accent to the next syllable and say πόσων χρονών. But because there is a final ν in πόσων and the next word starts with χ, when people pronounce that phrase, sometimes it sounds like the ν is not there. That´s in speech though and only in speech!

If I see πόσο χρονών written, I get pain in my eyes because grammatically it is not correct and it does not make sense. Πόσο is an interrogative adverb (sometimes used in exclamatory sentences too), it's like saying "how much", rather than "how many". The latter is expressed by the interrogative pronoun πόσος-η-ο. You can't say "how much years old are you", but "how many years old are you" is more correct.


For example if you are looking for a ring and you want to ask "how many carats is it?" you would say:

Πόσων καρατιών είναι;

and NOT>> Πόσο καρατιών είναι;

The genitive of the carat (καρατιών) needs to "agree" with that pronoun. So the pronoun also needs to be in genitive. It like saying "Of how many carats is it?", not "How much carats".

The same here>>Of how many years are you?

Here is the dictionary that I use. I hope it's helpful!:wink:



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Julie Stacey
Wednesday at 01:37 AM
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Can you please explain when you would use ποσο και ποσων before χρονων? In the dictionary it has both.

Thank you.


GreekPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 02:23 PM
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Γεια σου Ingolf!

Εγώ πριν από λίγες μέρες έκλεισα τα τριάντα.


Team GreekPod101.com

Tuesday at 04:16 AM
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Είμαι πενήντα εννέα χρονών.