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Lesson Transcript

Becky: Hello everyone and welcome back to GreekPod101.com. This is Lower Intermediate, Season 1, lesson 19, Running Hot ‘n Cold in Greece. I’m Becky.
Stefania: And I’m Stefania.
Becky: In this lesson, you will learn about Greek nouns that only exist in the singular. The conversation takes place at the office of the daily Greek newspaper.
Stefania: It is between Antonia and her office manager Dimitra Apostolatou.
Becky: The characters know each other well but since there is a difference in their status within the company, both formal and informal Greek are used in the conversation.
Αντωνία:Κυρία Δήμητρα, πάλι έχετε βήχα;
Δήμητρα:Άστα Αντωνία... δεν υπάρχει δικαιοσύνη στον κόσμο!
Αντωνία:Γιατί το λέτε αυτό;
Δήμητρα:Μα δεύτερο κρύωμα καλοκαιριάτικα; Και μέσα σε λιγότερο από ένα μήνα; Δεν το χωράει ο νους μου!
Αντωνία:Έχετε και πυρετό;
Δήμητρα:Ευτυχώς όχι! Δεν θα το άντεχα!
Αντωνία:Περαστικά σας!
Δήμητρα:Ευχαριστώ. Αλλά μ' αυτά τα κλιματιστικά εδώ μέσα, φοβάμαι ότι δεν θα περάσει έτσι απλά.
Αντωνία:Χωρίς αυτά όμως, θα ήταν κόλαση το γραφείο.
Δήμητρα:Ναι, δεν λέω. Για μένα, που είμαι από τη Μακεδονία και δεν είμαι συνηθισμένη στη ζέστη, θα ήταν χειρότερα. Αλλά κι αυτό το πράμα, από τη ζέστη στο κρύο και τούμπαλιν...
Αντωνία:Σ' αυτό δεν έχετε άδικο. Άφήστε που και ο αέρας που βγαίνει από τα κλιματιστικά έχει μια περίεργη αίσθηση.
Δήμητρα:Ακριβώς! Χρειαζόμαστε περισσότερο οξυγόνο εδώ μέσα.
Dimitra: (cough)
Antonia: Mrs. Dimitra, do you have a cough again?
Dimitra: Don't get me started, Antonia...there's no justice in the world!
Antonia: Why do you say that?
Dimitra: Two colds in the middle of summer? And in less than one month? I just can't believe it!
Antonia: Do you also have a fever?
Dimitra: Thankfully, no! I couldn't take it!
Antonia: Get well soon!
Dimitra: Thank you. But with these air conditioning units in here, I'm afraid it won't go away that easily.
Antonia: But without them, the office would be like hell.
Dimitra: Yes, fair enough. And for me, for a person from Macedonia in Greece that is not used to heat, it would be worse. But this thing, going from hot to cold and vice versa...
Antonia: You are right, there. Not to mention that the air coming out of the A/C has a strange sensation.
Dimitra: Exactly! We need more oxygen in here.
Becky: I see “Macedonia” was mentioned in the dialogue. Is it Macedonia the country?
Stefania: Oh, please don’t say that in Greece!
Becky: I’m sorry… did I say something wrong?
Stefania: After Yugoslavia broke up in 1991, there was a huge dispute between Greece and the country using the name “Macedonia”.
Becky: But hasn’t this matter been resolved?
Stefania: It certainly hasn’t for Greeks so please, when in Greece, remember that for us the name “Macedonia” refers only to the northern region of the country.
Becky: I see.
Stefania: I only mentioned this so you know. Otherwise, you might get into an uncomfortable situation when talking to Greeks about it!
Becky: Got it.
Becky: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Stefania: βήχας [natural native speed]
Becky: cough
Stefania: βήχας [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: βήχας [natural native speed]
Stefania: δικαιοσύνη [natural native speed]
Becky: justice
Stefania: δικαιοσύνη [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: δικαιοσύνη [natural native speed]
Stefania: κρύωμα [natural native speed]
Becky: cold
Stefania: κρύωμα [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: κρύωμα [natural native speed]
Stefania: καλοκαιριάτικα [natural native speed]
Becky: in the middle of the summer
Stefania: καλοκαιριάτικα [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: καλοκαιριάτικα [natural native speed]
Stefania: χωράω [natural native speed]
Becky: to fit
Stefania: χωράω [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: χωράω [natural native speed]
Stefania: πυρετός [natural native speed]
Becky: fever
Stefania: πυρετός [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: πυρετός [natural native speed]
Stefania: περαστικά [natural native speed]
Becky: get well soon
Stefania: περαστικά [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: περαστικά [natural native speed]
Stefania: κλιματιστικό [natural native speed]
Becky: air-conditioning
Stefania: κλιματιστικό [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: κλιματιστικό [natural native speed]
Stefania: τούμπαλιν [natural native speed]
Becky: vice versa
Stefania: τούμπαλιν [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: τούμπαλιν [natural native speed]
Stefania: οξυγόνο [natural native speed]
Becky: oxygen
Stefania: οξυγόνο [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: οξυγόνο [natural native speed]
Becky: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. What’s the first word?
Stefania: We have the adverb “καλοκαιριάτικα” meaning “in the middle of summer”.
Becky: Is there something special about it?
Stefania: It comes from the adjective “καλοκαιριάτικος” denoting someone or something that belongs to the summer, or has summer attributes.
Becky: For example?
Stefania: “καλοκαιριάτικα ρούχα”, meaning “summer clothes”. The root of “καλοκαιριάτικα” is καλοκαίρι.
Becky: Which means “summer”.
Stefania: Right! In the same way, we can use the other seasons of the year to create the corresponding adjectives and adverbs.
Becky: Can we have an example? Let’s say with “spring”.
Stefania: “Spring” is “άνοιξη” in Greek. So the adjective is “ανοιξιάτικος -η -ο” and the adverb is “ανοιξιάτικα”, meaning “in the middle of spring”.
Becky: But let’s focus on our dialogue vocabulary. Listeners, check out our notes to see the adjectives and verbs for the rest of the seasons! So what’s next?
Stefania: The verb “χωράω” which means “to fit” as in Αυτό το κινητό χωράει ακριβώς στην τσέπη μου.
Becky: I know that! It means “This cell-phone fits exactly in my pocket”.
Stefania: Yes! But in our dialogue, we see an idiomatic use of that verb.
Becky: Oh really?
Stefania: Yes. One of the characters says “δεν το χωράει ο νους μου”, which literally means “it doesn’t fit in my mind”.
Becky: What she is trying to say is “I just can’t believe it!”. It’s a metaphor and a very common one to express utter disbelief.
Stefania: To say that something is simply... unbelievable!
Becky: OK, it makes sense to me now. What’s our last word?
Stefania: The adverb “περαστικά” in our dialogues is an idiomatic use of the adjective περαστικός -ή -ό, which means “a person passing by”
Becky: Oh I remember that adjective. We came across it in a previous lesson!
Stefania: Exactly! But now “περαστικά”, as an adverb, is used exclusively to wish someone, who is sick or having difficulties in life, to get well soon.
Becky: But how do we get “get well soon” from “a person passing by”?
Stefania: I see your point. Well, the adverb itself just means “passing by”. So by saying “περαστικά”, we are implying that the difficult times will be just “passing by” temporarily and that soon the person will be healthy and well again. Does that make more sense now?
Becky: Definitely. Okay, now onto the grammar.
Becky: In this lesson, you will learn about singular Greek nouns. Let’s get the obvious grammar out of the way first. Greek nouns have two forms - singular and plural.
Stefania: For example “το μολύβι”, “the pencil”, while the plural is “τα μολύβια”, “the pencils.
Becky: So, in Greek, some nouns don’t have a plural?
Stefania: Yes. Just like in English. The most obvious candidates are abstract nouns.
Becky: Can we have an example?
Stefania: Sure. For example “justice”, “δικαιοσύνη”, is an abstract noun. We can have many “pencils”, but can we have many… “justices”?
Becky: No, because “justice” is a concept, so it doesn’t make much sense to use it in the plural!
Stefania: Exactly!
Becky: So as a general rule, we could say that nouns referring to things that are one of a kind, are used almost always only in the singular in Greek. Any other nouns that belong to this category?
Stefania: Apart from some abstract nouns, many collective nouns can only be singular.
Becky: Listeners, we already saw collective nouns in a previous lesson.
Stefania: Yes, we did. For example “Βουλή” meaning “parliament”.
Becky: So feel free to review those as well.
Stefania: Also the names of the various chemical elements such as “οξυγόνο”, “oxygen”, and proper nouns such as names and toponyms, usually can not be expressed as plural in Greek.
Becky: Got it! So let’s see some of those nouns that appear in our dialogue:
Stefania: First we have “Ο πυρετός” meaning “the fever”.
Becky: So saying “fevers” in Greek would be incorrect right?
Stefania: You are right. You can’t say “οι πυρετοί”. It sounds very wrong!
Becky: OK. What’s next?
Stefania: The noun “hell” in Greek is “Η κόλαση”. Saying this in the plural, “οι κολάσεις”, would be extremely rare. So we can include “hell” in the singular-only noun category.
Becky: OK. So what’s our next noun?
Stefania: This one is not in our dialogue: It’s “η ηχώ”, meaning “the echo”. In English, you can say “the echoes” in plural, but in Greek, you can’t.
Becky: Got it!
Stefania: Last we will see an example with a proper noun. This is “Δίας” referring to the planet “Jupiter” or the ancient Greek God “Zeus”.
Becky: OK, so I get it’s obvious that there can be only one planet Jupiter, or one Zeus, but what about the names of people? We can have more than one Mary, or John right?
Stefania: Ah, now that’s a good question! In Greek, we don’t usually say “Marys” or “Johns” in plural. Names just don’t sound right in plural. However, sometimes we can come across names of people in plural in Greek proverbs, for example, “45 Γιάννηδες, ενός κοκκόρου γνώση”.
Becky: So what does that proverb mean?
Stefania: Roughly, “45 Johns have the knowledge of a rooster”! We say this for a situation where a group of people do something in a way that it is not really bright, or well studied.
Becky: I see. Now, these nouns are all in our lesson notes, plus examples of sentences with those, so listeners please check them! And we’ll be back with more Greek in our next lesson.


Becky: Thanks for listening, everyone, and we’ll see you next time.
Stefania: Γεια χαρά!


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GreekPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Hello Listeners, do you know any other Greek noun used only in singular form?

GreekPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 09:58 AM
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Γεια σου Ηλία,

Νομίζω ήθελες να πεις:

"Αν ο Μέγας Αλέξανδρος ή ο Αχιλλέας ήταν εδώ, τότε η πΓΔΜ δεν θα μπορούσε ποτέ να λέγεται μόνο «Μακεδονία»."

Γεια χαρά,


Team GreekPod101.com

Thursday at 12:05 AM
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Αν ο Αλέξανδρος ο Μεγάλος ή ο Αχιλλεύς ήταν εδώ, πΓΔΜ ποτέ δεν μπορεί να λέγει μόνο τον, «Μακεδονία». ?

(παρακαλώ σας κάνε σωστά τα ενήλικα μου αν χρειάζεται)