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Lesson Transcript

Becky: Hello everyone and welcome back to GreekPod101.com. This is Lower Intermediate, Season 1, lesson 20, An Evening At the Greek Theater. I’m Becky.
Stefania: And I’m Stefania.
Becky: In this lesson, we’ll be discussing Greek nouns that are used only in plural form. The conversation takes place at the office of the daily Greek newspaper.
Stefania: And it’s between Antonia, Eleni, the politics editor and Matina, the culture editor.
Becky: The characters know each other well so they are using informal Greek.
Ελένη: Θα πάει κανείς στα εγκαίνια του καινούριου θεάτρου στο Κολωνάκι;
Ματίνα: Εγώ θα πάω αναγκαστικά γιατί θα το καλύψω.
Αντωνία: Να έρθω κι εγώ μαζί; Δεν έχω πάει ποτέ σε εγκαίνια θεάτρου!
Ματίνα: Καλά, δεν σε πήραν και τα γεράματα!
Αντωνία: Δεν είναι θέμα ηλικίας! Απλώς... από περιέργεια.
Ματίνα: Ναι μωρέ, έλα! Γιατί όχι;
Αντωνία: Δεν χρειάζεται πρόσκληση;
Ματίνα: 'Αφησέ το επάνω μου αυτό, αλλά υπολόγισε ότι θα πάρει κάμποσες ώρες.
Ελένη: Γιατί καλέ; Πάνω από κάνα δίωρο;
Ματίνα: Α, δεν το άκουσες; Μετά την παράσταση, από τα μεσάνυχτα και μετά, θα κάνουν ένα πάρτυ που θα διαρκέσει ως τα χαράματα, λένε.
Ελένη: Σοβαρά;
Αντωνία: Ούτε κι εγώ το είχα ακούσει αυτό!
Ματίνα: Ναι, ναι. Τώρα ποιος θα κάτσει όλη αυτήν την ώρα, δεν ξέρω. Εγώ πάντως όχι!
Αντωνία: Καλά. Θα το ξανασκεφτώ...
Eleni: Is anyone going to the inauguration of the new theater in Kolonaki?
Matina: I will have to go because I will be covering it.
Antonia: Can I come with you, too? I've never been to a theater inauguration!
Matina: It's OK, you are not that old!
Antonia: It's not a matter of age. It's just...out of curiosity.
Matina: Yeah, sure, come along! Why not?
Antonia: Don't I need an invitation?
Matina: Leave that to me, but figure it's going to take quite a few hours.
Eleni: Why? Over two hours?
Matina: Oh, didn't you hear? After the show, from midnight, they will have a party that will last until dawn, so they say.
Eleni: Really?
Antonia: I hadn't heard that, either!
Matina: Oh yeah. Now, I don't know who will stay all that time. Not me, for sure!
Antonia: OK. I'll think about it again...
Becky: So a new theater, huh? Do many Greeks go to the theater?
Stefania: You’d be surprised! There are hundreds of theaters all over the country. In Athens alone there are at least 120, which stage more than 500 different plays per year.
Becky: Seriously? So it is popular!
Stefania: Yes. Of course not all theaters are the same. There are venues with 1000 seats and others with just 50 or 60 which are much easier to fill.
Becky: And what kind of plays can you see? Ancient drama?
Stefania: Ancient dramas and comedies are usually played in the summer, because they are staged in the original ancient theaters and some modern open air theatres.
Becky: That must be great to watch!
Stefania: Oh it is! But you can also watch pretty much everything: Greek, foreign, modern, classic plays –you name it!
Becky: I definitely have to go to an ancient theater to watch an ancient play!
Becky: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Stefania: εγκαίνια [natural native speed]
Becky: inauguration/opening
Stefania: εγκαίνια [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: εγκαίνια [natural native speed]
Stefania: θέατρο [natural native speed]
Becky: theater
Stefania: θέατρο [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: θέατρο [natural native speed]
Stefania: Κολωνάκι [natural native speed]
Becky: Kolonaki area in Athens
Stefania: Κολωνάκι [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: Κολωνάκι [natural native speed]
Stefania: παίρνω [natural native speed]
Becky: to take, to receive
Stefania: παίρνω [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: παίρνω [natural native speed]
Stefania: γεράματα [natural native speed]
Becky: old age
Stefania: γεράματα [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: γεράματα [natural native speed]
Stefania: μωρέ [natural native speed]
Becky: interjection used to address someone informally or to express various feelings
Stefania: μωρέ [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: μωρέ [natural native speed]
Stefania: καλέ [natural native speed]
Becky: interjection used to address someone informally or to express various feelings
Stefania: καλέ [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: καλέ [natural native speed]
Stefania: διαρκώ [natural native speed]
Becky: to last
Stefania: διαρκώ [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: διαρκώ [natural native speed]
Stefania: δίωρο [natural native speed]
Becky: two hours
Stefania: δίωρο [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: δίωρο [natural native speed]
Stefania: κάθομαι [natural native speed]
Becky: to sit, to stay
Stefania: κάθομαι [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: κάθομαι [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: The verb “παίρνω” meaning “to take” or “to receive”.
Becky: And a sentence with it?
Stefania: “Παίρνω μαζί μου το κινητό, οπότε αν θέλεις πάρε με.
Becky: Which means “I’m taking my cell phone with me, so call me if you want”.
Stefania: Exactly! Here we can see two uses of this verb. The first word “παίρνω” means “I take”, but the imperative form “πάρε με” means “call me” implying “call me on the phone”.
Becky: And what about “perno” in our dialogue?
Stefania: That one is found in the phrase “δεν σε πήραν και τα γεράματα” which literally means “old age didn’t get you”, but the idiom here can be better rendered in English as “you are not that old”.
Becky: Next we will see two words that are very similar in Greek and also very common.
Stefania: Although I have to warn you that they can’t really be translated into English.
Becky: What are these words?
Stefania: These are “καλέ” and “μωρέ”, interjections used in sentences that express various feelings in order to address someone informally, without the need to mention his or her name. These words come from the vocative cases of the masculine adjectives “καλός”, meaning “good” and the ancient “μωρός” meaning “silly” or “stupid” respectively.
Becky: Now, the vocative is a case in declension used to primarily address someone or express admiration or other feelings. Can we have an example with “kalé” and “moré”?
Stefania: In our dialogue, we have two sentences:
“Γιατί καλέ;” and “Ναι μωρέ, έλα!”.
Becky: Now if we try to translate them literally we would get “Why my good man?” and “Yes silly, come along!”, which both sound ridiculous to me, because that’s not the real meaning in Greek! So in order to say these sentences properly in English, what would you say?
Stefania: I would just say “Why?” for the first one and “Yeah, sure, come along!” for the second one.
Becky: In our notes, we provide some more examples and uses of these two words, in order to help our listeners understand how they work. I have to point out though that they should be used between people that know each other well! So listeners, make sure you download our lesson notes and go through them. What’s last?
Stefania: The noun δίωρο meaning “two hours” that can be used instead of saying “δύο ώρες”.
Becky: Meaning also “two hours”
Stefania: Yes. In Greek there are many nouns that refer to periods of time by merging two words into one like “δύο” and “ώρες”.
Becky: Okay, now onto the grammar.
Becky: In this lesson, you will learn about nouns used only in the plural form.
Stefania: That’s right. Which is the opposite from the nouns we saw in our previous lesson!
Becky: Indeed. So even though generally nouns have singular and plural forms
Stefania: …some have only one.
Becky: Can we have one example?
Stefania: Yes. “Τα εγκαίνια” meaning “inauguration” or “opening”, which we saw in the dialogue, is a perfect example!
Becky: Why… is it a perfect example?
Stefania: Because there isn’t such a thing as “το εγκαίνιο” in Greek. Even saying that sounds funny to me!
Becky: Do we have anything else in our dialogue?
Stefania: Yes, we have “τα μεσάνυχτα” meaning “midnight” and “τα χαράματα” meaning “dawn”.
Becky: So both of them are used only in the plural form?
Stefania: Yes. Generally I would say that in this category, we can include common nouns that usually have a collective sense. For example some collective nouns such as πυρομαχικά meaning “ammunition”, some nouns that denote composite objects such as κιάλια, “binoculars” and even some adjectives that are being used as nouns such as τα ρηχά meaning “the shallow waters” and all language names like αγγλικά meaning “English”.
Becky: Is there a special term in Greek that refers to those adjectives being used as nouns?
Stefania: Yes, we call them “ουσιαστικοποιημένα επίθετα”, and remember that language names belong to this category of noun-behaving adjectives.
Becky: Shall we hear some more examples?
Stefania: Of course! Let’s look at “Christmas”. In Greek it’s “Χριστούγεννα” and it’s one of the many holiday names that are expressed only in the plural form.
Becky: Oh I love Christmas! The cheerful atmosphere and the carols!
Stefania: I love Christmas too! But talking about carols, note that the Greek word for “carols” is also a plural only noun.
Becky: Oh really?
Stefania: Yes, We say “τα κάλαντα”. Check out this sentence for example: “Τα Χριστούγεννα, τα παιδιά στην Ελλάδα πηγαίνουν από πόρτα σε πόρτα και τραγουδούν τα κάλαντα.”
Becky: This means? “On Christmas, children in Greece go from door to door and sing carols.”
Stefania: Actually I used to do that too when I was a kid!
Becky: Oh that’s nice!
Stefania: Oh, yes! I used to collect enough cash to buy myself toys! Come to think about it, “cash” in Greek is another noun that exists only in plural form!
Becky: What’s the Greek word?
Stefania: “μετρητά”. A useful phrase with this, that you will hear very often in Greece is: “Θα πληρώσετε με μετρητά ή με πιστωτική κάρτα;”
Becky: Does that mean: “Are you going to pay with cash or with a credit card?”
Stefania: Yes! Good job!
Becky: Thank you. So, do we have anything else in this category of nouns?
Stefania: Actually we do! Some toponyms can also appear only in plural form, for example “οι Δελφοί”, also known as “Delphi” in English.
Becky: We should let our listeners know that Delphi is a very famous archaeological site on the Greek mainland.
Stefania: Very famous indeed.
Becky: Now listeners, don’t forget that we have all of these nouns with examples to help you in the lesson notes, so check them out.


Becky: And that’s it for this lesson, everyone! 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 mostly or exclusively in the plural?

GreekPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 10:26 AM
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Hi Toni,

Τα εγκαίνια is not an adverb. It's a noun and it has a prepositional article (στα) in the sentence that shows us that.

Adverbs are not declinable so they don't have different forms, like an accusative form etc.

Του is definitely a definite article! It's in genitive, just like the words it defines (καινούριου θεάτρου.) It gets translated as "of the" in the dialogue. A weak personal pronoun in general stands for a person or thing (his, hers, its). Since here we don't have a his/hers/its etc, this means του is an article.

When you have doubts, you can tell from the translation :)



Team GreekPod101.com

Tuesday at 06:49 PM
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Hello! I have a question about the grammar.

In the sentence "Θα πάει κανείς στα εγκαίνια του καινούριου θεάτρου στο Κολωνάκι;"

Would you say that "στα εγκαίνια" is an adverb in accusative form? Also would you say that "του καινούριου θεάτρου" is the definite article in genitive or personal pronoun in genitive? I am not sure about this. Hope you can help me sort this out.

Thank you for your help =)