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Lesson Transcript

Becky: Hello everyone and welcome back to GreekPod101.com. This is Lower Intermediate, Season 1, lesson 24, Politics Isn’t All That Matters in Greece! I’m Becky.
Stefania: And I’m Stefania. In this lesson, you will learn about the accentuation of feminine nouns ending in -α in Greek.
Becky: The conversation takes place at the office of the daily newspaper. It is between the main character, Antonia Georgiadi and the politics editor Eleni Kalogirou.
Stefania: The characters know each other well so they are using informal Greek.
Αντωνία:Ελένη, θύμισέ μου, πόσες μέρες έχουμε ως τις εκλογές;
Ελένη:Δεκατρείς ακριβώς. Θα γίνουν την παραπάνω Κυριακή.
Αντωνία:Ωραία. Οπότε προλαβαίνω να ετοιμάσω το θέμα για τους δασκάλους πριν μπούμε στην τελική ευθεία.
Ελένη:Ναι, καλό θα ήταν. Όσο πλησιάζουν οι εκλογές, ο κόσμος θα ασχολείται μόνο μ' αυτές.
Αντωνία:Λες και δεν υπάρχουν άλλα προβλήματα στη χώρα αυτή!
Ελένη:Νομίζω συμβαίνει παντού αυτό.
Αντωνία:Στην Ελλάδα, δυστυχώς, τα προβλήματα της κοινωνίας ή των διαφόρων μικρότερων κοινοτήτων παραμένουν και μετά τις εκλογές.
Ελένη:Καλά, αυτό είναι ένα γνωστό ελληνικό φαινόμενο.
Αντωνία:Νομίζω ότι αυτό το θέμα με τους δασκάλους δεν πρέπει να περάσει απαρατήρητο παρ' όλη τη γενική ανακατωσούρα των εκλογών!
Ελένη:Το πιθανότερο όμως είναι να μην του δωθεί η απαραίτητη προσοχή. Τουλάχιστον κάνε μια προσπάθεια.
Αντωνία:Ελπίζω να 'χει επιτυχία!
Antonia: Eleni, remind me, how many days do we have until the elections?
Eleni: Thirteen exactly. They will be held the Sunday after next.
Antonia: Good. So I have enough time to prepare the article about teachers before the final countdown.
Eleni: Yes, that would be good. As the elections get closer, people will only be occupied with them.
Antonia: As if there were no other problems in this country!
Eleni: I think that happens everywhere.
Antonia: In Greece, unfortunately, the problems of society or of the various smaller communities remain even after the elections.
Eleni: Well, this is a well-known Greek phenomenon.
Antonia:I think the issue with teachers shouldn't be unnoticed, despite the general disordered haste of the elections!
Eleni: It is more likely, however, that it won't be given the necessary attention. At least make an effort.
Antonia: I hope it will be a success!
Becky: So are the elections a big thing in Greece?
Stefania: Oh yes! Greeks are really into politics.
Becky: It makes sense… being the place where democracy originated!
Stefania: People in Greece certainly enjoy talking about politics or at least arguing about politics!
Becky: How often do you have general elections?
Stefania: Every four years, but it could be even less than that. It depends.
Becky: Really?
Stefania: Yes, an administration might ask for early elections if they believe it will help them get re-elected.
Becky: Are they allowed to do that?
Stefania: Our constitution allows it, but it doesn’t happen very often.
Becky: How’s the pre-election period?
Stefania: Oh, it is very intense. If you ever go to Greece during such a period you’ll see! Candidates speak publicly all over the country and the media focus almost exclusively on the big event.
Becky: That’s interesting to know.
Becky: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Stefania: θυμίζω [natural native speed]
Becky: to remind
Stefania: θυμίζω [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: θυμίζω [natural native speed]
Stefania: παραπάνω [natural native speed]
Becky: above/ further more /further up /further above /more
Stefania: παραπάνω [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: παραπάνω [natural native speed]
Stefania: προλαβαίνω [natural native speed]
Becky: to have time /to catch a person departing /to make it on time/ to prevent
Stefania: προλαβαίνω [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: προλαβαίνω [natural native speed]
Stefania: τελική ευθεία [natural native speed]
Becky: final countdown
Stefania: τελική ευθεία [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: τελική ευθεία [natural native speed]
Stefania: πλησιάζω [natural native speed]
Becky: to approach / to come / to go close
Stefania: πλησιάζω [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: πλησιάζω [natural native speed]
Stefania: κοινότητα [natural native speed]
Becky: community
Stefania: κοινότητα [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: κοινότητα [natural native speed]
Stefania: γενικός [natural native speed]
Becky: general
Stefania: γενικός [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: γενικός [natural native speed]
Stefania: ανακατωσούρα [natural native speed]
Becky: disordered haste / nausea
Stefania: ανακατωσούρα [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: ανακατωσούρα [natural native speed]
Stefania: απαραίτητος [natural native speed]
Becky: necessary /essential
Stefania: απαραίτητος [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: απαραίτητος [natural native speed]
Stefania: επιτυχία [natural native speed]
Becky: success /hit
Stefania: επιτυχία [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: επιτυχία [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 adverb “παραπάνω” meaning literally “further up”. It can also mean “furthermore”, “further above” or ”more” like in our sample sentence “Το φαγητό ήθελε λίγο παραπάνω αλάτι”.
Becky: Meaning “The food needed a bit more salt”?
Stefania: Yes! In our dialogue, though, it is used idiomatically in the phrase “την παραπάνω Κυριακή”, which means “the Sunday after the next”.
Becky: I thought there was another way to express the concept of “a day of the week after the next”.
Stefania: There is. In Greek we use “την μεθεπόμενη” for that and “την επόμενη” or “την άλλη” to say “the next”, but “παραπάνω ” is also widely used. “Παραπάνω” can also be used in texts to mean “above”, as in “the above mentioned”.
Becky: Got it. Next, we have a verb that is very common and useful, but very hard to explain in one word.
Stefania: It’s “προλαβαίνω”
Becky: In English it can be translated as “to have time”, “to catch a person departing”, “to make it on time”, or “to prevent”. So it can be used in many ways. Wow, versatile! I need at least one example!
Stefania: In our dialogue we saw it in the phrase “Οπότε προλαβαίνω να ετοιμάσω το θέμα”, meaning “So I have enough time to prepare the article“.
Becky: So the notion here is “to have enough time in order to complete a process”, right?
Stefania: Yes. Another example is “μπορεί να τον προλάβεις αν βιαστείς”, meaning “you might be able to catch him if you hurry”.
Becky: Here we see the notion is “to catch someone departing”.
Stefania: Yes. In our sample sentence though it means “to make it to: “Φοβάμαι ότι δεν θα προλάβω την πτήση μου”.
Becky: “I am afraid that I won’t make it to my flight”.
Stefania: Correct! Finally, another meaning is “to prevent”. For example, “I prevented the worst from happening”, “πρόλαβα τα χειρότερα”.
Becky: Well, that was a lot of info! What’s last?
Stefania: The phrase “τελική ευθεία”, literally meaning “final straight line”, which we can roughly translate as “final countdown”.
Becky: What’s special about this phrase is that it’s an idiom. It refers basically to “the final part of a period or an event” for example a race, elections, school examinations or any other trial-like event. Like in our sample sentence “The students are in the final countdown of the exams”.
Stefania: Yes. “Οι μαθητές έχουν μπει στην τελική ευθεία των εξετάσεων”.
Becky: OK. Now onto the grammar.
Becky: In this lesson you will learn about the accentuation of feminine nouns ending in -α in Greek
Stefania: Yes. A very big category of nouns. This is why we are focusing on those and also because there is a rule that applies to almost all of them, so it will help our listeners speak Greek better.
Becky: The rule is that when these feminine nouns get declined, their accent mark moves to the next syllable on the right when we use them in the plural genitive. In all other cases the accent stays in the same position. So this is something similar to what we saw in the previous lesson, right?
Stefania: Yes. However, in the previous lesson, we focused on proparoxytone nouns only.
Becky: Here we will see nouns that can have their accent anywhere except on the last syllable, because obviously, in that case, the accent mark cannot move any further to the right! So we will be seeing proparoxytone and paroxytone feminine nouns, but not oxytone ones.
Stefania: Correct.
Becky: And this rule you mentioned before happens only in the genitive plural?
Stefania: Yes. In all other cases, the accent mark remains in its normal position.
Becky: I feel ready for some examples!
Stefania: OK! So in our dialogue, we have quite a few of those feminine nouns ending with a non-accented -α. But, again, like in our previous lesson, I would like our listeners to open the lesson notes and go to the grammar section where they will find useful tables with all the words we will see.
Becky: Keep them visible while Stefania presents each example. She will also be exaggerating the pronunciation of each word, so that you can hear how the accented syllable changes. OK?
Stefania: OK, so the first noun is “η μέρα”, which means “day”.
Becky: That’s in the nominative, right?
Stefania: Yes. So we have “η μέρα, της μέρας, τη μέρα, μέρα, οι μέρες των μερών…”
Becky: … oh there it is!
Stefania: Yup, that’s where the accent changes! In the genitive case of the plural number. The rest of the cases in plural sound exactly like the nominative: “τις μέρες, μέρες”
Becky: Ok, and what’s next?
Stefania: “η ευθεία”, meaning “straight line”. So in the plural genitive, this becomes “των ευθειών”. So “η ευθεία”, “των ευθειών”.
Becky: This change of accent mark gives a sense of musicality again, as in the masculine nouns we saw in the previous lesson.
Stefania: Yes, it’s true. For me as a native speaker, when I talk in Greek, I obviously don’t even think about accentuation rules, but rather remember the musicality of each word.
Becky: Well, I hope our listeners can reach that level one day!
Stefania: I’m sure they can! Their ears will get used to it. But for now let’s see our next example: “η χώρα”, meaning “country”. This becomes “των χωρών” in the genitive plural. So “η χώρα”, “των χωρών”.
Becky: I am getting the hang of it now!
Stefania: Great! Let’s see some more. “η κοινωνία”.
Becky: That means “society”.
Stefania: So in the nominative singular we have “η κοινωνία”, but in the plural genitive we have “των κοινωνιών”. Next, we have η “κοινότητα”.
Becky: Meaning “community”
Stefania: Yes, in the genitive plural it becomes “των κοινοτήτων”. Another word we have from our dialogue is “η προσπάθεια”, “the effort”, which will sound like “των προσπαθειών” in plural genitive.
Becky: Okay. Pretty straightforward, right listeners? What’s next?
Stefania: Lastly, we have “η επιτυχία” which means “success” or “hit”. This changes to “των επιτυχιών”.
Becky: Wait, I think we have one more noun in our dialogue.
Stefania: Oh you mean “η ανακατωσούρα”?
Becky: Yes! That one!
Stefania: Well that one is kind of an exception. Remember how at the beginning I said that this accentuation rule applies to ALMOST all of the feminine nouns of this category we are seeing?
Becky: Yes.
Stefania: Well this noun is an exception, as it gets declined just like the others we just saw, but its genitive plural is not actually used. Saying “η ανακατωσούρα” is OK, but “των ανακατοσουρών” sounds very strange to my ears. No one ever uses it in genitive plural, although grammatically that’s how it would normally be formed.


Becky: Okay, that’s all for this lesson everyone! Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time.
Stefania: Γεια χαρά!


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Please to leave a comment.
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GreekPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Hello Listeners, try using the word παραπάνω in a sentence!

Friday at 11:11 PM
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Γεια σου Κατι,

Σε ευχαριστούμε πολύ για μήνυμα.

Hmm, it seems that you have right. It is not easy lesson but not too difficult. Moreover, please have in mind that this dialogue or this topic could be a real conversation between two Greek people. Especially nowadays, Greeks talk much about politics, mostly in a bad way.

Try your best!

Of course, if you have any question, don't hesitate to contact us.

P.S. It is παραπάνω (above) = παρά [prefix] + πάνω (up)

All the best,


Team GreekPod.com

Thursday at 06:35 PM
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"Το παραπάνο μάθημα δεν ήταν εύκολο."

GreekPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 11:50 PM
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Hey Mattie,

Thank you for your question.

Actually the reason why απαραίτητο and not απαραίτητα is used is pretty simple.

The sentence "Νομίζω ότι αυτό το θέμα με τους δασκάλους δεν πρέπει να περάσει απαρατήρητο" means "I think that the issue with the teachers shouldn't be unnoticed".

Q: What shouldn't be unnoticed? A: The issue (with the teachers).

Therefore, adjective απαραίτητο follows the gender and case of the central noun "θέμα".

απαραίτητα: plural form of adjective απαραίτητo or adverb.

-If the noun was in plural then we would use the plural form of απαραίτητο => απαραίτητα.

ex. Νομίζω ότι αυτά τα θέματα περνούν απαρατήρητα. [Nomízo óti aftá ta thémata pernoún aparatírita] I think that these issues go unnoticed.

-Απαραίτητα could be adverb meaning unnoticedly.

ex. Έφυγε από το σπίτι απαρατήρητα. [Éfige apó to spíti aparatírita] He left the house in an unnoticed manner.

Contact us again, if you have any other questions.

All the best,


Team GreekPod101.com

Tuesday at 10:24 PM
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hello stefania!

I have a little problem understanding why in the sentence: "Νομίζω ότι αυτό το θέμα με τους δασκάλους δεν πρέπει να περάσει απαρατήρητΟ...", isn't written like: " ...να περάσει απαρατήρητA..." as it looks to me that the word "απαρατήρητο" sais something about the verb "περάσει".

GreekPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 09:35 AM
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Hi Giulliano,

Glad to help!

Happy studying:smile:


Team GreekPod101.com

Tuesday at 05:12 AM
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Thanks for the amazing answer! It was so helpful :smile::smile::smile:

No other questions for now, but they will surely come! Thanks again!

GreekPod101.com Verified
Friday at 12:24 PM
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Hi Giulliano,

Great question! The issue with the feminine nouns moving their accent mark in the genitive case lies mostly with the parisyllabic feminine -α ending nouns which can be oxytone (accented in the last syllable), paroxytone (accented in the second-to-last syllable), and proparoxytone (accented in the third-to-last syllable.)

The particularities of the accentuation in the plural genitive makes this case quite challenging to master because the few rules that exist, unfortunately, don't cover all the cases of parisyllabic -α ending nouns. Below I'll include some notes and examples to help you a bit.




The paroxytone nouns of this category (ex. μητέρα, αξία) may or may not move their accent in the last syllable in the plural genitive. The ones that maintain their accent position the same in all cases are the ones ending in -ίδα, -άδα, and -όνα, among others, with βελόνα (velóna, "needle") and κολόνα (kolóna, "column") being the only exceptions as they become oxytone in the plural genitive.

The proparoxytone nouns will always move their accent either one or two positions to the right (ex. ταχύτητα, αίθουσα) That means there's no proparoxytone plural genitive ever. Specifically the nouns of this category that end in -τητα become paroxytone in the plural genitive.

Nouns of this category whose plural genitive is difficult to use in speech (almost unusable) are nouns such as: δίψα (dípsa, "thirst"), δίαιτα (díeta, "diet"), δουλειά (duliá, "work, job"), ομορφιά (omorfiá, "beauty"), όπερα (ópera, "opera"), ορφάνια (orfánia, "orphanhood"), ράτσα (rátsa, "race, breed"), ρόκα (róka, "arugula, distaff"), σαπίλα (sapíla, "rot"), σκοτούρα (skotúra, "worry") etc.

More notes:




Let me know if you have more questions!


Team GreekPod101.com

Thursday at 05:42 AM
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Oh yea, they totally do exist. Just did lesson 23 now. Sorry about that.

Thursday at 04:58 AM
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By the way, i don't even know if 'oxytone, proparoxytone' and such terms actually exist in english haha; i'm a portuguese speaker, and in portuguese they do exist. Sorry for the not-so-quick question :D

Thursday at 04:57 AM
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Hey there, quick question: I've noticed for quite a long time that some feminine words, when in the genitive plural, get their accent displaced two syllables - they become oxytones - instead of having it displaced only one syllable to the right. There is an example in the notes - η τράπεζα, των τραπεζών. I would have thought it was 'των τραπέζων', by following the general rule. My question is, at last haha: is there any way i can know if a feminine noun - when proparoxytone - will become an oxytone when in the gen plural? Or I just have to kinda learn them by heart?