Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Becky: Hello everyone and welcome back to GreekPod101.com. This is Lower Intermediate, Season 1, Lesson 7, Getting Cute in Greek. I’m Becky.
Stefania: And I’m Stefania.
Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn about word formation in Greek, and specifically diminutives.
Stefania: The conversation takes place at the office of the daily Greek newspaper. It’s between Antonia and her colleague, photojournalist Vasilis Antoniou.
Becky: The characters know each other well, so they’re using informal Greek.
Αντωνία:Βασίλη έχεις κάτι για αύριο το πρωί;
Βασίλης:Δεν νομίζω. Ίσως χρειαστεί να πεταχτώ μέχρι το δημαρχείο όταν θα τελειώσει το δημοτικό συμβούλιο, αλλά εκτός από αυτό, τίποτα.
Αντωνία:Οπότε μπορούμε να κοιτάξουμε λίγο αυτό το θεματάκι με το κοσμηματοπωλείο;
Βασίλης:Α, αυτό που λέγατε με τον Γιαννουλάτο;
Βασίλης:ΟΚ. Να πάρω το μηχανάκι ή το αμάξι;
Αντωνία:Το μαγαζί είναι σε ένα δρομάκι κοντά στο Μοναστηράκι, άρα μάλλον η μηχανή είναι πιο βολική.
Βασίλης:Κανένα πρόβλημα. Έχω και μέρες να τη βγάλω, οπότε μια βολτίτσα θα της κάνει καλό.
Αντωνία:Δεν είχες πάει κάποια εκδρομούλα πριν από μια-δυο εβδομάδες;
Βασίλης:Ναι, είχα πάει ως το Ναύπλιο για μπανάκι, αλλά θέλει πιο συχνά.
Αντωνία:Ωραία! Μπορείς να περάσεις από το σπίτι κατά τις εννιά;
Βασίλης:Μέσα! Και πίνουμε και ένα καφεδάκι πριν ξεκινήσουμε!
Antonia: Vasilis, do you have something for tomorrow morning?
Vasilis: I don’t think so. Maybe I’ll have to go quickly to City Hall after the city council meeting, but other than that, nothing.
Antonia: So can we have a look at that story with the jewelry shop?
Vasilis: Oh, the one you were discussing with Mr. Giannoulatos?
Antonia: Yes.
Vasilis: OK. Shall I take the bike or the car?
Antonia: The shop is in an alley near Monastiraki, so I think the motorcycle would be more convenient.
Vasilis: No problem. I haven’t taken it out for days, so a short ride would do it good.
Antonia: Didn’t you go on a road trip a couple of weeks ago?
Vasilis: Yeah, I went as far as Nafplio for a swim, but it needs to be taken out more often.
Antonia: Good! Can you pass by my place at around nine?
Vasilis: I’m in! And we can drink a cup of coffee before we start!
Becky: So our characters are going out?
Stefania: Yes, to work on a story.
Becky: And they will be using a motorbike, huh? Many people ride motorcycles in Greece, don’t they?
Stefania: Yes! Many do!
Becky: Why is that do you think? The weather?
Stefania: The good weather is certainly one reason. Another reason is the cost.
Becky: I guess being able to park anywhere is also something to consider.
Stefania: Of course! You know, I used to drive a car, and finding a parking spot anywhere in the city was always a problem.
Becky: It makes sense then!
Becky: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Stefania: χρειάζομαι [natural native speed]
Becky: to need, to require
Stefania: χρειάζομαι [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: χρειάζομαι [natural native speed]
Stefania: αμάξι [natural native speed]
Becky: car, carriage
Stefania: αμάξι [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: αμάξι [natural native speed]
Stefania: θέλω [natural native speed]
Becky: to want
Stefania: θέλω [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: θέλω [natural native speed]
Stefania: Μοναστηράκι [natural native speed]
Becky: Monastiraki area
Stefania: Μοναστηράκι [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: Μοναστηράκι [natural native speed]
Stefania: Ναύπλιο [natural native speed]
Becky: Nafplio town
Stefania: Ναύπλιο [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: Ναύπλιο [natural native speed]
Stefania: πετάγομαι [natural native speed]
Becky: to go somewhere quickly or for a little while/to get thrown
Stefania: πετάγομαι [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: πετάγομαι [natural native speed]
Stefania: θεματάκι [natural native speed]
Becky: news story, issue, matter
Stefania: θεματάκι [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: θεματάκι [natural native speed]
Stefania: μηχανάκι [natural native speed]
Becky: motorbike, small machine
Stefania: μηχανάκι [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: μηχανάκι [natural native speed]
Stefania: καφεδάκι [natural native speed]
Becky: a cup of coffee
Stefania: καφεδάκι [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: καφεδάκι [natural native speed]
Stefania: μπανάκι [natural native speed]
Becky: short swim/shower
Stefania: μπανάκι [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Stefania: μπανάκι [natural native speed]
Becky: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Stefania: First is the verb “θέλω” meaning “to want”. We can see it in our sample sentence “Θέλει κανείς τίποτα από το περίπτερο;
Becky: Meaning “Does anybody want something from the kiosk?”
Stefania: Right. Still, in this phrase, we have a very common idiom.
Becky: Which is?
Stefania: It is the use of the masculine negative pronoun “κανείς”, literally meaning “nobody” and the non-declinable negative pronoun “τίποτα”, literally meaning “nothing”.
Becky: So the literal translation of the phrase would be “Does nobody want nothing from the kiosk?”
Stefania: Right. And here’s the idiom! In such cases, these words mean their opposite: “anyone” or “anybody” and “something” or “anything”.
Becky: I see! What else do we have?
Stefania: The verb “πετάγομαι”. This means “to get thrown”.
Becky: But in everyday conversation, you use it idiomatically as in “to go somewhere quickly” or “for a little while”. The idea is that this will be a deviation from a regular schedule. What’s an example?
Stefania: “Θα πεταχτώ ως το ταχυδρομείο και έρχομαι”.
“Θα πεταχτώ” is the future tense of “πετάγομαι”.
Becky: So the meaning is “I’ll go quickly to the post office and I’ll be right back”.
Stefania: Right!
Becky: And our last one?
Stefania: “καφεδάκι” meaning “a cup of coffee”. In English we can say “Come by the house for a cup of coffee”, right?
Becky: That’s right.
Stefania: In Greek, though, we just say “Έλα από το σπίτι για καφεδάκι” or “Έλα από το σπίτι για καφέ”, which both translate as “Come by the house for coffee”.
Becky: So, no cup.
Stefania: Nope!
Becky: OK. Now onto the grammar.
Becky: In this lesson you’ll learn about diminutives.
Stefania: Yes! Diminutives!
Becky: These are words produced from most nouns, proper nouns, some adjectives and very few adverbs. Diminutives indicate a smaller version of what the original word denotes, affection and intimacy, or they make something appear trivial for various reasons. So Stefania, do people use those much in Greek?
Stefania: Yes! Diminutives are very common. Especially with younger girls that are trying to sound very cute!
Becky: OK. And how do diminutives work?
Stefania: Like all derivatives, we take the stem of the root word and add a suffix.
Becky: But not just any suffix!
Stefania: There are particular suffixes that we use for that. So after a certain point, you will get used to them.
Becky: I see. And these suffixes are in our lesson notes?
Stefania: Of course! In a very handy table that even includes an example for each suffix!
Becky: So listeners, please check the notes!
Stefania: Definitely! But in the meantime, let’s look at some of the ones used in our dialogue.
Becky: Certainly. Like?
Stefania: One good example is “καφεδάκι”.
Becky: Meaning “Small coffee”?
Stefania: Hmm... not exactly! It’s more like affection towards coffee I would say. Appreciation for the whole drinking ritual. So it is something that coffee lovers say quite often!
Becky: Ah...the well-known Greek affection for coffee!
Stefania: Exactly!
Becky: And how is this word created?
Stefania: By combining the root word “καφές”, which means coffee, and adding the suffix “-άκι”, one of the most common suffixes for diminutives.
Becky: So this “-áki” works with other nouns as well?
Stefania: Lots! We have some examples in our dialogue. From the word “θέμα”, which means “subject”, “matter”, “issue” or “theme”, we get the diminutive “θεματάκι”, which in our dialogue has been translated as “story” because of the journalistic context. Then from the root word “μηχανή”, which can mean “machine”, “engine” or “motorcycle”, we get “μηχανάκι”, meaning either “motorbike” or “small machine”. Next, the word “δρομάκι” in our dialogue, which means “alley”, comes from the word “δρόμος”, meaning “road” or “street”, and “Μοναστηράκι”, which is the name of an area in Athens, comes from “μοναστήρι”, meaning “monastery”. So “Μοναστηράκι” literally means “small monastery”. Finally, from the word “μπάνιο”, meaning “bathroom”, “shower” or generally any kind of immersion in water, we get the diminutive “μπανάκι”, which means “short swim” or “shower”.
Becky: Sounds easy!
Stefania: I am glad you think so! Some other diminutives we have in our dialogue are “βολτίτσα”, meaning small walk, with “βόλτα” being the original word and meaning either “stroll” or “car/bicycle or motorcycle ride”. Last we have “εκδρομούλα”, meaning “small trip”, that comes from “εκδρομή”, which refers to any road trip, excursion or voyage.
Becky: Oh, but what about the gender of the diminutive words? Is it always the same as the original word?
Stefania: Most times, yes. There are some cases, however, where the diminutives change their gender.
Becky: Is there a way to know the gender of any given diminutive?
Stefania: The suffix will always indicate the gender. But unfortunately, there are no rules and no particular logic to explain which diminutive suffixes go with which words and to which gender. In the lesson notes, we list which words from our examples change gender.
Becky: But keep in mind that you will learn diminutives and their genders as you go along.
Stefania: Listeners, ever have any Greek language or lesson-related questions?
Becky: Or maybe you have some feedback for us...
Becky: Leave us a comment or ask a question on the lessons page!
Stefania: It's super simple. Go to GreekPod101.com...
Becky: ...click on comments,
Stefania: ...enter your comment and name,
Becky: ...and that's it!
Stefania: Commenting is a great way to practice writing and reading in Greek.
Becky: It helps you learn faster.
Stefania: And it helps us get better through your feedback.
Becky: No excuses.
Stefania: Go to GreekPod101.com, and comment now.
Becky: NOW!


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


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

GreekPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Listeners! Let's practice diminutives in Greek. Please, add an example here.

GreekPod101.com Verified
Friday at 09:15 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Γεια σου nicholas,

Thank you for your comment. 😇

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

We wish you good luck with your language studies.

Γεια χαρά,

Λέβεντε (Levente)

Team GreekPod101.com

Sunday at 11:01 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

that makes sense, thank you Stefania

GreekPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 05:21 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Nicholas,

In this context άρα means "so" (it's a conjunction introducing a conclusion) and μάλλον means "probably, perhaps, maybe", so it has a hypothetical nuance. It has been translated as "I think" but it could also mean "I suppose." Sometimes when translating something from Greek, we choose whatever option sounds more natural in the English language.

I'd say μάλλον means maybe most of the times.

All the best,


Team GreekPod101.com

Sunday at 11:02 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.


What is the meaning of ara when they say ara mallon. we had said previously mallon means I guess, is the ara like kale or another word that accents the phrase?

thank you!

GreekPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 07:55 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Elias,

I know what you mean! It happens sometimes when voice actors are told to speak a bit slower and more clearly for students to understand better.

It's good that your ear can tell such things. You are getting used to the language?!



Team GreekPod101.com

Wednesday at 10:22 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Βασίλης μιλάει σαν ρομπότ. ??

GreekPod101.com Verified
Monday at 02:26 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Kati,

Good job on the diminutives! :thumbsup:

As for the words μέχρι/ως, they can be used interchangeably in the sentences below. They both mean "up to (a certain point)", "until", "as far as". They can work in a variety of contexts, for example time, distance etc.

You could use σε in the same sentences, but the most natural way to say them would be using either of the two words above. I feel it has to do with the verb πετάγομαι. It literally means "to toss/throw myself" so imagine you are sitting, say, in a pilot's seat inside a jet aircraft and then suddenly there's an emergency and the seat gets activated and ejects you out of the aircraft. Your body would run a certain distance in the air before parachuting safely to the ground.

So in a sense, πετάγομαι κάπου, means that you would have to go out and cover a certain distance before reaching somewhere. It focuses on the whole trip. Πετάγομαι μέχρι/ως imply this whole trip idea whereas πετάγομαι στο/στη(ν)/στο.... focuses more on the destination rather than the trip. It's like ejecting yourself from that pilot's seat straight to the ground, almost like a bullet! The destination is the same in both cases, but it just sounds more natural to me to use μέχρι/ως.

I'm not sure if my example really helps:grin:.

Finally, έλα από here, is used in a similar way as πέρνα από το σπίτι. The meaning of από is not always "from", it can also mean "by" (among other things) as in "pass by the house".


It's difficult for me to say in which situations or with which verbs από should be used because it's a very common preposition and it can be used in so many ways :disappointed: It will take some time, but I think "observing" it will help you use it correctly in various situations.

Let me know if you have more questions.


Team GreekPod101.com

Saturday at 01:05 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

...And there was a third one!

Έλα από το σπίτι για καφεδάκι.

Here, the preposition is "απο"! Which, to me, means "from".

Saturday at 01:02 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.


There are two prepositions on the lesson material, that indicate going someplace:

"Θα πεταχτώ ως το ταχυδρομείο και έρχομαι."

"...να πεταχτώ μέχρι το δημαρχείο..."

1. ως

2. μέχρι

Is it ok just to use preposition "σε"? In which situations it's not okay or are the above mentioned words better for some occations or with some particular verbs?

- Kati

Friday at 07:44 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Έχω ένα αγοράκι και ένα κοριτσάκι. Έχουμε και δύο σκυλάκια! Έχω μια καρδούλα στη κάρτα του Αγίου Βαλεντίνου.

I have a boy and a girl. We also have to doggies! I have a heart in a Valentines Day card.