Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
John: Hi everyone, I'm John.
Chrissi: And I'm Chrissi.
John: And welcome to Must-Know Greek Sentence Structures, Season 1, Lesson 17. Talking About the Past.
John: In this lesson, you'll learn how to use a sentence pattern for talking about something in the past.
PATTERN
John: For example,
John: "Michael fixed the broken window today."
Chrissi: Ο Μιχάλης έφτιαξε το σπασμένο παράθυρο σήμερα. (O Mihális éftiaxe to spazméno parathiro símera.)
Chrissi: [slow] Ο Μιχάλης έφτιαξε το σπασμένο παράθυρο σήμερα. (O Mihális éftiaxe to spazméno parathiro símera.)
John: The pattern for talking about something in the past has three elements. First, the masculine noun phrase in the nominative meaning "Michael".
Chrissi: Ο Μιχάλης (O Mihális).
John: Second, the verb "to fix" in the 3rd person singular of the aorist tense meaning "fixed".
Chrissi: έφτιαξε.
John: Third, a complement that consists of a neuter noun phrase in the accusative as the object meaning "the broken window" + an adverb meaning "today".
Chrissi: το σπασμένο παράθυρο σήμερα (to spazméno parathiro símera).
John: Altogether, we have... "Michael fixed the broken window today."
Chrissi: Ο Μιχάλης έφτιαξε το σπασμένο παράθυρο σήμερα. (O Mihális éftiaxe to spazméno parathiro símera.) [slow] Ο Μιχάλης έφτιαξε το σπασμένο παράθυρο σήμερα. (O Mihális éftiaxe to spazméno parathiro símera.) [normal] Ο Μιχάλης έφτιαξε το σπασμένο παράθυρο σήμερα. (O Mihális éftiaxe to spazméno parathiro símera.)
John: This pattern starts with the subject which can be our usual noun phrase in the nominative case, or it can even be omitted if it's understood by the context. This is followed by a verb in a past tense, such as the past progressive tense we've seen already or the aorist tense which is the focus of this lesson.
What comes after the verb is a complement that gives us more information about the action that happened in the past. This complement can include many things, for example it can include the verb's object in the form of a noun phrase, an adverb or a prepositional phrase denoting location or time among other things, another clause, etc.
The complement is optional, however, as the subject and verb are often enough to talk about something in the past if no more information is required.
John: As you know, the word order is relatively flexible in Greek, so you could swap around some elements.
Chrissi: For example, instead of saying "Michael fixed the broken window today." Ο Μιχάλης έφτιαξε το σπασμένο παράθυρο σήμερα. (O Mihális éftiaxe to spazméno parathiro símera.) you can say in Greek "Today, Michael fixed the broken window." Σήμερα ο Μιχάλης έφτιαξε το σπασμένο παράθυρο. (Símera o Mihális éftiaxe to spazméno parathiro.)
John: So remember, to talk about something in the past, start with a noun phrase in the nominative case to indicate the subject, then use a verb in the past tense and finish with a complement that provides more information about the action.
John: Here is another example meaning, "The islanders used to paint their houses with whitewash." First, we have the masculine noun phrase in the nominative meaning "the islanders".
Chrissi: Οι νησιώτες (I nisiótes).
John: Second, we have the verb "to paint/to dye" in the 3rd person plural of the past progressive tense meaning "used to paint" here.
Chrissi: έβαφαν (évafan).
John: Third, we have a complement that consists of a neuter noun phrase in the accusative as the object, and a weak possessive pronoun meaning "their houses" + a prepositional phrase meaning "with whitewash".
Chrissi: τα σπίτια τους με ασβέστη (ta spítia tus me azvésti).
John: Altogether we have...
Chrissi: Οι νησιώτες έβαφαν τα σπίτια τους με ασβέστη. (I nisiótes évafan ta spítia tus me azvésti.) [slow] Οι νησιώτες έβαφαν τα σπίτια τους με ασβέστη. (I nisiótes évafan ta spítia tus me azvésti.) [normal] Οι νησιώτες έβαφαν τα σπίτια τους με ασβέστη. (I nisiótes évafan ta spítia tus me azvésti.)
John: "The islanders used to paint their houses with whitewash."
[pause]
Chrissi: Οι νησιώτες έβαφαν τα σπίτια τους με ασβέστη. (I nisiótes évafan ta spítia tus me azvésti.)
John: How do you say — "The boy pulled her hair."? To give you a hint, "pulled" is...
Chrissi: τράβηξε (trávixe). [slow] τράβηξε (trávixe). [normal] τράβηξε (trávixe).
John: "The boy pulled her hair."
[pause]
Chrissi: Το αγόρι τράβηξε τα μαλλιά της. (To agóri trávixe ta maliá tis.)
[slow] Το αγόρι τράβηξε τα μαλλιά της. (To agóri trávixe ta maliá tis.)
[normal] Το αγόρι τράβηξε τα μαλλιά της. (To agóri trávixe ta maliá tis.)
[pause]
Chrissi: Το αγόρι τράβηξε τα μαλλιά της. (To agóri trávixe ta maliá tis.)
REVIEW
John: Let's review the sentences from this lesson. I will tell you the English equivalent of the phrase and you are responsible for shouting it out loud in Greek. Here we go.
John: "Michael fixed the broken window today."
[pause]
Chrissi: Ο Μιχάλης έφτιαξε το σπασμένο παράθυρο σήμερα. (O Mihális éftiaxe to spazméno parathiro símera.)
[pause]
Chrissi: Ο Μιχάλης έφτιαξε το σπασμένο παράθυρο σήμερα. (O Mihális éftiaxe to spazméno parathiro símera.)
John: "The islanders used to paint their houses with whitewash."
[pause]
Chrissi: Οι νησιώτες έβαφαν τα σπίτια τους με ασβέστη. (I nisiótes évafan ta spítia tus me azvésti.)
[pause]
Chrissi: Οι νησιώτες έβαφαν τα σπίτια τους με ασβέστη. (I nisiótes évafan ta spítia tus me azvésti.)
John: "The boy pulled her hair."
[pause]
Chrissi: Το αγόρι τράβηξε τα μαλλιά της. (To agóri trávixe ta maliá tis.)
[pause]
Chrissi: Το αγόρι τράβηξε τα μαλλιά της. (To agóri trávixe ta maliá tis.)

Outro

John: Okay. That's all for this lesson. You learned a pattern for talking about something in the past, as in...
Chrissi: Ο Μιχάλης έφτιαξε το σπασμένο παράθυρο σήμερα. (O Mihális éftiaxe to spazméno parathiro símera.)
John: meaning "Michael fixed the broken window today."
John: You can find more vocab or phrases that go with this sentence pattern in the lesson notes. So please be sure to check them out on GreekPod101.com. Thanks everyone, see you next time!
Chrissi: Γεια χαρά!

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