Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Michael: Hi everyone, I'm Michael.
Chrissi: And I'm Chrissi.
Michael: And welcome to Must-Know Greek Sentence Structures, Season 1, Lesson 19. Using the Verb "Can".
Michael: In this lesson, you'll learn how to use a sentence pattern for expressing your ability to do something.
PATTERN
Michael: For example,
Michael: "Lena can sing very sweetly."
Chrissi: Η Λένα μπορεί να τραγουδάει πολύ γλυκά. (I Léna borí na tragudái polí gliká.)
Chrissi: [slow] Η Λένα μπορεί να τραγουδάει πολύ γλυκά. (I Léna borí na tragudái polí gliká.)
Michael: The pattern for expressing your ability to do something has four elements. First, the feminine noun phrase in the nominative meaning "Lena".
Chrissi: Η Λένα (I Léna).
Michael: Second, the verb "can" in the 3rd person singular of the present tense meaning "can".
Chrissi: μπορεί (borí).
Michael: Third, the verb "to sing" in the 3rd person singular of the subjunctive present tense meaning "sing".
Chrissi: να τραγουδάει (na tragudái).
Michael: And last, an adverbial phrase that consists of the adverb "very" and the adverb "sweetly".
Chrissi: πολύ γλυκά (polí gliká).
Michael: Altogether, we have... "Lena can sing very sweetly."
Chrissi: Η Λένα μπορεί να τραγουδάει πολύ γλυκά. (I Léna borí na tragudái polí gliká.) [slow] Η Λένα μπορεί να τραγουδάει πολύ γλυκά. (I Léna borí na tragudái polí gliká.) [normal] Η Λένα μπορεί να τραγουδάει πολύ γλυκά. (I Léna borí na tragudái polí gliká.)
Michael: One of the ways you can express your ability to do something in Greek is by using the verb "can".
Chrissi: While in English, the verb "can" is a modal and auxiliary verb, the Greek equivalent, μπορώ (boró), is just a normal verb. It is conjugated like a second conjugation, second class verb. However, the aorist tense is irregular as it ends in -εσα (-esa) instead of -ησα (-isa) and it becomes μπόρεσα (bóresa) meaning "I could."
Michael: It is considered an active verb so you won't find it in the passive voice. Now let's see a typical sentence structure that uses this verb in order to express the ability to do something.
You can start with a noun phrase in the nominative, if you want to mention the subject of the verb. Then, use the verb "can" in the correct form depending on the subject and context.
Chrissi: What comes next is the particle να (na) meaning "to" as in "to eat," and a verb formed in the subjunctive.
Michael: The subjunctive is a verb mood and it will be the focus of this lesson, so make sure to check out the lesson notes. You can finish the sentence with an optional complement that will provide more information about the ability described, but there can be a fully valid sentence with just the verb "can" and the verb in the subjunctive.
Chrissi: For example, "I can play." Μπορώ να παίζω. (Boró na pézo.)
Michael: Can you please tell us again what "Lena can sing very sweetly." is in Greek?
Chrissi: Sure! It’s — Η Λένα μπορεί να τραγουδάει πολύ γλυκά. (I Léna borí na tragudái polí gliká.)
Michael: So remember, to express your ability to do something, start with a noun phrase in the nominative to express the subject, if needed, then use the verb "can," then the particle…
Chrissi: να (na)...
Michael: ...followed by a verb in the subjunctive and finish with a complement if necessary.
Michael: Here is another example meaning, "I can play the piano." First, we have the verb "can" in the 1st person singular of the present tense meaning "I can".
Chrissi: Μπορώ (Boró).
Michael: Second, we have the verb "to play" in the 1st person singular of the subjunctive mood present tense meaning "play".
Chrissi: να παίζω (na pézo).
Michael: Third, we have the neuter noun in the accusative meaning "the piano".
Chrissi: πιάνο (piáno).
Michael: Altogether we have...
Chrissi: Μπορώ να παίζω πιάνο. (Boró na pézo piáno.) [slow] Μπορώ να παίζω πιάνο. (Boró na pézo piáno.) [normal] Μπορώ να παίζω πιάνο. (Boró na pézo piáno.)
Michael: "I can play the piano."
[pause]
Chrissi: Μπορώ να παίζω πιάνο. (Boró na pézo piáno.)
Michael: How do you say — "She can dance salsa."? To give you a hint, "dance" is...
Chrissi: να χορεύει (na horévi). [slow] να χορεύει (na horévi). [normal] να χορεύει (na horévi).
Michael: "She can dance salsa."
[pause]
Chrissi: Μπορεί να χορεύει σάλσα. (Borí na horévi sálsa.) [slow] Μπορεί να χορεύει σάλσα. (Borí na horévi sálsa.) [normal] Μπορεί να χορεύει σάλσα. (Borí na horévi sálsa.)
[pause]
Chrissi: Μπορεί να χορεύει σάλσα. (Borí na horévi sálsa.)
REVIEW
Michael: 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.
Michael: "Lena can sing very sweetly."
[pause]
Chrissi: Η Λένα μπορεί να τραγουδάει πολύ γλυκά. (I Léna borí na tragudái polí gliká.)
[pause]
Chrissi: Η Λένα μπορεί να τραγουδάει πολύ γλυκά. (I Léna borí na tragudái polí gliká.)
Michael: "I can play the piano."
[pause]
Chrissi: Μπορώ να παίζω πιάνο. (Boró na pézo piáno.)
[pause]
Chrissi: Μπορώ να παίζω πιάνο. (Boró na pézo piáno.)
Michael: "She can dance salsa."
[pause]
Chrissi: Μπορεί να χορεύει σάλσα. (Borí na horévi sálsa.)
[pause]
Chrissi: Μπορεί να χορεύει σάλσα. (Borí na horévi sálsa.)

Outro

Michael: Okay. That's all for this lesson. You learned a pattern for expressing your ability to do something, as in...
Chrissi: Η Λένα μπορεί να τραγουδάει πολύ γλυκά. (I Léna borí na tragudái polí gliká.)
Michael: meaning "Lena can sing very sweetly."
Michael: 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!

3 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

GreekPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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Listeners, list some of your abilities here!

GreekPod101.com Verified
Monday at 08:28 AM
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Γεια σου Ντάνα!


Μπορείς να παίζεις ποδόσφαιρο (football) 😉


Γεια χαρά,


Στεφανία

Team GreekPod101.com

Dana Evans
Tuesday at 07:17 AM
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Μπορώ να τραγουδάω.

Μπορώ να πιέζω φυτ μπολ.