Greek Basics: Lesson 2

Time to start a new lesson!

Do you remember how to say this?

?He has it.|Αυτός το έχει.

And to make it negative:

?He doesn’t have it.|Αυτός δεν το έχει.

Let’s learn another pronoun.

I in Greek is εγώ.

To say that I am doing something (I can, I want, etc.), just change the -ει or -εί to or .

So let’s try it:

?I have.|Εγώ έχω.

?I have it.|Εγώ το έχω.

What about wants?

?He wants it.|Αυτός το θέλει.

?I want it.|Εγώ το θέλω.

?I don’t want it.|Εγώ δεν το θέλω.

Shall we try something a little more difficult?

?He wants it but I don’t want it.|Αυτός το θέλει αλλά εγώ δεν το θέλω.

?I want it but I don’t have it.|Εγώ το θέλω αλλά δεν το έχω.

Remember that you get rid of the second εγώ so that it doesn’t sound repetitive. In fact, you don’t really need to use these pronouns in Greek at all because the ending of the verb shows who’s doing the action. You can, however, include them for emphasis.


Try writing this one without pronouns:

?I want it and he wants it.|Το θέλω και το θέλει.

This sounds a bit awkward still so let’s learn the word for we.

We in Greek is εμείς.

To make the εμείς-form of the verb, change the -ει or -εί from the αυτός-form to -ουμε or -ούμε.

?We can.|Εμείς μπορούμε.

?We want it.|Εμείς το θέλουμε.

?We hear it.|Εμείς το ακούμε.

Did you get that last one wrong? Sorry about that; I tried to trick you. You see, the ου in the verb stem contracts with the ου in the ending, so you only need one. It just sounds and looks better that way. So try it again.

?We hear.|Εμείς ακούμε.

She in Greek is αυτή. Make sure not to confuse it with αυτός (he) and αυτό (it). Αυτή uses the same verb form as αυτός and αυτό.

?She has it.|Αυτή το έχει.

?She wants it, but I have it.|Αυτή το θέλει, αλλά εγώ το έχω.

Here you can keep the pronouns for emphasis, remember. In fact, for more emphasis, a Greek would probably even say Αυτή το θέλει, αλλά το έχω εγώ. Putting εγώ last makes it have more emphasis.

While we’re still thinking of pronouns, let’s learn a word for they.

They in Greek is αυτοί. This is pronounced the same way as αυτή, but has a different spelling. Make sure to keep them separate in your mind.

To form the αυτοί-form of the verb, change the -ει or -εί from the αυτός-form to -ουν or -ούν.

So now try saying this long, scary sentence:

?I can, he can, she can, it can, we can, and they can.|Εγώ μπορώ, αυτός μπορεί, αυτή μπορεί, αυτό μπορεί, εμείς μπορούμε, και αυτοί μπορούν.

Wow, that was long. (But easy, right?) Let’s do something shorter.

?They want it, but I have it.|Αυτοί το θέλουν, αλλά εγώ το έχω.

Once again, you might hear Αυτοί το θέλουν, αλλά το έχω εγώ.

?He wants and she wants it but they don’t have it.|Αυτός το θέλει και αυτή το θέλει, αλλά αυτοί δεν το έχουν.

Great job. You can already make some impressive sentences in Greek. That’s all for this lesson. In the next lesson, we’ll learn how to say you. See you later!

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