1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Greek
  4. >
  5. "Εγώ πίνω νερό."

"Εγώ πίνω νερό."

Translation:I drink water.

August 30, 2016



I see that under πίνω is "I drink", can you just say "πίνω νερό.", and will people in Greece understand me? Like in Spanish where you don't need the subject?


Yes, because the omega in the end of πίνω shows that it's referring to the first person (in singular). Τhat is, the person who's saying it.

EDIT: A few examples with other verbs too. Possible answers to the question «Τι κάνεις;» (What's up?), besides the common «Καλά είμαι» (I'm fine), can be: «Πίνω μπύρα» (I'm drinking beer), «Τρώω» (I'm eating), «Μινάρω/Παπαρίζομαι» (I'm killing time), «Παίζω WoW» (I'm playing W.o.W.), «Διαβάζω/Μελετάω» (I'm studying for school/university). As you can see the personal pronoun is being omitted in all these cases and it's normal.

EDIT2: «Μελετάω» isn't used that much in common speech even if it's closer to "I'm studying" than «διαβάζω». The latter has a literal translation as "I'm reading". Examples: «Διαβάζω μια εφημερίδα» (I'm reading a newspaper). You'll rarely hear someone use the verb «μελετάω» with a soft read as a newspaper or a magazine.


Just to add to what miliarma said, Greek is what's technically called a 'pro-drop' language, meaning that the verb endings are different enough that the pronouns aren't needed and can be dropped most of the time without confusing anyone. Some languages like Spanish and Italian are the same.Others, such as English, German and French always need the pronoun because the verbs are too similar sounding - ie if we said "drank water today", it could mean any person did it (I, you, he/she/it, we, they). We need one of those pronouns to clarify which we meant.

  • 1246

Just a curious remark to the above. In Russian we also have different personal verb endings (though in present and future tenses only), but still we generally use pronouns along with verbs. Not using them is rather an exception.


Yeah, I've noticed that too. As a Greek studying Russian I thought we would kiss the pronouns goodbye after the first lessons - but no. Odd thing for a language so laconic that has no articles and has even dropped the verb to be!


May be if would be more forms of "to be" in Russian and they doesn't is droped in the present tense, then would be possible to drop pronouns oftener.

  • 1246

Oh, the verb "to be" in Russian (быть) does have all unique personal forms, however most of them have become obsolete.

Я есмь Мы есмы Ты еси Вы есте Он/она/оно есть Они/оне суть

Note that "they" used to have two forms (m/f). :)


I was goig to ask the same question, but i saw miliarmas comment. Miliarma, win the most amazing commenter award. You've earned it!


It is precisely like spanish. The ending specifies the person, so it can be omitted (and it usually does)


Does πίνω carry the meaning of "I am drinking (alcohol)." like English does?


Yes it can mean that (grew up in Greece until ten years old).


Oh yeah, this is absolutely amazing!

πίνω = I drink (in Greek) пью = I drink (in Russian)


what happened to ύδωρ?


Νερό comes from the expression νηρόν ύδωρ which means fresh water, so people called it just νηρό to say it faster and it slowly changed and became νερό :) Fun little story


Interesting. I wonder if the word for "water" in most Dravidian languages (South Indian) - "neer(u)" has its roots from here, and also the Sanskrit "नीर" (neera).


and thank you very much for sharing it with me ^^


You're welcome! If you also wonder what happened to άρτος (bread in ancient Greek), ψωμί comes from the word ψώμος which meant a mouthful of bread or food in ancient Greek :) Although basic words have changed over time, their etymology is somehow related to the original word.


In Greek, πίνω (pivo) means "I drink". In Ukranian, пити (pyty) means "to drink" (cmp Russian пить pit'). Is that a coincidence or a common etimology?


And in Hindi, "पीना" (peena) means "to drink".


They don't seem to have any common ancestor, according to Wictionary.


Just checked and Wiktionary says they both come from the PIE root *peH3- "to drink", just with different root extensions. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/peh%E2%82%83-


How can I make the difference between "I drink water" and "I am drinking water"? It seems it's the same sentence in Greek...

  • 183

It is the same. Greek only has one present tense so unless there is some context you can translate to either tense in English.
Εγώ πίνω νερό. = I drink water = I am drinking water.
Εγώ πίνω νερό κάθε μέρα = I drink water every day.
Εγώ πίνω νερό τώρα. = I am drinking water now.


Would it not be Πίρο νερά? It acts as an accusative and gave me that whole chart at the beginning...


The accusative is always the same as the nominative for neuter nouns, so νερό is the nominative or the accusative case.

νερά would be nominative or accusative plural, i.e. "waters" -- not often used, since water is usually treated as an uncountable noun.

And it's πίνω for "I drink", not πίρο.

Learn Greek in just 5 minutes a day. For free.