1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Greek
  4. >
  5. "Ο αετός τρώει ένα ποντίκι."

"Ο αετός τρώει ένα ποντίκι."

Translation:The eagle eats a mouse.

September 2, 2016



Do Greeks use the accents when writing to each other, or are they primarily used for teaching and to distinguish words that would otherwise be the same (that is how they are used in Russian, for instance)?


No matter what and to who you are writing, accents are always used and can't be omitted in any case. :-)


Thanks. I just realized that I could simply look up a Greek newspaper, like Η Καθιμερινη (no idea where the accent goes, since the masthead is in all capitals), and see if the accents were present in the articles.

  • 148

"Καθημερινή", κάθε=every + ημέρα=day + adj. ending that makes it mean daily. :)


καθέ sounds so much like каждый and cada.


It is such a revelation, isn't it. When you have been doing some Hungarian or Vietnamese and then come back to a language like Greek, it sounds so familiar in many ways.


Typo: the accent is on the first syllable, κάθε.


From what I know, in capital letters NOT at the start, accents aren't used e.g. ΈΨΙΛΟΝ, ΒΗΤΑ. Not entirely sure.


street signs and directions to towns and villages never have the accents, which makes life very difficult. :-)


Accents are sometimes omitted in sms or internet chat, informal emails. Various adaptations of the latin alphabet can even be used. But in any other case, the accents are mandatory.


Does the Greek ντ combination sound like "d", or is this just a bad audio?


Does the Greek ντ combination sound like "d"

Like "d" or like "nd". You will hear both pronunciations.


adio—goodbye— is spelt in Greek antio, and is pronounced the same as adio in Spanish etc. Many Greek speakers seem unaware that antio is a foreign word (am I correct to say this?) and actually pronounce the 'n', andio, so you can confidently say 'adio; or 'andio' without raising any Greek eyebrows. Apologies for lack of Greek alphabet in this post. Hope it is clear.


Why do we use ένα for some nouns and μία for others? Is one for animate objects and the other for inanimate objects? Why is it the former for a mouse but the latter for a hen?


Why do we use ένα for some nouns and μία for others?

Because of grammatical gender.

All Greek nouns have one of three genders: masculine, feminine, or neuter.

Masculine nouns take ένας, feminine nouns take μία, neuter nouns take ένα.

You can't generally predict from the meaning whether a given word will be masculine, feminine, or neuter -- it's just something you have to remember.

You can usually predict the gender from the ending of the noun, though:

  • masculine: -ος -ης -ας
  • feminine: -η -α
  • neuter: -ι -ο -μα

So ένας αετός is masculine, μία κότα is feminine, and ένα ποντίκι is neuter.

(That's not foolproof, though; for example, μία οδός "a road" is feminine but ends in -ος; γάλα "milk" is neuter but ends in -α. But it's a good rule of thumb.)


Because a mouse is a gentleman, and a hen is a lady—grammatically speaking, that is, of course. :-) Towns, villages and countries are usually feminine (except for example το Πολέμι, which ends in neuter ι ).


a mouse is a gentleman

Eh? Which word for "mouse" are you thinking of?

The most common one, in my experience, is ποντίκι, which is neuter, not masculine.


ποντικός—is that not correct? However, I can understand that a Ποντικός would not want to meet a cat-burglar or even a ποντικός ξενοδοχείων


It's ποντικος in my Greek dictionary and when spoken the other sounds plural.


My two volume Oxford Greek dictionary quotes pontiki first and pontikos as the same as or alternative to pontiki. pontikoi (plural of pontikos) is pronounced the same as pontiki. Apologies for lack of Greek alphabet.


pontikoi (plural of pontikos) is pronounced the same as pontiki.

Er, what? No, they're not.

ποντικοί and ποντίκι are stressed on different syllables.


Male, female and neuter nouns, like in French.


So, "αε" is the same as just "ε", and "άε" would be "αη".


"αε" is the same as just "ε",

No. αε is two separate vowel sounds next to each other, whether one of them is accented or not.

αι is a digraph and represents the same sound as ε.


I always use ποντικος for mouse, singular, and that is what is in the dictionary. Isn't what you are using plural when spoken?

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