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"Ο άντρας της διαβάζει ένα βιβλίο."

Translation:Her husband reads a book.

September 13, 2016



This sentence is actually pretty tricky. It could mean two distinct things:

  1. (Ο άντρας) (της διαβάζει) (ένα βιβλίο) = (The man) (reads to her) (a book)
  2. (Ο άντρας της) (διαβάζει) (ένα βιβλίο) = (Her man/husband) (reads) (a book) !!not to her!!

Depending on the meaning, each parenthesis is pronounced as a whole. So in case (1) της is pronounced close to διαβάζει, with similar intensity, whereas in case (2) της is pronounced together with άντρας, as if the two were one single word with the accent in the third syllable from the end: *άντραστης.

So, to distinguish between the two cases in written, if the meaning is (1) an accent is put on της. We have then:

  1. Ο άντρας τής διαβάζει ένα βιβλίο = The man reads a book to her
  2. Ο άντρας της διαβάζει ένα βιβλίο = Her man reads a book

and the ambiguity is dealt with. The same stands with other words that could be either possessive or object pronouns, i.e. μου, σου, του, μας, σας, τους.

Note that when there is no possibility of misunderstanding, no accent is put on these words, following the general rule that on (most) one-syllable words there is no accent:

Ο άντρας της της διαβάζει ένα βιβλίο = Her man reads a book to her

Τα παιδιά μας τους διαβάζουν ένα γράμμα = Our children read a letter to them


Thanks for explaining so clearly ^_^


Brilliant explanation thanks, been wondering about this for a long time!!


In ο άντρας της της διαβάζει

Is the second (της) supposed to be written without the accent?


You can write it with or without the accent. The accent is mandatory only when it could be confused with a possessive, and there can be no confusion here (in ο άντρας της της διαβάζει).


Is it correct to write "η μαμά μου μου διαβάζει ένα βιβλίο."? I know that I cannot trust google translate, but I had this question running around my head so I 'consulted' google and the tanslation given was: "η μαμά μου με διαβάζει ένα βιβλίο."


Yes, just as the previous one, "ο άντρας της της διαβάζει" is correct so is "η μαμά μου μου διαβάζει ένα βιβλίο." also correct.




so why not - 'her man reads a book ' ?


Because when used with a possessive, "άντρας" means "husband". "Man" does not mean "husband" very often in (modern) English; it is usually only used that way informally or within certain phrases, such as "man and wife".


Same in Bulgarian. Apparently the exact same thing applies to γυναίκα.


This is just a general comment for the mods, but I found the Tips & Notes for this section extraordinarily confusing. The information seems to be randomly delivered and many concepts go unexplained or explained in a confusing manner. It could really do with some better organization and an explanation right off the bat, for example of what Weak and Strong forms are and when to use them. Right now I'm basically going in blind and learning by mistakes. Anyway this is otherwise a great course with very helpful mods, keep up the good work!


Thank you for your comment. It is very important that the Tips & notes be as comprehensible as possible. We will review this and make it clearer...and yes remove terms like weak and strong forms in favor of more examples.

Are you using the Drop Down hints?

TIPS TO MAKE LEARNING EASIER + HOW TO REPORT A PROBLEM…..https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/22424028

And check out the Greek Forum here with more links. https://forum.duolingo.com/topic/936 If you have any questions just ask.


@ teopap2: such a clear explanation. I copied all your comments to my notes. Thanks so much!


I tried "Ο άντρας τις διαβάζει ένα βιβλίο", which was wrong. Couldn't what I have written meant "The man reads to them (f) a book" ?


No. That would be τους and not τις. Τις doesn't work for indirect objects. It's for direct objects. ^.^

Τις είδε και τους μίλησε. - He saw them and talked to them.

When it comes to indirect objects, τους is for all three genders in plural. Note that even when the direct and indirect object are the same person (like in the example above) you still have to use the correct form.


Why is "The man reads her a book." incorrect?


The man reads her a book=Ο άντρας τής διαβάζει ένα βιβλίο. (in oral speech: ο άντρας τηζδιαβάζει ένα βιβλίο)
Her husband reads a book=Ο άντρας της διαβάζει ένα βιβλίο. (in oral speech: ο άντραστης διαβάζει ένα βιβλίο)
If a pronoun could be mistaken as a possessive, it is accented.


Why is this incorrect? "the husband reads her a book"

  • άντρας = man
  • ο άντρας = the man
  • ο άντρας μου = my husband (informal)

  • γυναίκα = woman

  • η γυναίκα = the woman
  • η γυναίκα μου = my wife (informal)

  • σύζυγος = husband/wife

  • ο σύζυγος = the husband
  • η σύζυγος = the wife
  • ο σύζυγός μου = my husband (formal)
  • η σύζυγός μου = my wife (formal)

You can replace μου with any other possessive (σου, του, της, μας, σας, τους).
You can see that "the husband" corresponds only to "ο σύζυγος", but not to "ο άντρας".


Thanks for that. But... I wonder why in case of word σύζυγος, "my husband/wife" in formal form is double-stressed - σύζυγός.


σύζυγός gets the second accent from the following possessive μου, which is not stressed.


Why is "her man reads a book" marked as wrong?


Because 'άντρας της' means husband


Is there any way to say 'her man'? For a boyfriend or otherwise together but not married?


It's the same "ο άντρας της". But be prepared to hear "I didn't know they were married" next ;)


I have used a man instead of a husband, and it was rejected. I doubt that it was a mistake


If you wrote..."a man" the problem would be with "a" not "man" because the sentence says "Ο άντρας" which is ''the man (or the husband)''. It's always best to send a screenshot when you're in doubt about why something was rejected.


That's what I mean, there. At least "man" should be accepted. There is a σύζυγος for spouses in particular, isn't it?


A bit harsh. What's in an accent?


How true, I wish we made the rules but we teach according to what is taught in Greek schools.

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