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In the root of a word, unfortunately not -- as with "ee" versus "ea" in English, you simply have to learn it.
For example, just as English children have to learn that "meet" is to encounter or come across but "meat" is muscle flesh, Greek children have to learn that χωρός is "place" but χόρος is "dance" -- once has omega, one has omicron, and you have to learn which is which since the vowels are pronounced the same.
In endings, it's a bit easier; for example, neuter nouns end in -ο and the "I" form of active verbs ends in -ω.
It's only hard at first, MattheeAnd, keep at it. Don't be afraid to step out of Duolingo and Google up an alphabet chart that shows you how to write the letters so you can practice that way as well. The more avenues you give yourself to exercise what you're learning, the sooner it will become your own. Additionally, you may be like me-- you need to see a big-picture overview before you can grasp the details.
How does one explain a sound? I'll try.
The Greek letter is Ι ι (as you know if you have read the Tips&Notes, and the Forums see below) the letters have names.
The Greek name for this letter (Ι ι) is "γιώτα" (or "Ιώτα) which is English is pronounced "yiota".
Now, as for the letter "Γγ", it is one of the few letters that has two sounds:
Before ι, η, υ, ει, οι, ε, αι it is soft as in "yes" "yellow", For example, γελάω (laugh), γεία σου (hello/goodbye), etc.
Before other letters, it is pronounced like a combination of a soft g and r or "hard" as in "game" "go" for example "γάλα" (milk), "γάτα" (cat). This is not easy to describe and you'll need to get used to it throughout the course.
NOW: Here are the links you should be viewing
Please use the Hover Drop Down Hints and the
TIPS which you will see on the first page of every lesson.
Here are the Tips from the ABC lesson it has a lot of information: