"I like sugar."
Translation:Μου αρέσει η ζάχαρη.
Is anyone able to explain why this is:
μου αρέσει η ζάχαρη, and not μου αρέσει την ζάχαρη?
It's literally 'it pleases me, the sugar', so I would have thought we used an accusative article? I guess not though ;-)
The Greek verb structure is the exact opposite of the English one, so the Greek verb works in a way where the subject in English phrase becomes the object and vice versa. Notice how 'αρέσει' is in the third person, so the subject cannot be εγώ.
Also, it really is customary to use this sentence structure where the subject (η ζάχαρη) is in the end. Alternatively, following the traditional subject-verb-object order, the sentence is "Η ζάχαρη αρέσει σε εμένα". (Or simply Η ζάχαρη μου αρέσει, but the weak form of the pronoun goes before the verb).
See also here.
μου αρέσει η ζάχαρη = to me it is likeable the sugar. In English we would reverse it to say the sugar is likeable to me = η ζάχαρη μου αρέσει. When trying to figure out the case think is 'it' (the object of the verb = sugar) he or is it him. Then substitute sugar for she or her. To me she is likeable. Not: To me her is likeable. So she is the nominative case η and we do not use her which is the accusative case την. Sugar is feminine. When you are learning new nouns always put the η ο or to before them so you memorise the gender as well.
Why do we need the article η here? Surely it makes sense if it's not here too?
Because sugar is the subject of the sentence, and the subject of a sentence in Greek always needs an article. It's not immediately obvious that sugar is the subject of the sentence as it's not in the SVO syntax that we almost always have in English.
If you break it down really literally, you can translate the sentence as "to me-it is pleasing-the-sugar". The syntax that you use in Greek for constructions like this is object-verb-subject. Hope that helps to make a bit more sense of it.