"The boy gave the girl a rose."

Translation:Το αγόρι έδωσε στο κορίτσι ένα τριαντάφυλλο.

December 6, 2016

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With sentences like this, how do we differentiate indirect and direct objects in Greek? How do I know the difference between "the boy gave the girl a rose" and "the boy gave the rose a girl"


With nouns, the indirect object is usually marked with the preposition σε "to, at, in, on, by" -- a bit like how English marks indirect objects with "to" if they come after the direct object.

This preposition σε contracts with the definite article to στον, στη, στο, στους, στις, στα.

So here you have στο κορίτσι "to the girl" -- she must be the indirect object.

If the boy had given the girl to a rose, then it would have been Το αγόρι έδωσε το κορίτσι σ' ένα τριαντάφυλλο.

(With σε + ένα contracting to σ' ένα.)

With pronouns, you usually use the short form of the genitive form of the pronoun, e.g. Το αγόρι της έδωσε ένα τριαντάφυλλο. If you want to make it emphatic (to HER), then you use the long form of the accusative together with σε: Το αγόρι έδωσε ένα τριαντάφυλλο σ' αυτήν.

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