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  5. "The stamp is very small."

"The stamp is very small."

Translation:Το γραμματόσημο είναι πολύ μικρό.

January 5, 2017

18 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/spdl79
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Is η σφραγίδα είναι πολλή μικρή also correct? I get from the El translation that the English sentence is meant to refer to a postage stamp, but without any additional information in the En sentence, that's not clear.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

πολύ μικρή :) The adverb πολύ does not change for gender, number, or case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dimitra956826

I'll have to agree with mizinamo on this one. Πολύ is used as an adverb here, not an adjective, be careful with it. Even some natives have these two mixed up in written greek xD ^.^


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/spdl79
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No worries! πολύ is one of those words that I frequently get wrong on reviews. Do you have any rules or guidelines for deciding when to use the adverbial version or the adjectival? Do we use πολύ here because we're treating είναι as a verb? Or does πολύ get used when we're using it to describe an adjective instead of a noun directly?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

I think πολύς is comparatively rare as an adjective, especially in the singular so if in doubt, assume that you're dealing with an adverb and use πολύ.

But yes, adjectives modify nouns (πολύς κόσμος "a lot of people", πολλοί άνθρωποι "a lot of people"), while if you have an adjective or a verb, those are modified by adverbs (πολύ ωραία "very beautiful", σκέφτομαι πολύ "I think a lot").

If in doubt, you can try and see whether "a lot of" makes sense as a translation. "a lot of water, a lot of people" = adjective, but "the stamp is a lot of small" or "I think a lot of" doesn't work.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/spdl79
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  • 1582

Awesome! Thank you so much. I might have mentioned elsewhere that I literally - and I literally mean literally - had no grammar knowledge whatsoever before starting Greek less than a year ago. So that really helps. I always thought adverbs were really only used for verbs, not adjectives too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/spdl79
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Yes, there was a trend in Australian state education in the 80s/90s to not teach formal grammar rules at all! I couldn't have even told you what a pronoun or an article was 9 months ago. So, despite having worked my whole life as an editor/proofreader/writer - operating purely on 'instinct' - I've had to teach myself a bit of English grammar to learn Greek... Thanks again for your help.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Ah I see! I didn't know that.

But yes. Adverbs are not just for verbs :)

The other day I learned that there is such a book as "English grammar for learners of German" (or something like that) -- I think more than one student has (of necessity) learned something about their own language in order to understand what is being taught about a foreign one....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/troll1995

Added! Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/spdl79
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Thanks Troll!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

Greece went through the same trend of not teaching grammar a few years ago. The repercussions can still be seen today. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/spdl79
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Certainly makes learning foreign languages a lot harder than it should be, for starters!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

Tell me about it. I was teaching them English at the time and had to first teach them Greek grammar. Some Greek teachers taught a bit of bootlegged grammar but were reprimanded if it became known. :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianeCra

How would you ask for a stamp to Australia please?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/troll1995

Ένα γραμματόσημο για Αυστραλία παρακαλώ!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Not ... για την Αυστραλία ...?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/troll1995

You could use the article, but it sounds more natural to me without it. Both are correct.

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