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  5. "It is a wall."

"It is a wall."

Translation:Είναι ένας τοίχος.

January 7, 2017



Could you say this way: "Είναι ένα τοίχο"?

  • 1545

I don't think so. Although είναι is a verb, I'm reasonably sure that you don't ever drop into accusative after using it (or any of its conjugations). A native speaker might want to explain a bit further though as I don't really know the actual reason why.


That's right. είμαι is not a transitive verb -- it's a copula, which joins a subject with a predicate that says something about that subject and refers to it.

Since it's basically a form of "A = B", it makes a certain amount of sense that "A" and "B" are in the same case -- and that's indeed what happens in all of the languages I know (though I wouldn't be surprised if there are languages that violate this).

Rule of thumb: use nominative on both sides of είμαι.

Another verb which acts similarly is γίνομαι: Θέλω να γίνω γιατρός (not: γιατρό).

  • 1545

Thank you Mizinamo! That's also very helpful to know about γίνομαι - I never knew that. One for my Word file.


In Greek articles, nouns, verbs, adjectives (etc) have different cases (thanks mizinamo!), "πτώσεις" (ptosis). We use different πτώσεις, for the indefinite article ("a" is... > ένας, ενός, ένα(v)) and different πτώσεις for the noun ("wall" is ... > τοίχος, τοίχου, τοίχο). So, in English if you wanna say "a wall" in Greek it is "ένας τοίχος", if you wanna say " {the color} of a wall" you say " {το χρώμα} ένος τοίχου" , if you wanna say " {I painted} a wall" you say "{έβαψα} έναν τοίχο". This is a lesson for intermediate students, so someone has to learn the ptosis in definite article and nouns firtst. I used simple examples so you can understand the meaning of the different ptosis. I hope I helped.


In Greek articles, nouns, verbs, adjectives (etc) have different "πτώσεις"

These are called "cases" in English.

Etymological note: the word is related to πίπτω (modern Greek πέφτω) "to fall" -- πτώση also means "a fall" as in an act of falling. The various cases were apparently considered as "falling away" from the nominative case.

Latin grammarians calqued the Greek term and called them casus, from cadere "to fall".

From this comes the English word "case".

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