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When to use weak and strong forms of pronouns?

Hi, I'm trying to figure out the complex Greek pronoun table. (I've been using this one for reference https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Greek_pronouns)

My understanding is:

nominative - subject of sentence

genitive - possessive and indirect object

accusative - direct object of sentence

vocative - doesn't matter very much

Is this correct?

If so, can you please explain the difference between these two sentences? I'm using google translate to test my understanding.

He gives me to her.

Μου δίνει να της

This is using the weak pronoun for "her" in the genitive case, which is what I expected

He gives her to me

Εκείνος της δίνει σε μένα

This is using the strong form of "me" (having dropped the initial ε) I have no idea what Εκείνος is, but suspect that's beyond my current level or a poor translation.

Can you please clear up why the difference, if it's not just a poor translation from Google?

January 31, 2017



The Greek sentences you gave are nonsense, grammatically.

"He gives me to her" = (Αυτός/Εκείνος) με δίνει σ' αυτήν.

Maybe also (Αυτός/Εκείνος) της με δίνει but that sounds odd to me. Μου το δίνει (he gives it to me) sounds fine though. Perhaps the first one is odd because usually people aren't the direct objects of giving but rather recipients of giving.

"He gives her to me" = (Αυτός/Εκείνος) μου τη δίνει / (Αυτός/Εκείνος) τη δίνει σ' εμένα.

Αυτός and εκείνος can both be used for "he" -- there isn't really a dedicated personal pronoun for "he, him" and so the demonstratives for "this" and "that" are used instead -- so "he" turns into "this person" or "that person" effectively.

Using να in the first sentence is completely nonsense; it's a particle that's used with verbs, not with nouns.

And της δίνει means "gives her" but in the sense "gives to her" (as in "He gives her a book" = Της δίνει ένα βιβλίο).

Don't trust Google Translate. It has particular difficulties with languages that have case, I think, since English doesn't have that and so its statistical translation often goes wrong.

Also, it's better at translating sentences where it has seen similar things before -- sentences such as your example that involve humans being given are fairly rare.


Both "weak" and "strong" forms are interchangeable as long as the grammar is right. There is no right or wrong in this case. Naturally when speaking you might prefer the clitics (they go before the verb), but it's absolutely fine to go for the other ones (normally after the verb). Sometimes we use both for emphasis in constructions such as "εμένα, μου την έδωσε την άδεια, εσένα όχι" "he/she gave me a leave of absence, but you didn't get one"

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