the trees and their wood

hello, I was repeating Nature today and translated "the trees and their wood" as (sorry I don't have the greek keyboard installed in this computer)

"ta dentra kai ta ksula tous"

which was considered wrong, the correct form written as "to ksulo", in singular form. I'm not sure why. Is "ksulo" a word that is considered to be in singular and plural forms at the same time, like "wood" is in English?

Many thanks!

February 5, 2017


Well in Greek we are most likely to use the singular for the materials, e.g. το ξύλο, το σίδερο (iron), ο χρυσός (gold). If you say "τα ξύλα" a Greek person is most likely to assume that you're talking about a pile of wood. Hope this was helpful!

February 5, 2017

Yes indeed! Thanks a lot Arixandrian!

February 5, 2017

Well, in some cases, ξύλο is indeed sometimes considered a plural form, for example

This table is made out of wood - Αυτό το τραπέζι είναι φτιαγμένο από ξύλο.

The table could be made out of multiple pieces of wood, but you still use wood instead of woods, because you want to actually indicate the material.

Maybe this is why ξύλα was rejected, because τα δέντρα και το ξύλο τους had the context of "the tress and the material that's made out of them". ^.^

February 5, 2017

Makes sense :) Thank you very much!

February 5, 2017

Another note here: The use of plural is because the trees are also in plural ! For example when you want to talk about the wood coming from a certain tree you will say το δέντρο και το ξύλο του, if you want to talk about them all together it's τα δέντρα και τα ξύλα τους. Hope that also helps ;)

February 7, 2017

Thanks Vasileia put this more confusing. Because what you say is exactly what I had tought, plural trees and plural wood, so τα δέντρα και τα ξύλα τους is what I had said, and this was considered wrong :)

February 7, 2017

It is not wrong, for a book that refers to the different types of wood coming from different trees. It is correct.

February 8, 2017

OK got it. Singular when we are talking about something general, but can be plural when we go specific... Thank you!

February 9, 2017
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