"The boys eat the sandwiches."
Translation:Τα αγόρια τρώνε τα σάντουιτς.
So how come it's τρώνε but not τρών? So far none of the third person plural verbs have had the epsilon at the end. Is it just peculiar to τρώω?
Same questions. Seems Duolingo introduced an ireegular verb eithout an explanation. Does someone care to answer pleasr?
It is, "τα σάντουιτς". The form is the same for both the singular and plural number ;)
Thanks. Could you or someone else confirm my guess from this that there are also other foreign loan words in Greek that don't inflect--that is, that don't change in the plural or to show grammatical case?
Sure! Greek does have many everyday loanwords -mostly French ones- that have one single form ;)
According to Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/τρώγουν) , τρώγουν appears to be an alternative form of τρώνε, based on the Senate present imperfective stem τρώγ- endinh with γ, a letter I think sometimes gets 'lost.' I wonder if the latter is an older, written katharevousa form, and the first, a demotic Greek form, based more on the modern spoken language.
Here are a couple of resources:
Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org) often has conjugations and declensions, etymology ... for many languages, and you can search from the English version, unless you are good enough in Greek to use the Greek version.
Cooljugator (https://cooljugator.com/gr) has a lot of verbs conjugated, but I didn't find τρώγουν there. Scroll down, on the main page for Greek and there's even a list of most common verbs.
Thank you. So τρώγουν is essentially an archaism but there is no substantive difference in meaning. That is good to know.
BTW: I'm not totally lazy. I did search the web for an answer before posting here and I did find a wiki page (among others) with conjugations, but I saw no discussion of the forms or their difference there.
I had to look up just now 'katharevousa' and 'demotic Greek' to understand your answer. Further proof (not that anyone is asking for it) that studying a language entails also learning at least some of the culture and history of the people who speak it! Cheers!
It's my strong guess, anyway, that τρώγουν is a form found in the more archaic katharevousa Greek, the previous formal mostly written style, that had official status in Greece until 1976. My guess is based partly on the knowledge of the existence of the katharevousa / demotic double standard, as well as the fact that τρώγουν wasn't in the conjugation tables in Cooljugator, and the idea from linguistics that consonant weakening and loss of γ was plausible. I didn't research it further. I'm just a learner of Greek myself, but I have a strong background in linguistics. If I'm wrong, somebody please speak up.
Τρώγουν may possibly also occur in some dialects too, because dialects of a language often preserve forms lost elsewhere. Comparison of dialects or other derivative forms is one way to try to reconstruct earlier forms.
I should have included a link before to the Wikipedia article on Modern Greek Grammar (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_Greek_grammar) which talks about katharevousa and demotic Greek, with links to separate articles on each as well. Although you have already looked this up, for anyone else, katharevousa is neither classical Greek nor the Koine Greek of Alexandrian and Biblical times, but an attempt from around 1800, according to Wikipedia to create a formal style of writing that was a kind of a compromise between classical forms and everyday modern, demotic Greek. Though not so extreme, it is reminiscent of Latin still being the written standard as Romance languages developed.
Oops! I mis-read your post, totally missing the part about imperfective... I do understand this from my study of Spanish. So τρώγουν is like (they) "are eating" and "τρώνε" is like (they) "eat"?
Τρώνε & τρώγουν are alternatives for the same spot (not different spots, for example, with regard to being perfective or not) in the conjugation table: Active, non-past, imperfective, 3rd person plural. (They) eat / (are eating?) (but are not finished). The connection with imperfective / perfective (/preterite) in Spanish is a good one though, we are going to need it.
It seems that in Greek, as in Russian, most verbs exist in imperfective / perfective pairs. I looked in Wiktionary again for τρώω (the 1st person singular, non-past functions in lieu of an infinitive as a dictionary look up [/citation] form). The imperfective forms are based on the stem τρώ(γ)-, whereas the perfectives are based on the stem φα(γ)-. I don't have any idea yet how common it is in Greek for the perfectives to be based on an entirely different stem, rather than on some variation of the imperfective. But unlike the first stem, I recognize φαγ- as the source of some words I have heard in biology: phagocyte, macrophage, .... It makes it easier to remember.
By the way, this time in Wiktionary, I noticed that in addition to mentioning τρώγω as an alternative form of τρώω, τρώγω is also stated under etymology to be the ancient Greek form for the verb. So this is further evidence of τρώγουν and any other conjugational forms based on τρώγ- being archaisms.
I know not everyone likes to look into a subject at depth, but I do. It was so nice to wake up this morning to your further postings on this. Thank you! I will be on the lookout for perfective / imperfective pairs from now on. I think it will help a great deal.