"Eleni drinks milk."
Translation:Η Ελένη πίνει γάλα.
(Unless you're speaking directly to them. In which case they take the vocative case, e.g. Κώστα!)
In some regions of German (but not in the formal standard language), this happens as well :)
"Hallo, ich bin die Jenny. Kennst du den Richard? Ich muss noch der Maria und dem Olaf was sagen."
Family names aren't usually used by themselves -- we say "Eleni is reading a book" but not usually "Smith is reading a book".
Instead, we would use "Mr Smith / Mrs Smith / Ms Smith (etc.) is reading a book", and then the article would go with the title (ο κύριος Σμιθ / η κυρία Σμιθ / η δεσποινίς Σμιθ / ...).
I hope the tip for this gets added to the Basics 1 lesson at some point, it would be so helpful for beginners (it's clearly a common question for native English speakers)
It's the definite article.
Literally, Greeks don't speak about "Eleni" but about "the Eleni" with the article.
When we translate that into English, we leave off the "the" because we don't do that in English, but when we translate into Greek, we have to add articles before names unless we are speaking directly to them.
The first time I did this it said I got it wrong when I wrote " Ελένη πίνει γάλα " but isn't that right? I checked the prompts and they said the Η is optional so did I get it wrong or does it force you to use the extension in earlier lessons?
The article is necessary here. Please read the rest of the comments in the discussion for more information.
Because you need to say η Ελένη when you are referring to her (rather than speaking to her).