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Greek "i" and "o" letters

To understand when to use "η, ι, υ, οι " as "i" and when to use "ο, ω" as "o". Are there any advices please? I only know that usually "η" is the end for feminine words but for the rest I have no clue.

October 5, 2019



Spelling can be difficult in Greek, and even native speakers often make mistakes. One thing that helps me know the correct spelling is that I know the root or origin of a compound word, for example: in Greek there are two words with a different spelling, η σκηνή (= stage, scene) and το σκοινί (= rope). If I hear the word σκηνοθέτης (= director), then I know that σκηνο- is spelled with η because of the context of it being related to the theatre or a movie, and not a rope. Or I know that the word ζωντανός (= alive) is spelled with ω because it is derived from the word ζωή (= life), which is also spelled with ω.


This is a good help, I'll try to keep attention it! ευχαριστώ πολύ


Very, very good idea and examples. We have so many words in English of Greek derivision that we can use to help us with Greek. Thank you CheeseSAnd5.


There are no rules that will help you learn when to use "η, ι, υ, οι" you just learn the words as you get them. As fro "ο" "ω" just as in English you need to learn which letters are used in each word. There is one definite use for ω. At the end of verbs in simple present, the first person ends in *ω" "παίζω" I play, "πίνω" I drink. As for the endings there are no 100% rules but these are common:


Masculine gender ο -ος, -ης, -ας, -ες

Feminine gender η -α, -η, -ω

Neuter gender το -ι, -ο

But there are exceptions! So, you need to learn the gender for each word. Read the Tips & hints for each skill.


Thanks for the answer and I'll try to memorize these endings. I mean even in the middle of some words, e.g: μήλο - Διάβασα - ζώο I was thinking if there is a sort of rule in order to we use "ή" in μήλο and not "ι, υ, οι..." , the same for ζώο, i'm trying to understand how I can guess to put the correct "o" letter when deciding between omega and omicron. I'm sorry if my doubt is not clear but thank you anyway for your answer


Your question is very understandable. It's just that we have no exact rules for how to use the letters so each word has to be learned individually. We would all be happy if there were rules. But you will see that by doing the exercises on Duo, using the Drop Down Hints and the Tips & notes you'll progress and learn. Do you know what these are. See here for more help:


Never hesitate to ask if you have any questions.


Once again thank you very much for your answer!

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