Modern Greek/OldLesson1

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Lesson 1 — Πώς είσαι;

In this lesson, you will learn to greet people and ask how they are. The verb 'to be' is discussed and the formation of yes/no questions is introduced. You do not need any prior knowledge of Greek. But you do need to be able to read it.


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Αντώνης: Γεια σου!
Ανθή: Γεια σου!
Αντώνης: Πώς είσαι;
Ανθή: Καλά είμαι! Εσύ πώς είσαι;
Αντώνης Καλά.
Ανθή: Γεια σου!
Αντώνης Γεια σου!


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Αγγλικά Ελληνικά
Hi! Γεια!
Hello! Γεια σου!
Hello! (formal) Γεια σας!
Good morning! Καλημέρα!
Good evening! Καλησπέρα!
Good night! Καληνύχτα!
Goodbye Αντίο


  • Remember that Γεια σου can be used to say hello and goodbye.
  • The most formal way to greet is χαίρετε!


  • Γεια σας! Πώς είστε;

How are you?

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Αγγλικά Ελληνικά
How are you? Πώς είσαι;
Πώς είστε;
Τί κάνεις;
Τί κάνετε;
Very well! πολύ καλά!
Well! καλά!
ΟΚ. Εντάξει
So so. Έτσι κι έτσι.
Fairly well. Αρκετά καλά.
And you? ..., εσύ;
Thank you! Ευχαριστώ


  • The answer to Πώς είσαι; could be είμαι καλά or it could simply be καλά.
  • Τί κάνεις; can be used instead of Πώς είσαι; and in this case, the longer form of the answer would be again είμαι καλά.
  • The most formal way to greet is χαίρετε!


Example 1 (informal)

  • Α: Γεια! Τί κάνεις;
  • Β: Πολύ καλά, εσύ;
  • Α: Καλά!

Example 2 (informal)

  • Α: Γεια σου! Eίσαι καλά;
Hello! Are you well?
  • Β: Ναι, είμαι καλά, εσύ;
Yes, I'm well and you?
  • Α: Είμαι πολύ καλά!
I'm very well!

Example 3 (formal)

  • Α: Γεια σας! Πώς είστε;
  • Β: Είμαι αρκετά καλά, εσείς;
  • Α: Καλά, ευχαριστώ!


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  • You have probably already noticed the words είμαι, είσαι and είστε. These are three forms of 'to be', corresponding to I am; you are (singular) ; and you are (plural). The είμαι needs to be changed into different forms to reflect different meanings. The verb είμαι is an irregular verb so the way it is conjugated (changed to mean something slightly different) does not follow any pattern. So it needs to be learned by heart. But for the moment, all we need are these three forms.
  • If we look at the second mini dialog in the above examples, we notice the είσαι καλά; question. This illustrates how yes-no question are formed in Greek. They are formed simply by intonation with no word order change. When we talk about yes-no question, we talk about questions of the form 'Are you' or 'Do you ' e.g. Are you hungry? or Do you like apples?. Further yes-no questions can be formed like this. For example: 'Είσαι εντάξει;'
  • In this lesson, you might have noticed that other questions are formed with the words τί and πώς. These two words are used to form questions. They correspond to what and how in English. In Greek, simple questions involving these two words are formed by placing the question word at the beginning of the sentence. For example, 'Πώς είστε;' and 'Τί κάνεις;'.
  • You definitely must have noticed that in Greek the question mark is replaced by a semicolon.


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  • We have learnt the ways to say hello. (Γεια σου! Γεια!)
  • We now know how to ask how someone is. (Πώς είστε; Τί κάνεις;)
  • We are able to answer how we are and ask in return. (καλά! Είμαι εντάξει.)
  • We have introduced how to form yes-no questions. (Eίσαι καλά;)
  • We can form simply questions with τί and πώς. (Τί κάνεις; Πώς είστε;)

The next step

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You should now do the exercise related to each section (found here), or if you're feeling very confident go to the next lesson, lesson 2. Alternatively, return to the contents.