Modern Greek/Lesson 03.2
Lesson 3.2: Gender of Nouns
In Lesson 3.1 we saw that in modern Greek there are three genders, masculine, feminine, and neuter. Every noun has a gender. For some nouns this is obvious (like actor and actress in English), but for some it is less obvious. The endings of nouns often help to identify the gender, though there are many exceptions. Later we will see that adjectives have to agree with the gender of the nouns, as well as some of the question words. For now though, we introduce the definite article for each gender, and some common nouns.
Σκύλος, dog, is a masculine noun. Note the different forms of the definite article.
|Nominative||ο σκύλος||the dog||οι σκύλοι||the dogs|
|Accusative||τον σκύλο||the dog||τους σκύλους||the dogs|
NOTE: Previously it was possible to drop the "ν" at the end of τον under certain circumstances. In Modern Greek (as of very recently) this is no longer true, and the masculine definite article should always be τον, though you will find lots of counter-examples still.
The ending -ος is the most common one for masculine nouns, and σκύλος demonstrates their regular pattern. Another noun in -oς is άνθρωπος (e.g. anthropology), human/man
|Ο σκύλος δαγκώνει τον άνθρωπο.||The dog bites the man.|
|Ο άνθρωπος δαγκώνει τον σκύλο.||The man bites the dog.|
Although -ος is by far the most common ending for masculine nouns, there are others, including -ας as in πατέρας, father, and -ης, as in ναύτης, sailor..
For example: Ο σκύλος δαγκώνει τον πατέρα. The dog bites the father.
The noun Η ώρα (the hour, the time) is shown below:
|Nominative||η ώρα||the hour||οι ώρες||the hours|
|Accusative||την ώρα||the hour||τις ώρες||the hours|
NOTE: With the feminine accusative the final ν of την can be dropped under certain circumstances, but should be retained if the noun starts with a vowel, or κ, π, τ χ, θ, ξ φ, ψ, σ
|Πάω στην Θάλασσα||I go to the sea.|
|Πάω στη δουλειά||I go to (the) work.|
NOTE: The presence of the additional sigma is because I'm going TO the sea, and σε + accusitive gets abbreviated, this will be explained more fully in TBC and serves only as a common example for now.
Το παιδί (the child) is an example of a neuter noun.
|Nominative||το παιδί||the child||τα παιδιά||the children|
|Accusative||το παιδί||the child||τα παιδιά||the children|
Below is an example of a sentence using the noun.
|Tο παιδί έχει το σκύλο.||The child has the dog.|
A summary table of the definitive article. Note that the "ν" is kept only if the following word starts with κ,π,τ,ψ,ξ or a vowel.
|Case||Masc. Sing.||Fem. Sing.||Neut. Sing.||Masc. Plu.||Fem. Plu.||Neut. Plu.|
- We have seen TBC.
Now try the exercises here.