Let’s talk about the Past! Greek Irregular verbs you must know

Posted on 19. Mar, 2014 by in Grammar


Feggy Art@flickr

Αόριστος (Aoristos, Past Simple) is one of the most challenging tenses beginners have to deal with. For information on the Aoristos conjugation check this entry http://blogs.transparent.com/greek/tenses-simple-past/

Below there’s a list of some common verbs which have an irregular form and a dialogue in order to put these verbs in context.








Past Simple




to be





to have





to say, to tell





to see





to give





to go





to eat





to drink





to listen, to hear





to take, to get





to leave, to go





to understand





to go out, to get out



(Άννα): Γεια σου Στέλλα, τι κάνεις; (Geia sou Stella ti kanis)

Hi Stella, how are you?

(Στέλλα): Είμαι πολύ κουρασμένη. Χθες το βράδυ ο Μάριος ήταν άρρωστος. (Ime poli kourasmeni. Hthes to vradi o Marios itan arostos)

I’m very tired. Last night Marios was ill.

(Άννα): Είχε πυρετό; (Ihe pireto)

Did he have a temperature?

(Στέλλα): Ναι. Τριάντα εννιά και πέντε. Και το πρωί δεν έφαγε τίποτα. Ήπιε μόνο νερό. (Ne. Trianta enia ke pente. Ke to proi den efage tipota. Ipie mono nero)

Yes. 39.5. And he had nothing to eat in the morning. He drank just water.

(Άννα): Πήρε κανένα φάρμακο; (Pire kanena farmako)

Did he take any medicine?

(Στέλλα): Όχι, αλλά τον είδε ο γιατρός. (Ohi, alla ton ide o giatros)

No, but we called in for the doctor.

(Άννα): Και τι είπε; (Ke ti ipe)

What did he say?

(Στέλλα): Δεν του έδωσε αντιβίωση. Θα κάνει εξετάσεις πρώτα. (Den tou edose antiviosi. Tha kani extasis prota)

He didn’t prescribe any antibiotics. He has to have done some tests first.

(Άννα): Εσύ που πας τώρα; Στο σπίτι; (Esi pou pas tora? Sto spiti?)

Where are you going now? Home?

(Στέλλα): Ναι, πήγα στο φαρμακείο. Πήρα βιταμίνες και ασπιρίνες. (Ne, piga sto farmakeio. Pira vitamines ke aspirines)

Yes, I went to the pharmacy. I bought vitamins and aspirins.

(Άννα): Είσαι μόνη σου; (Ise moni sou?)

Are you by yourself?

(Στέλλα): Ναι. Ο Αντρέας λείπει. Έφυγε προχθές. Θα γυρίσει σε είκοσι μέρες. (Ne. O Andreas leipei. Efige prohthes. Tha girisei se ikosi meres)

Yes. Andreas is away. He left the day before yesterday. He’ll back in twenty days.

(Άννα): Κατάλαβα(Katalava)

I see…

(Στέλλα): Εσύ τι κάνεις; (Esi ti kaneis?)

How are you?

(Άννα): Καλά… Βγήκα για τρέξιμο αλλά δεν είχα πολύ χρόνο. Τώρα γυρίζω σπίτι. (Kala. Vgika gia treximo alla den eiha poli hrono)

I’m good… I went for a quick run cause I didn’t have much time. Now, I’m heading home.

(Στέλλα): Πάμε μαζί. Άκουσες για το φόνο στο πάρκο; (Pame mazi. Akouses gia to fono sto parko?)

Let’s walk together.  Did you hear about the murder in the park?

(Άννα): Σοβαρά; Όχι, δεν άκουσα τίποτα! Για πες! (Sovara? Ohi, den akousa tipota! Gia pes!)

Murder? Really? No, I know nothing about it! Tell me all about it!


Free Samples of Modern Greek Language Books

Posted on 12. Mar, 2014 by in Uncategorized



Learning a foreign language is not easy. Sometimes learners tend to buy loads of books in their attempt to master the new language as quickly as possible. However, instead of learning the language they often overload the shelves of their bookcase with books that they will never read.

There’s nothing wrong with buying books and usually learners who buy books are highly motivated and engaged in the learning process. The problem is that sometimes they buy books based on the reviews or on the book description but when they get their copy they realize that this book is not the right one for them. Some authors and publishing houses provide readers with free samples. Below, there’s a list of Modern Greek Language books suitable  for learners of all levels, accompanied by free samples.

For more information on the six levels of language learners according to the Common European Framework and for the equivalence with North American Standards click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_European_Framework_of_Reference_for_Languages)

For proficient users

1. Καλειδοσκόπιο, Επίπεδο Γ1, Ιφιγένεια Γεωργιάδου (εκδόσεις Ακακία και ΚΕΝΤΡΟ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΟΥ ΠΟΛΙΤΙΣΜΟΥ)  (Kaleidoskopio, C1 level by Ifigenia Georgiadou, the HELLENIC CULTURE CENTRE and AKAKIA editions)

2. Καλειδοσκόπιο, Επίπεδο Γ2 (C2 level). It’s probably the only book for C2 level students available.

These series present aspects of the Greek society and are suitable for demanding students of higher levels who want to sit Certification exams or to get a picture of the Greek reality by stydying authentic texts.

You can download free samples here: http://www.hcc.edu.gr/en/news/1-latest-news/291-kaleidoskopio

For beggining / intermediate students

1. Φύγαμε για ελληνικά, Μαρίνα Μπράιλα, Κωνσταντίνος Οικονόμου, Δώρα Στοϊμενίδου, εκδόσεις Οσελότος (Figame gia ellinika, Marina Braila, Konsantinos Economou, Dora Stoimenidou, ocelotos editions, Off we go to learn Greek!) is suitable to intermediate students who want to practice their reading and listening comprehension.

More information about the book and free sample: http://www.fygamegiaellinika.com/

2. Κλικ στα ελληνικά επίπεδα Α1 και Α2, Μ. Καρακύργιου, Β. Παναγιωτίδου, Κέντρο Ελληνικής Γλώσσας (Klik sta ellinika A1 and A2 levels, M. Karakirgiou, V. Panayiotidou, Centre for the Greek Language)

Suitable for teenagers and adults who have no prior knowledge of the Greek language and who wish to sit Certicifation exams or to develop their communicative competence in Modern Greek.

Click here for a free sample: http://www.komvos.edu.gr/downloads/klik_sta_ellinika_enothta5.pdf

3. On the website of the School of Modern Greek Language of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki you can find free samples to all the textbooks. Just click on “read more” and then on “sample”.


4. Series Ελληνικά Τώρα  ΔΗΜΗΤΡΑ ΔΗΜΗΤΡΑ, ΜΑΡΙΝΕΤΑ ΠΑΠΑΧΕΙΜΩΝΑ (Ellinika Tora 1+1, Greek Now 1+1, Dimitra Dimitra and Marineta Papachimona) Nostos editions)

Textbooks for A1 and A2 level students.


Textbooks for B1 and B2 level students.


5. Ελληνικά Α’, Παυλοπούλου Αγλαΐα, Σιμόπουλος Γιώργος, Κανελλοπούλου Ρίτα, Παθιάκη Ειρήνη, εκδόσεις Πατάκης (Ellinika A, Pavlopoulou Aglaia, Simopoulos Giorgos, Kanellopoulou Rita, Pathiaki Eirini, Patakis editions)


6. Ελληνικά Β’, Σιμόπουλος Γιώργος, Τουρλής Γιώργος, Παθιάκη Ειρήνη (Ellinika B, Simopoulos Giorgos, Tourlis Giorgos, Pathiaki Eirini)

7. Επικοινωνήστε Ελληνικά, Κλεάνθης Αρβανιτάκης, Φρόσω Αρβανιτάκη, εκδόσεις Δέλτος (Epikinoniste Ellinika, Communivcate in Greek series, Kleanthis Arvanitakis, Froso Arvanitaki, Deltos editions)

Free samples of the series here; http://deltos.gr/en/methods/communicate_in_greek_1/


Καλό διάβασμα!  (Kalo diavasma, enjoy studying!)





Let the kites fly, it’s Clean Monday!

Posted on 03. Mar, 2014 by in Culture, Customs, Recipes, Videos



Clean Monday (Καθαρά Δευτέρα, Kathara Deftera) is the first day of the Lent that lasts until Easter. It is called “clean” (καθαρά, kathara) because the Christian believers purify themselves spiritually and physically by eliminating the consumption of meat, eggs and dairy products and by abstaining from sin.


Each region has its own customs but generally Clean Monday is celebrated outdoors. This celebration is called κούλουμα (koulouma). People fly kites and have picnics. They eat special dishes such as seafood (θαλασσινά, thalassina), legumes (όσπρια, ospria) especially giant beans (φασόλια γίγαντες, fasolia gigantes), fish roe dip (ταραμοσαλάτα, taramosalata), vegetables (λαχανικά, lahanika) and an azyme bread called λαγάνα (lagana). As a sweet dessert, they eat a type of halva (χαλβάς).
In Athens the celebrations take place at the Philopappou Hill (Λόφος Φιλοπάππου, lofos filopapou). In 1990, the celebration is held under the auspices of the Municipality of Athens and many events, such as traditional Greek dances, are organized. Greek politicians, especially mayoral candidates, visit the hill and spend time with the citizens.

by topsyntages.gr@flickr.com

by topsyntages.gr@flickr.com

Words and expressions

  • Καλή Σαρακοστή (kali sarakosti): Happy Lent

“Καλή Σαρακοστή!” (kali sarakosti) Happy Lent!

“Επίσης!”  (episis) Same to you!

  • Καλά κούλουμα

Ο Δήμος Αθηναίων σας εύχεται Καλά κούλουμα.
(O dimos Athineon sas efhetai kala koulouma)
The Municipality of Athens wishes you kala koulouma.

  • Νηστίσιμος-η-ο (nistisimos): fasting

Τα φασόλια και οι φακές είναι νηστίσιμα φαγητά. (Ta fasolia ke oi fakes ine nistisima fagita)
Beans and lentils are fasting foods.

  • Νηστεύω (nistevo): to fast

Η Μαρία νηστεύει τη σαρακοστή. (I Maria nistevei ti sarakosti)
Maria  fasts during Lent.

  • Χαρταετός (ο) (hartaetos): kite

Αν βρέχει δε θα πετάξουμε χαρταετό. (An vrehei de tha petaxoume hartaeto)
If it rains we won’t fly a kite.

If you are a  giant beans lover, you may find a recipe here: YouTube Preview Image However, it is not fasting because it contains olive oil.

And this is a video of a ταραμοσαλάτα (taramosalata) recipe. Ταραμοσαλάτα (fish roe dip) is a must eat on Clean Monday. Be careful though because it has a lot of calories! Καλή όρεξη! (kali orexi) Bon appetit!

YouTube Preview Image