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Untangling the Greek Personal Pronouns Posted by on Apr 4, 2017 in Grammar

In Greek, there are different pronouns for the direct and  indirect object.This topic is very confusing, especially when we try to translate directly from English. In this post, there are examples the use of the personal pronoun used as the object of the verb. Feel free to leave a comment if you have a question!

By Agnali

Direct object

Βλέπω τον Αλέξη. I see Alexi.

Ποιόν βλέπω; -> Τον Αλέξη. Whom do I see? -> Alexi. Τον Αλέξη is the direct object of the verb βλέπω.

 

Pronouns which refer to the direct object:

με           Η Νίνα με αγαπάει. Nina loves me.

σε           Ο Στέλιος σε καταλαβαίνει. Stelios understands you.

τον         Τον είδα χθες. I saw him yesterday.

την         Την άκουσα προσεκτικά. I listened to her carefully.

το           Ποιος το αγόρασε; Who bought it?

μας        Μας κάλεσαν στο πάρτι. They invited us to the party.

σας        Δεν σας ακούω. I can’t hear you (formal / plural).

τους       Τους θέλω. I want them.

τις           Τις τρώω. I am eating them.

τα           Θα τα αγοράσω. I will buy them.

 

Notes:

  1. The pronouns are placed before the verb.

2.The verb ακούω is not followed by a preposition: Άκουσα την Ειρήνη. / I listened to Irini.

  1. Τους is masculine.

Examples:

Θέλω τους χάρτες. -> Τους θέλω. I want the maps. -> I want them.

Βλέπω το Μιχάλη και τη Γεωργία.  -> Τους βλέπω. I see Mihali and Georgia.-> I see them.

  1. Τις is feminine.

Example:

Τρώω τις μπανάνες. -> Τις τρώω. I am eating the bananas. -> I am eating them.

Βλέπω την Έλλη και την Αγγελική. -> Τις βλέπω. I see Ellie and Angeliki. -> I see them.

  1. Τα is neuter.

Example:

Θα αγοράσω τα παπούτσια. -> Θα τα αγοράσω. I will buy the shoes. -> I will buy them.

  1. These pronouns are used in order to say “my name is”.

Examples:

Με λένε Ουρανία.                          My name is Ourania (lit: I am called Ourania).

Πώς σε λένε;                                      What is your name?

Τον λένε Άρη.                                    His name is Ari.

Την λένε Βέρα.                                  Her name is Vera.

Το λένε “βιβλίο”.                             It is called “book”.

Μας λένε Πέτρο και Σωτήρη.     Our names are Petro and Sotiri.

Πώς σας λένε;                                   What is your name? (formal) / What are your names?

Τους λένε Γιώργο και Θωμά.      Their names are George and Thomas.

Τις λένε Φωτεινή και Θάλεια.    Their names are Fotini and Thalea.

Τα λένε “παπούτσια”.                   They are called “shoes”.

Please, note that με λένε is followed by a noun in the vocative case.

 

Indirect object

Μιλάω στον Αντώνη. I am talking to Antoni.

Σε ποιον μιλάω; -> Στον Αντώνη. To whom do I talk?  -? To Antoni. The verb μιλάω is followed by the pronoun σε so it takes an indirect object (στον Αντώνη).

 

Pronouns which refer to the indirect object:

μου        Η Νίνα μου δίνει το ρολόι της. Nina is giving (to) me her watch.

σου        Ποιος σου αγόρασε αυτό το δαχτυλίδι; You bought (to) you this ring?

του         Του εξηγώ την άσκηση. I explain to him the exercise.

της         Της φτιάχνω καφέ. I am making (to) her coffee.

του         Του στέλνω ένα δέμα. I send (to) it (the child) a package.

μας        Ο Στέφανος, μας είπε τα νέα. Stefanos told (to) us the news.

σας        Ποιος σας τηλεφώνησε; Who called (to) you on the phone? (formal /plural)

τους       Τους μαγειρεύουμε ένα ελληνικό φαγητό. We are cooking (to, for) them a Greek dish.

 

Notes:

  1. The pronouns are placed before the verb.
  2. The pronoun του can be masculine or neuter.

Examples:

Εξηγώ στον Ίβαρ την άσκηση. -> Του εξηγώ την άσκηση. I explain to Ivar the exercise. -> I explain to him the exercise.

Παραγγέλνω στο παιδί μία ζεστή σοκολάτα. -> Του παραγγέλνω μία ζεστή σοκολάτα. I order (for, to) the child a hot chocolate. -> I order (for, to) it a hot chocolate.

  1. Τους can be any gender.

Examples:

Λέω στους φίλους μου τα νέα. -> Τους λέω τα νέα. I tell (to) my friends the news. -> I tell (to) them the news. (Masculine)

Λέω στις αδερφές μου τα νέα. -> Τους λέω τα νέα. I tell (to) my sisters the news. -> I tell (to) them the news. (Feminine)

Δίνω στο χάμστερ και στο καναρίνι νερό. -> Τους δίνω νερό. I give water (to) the hamster and the canary. -> I give (to) them water.

  1. These pronouns are used in order to say “I like”.

Examples:

Μου αρέσει το κρασί.                                   I like wine.

Σου αρέσει η μπίρα;                                       Do you like beer?

Δεν του αρέσει ο καφές.                              He doesn’t like coffee.

Της αρέσει ο Άγγελος.                                   She like Angelos.

Μας αρέσει το ηλιοβασίλεμα.                  We like the sunset.

Δεν σας αρέσει η φέτα.                                You don’t like feta cheese.

Τους αρέσουν αυτές οι παραλίες.           They like these beaches.

Please, note that μου αρέσει/μου αρέσουν are followed by a noun in the nominative case.

  1. We also use them in order to say “I miss”.

Examples:

Μου λείπουν οι φίλοι μου.          I miss my friends.

Σου λείπει η οικογένειά σου;     Do you miss your family?

Του λείπει το σπίτι του.                 He misses his home.

Δεν της λείπει ο πρώην της.        She doesn’t miss her ex.

Μας λείπουν τα παιδιά μας.      We miss our children.

Σας λείπει το χωριό σας.               You miss your village.

Τους λείπει η δασκάλα τους.      They miss their teacher.

6. Some verbs take two objects.

Examples:

Δίνω στη Μαρίνα το πουλόβερ μου. I give Marina my pullover.

Μαγειρεύω στα παιδιά πατάτες τηγανιτές. I cook (for) the children fried potatoes.

Χαρίζω ένα βραχιόλι στην αδερφή μου. I give (as present) a bracelet to my sister.

You may find a list of the pronouns here: Personal pronouns_object

 

By LoggaWiggler

 

 

 

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About the Author:Ourania

Ourania lives in Athens. She holds a degree in French Literature and a Master’s degree in Special Education for Children. Since 2008, she has been teaching Greek to foreigners.


Comments:

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