Greek Language Blog

Thank you! Please check your inbox for your confirmation email.
You must click the link in the email to verify your request.

Colloquial Greek: a list of common phrases Posted by on Aug 7, 2019 in Vocabulary

One of the biggest challenges we face when we communicate in a foreign language is to understand the colloquial language: we hear people speak and even though we know the meanings of the words they use, we cannot decode their phrases. In this post, there is a list of colloquial phrases  which will help you understand what the Greeks mean. We will analyze the phrases focusing on the verb used.

 

dimitrisvetsikas1969 via Pixabay

 

#1. φωνάζω. It means to shout, to yell or to call.

Examples:

Με λένε Ουρανία αλλά με φωνάζουν Ράνια. / My name is Ourania but people call me (I am called) Rania.

Τον λένε Δημήτρη αλλά οι γονείς του τον φωνάζουν Τζίμυ. / His name is Dimitris but his parents call him Jimmy.

 

#2. έχω. It means to have but when used in the second singular person it can be used when we want to ask how much something costs.

Examples:

Πόσο τα έχεις τα μήλα; / How much do the apples cost? (Literally: “How much do you have the apples?”) This question could be made to a greengrocer by a customer. The context is informal and it is acceptable to use the second singular person.

Πήγες στη λαϊκή; Πόσο τις έχουν τις μπανάνες; / Did you go to the green market? How much do the bananas cost (Literally: “How much do they have the bananas?”)

 

#3. φτιάχνω. It means to make or to fix. It can also mean to prepare a meal or a drink or to tidy up.

Examples:

Σήμερα το πρωί έφυγαν οι πελάτες μας και έπρεπε να φτιάξω όλα τα δωμάτια. / Today our customers checked out and I had to clean all the rooms.

Να σου φτιάξω ένα καφεδάκι; (Do you want me) to make you a coffee?

Πονάει ο λαιμός μου, Μπορείς να μου φτιάξεις μια σούπα, σε παρακαλώ; / I have a sore throat. Can you make me a soup, please?

 

#4. κάθομαι. It means to sit. It also means to stay.

Examples:

“Πόσον καιρό θα κάτσετε;” “Είκοσι μέρες.” / “How long will you stay?” “Twenty days.” This is an expression we would use when talking to a friend or an acquaintance and not to a customer. Note that κάτσετε is the colloquial form of καθίσετε.

Θα καθίσουμε λίγες μέρες στο σπίτι της θείας μου που είναι άδειο. / We will stay for a few days at my aunt’s house because no one is there (literally, it is empty).

 

#5. κάνω. It means to make and to do. It can be also used to mean to prepare the bill or the invoice.

Example:

“Θα μας κάνετε το λογαριασμό;” “Αμέσως.” / “Will you make the bill (for us?)” (Literally) / “Right away.” This phrase can be used instead of “τον λογαριασμό, παρακαλώ” (the bill, please).

 

#6. βγάζω. It means to take out. It can also mean to offer or to treat.

Examples:

Πήγαμε στη Μαρία να δούμε ταινία. Η μαμά της μας έβγαλε σαντουιτσάκια και φρούτα. / We went at Maria’s to watch a movie. Her mom offered us (little) sandwiches and fruits. Note that the word σαντουιτσάκια is a diminutive of sandwiches.

Μαζί με τον καφέ, μας έβγαλαν βουτήματα και κέικ. / (Literally) Along with the coffee, they offered us butter cookies and cake.

 

dimitrisvetsikas1969 via Pixabay

 

Want to hear more? Sign up for one of our newsletters!

For more language learning advice, free resources, and information about how we can help you reach your language goals, select the most relevant newsletter(s) for you and sign up below.

Tags: , , , , , ,
Share this:
Pin it

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.


Leave a comment: