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Formal and Informal Greek words Posted by on Feb 8, 2017 in Vocabulary

In order to communicate effectively, we have to adjust the way we speak according to the social situations. When learning a new language, we focus on informal words and expressions. Even if we do not use formal language, we have to be able to understand words used in announcements and other contexts. In this post, there is a list of common words and their formal “version”.

Fuzzyol under a CC license on Flickr

αυτοκίνητο (το):car

Η Μαρίνα πηγαίνει στη δουλειά με το αυτοκίνητο. / Marina goes to work by car.

όχημα (το): vehicle

Μετά το ατύχημα, ο οδηγός εγκατέλειψε το όχημα. / After the accident, the driver abandoned the vehicle.


παίρνω: to take

“Πήρες το email μου;” “Όχι. Πότε το έστειλες;” / “Did you get my email?” “No. When did you send it?”

λαμβάνω: to receive

Έλαβα το δέμα που μου στείλατε. Ευχαριστώ πολύ. / I received the package you sent me. Thank you very much.


παίρνω (κάποιον) τηλέφωνο: to call on the phone

Θα σε πάρω σε μία ώρα. / I will call you in an hour.

καλώ: to call on the phone

Ο γιατρός θα σας καλέσει σε δέκα λεπτά. / The doctor will call you in ten minutes.


σπίτι (το): house

Το σπίτι τους είναι κοντά στην πλατεία. / Their house is near the plaza.

οίκος (ο): house

Ο Λευκός Οίκος είναι στην Ουάσινγκτον. / The White House is in Washington.

H κυρία Αναστασίου ζει σε έναν οίκο ευγηρίας./ Mrs  Anastasiou lives in a nursing home.


πλοίο (το) / καράβι (το): ship

Τι ώρα φτάνει το πλοίο / καράβι; / What time does the ship arrive?

σκάφος (το): craft

Το σκάφος θα αναχωρήσει αμέσως. / The craft will depart immediately.


αεροπλάνο (το): airplane

Θα πάμε στην Κρήτη με αεροπλάνο. / We will go to Crete by plane.

αεροσκάφοος (το): aircraft

Σας μιλά ο Κυβερνήτης του αεροσκάφους. / (Lit) This is the Captain of the aircraft speaking.


λεφτά (τα): money

Έχεις καθόλου λεφτά; / Do you have any money?

χρήματα (τα): money

Ακόμα δεν έδωσες στον Τάσο τα χρήματα που του χρωστάς; / You still haven’t given Taso the money you owe him?

Λεφτά and χρήματα are used interchangeably but λεφτά is colloquial.

Ruocaled under a CC license on Flickr




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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.


  1. Stella Lambrou:

    Thank you very much Ourania. You giving away so much work and and many ideas that I readily use. I honestly feel guilty of taking from you and giving you nothing, but my appreciation, in return. I work full time at a SC (non Greek) and two afternoons I teach Greek in Melbourne. Ourania, sometimes the work is modified to suit my students and always in Reference to Transparent Language.
    Thank you! Regards

    • Ourania:

      @Stella Lambrou Thank you, Stella, for your kind words. Appreciation is priceless. Using my posts to your teaching is very rewarding!
      Thank you very much. Keep up the great job!

  2. helena:

    Thank you for the article!

    Noticed possible verb missing in:
    H κυρία Αναστασίου σε έναν οίκο ευγηρίας./ Mrs Anastasiou lives in a nursing home.

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