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Greek idioms: preposition “with” Posted by on Nov 5, 2021 in Vocabulary

Γεια σας. Today we will see some expressions with the preposition με. Με means with. Some of the examples are hard to translate, so I have tried to describe their meaning. If you want to add or to change something, feel free to leave a comment. If you want to test how good you are in Greek slang, you can do this quiz.

Photo by Aral Tasher on Unsplash

#1. με τίποτα. It is an emphatic way to say no. We use it to mean.“no way” or “not for any reason” It can be used in a sentence or as a response to a questions.

Examples:

1. Δεν ήθελε με τίποτα να δω τις φωτογραφίες από τις διακοπές του. / He did not want me to see the photos from his holidays (under no circumstances).

2. – Θα πας στο πάρτι της ξαδέρφης σου; / You will go to your cousin’s party?

– Με τίποτα. / No way.

 

#2. με την καμία. It has the same meaning with με τίποτα , but it is more colloquial.

Example:

Δεν ήθελε με την καμία να έρθει μαζί μας. / He/she did not want to come with us (under no circumstances).

 

#3. με το έτσι θέλω. It is used to mean to make someone do something they do not want to do.

Example:

Μας έδωσαν να φάμε με το έτσι θέλω, αν και τους είπαμε ότι είχαμε φάει. / They gave us food (because they wanted to), even though we told them we had eaten.

 

#4. με το ζόρι. It is the same as με το έτσι θέλω. It can also be used to mean by force.

Example:

Η δασκάλα έβγαλε έξω τον Κώστα με το ζόρι. / The teacher expelled Kosta by force.

It can also mean “barely”.

Example:

Η Μαρία κλαίει όλη μέρα. Με το ζόρι έβαλε κάτι στο στόμα της σήμερα. / Maria has been crying all day. She has barely eaten today.

 

#5. (βγάζω) με το τσιγκέλι: to have a hard time forcing a word out of somebody. Τσιγκέλι means hook.

Example:

Μας είπε τελικά τι έγινε χτες, αλλά του τα βγάλαμε με το τσιγκέλι. / He finally told us what happened yesterday, but we had a hard time forcing the words out of him.

 

#6. (λέω) με το νι και με το σίγμα: blow-by-blow, in every detail

Example:

Τα παιδιά είπαν αυτά που άκουσαν με το νι και με το σίγμα. / The children told what they heard in every detail.

 

#7. με το καλό. It is used to wish that things happen well.

Example:

– Αύριο αρχίζω την καινούργια δουλειά! / Tomorrow I start the new job.

– Άντε, με το καλό! / I hope it goes well! (άντε, cannot be translated. Here, it expresses encouragement).

It is also used with the verb μιλάω (μιλάω με το καλό). We use it when we want to hear something important, or to extract information οr to make somebody do what we want, so we speak to them in a nice way.

Example:

Δεν έλεγε στον αστυνομικό τι ήξερε για την υπόθεση, έτσι στην αρχή της μίλησε με το καλό.

She did not say to the policeman what she knew about the case, so they talked to her nicely, at first.

 

#8. με το άγριο. Άγριο means wild. It is the opposite of “με το καλό”.

Example:

“Αφού δε μιλάς με το καλό, θα μας τα πεις με το άγριο”, είπε στη Σοφία ο πατέρας της. The meaning of this phrase is “we asked you kindly, but since you are not telling us what we are asking you, we will use force”. I cannot translate this phrase, so if you have a translation in English, feel free to leave a comment.

 

#9. με όλο το σεβασμό. It means with all due respect.

Example:

Με όλο το σεβασμό, αυτά που μας είπατε δεν φαίνονται και τόσο πιστευτά. / With all due respect, everything you told us seem rather hard to believe.

 

#10. με όλο το θάρρος. Θάρρος means courage or bravery. We use this expression when we address a person we feel familiar to, not too familiar though.

Example:

Με όλο το θάρρος, δεν είστε ντυμένη κατάλληλα. / (Forgive me for saying this) but you are not appropriately dressed.

 

#11. με το συμπάθειο. We use it when we are about to say something that the others might find disturbing.

Example:

Ο ξάδερφός σου είναι πολύ γελοίος, με το συμπάθειο. / Your cousin is very ridiculous (my apologies, for saying that).

 

#12. (μπαίνω) με τις μπάντες (slang). This is my favorite one. It is used when a driver takes an abrupt turn without losing control. It is also used to mean that a vehicle goes very fast.

Example:

– Έχεις ανοιχτό το app του ΟΑΣΑ; Πότε θα έρθει το λεωφορείο; / Do you have the Telematics app on? (bus app). When will it be here?

– Ναι. Κοίτα, πριν από ένα λεπτό περασε ταχυδρομείο και τώρα είναι στην πλατεία. Μπαίνει με τις μπάντες! Σε λιγότερο από πέντε λεπτά θα είναι εδώ. / Yes. Look, one minute ago it passed the post office and now it is at the square. It goes really fast! It will be here in less than five minutes.

 

 

 

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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:

  1. Paul:

    Thank you for this amazing resource — you are a treasure!

    • Ourania:

      @Paul Thank you for your interest 🙂

  2. Alexandra:

    Το αγαπημένο μου είναι “με το καλό”.
    Μου αρέσει και “με γεια”. Is this one used very often or only rarely?
    Ευχαριστώ πολύ και καλή ευδομάδα, Ράνια! 🙂

    • Ourania:

      @Alexandra Ναι, το χρησιμοποιούμε όταν κάποιος αγοράζει κάτι. We use it when somebody buys or has something new.
      🙂

  3. Murat Beşbudak:

    Γεια σας, the expression ‘με το ζόρι’ also we use it in colloquial speech in Turkey, it means the same as in greek language…

    • Ourania:

      @Murat Beşbudak Thank you for your comment! There are many words and expressions in Greek that derive from Turkish. I will write about the most common ones soon. 🙂


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