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Greek neuter nouns ending in -ος Posted by on Dec 12, 2014 in Grammar

A few months ago there was a post about feminine nouns ending in –ος. This article is about neuter nouns which end in –ος. Some of these nouns can be found in English words: chaos (χάος), anthology (from άνθος, anthos: flower), analgesic (from άλγος, algos: pain), calisthenics (from κάλλος, kalos: beauty) etc.

Gianni Dominici under a CC license on Flickr.

Gianni Dominici under a CC license on Flickr.

Some neuter nouns ending in –ος are related to measurement:

το βάθος (vathos): depth

το ύψος (eepsos): height

το μήκος (meekos): length

το πλάτος (platos): width

το βάρος (varos): weight

Below there are two examples of the declination of neuter nouns: το λάθος (lathos, mistake), το έδαφος (edafos, ground)

 

Explanation of terms and abbreviations

Ενικός αριθμός (eneekos areethmos)= singular
Πληθυντικός αριθμός (pleetheenteekos arithmos)= plural
Ονομ. (ονομαστική, onomasteekee)= nominative
Γεν. (γενική, geneekee)= genitive
Αιτ. (αιτιατική, eteeateekee)= accusative
Penultimate= the syllable next to the last
Antepenultimate= the third syllable counting back from the end

Ενικός αριθμός

Ονομ. το λάθος (to lathos)                              το έδαφος (to edafos)

Γεν. του λάθους (tou lathous)                        του εδάφους (tou edafous)

Αιτ. το λάθος   (to lathos)                                το έδαφος (to edafos)

 

Πληθυντικός αριθμός

Ονομ. τα λάθη (ta lathee)                               τα εδάφη (ta edafi)

Γεν. των λαθών (ton lathon)                          των εδαφών (ton edafon)

Αιτ. τα λάθη (ta lathee)                                    τα εδάφη (ta edafee)

You can find the declinations here: oudetera se os

Notes:

  • The neuter nouns ending in –ος are stressed in the penultimate or the ante-penultimate. In the genitive case in plural the accent is placed over the ending: των δασών, των εδαφών, των μεγεθών, των ειδών etc.
  • When a noun is stressed in the ante-penultimate, the accent moves to the penultimate in the genitive in singular and in the nominative and the accusative in plural.
  • The nouns το όρος (oros, mount), το άνθος (anthos, flower), το χείλος (heelos, lip) form the genitive: των ορέων, των ανθέων, των χειλέων.
  • Some nouns do not form the plural: το χάος (haos, chaos), το θάρρος (tharos, courage), το κύρος (keeros, prestige), το κόστος (kostos, cost, price), το θράσος (thrasos, audacity), etc.

 

Examples:

1. Γνωρίζεις τις σημαίες των κρατών της Ευρώπης; (gnoreezees tees seemaies ton kraton tis Evropees): Do you know the flags of the European states?

2. Ποιο είναι το μέγεθος της γης; (peeo eenai to megethos tees gees): What is the size of the earth?

3. «Τι βλέπουν τα παιδιά;» «Το Ρομπέν των Δασών.» (Tee vlepoun ta paidia? To Roben ton Dason): “What are the children watching?” “Robin Hood” (lit: Robin of the Forests).

4. Γιατί κουβαλάς τόσα βάρη; (Yatee kouvalas tosa varee): Why are you carrying such heavy things? (lit: why are you carrying so many weights).

5. Θα ήθελα ένα τσάι με φρούτα του πάθους. (Tha eethela ena tsaee me frouta tou pathous): I would like a passion fruit tea.

6. Έκανα μόνο δύο λάθη στις ασκήσεις. (Ekana mono deeo lathee stees askeesees): I made only two mistakes in the exercises.

 

 

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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.