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Greek vocabulary: common verbs deriving from adverbs Posted by on Jan 13, 2019 in Vocabulary

Γεια σας! When learning a language, it is interesting and useful to know the origin of a word. In this post, there are six verbs which derive from adverbs.  They can be used in various contexts.


Capri23auto via Pixabay


#1. κοντεύω: from the adverb κοντά (near).

This is a common verb we use in everyday life.

a. It refers to  time.

Α: Πάω για ύπνο. / I go to bed.

Β: Νωρίς δεν είναι; / It’s early, isn’t it?

Α: Κοντεύει 12. / It’s almost 12.


A: Πόσων χρονών είναι η Καλλιόπη; / How old is Calliope?

Β: Κοντεύει τα τριάντα. / She is  almost 30.


Κοντεύει το φαγητό; / Literally: will dinner be ready soon?


b. We  use it to tell that we are reaching a place.

Α: Είναι μακριά ακόμα το χωριό; / Is the village far?

Β: Όχι, κοντεύουμε. / No, we will be there soon.


c. We also use to mean that someone  was in danger.

Κάποιος με έπρωξε στο λεωφορείο και κόντεψα να πέσω. / When I was in the bus somebody pushed me and I almost fell.

Είχε δύσκολη γέννα, κόντεψε να πεθάνει. / She almost died, giving birth.


#2.συχνάζω: from  συχνά (often). It means to frequent.

Όλοι οι συνταξιούχοι της γειτονιάς συχνάζουν στο καφενείο της πλατείας. / All the pensioners in the neighborhood frequent (go often to) the café on  the square.


#3. αντικρίζω: from αντίκρυ (opposite). It means to face or to see.

Το παράθυρο στο δωμάτιό 323 αντικρίζει το βουνό. The window of the room 323 faces the mountain.

Όταν αντίκρισαν τη νεογέννητη εγγονή τους συγκινήθηκαν. When they first saw their newborn granddaughter, they were touched.

Η Ελένη δεν φοβήθηκε όταν αντίκρισε τους αστυνομικούς.  / Eleni was not scared when she saw (in front of her) the policemen.


#4. παραμερίζω: from παράμερα (aside).

a. It means to stand aside.

Η Ελένη παραμέρισε για να περάσουν οι αστυνομικοί στο σπίτι. / Eleni moved to let the policemen come in.

Όλοι παραμέρισαν για να περάσει ο Πρόεδρος της Δημοκρατίας. / Everyone stepped aside to let the President of the Republic pass.


b. It can also be used metaphorically mean to remove.

Παραμέρισαν για λίγο τις διαφορές τους και εργάστηκαν μαζί. / They forgot (removed) their differences temporarily and worked together.


#5. πλησιάζω: from πλησίον (a short distance, close to). It means to approach.

A: Καλημέρα σας. Με ζητήσατε; / Good morning. Have you asked for me?

Β: Ναι. Πλησιάστε, παρακαλώ. Θα ήθελα να δείτε κάτι. / Yes. Come close, please. I would like you to see something.


H κουκουβάγια πλησίασε τον λαγό. / The owl came close to the hare.


#6. εναντιώνομαι: from εναντίον (against). It means to be opposed to.

Οι εργαζόμενοι εναντιώθηκαν στην απόφαση του αφεντικού τους. / The employees were opposed to their boss’ decision.


ggkoumas via Pixabay

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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.