Greek Language Blog

Seven colloquial expressions in Greek Posted by on Jul 18, 2018 in Vocabulary

In our conversations we use short phrases which cannot be translated.Even advanced students can find them confusing if they don’t practice conversational Greek. In this post, there are seven common colloquial expressions put in context.


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#1. Αν+verb+λέει
Α: Μαγειρεύεις κάθε μέρα;/ Do you cook everyday?
Β: Αν μαγειρεύω λέει; Τουλάχιστον τρία φαγητά τη μέρα./ I certainly do! At least three dishes a day.

#2. Μην τυχόν: it means for fear of. However, we use to convince our interlocutor to do what we say.
A: Το Σάββατο κάνω πάρτι, μην τυχόν δεν έρθεις! / On Saturday I have a party, don’t even think of not showing up!
B: Και βέβαια θα έρθω! / Of course I will come!

#3. Μόνο μην + verb. Μόνο means just.
A: Τι θέλεις να κάνουμε απόψε;/ What would you like to do tonight?
Β: Ό,τι θέλεις, μόνο μη μου πεις να βγούμε πάλι με τους φίλους σου. / Anything you like, just don’t tell me to go out with your friends again.

#4. Με το πάσο σου: don’t rush. Sometimes it is used ironically.
A: Μπορείς να ταΐσεις το μωρό γιατί πρέπει να φύγω; / Can you feed the baby because I have to go?
Β: Ναι, να πλύνω τα πιάτα πρώτα. / Yes, I’ll wash the dishes first.
Α: Με το πάσο σου… / Take your time…

#5. Χριστιανέ μου, χριστιανή μου: it is used mostly by older people. Literally, it means my Christian. We use it when we are angry or fed up.
Χριστιανέ μου, πόσες φορές σου είπα να μην αφήνεις τα παπούτσια σου στο σαλόνι; / How many times have I told you not to leave your shoes in the living room?

#6. Άκου να δεις: άκου means listen and να δεις means to see. We use as an introductory phrase, such as “listen” or “here’s”.
Άκου να δεις τι έγινε χθες: o Μάκης βγήκε με τη Μαίρη αλλά δεν το είπε στη γυναίκα του. Εκείνη όμως… / Here’s what happened yesterday: Makis went out with Mary but he didn’t tell his wife. However, she…

#7. Καλά: it means well or right. We use it at the beginning of a sentence to catch attention or to express admiration or amazement. It cannot be translated.
Καλά, δε θα πιστέψετε τι έγινε σήμερα στο σχολείο! / You will never believe what happened at school today!


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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. Heather Bergfeld:

    Very nice blog. I went to Greek elementary school till 3rd grade , but unfortunately only get to talk Greek when visiting here in the summer. Thank you.

  2. Leticia:

    Great post with the type of information that you don’t find in grammar books.