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Use of much, many and very in Greek Posted by on Nov 27, 2017 in Grammar

The word πολύς, πολλή, πολύ is an adjective.It has three genders, plural, singular and cases. It can be translated as much, many or a lot of.

 

Photos via Pixabay

 

Επίθετο (adjective)

Έχω πολλά χρήματα. I have much money.

Θέλω πολλή μπίρα.  I want much beer.

Πίνουν πολύ κρασί. They drink much wine.

Ήπιαν πολλούς καφέδες. They drank many coffees.

Μένουν πάντα σε ξενοδοχεία πολλών αστέρων. They always live in many-star hotels (literally).

 

Ενικός

ονομ.    ο πολύς                 η πολλή                               το πολύ

γεν.        του πολύ             της πολλής                          του πολύ

αιτ.        τον πολύ              την πολλή                           το πολύ

 

Πληθυντικός

ονομ.    οι πολλοί             οι πολλές             τα πολλά

γεν.                                        των πολλών

αιτ.        τους πολλούς    τις πολλές           τα πολλά

 

Some people find the spelling confusing. There is only one rule to remember: the letter λ is never doubled if it is followed by υ, but is doubled in all the other cases (πολύς but πολλή, πολλά etc.).

 

The word πολύ is an adverb. It defines adjectives and verbs. It is invariable and can be translated as very or much.

 

Επίρρημα (adverb)

Η Αιμιλία είναι πολύ όμορφη. Emilia is very pretty.

Είμαι πολύ καλά, ευχαριστώ. I am very well, thank you.

Το μεσημέρι δεν έφαγα πολύ και τώρα πεινάω. In the afternoon, I didn’t eat much and now I am hungry.

 

Note the following sentences.

  1. Τα κορίτσια έχουν πολλές ωραίες φούστες. / Τα κορίτσια έχουν πολύ ωραίες φούστες.

The girls have many nice skirts. / The girls have very nice skirts.

  1. Πίνουμε πολλούς χυμούς. / Δεν θέλω πολύ χυμό.

We drink many juices. We refer to juice in glasses or boxes, so the noun χυμούς in countable./ I don’t want much juice. In this case, the noun χυμός is uncountable.

  1. Πολλοί άντρες καπνίζουν. / Many men smoke. A common mistake is πολλές άντρες. The plural of masculine adjective (πολλοί) follows the declination of the masculine nouns which end in -oς. Therefore, it doesn’t matter what the ending of the noun is. Example: οι πολλοί υπολογιστές, τους πολλούς υπολογιστές, οι πολλοί άντρες, τους πολλούς άντρες, οι πολλοί φίλοι, τους πολλούς φίλους.

Photo 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.


Comments:

  1. Alan:

    Thanks for this. This distinction is one I get consistently wrong. The article describes it very clearly.

  2. Fred:

    Very helpful. Thanks!

    • Ourania:

      @Fred Thank you!