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Uses of the Passive Voice in Modern Greek Posted by on Sep 10, 2020 in Grammar

Γεια σας! It is time to do some grammar, so today we will see the use of the Passive voice (Παθητική φωνή.) The Passive voice includes all the verbs ending in -μαι (έρχομαι, κοιμάμαι, γεννιέμαι)


a. Some verbs are morphologically passive, i.e. they end in -μαι but their meaning is active.


Ο Πέτρος έρχεται. Petros is coming.

H Ελπίδα εργάζεται σε ένα ιδιωτικό σχολείο. Elpida works in a private school.

Ο Μανόλης ερωτεύτηκε την Ιωάννα. Manolis fell in love with Ioanna.

Some of these verbs do not have a form ending in -ω. For example, the verbs εργάζομαι (to work), έρχομαι (to come), γίνομαι (to become), χρειάζομαι (to need), θυμάμαι (to be afraid) etc. do not have an active form ending in -ω (not εργάζω, έρχω, γίνω, χρειάζω, θυμώ).



b. We use the passive voice to show the receiver of the action expressed by the verb,


Αυτό το φαγητό τρώγεται ζεστό. / This food is eaten (should be eaten) hot.

Αυτή η φούστα δεν φοριέται πια. / This skirt is no longer worn.

To σαλόνι τους διακοσμήθηκε από μια διάσημη διακοσμήτρια. / The living-room was decorated by a famous decorator.


Φωτογραφία από RitaE από το Pixabay

c. A verb in the passive voice is used when the subject and the object of the verb is the same. These verbs are called αυτοπαθή ρήματα (reflexive verbs).


Η Μαρία ντύνεται. Maria is getting dressed.

Ο Άκης κοιτάζεται στον καθρέφτη. Akis is looking at himself in the mirror.

H μαϊμού κρεμιέται από τα κλαδιά του δέντρου. The monkey is hanging herself from the branched of the trees.


d. Some verbs express a reciprocal action. These verbs are called αλληλοπαθή ρήματα (irreflexive verbs).


Η Ραφαέλα και η Φανή μισιούνται αλλά κανένας δεν ξέρει γιατί. Rafaella and Fannie hate each other but nobody knows why.

Παιδιά, μην σπρώχνεστε, σας παρακαλώ! Children, do not push on another, please!

O Γιώργος και η Αθηνά αγκαλιάστηκαν όταν συναντήθηκαν. George and Athena hugged each other when they met.


e. Some passive verbs are used to express that the subject is idle.

H γάτα κοιμάται πάνω στο κρεβάτι μου. The cat is sleeping on my bed.

Ο Στέλιος ονειρεύται. Stelios is dreaming.


Φωτογραφία από StockSnap από το 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.


  1. Alexandra:

    Πολύ χρήσιμο όπως πάντα. Μπράβο σου, Ράνια, ευχαριστώ.
    Btw, I liked the expression “a famous decorator”, μια διάσημη διακοσμήτρια. The whole sentence is a bit of a tongue twister. 🙂

    • Ourania:

      @Alexandra Έχεις δίκο, Αλεξάνδρα. Δεν το είχα σκεφτεί 🙂
      Ευχαριστώ για το ενδιαφέρον σου.