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“What’s going on?”:uses of the verb ginomai Posted by on Nov 26, 2013 in Vocabulary

Eva Blue @ flickr

Eva Blue @ flickr

One of the most common verbs that causes problems to Greek learners is γίνομαι (ginomai). It  means “to become”. If you haven’t come across it yet, you are very likely to hear it as soon as you go to Greece, and if you have already been there, you have definitely heard people using it regularly in their conversation.

Ex: Ο Πέτρος θα γίνει γιατρός. (O Petros tha ginei giatros) Petros will become a doctor.

However, the verb γίνομαι is only one of the words whose meaning varies depending on the context.

 

Examples of the use of γίνομαι

 

  • Τι έγινε;  (Ti egine?) What happened?

 

This is one of the most common expressions. Depending on the context, it can indicate admiration, indignation,irritation, surprise, curiosity and impatience.

 

  • Τι γίνεται;  (Ti ginetai?) What’s going on?

 

  • γίνεσαι; (Ti ginesai?)  Ηοw are you? / Τι γίνεστε; (Ti gineste?) How are you? (formal). These expressions are old fashioned and are used by elderly people.

 

  • Οι εξετάσεις θα γίνουν τον Οκτώβριο. (Oi exetaseis tha ginoun ton Octovrio.)The exams will be held in October.

 

  • Ο καφές σου γίνεται. (O kafes sou ginetai.)Your coffee is being prepared (i.e. your coffee isn’t ready yet, but it will be ready soon)

 

  • “Θέλεις να πάμε σινεμά;” “Δε γίνεται! Έχω διάβασμα.” (Theleis na pame sinema? De ginetai! Eho diavasma!) “Do you want to to go to the cinema?” “I can’t! I have to study.”

 

  • Έλα ρε Νίκη, τι έγινες; (Ela re Niki, ti egines?)Hey Niki, what happened to you? (Context: you haven’t seen your friend Niki for a month and you bump into her on the street.)

 

  • Μη στεναχωριέσαι! Όλα θα γίνουν! (Mi stenahoriesai! Ola tha ginoun!) Don’t be sad! It will all be ok!

 

  • O λογαριασμός του ηλεκτρικού είναι 800 ευρώ. Πώς γίνεται; (O logariasmos tou ilektrikou einai oktakosia euro. Pos ginetai?) The electric bill is 800 euros. How could that be?

 

Tenses  of the Indicative mood

 

Tense in Greek

 

Transliteration Tense in English Verb Transliteration
Ενεστώτας Enestotas Present γίνομαι ginomai
Αόριστος Aoristos Past Simple έγινα egina
Στιγμιαίος Μέλλοντας Stigmiaios Mellontas Future Simple θα γίνω tha gino
Παρατατικός Paratatikos Past Continuous γινόμουν ginomoun
Μέλλοντας Διαρκείας Mellontas diarkeias Future Continuous θα γίνομαι tha ginomai
Παρακείμενος Parakeimenos Present Perfect έχω γίνει eho ginei
Υπερσυντέλικος Ipersintelikos Past Perfect είχα γίνει eiha ginei
Συντελεσμένος Μέλλοντας Syntelesmenos Mellontas Future Perfect θα έχω γίνει tha eho ginei

 

 

 

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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.