Know the Definite Articles for Different Cases in Greek

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Definite articles are an important part of the Greek language and so are the different cases. In order to really gain ground learning the language, these are two grammatical concepts that you really do need to master. If you don’t get the article right, it shows people that you aren’t comfortable in the Greek language because getting this wrong is grammatically incorrect. Here’s more information:

Understanding the Definite Article

According to Webster’s Dictionary, a definite article is, “the word the used in English to refer to a person or thing that is identified or specified.” In the English language, the word “the” usually precedes a noun. This is referred to as the definite article. Greek has the same thing.

The problem is, the Greek language has five cases. We talked about this concept in more detail in a previous article. You should read that article through if you want more information about the cases. In Greek, the definite article changes depending on the case. In English, we simply use the word “the” no matter what the situation is.

Definite Articles in the Greek Language

The definite articles in Greek change depending on both the gender and the case. Here’s a look at what those articles would be, as well as some examples. These are the three cases that are the most likely to use the definite article. In each of the examples, the definite article will be boldfaced:

Nominative Case

  • Masculine – ο σκύλος – o skilos – the dog
  • Feminine – η μητέρα – I mitera – the mother
  • Neuter – το κορίτσι – to koritsi – the girl

Genitive Case

  • Masculine – ιδιοκτήτης του σκύλου – idioktitis too skilou – the dog’s owner
  • Feminine – το παιδί της μητέρας – to pethi tis miteras – the mother’s child
  • Neuter –  Η κούκλα του κοριτσιού – i kookla tou koritsiou – the girl’s doll

Accusative Case

  • Masculine – Τρέχω με το σκυλί. – Treho me to skili –  I run with the dog. – Note that τον is also sometimes used.
  • Feminine – Πήγε στο κατάστημα με τη μητέρα. –  Piye sto katastima me ti mitera – He went to the store with the mother. Note that την is sometimes also used.
  • Neuter – Η μαμά πήγε στο κατάστημα με το κορίτσι. I mama piye sto katastima to koritsi. The mom went to the store with the girl.

This is one of those important grammatical concepts that you really shouldn’t gloss over. However, you don’t need to spend a lot of time studying it. As you gain practical experience in the language, you will find that getting all the articles straight will become second nature.


The Learn Greek section on GreekBoston.com was written by Greeks to help people understand the conversational basics of the Greek language. This article is not a substitute for a professional Greek learning program, but a helpful resource for people wanting to learn simple communication in Greek.

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