Get to Know the Personal Pronouns in Greek
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When learning Greek, you will start to notice that there are certain grammatical concepts that you can’t avoid. Personal pronouns are an essential part of a lot of sentences and phrases in Greek! What is a personal pronoun exactly? According to Webster’s Dictionary:
pronoun (such as I, you, or they) that expresses a distinction of person
Here are some uses of personal pronouns in English. The pronouns are boldfaced:
- I need a vacation.
- You are a child.
- He is a boy.
- She is a mother.
- It is a car.
- We are going to school
- You (all) need more money.
- They are swimming.
In Greek, personal pronouns are used the same way. Here’s a look at the personal pronouns in Greek:
- Εγώ – ego – I
- εσύ – esi – you
- αυτός – aftos – he
- αυτή – afti – she
- αυτο – afto – it
- εμείς – emees – we
- εσείς – esees – you
- αυτοί – afti – they
There is one slight difference in the way the pronouns are used. If you notice, all verbs in English are paired with a personal pronoun. This needs to happen because in the English language, the verb endings don’t always show you which conjugation the verb will be. For example, this is how the verb “run” is conjugated in English:
- I run
- You run
- He, she, it runs
- We run
- You (plural) run
- They run
This is why you will often see the personal pronouns omitted with verbs in Greek – because the conjugations are always obvious. Here’s a look at how to conjugate the verb “to run” in Greek:
- τρέχω – treho – I run
- τρέχεις – treheis – you run
- τρέχει – trehei – he, she, it runs (You will need pronouns here in Greek to distinguish whether it is he, she, or it)
- τρέχουμε – trehoume – we run
- τρέχετε (pl) – trehete – you run (plural)
- τρέχουν – trehoun – they run
In these cases, you would include the personal pronoun for emphasis, but it is optional. There are some instances, however, where the personal pronouns in Greek are necessary, such as the sentences in the examples above.
Remember that when you learn Greek, you’ll get a feel for this. Although it is important to know the grammatical concept well, you don’t need to study it too much. You’ll start to understand it with repeat exposure.
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.
Categorized in: Learn How to Speak Basic Greek
This post was written by Greek Boston