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A glossary of terms used with Modern Greek entries in this dictionary.

See also Appendix:Glossary for generally applied terms.

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The dependent (εξαρτημένος τύπος; also known as perfective non-past or aorist subjunctive) form of a verb expresses an action completed within a moment (e.g. "I wrote"), not continuously. It is never used on its own. It follows preverbal particles and other words such as: ας (as), να (na), θα (tha), ίσως (ísos), the negative μην (min) or the auxiliary verb έχω (écho). It may be active, or passive:
It forms the subjunctive when used with various particles:
  • Θέλω να γράψω στη μητέρα μου απόψε. — "I should write to my mother tonight."
  • Θέλω να γραφτεί το γράμμα απόψε. — "I want the letter to be written tonight."
  • Μην γράψεις το γράμμα τώρα. — "Do not write the letter now."
  • Ας γραφτεί απόψε. —"Let it be written tonight."
It forms the future simple tense when used in with the particle θα (tha):
  • Θα γράψει στη μητέρα του. — "He will write to his mother."
  • Το γράμμα θα γραφτεί αύριο. — "The letter will be written tomorrow."
And it forms the various perfect tenses when used in conjunction with the auxiliary verb έχω (écho, to have):
  • Έχει γράψει στη μητέρα του. — "He has written to his mother [already]."
  • To γράμμα είχε γραφτεί, αλλά χάθηκε. — "The letter had been written, but it got lost."






imparisyllabic — (ανισοσύλλαβος (anisosýllavos))
Of a noun whose plural forms have an extra syllable when compared with the singular (eg μεζέςμεζέδες). Compare with #parisyllabic.
imperfect tense
The imperfective or progressive past tense of a verb, indicating an action which was continuous, habitual, repeated or lasting a long time. It may be compared with the perfective or simple past.








parisyllabic — (ισοσύλλαβος (isosýllavos)
Of a noun whose plural forms have the same number of syllables as the singular (eg θάλασσαθάλασσες). Compare with #imparisyllabic.
passive voice
a verb in the passive voice has a subject which is not the person or thing doing the action, they are usually having the action done to them.
It should be compared with the active voice where the subject is usually the person doing the action — διδάσκω (didásko, I teach). Note that deponent verbs conjugate passively but have an active meaning — κάθομαι (I sit).
pastsee: #simple past
perfect passive participle
A nonfinite verb form used as an adjective. They always end in -μένος, -η, -ο, declining in gender, number and case:
  • (feminine singular) η λυμένη ζώνη — "the unbuckled belt"
  • (neuter plural) τα λυμένα μαλλιά — "the loosened hair"
They are used, normally only with transitive verbs, in the formation of perfect tenses in both their active and passive voices:
  • (active) Ο Γιάννης είχε λυμένη τη ζώνη του. — "Yanni had unbuckled his belt."
  • (passive) Τα μαλλιά της Ελένης ήταν λυμένα. — "Eleni's hair had been loosened."




simple past tense
The simple or perfective past indicates an action completed at some point in the past. It is also known as the past indefinite, preterite - or, in Greek, as the aorist. It may be compared with the imperfect or imperfective past.


T-V distinction
The T-V distinction (from the Latin tu and vos) is found in many languages. When using the second-person to someone in Greek a choice must be made between using the singular or plural form of the verb. The choice made depends upon the relationship between the speaker and the person spoken to.
The singular form is familiar and informal, used with family, friends, children and younger people:
The plural is polite and formal, and used with strangers and to give respect: