A glossary of terms used with Modern Greek entries in this dictionary.
- See also Appendix:Glossary for generally applied terms.
- 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 μεζές → μεζέδες). 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 θάλασσα → θάλασσες). 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.
- διδάσκομαι — I am taught
- 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”).
- 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: