Our Everyday Greek: Review: Spelling tips for the Greek o, e and i’s

October 27, 2018
Dimitra Pontoporou

1. Ο,ο or Ω,ω?
Complete the words with οor ωby applying the grammatical rules below.
Εγγράφ . =I write
Εγτρέχ . =I run
Εγπίν. I drink
OΠάνς = Panos (name)
ΟΧρήστς =Chris (name)
Τοσχολεί . =the school
Τοκαφενεί =the cafe

Action verbs, that is all verbs of active grammatical voice, always end in Ω,ω in the Present tense, first person Singular. Also, the word ΕΓΩ, εγώ, ends in Ω, ω.Εγώθέλω (= I want), εγώτρώω (= I eat).
Neuter grammatical gender words, nouns and adjectives, that usually refer to objects or animals are written with Ο,ο in the final syllable: Τοψυγείο (= the fridge), Το καλόούζο (= the good ouzo).
Masculine grammatical gender nouns and adjectives end in -ος: Ο καιρός(= the weather), Ο καλός καιρός(= good weather).
The names of men which end in -ος are always written with Ο,ο: ΟΓιώργος(= George), ΟΠέτρος(= Peter)

2. Whichi: Ι,ι, Η,η, Υ,υ, ΟΙ,οι, orΕΙ,ει?
Complete the words with the correct i, by applying the grammatical rules below.
Πίν- .= he/ she/ it/ drinks.
Γράφ . = he/she/it writes.
η Καίτ- . = Kate (name)
η Αντιγόν . Antigone (name)
η Νίκ .= Nike (name)

Neuter grammatical gender words, nouns and adjectives, which end in the singular number in the sound -i are always written with Ι,ι: Το παιδ-ί (= the child), το σπίτ-ι (= the house)
The feminine grammatical gender article in the singular number is Η,η.Αll Greek feminine names as well as all feminine grammaticαl gender nouns and adjectives in the singular number, nominative case,ending in the sound i are always written with Η,η: ΗΕλέν-η, ηαυλ-ή, ηκαλ-ή.
The feminine and masculine grammatical gender article in the plural number is ΟΙ, οι: οιγιαγιάδες (= the grandmothers).
Masculine grammatical gender nouns and adjectives in the plural number, nominative and votive cases, end in OI, οι: οι καλοίάνθρωποι (= the good people).
The third person singular of the active voice verbs always ends in ει: κάν-ει (= he/ she /it does), τρώ-ει (= he/ she/ it eats).

3. ΑΙ,αι or Ε,ε?
Complete the words with the correct e, by applying the grammatical rules below.
Εγώκοιμάμ . (=I am sleeping)
Εσύκοιμάσ . (=You are sleeping)
Ο Πέτροςκοιμάτ . (=Petros is sleeping)
Τα παιδιά κοιμούντ . (=Thekidsaresleeping)
Εμείς τρώμ . (=We eat)
Εσείςτρώτ . (=You eat)

Ε,ε is more common in Greek words than ΑΙ,αι, except for the passive voice verb endings. The final syllable of the first (I), the second (you) and the third (he/she/it) person in the singular number as well as the final syllable of the third person plural (they) of the verbs’ passive voice, are always written with αι: Εγώ πλέν-ομαι (=I wash myself), Εσύ πλέν-εσαι (=You wash yourself), Η Μαρία πλέν-εται (=Maria washes herself), Τα παιδιά πλέν-ονται (=The kids wash themselves).
In the first- and second-person plural (we, you), both in the active and passive voice the final syllable is always written with ε: Εμείς πλεν-όμαστε (=We wash ourselves), Εσείς πλεν-όσαστε (=You wash yourselves), Εμείςτρώ-με (=We eat), Εσείςτρώ-τε (=You eat).

i (ill), ee (beer), e (ever), o (organ), oo (boot), y (yes), h (helium), th (theory), d (the). The capitalized syllables are accented.


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