Our Everyday Greek: Review, Summer and Sea: Greek Words you Already Know

May 26, 2019
Dimitra Pontoporou


Το καλοκαίρι (TO kaloKEri) is a compound word from the adjective καλός (kaLOS) and the noun ο καιρός (O keROS). The adjective καλός occurs in English words as calligraphy. Many languages have adopted the Greek word καιρός to indicate the right time to do something.


You already know the Greek word for the season. It is η εποχή. In English the word epoch means a particular period of time in the history or in a person’s life. It may also mean an historical era, as “the Victorian epoch”. In Geology epoch means a division of time which is a subdivision of a period and is itself subdivided into ages, as “the Pliocene epoch”. In Greek η εποχή has the same meanings.

Note that the Χ, χ in εποχή is not soft like the English h, but it is strong. The tongue moves towards the front upper teeth forming a channel – similar to the y (as in y-es) – through which we exhale the letter Χ, χ sound.


The Greek word for the sea, η θάλασσα, is found in English in the word thalassocracy. It means at state’s dominance in the sea. Η θαλασσοκρατία, the thalassocracy, is a compound word from thalassa (θάλασσα =  sea) + cracy (κράτος = power). The second compound -cracy is found in English words as aristocracy, η αριστοκρατία, which means the power of the aristoi, οι άριστοι (= the best).


The Greek word for salt is το αλάτι and in ancient Greek αλας. In ancient Greek the word η αλς, of feminine grammatical gender, meant the sea and the word ο αλς, of masculine grammatical gender, meant the salt. The word αλς is also found in the word η παραλία, which means the beach. Παραλία> παρά + άλς, a compound word from the preposition παρά, which means close to, next to and αλς, the sea. Ο αλμυρός, η αλμυρή, το αλμυρό is an adjective, which means salted.

Note the connection between salt and αλάτι in their letters’ combination; they both come from the same Indo-European root.



Greek word Pronunciation    Meaning

Η θάλασσα EE THAlasa      the sea

Η θαλασσοκρατία    EE thalasokraTEEa the thalassocracy

Το αλάτι      TO aLAti     the salt

Ο αλμυρός  O almiROS salted (masculine gram. gender)

Η αλμυρή    EE almiREE      salted (feminine gram. gender)

Το αλμυρό  TO almiRO  salted (neuter gram. gender)

Η παραλία  EE paraLEEa    the beach

Παρά    paRA    close to, next to, at

Το φαγητό  TO fayiTO   the food

Πολύ    poLEE  a lot

Λίγο      LEEyo  a litlle

Δεν       DEN     not

Θέλει    THEli    need, want

Είναι     EEne    is

Το καλοκαίρι     TO kaloKEri       the summer, in the summer

Ο καλός, -ή, -ό  O kaLOS    the good

Ο καιρός     O keROS    the weather, time

Η εποχή     EE epoHEE the era, season

Μία MEEa   one (female gram. gender)

Με ME       with

Κάνει    KAni     is (for the weather, does)



Can you say in Greek?

  1. In the summer the weather is good.
  2. Summer is a season with good weather.
  3. The sea is salted.
  4. The sea has a lot of salt.
  5. The food has a lot of salt.


Can you translate in English?

1.Το φαγητό έχει λίγο αλάτι.

  1. Το φαγητό δεν έχει αλάτι.
  2. Το φαγητό θέλει αλάτι.
  3. Το φαγητό είναι αλμυρό.
  4. Το καλοκαίρι κάνει καλό καιρό.



i (idiom), ee (bee), e (energy), o (organism), oo (boot), y (yes), h (helium), th (theory), d (the). The capitalized syllables are accented.


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