Our Everyday Greek

Order your souvlaki in Greek, with or without Tzatziki


The most well-known Greek food word is souvlaki. Tο σουβλάκι is a word of neuter grammatical gender. Nouns, which in English are neuter, i.e. those referring to non-living things without sex, are in Greek of the masculine, feminine or neuter grammatical gender, which is not identical with sex. How can we figure out whether a Greek word is of neuter gender? Words ending in –ι or –ο are considered of neuter grammatical gender and take the article το in front of them. This is the vocabulary you will need if you want to order street food from a truck vendor in Astoria.



Greek word                Pronunciation          Meaning

Το σουβλάκι             TO souVLAki                        souvlaki

Το τζατζίκι                  TO tzaTZIki                yoghurt sauce

Το κρεμμύδι               TO kreMEEdi            onion

Το μπιφτέκι                TO bifTEki                 burger

Το κοτόπουλο           TO koTOpoolo          chicken

Το χοιρινό                  TO hiriNO                 pork

Το λουκάνικο             TO looKAniko           sausage

Το σάντουιτς             TO SAntooits                        sandwich

Το χάμπουργκερ       TO HAmboorger      hamburger

Το ψωμί                    TO psoMEE               bread


English words that refer to favorite international dishes have been kept in Greek as transliterated words of neuter gender: το σάντουιτς (=sandwich), το χάμπουργκερ (=hamburger).


Now you can order your souvlaki. You will be probably asked if you want chicken or pork souvlaki. The word or in Greek is ή (ΕΕ). It is written exactly as the feminine article η, the only difference being that it is accented with the tonos (΄). Keep in mind that the word με (ME) means with, the word και (KE) means and, and the word χωρίς (hoREES) means without. You may need to remember the meaning of these words: πατάτες =potatoes, ντομάτα/ντομάτες =tomato/tomatoes, μία φέτα ψωμί = a slice of bread, δύο φέτες ψωμί =two bread slices.

When you order you will need to indicate the number of souvlakia you want. In this lesson we will only use the singular number, one. A (=the English indefinite article) or one for the neuter gender nouns is ένα: ένα σουβλάκι, ένα λουκάνικο, ένα σάντουιτς, ένα χάμπουργκερ.



Θέλω ένα σάντουιτς με σουβλάκι και τζατζίκι χωρίς κρεμμύδι. (= I want a sandwich with souvlaki and tzatziki without onions).

Θέλεις ένα σάντουιτς με μπιφτέκι; (=Do you want a sandwich with burger?)

Θέλεις κρεμμύδι, ντομάτα και πατάτες στο σάντουιτς; (=Do you want onion, tomato and potatoes in your sandwich?)

Θέλω ένα σουβλάκι κοτόπουλο και ψωμί. (= I want a chicken souvlaki and bread.)

Θέλεις σουβλάκι κοτόπουλο ή σουβλάκι χοιρινό; (=Do you want a chicken or a pork souvlaki?)

Θέλω ένα χάμπουργκερ με μπιφτέκι κοτόπουλο και ντομάτα. (=I want a hamburger with chicken burger and tomato.)



  1. Choose words from the list and order for you and your friend a souvlaki sandwich and a hamburger.
  2. Translate in English:

Θέλω ένα σουβλάκι κοτόπουλο με ψωμί. Θέλω ένα σάντουιτς με χοιρινό σουβλάκι, ντομάτα και κρεμμύδι. Θέλω σάντουιτς σουβλάκι χωρίς κρεμμύδι. Θέλω χάμπουργκερ με μπιφτέκι κοτόπουλο και ντομάτα. Θέλω ένα σουβλάκι χοιρινό και ένα σουβλάκι κοτόπουλο με δύο φέτες ψωμί. Θέλω ένα σάντουιτς με λουκάνικο και πατάτες.

  1. Try to say in Greek: Do you want a chicken or a pork souvlaki? I want a sausage without onion. I want a sandwich with souvlaki and tzatziki. Do you want a hamburger? Do you want tomatoes and potatoes in your sandwich? I don’t want a chicken souvlaki. Maria do you want a souvlaki with potatoes? I want a hamburger with chicken burger and tomatoes.



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





Peter Nyktas, 87, of Walbridge, Ohio, passed away surrounded by his loving family on March 12, 2016, at ProMedica Toledo Hospital. He was born in Samos, Greece on January 27, 1929 to William and Virginia (Servidiadis) Nyktas. Peter was a U.S. Army Veteran and owned P & W Painting. He was the owner of Pete’s Hot Dog in Oregon for 6 years. Peter loved traveling to Greece, boating, gardening in his yard, and going to Don’s Donuts. He held a special place in his heart for his dog, Kai. Peter was a member of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral.

Peter is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Helen; children, Virginia (Ed) Branstutter, Bessie (Bob) Majchszak, William Nyktas and Mary (David) Champion; grandchildren, Nicole and Olivia Bair, Michael Bartram, Nicholas, Jeanie and PJ Branstutter. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Friends may visit at the Eggleston Meinert & Pavley Funeral Home, Oregon Chapel, 440 S. Coy Rd., on Wednesday, March 16, 2016, from 2:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. with Trisagion services at 5:00 p.m. Funeral services will take place at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 740 Superior St., Toledo on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. where the family will begin greeting friends at 10:00 a.m. Interment will take place at Lake Township Cemetery. Those wishing an expression in Peter’s memory are asked to consider Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral or a military organization of donor’s choice.

www.egglestonmeinert.com – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/toledoblade/obituary.aspx?n=Peter-Nyktas&pid=178052702#sthash.3SourwZo.dpuf


VENICE – The Greek Orthodox Community of Venice, the Hellenic Institute of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Studies, and the Metropolis of Italy, in collaboration and with the help of the Embassy of Greece in Rome, are organizing a concert with the performer Kleoniki Demiri on Sunday, June 16, 8 PM.

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