Language tools

On the following links you will find some highly qualified websites on English Grammar, including parsing sentences:

UCL-English Grammar
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Irene Droppert
Dutch - Modern Greek
Vlaardingen -
The Netherlands

The dictionary indicates the Modern Greek verbs in the 1st person singular. Looking for the verb to write in the English - Greek dictionary we'll find «γράφω» which means the entire verb, but also I write, thus the first person singular. Since in Modern Greek the personal pronouns are omitted in most cases, the verb-endings clarify that the subject of a sentence has been put in the first, second or third person singular or plural. This concerns the whole conjugation of a verb.

A verb expresses the manner how the subject of the sentence is acting, in what condition he/she/it is and which modifications he/she/it is experiencing. Just one sentence is needed to indicate what happens to people, animals and things.

A verb is a central element in a sentence because every sentence must contain a verb except for some rare cases of linked sentences in which the verb to be - «είμαι» may be omitted for example: It is better now that I stay -«(Είναι) προτιμότερο τώρα να μείνω εγώ».

Information about the time is indicated to a significant extend in the ending of a conjugated verb, although the Greek language also employs other means of expressing times and moods.

Hence a sentence consists of a verb combined with elements such as subject, predicate, direct object, indirect object, attributes and adverbial clauses which may change the verb.

The MG has a high inflection level. Each verb, for instance, is formed by a stem and a declinable ending. The stem denotes the essential meaning of the verb, whereas the ending is showing a complex system of grammatical categories.

A sentence may consists of:
  • a sentence with only a verb
ελληνικά αγγλικά
Η Μαρία φεύγει. Mary leaves.
Λέγομαι Ιφιγένεια. My name is Ifigenia.
Ονομάζομαι Γιώργος. I am called George.
  • a sentence with a subject, predicate, direct object and indirect object
ελληνικά αγγλικά
Ο Πέτρος αγοράζει ένα βιβλίο. Peter buys a book.
Ο Πέτρος φέρνει το βιβλίο στον Γιάννη. Peter brings the book to John.
Η Ανδριάνα στέλνει της Μαρίας μια ωραία κάρτα. Adrienne sends Mary a beautiful card.
  • a sentence with only an adverb, adjective etc.
ελληνικά αγγλικά
Είμαι πολύ άρρωστος. I am very sick.
Έχουμε έναν φιλικό δάσκαλο. We have a nice teacher.
Η Ελένη είναι μια πολύ κάλη δασκάλα. Helen is a very good teacher.
  • a sentence with a verb preceded by particles of mood, time or negation
ελληνικά αγγλικά
Ο Πέτρος δεν θα φύγει αύριο. Peter is not leaving tomorrow.
Ο Γιώργος μου είπε οτί θα φύγει αύριο. George told me that he will leave tomorrow.
Θέλεις να έρθεις αύριο κι εσύ; Do you want to come tomorrow too?

Conjugated verbs can be modified when they are preceded by particles such as «να», «ας», «θα», «δεν» and «μην», to denote elements like tense and mood. The only not be influenced unlimited forms of a verb are the present continuous and the participles.

Transitive- and Intransitive verbs
  • The form and the mode of the composition, which can be combined with the verb in a sentence, is determined by the kind of verb. The direct object and the indirect object are those parts of speech which combine a solid connection with the verb. These are called transitive verbs.
  • Thus a transitive verb is used with an object, e.g. a noun, phrase, or pronoun that refers to the person or thing that is affected by the action of the verb. Sometimes transitive verbs can be used with a direct object and an indirect object together.
  • Dependent on the type of verb a direct- and indirect object may be omitted. These verbs are called intransitive verbs. Some verbs can be both transitive and intransitive.
  • Linking verbs are intransitive verbs. In a phrase they link nouns, adjectives or additional word types such as adverbs, prepositions and personal pronouns to the subject of the sentence. In this way they form the nominal predicate. The nominal part of this predicate decribes the property and state of the subject, which must be equal to it in terms of meaning. The nominal part must be declined in the nominative, the same as the subject and has also to be agreed in number and in gender with it.
  • The concept "nominal part of the predicate" is conceived differently in Modern Greek than in English. Partly because this part of the predicate corresponds in number and gender to the subject (the nominative), there are also other constructions that connect nouns and word groups with the subject, e.g. the sentence: «Ο γέρος περπατάει σκυφτός» - The old man walks bended.
  • A list of common english linking verbs are: appear, be, become, feel, get, grow, look, prove, remain, seem, smell, stay, sound, taste, turn
The linking verbs in Greek are:
ελληνικά αγγλικά
αποδεικνύομαι to prove oneself
γίνομαι to become
διορίζομαι to be appointed
είμαι to be
εκλέγομαι to be elected
εμφανίζομαι to appear
καταντώ to be reduced
λέγομαι to be called
παρουσιάζομαι zich voordoen, zich presenteren
πάω για to go for (something)
φαίνομαι to seem

In sentences with a nominal predicate there will never be a direct object.

The nominal predicate consists of a verbial part and a nominal part.

The nominal predicate consists of one or more verbs, eventually complemented with a noun, adjective, pronoun, adverb or even an auxiliary verb.

The main verb of a nominal predicate is a linking verb which links a certain property, status or function to the subject. I.o.w., the linking verb connects the nominal part of the predicate to the subject.

The nominal predicate always expresses what a thing or person is (so it does not express what a thing or person does!).

«είμαι» is the most typical linking verb in Modern Greek that combines all kinds of predicates, such as nominal and adjectival words or phrases, with adverbs, prepositions and personal pronouns, in both linked and equal constructions. The constructions with the other linking verbs are the same as those with «είμαι», but occur less frequently. See the Nominative

It's a common knowledge that the verb is a very complex part of the system of the Greek morphology. Whereas the English language has relatively a few forms to indicate a person, time, mood, etc., the majority of the Greek verbs has dozens of different forms, because they are are conjugated to:

person, number, tense, aspect, voice and mood:

The Modern Greek is subdivided in two conjugation categories of regular verbs viz those of the:

  • Active verbs, ending in the present tense on «-ω»
  • Passive verbs, ending in the present tense on «-ομαι»

It is very important to make a distinction between the stem and the verb ending. The stem represents which the aspect of a verb is, whereas the ending denotes the person, the number and the tense.

In the next conjugation of the active verb «αγοράζω» the stem is «αγοράζ-» with the imperfect aspect in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd person singular and plural. We are dealing here with a conjugation in the present tense:

  • αγοράζ-ω - I buy
  • αγοράζ-εις - you buy
  • αγοράζ-ει - he/she buys
  • αγοράζ-ουμε - we buy
  • αγοράζ-ετε - you buy
  • αγοράζ-ουν(ε) - they buy

Some verbs in the 1st conjugation can go through some minor modifications in the following tenses, ending on:

  • the active aorist on «-σα»
  • the passive aorist on «-θηκα»
  • the passive participle on «-μένος»
The most important among these are:
  • Verbs ending on «-βω», «-πω», «-φω»
  • the ending of the active aorist will be «-ψα» instead of «-σα»
  • the ending the passive aorist will be «-φτηκα» instead of «-θηκα»
  • the ending the passive participle will be «-μμένος» instead of «-μένος»
  • Verbs ending on «-γω», «-κω», «-χω»
  • the ending of the active aorist will be «-ξα» instead of «-σα»
  • the ending the passive aorist will be «-χτηκα» instead of «-θηκα»
  • the ending the passive participle will be «-γμένος» instead of «-μένος»
  • Verbs ending on «-ίζω»
  • the ending of the active aorist will be «-σα»
  • the ending the passive aorist will be «-στηκα» instead of «-θηκα»
  • the ending the passive participle will be «-σμένος» instead of «-μένος»
  • All verbs which are ending in the present tense on «-ώ (-άω)» *
  • Passive verbs in the present tense ending on «-ιέμαι»

* This group of verbs are originated from the Ancient Greek. They are conjugated by the MG group verbs on «-άω»

  • All active verbs ending on «-ώ (-έω)»
  • Passive verbs in the present tense, ending on «-ούμαι»
This group distinguishes itself by:
verbs 1st person 2nd person 3rd person verb example
actief -ώ (άω) -άς -άει, -ά αγαπάω, αγαπώ
passief -ιέμαι -ιέσαι -ιέται αγαπιέμαι
verbs 1st person 2nd person 3rd person verb example
actief -ώ (-έω) -είς -εί εξαιρέω, εξαιρώ
passief -ούμαι -είσαι -είται εξαιρούμαι

The majority of the Greek verbs have three stems and although some of the stem modifications follow predictable patterns, it's yet of great importance that we know all three stems for each verb we learn.

Only in Greek literature the verb ending «-μι» is regularly used
(in the first person singular).

Unlike in English, in Modern Greek a distinction in the kind of action is made instead of in tense. It can be defined as a way the speaker looks at an action, at the time it takes place and it also depends on whether the action is in progress, habitual, repeated or complete. Hence we have to deal with two different stems of one verb. We therefore need to know a few concepts a.f.:

  • the active form, in which the subject performs the action
  • the medial form, in which the subject performs the action at him/her/it-self
  • the passive form, in which the subject experiences the action
  • the indicative, to express an established fact
  • the imperative, to command
  • the subjunctive, to express something questionable
  • The aspect is a verbal category which denotes the action, the progress and tense etc. This aspect is determined by the way in which the speaker experiences an action or event. One can find out which aspect has to be used by asking some questions, e.g.:
  • With a imperfective aspect one might ask the question if the action is repeated and/or still in progress.
  • With a perfective aspect one might ask the question if the action is a single occurrence.
  • With a perfect aspect one might ask the question if the result of an action is more important than the action itself.
  • The tense is a category which is inextricably linked with the aspect. For a complete description of the verb system both categories are absolutely essential. Although information about tense for the most part is denoted in the endings of the verb, the Modern Greek also exploits other means to express tense and mood. For the time being we can make the following distinction:
  • Present tenses
  • Past tenses
  • Furure tenses
  • Singular
  • Plural
  • 1st person (singular and plural)
  • 2nd person (singular and plural)
  • 3rd person (singular and plural)
  • The stem indicates the aspect of the verb.

In MG the aspect is more important than the tense when conjugating a verb. Click on one of the above concepts for further explanation and examples

Parsing sentences is an important element when learning Modern Greek. With the school years far behind, it might be better first to brushup the basic grammar of the mother tongue a little, before starting a new language. Some knowledge of analyzing and parsing, which is essential for learning Modern Greek, can be found here:
Grammarpedia and my English pages