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Δεν or Δε which one ?
by Guest User - Wednesday, 12 April 2006, 05:35 PM
  Can anyone explain me the use of Δεν and Δε, please ?


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Re: Δεν or Δε which one ?
by Greg Brush - Thursday, 13 April 2006, 03:01 AM
  δεν is the word that comes before an inflected verb and makes it negative. It is equivalent to the English word "not":
είμαι - I am, δεν είμαι - I am not
είναι - he/she/it is, they are; δεν είναι - he/she/it is not, they are not
έχω - I have, δεν έχω - I do not have
θέλω - I want, δεν θέλω - I do not want

The final -ν of δεν is frequently dropped in rapid speech before almost all consonants except π, τ, κ, ξ. Although you will sometimes see this done in writing to reflect what is actually said, i.e. spelled δε or occasionally δε', you will usually see the final -ν retained in written work, probably to distinguish from the particle δε, a remnant of the Classical language, which means "on the other hand".

In the beginning Audio Lessons of Learn Greek Online, the speakers speak quite slowly and rather distinctly and consequently almost never drop the final -ν of δεν. Later on, as the speakers speak faster, you will begin to hear them drop that final -ν. Whether or not this is reflected in the written Lesson Notes/Transcript depends on the particular lesson contributor.

Greg Brush