Picture of Guest User
Looking for a good book to help me when I can't access the internet.
by Guest User - Saturday, 7 March 2009, 04:28 PM
  Hi, I was wondering if anyone could provide me with a good book that will really help me learn modern Greek. My family speaks Greek and I never really bothered to learn it until now. I'm preferably looking for a book or a series of books that can take me from grammar rules to sentences and much more indepht learning.

I'm currently using Christine Gatchels 'Elementary Greek for Beginners YEAR 1 Koine for beginners'. It's teaching me alot of new things, such as rough breathing marks, soft breathing marks, pronouns for ending verbs such as 'ω, εισ, ει, ομεν, ετε, ουσι'. And many vocabulary words that are really helping me to start forming sentences. But if you read my other thread, it taught me the word 'Υινώσκω΄ instead of 'Το ξερω΄. Every other word in the future of the book seems to be modern as I've asked my dad who does speak Greek. Many of the vocabulary words it's taught me are ones I know and know are modern.

I can however read and write in Greek.

The book teaches things such as the alphabet, present tense verb endings, second declension case endings (masculine), second declension case endings (neuter), irregular verb είμι, first declension case endings (feminine), articles, adjectives (all genders). It also teaches, nominative, genitive, dative, vocative, and accusative, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, articles, verbs, and prepositions. And all of this is just in the FIRST part of 3 of the books, and it also comes with a work book for learning it.

Can somebody tell me this book is good for teaching me modern Greek, even though it uses Bible verses for example, or if this won't help me at all?

The reason I want to get a book or use this one to also help in conjuction with this website is because I don't always have access to the internet.

Thanks alot!
Picture of Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets
Re: Looking for a good book to help me when I can't access the internet.
by Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets - Sunday, 8 March 2009, 07:49 PM

As you can see in the title of the book you gave, this book teaches Koine Greek, which is the form Greek had about 2000 years ago (see this Wikipedia entry). The fact that it teaches the dative case (dead in Modern Greek except for a few set phrases), the rough and soft breathing marks (a feature of polytonic writing, but Modern Greek uses monotonic writing, and the breathing marks, which haven't had any useful meaning since 2000 years, are not used), verb endings that are not used nowadays, and words that have been replaced shows that it is not fit if you want to learn Modern Greek.

The fact that it useful at all is just a testament to how little Greek has changed in the last 2000 years compared to other languages. Especially the influence of the Καθαρεύουσα standard, which was based on Koine Greek, and was abolished only 30 years ago, means that many words in Modern Greek are similar or identical to the words in Koine Greek. Still, the Greek grammar has changed a lot in 2000 years, and learning Koine Greek will not help you with getting a true command of Modern Greek (and speaking Koine Greek to Modern Greeks will likely get you some weird looks). It is interesting in its own right, and if you're curious about the history of the Greek language, or want to study the Bible, by all means keep learning it. But if your goal is to learn Greek as it is spoken today in Greece, you should focus on this website, and look for another book, which explicitly has "Modern Greek" in its title.
Picture of Greg Brush
Re: Looking for a good book to help me when I can't access the internet.
by Greg Brush - Monday, 9 March 2009, 12:10 AM
  As Christophe notes, your book is appropriate for reading the Koine ("common") Greek used in the Bible 2000 years ago -- it is definitely NOT appropriate for learning the contemporary spoken language.

There are several suggestions for Modern Greek grammar books posted in various Discussion Forums, but it sounds more like you're looking for something like a "Speak Modern Greek" text, something equivalent to a high school or college introductory text.

If all you want is a good Modern Greek grammar reference, the best I've seen so far are the two versions by Holton/Mackridge/Philippaki-Warburton (Rutledge Press): either their basic "Greek - An Essential Grammar of the Modern language" or their more detailed "Greek: A Comprehensive Grammar of the Modern Language".

My only suggestions for the actual spoken language would be to:
1.) check with any local colleges which offer Modern Greek to see which textbook they use.
2.) If there is a Greek Orthodox church in your area, see if they offer Modern Greek lessons.
3.) check online sellers such as
to see if they have anything for Modern Greek that appears to meet your needs.
4.) Take a look at the podcasts at the Hellenic American Union (HAU)
for their excellent series on spoken Modern Greek.

Greg Brush
Picture of Karin Petersen
Re: Looking for a good book to help me when I can't access the internet.
by Karin Petersen - Tuesday, 10 March 2009, 10:45 AM

A text book that is used at different schools and universities here in Sweden, as well as at Greek courses for foreigners in Greece, is Ellinika Tora 1 + 1. You'll find it here:


or here:


It's got a lot of exercises to each text, and the grammar is explained in English in the back of the book.



Picture of TImon Rossolimos
Re: Looking for a good book to help me when I can't access the internet.
by TImon Rossolimos - Saturday, 5 March 2016, 01:29 AM
  Hi there, here is a very nice Free PDF Modern Greek book written by Maria Poulopoulou ready for download...

It really breaks many of the grammar terms down to basics...

Picture of Gerben Rotman
Re: Looking for a good book to help me when I can't access the internet.
by Gerben Rotman - Wednesday, 10 August 2016, 05:23 PM
  Thanks TImon, that is great.
I saw in the PDF that they often write "listen to this" but that would not work in the PDF, so I searched around a bit and found that there is an e-book version of this. That is really fantastic, in that version you can click on the Greek text and it will be pronounced by two people (a female and a male voice). For anybody interested you can download the e-book (and also the PDF version) from here: