Picture of Guest User
the "i"-s.their use
by Guest User - Monday, 1 March 2004, 02:54 AM
  hello.i'm dorina from Romania.
there are three kinds of "i" in greek:eta,iota and upsilon.can someone tell me which one is used where?are there any rules in their use?must you use one of the "i"-s after o consonante or how?because i have this kind of problem when i must write in greek.
Picture of Guest User
Re: the "i"-s.their use
by Guest User - Monday, 1 March 2004, 08:46 PM
  I have the same question. Someone please tell us. There must be some spelling rule. Also, is there a rule for omega and omikron as well?
Picture of Guest User
Re: the "i"-s.their use
by Guest User - Monday, 1 March 2004, 10:27 PM
  That is a very difficult question to answer. Much like Modern English is to Middle/Old English, Modern Greek's orthography is based on Ancient Greek, and therefore, like English, its pronunciation differs greatly from its spelling. There are some "rules" for the "i" sound and "omicron" versus "omega". If I have counted correctly there are 5 "i" sounds and two "o" sounds in Modern Greek. So, this might take a while.

[First, let me start out, that the following rules do not apply to the "i" sound at the beginning or inside a word, but only to ending of a word.]

1) the "eta" (Η/η) is the nominative article for the feminine singular, e.g. η καρέκλα, η πόρτα, κτλ.

a) It is also the ending for nominative feminine words, such as:

η πόλη, η πρόταση, κτλ.

b) to a much lesser extent, the neuter pl.

e.g. το μέρος ---> τα μέρη

2) the "iota" (Ι/ι) can be the ending for the nominative/accusative (objective) neuter singular

so: το σπίτι, το ταβάνι, το κουτί, κτλ.

3) The "upsilon" (Υ/υ) can also be an ending for the nominative/accusative (objective) neuter singular

E.g. το βράδυ, το δάκρυ, κτλ.

4) The digraph, which is one sound written with two letters, (once a dipthong, which is two sounds crammed together, in Ancient Greek) Omicron-Iota (ΟΙ/οι) can either be:

a) The masculine/feminine nominative plural article

e.g. οι πόρτες (f.); οι άνθρωποι (m.).

b) it can also be the ending of the nominative plural masculine

e.g. οι άνθρωποι, οι κύποι, κτλ.

5) the digraph (once a dipthong in Ancient Greek) Epsilon-Iota (ΕΙ/ει) is, as an ending, reserved for the 3rd sing. of verbs

e.g. αγοράζει (he/she/it buys); έχει (he/she/it has)

Again, these "rules" only apply to the endings of Modern Greek words.

To solve your Omicron/Omega problem:

1) Omicron, as an ending, is used for

a) the singular ending of the nominative/accusative neuter


το βιβλίο είναι κακό (the book is bad) [Subj.]
Βλέπω το βιβλίο (I see the book) [Obj.]

b) the accusative masculine singular

e.g. Βλέπω τον άνθρωπο (I see the person)

2) The Omega (Ω/ω), as an ending is:

a) primarily used as the 1st Sing. of Verbs

e.g. Βλέπω (I see), Κάνω (I do), Έχω (I have)

vs. Βλέπεις (You see), Κάνει (He/she it does), Έχουν (they have)

b) to a much lesser extent, the feminine nom./acc. (obj.) ending.

c) and very rarely, with certain fixed phrases, the omega can be an old dative:

δόξα τω Θεώ "Thanks to God".

There are more differences and distinctions, but these are the ones that come to me off-hand. Again, these rules only apply to the ENDINGS of Greek Words. It takes a long time getting used to. (I can barely spell in English, and it's my NATIVE language). If you want something more comprehensive, a Modern Greek Grammar will give you all the uses of the various "i"'s and "o"'s of Modern Greek.


Picture of Guest User
Re: the "i"-s.their use
by Guest User - Tuesday, 2 March 2004, 01:33 AM
  thank you,adam russo.it's a bit difficult for me but,i hope i'll manage to get the modern greek well written after some time.so thanks again
Picture of Guest User
Re: the "i"-s.their use
by Guest User - Friday, 7 April 2006, 01:53 PM
if you want, I can tell you that the pronounciation of the different "i"s was different in ancient:
the ι iota was "i"
the η êta was pronounced "ê" (a bit like modern "αι")
the υ upsilon was pronounced like the German "ü", or the French "u"
the ει was pronounced "ey"
and οι was pronounced "oy"

so it explains there is not really any rule, except in word endings

but the ο and the ω were pronounced like in modern (the ω being a long sound, and the ο being the short one)
Picture of Guest User
Re: the "i"-s.their use
by Guest User - Sunday, 17 July 2005, 03:36 PM
  Ha Romániában élsz akkor tudsz magyarul, ugye? Én Magyarországon lakom és most kezdtem az első kurzust. Te hogy haladsz???

Picture of Guest User
Re: the "i"-s.their use
by Guest User - Tuesday, 11 April 2006, 01:53 PM
  Nora Lajko, couldn't you speak English please?