Picture of Tiara Mou
πόσος vs. πόσο κάνει
by Tiara Mou - Wednesday, 2 October 2013, 04:56 PM

I have learned (not at kypros.org- through another language learning source) that πόσος means "how many, how much" and that πόσο κάνει means "how much is it".

This has been confusing for me. Are these equivalent expressions or to be used in different grammatical contexts?

Example. What is the difference between "Δεν ξέρω πόσο κάνει το ψωμί είναι." and "Δεν ξέρω πόσος το ψωμί είναι."

Are they both correct?


Picture of Nick Savchenko
Re: πόσος vs. πόσο κάνει
by Nick Savchenko - Wednesday, 2 October 2013, 06:26 PM
  First of all, "πόσο κάνει" means "how much does it cost". It's a question you ask a shopkeeper when you want to buy something. πόσος is for general asking about size or quantity.

As for grammar, "πόσος" and "πόσο" are different forms of the same adjective. πόσος is nominative masculine singular, while πόσο is neuter nominative singular, neuter accusative singular or masculine accusative singular.

As an adjective πόσος must always be agreed with the noun. "Agreed" means that it must put into the same gender, number and case as its relative noun. So, "πόσος το ψωμί" is incorrect, because ψωμί has neuter gender, so πόσος must be put in the respective form - "πόσο ψωμί έχουμε;" - "how much bread do we have?".

Other examples:

"πόσες φορές το κάναμε;" - how many times did we do it (plural feminine form)

"πόσα παιδιά έχει στην τάξη;" - how many children are there in the classroom (plural neuter).

"Δεν ξέρω πόσο κάνει το ψωμί είναι." is grammatically incorrect phrase. You can't put two verbs (κάνει and είναι) into one simple sentence, so you should either say "δέν ξέρω πόσο ψωμί έχουμε" (I don't know how much bread we have) or "δεν ξέρω πόσο κάνει το ψωμί" (I don't know how much bread costs).

Picture of Tiara Mou
Re: πόσος vs. πόσο κάνει
by Tiara Mou - Wednesday, 2 October 2013, 07:25 PM
  Thank you. Your reply is immensely helpful.
Picture of Blake More
Re: πόσος vs. πόσο κάνει
by Blake More - Thursday, 3 October 2013, 12:38 AM
  I wonder if it is worth pointing out some number constraints on πόσοσ depending on whether it corresponds to (how) much or many. In particular, plural forms seem not to occur with non-count nouns. This is as least theoretically the case even if it is virtually impossible, nowadays, to isolate a real non-count noun.