All about Greek nouns

Nouns (are the words for living beings, things, places and concepts)

Every single Greek noun belongs to one of the three groups called genders: masculine(m), feminine(f) or neuter(n). The nouns for male and female people are usually masculine or feminine: ο πατέρας (father), η μητέρα (mother), o αδερφός (brother), η αδερφή (sister) (o, η, το represent the word the to match the gender of the noun.

This is not always the case, however: το παιδί (child), το αγόρι (boy) and το κορίτσι (girl) are all neuter.

There’s no way of telling the gender of other nouns from their meaning, e.g. coffee is masculine (o καφές), beer is feminine (η μπύρα) and wine is neuter (το κρασί). Because of this, the best thing to do is to learn the gender of new words as you meet them by learning the noun together with o (m), η(f) or το (n).

Nouns of the same gender follow patterns, that is, they have similar endings and ways of forming the plural.

Here are the most common singular & plural patterns in each of the three genders:

Masculine singular                     Masculine plural

Ending in -oς                                    –ος changes to οι

 O δρόμος road/ street                   οι δρόμοι roads/streets

Ending in ας/-ης                             ας/-ης change toες

O Έλληνας Greek man/person      οι Έλληνες Greek people

Ο πελάτης costumer                         οι πελάτες customers


Ending inές                                     ές changes toέδες

 Ο καφές coffee                                   οι καφέδες coffees

Feminine singular                          Feminine plural                                     

Ending in α/-η                                  α/-η change to ες

Η σαλάτα salad                                 οι σαλάτες salads

Η φίλη female friend                        οι φίλες female friends

Neuter singular                         Neuter plural                                           

Ending in -o                                     – o changes to α                                           

Το δωμάτιο room                          τα δωμάτια rooms                                        

Ending inι                                  ι changes to –ια

Το κρασί wine                               τα κρασιά wines


Neuter is by far the largest group of nouns                

All masculine nouns and names end in -s in the dictionary, but you’re more likely to come across them without the final -s. It’s omitted when addressing a man or boy by name: saying hello to Nikos is Γεια σου Νίκο! It is also omitted from the object of the verb: Θέλω ένα καφέ. Ι want a coffee; Έχετε μουσακά; Have you got moussakas?

You can also read:contracted verbs: πάω, λέω, ακούω, τρώω

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