Nouns – nominative & genitive case

In a highly inflected language as Greek, the role of the words in the sentence is not indicated by their position but by their cases.

 Cases are the different forms of Greek words as articles, nouns, adjectives, pronouns, participles can have. The form of the words changes at the ending, the first part of the words, the so-called stem, does not change.

Modern Greek has four cases:

the nominative

 the genitive

the accusative

the vocative

Masculine and feminine nouns ending in –ος

    Nominative case                                               Genitive case

Sing.   Ο δρόμος – η οδός                         του δρόμου -της οδού

              road – street

    Nominative case                                                Genitive case

Plural. Οι δρόμοι-οι οδοί                        των δρόμων-των οδών

           roads- streets

Masculine nouns ending inας or –ης & Feminine nouns ending in α or η

    Nominative case                                               Genitive case

Sing.Ο αγώνας/ ο μαθητής                                 του αγώνα/του μαθητή

           game/ pupil        

  Nominative case                                                 Genitive case

Plural.  Οι αγώνες/ οι μαθητές      των αγώνων/ των μαθητών

             games/ pupils

Nominative case                                       Genitive case

Sing. η ομάδα/ η νίκη                           της ομάδας/ της νίκης

Team/ victory

Nominative case                                                 Genitive case

Plural.οι ομάδες/ οι νίκες                    των ομάδων/ των νικών

teams/ victories

Masculine & Feminine nouns:  o μπαμπάς, ο παππούς, ο μανάβης. ο ταξιτζής, η μαμά, η γιαγιά, η μαϊμού, ο καφές are usually of foreign origin, they may denote profession (ταξιτζής)

Nominative case                                               Genitive case

Sing.Ο μπαμπάς/ ο ταξιτζής               του μπαμπά/ του ταξιτζή

 Father/ taxi driver

Nominative case                                              Genitive Case

Plural οι μπαμπάδες/οι ταξιτζήδες    των μπαμπάδων/ των ταξιτζήδων

Fathers/taxi drivers

Nominative case                                             Genitive case

Sing. Η γιαγιά/ η μαϊμού                            της γιαγιάς/ της μαϊμους


Nominative case                                             Genitive case

Plural.  Οι γιαγιάδες/ οι μαϊμούδες                 των γιαγιάδων/των μαϊμούδων

Grandmothers/ monkeys

Neuter nouns have their own sets of case endings.

Nouns ending inι must be stressed on the last syllable in genitive case, in both singular and plural.

Nominative case                                                    Genitive case

Sing. Το χέρι/το παιδί                                      του χεριού/ του παιδιού

Hand/ child

 Nominative case                                                    Genitive case

Sing. Τα χέρια/ τα παιδιά                               των χεριών/ των παιδιών

Neuter nouns ending inο

Nominative case                                                 Genitive case

Sing. Το βουνό / το ποδήλατο      του βουνού/ του ποδήλατου

mountain/ bicycle

Nominative case                                                    Genitive case

Plural τα βουνά/ τα ποδήλατα   των βουνών/ των ποδηλάτων


Neuter nouns ending in -μα -σιμο/-ξιμο/-ψιμο. Note the additional change: ο>α:

Nominative case                                                    Genitive case

 Sing. Το γράμμα/ το γράψιμο  του γράμματος/του γραψίματος

Letter/ writing                                     

Nominative case                                                    Genitive case

Plural:  τα γράμματα/ τα γραψίματα         των γραμμάτων/ των γραψιμάτων

Letters/ writings

The third group of neuters in nominative singular ends in /oς. One has to memorize which nouns belong to this group. Τhe most common are: δάσος, βάρος, τέλος, λάθος, πλήθος, έθνος, κέρδος, θάρρος, κράτος, ύψος, βάρος, πάχος, μήκος, πλάτος, έδαφος, μέγεθος

Nominative case                                                    Genitive case

Sing. Το λάθος/ το κράτος                                   του λάθους/ του κράτους

mistake/ state

Nominative case                                                    Genitive case

Plural. Τα λάθη/ τα κράτη                   των λαθών/ των κρατών

mistakes/ states

Neuter nouns ending in -ν have their own pattern.

Nominative case                                                    Genitive case

Sing. το περιβάλλον, το προϊόν                  του περιβάλλοντος, του προϊόντος

 environment, product            

Nominative case                                                    Genitive case

Plural: τα περιβάλλοντα, τα προϊόντα των περιβαλλόντων, των προϊόντων

environments, products

What do the nominative & genitive case indicate?

The nominative indicates:

1. the subject in the sentence Η Ελένη αγοράζει μήλα. Helen buys apples.

2. the predicate in the sentence as well, when linking verbs are used: Ο Νίκος είναι καλός μαθητής. Nikos is a good pupil.

The genitive indicates:

Possession Το αυτοκίνητο του Νίκου. Nick’s car. Το ποδήλατο της Μαρίας. Maria’s bicycle.

The subject (The genitive with nouns related to verbs may indicate the subject of the action. If these nouns convert to verbs, the word in genitive will become the subject of the sentence.)

Η νίκη των Σπαρτιατών. (Οι Σπαρτιάτες νίκησαν). The victory of the Spartans. (The Spartans won.)

The object (The genitive with nouns related to verbs may indicate the direct object of the action. If these nouns convert to verbs, the word in genitive will become the direct object of the sentence.)

Είναι οι φρουροί της χώρας. (Φρουρούν τη χώρα). They are the guardians of the country. (They guard the country)

The indirect object in the sentence, mostly persons or personal pronouns (or with certain verbs the direct object, e.g. τηλεφωνώ(phone), μοιάζω (look like)

Η γιαγιά δίνει της Μαρίας ένα δαχτυλίδι.

Grandmother gives Maria a ring.

Του δίνω ένα βιβλίο.

I give him a book.

Της δίνω καφέ.

I offer her coffee.

Της τηλεφώνησα.

I phoned her.

Μοιάζει του πατέρα του.

He looks like his father.

Age, date, time

Είμαι 23 (είκοσι τριών) χρονών.

I am 23 years old.

Τα γενέθλια μου είναι στις 15 Μαρτίου.

My birthday is on the 15th of March.

Στα μέσα της εβδομάδας.

In the middle of the week.


Η λύπη του αποχωρισμού.

The sorrow of the farewell.

      Purpose, use

 Ταξίδι αναψυχής.

Leisure trip.

Παπούτσια ορειβασίας.

Climbing shoes


Άνθρωπος των γραμμάτων.

A literate person.

You can also  read10 smart Greek words to sound more professional

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