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How to say ‘ I understand’ in Greek

One of your main purposes while learning Greek is to understand Greeks or to be able to communicate in Greek. The verb ‘to understand’ in Greek might seem a long word, but it’s one of the first verbs you will learn in order to specify your degree of comprehension or to declare if you understand something or not.

For example:

• Kαταλαβαίνεις ελληνικά;                    Do you understand Greek?
• Kαταλαβαίνω ελληνικά πολύ καλά. I understand Greek very well.
• Kαταλαβαίνω λίγο ελληνικά.              I understand a bit of Greek.
• Δεν καταλαβαίνω.                                   I don’t understand.
• Δεν καταλαβαίνω τίποτα.                    I don’t understand anything.

The verb ‘καταλαβαίνω’ means ‘to understand, to perceive, to grasp’.
It belongs to the first group of verbs you learn to conjugate at your first lessons in Greek, which is type A, like ‘μένω’ (to stay) and ‘κάνω’ (to do/make). The verb is conjugated in the present tense by adding the endings -ω, -εις, -ει, -ουμε, -ετε, ουν to the stem καταλαβαίν-.

In the simple future tenses however, the respective endings are attached to the stem καταλαβ- [see the table below].

 PresentFuture Simple
εγώ καταλαβαίνω I understandθα καταλάβω I will understand
εσύκαταλαβαίνεις    you understandθα καταλάβεις you will understand
αυτός, αυτή, αυτόκαταλαβαίνει he/she/it understandsθα καταλάβει he/she/it will understand
εμείςκαταλαβαίνουμε we understandθα καταλάβουμε we will understand
εσείςκαταλαβαίνετε You understandθα καταλάβετε you will understand
αυτοί, αυτές, αυτάκαταλαβαίνουν they understandθα καταλάβουν they will understand

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