Personal pronouns

Learning kit for Modern Greek

We don’t need to use pronouns when conjugating a verb. The endings can tell us who the subject is.

Personal pronouns have a lot of other functions, though, and you need to learn them in order to express yourself clearly. 

In this lesson we will focus on three of these functions: to stress a difference, to reply to “who” questions and to talk about the verb object.

Important notes

When replying to “How are you?”, we use the nominative. The pronoun is the subject of the verb.

Είμαι καλά. Εσύ;
(I am fine. You?)

When replying to “What is your name?”, we use the accusative. In Greek, the question is “How do they call you?”. The pronoun is the object of the verb.

Με λένε Χριστίνα. Εσένα;
(My name is Christina. Yours?)

verb + σε + pronoun / verb + pronoun
Try to learn this type of sentences directly in Greek, or else you will get confused. The translation is practically the same for both parts.

Μιλάω σε εσένα. –> Σου μιλάω.
(I am talking to you.) (μιλάω + σε + κάποιον = I am talking to someone)
Περιμένω εσένα. –> Σε περιμένω.
(I am waiting for you.) (περιμένω + κάποιον = I am waiting for someone)
To stress a difference

For this function, we use what we call the “strong” types of the pronoun (Handbook, Part III). The “weak” types that may exist in the sentence (example 2) have a different function. 

Εγώ διαβάζω ένα βιβλίο και αυτή διαβάζει ένα περιοδικό.
(I read a book and she reads a magazine.)
Εμένα μου αρέσουν τα πορτοκάλια κι εσένα σου αρέσουν οι μπανάνες.
(I like oranges and you like bananas.)

To reply to “Who?”

Again, we use the “strong” types of the pronoun.

“Ποιος ξέρει την απάντηση;” “Εγώ!”
(“Who knows the answer?” “I do!”)

“Ποιος έχει τα κλειδιά;” “Αυτή!”
(“Who has the keys?” “She does!”)

To talk about the verb object

We use the pronouns to talk about the verb object. 

“Δε σε ακούω, μίλα πιο δυνατά!”
(I can’t hear you, speak louder!)

“Τελείωσες το βιβλίο;” “Το τελείωσα.”
(“Did you finish the book?” “I finished it.”)

After a preposition, we use the ” strong” type. We also remove the intial “ε”, eg “σε μένα”  instead of “σε εμένα”.

“Σε ποιον μιλάς;” “Σε σένα.”
(“Who are you talking to?” “To you.”)

“Σε ποια μαγαζιά ψωνίζεις;” “Σε αυτά.”
(“In which stores do you shop?” “In these.”)