Pronouns - Αντωνυμίες
Pronouns (antoni’mies) are used to replace nouns or noun phrases. In Greek, they change form according to the person (gender), case and number of the noun they accompany. Pronouns have the following categories: personal (προσωπικές, prosopi’kes), possessive (κτητικές, ktiti’kes), demonstrative (δεικτικές, δikti’kes), relative (αναφορικές, anafori’kes), indefinite (αόριστες, a’oristes), reflexive (αυτοπαθείς, aftopa’this), interrogative (ερωτηματικές, erotimati’kes) and definite (οριστικές, oristi’kes). Their use varies slightly in relation to their English counterparts.
Pronouns - Αντωνυμίες
They are used to replace people or things in a sentence and have three persons: first, second and third. They also have two types: strong (used to emphasize) and weak (they come in two case forms, genitive and accusative, and are used as the object of the verb or along with adjectives, adverbs, nouns and other pronouns). Examples of the weak genitive are, in singular: μου σου του / της / του and plural: μας σας τους. Examples of accusative are, singular: με σε τον / τη(ν) / το and plural: μας σας τους / τις ή τες / τα.
|Strong||Weak Genitive||Weak Accusative|
|Αυτός το έκανε, αυτή το έκανε, αυτό το έκανε.||Μου είπε, σου είπε, του, της, του είπε.||Με φώναξε, σεφώναξε, τον, την, το φώναξε.|
|He did it, she did it, it did it.||(someone) told me, told you, told him, her, it.||(someone) called me, called you, called him, her, it.|
In English, both weak forms would be the same but in Greek, there is a distinction that depends on the original full phrase. In this case, the original sentence in the genitive would be “Η δασκάλα είπε του Γιώργου τι να κάνει” (the teacher told George what to do) and the accusative “Η δασκάλα φώναξε την Άννα” (the teacher called Anna).
Also note that in Greek, it is not mandatory to specify who performed an action. That is the reason “someone” is placed in brackets.
Possessive - Κτητικές
These pronouns are used to show where someone or something belongs and express ownership. There are two types again and the form changes depending on the person and number. The strong form is used for emphasis and includes the word “δικός” or its variation before the possessive. Strong forms can be used on their own and will convey sufficient meaning, while weak forms need to be accompanied by other words to produce meaningful utterances. The weak forms in the genitive are placed after the noun but if there is an adjective before the noun, the pronoun might be placed between them.
|δικός μου, δική μου, δικό μου.||δικοί μου, δικές μου, δικά μου.||μου, σου, του, της, του.||τους|
|Mine (masculine, feminine, neuter).||Mine (masculine, feminine, neuter).||Mine, yours, his, hers, its.||theirs|
In the example, only “mine” (μου) is used for the strong form but all other weak forms can be used along with the proper form of “δικός”.
Το αυτοκίνητο είναι δικό μου (The car is mine).
Ποιό είναι το χρώμα του δικού σου αυτοκινήτου; (What’s the color of your car?).
Demonstrative - Δεικτικές
They are used to draw attention on someone or something, in other words to demonstrate, present and show. Their form differs according to the person and number. Such pronouns are:
|αυτός, αυτή, αυτό, αυτοί, αυτές αυτά (to show proximity).||εκείνος, εκείνη, εκείνο, εκείνοι, εκείνες, εκείνα (to show distance).||τέτοιος, τέτοια, τέτοιο, τέτοιοι, τέτοιες, τέτοια.||τόσος, τόση, τόσο, τόσοι, τόσες, τόσα.|
|Him, her, it, them. (here)||Him, her, it, them. (there)||This kind.||This much.|
If αυτός and εκείνος are used before the noun, an article is also placed after them. If they are used for a noun already mentioned, they are placed after it without an article. The meaning is the same.
Αυτό το σπίτι (this house).
Το σπίτι αυτό (this house).
Relative - Αναφορικές
Those pronouns introduce phrases that substitute or determine a noun. Some of them stay the same (που, οτιδήποτε, ό,τι) and the others change form according to person and number.
|που.||ο οποίος, η οποία, το οποίο, οι οποίοι, οι οποίες, τα οποία.||όποιος, όποια, όποιο, όποιοι, όποιες, όποια.||Ό,τι (is short for) οτιδήποτε.||όσος, όση, όσο, όσοι, όσες, όσα.|
|Where, that.||Who, whom.||Whoever, whomever.||Whatever, anything.||As much.|
Indefinite - Αόριστες
They are used to describe someone or something we don’t know very well or have no interest in specifying.Their suffix changes depending on the person and number. Greek has a double negative, so to say that “nobody does that” we would use “κανείς δεν το κάνει αυτό”.
|κάποιος, κάποια, κάποιο, κάποιοι, κάποιες, κάποια.||ένας, μία, ένα (only singular).||καθένας, καθεμία / καθεμιά, καθένα.||κανείς / κανένας, καμία / καμιά, κανένα.||κανείς / κανένας, καμία / καμιά, κανένα.||άλλος, άλλη, άλλο, άλλοι, άλλες, άλλα.|
|someone.||one.||Anyone, everyone, anybody, everybody.||No one, nobody.||some.||Another, someone else|
Reflexive - Αυτοπαθείς
This pronoun is used to substitute the subject of the sentence. Its form depends on the person, number and case.
|Case||Person and number|
|Ο εαυτός μου, του εαυτού μου, τον εαυτό μου, εαυτέ μου.||Ο εαυτός μου, σου, του, της, του, τους.|
|Myself, myself’s, to myself, oh myself!||Myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, themselves.|
This example only shows the cases of “ο εαυτός μου” but the word “εαυτός” will change in the appropriate case when accompanied with all other pronouns of σου, του, της, τους. It’s treated as a masculine noun ending in -ός in this respect.
Ενδιαφέρεται μόνο για τον εαυτό του (He’s only interested in himself).
Interrogative - Ερωτηματικές
They are used to request information and ask for clarification. They can convey meaning even if used on their own.
|Τι (doesn’t change form)||πόσος, πόση, πόσο, πόσοι, πόσες, πόσα.||ποιος, ποια, ποιο, ποιοι, ποιες, ποια (no stress placed but pronounced with stress on the last syllable).|
Definite - Οριστικές
They are used to stress that someone completed an action or did something on their own.
|ο ίδιος, η ίδια, το ίδιο, οι ίδιοι, οι ίδιες, τα ίδια.||μόνος μου, μόνη μου, μόνο μου, μόνοι μας, μόνοι σας, μόνοι τους, μόνες τους, μόνα τους.|
|Himself, herself, itself, themselves.||Myself (masculine, feminine, neuter), ourselves, yourselves, themselves (masculine, feminine, neuter).|