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Τα επίθετα (ta epítheta) – Adjectives

When we want to describe someone or something in relation to certain qualities, such as colour, size, shape, abilities, etc., we use the adjective, το επίθετο (to epítheto). The adjective must match the noun which characterizes in gender, number and grammatical case.  

There are different endings for adjectives in Greek. Today we will learn the most common ones:  

  • Επίθετα σε ος, –η, –ο, e.g., όμορφος-όμορφη-όμορφο (ómorfos-ómorfi-ómorfo) that is “beautiful” (masculine-feminine-neutral) 
  • Επίθετα σε ος, –α, –ο, e.g., νέος-νέα-νέο (néos-néa-néo) that is “new, young” 

As you may have noticed, the masculine and neutral in these two categories are the same; what changes is the feminine: we either have the ending -η or -α. How can one know which ending is the correct one? Here’s the answer! 

  • When we have a consonant before the suffix, then the feminine will be in η
  • When we have a vowel before the suffix, then the female will be in α

For example, the adjective «καλός» (kalós), that is “good”, has a «λ» before the ending which is a consonant. Therefore, the feminine adjective will be «καλή» (kalí). On the other hand, the adjective «κρύος» (kríos), meaning “cold”, has an «υ» before the ending which is a vowel. Thus, the feminine adjective will be «κρύα» (kría). 

Exception: μοντέρνος-μοντέρνα-μοντέρνο (modérnos-modérna-modérno), meaning “modern”. 

Easy, isn’t it? Now try to think how can we form the feminine adjective from the following: μεγάλος (meghálos), αστείος (astíos), μικρός (mikrós), ακριβός (akrivós), ωραίος (oréos), τέλειος (télios), δύσκολος (thískolos), εύκολος (éfkolos), πλούσιος (plúsios), καινούργιος (kienúrghios).