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την, τη and στην

Discussion in 'Ελληνικά (Greek)' started by oceans, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. oceans New Member

    I need some clarification on a couple of things - the title says stin, I edited that part out.

    If I say
    Είμαι από την Ελλάδα
    Είμαι από τη Γερμανία

    Why is it τη for Germany and την for Greece? I've seen την with brackets around the (v) meaning that you can use τη, though in this case why not την fro Germany?

    Also is τη(ν) the accusative feminine article?

    Many thanks
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2013
  2. Yes, την is the accusative feminine article.

    It is without
    ν for Γερμανία because Γερμανία begins with γ. The article is την when the word that follows begins with a vowel or with the consonants κ, ξ, π, τ, and ψ.

    Rember: the consonant that follows the "ν" of the article must be read as the correspondant voiced sound.

  3. Αγγελος Senior Member

    τη(ν) is the accusative feminine singular article indeed. In Greek, proper nouns always take the definite article: ο Γιάννης, η Ελλάδα, η Αθήνα...
    The ancient form was την. The final ν is conserved before vowels (την Ελλάδα), dropped before continuant consonants (those whose utterance can be prologed at will, such as χ φ θ σ γ β δ ζ λ μ ν ρ -- hence τη Γερμανία, τη Ρωσία, τη Σουηδία), and conserved in writing before π τ κ τσ, where, h
    owewer, it causes the following consonant to be pronounced voiced: thus we write την Κίνα, την Πολωνία, την Τσεχία but pronounce tin Gina, tim Bolonia, tin Dzehia (most people hardly pronounce the n in those cases, effectively saying tiGina, tiBolonia, tiDzehia).
    The same rule holds concerning the pronoun την (=her): την αγαπώ but τη θέλω, and την ξέρω pronounced tigzero.
    On the other hand, in the pronoun τον (=him) the final ν is always conserved.
    The article τον (acc. masc. sing.) used to follow the same rule as την, but if I am not mistaken, the latest revision of official grammar for schools advises keeping the final ν even when it is not pronounced, to avoid confusion with the neuter form το. The gen. pl. form των always keeps its final ν.
    The negative particles δεν and μην also follow the same rule (δεν ήρθε, δε θέλει, μην έρθεις, μη φύγεις), but it is advisable to systematically keep the finl ν in δεν to avoid confusion with the unrelated particle δε.
  4. Perseas Senior Member

    To sum up:
    • the final ν is retained by the fem. definite article (την/στην --> acc. sing.), by the personal pronoun (αυτήν/την --> acc. sing.), and also by the indeclinables δεν, μην in the written speach, when the following word starts with a vowel or a consonant from these κ, π, τ, μπ, ντ, γκ, τσ, τζ, ξ, ψ. Ex. την κόρη, την ξένη, την ντροπή, δεν την ακολούθησε.
    • the final ν from the words above is lost when the following word starts with these continuant consonants: γ, β, δ, χ, φ, θ, λ, μ, ν, ρ, σ, ζ
    • the final ν is retained in the written speech by the masc. definite & indefinite article (τον/στον/έναν --> acc. sing.), and also by the personal pronoun (αυτόν/τον --> acc. sing.), while in the oral speech it is pronounced only when the following word starts with a vowel or one of those consonants κ, π, τ, μπ, ντ, γκ, τσ, τζ, ξ, ψ. Ex. έναν συμμαθητή, στον ζωολογικό κήπο, αυτόν τον άνθρωπο.
    (Source: the latest version of the school grammar)

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