δίνω + accusative or genitive?

Apollodorus

Senior Member
English UK
δίνω + accusative or genitive?

«Δίνω το βιβλίο στον Γιαννι. Στον δίνω το βιβλίο.»?

or

«Δίνω το βιβλίο του Γιαννι. Tου δίνω το βιβλίο.»?
 
  • Apollodorus

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Του δίνω το βιβλίο
    Thanks, Sotos.

    The reason I am asking is that in some grammar books like Greek: An Essential Grammar by Holton, Mackridge and Philippaki-Warbourton (Routledge 2016), you find statements like this one:

    Aύριο θα του δώσουμε του Στέφανου (gen.) τα ρούχα του (acc.)

    More frequently, however, the indirect object expressed by a noun phrase is linked to the rest of the clause by the preposition σ[ε] (+ accusative):

    Aύριο θα δώσουμε στον Στέφανο τα ρούχα του

    The implication seems to be that both forms are correct/have the same meaning, but that the second one is "more frequent".
     

    Apollodorus

    Senior Member
    English UK
    ( off topic) : what a pity Modern Greek lost the so convenient AG dative case!

    In a sense, the loss of AG dative is a simplification and should not represent a problem since it is not really “lost” but merged with the genitive.

    The problem is that some sources seem to imply that σε + accusative is somehow more “frequent” (and therefore should be given preference in written or spoken language?)

    For example the Greek Wiktionary page on δίνω uses the form with accusative:

    "θα δώσω το αυτοκίνητό μου στο γιο μου και θα αγοράσω καινούριο"

    "ένα κοριτσάκι έδωσε στην καλεσμένη μια ανθοδέσμη"

    "δίνω τη θέση μου στο λεωφορείο σε έναν ηλικιωμένο"

    The only genitive ("dative") forms there are with μου or σου:

    "δώσε μου λίγο το μολύβι σου"

    Or expressions like:

    "δίνε του! φύγε!"
     

    sotos

    Senior Member
    Greek
    του/της + δίνω is the standard if you ommit the name: Συνάντησα τον Γιάννη. Του έδωσα το βιβλίο (I met Yannis. I gave him the book). But Έδωσα στον Γιάννη το βιβλίο (Ι gave the book to Yiannis). The same with verbs λέω, φωνάζω, τηλεφωνώ etc.

    . In North Greece they say instead "τον δίνω" (I give to him), "σε δίνω" (I give to you), but this is only spoken and not considered standard greek, sounding hillarious in the South.
     
    Last edited:

    διαφορετικός

    Senior Member
    Swiss German - Switzerland
    But Έδωσα στον Γιάννη το βιβλίο (Ι gave the book to Yiannis).
    As far as I know, "στον Γιάννη" is preferred to "του Γιάννη", because "στον Γιάννη" is less ambiguous in many cases, since "του Γιάννη" can also be used as a possessive pronoun determiner.
     
    Last edited:

    Apollodorus

    Senior Member
    English UK
    So, the general rule seems to be:

    1. του (masc.)/της (fem.) [i.e., gen.] when the name is omitted.

    2. στον (m.), στην (f.) [i.e. σε + acc.] when necessary to eliminate ambiguity.

    Otherwise,

    3. Interchangeably (but with preference for σε + acc.), του/στον (m.), της/στην (f.) [gen./σε + acc.].

    E.g.,

    Δίνω το βιβλίο στον Γιαννι. Tου δίνω το βιβλίο
    =
    Δίνω το βιβλίο του Γιαννι. Tου δίνω το βιβλίο

    Δίνω στην Mαρία ένα μήλο. Tης δίνω ένα μήλο
    =
    Δίνω της Mαρίας ένα μήλο. Tης δίνω ένα μήλο

    Δίνω στην Ιωάννα το μήλο της Mαρίας, κτλ.

    Edit: In this last example, της is a true genitive (το μήλο της Mαρίας = the apple of Maria). And στην (“to”) is a dative expressed by means of the preposition σ[ε] + τηv (feminine article η in the accusative).

    The whole sentence means “I give to Ioanna the apple of Maria (i.e., Maria’s apple)".
     
    Last edited:

    διαφορετικός

    Senior Member
    Swiss German - Switzerland
    2. στον (m.), στιν (f.) when necessary to eliminate ambiguity.
    I think this is preferred even in cases without ambiguity. But I'm not sure.

    P.S.: Of course, it can't be used as a pronoun - in those cases, you have to use του/της (or, if a "stressed" pronoun is desired, use "σ' αυτόν" / "σ' αυτή(ν)").
     
    Last edited:

    sotos

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Would της - used as a feminine 'dative' case of a personal pronun - be wrong?
    Tης δίνω το βιβλίο
    Of course, της for females, and του for neutrals. However, plural των is not used as dative. Tους is used instead.
     

    Apollodorus

    Senior Member
    English UK
    This "της" is not dative. It's the "genitive of ownership".
    Yes. "I give to Ioanna the apple of Maria (i.e., Maria's apple)".

    The example was meant to contrast the real genitive (της = of) with the genitive or, in this sentence, σε + accusative (σε + την = στην) used in lieu of a dative form.

    Speakers of languages with a proper dative tend to expect Modern Greek to have separate dative forms. But, as long as it is clear when to use genitive vs. accusative in a dative sense, there shouldn't be any major difficulty.
     
    Last edited:

    sotos

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Actually many foreigners speaking medium level Greek produce a "false ancient dative" by saying not του, not στον, but "Δίνω τω Γιάννη ένα βιβλίο" :)
     

    Apollodorus

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Actually many foreigners speaking medium level Greek produce a "false ancient dative" by saying not του, not στον, but "Δίνω τω Γιάννη ένα βιβλίο" :)

    I agree. The first part of learning a foreign language definitely has got a lot to do with imagining and inventing things. The second part consists in figuring out which bits of imagination were wrong and which were right. :)

    But I think one mitigating factor that may be cited in Greek learners’ defence is that a few old-style dative phrases (e.g., where τω stands for MG στο[v]) are said to still be in circulation. Among examples given are:

    δόξα τω Θεώ – Thank God

    συν τω χρόνω – Given time

    γνωστό τοις πάσι – Known to all

    Even εντάξει (εν + τάξει, en + taxei), “in order”, “OK”, where τάξει is (old-style) dative of τάξις (MG τάξη), even though the expression itself seems to be fairly modern (perhaps after German "in Ordnung"?).
     
    Last edited:

    διαφορετικός

    Senior Member
    Swiss German - Switzerland
    Actually many foreigners speaking medium level Greek produce a "false ancient dative" by saying not του, not στον, but "Δίνω τω Γιάννη ένα βιβλίο" :)
    This should happen only to those who learnt Ancient Greek before learning Modern Greek. Which I did not. The first expression with "τω" which comes to my mind is "εν τω μεταξύ". The second, and last, is "δόξα τω Θεώ". (Both are valid Modern Greek.)
     
    Last edited:

    Apollodorus

    Senior Member
    English UK
    This should happen only to those who learnt Ancient Greek before learning Modern Greek. Which I did not. The first expression with "τω" which comes to my mind is "εν τω μεταξύ". The second, and last, is "δόξα τω Θεώ". (Both are valid Modern Greek.)
    "Eν τω μεταξύ" and "δόξα τω Θεώ" are indeed used in Modern Greek but "τω" is still Ancient Greek and is not used outside these standard phrases.

    Besides, some may have a certain knowledge of Ancient Greek from school or from reading Plato or the Bible, etc., before they start learning Modern Greek.

    But I think another common puzzle that tends to come up is the exact word order in sentences expressing a dative action, e.g., “give to”:

    "Δίνω το βιβλίο στον Γιαννη" (Dino to vivlio ston Gianni) “I give the book to Gianni”

    "Πρέπει να δώσω το βιβλίο στον Γιαννη" (Prepei na doso to vivlio ston Gianni) “I must give the book to Gianni”

    "Tου δίνω το βιβλίο" (Tou dino to vivlio) “I give him the book”

    But then it gets more complicated in terms of where to place “το” ("it") .

    "Tου/της δίνω το" or "Tο δίνω του/της" (“I give it to him/her”)?
     
    Last edited:

    Apollodorus

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I would think it's Tου/της το δίνω .
    In which case, further examples would be:

    Πρέπει να του/της το δώσω (Prepei na tou/tis to doso) I must give it to him/her

    Θέλω να του/της το δώσω (Thelo na tou/tis to doso) I want to give it to him/her

    Θα του/της το δώσω? (Tha tou/tis to doso?) Shall I give it to him/her?

    Etc.
     
    Last edited:

    Helleno File

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Thanks all. This topic has come up before but this has been the fullest treatment. :thumbsup:

    I originally learnt εντω μεταξύ, but then saw εν τω μεταξύ but recently my Greek teacher has corrected me to the more up to date στο μεταξύ!
     

    sotos

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Μπράβο. You are probably ready for the next level: How to use του/της παίρνω :) Any way, it is lots easier than the japanese expressions of giving and taking.
     

    Apollodorus

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Μπράβο. You are probably ready for the next level: How to use του/της παίρνω :) Any way, it is lots easier than the japanese expressions of giving and taking.
    Σύμφωνοι. :)

    I think in the circumstances it wouldn’t be entirely wrong to congratulate ourselves.

    And seeing that the "fullest treatment of the topic" has been mentioned, we could, for greater completeness and effect, add an imperative or two:

    “Nα μου δώσεις το βιβλίο!” (Na mou doseis to vivlio) “You should give me the book”

    “Να μην του το δώσεις!” (Na min tou to doseis) “You shouldn’t give it to him”

    “Δώσε μου το βιβλίο!” (Dose mou to vivlio) “Give me the book!”

    “Δώσε μου το!” (Dose mou to) “Give it to me!”

    And if we update "εντω μεταξύ" we may, perhaps, also modernize “δόξα τω Θεώ” (Doxa to Theo), as “δόξα στο θεό” (Doxa sto Theo), “Thank (to) God”.

    Etc./κτλ. …
     
    Last edited:

    Apollodorus

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Are stress marks fully correct here, or should they be ''dhóse moú to''?
    ( whithout epsilon, ''dhòs mou to'' is certainly correct )
    Personally, I don’t see anything in δώσε μου/του (dóse mou/tou) sentences that would require the personal pronoun (μου/του/της) to have an accent. But I may be wrong.
     
    Last edited:

    Apollodorus

    Senior Member
    English UK
    The problem is you added 'to'. I don't think that a stressed syllable can be followed by three unstressed syllables in Greek (at least, that was the AG-rule concerning enclitics).
    You could be right.

    To be quite honest, I for one would write “δώσε μου το λίγο” not “δώσε μού το λίγο”, unless there is a need to avoid an ambiguity. So, I’ll leave that to the experts. ;)

    Come to think of it, a related question that may be of interest would be, how do we stress the personal pronoun in spoken Greek?

    For example, how to put English “Don’t give it (e.g., the book) to her, give it to me!”
     

    διαφορετικός

    Senior Member
    Swiss German - Switzerland
    To be quite honest, I for one would write “δώσε μου το λίγο” not “δώσε μού το λίγο”, unless there is a need to avoid an ambiguity. So, I’ll leave that to the experts. ;)

    Come to think of it, a related question that may be of interest would be, how do we stress the personal pronoun in spoken Greek?
    I'm not an expert, since I did not remember the theory (unlike bearded).
    But in the following thread of this forum, you can find some information about both of the above subjects:
    Προφορά του τόνου σε περιπτώσεις έγκλισης τόνου

    P.S.: Summary: The stress on "μού" in the example “δώσε μού το” is not only written, but also spoken.

    P.P.S.:
    For example, how to put English “Don’t give it (e.g., the book) to her, give it to me!”
    «Μην το δώσεις σ'αυτή, δόσε το σ'εμένα!» (=> Use the strong forms (εμένα, ...) of the pronouns, instead of the weak ones (μου, ...).)
     
    Last edited:

    Apollodorus

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I'm not an expert, since I did not remember the theory (unlike bearded).
    But in the following thread of this forum, you can find some information about both of the above subjects:
    Προφορά του τόνου σε περιπτώσεις έγκλισης τόνου

    P.S.: Summary: The stress on "μού" in the example “δώσε μού το” is not only written, but also spoken.

    P.P.S.:

    «Μην το δώσεις σ'αυτή, δόσε το σ'εμένα!» (=> Use the strong forms (εμένα, ...) of the pronouns, instead of the weak ones (μου, ...).)
    Thanks for the link.

    So, basically, what you are saying is that if you were to say:

    Δώσε μου τα γυαλιά μου

    Δώσε μου το λα/ντο

    Δώσε μου το παιδί

    you would have to put the accent on the “υ” in “μου”.

    What would happen if you chose not to? Or if you forgot?
     

    διαφορετικός

    Senior Member
    Swiss German - Switzerland
    Δώσε μου τα γυαλιά μου

    Δώσε μου το λα/ντο

    Δώσε μου το παιδί

    you would have to put the accent on the “υ” in “μου”.
    No, the additional accent is made only when the word after μου is also a weak pronoun.
    The rules are described in the following grammar book:
    2. Φωνολογία
    Το φαινόμενο αυτό ονομάζεται έγκλιση τόνου και παρουσιάζεται στις εξής περιπτώσεις:

    α) Όταν μια λέξη (ουσιαστικό, επίθετο, επίρρημα, ρήμα) που τονίζεται στην προπαραλήγουσα ακολουθείται από αδύνατο τύπο αντωνυμίας, π.χ. ο δάσκαλός μου.

    β) Όταν ένα ρήμα σε προστακτική τονίζεται στην παραλήγουσα και ακολουθείται από δύο αδύνατους τύπους αντωνυμιών, π.χ. γράψε μού το.

    γ) Όταν μια μετοχή ενεστώτα τονίζεται στην προπαραλήγουσα και ακολουθείται από έναν ή δύο αδύνατους τύπους αντωνυμιών, π.χ. φυτεύοντάς τα.

    What would happen if you chose not to? Or if you forgot?
    This is an interesting question, which should be answered by native Greeks.
     

    bearded

    Senior Member
    The stress on "μού" in the example “δώσε μού το” is not only written, but also spoken. :tick:
    Consequently, if you omit that stress, pronunciation becomes incorrect, which may cause confusion.


    No, the additional accent is made only when the word after μου is also a weak pronoun. :tick:
    In other words, the ta/to in Apollodorus's examples (#32) are not enclitic of the preceding word, but rather (as articles) attached ('proclitic') to the subsequent noun which therefore carries the(ir) stress.

    It's now clear that Mod.Greek does not behave differently from Anc.Greek in this respect.
     
    Last edited:

    Apollodorus

    Senior Member
    English UK
    When you say “δώσε μου το” (or “δώσ’ μου το”) it sounds like one word that even includes the “το”, i.e., “dóse-mou-to”, where the main emphasis is on “dós”.

    When you say “δώσε μου το μολύβι” (dóse mou to molývi), “give me the pencil”, it sounds like two words, “dóse-mou” + “to-molývi” with a brief pause between them.

    If “dóse mou” is pronounced like one word that already has an emphasis on the first part of it (“dóse”), what ambiguity or confusion might arise, e.g., in the first example, if we chose not to write the second part (“mou”) with an accent?
     

    bearded

    Senior Member
    When you say 1)“δώσε μου το” or 2)“δώσ’ μου το”
    Those are two different cases.
    1) is simply wrong (if 'to' is a pronoun), as here Greeks are accustomed to seeing and hearing a stress on 'mou' (according to the rule I quoted above, on impossibility to have more than 2 unstressed syllables), so 1) would sound at least odd - even in case it caused no meaning confusion. The spelling would be correct only if 'to' was an article, which would mean stress is shifted to the subsequent noun - as I tried to say above.
    2) is correct even in case 'to' was a pronoun, because (having the epsilon been eliminated and replaced by an apostrophe) the phrase complies with stressing/spelling rules: in fact here you have just two unstressed syllables after the stressed one.

    The question of the (presence or) absence of ambiguity/confusion - also in connection with emphasis - does exist, but is of minor importance in this case. Stress rules prevail when you deal with Greek monosyllabic words.
     
    Last edited:

    Apollodorus

    Senior Member
    English UK
    The question of the (presence or) absence of ambiguity/confusion - also in connection with emphasis - does exist, but is of minor importance in this case. Stress rules prevail when you deal with Greek monosyllabic words.
    OK. So the absence of stress marks does not necessarily cause ambiguity or confusion. In which case, theoretically at least, you could spell the whole sentence without any stress marks.

    But if we want to go by the book, then stress marks should be used. E.g.:

    1. δώσε μου το μολύβι

    2. δώσε μού το

    3. δώσ' μου το
     

    Apollodorus

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Your #37 is correct - except that Greeks normally do ''go by the book''. ;)
    I have no doubt that Greeks keep to the rules as strictly as they possibly can.

    But the reason I was asking is that in some cases it is obvious that a stress mark is needed to avoid ambiguity. E.g.:

    1. “Η δασκάλα τού πήρε το βιβλίο” (i daskála toú píre to vivlío), “the teacher took the book from him”,

    where “του” is used in the dative sense of “from him” and is stressed to distinguish it from “του” used in the genitive (possessive) sense of “his”, below, which is not stressed.

    2. “H δασκάλα του πήρε το βιβλίο (i daskála tou píre to vivlío) “his teacher took the book”.

    However, according to some sources, like foundalis.com, “the problem is (and grammar books never mention it), it’s not always clear whether there is an ambiguity or not. There are many cases where it’s not easy to spot the ambiguity (so the writer doesn’t mark the accent)”.

    At any rate, there seem to be at least two separate issues:

    (1) the ambiguity rule that says that, for example, a pronoun must be stressed to avoid ambiguity

    and

    (2) the four-syllable rule according to which you cannot have four unstressed syllables in a row.

    But example 1 at #37, "δώσε μου το μολύβι", seems to have four unstressed syllables, "se mou to mo" between “dó” and “lý”.
     
    Last edited:

    bearded

    Senior Member
    My friend, I will leave it to real (native) experts to continue this interesting conversation with you, and to (hopefully) give you responses more exhaustive than mine.
    Just two more elements on my part:
    - I quoted the stress rule incorrectly (my bad): after the stressed syllable, no more than two (*)unstressed syllables are allowed as enclitics: e.g. δώσ' μου το :tick: , δώσε μου το :cross: . This refers to 'to' as a pronoun. ''Enclitic' means monosyllabic words that syntactically belong to the preceding stressed word.
    - Consequently, the example (at #37 ) δώσε μου το μολύβι is correct, because syntactically the phrase must be parsed like this: [δώσε μου] [το μολύβι], i.e. the article 'to' ''belongs'' to the subsequent noun, and is not enclitic.

    ( (*) I amended my above post accordingly ).
     
    Last edited:

    Apollodorus

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Thanks for the clarification. I agree that this seems to be something for experts. As I said, some sources seem to suggest that these rules aren't always as straightforward as one would like them to be.

    But it looks like some rules do have exceptions. As long as we are clear about what the exceptions (or conditions) are, we are probably on the right track. :)

    Incidentally, [δώσε μου] and [το μολύβι] seem to be parsed as two items not only syntactically but also phonologically, i.e., they form each a single phonological word (are spoken as one word).
     
    Last edited:

    Apollodorus

    Senior Member
    English UK
    So, the basic rule starts with the “νόμος της τρισυλλαβίας” (nómos tis trisyllavías), the “three-syllable rule” according to which the stress of a multi-syllable word must occur on one of the last three syllables:

    σημαντικός (simandikós), "important" [Stress on last syllable]

    δασκάλα (daskála), "teacher" (fem.) [Stress on second-last syllable]

    μάθημα (máthima), "lesson" [Stress on third-last syllable]

    A. When a word acquires additional syllables, e.g., to form the plural, then the stress mark will shift to ensure that the rule is preserved:

    μάθημα (máthima) in singular becomes μαθήματα (mathímata) in plural.

    B. When a word attaches to another as to syntactically (and phonologically) form one word, then the
    first word may acquire a second stress or the second word that is normally unstressed, is stressed.

    This applies within a phrase containing one or more weak pronouns, such as, me, se, ton/tin; mou, sou, tou/tis, etc.

    1. Noun/adjective/adverb/verb followed by possessive pronoun:

    O δάσκαλος + μας => O δάσκαλóς μας (o dáskalós mas), “our teacher (masc.)”

    2. Imperative verb followed by pronoun/s:

    Κάλεσε + την => Κάλεσέ την (kálesé tin), “invite her!” [Original stress on third-last syllable]

    Πάρε + του + το => Πάρε τού το (páre toú to), “take it from him!” [Original stress on second-last]

    Γράψε + μου + το => Γράψε μού το (grápse moú to), “write it to me!” [Orig. stress on second-last]

    3. Adverb/gerund used adverbially followed by pronoun/s:

    Απέναντι + σας => Απέναντί σας (apénandí sas), "opposite you"

    Δίνοντας + σου + τα => Δίνοντάς σου τα (dínondás sou ta), “giving them to you”

    This applies to words stressed on the second-last or third-last syllable.

    When the word is stressed on the last syllable, the stress does not change E.g.:

    Aγαπητός/αγαπητή + μου = Aγαπητός/αγαπητή μου (agapitós/agapití mou), “My dear/favourite (masc./fem.)”
     
    Last edited:

    διαφορετικός

    Senior Member
    Swiss German - Switzerland
    When a word attaches to another as to syntactically (and phonologically) form one word, then the
    first word may acquire a second stress or the second word that is normally unstressed, is stressed.

    This applies within a phrase containing one or more weak pronouns, such as, me, se, ton/tin; mou, sou, tou/tis
    Yes, and it applies only when the pronouns immediately follow another word. But ...

    No, the additional accent is made only when the word after μου is also a weak pronoun.
    The rules are described in the following grammar book:
    2. Φωνολογία
    The excerpt of the grammar book I quoted seems to be faulty! The corrected version:
    Το φαινόμενο αυτό ονομάζεται έγκλιση τόνου και παρουσιάζεται στις εξής περιπτώσεις:

    α) Όταν μια λέξη (ουσιαστικό, επίθετο, επίρρημα, ρήμα) που τονίζεται στην προπαραλήγουσα ακολουθείται από αδύνατο τύπο αντωνυμίας κτητική αντωνυμία, π.χ. ο δάσκαλός μου.

    β) Όταν ένα ρήμα σε προστακτική τονίζεται στην παραλήγουσα και ακολουθείται από δύο αδύνατους τύπους αντωνυμιών, π.χ. γράψε μού το.

    γ) Όταν μια μετοχή ενεστώτα τονίζεται στην προπαραλήγουσα και ακολουθείται από έναν ή δύο αδύνατους τύπους αντωνυμιών, π.χ. φυτεύοντάς τα.
    P.S.:
    Well, at least for the sentence
    • ο δάσκαλος μου έδωσα το βιβλίο (the teacher gave me the book)
    the original rules seem to be wrong, aren't they?

    P.P.S.:
    I would add a fourth rule:
    δ) Όταν ένα ρήμα σε προστακτική τονίζεται στην προπαραλήγουσα και ακολουθείται από αδύνατο τύπο αντωνυμίας, π.χ. κάλεσέ την.

    P.P.S.: These rules are still incomplete ... your summary is easier to understand and probably more complete, Appollodorus.
     
    Last edited:

    Apollodorus

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Thanks, διαφορετικός.
    I have now included the κάλεσέ την example under Imperatives (2).
    I think this is more or less it, at least as a (hopefully useful) general outline.
    Further details/examples may be added, though.
     
    Last edited:
    Top