Adjectives ending in ος, ια/η, o

Discussion in 'Ελληνικά (Greek)' started by stelingo, May 5, 2013.

  1. stelingo

    stelingo Senior Member

    United Kingdom
    I am working my way through Communicate in Greek 2, which doesn't give detailed grammar explanations. There is a presentation of adjectives such as κακός, κακία/κακή, κακό. It seems to suggest that the only 2 adjectives where you must use ία rather than ή are γλυκιά and φρέσκια. Is that correct?

    It also gives the following examples:

    Λέμε: ξανθιά κοπέλα, κακία αδελφή, φτώχια/φτωχή γυναίκα
    αλλά: ξάνθη σταφίδα, κακή ταινία, φτωχή χώρα.

    So am I to assume from this that the ία ending is more commonly used with animate nouns and the ή ending with inanimate ones?

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. Tassos

    Tassos Senior Member

    Animate nouns:
    1) You can use both endings.
    2) The ιά ending is more frequent for most adjectives mainly because it sounds more colloquial/informal.
    3) The ή ending is more formal and poetic. (there's a very famous song named "Ξανθή αγαπημένη Παναγιά" but if I see a beautiful blonde in the street I'll always say "Κοιτά αυτή την ξανθιά")

    Inanimate nouns
    The ή ending is used 95% of the times. Sometimes you might hear something that sounds OK like ξανθιά σταφίδα or set phrases like έβγαλε τη λύσσα την κακιά but most of the times the usage of the ιά ending sounds awkward.

    As for your first question one adjective I can think of right now is παχιά (obese, fat), but there might be others.
  3. Perseas Senior Member

    Hi stellingo,

    in Triandaphyllides Concise Grammar says that the declension in question is: Adjectives in -ός, -ιά, -ό (some of them have an alternative feminine in ). In this declension belong ξανθός, ελαφρός (και ελαφρύς), and some adjectives in -κός, -γκός, -χός, -νός: γλυκός, γνωστικός, θηλυκός, κακός, κρητικός, μαλακός, νηστικός, στριγκός, ταγκός, ρηχός, φτωχός, ζακυνθινός. Also, φρέσκος. (Adjectives in -ός, -ή, -ό are another declension.)

    "γλυκιά" and "φρέσκια" do not form an declension; also, "ελαφριά". In contrast, ρηχή is more common.

    I 've never noticed that nor did I see it written somewhere. In the given examples: I think "ξανθιά σταφίδα" is also common; "κακή αδελφή" sounds also ok to me.
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
  4. stelingo

    stelingo Senior Member

    United Kingdom
    Thanks for your replies, guys.
  5. stelingo

    stelingo Senior Member

    United Kingdom
    Tessos, what does έβγαλε τη λύσσα την κακιά actually mean?
  6. Tassos

    Tassos Senior Member

    He/she became really angry but also obsessed with something.
    The expression implies anger/rage but also persistance (sometimes illogical) to deal with something whatever it takes.
  7. stelingo

    stelingo Senior Member

    United Kingdom
    I see. Thanks.

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