Getting my ahead around irregular adjectives

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άρτος

Member
English
I find the number of irregular noun declensions in MG very confusing and almost impossible to tell which form they take.

Are there any rules that would help me determine what declension an adjective falls into/
 
  • διαφορετικός

    Senior Member
    Swiss German - Switzerland
    Your question is rather confusing: it is not clear whether it concerns adjectives or nouns, and whether it concerns irregular ones or rules. You have mentioned all of them.
     

    άρτος

    Member
    English
    Your question is rather confusing: it is not clear whether it concerns adjectives or nouns, and whether it concerns irregular ones or rules. You have mentioned all of them.
    Apologies for the confusion. I meant to say the irregular declensions of adjectives and whether there are any rules that would help me to identify which declension they follow. I hope this is clear now.
     

    διαφορετικός

    Senior Member
    Swiss German - Switzerland
    In general, "irregular" means "not following the rules", doesn't it? I know only one rule for irregular adjectives: look it up in a dictionary, which hopefully tells you how that adjective is declined.

    Could you please mention a particular adjective as an example, to avoid any misunderstanding?
     

    Αγγελος

    Senior Member
    Greek
    There are not that many irregular adjectives in modern Greek. πολύς is one; which others do you have in mind?
    One problem is that we occasionally use words from ancient Greek, such as ευγνώμων (=thankful), which are regular in the ancient language, but with whose inflexional patterns you may not be familiar.
    In particular, there are a good many useful adjectives in -ής, such as διεθνής (=international), ευσεβής (=pious), ειλικρινής (=sincere), βραχώδης (=rocky), etc. which are regular but confusing even to uneducated native speakers. Their correct declension is as follows:
    ο / η διεθνής - το διεθνές
    του / της / του διεθνούς
    τον / τη διεθνή -- το διεθνές
    οι διεθνείς -- τα διεθνή
    των διεθνών
    τους / τις διεθνείς -- τα διεθνή
     
    Last edited:

    άρτος

    Member
    English
    I have made a list of some of the main types of irregular adjectives:
    1. Adjectives ending in -ος / -ια / -ο: eg γλυκός, φρέσκος
    2. Adjectives ending in -ύς / ιά / ύ: eg βαρύς, ελαφρύς μακρύς, πλατύς, φαρδύς (mainly adjectives of dimension, mass?)​
    3. Adjectives ending in -ής / -ιά / -ί: eg δεξής , καφετής (mainly adjectives of colour and materials?)
    4. Adjectives ending in -ής (M + F) / -ές (N): eg ακριβής, ειλικρινής
    5. Adjectives ending in -ης / -α / -ικο: eg τεμπέλης
    6. Adjectives ending in – ύς / -εία / -ύ: ευθύς​

    The main problems for me are distinguishing between types 2 & 6, and between 3,4 & 5.
     

    Αγγελος

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Oh, OK, I see your problem.
    You are right: there is no obvious a priori way of telling whether an adjective in -ύς is declined according to the ancient paradigm (ευθύς-ευθεία-ευθύ, gen. του ευθέος etc.) or according to the modern one (βαρύς-βαριά-βαρύ, του βαριού etc.). Both those paradigms are considered regular, which is why we didn't understand your question right away.
    Class 3, declined exactly like class 2 except for the dictionary form being spelled with an η, exclusively consists of adjectives of color. (δεξής is an exception, and the more usual form is δεξιός, although δεξί is probably more frequent than δεξιό as a neuter.)
    Class 5 can be distinguished from class 4 in that its adjectives are stressed on the penult (next-to-last syllable), while those of class 4 are stressed on the final. Again, there are a few (αυθάδης, κακοήθης... plus the whole class of derived words in -ώδης) class 4 adjectives stressed on the penult, but even native speakers are confused by those. The neuter forms of αυθάδης and κακοήθης e.g. are officially αύθαδες and κακόηθες, but most people would say αυθάδικο and κακοήθες. I myself would hesitate about the stress of the genitive plural: I think it is των αυθάδων but των βραχωδών, but I won't be too surprised if I turn out to be wrong (and I used to be a professional translator!)
     
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