to learn something by heart

janecito

Senior Member
Slovene, Slovenia
Γεια σας!

I was just doing my next Greek lesson and here's a sentence that I could use some help with:

Θα μαθαίνω απ' έξω δέκα λέξεις τη μέρα.

Now, the sentence is suppose to mean something like: I will learn by heart 10 words a day. What I don't get is this απ' έξω part. My dictionary says απ' έξω mens 'from the outside'. Can it also mean 'by heart' – that is the only part of the translation that I'm missing in the Greek sentence.

Also, is the form λέξεις correct? Shouldn't it be λέξες - nominative plural?

Ευχαριστώ! :)
 
  • beatrizg

    Senior Member
    Colombia, Spanish
    You're right janecito, μαθαίνω απ' έξω means "I learn by heart".

    Regarding "words" the correct form in plural is λέξεις.
    η λέξη
    (the word)- οι λέξεις (the words).
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    janecito

    Senior Member
    Slovene, Slovenia
    Thank you for the answer, beatrizg. :)
    beatrizg said:
    Regarding "words" the correct form in plural is λέξεις.
    η λέξη (the word)- οι λέξεις (the words).
    I thought it would be strange if a textbook gave a wrong form. ;) But don't feminine words ending in usually take the plural form in -ες (η αδερφή > οι αδερφές, η μύτη > οι μύτες)? So, does this make η λέξη some sort of an exception or is there another declination pattern that I'm not aware of?
     

    parakseno

    Senior Member
    Romanian, Romania
    Yes, in fact there is a whole class of feminine nouns ending in -η that have the plural with -εις.

    η πόλη - οι πόλεις
    η σκέψη - οι σκέψεις
    η λέξη - οι λέξεις

    This is a decleison that is "inherited" from Ancient Greek. Now this is no general rule, but you will see that nouns ending in -ξη και -ψη are more likely to have this ending in the plural form.

    As you said (and beatrizg reassured) μαθαίνω απ' έξω means to learn by heart. I would like to say that in Romanian we have this expression in the same way "a învăţa ceva pe dinafară" (it would be the literal translation of the Greek expression).
     

    modus.irrealis

    Senior Member
    English, Canada
    parakseno said:
    Now this is no general rule, but you will see that nouns ending in -ξη και -ψη are more likely to have this ending in the plural form.
    Parakseno's right and more generally nouns ending in -ση are also likely to have plurals in -εις (especially if they're derived from a verb).

    Another trick is that many of these words were borrowed into English (and maybe other languages as well) in their Ancient Greek form, which ended in -ις, so English having analysis and thesis means you have αναλύσεις, θέσεις. But the converse doesn't work, e.g. English has phase but you still have φάσεις.
     

    janecito

    Senior Member
    Slovene, Slovenia
    Thank you all for the explanations. You really have cleared some things up for me. :)
    parakseno said:
    I would like to say that in Romanian we have this expression in the same way "a învăţa ceva pe dinafară" (it would be the literal translation of the Greek expression).
    Parakseno, îmi (sau me?) amintesc de expresia aceasta în limba română dar ştiu că nici în română n-am fost sigur ce vrea să spună. Acuma ştiu. ;) Mulţumesc!
     

    parakseno

    Senior Member
    Romanian, Romania
    Cu plăcere! Îmi pare bine că am putut să fiu de ajutor.
    Apropos, felicitări! Vorbeşti româna foarte bine.

    (And for those who don't speak Romanian, I'm going to translate... it only seems fair...:D

    You're welcome! I'm glad I could help.
    And by the way, congratulations! You speak Romanian very well.
    )
     
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