Learning Greek for Beginners – Lesson 3

  • This Knol is part of the Learning Greek for Beginners collection.
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Lesson 3 summary

In Lesson 3 we will keep using the same model we used in the previous lessons. We will see a new dialogue and attempt to analyze it.  The main goal is to learn how some verbs are used in various persons. Please do not forget to ask anything you want, either via email or via comments in this page.

Dialogue No. 3

This dialogue concerns the solutions of a mathematical problem related to the irrational numbers. One mathematician support the opinion that irrational numbers like π actually exist, while the other tries to explain that numbers which cannot be written does on a paper cannot be “real”… [In brackets one can read the way the Greek words are pronounced, with Latin characters].

The dialogue goes like this:

– Σου λέω λοιπόν ότι άρρητοι αριθμοί σαν το π υπάρχουν. [Sou leo loipon oti aritoi arithmoi san to pi yparxoun]

– Πως μπορείς να το λες αυτό; Μπορείς να μου πεις τα ψηφία του; [Pos to les auto? Mporeis na mou peis ta psifia tou?]

– Ναι. Τα πρώτα ψηφία είναι 3,14159… Αυτό δεν σου αρκεί; [Nai. Ta prota psifia einai 3,14159… Auto den sou arkei?]

– Όχι. Γιατί αυτά τα ψηφία δεν είναι ολόκληρος ο αριθμός. [Ochi. Giati auta ta psifia den einai olokliros o arithmos]

– Μπορούμε όμως να τον χρησιμοποιήσουμε σε τόσες εξισώσεις στα μαθηματικά. Αυτό δεν σου λέει κάτι; [Mporoume omos na ton xrisimopoiisoume se toses eksisoseis sta mathimatika. Auto den sou leei kati?]

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– Και το άπειρο μπορούμε να χρησιμοποιήσουμε σε πολλές εξισώσεις. Αυτό σημαίνει ότι υπάρχει; Το έχεις “δει”; [Kai to apeiro mporoume na xrisimopoiisoume se polles eksisoseis. Auto simainei oti yparxei? To exeis “dei”?]

In English that same dialogue means:

– I tell you that irrational numbers like pi exist.

– How can you say that? Can you tell me its digits?

– Yes. The first digits are 3,14159… Isn’t that enough for you?

– No. Because these digits are not the whole number.

– But we can use it in many equations. Doesn’t that tell you something?

– We can also use infinity in many equations. Does that mean that it exists? Have you “seen” it?

In that dialogue, the first mathematician makes a claim about irrational numbers.

Sou leo loipon oti  => So I tell you that, (“loipon” is used generally as “alore” in French)

arritoi                   => irrational (this is an adjective for the word that follows),

arithmoi               => numbers

like pi                  => as pi (“san” is used to show resemblance here)

yparxoun             => exist (plural, since it refers to many “numbers”)

The word “Yparxo” means “I exist” and has the following use:

Yparxo         = I exist

Yparxeis      = You exist

Yparxei        = It exists

Yparxoume  = We exist

Yparxete      = You (plural) exist

Yparxoun     = They exist

Stay tuned for more short “Learning Greek for Dummies” lessons in the future!!!

Lesson Questions & Answers

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