Parts of a sentence

The parts of a sentence – Τα μέρη της πρότασης

In Greek, a sentence may consist of these parts:

  • Τhe verb (το ρήμα)
  • The subject (το υποκείμενο)
  • Τhe object (το αντικείμενο)
  • The predicative (το κατηγορούμενο)

The verb (το ρήμα):

The verb is the word that is used to describe an action or a state. All sentences must have only one verb. There are three types of verbs:

  • Transitive (μεταβατικό) – A verb is transitive when it is followed by an object (see below for explanation of object).
  • Intransitive (αμετάβατο) – A verb is intransitive when it not followed by an object.
  • Connective (συνδετικό). – A verb is connective when it is one of these: είμαι, γίνομαι, φαίνομαι, βρίσκομαι, γεννιέμαι, εκλέγομαι, λέγομαι, θεωρούμαι etc. Only connective verbs can be followed by a predicative (see below for explanation of predicative).

Η Μαρία τρώει.

Maria eats.

Ο Γιάννης διαβάζει.
John reads.

The subject (το υποκείμενο):

The subject is the word that indicates who is acting, basically who is “doing” what the verb tells us. To find the subject, we ask the question who? (ποιος;) The subject is always found in the nominative case (ονομαστική πτώση). Most sentences have a subject but in some scenarios it is implied.

Ο Γιώργος παίζει. (who is playing?)
George plays.

Τα παιδιά χορεύουν. (who is dancing?)
The children dance.

Τρώει σπανακόπιτα. (who is eating?) (αυτός) *
(He) eats spinach pie.
*In this case the subject is implied.

The object (το αντικείμενο):

The object is the word to which the action goes to. To find the object, we ask the question what? (τι;) and whom? (ποιον;). When the action in the sentence does not go onto something or someone we do not have an object. The object is always found in the genitive case (γενική πτώση) or the accusative case (αιτιατική πτώση).

Η Μαρία αγοράζει ένα βιβλίο. (what is she buying?)
Maria is buying a book.

Εμείς συναντήσαμε τον Δημήτρη. (whom did we meet?)
We met Dimitri.

The predicative (το κατηγορούμενο):

The predicative is the word that gives the subject a specific characteristic. It is found in the nominative case (ονομαστική πτώση). To have a predicative, we must have a connective verb.


Ο Πέτρος είναι μαθητής. (this gives Petros a characteristic and “είμαι” is a connective verb)
Petros is a student.

Ο αθλητής φαίνεται κουρασμένος. (this gives the athlete a characteristic and “φαίνεται” is a connective verb)
The athlete seems tired.