The Modern Greek Cases: Ονομαστική, Γενική, Αιτιατική, Κλητική

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Grammatical cases are categorizing nouns, pronouns, adjectives, participles, and numerals according to their funtion in a sentence. English speakers are often confused with the concept of grammatical cases when learning foreign languages, since the modern English language only applies cases in personal pronouns.

The modern Greek language uses cases to distinguish the role and funtion of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, participles, and numerals within a sentence. Although there were five cases in ancient Greek, the modern Greek language only uses four of them: Nominative (Ονομαστική), Genitive (Γενική), Accusative (Αιτιατική), Vocative (Κλητική). Dative (Δοτική) is no longer used.

The Modern Greek Cases:

  1. Ονομαστική= the subject of a sentence is always in Ονομαστική.
  2. Γενική= it shows that the noun possesses an object.
  3. Αιτιατική= the object of a sentence is in Αιτιατική.
  4. Κλητική= it is used when calling/addressing someone.


-Ο Γιάννης πήρε την ομπρέλα του Νίκου.

– Γιάννη! Σταμάτα. Πήρες την ομπρέλα του Νίκου.

O Γιάννης= Ονομαστική

Την Ομπρέλα= Αιτιατική

Του Νίκου= Γενική

Γιάννη!= Κλητική


– Yannis took Nikos’ umbrella.

– Yannis! Stop. You took Nikos’ umbrella.

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Marialena Perpiraki is a journalist and writer from Athens, Greece. In 2020, she founded Helinika as a cross-media platform.