Subject Pronouns

Προσωπικές αντωνυμίες ονομαστικές

Subject pronouns, literally called "nominative personal pronouns" in Greek, indicate who or what is performing the action of a verb. The different subject pronouns are determined by number and person.

  • Number is divided into “singular” (one) and “plural” (more than one).
  • Person includes “first person” (the speaker), “second person” (the listener), and “third person” (neither the speaker nor the listener).

Thus with two numbers and three persons, Greek has a total of six grammatical persons and six verb conjugations. Each grammatical person has up to three subject pronouns:

singular   plural
1st person I εγώ   we εμείς
2nd person you εσύ   you εσείς
3rd person he, it αυτός   they αυτοί
she, it αυτή   they αυτές
it αυτό   they αυτά


Unlike "I," εγώ is only capitalized at the beginning of a sentence.

There are two Greek words for "you" (exactly like the French words for “you”): εσύ is singular and informal (like tu), while εσείς is plural and / or formal (like vous).

In addition to "he" and "she," αυτός and αυτή mean “it” when they replace a noun of that gender, so ο καιρός (the weather) becomes αυτός and η ώρα (the hour) becomes αυτή.

As for third person plural,

  • Αυτοί is used for men, masculine nouns, and mixed gender groups – it is the default when referring to plural groups.
  • Αυτές can be used only for a group of women and/or feminine nouns.
  • Likewise, αυτά can be used only for a group of neuter nouns.

Greek subject pronouns are used far less commonly than their English equivalents because Greek (like Spanish) is a "pro-drop" language, meaning that pronouns are not required**: the verb conjugation tells you who or what is performing the action of the verb.

** In fact, my Greek teachers insist that I not use them unless I need to stress the subject, such as to contradict what someone just said.

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