Article and gender

Article: We have already learned the term "indefinite article." What is the indefinite article in English, and why is it called "indefinite"?

, the Greek word for "the," is the "definite article." It is "definite" in that it points to one specific thing (e.g., "the car") and not any thing (e.g., "a car"). I am going to start using the term "article" to refer to the word "the."

Gender: Every Greek noun is one of three genders. It is either

  • masculine,
  • feminine, or
  • neuter.

Names for men are masculine, and names for women are feminine. We have already seen a little of this. The same word is altered depending whether it means "he" (αὐτός) or "she" (αὐτή).

Modifies: When an article is connected to a noun as in the phrase ὁ Πέτρος, we say that the article "modifies" the noun. The rule is that the article has to be the same gender as the noun it modifies. How does it do this?

While nouns are only one gender, the article can be all three genders. It does this by changing its form. For example,

  • if the noun is masculine, the article will be ,
  • if the noun is feminine, the article will be ,
  • if the noun is neuter, the article will be τό.

, , and τό mean the same thing.