The Alphabet

The Greek alphabet has 24 letters1. Luckily for us, almost all of these have an equivalent sound in English (and quite a few even look like their English versions!). This chart will show you the name of the lowercase/uppercase version of each letter, its name (in English) and an example of how to pronounce it.

Table 5.1 The Alphabet
Lower Upper English name Eng. Letter Pronunciation
α Α Alpha a Father
β Β Beta b Bat
γ Γ Gamma g Go
δ Δ Delta d Do
ε Ε Epsilon e Set
ζ Ζ Zeta z Haze2
η Η Eta ê Obey
θ Θ Theta th Thick
ι Ι Iota i Intrigue
κ Κ Kappa k Kind
λ Λ Lamda l Love
μ Μ Mu m Man
ν Ν Nu n Night
ξ Ξ Xi x Wax
ο Ο Omicron o Not
π Π Pi p Pack
ρ Ρ Rho r Road / Rhode
σ/ς Σ Sigma s Say
τ Τ Tau t Top
υ Υ Upsilon u / y Book
φ Φ Phi ph Phil
χ Χ Chi x Loch Ness3
ψ Ψ Psi ps Caps
ω Ω Omega ô Sold

  1. There were a few more before classical usage, but they dropped out by the time of the New Testament. We'll learn more about these later.
  2. or Adze
  3. With rough accent

Teaching Philosophy

As I have grown in my own Greek studies, it has become apparent that not all Greek textbooks are alike. Some are simply too bulky and filled with unnecessary, while others present page after page of paradigms with little instruction on grasping the patterns behind them.  Some are simply old and lacking the best of recent scholarship.

That being said, there are a few overriding principles in how MyGreekStudies is written:

  • To streamline the learning process by only including information that truly matters.
  • To reduce rote memorization as much as possible by demonstrating the patterns behind the spelling and grammar presented in the lessons.
  • To keep terminology simple and use new terms only when necessary to grasp the subject at hand.
  • To present both sides of an issue when multiple theories of a particular bit of grammar are widely held among the typical Greek grammars.
  • To reference outside grammars and websites whenever possible, to provide additional support for the more eager among the students, while still not requiring such references for the lesson to be understood.
  • Above all, to present a clear, comprehensive, and orderly first-year Greek grammar, constantly expanded and made better by the input of all of us, whether student or expert.