When you start learning Greek, one of the verbs you will use often is “μιλάω” (“milao”), which means “to speak or to talk”.
For example, the following sentences might be very useful to know, when you travel in Greece:
“δεν μιλάω καλά ελληνικά” = “I do not speak Greek well”.
“μιλάτε αγγλικά;” = Do you speak English?
But first, some Greek grammar…
When you use a verb in Greek, it is important to learn how to conjugate it.
If you just started learning Greek, then concentrate only on the Present tense.
The verb “μιλάω” belongs to the second group of verbs ending in –άω. It is conjugated in the present tense by adding the endings -άω, -άς, -άει, -άμε, -άτε, -άνε to the stem μιλ-.
In the simple past and simple future tenses, however, the respective endings are attached to the stem μιλήσ- [see the table below].
Here below you can see how the verb is conjugated.
|Present||Future Simple||Simple Past|
|αυτός, αυτή, αυτό||μιλάει||θα μιλήσει||μίλησε|
|αυτοί, αυτές, αυτά||μιλάνε||θα μιλήσουνε||μίλησαν/ μιλήσανε|
Most students will use the verb μιλάω mainly in the present and simple past tense, but more advanced students can also have a look at the other tenses.
|Future Simple||θα μιλήσω|
|Future Continuous||θα μιλάω|
|Present Perfect||έχω μιλήσει|
|Past Perfect||είχα μιλήσει|
|Future Perfect||θα έχω μλήσει|
Now it is time to learn some more sentences with the verb “μιλάω“:
Δεν μιλάω καλά ελληνικά. (den milao kala ellinika) = I do not speak Greek well.
Τι γλώσσα μιλάς; (ti glossa milas?) = What language do you speak?
Για τι πράγμα μιλάτε; (gia ti pragma milate?) = What (thing) are you talking about?
Μιλάει πολύ (milaei poli) = He/she talks a lot
Μιλάω στο τηλέφωνο. (milao sto tilefono) = I am on the phone
Μιλάει για τον καιρό. (milai gia ton kero) = He/She talks about the weather.
Μπορείτε να μιλάτε πιο αργά, παρακαλώ; (borite na milate pio arga, parakalo?)= Could you speak slower, please?
Some Greek expressions with the verb “μιλάω”:
Μιλάω στον τοίχο (milao ston tiho) [I am talking to the wall] = Nobody pays attention to what I am saying
Αυτή η μουσική μιλάει στην καρδιά μου (afti i mousiki milai stin kardia mou) = This music talks to my heart
Το πράγμα μιλάει από μόνο του (to pragma milai apo mono tou) [the thing speaks on its own] = It is very obvious.
Another way to say “I speak”; “ Omilo – ομιλώ ” !
In 1996 we chose the name “Omilo” for our Greek Language School.
Why? Well, because it actually also means “I speak”!
Of course, we thought of the alternative name “milao”, but we did like the fact that “omilo” comes from the ancient Greek verb «ὁμιλῶ» which used to mean “to associate, to keep company with somebody”, but also “to be a student or to frequent, to hang out”.
Over the years the meaning of the word changed and since modern times we use “milao” (μιλάω) in modern Greek.
However, many elderly people still say “omilo”, instead of milao.