The definite article specifies a particular item from the larger set represented by the noun. For example, in the sentence, "The boy went home," one particular boy (who can be identified) is intended. The noun "boy" itself includes a billion boys; the definite article restricts that to one particular identifiable boy. But the definite article can be used only if some other feature of the sentence, or the context itself, clearly identifies the noun being spoken about. For example, in the sentence above, something else in the sentence must identify which boy it was who went home. If a particular boy cannot be identified, the noun is said to be indefinite.

Altogether, there are 17 different ways to spell "the" in Greek.

The Greek definite article begins either with the letter t or the "h" sound, which happen to be the first two letters of the English definite article: "the." The first letter (t) occurs considerably more often. There are three exceptions, listed below. They break the pattern by dropping the final letter of the case endings.


  1. masculine singular nominative
  2. neuter singular nominative
  3. neuter singular accusative.