Getting started on ancient Greek
Getting started on ancient Greek

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

2 First words

Now that you have had some practice writing individual letters, let’s move on to words. When writing words, there are some additional points to bear in mind:

  • If a word begins with a vowel, it needs a breathing.
  • Sigma at the end of a word has its own shape (ς instead of σ).

Take your time and refer to the alphabet sheet as necessary (here's the link to the downloadable version again: Alphabet Guide [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] ). Keep a note of any letters that you find difficult to write.

Activity 2 First words

Timing: Allow about 15 minutes

Try writing out the following common Greek words yourself. You can use this worksheet if you wish: First words.

  • δένδρον (dendron) = tree
  • κακός (kakos) = bad
  • λόγος (logos) = word, reason, story
  • ποταμός (potamos) = river
  • σοφός (sophos) = wise
  • ἄγγελος (angelos) = messenger
  • βίβλος (biblos) = book
  • θεοί (theoi) = gods
  • ξένος (xenos) = stranger, foreigner, guest
  • ψυχή (psuchē) = soul, mind


Here's a completed version of the worksheet for comparison: First words [completed].

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371