Learn How To Conjugate The Greek Verb “I Speak”

Greek verb

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?

Let’s start with a little bit of 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
εγώ μιλάω θα μιλήσω μίλησα
εσύ μιλάς θα μιλήσεις μίλησες
αυτός, αυτή, αυτό μιλάει θα μιλήσει μίλησε
εμείς μιλάμε θα μιλήσουμε μιλήσαμε
εσείς μιλάτε θα μιλήσετε μιλήσατε
αυτοί, αυτές, αυτά μιλάνε θα μιλήσουνε μίλησαν/ μιλήσανε

Take a look at the video below and listen to the correct pronunciation of the conjugation in the present tense.

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.

Present μιλάω
Past Continuous μιλούσα
Past Simple μίλησα
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?

Here below 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.
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.

We can also find the “omilo” form in official or standard phrases like:

«μην ομιλείτε στον οδηγό» (min omilite ston odigo) = don’t speak to the driver. It’s a phrase you find many times on a bus.

«ομιλείτε ελληνικά;» (omilite ellinika?) = do you speak Greek? -It was the title of a TV program about Greek language.

The form «ομιλώ» survives also in words like:
«ομιλητής» = speaker.
E.g. Το κοινό άκουγε με προσοχή τον ομιλητή. = the audience was listening carefully to the speaker.
«ομιλία» = speech.
E.g. Δεν ήρθε πολύς κόσμος στην ομιλία του. = Very few people came to his speech.
«ομιλητικός» = communicative, talkative.
E.g. Σήμερα δεν είσαι πολύ ομιλητικός, έγινε κάτι; = Today you are not very talkative, is something wrong?


We hope you liked this free Greek Language Lesson.

Now that you started learning Greek verbs in different tenses, it is the perfect time to proceed and start using more Greek verbs.
The eBook «71 Everyday Greek Verbs» will help you to communicate in Greek.