Daily misunderstanding


Filomathia Greek School on Chania Crete
Always check back the phrase or sentence you have just uttered when a native Greek speaker gives you an odd look and politely waits for an explanation -not to say he is ready to express anger. Here is what happened to a student of mine named "J...".

"J..." was having his new house built and nice and easy-going as he usually is, started making friends with some of the workers. He would anyway see them every day, since before the house was absolutely complete, he had already been using a couple of its rooms. The electrician, particularly, seemed to him a nice fellow, for he would willingly start a conversation with him in his broken English. "J..." one day he decided to put his Greek forward and the electrician was indeed happy about that -he even congratulated him on his good accent and the effort he made to speak correctly! "J..." indeed spoke good Greek, though he was a bit uncertain as for the possessive pronouns, and generally, all pronouns!

So, after a rainy weekend, when workers could not work at "J..."'s house due to the weather, they all met again on Monday. The electrician, of course, was the first that "J..." talked to and kindly asked him in Greek how he had spent his days off. The electrician complained that he had to spend it all alone, since his wife was visiting her parents all weekend and then politely asked the same question to "J...". He was very pleased, then, to announce (in Greek): "I had a lovely weekend with YOUR wife. She came for a short visit after a long time!"

You can imagine, of course, that such a small grammatical mistake made the electrician drop his jaws and "J..." wonder about this peculiar reaction... Fortunately, this misunderstand didn't lead to a conflict, because the electrician suspected something was wrong in what "J..." had just said and asked for clarifications. But I don't want to think of what might possibly have happened if it wasn't for this particular electrician...

So, be careful with possessive pronouns!

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