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Can you please explain to me what the difference is between these two words:

1) φύσις,η  \{foo'-sis}

2) φυσικός,α  \{foo-see-kos'} or {foo-see-koce'}

Does one mean "nature" while the other means "natural?" If so, what exactly is the difference between nature and natural? Does "foo-sis" possibly refer to things in nature, whereas "foo-see-kos" is something that is inborn within all humans or a part of human reality? If there is no difference, what need would there have been for two differently-spelled words that have the same exact meaning?

Thank you in advance for any insight you can provide.
by (120 points)

1 Answer

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The pronunciation \{foo'-sis} and {foo-see-kos'}  that you mention refer to the ancient Greek and not the current pronunciation of the words.

The ending -ις in the word φύσις is an older ending as well. In modern Greek we use the ending -η (φύση).  Do you study ancient or modern Greek?

Anyway, the two words come from the same root. φύσις (or φύση) is a noun and φυσικός, φυσική, φυσικό is an adjective.

φύση = nature

φυσικός = natural

Example from modern Greek:

Μου αρέσει να κάνω εκδρομές στη φύση.

Το φυσικό περιβάλλον είναι πολύ όμορφο.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Vasiliki Baskou, Instructor/Director, https://learn-greek-online.com. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

by (40.3k points)
edited by
Apologies for the late reply and thank you for the information. I really appreciate it.

As for your question? No, not really. I was just curious about this word and a few others that I was able to find the meaning of online.
Hey what does φύσιν mean then? I don't understand the -ν ending.
The -ν in the end of word indicates ancient Greek Accusative case.

Ancient Greek:
Nominative: η φύσις
Genitive : της φύσεως
Accusative : την φύσιν

Modern Greek:
Nominative: η φύση
Genitive : της φύσης
Accusative : την φύση