Greek Letters and Their Names

When you are working with geometry and trigonometry, you will see a lot of Greek letters. It will be helpful to know how the names of these letters are spelled and pronounced.

Name

Character

Pronunciation

alpha

α

AL-phuh

beta

β

BAY-tuh

gamma

γ

GAMM-muh

delta

δ

DELL-tuh

epsilon

ε

EPP-sih-lonn

zeta

ζ

ZAY-tuh

eta

η

AY-tuh

theta

θ

THAY-tuh

iota

ι

ee-OH-tuh

kappa

κ

CAPP-uh

lambda

λ

LAMM-duh
(What animal is that?
It's a "LAMB -- duh"!!)

mu

μ

myoo

nu

ν

noo

xi

ξ

ksee

omicron

ο

OH-mih-kronn

pi

π

piy (Like apple "pie".)

rho

ρ

roh (Like "row, row,
row your boat".)

(final) sigma

ς

SIGG-muh

sigma

σ

SIGG-muh

tau

τ

tow (like the first syllable of "towel")

upsilon

υ

OOPS-ih-lonn

phi

φ

fiy (Like "fee, fie,
fo, fum")

chi

χ

kiy

psi

ψ

psiy

omega

ω

oh-MAY-guh

The Greek letters you are most likely to see for angles are α (alpha), β (beta), γ (gamma), δ (delta), and θ (theta). And of course you'll be using π (pi) all the time. Make sure you know how to spell and pronounce at least these six Greek characters.


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