lessons‎ > ‎

10. present tense of verbs

Verbs are the foundation of any language. Interslavic verbs have (like in English) three persons, singular and plural (can be dual) number, imperative, participles, conditional and three tenses (present, past and future) extendable to the total number of six tenses. From this perspective, Interslavic does not differ from any other Indo-European language. The difference with English is that all these verbal forms are formed by adding endings to the word stem (root). Therefore, Neoslavonic is much more similar to Greek or Romance languages​​.

Fortunately verb system is not so difficult to learn as inflection. With just a few exceptions, Neoslavonic edition of Interslavic has only two verb classes. Like inflection, we have two patterns: hard and soft. This means that it is enough to learn these two sets of endings and apply them to each verb.

  1. Each Interslavic verb can have two different word stems: past and present. The present stem can be either identical with the past stem, or the present stem is either longer or softer than corresponding past stem. This information should be written in dictionaries.

  2. Interslavic verbs have the infinitive. Remember, that the infinitive of all verbs has ending -ti added to the past stem. The infinitive has almost the same role as in English. (Details will be explained in subsequent lessons.)

  3. We should also remind palatalization and euphony. Remember that in order to sound almost like an ordinary natural Slavic language, we need to improve some artificially generated sound combinations caused by word bases and endings. Look the first lesson to remember.


hard conjugation pattern (-eš verbs)

verb dělati (to do) - an example of longer present verb stem

ja (I) 
 dělaj-u  my (we)
 dělaj-emo
 ty (you sg.
 dělaj-eš      vy (you pl.)
 dělaj-ete
 on, ona, ono (he, she, it) 
 dělaj-e  oni (they)
 dělaj-ut

verb dělati (to do) - possible optional set of endings of the same example

ja (I) 
 dělaj-em  my (we)
 dělaj-emo
 ty (you sg.
 dělaj-eš      vy (you pl.)
 dělaj-ete
 on, ona, ono (he, she, it) 
 dělaj-e  oni (they)
 dělaj-ut


verb pisati (to write) - an example of softer present verb stem

ja (I) 
 piš-u   or  piš-em
 my (we)
 piš-emo
 ty (you sg.
 piš-eš      vy (you pl.)
 piš-ete
 on, ona, ono (he, she, it) 
 piš-e  oni (they)
 piš-ut


It is obvious that the endings (-u, -, -e, -emo, -ete, -ut) are identical for both longer or softer (or unchanged, of course) present stems.

Please note that modern western and southern Slavic languages tend to shorten longer forms by removing syllable -je- (e.g. děla-jeděla-š, děla-je-moděla-mo, ...). In Neoslavonic it is not so much recommended because this phenomenon is not widespread in the same way in all Slavic languages. You can but meet with it.

Try to conjugate these additional verbs:
 čitati, čitaj-eš          
 to read
 mogti, mož-eš
 to can
 hotěti, hoč-eš 
 to want
 prodati, prodaj-eš
 to sell
 plavati, plav-eš
 to swim
 piti, pij-eš    to drink
 znati, znaj-eš    to know
 iskati, iskaj-eš
 to search, to look for
 kazati, kaž-eš
 to tell
 tekti, teč-eš
 to swim


soft conjugation pattern (-iš verbs)

verb variti (to cook) - an example

ja (I) 
 var-ju  my (we)
 var-imo
 ty (you sg.
 var-iš      vy (you pl.)
 var-ite
 on, ona, ono (he, she, it) 
 var-i  oni (they)
 var-et

possible optional set of endings of the same example

ja (I) 
 var-im  my (we)
 var-imo
 ty (you sg.
 var-iš      vy (you pl.)
 var-ite
 on, ona, ono (he, she, it) 
 var-i  oni (they)
 var-et


Good message is, that all verbs in this soft pattern (-ju/-im, -, -i, -ime, -ite, -et) have identical past and present stems.
But unlike in the hard pattern they can be affected by euphony from the 1st lesson (c-juč-u, s-juš-u, z-juž-u) in order to improve the final form as follows:

verb prositi (to please) - an example of euphony (s-juš-u)

ja (I) 
 proš-u  my (we)
 pros-imo
 ty (you sg.
 pros-iš      vy (you pl.)
 pros-ite
 on, ona, ono (he, she, it) 
 pros-i  oni (they)
 pros-et

verb prositi (to please) - an example of possible optional set of endings without need to apply euphony

ja (I) 
 pros-im  my (we)
 pros-imo
 ty (you sg.
 pros-iš      vy (you pl.)
 pros-ite
 on, ona, ono (he, she, it) 
 pros-i  oni (they)
 pros-et


There is the question
which option (
-u/-ju  or  -em/im) to choose. Eastern Slavic languages (e.g. Russian) prefer ending (-u/-ju or similar), but western and southern Slavic languages (e.g. Slovak or Croatian) tend to prefer ending (-em/im or similar). Decide yourself what is the best for you.

Try to conjugate these additional verbs:
 spati, sp-iš
 to sleap
 kupiti, kup-iš            to buy
 slyšeti, slyš-iš  to hear
 viděti, vid-iš  to can
 platiti, plat-iš   to pay
 letěti, let-iš
 to fly
 govoriti, govor-iš
 to speak
 razuměti, razum-iš    to understand
 blagodariti, blagodar-iš  
 to thank, to bless


irregular verbs byti = to be, věděti = to know, dati = to give, idti = to go, jesti = to eat

Every spoken language has many exceptions to the verbs. We have reduced then to the absolute minimum in Neoslavonic in order to keep understandability to Slavic speakers. This is why we have only three irregular verbs. They are byti (to be), věděti (to know), dati (to give), idti (to go) and jasti (to eat). You have already learned the verb byti. Remember it and learn the next two in addition.


byti
(to be)

věděti
(to know)
dati
(to give)
idti
(to go)

jesti
(to eat)

 jesm     
 jesmo         
 věm  věmo            
 dam  damo         
 idu  idemo          
jedu
 jedemo  
 jesi  jeste  věš  věte  daš  date  ideš  
 idete jedeš  
 jedete
 jest, je
 sut  vě  vědut  da  dadut  ide  idut jede  jedut


Please remember, that some other verbs also follow these irregular patterns. They are miscellaneous derivatives of them:
  1. Other verbs having infinitive -sti, which are conjugated in the same way as jesti, for example: vesti; vedu, vedeš, vedl, ... (to lead, to guide, to conduct); krasti; kradu, kradeš, kradl, ... (to steal).

  2. More other verbs having miscellaneous prefixes to these verbs, for example: prodati, prodam, prodaš, prodany, prodal ... (to sell); pridati, pridam, pridaš, pridany, pridal ... (to add).


note
  1. Neoslavonic recognizes two forms of the second person (You): singular (ty) and plural (vy). If you want to call one person in a decent manner (e.g. politely, with respect, ...), use the plural for verb, even though it is only one person in subject.

    Gospodi doktore (sg. V), kako jeste (pl.)?  (Sir/Mr.) doctor, how are You?

    Moj prijatelji (sg. V), kdě jesi (sg.)?  My friend, where are you?


  2. Just to remember again: There is no need to add personal pronouns (ja, ty, on, ona, ono, my, vy, oni) to verbs in all situations. In English, we must to say pronoun in order to express the personal form of the verb, but Slavic verbs themselves carry full personal information through the personal postfixes. This style is also known from Romance languages.

    Example: čitaju = (I) read, čitaje = (he) reads, čitajemo = (we) read, čitajut = (they) read ...


  3. There is the verb blagodariti (to thank, -iš pattern, present stem blagodar-). The second option is to use the noun hvala (f.) = thank, or the verb hvaliti (to bless, to laud, -iš pattern, present stem hval-).


examples

Idete li autom?     Do you (pl.) go by a car (I)?  - note instrumental case without preposition.

Moj prijatelj meso na jade, on jest vegetarian.     My friend (m.) does not eat meat, he is a vegetarian.

Moja prijatelica meso na jede, ona jest vegetarianica.     My friend (f.) does not eat meat, she is a vegetarian.

Kaku knigu čitaješ?      What book do you (sg.) read?

Prošu/prosim, kdě jest stanica autobusa?      Please where is the bus station?

Vidimo veliky dom.      We (can) see a big house.

Koliko plaču/platim?      How much do I need to pay?

Ne možeš iti od nas.     You cannot go from us.

Idete li do kina?     Do you (pl.) go to cinema?

Da, idemo.     Yes, we do. (We go.)

Piješ li pivo?     Do you (sg.) drink beer?

Ne, pivo ne piju.     No, I do not drink beer.

Hočete li něčto kupiti?     Do you (pl.) want to buy something?

Tutoj gospod vse plati.     This gentleman is paying for everything.

Prosimo Vas, čto tamo vidite?      Please, what can You (pl.) see there?

Moj prijatelj mně ne hoče prodati svoje auto.     My friend does not want to sell me his car (e.g. a car of my friend).
Comments