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10. present tense of verbs

Verbs are the foundation of any language. Neoslavonic 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, Neoslavonic 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 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 Neoslavonic 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. Neoslavonic 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 dielati (to do) - an example of longer present verb stem

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


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

ja (I) 
 piš-u  my (we)
 piš-eme
 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, -eme, -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. diela-je-šdiela-š, diela-je-mediela-me, ...). 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
 prodati, prodaj-eš
 to sell
 možti, mož-eš
 to can
 hotieti, hoč-eš 
 to want
 piti, pij-eš    to drink
 znati, znaj-eš    to know
 iskati, iskaj-eš
 to search, to look for
 kazati, kaž-eš
 to tell
 pluti, pluj-eš
 to swim


soft conjugation pattern (-iš verbs)

verb variti (to cook) - an example

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

possible optional set of endings of the same example

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


Good message is, that all verbs in this soft pattern (-ju/-im, -, -i, -ime, -ite, -jut/-it) have identical past and present stems.
But unlike in the hard pattern they can be affected by euphony (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-ime
 ty (you sg.
 pros-iš      vy (you pl.)
 pros-ite
 on, ona, ono (he, she, it) 
 pros-i  oni (they)
 proš-ut

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

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


There is the question
which option (
-ju/-im, ...) to choose. Eastern Slavic languages (e.g. Russian) prefer ending (-ju, -jut or similar), but western and southern Slavic languages tend to prefer ending (-im, -it 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
 vidieti, vid-iš  to can
 platiti, plat-iš   to pay
 letieti, let-iš
 to fly
 govoriti, govor-iš
 to speak
 razumieti, razum-iš    to understand
 blagodariti, blagodar-iš  
 to thank, to bless


irregular verbs byti = to be, iti = to go, jasti = 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), iti (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)

iti
(to go)

jasti
(to eat)

 jesm     
 jesme     
 idu  ideme      
jadu
 jademe  
 jesi  jeste  ideš  
 idete jadeš  
 jadete
 jest, je
 sut  ide  idut jade  jadut


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 prijateli (sg. V), kdie 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, čitajeme = (we) read, čitajut = (they) read ...


  3. There is the verb blagodariti (to thank, 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 prijatel meso na jade, on jest vegetarian.     My friend (m.) does not eat meat, he is a vegetarian.

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

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

Prosim, kdie jest stanica autobusa?      Please where is the bus station?

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

Koliko platim?      How much do I need to pay?

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

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

Da, ideme.     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 niešto kupiti?     Do you (pl.) want to buy something?

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

Prosime Vas, što tamo vidite?      Please, what can You (pl.) see there?

Moj prijatel mnie ne hoče prodati svoje auto.     My friend does not want to sell me his car.
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