a) Personal pronouns
|1st person||2nd person||
|Nom., Acc.||mudu, mudvi||judu, judvi||juodu||jiedvi|
Dual forms are of rare usage in colloquial speech, and their origin is just "we" + "two" (mu + du), declined in dual number. By the way, plural personal pronoun are declined like plural nouns, singular - like singular nouns. All nouns, adjectives and pronouns are just former Indo-European substantives, which used to have one kind of declension.
Personal pronouns are united with the reflexive pronoun, which has no
nominative case, no plural or dual number, and can be used only in the
certain type of sentences shown below. The reflexive pronoun has:
Example: Papasakok apie save! - Tell about yourself!
Mes pakviete.me drauga, su savimi - We invited a friend with us (lit. "with selves": "we" can be used only once in such a sentence so it requires the rexlexive pronoun)
Also the possessive pronouns can be referred to as personal ones. In Proto-Indo-European and in all ancient Indo-European languages possessives were declined like 1st class adjectives. Such situation still exists somehow in French, Russian, German, most of Slavic languages. Even in Old Prussian there was a declension. But in Lithuanian a step to analytization (maybe the only one in the whole language) was made, and nowadays possessive pronouns are not declined and have only one form, like English "my", "his" or "their". Lithuanian look the following way:
mano - my
tavo - your (sg.)
savo - a reflexive one (Duok man savo telefono numeri, - Give me your telephone number)
jo - his, its (masc.)
jos - her, its (fem.)
músu, - our
júsu, - your (pl.)
ju, - their
One can notice that some possessive forms are analogues of genitive
singular of corresponding personal pronouns. That's true, because meanings
of possessive pronouns is just genitive of personal ones. E.g. Whose is
that jacket? It is George's jacket (genitive). It is his jacket (possessive).
It's a common feature in many languages, not only Indo-European. Altaic
languages do not have possessives at all, using genitive forms instead.
b) Demonstrative pronouns are easy to learn to foreigners for they are declined like 1 class adjectives (there are two exceptions: in nom. pl. masc. pronouns have -ie instead of -ai, in instr. sg. masc. - pronouns have -uo; it comes from the so-called pronominal type of declension). They have 3 grades or stages - English has two, "this" and "that".
The 1st stage meant in Proto-Indo-European something that is near the speaker; the 2nd is not near the speaker, but is nearby the listener; the 3rd is far from both of them. Some languages have even 4 or 5 grades, but most of Indo-European have 2 or 3 of them (two in English, Russian, Irish, three in Latin, Serbo-Croatian, Greek). In Lithuanian they are the following:
šitas, šita / šis, ši - this, near me
tas, ta, tai - that, near you
anas, ana, anai - that, far away
The first two pronouns come directly from the same Proto-Indo-European
forms - *tod, *so, *sá. The third has Balto-Slavic origin
and is relative to Slavic on, ona, ono, oni (he, she, it,
We are giving the rest of Lithuanian pronouns in a list with brief explanations. Cognates are also given:
c) Interrogative pronouns:
An ordinary pronominal declension, I must say. I'm boring with it already. Interesting, that the interrogative pronoun is common both for animate and inanimate things. No distinction is made between "who" and "what" so. That is uncommon in most Indo-European languages. In Proto-Indo-European, this pronoun was also a joint one, but its masculine and feminine forms worked for animates ("who?"), and its neuter forms were for "what".
Other interrogative pronouns:
koks (masc.), kokia (fem.) - what? which? It is declined like a relative adjective (see) in masculine, and like a 1st class
adjective in feminine.
katras (masc.), katra - which of the two? The meaning similar to that of Latin uter, declined like a 1st class adjective
kurs / kuris (masc.), kuri (fem.) - which of many? Declined like koks, kokia (see 2 rows above)
kelintas, kelinta - which number? which? It is used like Latin quantus or Russian skol'kiy. Declined like a 1st class
kur - where?; is not declined as all below
kam - what for?
kode.l - why?
kada - when?
kiek - how much?
kieno - whose? (the same as possessive pronouns)
kaip - how?
d) Indefinite pronouns
kas nors - something, somebody (kas is certainly declined, nors is just a particle)
kur nors - somewhere
kai kas - someone (it means: "but I won't tell you who"; it is common in Slavic and Baltic)
kažkas - someone (it means: "but I don't know who")
keletas - some, several
keli, kelios - some, several
e) Attributive pronoun
pats (masc.), pati (fem.), pati (pl.) - the same, "-self"
f) Negative pronouns
They are formed by nie- prefixed to any of the interrogative pronouns: niekada - never
§ 6. The Lithuanian Adverb.
Adverbs are formed in two ways: from adjectives and from nouns. There
are some which are single (e.g. visada - always, jau
- already, dar - yet) but in general those two categories
make the language. The first category is more widely spread in the language.
Analytic languages such as Chinese, Korean or English, have suffixed to
be added to adjectives to form some adverbs. Lithuanian is synthetic; it
changes a flexion to create an adverb:
geras (good) - gerai (well)
gražus (beautiful) - gražiai (nicely)
dažnas (frequent) - dažnai (often)
Such adverbs, though not declined, have their degrees of comparison:
gerai (well) - geriau (better) - geriausiai (the best way)
The other class of adverbs is formed from nouns. They are the following
diena, - in daytime (from diena - a day)
ryte - in the morning (from rytas - a morning)
žiema, - in winter
As we can see, such adverbs are either of accusative case of nouns or of locative. That a rule, but when studying a language you must learn all these adverbs by heart for their is no way to define which is accusative, which will be locative.
But that's a way of learning a language, isn't it? And Lithuanian is
just beautiful! You are not sure yet? Then let's get going further!
§ 7. The Lithuanian Numeral.
It seems natural to see a system of numerals which has only one word for "one", "two", "ten" etc., which has three grades (look at a number like 1,033,237,475 and you can easily pronounce it) and where every kind of things or persons can be counted with the same words (one woman, one dog, one chair etc.). It is natural for us, because we are Indo-Europeans. But the situation differs quite a lot in other families of languages. Korean, for example, uses three different systems of numerals, so there are different words for "one" when it is used with tables, men and days. Numerals have 4 grades there: like 1,0332,3747. And I will never even try to describe the Inuit or Gilyak system of numerals, because it is really unbearable there.
I just try to explain that Lithuanian is not so terrible with its declensions. Numerals are also declined, have genders and cases like nouns or adjectives. Moreover, different numerals have different types of declension, and you need to remember all of them if you want to speak or read a language.
First of all the cardinal numerals:
1 vienas (declined only in singular
like a first class adjective, fem. viena)
2 du, fem. dvi (declined only in dual number the way shown below)
3 trys (declined only in plural - see below)
4 keturi (declined only in plural - see below)
5 penki (until 9 they are all declined like "4")
|Nom.||du, fem. dvi||trys||keturi||keturios|
|Acc.||du, fem. dvi||tris||keturis||keturias|
"10" is not declined (thanks god!). Cardinals from 10 are present before nouns which have genitive plural: Man truksta penkiolikos dolaru, - I lack 15 dollars. So they also have genitive plural. These numerals are the following:
15..... (all have -olika)
20 dvidešimt (lit. "two tens")
21 dvidešimt vienas etc.
100 šimtas (Lithuanian is called a "satem" language, for its "100" lost the initial Indo-European k'- and replaced it with š-)
200 du šimtai (so šimtas is declined just like a 1st class noun in singular and plural)
400 keturi šimtai - "4" is used in masculine, because šimtas is naturally masculine
1000 túkstantis - in Proto-Indo-European there was no word for "thousand". So different branches uses different words. The
Lithuanian one is relative to English "thousand" and Russian tysyača. It is also declined like a 1st class noun.
The ordinal numerals have the common Indo-European suffix -t- added to simple cardinals. It is the same in Slavic, Germanic, Celtic and Italic. Another Indo-European feature is the analogue of ordinal numerals with 1st class adjectives. They are also declined, having all the same endings. Some linguists call ordinals "numeral adjectives".
1 pirmas - it is irregular and is formed
from another Indo-European stem *prmo- / *prwo- which is
supposed to mean
2 antras - also irregular, like everywhere in Indo-European family, meaning "other"
One example: túkstantis devyni šimtai keturiasdešimt šeštas
- the 1946th. Like in English, only the last numeral is shaped by -t-.
In Lithuanian there is one more category of numerals unique for Indo-European
languages. It is called "plural numerals" and are used with nouns which
exist only in plural (Latin pluralia tantum, like "scissors" or
"pants"). The suffix -er- is usually added: vieneri,
dveji, treji, ketveri, penkeri, šešeri, septyneri, aštuoneri, devyneri.
They are often seen in construction with the word metai "a
year" which is used only in plural and literally means "times". So "two
years" will sound as dveji metai. It's good to remember that,
and not only for grammatical, but for colloquial reasons.
Numerals can be a source for creation new nouns or names. The days of the week are of numeral origin, they are combined of ordinals and the word "day":
pirmadienis - Monday
sekmadienis - Sunday
Figures have their own names in Lithuanian, e.g. dvejetas - a two (masc., 1st class noun), penketas - a five.
But with all this complication of numeral system this all is just a
snack for the Lithuanian verb. Take a little rest, and drown back here!
§ 8. The Lithuanian Verb
We must admit, that nowadays none of the existing Indo-European languages keeps the type of verbal structure which existed in the Proto-Indo-European language. The Proto-verb had two voices - active and medium, or medio-passive; 4 moods: indicative, subjunctive, optative, imperative (some people find more); up to 6 tenses, a lot of special endings and an augment prefix to form the imperfect, plusquamperfect etc.
On early stages of the language, naturally, this system was less complicated, and the process of complicating the language was going on until the 4th or 3th millennium BC, when the back process replaced it - now languages began their movement to the analytic stage, with lessening flexions, decreasing complex forms and less synthetic grammar. So the Proto-Indo-European stage at the moment the branches started to grow from it was a culmination of language synthetic development.
Lithuanian verbs, though less complex than their ancestor Proto-Indo-European, has quite a lot of flective forms. It possesses, e.g., 4 tenses, 3 types of conjugation, 3 moods and - a special peculiarity - a great plenty of verbal forms like participles, semi-participles, infinitives and supine.
The basic productive forms of the Lithuanian verb are the following:
a) the infinitive stem which is formed by the infinitive without its
ending (e.g. dirbti - to work; stem dirb-)
b) the 3rd person present (e.g. dirba - he works, they work; nori - he wants, they want; sako - he says, they say)
c) the 3rd person past simple (dirbo - he / they worked; nore.jo, sake.)
In a dictionary you will usually see all three forms of any verb: the infinitive and two 3rd persons. The production of the present and past simple forms are though somehow regular and have rules, but still have got a lot of exceptions which one will have to learn by heart if he wants to to know the language. E.g. búti - yra - buvo (to be), imti - imu - e.me. (to take)
According to the differences in the infinitive stem all verbs in Lithuanian
are divided into 3 classes conjugated in a different manner:
The 1st conjugation has its infinitive stem ending in -a, -o / -au / -uo (in verbs formed from nouns), -e. and ending in a consonant. This type of conjugation is the most frequently met in Lithuanian, and it has the largest number of peculiarities which will be described below. Examples: galvoti, pietauti, važiuoti, kalbe.ti, dirbti
The 2nd conjugation ends its infinitive stem in -e. only. Such verbs are not very rare and many of them are often used, but this kind of conjugation has practically no exceptions or peculiar cases. Examples: nore.ti, stebe.ti
The 3rd conjugation completes its infinitive stem with -y. These verbs are very easy to find and to use. Examples: matyti, mokyti, skaityti
In general you would have to pay attention to this conjugation division, for it is one of the most important moment in Lithuanian verb structure. Below we will describe forms and tenses one by one with short commentaries and some examples for better understanding:
1. The present tense
|1st conj.||2nd conj.||3rd conj.||athematic|
|1 pers.||-u / -iu||-iu||-au||-mi|
|3 pers.||-a / -ia||-i||-o||-ti|
|3rd pers.||-a / -ia||-i||-o|
|1st pers.||-ame / -iame||-ime||-ome|
|2nd pers.||-ate / -iate||-ite||-ote|
|3rd pers.||-a / -ia||-i||-o|
The peculiarity of Lithuanian is the joint 3rd person form, with no number distinction. It was caused by the disappearance of two Indo-European endings -t and -nt, so only a vowel remained, and since then all Lithuanian verbs have the same forms for "he does" and "they do". Another sign of analytization.
Examples of the present tense:
Jis dirba parodoje - He works at an exhibition.
Mes matome idomu, filma, - We see an interesting film
Judu laukiata júsu, draugu, - You two are waiting for your friends (note: "to wait" is used with genitive)
Negative forms are created the same way in all tenses and moods. You
just add ne- to the form of the verb:
Jis nedirba parodoje, bet siandien yra ten - He does not work at the exhibition, but today he's there
Interrogative, or question forms must have a particle ar in the beginning of the sentence:
Ar jis jau dirba parodoje? - Does he already work at the exhibition?
The 1st conjugation verbs have many specific traits somewhere. Below
are the examples of this category of verbs in its different peculiarities:
dirbti - dirba (he works, they work)
kalbe.ti - kalba (he speaks, they speak) - the verb reminds the 2nd conjugation but it it the 1st. Remember it and don't ask why so.
galvoti - galvoju (he thinks, they think) - this verb is a product of the noun galva; all verbs formed from nouns have -j- before their endings
laukti - laukia (he waits, they wait) - the soft kind of the 1st conjugation. There are many of that sort in Lithuanian, and a veteran student can distinguish them from the first sight. Me - not always.
Exceptions are very numerous. Some verbs have a suffix in present forms
that is hidden in infinitive. The verb skristi (to fly) has
skrenda in present, the verb eiti (to go) has
eina. There's one verb which is a strong exception - practically
everywhere in the Indo-European family. "To be" used to have two stem in
Proto-language: b- and es-. The verb búti
in Lithuanian has:
esu - I am
esi - thou art
yra - he / she / it is, they are
esame - we are
esate - you are
2. The past simple tense
|1st conj.||2nd conj.||3rd conj.|
So negative and interrogative forms are of the same kind as in the present
tense. The peculiarities of the 1st declension have the following behaviour:
kalbe.ti - kalbe.jo - so they are conjugated as if they are of the 2nd declension
galvoti - galvojau - again a -j- suffix preceding the ending
laukti - lauke. - the soft kind has the endings of the 3rd conjugation
One exception that comes to my mind:
eiti - e.jo (to go)
3. The past habitual tense
It is used when the action was regular and happened several or many
times in the past. It is similar to the English "used to do", and usually
can be translated by using the Past Indefinite tense. The past habitual,
or the past complex, is formed by the infinitive stem + suffix -dav-
+ endings of the past simple tense. For example:
Mes dirbdavome sitoje gamykloje daug metu, - We worked at this factory for many years
The -dav- suffix has its parallel in Slavic (the only place I found this feature) where you can hear Russian byl (I was) and byval (I used to be).
4. The future tense.
This has simple usage, the same as in every other Indo-European language
where it remained from Proto-Indo-European stage. In Lithuanian it is formed
by adding the suffix -s- to the infinitive stem. The endings
after it are as follows:
Example: Jos žiúre.sime ta, žurnala, rytoj - They (fem.) will watch this magazine tomorrow
5. The subjunctive mood.
The endings of this mood are also fixed to the infinitive stem, which is the most productive stem in Lithuanian verbs. The subjunctive mood has three basic functions, three cases of its usage:
a) expressing possibility and wish
Aš su mielu noru važiuočiau i, ta, paroda, - I would go to this exhibition with pleasure
b) expressing a request, advice or a suggestion
Gal gale.tume.te ir man nupirkti sita, knyga,? - Maybe you could buy this book to me too?
c) in conditional clauses with "if" conjunction (see below in The Lithuanian Sentence)
And now the forming of the subjunctive mood:
The imperative mood in Lithuanian is very peculiar and differs greatly
from that of other Indo-European tongues, even close Slavic. Usually the
Indo-European imperative used a thematic vowel with special endings, no
suffixes. Some new languages have imperative forms similar to simple present
forms. Lithuanian, however, has found the suffix -k- shaping
the infinitive stem. And the endings are the following:
The second forms was originally the 3rd person injunctive mood of Proto-Indo-European:
te- or tegu + 3rd person present (e.g. dirbti - tegu dirba or tedirba)
In this context, "let it be" in Lithuanian will sound like tegu búna.
And one more: if the stem ends in -g, it is changing into
-k in imperative: be.gti - be.k
Now we will turn to some special categories of Lithuanian verbs before we consider verbal substantives. There are 3 peculiar sorts of verbs we would like to discuss here, as they are very important in the language and as they are really Indo-European in their nature.
The reflexive verbs make up a special group in Lithuanian. They have
their peculiarities in endings and spelling. The common feature by which
one can define a reflexive verb is the suffix -s or -si
which is derived from the Indo-European reflexive pronoun. Reflexive verbs
are translated into English with "self" only sometimes, but some od them
have corresponding verbs that can be used without "self" in English. Below
you can see the examples, and now how reflexive verbs are conjugated:
|1st pers. sg.||-uosi, -ausi / -uos, -aus||-mies|
|2 pers. sg.||-iesi, -aisi / -ies, -ais||-sies|
|1st pers. dual||-vos|
|2nd pers. dual||-tos|
|1st pers. pl.||-me.s|
|2nd pers. pl.||-te.s|
|3st person||-si / -s|
The suffix -s is put to the end of the verb only in case
the verb has no prefix. Prefixed ones include -s between
the prefix and the stem. For example:
kelti - keltis (to raise - to raise oneself, to rise)
atkelti - atsikelti (to have smth raised - to have oneself raised, to rise oneself)
The same with negative particles: rengtis - nesirengti (to prepare oneself - not to prepare oneself)
Mind that reflexive verbs have no passive forms. It is especially hard to understand to Slavic speakers. Russian will have a passive reflexive construction for the expression "the work is being done" (rabota delayet-sya), while Lithuanian while replace it by an active and non-reflexive one (dirba dirba,), the same as "he / she does the work".
In fact, reflexive verbs are very frequent in modern Lithuanian, and often with prefixes, so one shouldn't look at them as a synthetic rudimental feature of ancient Indo-European. I don't think the reflexive -s suffix will soon turn into a particle (as it happened in Italic and later Romance languages and as it exists now in French) or the reflexive construction can be simplified in another way. These verbs are stable and productive in the language.
Here are some examples, and do not try to understand the rule - there is no common rule.
búti - búna (to be - it happens to be)
eiti - vaikšc'ioti (to go - to go often)
važiuoti - važine.ti (to go by transport - to do that often)
skristi - skaidyti (to be flying - to fly constantly)
plaukti - plaukyti (to be swimming - to swim frequently)
be.gti - be.gioti
nešti - nešioti
vesti - vedžioti
And the last thing Lithuanians still keep accurately for their verbs: the category of aspect. There are two aspects, like in Russian - perfective and imperfective.
The imperfective verbs mean the process of action, and the perfective
states the action as it is. It is somehow hard to understand by an English
speaker sometimes, but the difference is really very large and exact:
kelti (to raise) means "to be in process of raising", "to be raising something". Aš keliu - I'm raising
pakelti (with pa- prefix) means "to raise", "to have it raised", so Aš pakele. - I have raised
It looks like the Perfect here, and it resembles the Perfect, but it's
not actually. In the question "Can you come to me?" you cannot use the
simple verb eiti (to go). If you say:
Ar gali eiti pas mane? - this will mean "Can you be going to me?"
And Ar gali ateiti pas mane? - will be correct: "Can you come to me?"
All unprefixed verbs of state and movement are of the imperfective aspect.
To make a perfective form of them, Lithuanian uses verbal prefixes, or
preverbs, like Slavic or Germanic language (very often in Gothic, for example).
Here are the main of them:
|i,-||in-, in||movement inside something|
|iš-||out-, out, from||movement from inside|
|at-||to, towards||joining, approaching or coming|
|per-||through||coming through, movement till the end|
|par-||to, towards||joining or coming|
|už-||to||dropping in, calling in|
|su-||con-, together||gathering together|
|pa-||-||just forming perfective aspect|
The next section will describe verbal derivatives - participles, semi-participles,
verbal adverbs, infinitives and supine. I promise - they will not be too