Introduction to Lithuanian II: Lesson 2

We will need to practice the UltImate dOgmA rule first. How would you say:

1 translation: Do you have it?

Then:

Lithuanian for she says is ji sako.

It is an o word so you will be transforming it with the the dOgmA part before using the the UltImate endings. How would you say:

2 translation: I say it.

Do you still remember the Lithuanian word for what with the ą ending?

3 translation: what?

Ask literally what you say?:

4 translation: What are you saying?

Fine. We can’t really limit ourselves to asking questions or talking about tai without giving concrete answers so let’s learn to do so.

Lithuanian for speech is written in the same way as the word for speaks - kalba.

There is a difference in accent to distinguish the two in speech, though but that’s not of utmost importance. What is more important is what we are about to learn. Don’t be affraid, it’s actually pretty simple. It just sounds fancy. It’s called the accusative case or simply the accusative. It simply shows that something is an object so we could replace accusative for object. Latin has the same thing thus I’m just going to use the same explanation.

To understand the accusative, we must understand the structure of sentences. Let’s have two sentences. The first one is "dog is a guy" and the second one is "Tom catches a fish". Let’s divide those sentences to two parts: the part before and after the verb (a verb is a word which you can put "to" and "I" in front, so, you can say "to be" and "I am" and "to catch" or "I catch"). In the first sentece, we get "dog" and "a guy", right?

Now, what happens if we switch those and put the sentence back together? We have "a guy is dog". Does that change the meaning of the sentence? Well, the sentence looks weirder but the meaning doesn’t really change. That’s because our verb was "is". That’s it about the first example.

Let’s look at the second one. "Tom catches a fish". Remove "catches". We get "Tom" and "a fish". If we switch those two, we get "A fish catches Tom". Now, do you think there is a difference between Tom catching a fish and a fitch catching Tom? Absolutely.

So, what about it? Well, if the meaning changes, the word that comes the second after we remove the verb is the accusative. If the meaning doesn’t change, there is no accusative.

Let’s look at some more sentences. "I understand this thing". Remove the verb. "I" and "this thing". "I understand this thing|This thing understands me". A difference? Yup. Thus "this thing" is the accusative. Then "People are interesting". "People" and "interesting". "Interesting people are". Weird? Yes. Meaning same? Yes. Thus no accusative.

So, the procedure or finding the accusative is:

1. Take the English sentence.

2. Remove the verb.

3. Switch the two parts left together. If the meaning is different - you got the accusative. If not different - no accusative.

In other words, if there is an accusative, this means that the action has an object and if the meaning is not fundamentally changed that means that there is no object thus no accusative needed.

Now the Lithuanian word for speech is kalba. The thing is, it is kalba when it is in its simple form. However, if it is the object (or the accusative) in a phrase, it must get the accusative ending so the word kalba changes (like most Lithuanian words change by getting an accusative ending).

Still following me? Alright. The question you might have is... "Well, what is the accusative ending?" and to our luck, it is one of the easiest things ever in Lithuanian for all Lithuanian words you can imagine.

To get the accusative ending for any word in Lithuanian you take the last vowel of the word and make it have the c thing below it and delete all the letters after it.

Vowels are letters that you can hold continuously (a, o, e, i, u). Thus, for example, for the word kalba the last letter vowel is a. Thus the accusative form would be kalbą.

In fact, the word for what which was is also in the accusative because its simple form is kas. It loses the letter after the last vowel (a) and the last vowel changes from a to ą just like we have described.

Other Lithuanian vowels except o and y have these special versions of them too. Take a look:

ą ę į ų

You can now get almost any accusative you wish. For example:

Lithuanian for word is žodis.

Apply the rule that we have just learned to this word to get the accusative:

5 translation: word (accusative)

Apply it to the word Lithuania which is Lietuva.

6 translation: Lithuania (accusative)

We could apply it to a lot more words and we will actually do so. Anyway, let’s get back to the word we have been learning: sako.

If you want to say I’m saying a speech there is a difference between I say a speech and speech says me thus the word for speech has to be in the accusative case. How would you say (with the same word order as in English) literally I say speech:

7 translation: I’m saying a speech.

Ask:

8 translation: Are you saying a word?

Good. We are learning fast.

Answers to Lesson 2

1 answer: Tu tai turi?
2 answer: Aš tai sakau.
3 answer: ką?
4 answer: Ką tu sakai?
5 answer: žodį
6 answer: Lietuvą
7 answer: Aš sakau kalbą.
8 answer: Tu sakai žodį?