Introduction to Lithuanian II: Lesson 5

Look at the word moko for teaches again. Here’s the thing:

If you add si to the end it means that the action is directed towards that person who is doing it himself/herself.

For example, I could say:

1 translation: I teach English.

You could just as rightly say by adding si to the end of mokau:

2 translation: I teach myself English.

Think about it... what is it when I teach myself something? Well, I learn it.

That’s why mokosi means learns.

You achieve that by adding a si.

Try achieving that again:

3 translation: She learns Lithuanian.

It’s as simple as using si to direct the action to itself. You can use si for lots of words. For example.

Lithuanian for head is galva.
Lithuanian for washes is plauna.

Try saying:

4 translation: He is washing a head.

I hope you remembered to use the accusative for head because there is a difference between him washing a head and a head washing him.

Now here’s what happens. This sentence means that he is washing somebody’s head. Usually, though, if you find yourself in a situation where you are washing a head, it’s your own head.

In Lithuanian, if you say plauna, you mean washes. If you want to direct an action to yourself, you would add si.

While plauna means washes, we could say plaunasi and that would mean washes to himself

So, if you wanted to say he is washing his head, you would simply say he is washing a head and you would add that si to turn the action to the subject of the sentence: him. This would imply that he is washing his head.

5 translation: He is washing his head.

Therefore, it’s pretty simple and if you have si, you don’t need to specify whose head he is washing and just say a head. You could also avoid using si and actually say he washes HIS head should you wish to do so but si makes things more simple so Lithuanians tend to use it pretty often. Sometimes (like in mokosi) it is inevitable.

Do you still remember the word for goes?

6 translation: goes

Lithuanian for how is kaip.

It is easy to remember because you have two words: kaip - how or like what? and taip - like that (and it could also mean yes because it affirms things yes, it is like that).

This is a bit of an archaism (something from the past) and an exception-like meaning of si but why not learn it as well.

If you say kaip einasi you mean how (is it) going (by) itself or how are things going or simply how are you doing.

Thus often Lithuanians ask kaip einasi? to ask how are you doing?

You don’t know how to answer that yet but I think in the worst case simply saying okay would be understood.

Right, so we have learned how to deal with all Lithuanian verbs (by using the ultimate dogma), the accusative, words like apie (about), (for), į (to) which also use the accusative for words after them, si, and a lot of useful words in the last few lessons. I think that’s not bad at all.

Let’s simulate another short conversation to try some of it out. The sentences what are you talking about is going to come out as about what you speak? where what will be in the accusative. Also when denied the word ne and eini that is neeini gets shortened to neini in writing. Well, you’re ready to try. Don’t be discouraged if you get some wrong.

7 translation: Hello. How is it going?

8 translation: Hello. I can’t talk: I’m going to school.

9 translation: What? Aren’t you going to university?

10 translation: What are you talking about? I don’t study. I go to school.

11 translation: What do you do there?

12 translation: I learn Mathematics. Do you have a job?

13 translation: Yes, I work.

Answers to Lesson 5

1 answer: Aš mokau angliškai.
2 answer: Aš mokausi angliškai.
3 answer: Ji mokosi lietuviškai.
4 answer: Jis plauna galvą.
5 answer: Jis plaunasi galvą.
6 answer: eina
7 answer: Labas, kaip einasi?
8 answer: Labas. Negaliu kalbėti: einu į mokyklą.
9 answer: Ką? Neini į universitetą?
10 answer: Apie ką tu kalbi? Aš nestudijuoju. Aš einu į mokyklą.
11 answer: Ką tu ten darai?
12 answer: Aš mokausi matematiką. Tu turi darbą?
13 answer: Taip, aš dirbu.