Introduction to Lithuanian II: Lesson 1

This is the second part of the course already. Let’s remember some of what we have learned previously first and extend it. We had the UltImAte rule that worked well for words ending in a in the he form such as kalba, supranta, dirba (works) and so on.

?He speaks Lithuanian.|Jis kalba lietuviškai.

Applying the rule could give you:

?I don’t speak Lithuanian.|Aš nekalbu lietuviškai.

And it could give you:

?You speak English.|Tu kalbi angliškai.

We also had words ending in i in the he form. These were words such as turi (has), gali (can) or nori (wants). For i ending words the endings were not u - i - a from UltImAte but iu - i - i instead.

If you think about it, the endings are practically the same except one important fact:

The letter i stays before adding the endings.

Thus I have is turiu where you add that u from ultimate anyway but i stays and does not disappear like a does. Same for you have or turi which could be as well written turii save for one fact:

Lithuanian hates double letters in the ending!

That’s why it’s tu turi and not tu turii .

Then there’s jis turi for he has as well because simply i is the defining letter of this word so it is immune to change.

Thus the only thing you have to remember is that we still add the ultimate endings except with a category a disappears and with i category i stays.

Practice some:

?You don’t want it.|Tu to nenori.

?I have it.|Aš tai turiu.

Now we can learn the third one - and the last - category of Lithuanian verbs - the o category.

Lithuanian for he/she does is jis/ji daro.

Think one usually does it in the dark...

The same UltImate rule goes for this category as well except one fact:

The letter o changes into a before adding the letters.

Of course, this does not affect the he/she form because it is the defining form and it is given already so it cannot change. Try this change to form the other forms:

?I don’t do it.|Aš to nedarau.

The next is literally you do it?:

?Do you do it?|Tu tai darai?

Phew. That was easy. We have the same u and i endings from UltImate for all the three categories of Lithuanian verbs and we have two transformations: a disappears and o changes to a.

Let’s have this as a dOgmA. If you remember the word dogma you can see how if it’s o it changes to the next vowel which is a and if it’s a then it changes to the following vowel which does not exist... thus it simply disappears.

In conclusion, to learn to conjugate all three categories of the Lithuanian verbs you simply need to know one word combination:

UltImate dOgmA

That’s the ultimate dogma indeed. You won’t need any more. The first word shows the two sounds you use consequently for the first and the second person and the second word shows the patterns of change of the last letter. If you remember that, you can get any word right.

Have a break now and soon we will pick up on this as well as learn more important words.

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