Basic Introduction to Participles in Lithuanian: Lesson 5

We have now learned about all three the major categories, possible forms of verbs like daryti (to do): the by-participles (that essentially mean while doing - darant), the participles (that make this while doing into one who is doing, i.e. they make it into adjective by giving it gender - darantis / daranti), and the half-participles (that are similar to by-participles that refer to the subject of the sentence: darydamas).

Let’s now go back to the adjectives, and talk about one peculiar feature.

The adjectives we talked about so far are active ones, i.e. they are the ones doing the action.

What if the action is being done to you instead of you doing the action?

Lithuanian also has passive participles which are formed by adding m instead of the nt, and then the appropriate gender ending: as for masculine or i for feminine.

So, for example, what is:

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If you made this into a participle (dalyvis), you would add "nt" (the "ant" rule would follow), and the gender ending, and you would get: valganti, which means she is eating.

But what if she is beating eaten?

Then you would go the passive "m" path, and you would add have "valgom" + "a" or valgoma (please note that the "ant" rule does not follow anymore because we have "om" and not "ont" here, so no ants).

How would you say (literally: she is eaten, three words):

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Funnily enough, it can also mean "she is edible" ("she is one which is eaten by people" has the implication that she is edible, or at least that’s how Lithuanians think about it).

Ok, let’s try a passive participle with the word for užduotis - task (it derives from užduoti, which means to charge with/give as order, as duoti means to give). You will need three words here.

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Do you remember the word for "he can" or "he is able"?

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Now how would you, first, form an active participle of that?

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What about the passive participle? How can you passively be able? Well, if you are passively being enable, that means you are "possible", "allowed" or "enabled". Thus try that:

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Now the word for solution is sprendimas (it derives from "spręsti" - "to solve").

How would you say:

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Another word:

To conceive of is įmanyti (it derives from "manyti" which is a form of "to think", and į- which makes it a finite action.

The present form for that would be "jis/ji įmano".

How would you say (using the passive, of course):

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Coincidentally, that is the word for "possible" for Lithuanian. "Mission impossible" would be "neįmanoma misija", for example.

The last thing to know about these passive participles is that you have not only the masculine/feminine forms but also the neuter form, which is the same as the feminine form in writing (the stress in pronunciation usually falls in the beginning of the word for the neuter form, while it is at the end for the masculine/feminine).

Thus, how would you say in one word (having in mind that "it" is neuter):

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Exactly. And "galima" is a word that is used a lot in Lithuanian, like "can I sit here?" would be "galima čia sėdėti?". Or "one can leave anytime" could be "galima išeiti bet kada".

It denotes possibility, and it is simply the neuter present passive participle form of "gali" (is able).

This concludes our short introduction to the present form of participles in Lithuanian! I know this might seem like it is unnecessarily complicated at times, but hopefully this at least sheds some light on them!

Is there more to learn? Well, yes, kinda. There are future (pretty simple) and also past (a bit more tricky) forms of the participles, which makes it a few more endings.

However, the principles are pretty much the same. We will learn more in the next lesson.

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