Basic Introduction to Participles in Lithuanian: Lesson 6

We have learned about by-participles (galvojant), participles (galvojantis/galvojąs - galvojanti), and half-participles (galvodamas or galvodama).

The only thing left to learn is the past and future forms of those. We are entering some rarely-used territory here but let’s do it anyway.

There are some good news.

One piece of good news is that the half-participles pusdalyviai do not have a future or past form. They have only this one form, formed with dam and the masculine/feminine ending.

This is because half-participles always need some agent in the sentence, and the agent will have another verb that will determine when the action is taking place. Therefore half-participles do not indicate tense at all, they just have this dam form and context determines everything.

So, for example, we could use the word ateisiu (I will come) and laiko (which is a genitive form of laikas - time) and say: turėdamas laiko - ateisiu. That means "I will come while-having time" or "I will come if I have time". You simply use the half-participle here (the one and only) because it is evident that you are talking about the future from the ending of "ateisiu".

That’s one out of the way. Let’s talk about the by-participles (padalyvis) and participles (dalyvis) now.

A second piece of good news is that the future forms of both of them are easy:

The by-participles and participles of the future are formed by adding the appropriate ending nt (and the masculine is/feminine i ending if it is a participle) or m for passive (and then as or a for masculine/feminine) to the future rather than the present form of the verb.

However, since the future form always ends in an s, you also add ia before the nt or i before m to make the word flow better.

How will you say:

?she will think|ji galvos

Now try to form a by-participle:

?while one will be thinking|galvosiant

Excellent! And how about (do it in the masculine):

?one who will be thinking|galvosiantis

How about:

?he will have it|jis tai turės

And now the feminine:

?one who will be having|turėsianti

This is rarely used (mostly in literary contexts and when someone wants to sound sophisticated). But it is usable.

To escape is pabėgti.

We could say: "while he will be thinking, she will run away". That will be just four words in Lithuanian (more literally you will be saying: for-him while-thinking-in-the-future, she will-escape). Have in mind that for him is jam.

?While he will be thinking, she will escape.|Jam galvosiant, ji pabėgs.


We can also form passive future participles like this.

How do you say:

?she will eat|ji valgys

Keep in mind you only add i (and not ia like in active) before the m and try to guess how you say one who will be eaten (masculine):

?one who will be eaten|valgysimas

If "he will take" is jis ims, how would say (in the masculine):

?one who will be taken|imsimas

And if "she will finish" is baigs, what about (in the feminine):

?one who will be finished|baigsima

There is one thing to keep in mind here. How do you say:

?to be|būti

What about:

?I will be|aš būsiu

And how do you say "you (informal) will be":

?you will be|tu būsi

And then how will you say:

?he will be|jis bus

Wait a minute - why is it "bus" and not "būs"? Is it because Lithuanians like buses?

Not quite. When talking about him/her there is often a change in Lithuanian that long vowels become shorter in the future. Thus ’būs’ becomes ’bus’.

However, when forming the by-participles and participles of the future, you ignore this change, pretend like it did not happen.

Hence the by-participle of "to be" would be būsiant.

How would you say (using the feminine):

?one who will be|būsianti

That’s the form we use.

So all of this is sayable but rare. In fact, so rare that we will probably not need to worry about remembering this at all.

The past is more useful, however. We will turn to that next.

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