Lithuanian Basics: Lesson 3

Let’s get back at it. Do you remember how to say:

?I have it and she wants it.|Aš tai turiu ir ji to nori.

Right. You know what, we can even improve it.

Lithuanian for because is nes.

Think "because Loch Ness monster is from Loch Ness". You can also immediately put the new word to use:

?She wants it because she does not have it because I have it.

?Ji to nori, nes ji to neturi, nes aš tai turiu.

In this case, though, Lithuanians would be more likely to say "nes tai turiu aš" at the end because they want to stress "aš" more. However, that’s just stylistics, and our version is okay too. Let’s not get carried away.

Lithuanian for polite you is jūs.

The letter ū is pronounced just like oo in root. In fact, you can remember the word very easily because it’s just like the English word you + s.

To get to the jūs form, you always use the form for jis and you add te.

So, for example, if he has is jis turi, you have would be jūs turite.

Try it yourself:

?You can (do) it.|Jūs tai galite.

?You have it but you do not want it.|Jūs tai turite, bet jūs to nenorite.

Let’s throw another one in:

?You want it because you do not have it.|Jūs to norite, nes jūs to neturite.

As we know jūs, we might as well learn the word for we.

The Lithuanian word for we is mes.

In fact, it just acts in a way very similar to the way jūs does.

To get to the mes form, you always use the form for he and you add me.

So, mes just adds itself to the word but it drops s (have you noticed how Lithuanian words like to play with their s?) so for example we have is mes turime.

Can you remember:

?He hears.|Jis girdi.

Now, what about we.

?We hear.|Mes girdime.

?You want it but we have it.|Jūs to norite, bet mes tai turime.

?We want it because we do not have it.|Mes to norime, nes mes to neturime.

Okay, so we have learnt those two forms. The awesome thing about mes and jūs forms is that they do always form in the same pattern (i.e. from jis form). No exceptions!

Now, for the last thing in this lesson, let’s look at the informal word for you and its form.

The informal word for you in Lithuanian is tu.

It’s just the same as in French, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish. Isn’t that interesting, huh?

Now, remember this for always:

Lithuanian word tu loves the ending i.

What does that mean? Well, it simply means that its form always likes to end in i. So it adds an i to the he form of the word if it’s needed.

Let’s look at it. For example, he has is jis turi. The word turi ends with an i. So the good news for tu is that there is already an i at the end. Cool, that means there is no work to be done and nothing changes in this word. So, you (informal) have is tu turi.

Try this with other words.

?You (informal) want it.|Tu to nori.

?You (informal) can (do) it.|Tu tai gali.

?I do not have it and you do not have it because they have it.|Aš to neturiu ir tu to neturi, nes jie tai turi.

(Again, the last phrase would be usually "nes tai turi jie" because you would want to stress "they" so it goes at the end. It’s not obligatory.)

You might be asking the question: so if tu form for these words is just the same as he form, how do we distinguish and not get confused between the forms? Well, Lithuanian is pretty logical and it likes to distinguish words so it uses stress for that. Stress means that the part of the word that is stressed is pronounced with emphasis: a bit louder and longer.

Do you remember, how these short words are stressed on the beginning? For example, jis turi is stressed like turi, jis girdi is stressed like gírdi, jis gali is stressed like gali and so on.

So, to distinguish between the tu and he forms it moves the stress to the end. So, for example, tu turi would be pronounced like turi. Tu gali would be tu gali and so on.

This way it’s pretty easy to distinguish. Moreover, do you remember how the word tu loves the ending i? So by moving stress to the end the word tu emphasizes the ending i which it so loves! And you wanna pay attention to those that you love, don’t you?

Now, to be fair with you, there is one exception to this. The word nori doesn’t change stress. Why? Because the o in nori is pronounced very long and it’s not very useful to change stress. So, both jis nori and tu nori are stressed the same.

Okay, we have learn a lot. Let’s try to remember all that we have learnt.

?We can do it because you (informal) can (do) it and she can (do) it and you can (do) it.|Mes tai galime, nes tu tai gali ir ji tai gali ir jūs tai galite.

?You (informal) hear it but they do not hear it.|Tu tai girdi, bet jie to negirdi.


Be aware that in this lesson you have learnt important patters which repeat themselves over and over in the language. You are doing great!

We are soon going to summarize this and fill up a few gaps and then we can move on. We can take a break now.

Next lesson >