Lithuanian Basics: Lesson 29

So, we travel to the past by changing ti to o. That is not the whole story, though and we will be learning some additions to it now.

First, do you remember the i words which have the infinitives as ėti. Have two birds with one stone in the same sentence:

1 translation: He wants to want.

So, you have norėti. If you travelled to the past, what do you think you would get? Norėti - ti + o = norėo. In speech, you could happily say norėo and get away with that. However, in writing, Lithuanian doesn’t like that ėo in one place so it adds a separator - j, which is the y sound from yet. So, it actually becomes norėjo instead of norėo in writing although in speech they are equal.

Lithuanian adds a separator j inbetween ė and o when travelling to the past.

Now we have a lot more words we can travel to the past with - including the whole i group. Let’s try this.

2 translation: To have

3 translation: He had

4 translation: I had it.

5 translation: I wanted it but I didn’t have it.

Again, have a formal you example

6 translation: You (formal) wanted to do it.

You know that all i words change to ėti so they all have ė and they all take up that extra j in the past. Talking about a words which do not follow the general A, do you still remember the odd one out: to speak?

7 translation: To speak

8 translation: I spoke Lithuanian.

Niiice. Now, let’s make another point which is practically the same point:

Remember the word to think (to use your head which is galva):

9 translation: To think

If you wanted to travel to the past, you would get galvoo but again Lithuanian doesn’t like this double oo just as it doesn’t like this ėo so it adds that separator j again and it becomes galvojo. So:

Lithuanian also adds the same separator j inbetween o and o when they end up together in the past.

Try it:

10 translation: She thought.

The word order is pretty arbitrary in the next sentence but let’s honor the rule that even if it’s about it instead of it, it still sticks in the middle. Say:

11 translation: We didn’t think about it.

The Lithuanian word for avail is...

12 translation: Avail

To use would be to avail of which would be...

13 translation: To use


14 translation: I didn’t have it because they were using it.

As a final example, I would like to invite our old friend to know. Do you remember it:

15 translation: She knows.

Žino is an o word so it should become žinyti but as we have learned it is one of the rear exceptions and it actually becomes žinoti instead of žinyti. So what do you think the past form would be?

16 translation: She knew.


17 translation: We knew that she didn’t know it.

Alright. This served as a good general introduction to the past. This is, yet, not the whole story and we will be learning even more about the past in the next lesson.

Answers to Lesson 29

1 answer: Jis nori norėti.
2 answer: Turėti
3 answer: Jis turėjo.
4 answer: Aš tai turėjau.
5 answer: Aš to norėjau, bet aš to neturėjau.
6 answer: Jūs norėjote tai daryti.
7 answer: Kalbėti
8 answer: Aš kalbėjau lietuviškai.
9 answer: Galvoti
10 answer: Ji galvojo.
11 answer: Mes apie tai negalvojome.
12 answer: Nauda
13 answer: Naudoti
14 answer: Aš to neturėjau, nes jie tai naudojo.
15 answer: Ji žino.
16 answer: Ji žinojo.
17 answer: Mes žinojome, kad ji to nežinojo.