Lithuanian Basics: Lesson 5

Let’s learn another thing. This one is going to increase your vocabulary by at least 5 new words at once. And it’s just one simple thing.

To make a word from "he does" into "to do", for example, from "he has" into "to have", you simply replace the i with ėti.

Oh, and by the way, the Lithuanian ė sounds just like the French é. You have it in the English words like fiancé, parquet.

So, anyway, as I was saying. you replace i with ėti to make it from he does into to do. So, for example, he wants is jis nori so to want would be: norėti. Try this yourself now:

1 translation: To have

2 translation: To hear

Let’s get romantic again and say:

3 translation: I want to love.

In sentences, the word tai goes just before all words in the to form (in this case before all ėti words).

So, if you have "I want to love it" you make sure that tai goes just before the ėti word mylėti so it goes: "Aš noriu tai mylėti".

As we know already, the words "ją" or "jį" act just like tai. So, how do you say:

4 translation: He can love her.

Okay, what about:

5 translation: He can hear it.

You see how tai goes before girdėti? You know why? That’s because tai belongs to girdėti.

Yeah, that’s right. Tai belongs to the word it comes before in these situations.

But what does it mean? Well, it means that if tai belongs to some word, that word decides what tai is going to be. For example, consider the phrase "he wants to have it". The phrase is "jis nori tai turėti" in Lithuanian precisely because "tai" belongs to "turėti" and not to "nori" so nori can’t change it anymore. Try this.

6 translation: He wants to love it.

See if you can do this.:

7 translation: He wants to be able (to do) it.

Okay. let’s talk formally.

8 translation: You can have it.

So, if tai belongs to the -ti word, if that second word is a form of nori or if it has ne, tai changes to to. Try it.

9 translation: I want not to have it.

10 translation: We can want it.

Okay. That’s nice and good.

There is one last thing, though. And it is...

Ne doesn’t follow the rules!

All the other words do. Even nori does. Ne doesn’t! You know what ne does?

Ne steals tai all the time from all the words! It doesn’t matter what kind of a word tai belongs to. Ne simply hates tai and it ignores all ownership and changes tai to to.

So, for example, even if you have "he can’t have it" and it (our tai) belongs to have, ne doesn’t care and it still changes tai to to so we have jis negali to turėti even though it should be jis negali tai turėti because tai would belong to turėti.

We’ll just have to live with it. Perhaps we’ll raise the position of ne in our wanted dead or alive list and we’ll raise the bounty for it but we will still have to live with it stealing tai all the time.

So, how do you say:

11 translation: He doesn’t want to have it.

What about:

12 translation: You (informal) can’t have it.

Okay, so, if it’s a bit too difficult for you, you can summarize this in two rules:

1) If there is ne anywhere in the sentence, tai always changes to to because they are enemies.

2) Otherwise, you look at the word tai belongs to - the second or the -ti word, in this case and see if it would change tai to to (for example it would if it’s norėti). If it wouldn’t, then tai stays.

Okay, let’s practice this with some more words.

13 translation: She can love him.

14 translation: We don’t want to have it.

Also, the Lithuanian word for to have acts just like the English one. So, for example, if you want to say we have to have it (meaning we must have it) you say the same literally in Lithuanian. Say that:

15 translation: We have to have it.

Imagine you are talking to a colleague (therefore formally) about a noise you hear in the street. Say:

16 translation: You have to hear it.

Let’s finish it with some advice you are giving to a friend. Say informally:

17 translation: You (informally) have to love her because she wants it.

This was really cool. We are done for now.

Answers to Lesson 5

1 answer: Turėti
2 answer: Girdėti
3 answer: Aš noriu mylėti.
4 answer: Jis gali ją mylėti.
5 answer: Jis gali tai girdėti.
6 answer: Jis nori tai mylėti.
7 answer: Jis nori tai galėti.
8 answer: Jūs galite tai turėti.
9 answer: Aš noriu to neturėti.
10 answer: Mes galime to norėti.
11 answer: Jis nenori to turėti.
12 answer: Tu negali to turėti.
13 answer: Ji gali jį mylėti.
14 answer: Mes nenorime to turėti.
15 answer: Mes turime tai turėti.
16 answer: Jūs turite tai girdėti.
17 answer: Tu turi ją mylėti, nes ji to nori.