Introduction to Lithuanian Basics:
Lesson 11

By Linas

Let’s get back to as. Did you see how these words end in as? Well, for example, all oras and blogas and gyvas end in as. Well, there is a reason.

Lithuanian words that end in as are male (masculine) words.

Male? Well, yeah. So, because oras ends in as, oras is male (masculine). So what? Well, this means that the word that describes oras (say, blogas) has to end in a male way as well. So, it also ends in as.

A lot of Lithuanian words that get imported from other languages are male and get as.

For example, a bus (or an autobus) is autobusas.

Autobusas is also a male (masculine) word. How would you say:

The bus is bad.

Answer: Autobusas yra blogas.
Not correct. Please try again.

So, a lot of Lithuanian words are masculine. Well, what about female (feminine) words?

All words (nouns) that end in a are female (feminine).

Lithuanian has borrowed a lot of female (feminine) words as well. I’ll teach you how to find them later. For now, let’s learn a Lithuanian female word.

Lithuanian for a day is diena.

Imagine seeing your dean at the faculty every day.

Obviously, diena ends in a so it’s feminine. This means, that if you want to describe the word day, say with the word bad, that word also has to have a female (feminine) ending. So, can you guess how the word blogas changes to be feminine?

Of course, it is bloga.

Now, you can use this and say:

The day isn’t bad.

Answer: Diena nėra bloga.
Not correct. Please try again.

Your turn. Say:

The day is hot.

Answer: Diena yra karšta.
Not correct. Please try again.

Did you change karštas to karšta? Remember, you accord with diena. The same thing happens when you want to say a hot day:

A hot day.

Answer: Karšta diena.
Not correct. Please try again.

What about:

A bad day.

Answer: Bloga diena.
Not correct. Please try again.

This is pretty easy, isn’t it? Let’s get to the second part and learn something all Lithuanians use but quite a lot don’t even realize. It’s from ancient Lithuanian.

The old Lithuanian word for good is labas.

This word is almost out of usage in Lithuanian (just out of interest: the word is still used to mean good in Latvian - the closest language to Lithuanian - where it is labs) but it is important. It is important for two reasons.

The first reason is... it’s still used in greetings!

The simplest Lithuanian greeting is just good! Because it’s so simple, it’s of course, informal. So, when friends greet each other in Lithuanian they just say good in ancient Lithuanian which now means hi. How do you say it:


Answer: Labas!
Not correct. Please try again.

Nobody even thinks anymore that this word actually meant good, it is just taken for granted that it means hi. But you now know the story...

So, labas is informal hi. What about formal greetings? Well, of course. For example, Lithuanians use to say good day. How do you say it:

Good day.

Answer: Laba diena.
Not correct. Please try again.

Did you remember that labas changes to laba because diena is female? Hope you did. Good, now, you know the second greeting.

For example, now it’s evening.

Lithuanian for evening is vakaras.

So, greet:

Good evening.

Answer: Labas vakaras.
Not correct. Please try again.

Do you see how vakaras ends in as so it is a masculine word and therefore it’s labas.

Okay, now you know a lot of greetings. There are just a few more (like good morning or good night) which you would learn later when talking about time. They are just as easy...

You’ll have to wait before I explain to you the second reason why the word labas is still important. I’ll have that done by the end of the next lesson...