Introduction to Lithuanian Basics:
Lesson 20

By Linas

In English, you can express the future in three ways. You can use the present and say “I am catching a bus soon”, you can say “I will catch a bus soon” or you can say “I am going to catch a bus soon”. In Lithuanian, you can use the first way and say the present with just a couple of words like to be or to have and just in informal speech. You normally only express the future in one way in Lithuanian: you use the Lithuanian future.

In Lithuanian, it is very easy to form the future. You always use the to form of the verb (which is called the infinitive) and modify it by changing t to s to get the he future form. Let’s have an example.

Do you remember what’s the Lithuanian for he has?

He has.

Answer: Jis turi.
Not correct. Please try again.

We have also learnt the way to make to have (the infinitive form) from he has.

To have

Answer: Turėti
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Alright. Now, let’s repeat the rule:

To make to do into he will do you simply change ti to si in the Lithuanian word.

So, change ti to si and make it into he will have.

He will have.

Answer: Jis turėsi.
Not correct. Please try again.

Alright, we have this form. Have you noticed something about it? Well, it ends with i. What does it mean?

It means that it’s just a regular i verb and you know how to deal with i verbs so you know how to make all the other forms!

For example, if you wanted to say I will have, you would simply deal with turėsi like you do with turi and make it into turėsiu like you make turi into turiu.

Try this out:

I will have it.

Answer: Aš tai turėsiu.
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Same for all the other forms. For example, we can do we:

We will not have it.

Answer: Mes to neturėsime.
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It’s alright if you don’t but perhaps you do remember the word for morning in Lithuanian?


Answer: Rytas
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It’s used in the greeting with the older Lithuanian word for good. Remember the greeting?

Good morning

Answer: Labas rytas.
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Anyway, the word tomorrow is, like in most other languages, just a variation of the word rytas.

Tomorrow in Lithuanian is rytoj.

A lot other languages use a variation of the word morning for the word for tomorrow as well because it makes sense: tomorrow is when the morning comes. In fact, even the English word tomorrow comes from to and morrow which in turn comes from Old English morgen which was and still is German for morning.

Anyway, if you want to talk about time, you usually put the word for time just in the beginning of the sentence, even before tai (unless you want to emphasize it, remember?).

Try talking to jūs and saying:

You will not have it tomorrow.

Answer: Jūs rytoj to neturėsite.
Not correct. Please try again.

Of course, this way of making future by changing ti to si works with all the other verbs in Lithuanian as well.

For example, do you remember the Lithuanian word for to do?

To do

Answer: Daryti
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Try to say:

I will do it tomorrow.

Answer: Aš rytoj tai darysiu.
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What about the tu form? There is no exception: it forms the same way. You would try to add i because tu likes i very much but there already is one, so you don’t add anything.

Simply use rising intonation to ask a question in this case and ask informally:

Will you have it tomorrow?

Answer: Tu rytoj tai turėsi?
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Here we go. You only need to know the to form to make the future. Because of that, we will be talking some more about these to forms now.

But, first of all, there is one tiny incongruency here.

Do you remember the word for he will have?

He will have.

Answer: Jis turėsi.
Not correct. Please try again.

That’s what it should be. I think it used to be like this all of the time. However, language gets shortened sometimes as it gets used a lot so something happened:

In the he form of the future, the last i drops! All the other forms (I, informal and formal you, and we) still stay the same (as if it hadn’t dropped).

So, actually, he will have is not jis turėsi but jis turės. Of course, it’s also ji turės ir jie turės because these are always the same as the jis form. But it’s still aš turėsiu, tu turėsi, etc.

So, drop this last i and say what it actually is:

He will do it tomorrow.

Answer: Jis rytoj tai darys.
Not correct. Please try again.

So, the last i drops but the other forms work as if it hadn’t dropped.

We’ll continue soon to work with the infinitives.