Introduction to Lithuanian Basics:
Lesson 22

By Linas

There is a whole collection of Lithuanian verbs that have ja in the end. These are usually made from nouns. Let’s have some examples.

The Lithuanian for a head is galva.

How do you say:

That head is good.

Answer: Ta galva yra gera.
Not correct. Please try again.

The word to think in Lithuanian is related with the word head: you use your head when you think.

Lithuanian for he thinks is galvoja.

When you are thinking, you are usually thinking about something.

Lithuanian for about is apie.

Tai keeps its usual position in the sentence even if it has apie in front of it. How would say say:

He is thinking about it.

Answer: Jis apie tai galvoja.
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Now, according to the general A, galvoja would become galvojti. This is pretty close to the truth… except, Lithuanian thinks that j is not very elegant so it drops it and becomes galvoti.

I want to think about it.

Answer: Aš noriu apie tai galvoti.
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Let’s see what the future is with galvoti. Say:

He will think about it.

Answer: Jis apie tai galvos.
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We will think about it.

Answer: Mes apie tai galvosime.
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Talk formally (simply use rising intonation instead of using rising intonation together with ar to ask):

Will you think?

Answer: Jūs galvosite?
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There are a series of words just like galvoja which drop the j as well. Let’s learn another very important combination.

The Lithuanian for benefit is nauda.

This word means benefit or avail.

Now, if galva becomes galvoja, can you guess what nauda becomes?

Nauda becomes…

Answer: Naudoja
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Actually, jis naudoja means he uses!

This makes some sense: if you are using something, you are getting the benefit that using that thing offers you (as oppose to not using it and not getting any benefit).

How would you say:

We are using it.

Answer: Mes tai naudojame.
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Good. Just like galvoja, naudoja also drops the j before ti. What is to use?

To use

Answer: Naudoti
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Knowing this, we already know how to make all future forms. Remember, that they is jie and jie use the same verb form as jis. Say:

They will not use it.

Answer: Jie to nenaudos.
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What about:

They will not use it but we will use it.

Answer: Jie to nenaudos, bet mes tai naudosime.
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Alright, so ja always drops the j when forming the infinitive.

There are also some words which end in uoja but they still work the same way, because if they end in uoja they at the same time end in ja as well. Let’s have one example with uoja.

There is a word in Lithuanian for a song.

A song in Lithuanian is daina.

Now, if you wanted to make it to sing, you think you would probably just make it into dainoja like you did it with galvoja and naudoja. For all practical intents and purposes, if you said dainoja, I am completely absolutely sure that all Lithuanians would understand you without any single problem.

However, daina is one black sheep from the noun a group and it mystically becomes dainuoja. Don’t ask me how that u slips in there but it does.

So, how would you say:

To sing

Answer: Dainuoti
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Simple. Now say informally:

You will sing tomorrow.

Answer: Tu rytoj dainuosi.
Not correct. Please try again.

So, all we learnt was that j drops from ja. And a lot of useful words. I want you to see the power of general A – even if you did not know that you had to drop j and just said galvojti, naudojti or dainuojti, chances are, you would be understood. However, as we know the pattern already, you don’t have to say that. You can correctly say galvoti, naudoti and dainuoti. And you can do this for a bunch of other words which in end oja (on a complete side side note: even loja - barks – follows this pattern becoming loti).

We will learn even more of these that do not entirely comply to the general A in the next lesson.