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Introduction to Lithuanian Basics:
Lesson 30

By Linas

So, talking about traveling to the past, what we have learned so far is that ti simply changes to o and the whole thing becomes an o verb except now it’s in the past. We have also learnt that a j gets added inbetween ė or o meeting o. There are a more rules of forming the past and we will be learning a few of them in this lesson and then the last two rules for the past which are, well, a bit different, in the next lesson and then we’ll be done with the past for some time.

The thing is, there are a couple of other endings which change differently in the past. For example, remember the Lithuanian word for he understands:

He understands

Answer: Jis supranta
Not correct. Please try again.

There was an exception with the infinitive there it doesn’t follow the General A exactly and doesn’t become suprantti or, even more likely in Lithuanian, supranti. Instead, magic occurs and nt becomes s before forming the infinitive and it becomes suprasti. So, this s pops out of nowhere.

Well, so, it has an s which has appeared out of thin air. Could you guess what happens when traveling to the past? I’ll tell you: this s disappears again! It’s a bit like quantum mechanics! Here’s the summary of it:

The s before ti (ending sti) disappeards becomes [ti) when traveling to the past!

As a matter of fact, there is no need for the word to be formed from another nt word or whatever. Regardless of anything, s always disappears from sti traveling to the past if only there is s before ti there!

So, take a guess what he understood would be:

He understood.

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

It would be jis supratto but, once again, Lithuanian doesn’t like double letters in the end of words so it becomes simply suprato.

Let’s get another example of this with a twist.

The Lithuanian word for he finds is randa.

Now, nd works just like nt in becoming s when forming the infinitive.

So, what do you think to find would be:

To find

Answer: Rasti
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Put it in a context:

I can’t find it.

Answer: Aš negaliu to rasti.
Not correct. Please try again.

Again, traveling to the past, this s disappears!

Take a guess what he found would be.

He found.

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

You probably guessed jis rato. Well, t and d are very close sounds so if you said jis rato in speech, I am 100% positive that you would be understood. However, it becomes rado because there is a D in randa so it changes ratto into rato into rado. Again, it’s just like quantum mechanics where the d in the present has a connection with the t in the past.

Now, you don’t really have to remember this d and t connection. You can say rato for all the practical intents and purposes. Just remember one main thing:

That s from sti disappears when traveling to the past.

Have some rasti practice:

I didn’t find it.

Answer: Aš to neradau.
Not correct. Please try again.

They found it but they didn’t understand it.

Answer: Jie tai rado, bet jie to nesuprato.
Not correct. Please try again.

For the sake of example, there is another įprasti which means to get used to.

They got used.

Answer: Jie įprato.
Not correct. Please try again.

Alright, so sti words drop s when travelling to the past. That was our first additional rule to know when travelling there. Here is the second rule:

When travelling to the past,u in uti or uo in uoti change to av.

Let’s have a few examples. Do you remember the Lithuanian word for a song:

A song

Answer: Daina
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Now, he sings should have been dain - a + oja = dainoja but it becomes dainuoja. So, it dainuoja it he signs and it ends with ja so it does not follow the General A (because not only a changes to ti as the general A wants but also that j disappears), what is:

To sing

Answer: Dainuoti
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It ends with uoti so it is a good example of it changing to av. What it:

She sang.

Answer: Ji dainavo.
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I sang it.

Answer: Aš tai dainavau.
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Here is another example.

Lithuanian for he studies is studijuoja.

What would be:

To study

Answer: Studijuoti
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Now, travel to the past as you normally do by changing ti to o but have in mind that it, just like dainuoti, also ends in uoti so that uo changes to av.

They studied.

Answer: Jie studijavo.
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I studied here.

Answer: Aš čia studijavau.
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We have had two examples for uoti (dainuoti and studijuoti) but we still haven’t had ones for uti. Let’s correct this.

Lithuanian for to get is gauti.

He got.

Answer: Jis gavo.
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We wanted it but we didn’t get it.

Answer: Mes to norėjome, bet mes to negavome.
Not correct. Please try again.

This lesson is getting pretty long already so we will continue in the next lesson where we will chill and internalize what we have learnt before moving on to one last point about the past in the lesson after that.