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lithuanian

Nouns

Declension paradigms

-as, -is (m.), -ys

num. NOM GEN DAT ACC INS LOC VOC
s. *** -o -ui -ą/į/į* -u -e/y(je)/y(je)* -e/∅/y
p. -ai -am(s) -us -ais -uose -ai

* For the singular ACC/LOC, the i is removed from the stem for -is/ys nouns. E.g. brolį, arkylį in the ACC or brolyje,arklyje in the LOC. This is because iį and iy are not valid dipthongs.

is and ys retain their palatalization, e.g. medis > mediai.

-us

num. NOM GEN DAT ACC INS LOC
s. *** -aus -ui -imi -uje
p. -ūs -ums -us -umis -uose

-a

num. NOM GEN DAT ACC INS LOC
s. *** -os -ai -a -oje
p. -os -oms -as -omis -ose

num. NOM GEN DAT ACC INS LOC
s. *** -ės -ei -e -ėje
p. -ės -ių -ėms -es -ėmis -ėse

Some words ending in will add er before the ending, such as duktė.

-uo

num. NOM GEN DAT ACC INS LOC
s. *** -s -ui -iu -yje
p. -ys -ims -is -imis -yse

Some words ending in -uo will add en before the ending, such as akmuõ, ex. akmens. Others will add er, like , such as sesuõ or duktė̃, ex. seser̃s.

-is (f.)

num. NOM GEN DAT ACC INS LOC
s. *** -ies -iai -imi -yje
p. -ys -ims -is -imis -yse

While most -is nouns are masculine, some are feminine, ex. ugnis

Pronouns

savo is used when the possessive pronoun is the same as the subject
Pirmandienį, aš einu aplankau savo tevą - On Monday, I'm going to see my father

Nominative

s. pl.
mes
tu jūs
jis/ji jie/jos

Genitive

s. pl.
mano mūsų
tavo jūsų
jo/jos

Dative

s. pl.
man mums
jau jums
jam/jai jiems/joms

Definite Articles

This

num. m. f.
s. šis ši
pl. šie šios

That

num. m. f.
s. tas ta
pl. tie tos

Common Nouns Types

Numbers and Quantities

Numbers match the object in both case and gender.

Teens or numbers ending in 0 (10, 100, etc.) are followed by GEN. Numbers ending in 1-9 are "used as adjectives and agree with the quantified noun in gender, case, and number"Ambrazas §3.4. Numbers ending in 1 are always followed by the singular.

Numbers above 10 are formed by adding the feminine ACC form of the tens place to the number ten (dẽšimt).
dvidešimt, trisdešimt
Quantities are expressed by the quantity word + NOUN.GEN
indẽlis grietı̇̀nės, gabaĺiukas pı̇̀cos

Nominative

m. f.
vienas vienas
du dvi
trys trys
-i -ios

e.g. keturi/keturios

Accusative

m. f.
vieną vieną
du dvi
tris tris
-is -ias

e.g. keturis/keturias

Days of the week

Cardinal number + dienis

Months

1-3 4-6 7-9 10-12
saũsis balañdis lı̇́epa spãlis
vasãris gegužė rugpjūtis lãpkritis
kóvas biržẽlis rugsėjis grúodis

Professions

+inikas/ė
= 者
+tojas/a
=  者, derived from 3rd person present
valgyti - valgytojas
mokyti - mokytojas
+ėjas/a
= 者, derived from 3rd person past
duoti - davo - davėjas

Verbs

The third person form of the verb determines which conjugation is used. Ex., if the verb ends in an a it is the 1st conjugation.

Transitive verbs are usually followed by the ACC. However, if the verb is negative, it is followed by the GEN. Impersonal verbs do not change object case in the negative (e.g. patinka)

ex. rašyti laišką vs. nerašyti laiško365, pg19

The last verb before noun determines case
Aš noriu skaityti ACC, rather than GEN, which norėti requires.
If there is a dipthong (pure or mixed) in a multi-syllabic root, add an i to the stem. If a pure dipthong, must be followed by a consonant other than ti
baigti - baigia
laukti - laukia
not griauti
gerti - gertia
Some verbs of quantity can either take ACC or GEN objects. When it the object is in GEN then the verb is an uncertain amount.
aš valgau obuolių - I ate some apples vs. aš valgau obuolį - I ate an apple

Present Tense

There are three types of classes for verbs in the present tense. Which class a verb belongs to is dictated by the final vowel in the 3rd person. It is either A, I, or O, which can be remembered with the word alio.

If you don't know the 3rd person, there are a few hard and fast rules:

Knowing the 3rd person conjugation gives you the stem, just remove the final vowel.

Ex. gyveña => stem:gyven, vowel:a

The plurals & 3rd person verbs are the same for all conjugations:

1st person, pluarl: V + me (ex., -ame)
2nd person, plural: V + te (ex., -ate)
3rd person: V

A verbs

1st person, singular: stem + u
2nd person, singular: stem + i

I verbs

1st person, singular: stem + iu
2nd person, singular: stem + i

O verbs

1st person, singular: stem + au
2nd person, singular: stem + ai

Irregular

buti - to be

yra, buvo, normally followed by the NOM, ex. Aš yra gydytojas

PRS
singular plural
aš esu mes esame
tu esi jūs esate
3p. yra 3p. yra

Imperative: būk!

Negatives

PRS - būti
singular plural
aš nesu mes nesame
tu nesi jūs nesate
3p. nėra 3p. nėra
PRS - eiti
singular plural
aš neinu mes neiname
tu neini jūs neinate
3p. neina 3p. neina

Reflexive Verbs

Have the ending -is

Future Tense

[stem] + s + ending

singular plural
aš -iu mes -ime
tu -i jūs -ite
3p. ∅ 3p. ∅

ex. li+s = (it) will rain, valgysiu = (I) will eat

Verbs with ū or y in the stem are likely irregular (cf. lyti > lis, būti > bus).

Depending on the ending of the stem, some combinations of s, z, š, or ž merge together
s + s = s
z + s = s
š + s = š
ž + s = š

Past Tense

There are 5 main endings in the past tense, based on the infinitive:

  1. -auti/uoti – -avo
  2. -oti – -ojo
  3. -ėti – -ėjo
  4. -yti – -ė
  5. default -ė

This means that a verb like kalbėti will be kalbėjo in the 3rd person.

Verbs ending in o in 3rd person past
singular plural
aš -au mes -ome
tu -ai jūs -ote
3p. ∅ 3p. ∅
Verbs ending in ė in 3rd person past
singular plural
aš -au mes -ėme
tu -ei jūs -ėte
3p. ∅ 3p. ∅

Verbal Prefixes

at - to come (future), e.g. ateiga, to come
į - outward prefix, e.g. įsakyti, to command
pa - a little bit (for verbs of movement), e.g. palipti, climb a little bit
per - across (for verbs of movement)
pra - past (pratetis)
pro - through (for verbs of movement)
pu - 'somewhat', e.g. pakalba, spoke a little
si - reflexive, e.g. apsigyventi, to settle oneself in (to a place)
su - all together (PERF)

Moods

There are four moods in Lithuanian:

  1. Indicative
  2. Subjunctive
  3. Imparative
  4. Oblique

Both clauses tend to use the same mood. Ex. jei SUBJ, tai SUBJ.

Subjunctive

The subjunctive consists of two forms: simple and compound. The simple form indicates actions "which under certain circumstances would be possible or desirable in the present or in the future." The compound perfect form conveys "a possible or imaginary action in the past or a state resulting from such action".Ambrazas §5.47

This mood is predominantly used in polite speech, such as norėčiau, "I would like".

Conjugation

: singular plural
aš -iau mes -tu(mė)me
tu -tum(ei) jūs -tu(mė)te
3p. -tų 3p. -tų

The final e for 1pl and 2pl is usually dropped in speech.

Imparative

[stem] + k
Add -ite or -ime for 1p. or 2p.
g+k becomes k, ex. raugti > raugk > rauk!

ex. valgy+k = eat!, valgy+k+ime = let's eat!

Prepositions

Most prepositions require the GEN.

Prepositions in GENDBK, pg293

V + už - take/grab už N.
Ji pàšmė manè ùž rañkos - She took me by the hand

Prepositions in ACC

Prepositions in INS

Adjectives

Adjectives match noun's case, gender, and number.

Use a neuter adjective for impersonal or state of being statements. Neuter gender adjectives are the same as masculine gender adjectives, but drops the S. Accent stays in the same spot.

Declension

sg.m sg.f pl.m pl.f
-as -a -i -os
-us -i -ūs -ios
-is -iai -ės

ex. laimingas vyras, laiminga moteris, laimingi vaikiai, mergaitės.

Formation

Adjective ending Adverbial ending
us iai
as ai
is no adverb

is does not form an adverb because it was dervied from a noun originally. For example medinis (wooden) – the adjectival form that is productive is mediniškas, which becomes mediniškiai.

Comparison

Comparative ends in -iau, superlative ends in -iausia
gera > geriau > geriausia

Adverbs

Comparison

Comparative ends in -iau, superlative ends in -iausia
gerai > geriau > geriausiai

Of Motion

Motion Positional
laukań (outward) laukè (outside)
aukštyñ (upwards) aukšta (up; in a high place)
žemyn (downwards) žemai̇̃ (down; in a low place)
tolỹn (farther on; into the distance) toli̇̀ (far; at a distance)
namõ (homewards) namiẽ (at home)

Aš einù laukañ vs. Aš esu laukè
I am going outside vs. I am outside

Time

Singular time nouns are in the ACC.
vasãra - Vasãrą aš... - In summer I...
...Except for rytoj and vakar
DAT - ryte and vakare

Repetitive time uses INS.

Questions

Questions without question words must start with Ar
Ar tu gyveni Berkelyje?
kaip - how
Expects adverbial response
Kaip žmones kalba...? - Žmones kalba angliškai
kelintas/kelinta
Used with ordinal numbers
Kiek dabar valandų? Antras valandų
kiek - how much
Always requires a quantity
kieno - whose
Requires GEN pronoun
Kieno sūnus yra tas berniukas?
koks/kokie; kokia/kokios - how
Expects an adjective
Koks yra tavo brolis? - Mano brolis yra linksmas
ko - of what
Requires GEN
Also used when asking a negative question - Ko nėra...?
kok - which
When kok is paired with a noun, it acts like an adjective, matching the noun in case, gender, and number
Kokiomis kalbomis tu kalbi? - Which languages do you speak?
kalbomis is in INS
kur - where
Unless a preposition is used, the question word is first: Iš kur tu esi...?

kurie - which

kodel - why
kadagi - because
o - emphatic question particle
O koks tavo vardas? - What is your name?

Conjunctions

The clause introduced by bèt also denotes in some clauses something which is unexpected in view of the meaning of the main clauseDBK, pg305

bèt is more emphatic than õ

ar can be used to mean "whether"
Aš nežinau, ar jiems patinka medus

Like a lot of European langauges, Lithuanian puts a comma before a clause. This does not indicate a pause or anything like in English.

Aš nežinójau, kàd jis čià - I didn't know that he is here

Pronunciation

Colloquial speech

Pitch Accent

There are three types of accentuation marks:
` = accent is on a short vowel that is always short (stressed)
´ = accent is on a long vowel that in this case can be short (a or e) (falling)
˜ = accent is on a long vowel that is always long or consonant in a mixed dipthong (rising)
au is tricky.
/au = /oː/
áu = /au/
the "real" phonology is obviously much more IPA-tastic, but this is close enough. The main thing to know is that rising (~) and accentless are pronounced the same.
e
= /æ/
e = /ɛ/
ei
ei̇̃ = /eɪ/
éi = /æɪ/
eC (mixed dipthong)
él = /æl/
el̃ = /ɛl/

Accent shiftingHJ for nouns

There are two types of accents, tvirtapradė and tvirtagalė, and four accentuation patterns, which I will call ①, ②, ③, & ④.

Tvirtapradė ("firm beginning") means that the accent is on the first part of a dipthong. Patterns ① and ③ deal with tvirtapradė accentuation.

Tvirtagalė ("firm ending") means that the accent is on the second part of a dipthong. Patterns ② and ④ deal with tvirtagalė accentuation.

TipsHJ

  1. All ACC.S cases end in V nosine, ex. kãtę, and are never accented
  2. GEN.S ending with "o" never accents finaly syllable, ex. brólio, nãmo
  3. NOM.P ending with "s" never has accent on last syllable, ex. sū́nūs, kãtes
  4. All NOM.S ending in "ys" are always accented, ex. arklỹs
  5. All NOM.S ending in "(i)as" are never accented.
  6. DAT.S final syllable is never accented.
  7. VOC ending in just "e/a/i" is not accented.

Syllable structure

Contrary to most methods, Lithuanians count syllables from the end of the word. There are two things to keep in mind: 1. the ending counts as 1 syllable, even if it's pronounced as two (e.g. yje). 2. the last syllable of the stem is the most important. (Why? We'll find out later!)

Sentences

Use negi to emphasize/indicate surprise of a sentence
Nègi nežinai? You don't know??
When ir follows a verb at the beginning of a sentence, it functions as "also"
Suprasta ir - S/he also understands...
Expressing age
NOM yra NUM.GEN, Mano sesė yra 22-ių
DAT yra NUM.NOM, Mano sesei yra 22 metai

benè - is it really.../could it be...?
jùk - but (interchangeable with gi̇)

Conditional sentences

Conditional sentences use the same tense in both clauses

Jei rytoj lis, reikos skėčio
If tomorrow rain+FUT, need+FUT umbrellas

Passive VoiceDBK, pg268

Uses būti as auxiliary verb

àš esù mùšamas - I am being beaten
I PRS PRS.PT
àš esù mùštas - I am beaten
I PRS PST.PT
àš buvaũ mùšamas - I was being beaten
I PST PRS.PT
àš buvaũ mùštas - I was beaten
I PST PST.PT

Fixed Phrases

{DAT pronoun} patinka + NOM
Man patinka... - I like...
Can also use mėgti - to like

Man tas pats - 无所谓

Telling Time

There are two main ways of telling time: listing all of the components (one thirty seven), or describing the time relatively (seven after half of two).

Relative time uses two prepositions, be for before, and po for after. Be is used from :35 to :00 and po is used from :00 to :25. Both take the genitive.

Exact hours (1:00, 2:00...) use oridnal numbers, ex. 1:00 yra pirma, 4:00 yra ketvirta.

Do not decline minutes when the time expression should be in ACC (such as in an "at ... o'clock" expression. No reason, just cause. Ex. at 4:35 - penkios po pusės penkių

Examples

yra...

kada sustinkame?, expecting an "at ... o'clock" reply

Errata

Can use a man's first name in the plural to refer to the man's family.

Spelling

d or t when pallatalized and followed by a vowel become and č respectively.

Ex. medis > medžio, viešbutis > viešbučio

Interjections

begėdis - shame on him!
eik velniop - go to hell!
(niop is an older form of 'home')
eik, eik - wow!
eik tu sau - no kidding!
màt tavè dievai̇̃ - may the gods take you!
nėra už ką - you're welcome, don't mention it
puiku! - great
prašo - please
prašom - you're welcome
velnią minint - speak of the devil

Possession

Possessor is in GEN, the possessed in NOM
Jonas, knyga - Jono knyga

Multiple possession is in GEN for all possessors

Language notes

Lietuva is the sanem root as rain (lietus)
báltas - white; bal̃tas - Baltic tribe

Compound words usually have rising stress in the joining vowel (when it's not a dipthong), eg. antrãdienis vs. savàitgalis

Grammatical terminology

Vardininkas
Nominative
Kilmininkas
Genitive
Naudininkas
Dative
Galininkas
Accusative
Įnagininkas
Instrumental
Vietininkas
Locative
Šauksmininko
Vocative
Moteriškoji giminė
Female gender (m.)
Vyriškoji giminė
Masculine gender (v.)

Bibliography

Dictionary

le flaneur's lithuanian dictionary