Introduction

<< Chapter 15:  Past Tenses

Chapter 17:  The Imperative >>


Chapter 16

Present and Future Tenses


    Belarusian verbal aspect is similar to Russian and Ukrainian.  Consult a text on one of these languages for more information on verbal aspect.

16.1        Present tense

    Belarusian has one present tense and two future tenses, the future perfect and the future imperfect.  The present tense is formed by conjugating the infinitive of the imperfect aspect of a verb for the correct person.

Я тут жыву.
I live here.
Я жыву цяпер у сяброў.
I am living with friends right now.
Я жыву з імі месяц.
I have lived with them for a month.


    The verb быць, to be, has no present tense conjugation.  The verb to be is often rendered in the present tense as a pause, represented as a dash when written.  It is dropped completely in third person impersonal constructions.  Some of the functions of the verb to be can also be filled by other verbs, such as бывать, to occur, and стаць, to become.

Я ó амерыканец. а ты ó беларус.
I am an American, and you are a Belarusian.
Хлопчык ó вельмі галодны.
The young man is very hungry.
Цяжка вывучыць новую мову.
It is difficult to learn a new language.

    The word ёсць is also used to fulfill some of the functions of the verb to be.  It is used either to emphasis the existence of the subject, or as a predicate meaning there is.  The word ёсць is etymologically descended from the obsolete present tense conjugation of the Common Slavonic verb byti, to be.

Ён з'явіўся такім, якім ён і ёсць па сваёй натуры.
He appeared as that person, whom he is by his nature.
Ёсць які-небудзь стары, што да вайны тут жыў?
Is there anyone old that lived here before the war?



16.2        Future imperfect formation

    The future imperfect tense is formed by conjugating the verb быць for the correct person, and following that with the infinitive of a verbís imperfective aspect.

Што будзеш рабіць?
What will you be doing?
Я буду многа чытаць.
I will be reading a lot.


16.3        Future perfect formation

    The future perfect tense is formed by conjugating the infinitive of a verbís perfective aspect for the correct person.

Што зробіш?
What will you do?
Я скончу гэту кнігу.
I will finish this book.


<< Chapter 15:  Past Tenses
Chapter 17:  The Imperative >>

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Copyright (c)  2004  Christian Cardell Marchant.
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