Perfective and Imperfective Verbs

Perfective and Imperfective verbs

In Ukrainian, verbs may express an action limited as to the time of its duration or a completed action. According to it, all verbs are divided into verbs of the perfective and imperfective aspects.

Imperfective verbs express the process of action without reference to its completion. And perfective represents the completion of the activity, the achieving of a defined result.


Imperfective                                                                  Perfective

Я чита́ю кни́жку.                                           Я прочита́ла кни́жку.

I read a book.                                                     I have read a book.

I am reading a book.                                        I had read a book.

Almost every imperfective verb has a corresponding perfective verb.

How to make a perfective form of the verb?

  • add a prefix to the imperfective verb (the most common way):

чита́ти – прочита́ти;

писа́ти – написа́ти.

  • internal change, a change in a stem:

купува́ти – купи́ти;

зупиня́ти – зупини́ти

Learn both aspects of the common verbs carefully in pairs.

The meaning of the most common prefixes:

Perfective verbs have no Present Tense (only the infinitive form).

Materials used in the preparation of the article:

  1. Макарова Г., Паламар Л., Присяжнюк Н. Розмовляймо українською. Елементарний курс. 2011.
  2. Read Ukrainian! A reading course for beginners:

Now when you know the rules’ basics do the following task and write down the answer in the comments.

Fill the dialogue with these verbs:читаєш, пишеш, прочитала, написав.

Анно, ти ще (still) ____ мою книжку?

Ні, Денисе, я вже (already) ____. А ти ще _____ статтю про диких птахів?

Ні, я вже ____.

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