Ukrainian Verb Conjugation: How to Define and Use It

Ukrainian Verb Conjugation

The Ukrainian Present Tense is similar to the English Present Continuous and Present Simple:

E. g. Вона співає. – She is singing. She sings.

In the Present Tense, all verbs are inflected for persons. That is why there are different personal endings added to the stem of the verb. All the verbs are divided into two groups or conjugations according to the vowel of the personal endings.

How will I know which verb belongs to which conjugation?

Most verbs which infinitives end in ати, –яти, –вати belong to conjugation I.

The infinitives that end inити, –іти, –їти belongto conjugation II.

Note: there are many verbs, which are not following this rule (лежати, стояти – Conjug. II).

Let’s take a more detailed look at the formation of conjugation I.

  1. The ending ти is dropped from the infinitive to get the stem (base of a word).

For example, in the word знати (to know) the stem is зна- and ends in a vowel:

Other verbs that are like this:

Мати (to have), читати (to read), відповідати (to answer), замовляти (to order), розмовляти (to talk, to speak), розуміти (to understand), грати (to play), співати (to sing) etc.

Note: The verbs пити (to drink) and бити (to beat) are conjugated in a different way using apostrophe: п’ю, п’єш, п’є, п’ємо, п’єте, п’ють.

The verb лити (to pour, to shed): ллю, ллєш, ллємо (ллєм), ллєте, ллють.

2. The ending -вати is dropped from the infinitive to get the stem.

For example, in the word готувати (to cook, to prepare) the stem is готу-:

Other verbs like this:

купувати (to buy), продавати (to sell), давати (to give),отримувати (to get, to receive) будувати (to build), куштувати (to taste) etc.

Note: there are many exceptions where the syllable -ва is a part of the stem, and we conjugate the verb without ending -ти: відкривати (to open), наливати (to pour in(to), співати (to sing), забувати (to forget) etc.

3. The ending –ути is dropped from the infinitive to get the stem.
For example, in the word повернути (to turn, to give back) the stem is поверн-:

Other verbs that are like this:

пахнути (to have a fine smell), квітнути (to bloom), прагнути (to aim (at), тиснути (to squeeze, to press).

4. There are changes in the stem after dropping the ending –ти from the infinitive. For example, in the word жити (to live) the stem changes to жив- not just жи- :

Consonant interchange rules: г-ж, з-ж, с-ш, к-ч, т-ч, д.

Other verbs that are like this:

могти (can, to be able) – я можу, хотіти (to want) – я хочу, іти (to go) – я іду, казати (to say, to tell) – я кажу, писати (to write) – я пишу, хотіти (to want) – я хочу etc.

And now it is time for the formation of conjugation II.

5. The ending –ити, -ати is dropped from the infinitive to get the stem.
For example, in the word бачити (to see) the stem is бач-:

Other verbs that are like this:

спішити (to hurry), вчити(ся) (to study, to learn), лежати (to lie), кричати (to scream).

6. The endings -ити or -іти are dropped from the infinitive to get the stem. But in the 1st person singular, there are verb consonants interchange in the stem of the word. For example, in the word ходити (to walk) the stem is ход– (but ходж– for the 1st person):

Consonant interchange rules: д-дж, т-ч, з-ж, с-ш, зд-ждж, ст-щ.

Other verbs that are like this:

їздити (to go, to drive, to ride) – їжджу, їздиш; платити (to pay) – плачу, платиш; возити (to transport) – вожу, водиш; радити (to advice) – раджу, радиш etc.

7. The ending -ити is dropped from the infinitive to get the stem.

For example, in the word говорити the stem is говор-:

Other verbs that are like this:

курити (to smoke), варити(ся) (to boil), творити (to create), пилити (to dust) etc.

8. Verbs with the stem ending into б, п, в, м, ф have additional consonant л in the 1st person singular and the 3rd person plural.

The infinitive ending -ити is dropped to get the stem. In the word любити (to love) the stem is люб- (любл- after я and вони):

Other verbs that are like this:

дивитися (to look, to watch) – дивлюсь, дивляться; знайомити(ся) (to meet) – знайомлю(сь), знайомлять(ся); ловити (to catch) – ловлю, ловлять; терпіти (to endure, to stand) – терплю, терплять; спати (to sleep) – сплю, сплять etc.

9. The ending -їти is dropped from the infinitive to get the stem.

For example, in the case of доїти (to milk) the stem is до-:

Other verbs that are like this:

клеїти (to clue), гоїти(ся) (to heal), коїти (to make, to do), кроїти (to cut, to shape), труїти (to poison), стояти (to stand).

Note: the verb їсти (to eat) has a particular form.

The conjugation pattern:

  1. Find the infinitive of the verb.

говорити

2. Define the сonjugation.

conjugation II

3. Add the necessary personal ending.

я говорю, ти говориш, він говорить, ми говоримо, ви говорите, вони говорять.

Phew, that is all about conjugations for today. Now you need to practice them. Conjugate in the comments the verbs знайомитися (to meet), кохати (to love in a romantic way) і творити (to create). We are waiting for your answers!

You may check your verbs conjugation in this dictionary.

Materials used in the preparation of this article:

  1. Grammar Reference Handbook (Ukrainian). Developed by US Peace Corps Ukraine Language Staff. 2009.
  2. Макарова Г., Паламар Л., Присяжнюк Н. Розмовляймо українською. Елементарний курс. 2011.
  3. Read Ukrainian! A reading course for beginners: https://www.ukrainianlanguage.org.uk/read/index.htm

 

2 коментарі
  1. luifa.luifa 19 Березня, 2021

    Very helpful article! I use the flashcards to practice the verbs and their conjugation, and this article helps me to practice it!
    I think my problem are usually verbs that get a new letter for the conjugation ( л or ш for example).
    Лювити -> лювлю
    Писати -> пишу

    Thanks! Дякую!

  2. Arnold Pham 14 Квітня, 2021

    Very thoughtful explanation of how to conjugate! I can see clearly now!

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