Upper Sorbian Grammar

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THE PRETERITUM TENSE



The preteritum tense is used mainly in the written and officialy spoken language but not in the conversational one.



The way of making the preteritum forms depends on the perfectiveness or non-perfectiveness of a verb



The non-perfective verbs use the present stem followed by these endings:



singular dual plural

1 -ch -chmoj -chmy

2 -še -štej -šće

3 -še -štej -chu





The -i-/-y- stem verbs change the final vocal of their stems into -a- before these endings. For example the 1 pl. form of the wučić wuči verb is wuč-i-my in the present tense and wuč-a-chmy in the preteritum.

One must also remeber that any a between two soft consonants becomes e (compare the following preteritum forms of the verb wučić wuči: wuč-a-ch in 1 sing. and wuč-e-še in the 2 sing.).



Here you have some examples of paradigms of non-perfective verbs in the preteritum tense:



An -e- stem verb: njesć njese npf. to carry

singular dual plural

1 njesech njesechmoj njesechmy

2 njeseše njeseštej njesešće

3 nieseše njeseštej njesechu



An -i-/-y- stem verb: wučić wuči npf. to teach

singular dual plural

1 wučach wučachmoj wučachmy

2 wučeše wučeštej wučešće

3 wučeše wučeštej wučachu



An -a- stem verb: wołać woła npf. to call

singular dual plural

1 wołach wołachmoj wołachmy

2 wołaše wołaštej wołašće

3 wołaše wołaštej wołachu



Those of the non-perfective verbs the stems of which end in -ować in the infinitive and in -uje in the present make an exception and use the infinitive stem in the preteritum tense.

An -e- stem verb: kupować kupuje npf. to buy

singular dual plural

1 kupowach kupowachmoj kupowachmy

2 kupowaše kupowaštej kupowašće

3 kupowaše kupowaštej kupowachu







The perfective verbs use the infinitive stem followed by these endings:



singular dual plural

1 -(e)ch -(e)chmoj -(e)chmy

2 -(e) -(e)štej -(e)šće

3 -(e) -(e)štej -(e)chu



The -e- in the preteritum endings for perfective verbs appears only after those of infinitive stems that end in a consonant.



Here you have some examples of paradigms of perfective verbs in the preteritum tense:



A consonant stem verb: přinjesć přinjese pf. to bring

singular dual plural

1 přinjesech přinjesechmoj přinjesechmy

2 přinjese přinjeseštej přinjesešće

3 přinjese přinjeseštej přinjesechu



A vocal stem verb: wupić wupije pf. to drink

singular dual plural

1 wupich wupichmoj wupichmy

2 wupi wupištej wupišće

3 wupi wupištej wupichu



A vocal stem verb: wzać wozmje pf. to take

singular dual plural

1 wzach wzachmoj wzachmy

2 wza wzaštej wzašće

3 wza wzaštej wzachu





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