Upper Sorbian Grammar

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THE PERFECTUM TENSE



The perfectum is the most commonly used Upper Sorbian past tense. In conversational speech it may describe any past action and be the only past tense. The written language uses it first of all when the action's consequence exists in the present:



perfectum:

Wón je wotčinił wokno

He has opened the window (the window is still opened)

preteritum:

Wón wotčini wokno

He opened the window (but it may be already closed)



The perfectum forms are made out of the present tense form of the być je auxiliary verb and the L-participle.



One must remember, that both the auxiliary verb and the participle have to correspond in terms of singular/dual/plural with the sentence's subject. The auxiliary verb also corresponds with the subject of a sentence in terms of person and the participle in terms of gender.



Here you have an example of a paradigm of a verb in the perfectum tense:



the perfectum tense

A npf. verb: pisać pisa to write

singular dual plural

1 masc. sym pisał smój pisałoj smy pisali

fem. sym pisała

2 masc. sy pisał stej pisałoj sće pisali

fem. sy pisała

3 masc. je pisał stej pisałoj su pisali

fem. je pisała

neut. je pisało





the perfectum tense

A pf. verb: wzać wozmje to take

singular dual plural

1 masc. sym wzał smój wzałoj smy wzali

fem. sym wzała

2 masc. sy wzał stej wzałoj sće wzali

fem. sy wzała

3 masc. je wzał stej wzałoj su wzali

fem. je wzała

neut. je wzało





As one can see there is no neuter form in the 1st and the 2nd person and ther is the same form for each gender in the dual and plural.



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