Upper Sorbian Grammar

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The future tense

The way the future tense forms are built depends on the aspect (perfectiveness vs. imperfectiveness) of a given verb.

Perfective verbs have simple future forms (made of the main verb only) and the imperfective verbs have compound future forms (made of the main verb and an auxiliary verb).

The verbs być to be and měć to have, although both imperfective, have simple future forms that are created in an irregular way.

Perfective verbs in the future

Perfective verbs make their future tense forms using the present stem and the exact same endings that are used with imperfective verbs to form the present tense:

numberperson-e- stems -i- / -y- stems -a- stems
2.-’e-š-i-š (-y-š)-a-š
3.-’e-i (-y)-a
du.1.-’e-moj-i-moj (-y-moj)-a-moj
2.-’e-tej-i-tej (-y-tej)-a-tej
3.-’e-tej-i-tej (-y-tej)-a-tej
pl.1.-’e-my-i-my (-y-my)-a-my
2.-’e-će-i-će (-y-će)-a-će

Before the -’e-, -”u- and -”a- endings the same consonant changes apply as in the present tense.

Although these endings are the very same as in the present tense, there is no ambiguity in terms of tense when a particular verb form is considered. A perfective verb used with the above endings is always in future, since these verbs are not used for present at all. On the other hand, an imperfective verb with these endings attached is always in present as imperfective verbs make their future tense in a fully different way.

Consider the impf.-perf. verb pair pisać impf. and napisać perf., both of which mean to write. When we attach a 1st pers. sing. ending to their present stems we get pisam, which means I write / I am writing, and napisam, which means I will write / I will have vritten.


An -e- stem verb

přinjesć přinjese perf. to bring (while walking)


An -i-/-y- stem verb

skónčić skónči perf. to finish


An -i-/-y- stem verb

přeprosyć přeprosy perf. to invite


An -a- stem verb

napisać napisa perf. to write


Future forms of “być” and “měć”

być je impf. to be


měć ma impf. to have


Imperfective verbs in the future

The future tense of imperfective verbs is fairy simple as all we need to do is to take the basic infinitive form of a werb and put the according future form of the być to bee auxiliary verb in front of it.


An -e- stem verb

njesć njese impf. to carry (while walking)

1budu njesćbudźemoj njesćbudźemy njesć
2budźeš njesćbudźetej njesćbudźeće njesć
3budźe njesćbudźetej njesćbudu njesć

An -i-/-y- stem verb

kónčić kónči impf. to finish

1budu kónčićbudźemoj kónčićbudźemy kónčić
2budźeš kónčićbudźetej kónčićbudźeće kónčić
3budźe kónčićbudźetej kónčićbudu kónčić

An -i-/-y- stem verb

prosyć prosy impf. to ask

1budu prosyćbudźemoj prosyćbudźemy prosyć
2budźeš prosyćbudźetej prosyćbudźeće prosyć
3budźe prosyćbudźetej prosyćbudu prosyć

An -a- stem verb

pisać pisa impf. to write

1budu pisaćbudźemoj pisaćbudźemy pisać
2budźeš pisaćbudźetej pisaćbudźeće pisać
3budźe pisaćbudźetej pisaćbudu pisać

In a sentence, the two parts of a compound future form may be separated by other words, ex. budu tam čakać I will wait there. The order of the two parts may also be reversed, ex. spěwać budu přeco I will always sing.

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