Bulgarian verbs

Bulgarian verbs

Bulgarian verbs are the most complicated part of Bulgarian grammar, especially when compared to other Slavic languages. They are inflected for person, number and sometimes gender. They also have lexical aspect (perfective and imperfective), voice, nine tenses, five moods and six non-finite verbal forms. Because the subject of the verb can be inferred from the verb ending, it is often omitted. As there is no infinitive in the contemporary Bulgarian language the basic form of a verb is its present simple tense first person singular form.

= Conjugations =There are three conjugations. Of which conjugation a verb is is determined by the final vowel, in which the verb ends in the third person singular present simple tense. Verbs of the first conjugation end in e, of the second in и and of the third in а or я.

= Aspect =Bulgarian verbs express lexical aspect ("вид"). The verbs are either of incompletive ("глаголи от несвършен вид") or completive ("глаголи от свършен вид"). The former describe actions in progress (uncompleted actions) and the latter whole completed actions (actions which have a beginning and an end). So in Bulgarian an English verb is usually translated by two verbs (or sometimes by even three, see below). Perfective verbs can be usually formed from imperfective ones by suffixation or prefixation, but when prefixes (or very rarely suffixes) are used the resultant verb often deviates in meaning from the original. It is better to learn the pairs of verbs by heart because there are not any strict rules and irregularities are very common. Nevertheless many verbs can be grouped according to their stem change:

See Bulgarian verb paradigm for the full conjugation.

Discrepancy between spelling and pronunciation

Although verbs of the first and second conjugation in first person singular end in -а/я, and in third person plural in -ат/ят, they are not pronounced а/йа(IPA|/a/, IPA|/ja/) and ат/йат (IPA|/at/, IPA|/jat/), but ъ/йъ (IPA|/ɤ/, IPA|/jɤ/) and ът/йът (IPA|/ɤt/, IPA|/jɤt/) instead. This is not valid for verbs of the third conjugation.

See Bulgarian verb paradigm for the full conjugation.

Imperfective and perfective verbs

Although imperfective and perfective verbs are conjugated in the same way in the past aorist tense, there is difference in their meaning. Compare the sentences:

In contrast with English, in Bulgarian (very rarely) the present perfect tense can be used even if the moment when the action happened is specified. In such cases the importance of the action or its result is emphasized:
*"Снощи до два часа съм гледал телевизя и тази сутрин съм станал в шест, затова съм изключително изтощен." = "Last night, I watched TV until 2 o'clock and this morning, I got up at six, so I'm extremely exhausted."

Past Perfect Tense

Past perfect tense (in Bulgarian минало предварително време, "past preliminary tense") expresses an action that happened before another past action. It is made up of the past tense of съм and the past active aorist participle of the main verb. Again as in present perfect the participle agrees in number and gender with the subject. For the position of the verb съм see word order.

Example ("чета", to read):

Future Perfect Tense (Futurum Secundum exactum)

Future perfect tense (in Bulgarian бъдеще предварително време, future preliminary tense) expresses an action which is to take place in the future before another future action. It is made up of the future tense of the verb съм (in this tense the form with бъда is less common than the usual one) and the past active aorist participle of the main verb which agrees in number and gender with the subject.

Example ("чета", to read):

= Voice =

The voice in Bulgarian adjectives is presented not through the auxiliary verb, as it is in English ("I "have" eaten" - active; "I "was" eaten" - passive), but rather by the ending on the past participle; the auxiliary remains "съм" ("to be"):
* Active - "ударил съм... - udaril sum..." - I have hit...
* Passive - "ударен съм - udaren sum" - I have been hit

::"See also Participles, below."

= Mood =

Mood in Bulgarian is expressed not through verb endings, but through the auxiliary particles "че (che)" and "да (da)" (which both translate as the relative pronoun "that"). The verbs remain unchanged. [In ordinary sentences, the imperfective aspect is most often used for the indicative, and the perfective for the subjunctive, but any combination is possible, with the corresponding change in meaning.
* eg iskam da stanesh (perfective) / iskam da stavash (imperfective) - i want you to get up.The latter is more insisting, since the imperfective is the more immediate construction.
] Thus:
* Indicative - че -
** eg. "знам, че си тук - znam, che si tuk" - I know that you are here;
* Subjunctive - да -
** eg. "искам да си тук - iskam da si tuk" - I want you here (lit. "I want that you are here")

The inferential is formed in exactly the same way as the perfect, but with the omission of the auxiliary:
* Perfect - "той е бил - toy e bil" - he has been
* Inferential - "той бил - toy bil" - he (reportedly) was

The imperative has its own conjugation - usually by adding "-и" or "-ай" ("-i" or "-ay") to the root of the verb:
* eg. sit - "сядам → сядай" ("syadam → syaday" – imperfective), or "седна → седни" ("sedna → sedni" – perfective).

Inferential mood

The renarrative mood has five distinct tenses, which are used for all nine tenses in the indicative. This means that some indicative tenses have identical inferential forms. All inferential tenses are formed with the present tense of the verb съм, which in third person singular and plural can be omitted.
* Present Inferential and Past Imperfect Inferential - съм + past active imperfect participle;
* Past Aorist Inferential - съм + past active aorist participle. This inferential form is almost identical with Present Perfect Indicative, the only difference is that in third person singular and plural there can be no е/са;
* Future Inferential and Past Future Inferential - съм щял (in other words Present Perfect Indicative of the verb ща) + да + the present tense. Negation is expressed by the construction нямало да + the present tense;
* Present Perfect Inferential and Past Perfect Inferential - съм бил (Present Perfect Indicative of съм) + past active aorist participle;
* Future Perfect Inferential and Past Future Perfect Inferential - съм щял (Present Perfect Indicative of ща) + да съм + past active aorist participle. Negation is expressed by the construction нямало да съм + past active aorist participle.

All participles agree in number and gender with the subject. For the position of the verb съм see word order.

= Participles =

Past active aorist participle

Past active aorist participle (минало свършено деятелно причастие) is used to form the present perfect tense, in the renarrative and conditional mood and as an adjective. It is formed by adding -л (this is its masculine indefinite form) to the past aorist basis (first person singular past aorist tensе but without the final х), but additional alterations of the basis are also possible. The indefinite feminine, neuter and plural forms take respectively the endings -а, -о and -и after the masculine form. The definite forms are formed from the indefinite by adding the definite articles -ят/я for masculine participles, та for feminine participles, то for neuter participles and те for plural participles: "See also Voice above"See Bulgarian verb paradigm for the full conjugation.


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