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13. past tenses of verbs

Past tenses of Neoslavonic verbs are very easy and regular. There is only one pattern for all verbs (except only 3 irregular verbs). This pattern is simply based on the infinitive.


L-participle

Neoslavonic (as well as spoken Slavic) operate past tenses with so called L-participle. It is a special form of indeclinable verbal adjective made from the infinitive.
  1. L-participle is created from the infinitive via simple replacing ending -ti by ending -l (m.), -la (f.), -lo (n.), -li (universal plural).

  2. Verbs having infinitive ending -ti connected to the stem directly without any vowel (for example možti = to can, pečti = to bake, ...) have the stem hardened via backward palatalization (e.g. from -č, -š, -ž to -k, -h, -g).

  3. Irregular verb byti (to be) has its L-participle:  byl, byla, bylo, byli.

  4. Irregular verb iti (to go) has its its L-participle:  išel, išla, išlo, išli.

  5. Irregular verb jasti (to eat) has its L-participle:  jadl, jadla, jadlo, jadli.

examples:

diela-tidiela-l, diela-la, diela-lo, diela-li (to do)
pisa-tipisa-l, pisa-la, pisa-lo, pisa-li (to write)
vidie-tividie-l, vidie-la, vidie-lo, vidie-li (to see)
peč-tipek-l, pek-la, pek-lo, pek-li (to bake)
mož-timog-l, mog-la, mog-lo, mog-li (to can)


simple past tense

The simple past tense is made in a very similar way as the L-participle.
  1. Simple past tense is created from the infinitive via simple replacing ending -ti by these endings:

     ja 
     -h  my 
     -hom
     ty 
     -še  vy 
     -ste
     on, ona, ono 
     -še        
     oni 
     -hu

  2. Verbs having infinitive ending -ti connected to the stem directly without any vowel (for example možti = to can, pečti = to bake, ...) have the stem appended by the vowel -e-. (e.g. mož-e-h, mož-e-še, ..., peč-e-h, peč-e-še, ...)

  3. Irregular verb byti (to be) has its past tense:  bie-h, bie-še, bie-še, bie-hom, bie-ste, bie-hu.

  4. Irregular verb iti (to go) has its its past tense:  ide-h, ide-še, ide-še, ide-hom, ide-ste, ide-hu.

  5. Irregular verb jasti (to eat) has its past tense:  jade-h, jade-še, jade-še, jade-hom, jade-ste, jad-ehu.

examples:

diela-tidiela-h, diela-še, diela-še, diela-hom, diela-ste, diela-hu (to do)
pisa-tipisa-h, pisa-še, pisa-še, pisa-hom, pisa-ste, pisa-hu (to write)
peč-tipeč-e-h, peč-e-še, peč-e-še, peč-e-hom, peč-e-ste, peč-e-hu (to bake)

note:

This simple past tense is very similar to the past tenses in Croatian, Serbian, Montenegrin, (Slavo)Macedonian and Bulgarian. But they are almost unfamiliar in the western Slavic and eastern Slavic languages.


composed past tense = prior present tense

As written above, the western Slavic and eastern Slavic languages do not use the simple past tense (-hu, -še , ...). Instead of it, they use the composed past tense made by the combination of the verb byti (to be) in the present tense and the L-participle in corresponding personal form (m. or f. or n. or pl.).

example:
dielati (to do) in the composed past tense

 jesm dielal/dielala/dielalo   I did
  jesme dielali 
 we did
jesi dielal/dielala/dielalo   you did
jeste dielali 
 you did
je dielal/dielala/dielalo   he/she/it did 
sut dielali 
 they did

Jesi li pisala pismo?  Did You (f.) write a letter?
Ne, on je pisal to pismo.  No, he did write this letter.

note:

If You use past form of the verb byti (to be) instead of the present form, You create the prior past tense.

example:

Bieše li pisala pismo?  Had You (f.) wrote a letter?
Ne, on bieše pisal to pismo.  No, he had wrote this letter.


symmetric system of Neoslavonic present and past tenses

If we do not assume a simplified system with only one past tense (either simple or composed), we can define the complex symmetric system of four tenses in two time levels: the present level and the past level.
  1. present tense (e.g. dielaju, dielaješ, ...) - this is the actual time of the present
  2. prior-present tense (e.g. jesm dielal, jesi dielal, ...) - this is another auxiliary time just before the present tense, but related to the present tense

  3. past tense (e.g. dielah, dielaše, ...) - this is some time in the past
  4. prior past tense (e.g. bieh dielal, bieše dielal, ...) - this is another auxiliary time just before the past tense, but related to the past tense

example of the present time level:
Hvalime Vas, že jeste razdielili otpad.  Thank you for sorting waste. - thanking = present, sorting = prior-present.

the same example moved to the past time level:
Hvalihom Vas, že bieste razdielili otpad.  We did thank you for sorting waste. - thanking = past, sorting = prior-past.

It is obvious, that the relationship between thanking and sorting is the same in both examples: Sorting first, thanking after.
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