1. The WordReference Forums have moved to new forum software. (Details)

Bulgarian: Past tense

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by lonelyheartsclubband, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. lonelyheartsclubband Junior Member

    Israel, Rishon
    Russian, Hebrew: Israel
    EDIT: Split from here.

    Well, now, does the past tense of Bulgarian have something in common with past tense of Russian?
     
  2. Toma Junior Member

    Bulgarian
    I cannot get the gist of your question. By presuming that both languages are slavic, there must be a lot in common between them. The differences are that Bulgarian has (has developped) much more past tenses than Russian. You need to ask a more specific question.
     
  3. Ukrainito

    Ukrainito Senior Member

    Crimea, Ukraine
    Ukrainian & Russian
    I would say Bulgarian HAS PRESERVED (not DEVELOPED) practically all the past tenses of the Old Slavic language while it has lost the declensions in nouns and adjectives (which is something all other Slavic languages have kept). You lose some, you gain some, you know ;)

    The past tense in modern Russian, Ukrainian and Belorusian is, in fact, the archaic Slavonic perfect tense with the omission of the auxiliary verb быть/бути. So the past tense became the "naked" past participle, so to speak.

    e.g.

    Eng. I have seen
    Old Slavic - Азъ єсмь відєлъ
    Modern Bulgarian - Аз съм видял
    Old Ukrainain/Old Russian - Азъ/Я есмь виделъ
    Modern Russian - Я видел
    Modern Ukrainian - Я бачив

    Interestingly, modern literary Ukrainian has the plusquamperfect tense (давньоминулий час) which preserves the auxiliary verb бути (to be) in the past form. Russian doesn't have this tense.

    Eng. I had seen
    Modern Bulgarian - Аз бях видял
    Modern Ukrainian - Я був бачив or Я бачив був
     
  4. bibax Senior Member

    Czech
    In fact, був is the past participle like бачив, the auxiliary есмь is still missing.

    With the auxiliary есмь it could be something like Я есмь був бачив. In Czech it is Já jsem byl (u)viděl (bookish) as the Czech past tenses preserve the auxiliary verb to be in the 1st and 2nd persons. The Bulgarian бях in your example is the imperfect.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
  5. Ukrainito

    Ukrainito Senior Member

    Crimea, Ukraine
    Ukrainian & Russian
    Who said an auxialiary verb CAN'T be used in its past participle form and still play the auxiliary part? Був is, indeed, the p.p. of бути. Nevertheless, it is used to form the Ukrainian plusquamperfect as an auxiliary verb, at that it doesn't have any sematic meaning (expresses no action) here.

    Speakers of some Western Ukrainian dialects (Hutsuls, Rusyns etc.) use the present tense of the auxiliary verb бути to form the past (or, more precisely, the present perfect). The auxiliary is postpositioned.

    e.g.
    Ходивемь (ходив єсмь)
    Ходивсі (ходив єсі)
    Ходилисьмо (ходили єсмо)
    Ходилисте (ходили єсте)


    The бях (беше, беше, бяхме, бяхте, бяха) in my example is the so-called GENERAL PAST that's used to form the PLUSQUAMPERFECT in the Bulgarian language.

    The PAST IMPERFECT forms of the Bulgarian verb съм are:
    бъдех, бъдеше, бъдеше, бъедехме, бъдехте, бъдеха

    The AORIST forms of the Bulgarian verb съм are:
    бидох, биде, биде, бидохме, бидохте, бидоха

    The ARCHAIC AORIST forms of the Bulgarian verb съм are:
    бих, би, би, бихме, бихте, биха.

    Of all of the above, only the бях беше, беше, бяхме, бяхте, бяха forms are used in the Bulgarian plusquamperfect.
     
  6. bibax Senior Member

    Czech
    I don't know who said it. :)

    Interesting. It resembles Polish. So the hypothetical plusquamperfect would be: Я бувемь бачив.

    I wonder if Polish has the plusquamperfect (ja byłem uwidział ??).
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
  7. Diaspora Senior Member

    USA
    Serbocroatian, English
    I've read that the Pluperfect can be found in some old Tsarist writings, also in Polish and Czech some cases.

    One major difference between Russian And Bulgarian past tenses is the distinction of witness/non-witness moods.
     
  8. WannaBeMe

    WannaBeMe Senior Member

    Wetzlar,Germany
    Serbian (ijekavian)
    Actualy, I think that bibax might be right.
    In Serbian we do build the plusquamperfect in two ways:
    perfect form of BITI + participle
    ot imperfect of BITI + participle

    thus:

    JA SAM BIO VIDEO (BIO SAM VIDEO) or JA BEJAH VIDEO
    TI SI BIO VIDEO or TI BEŠE VIDEO
    ON JE BIO VIDEO or ON BEŠE VIDEO
    MI SMO BILI VIDELI or MI BEJASMO VIDELI
    VI STE BILI VIDELI or VI BEJASTE VIDELI
    ONI SU BILI VIDELI or ONI BEJAHU VIDELI

    So Ukrainian build plusquamperfect the same way as Serbian thus PERFECT of BUTI + participle, only Ukrainian perfect has lost the auxiliary verb "BUTI".
     

Share This Page