Latvian: We have no sugar, only lemons

bobertfishbone

New Member
English - USA
I am trying to get a basic knowledge of Latvian grammar, and I ran across this sentence. My attempt at translation gave me this:

Mums nav cukuru, tikai citronus.

Is this somewhat accurate? I'm a beginner, so any help here would be much appreciated. Thanks!
 
  • karuna

    Senior Member
    Latvian, Latvia
    Yup, almost correct. Only small corrections with noun cases:

    Mums nav cukurua (gen.), tikai citronusi (nom.).

    The second noun is in the nominative case because the verb ir is implied there while the verb nav requires the genitive case.
     

    bobertfishbone

    New Member
    English - USA
    Thanks! Now what if I'm using the imperfect tense of nav? I assume this would read something like:

    Mums nebijām cukura, tikai citroni.

    Is this correct?
     

    Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Hello bobertfishbone,

    A big welcome from a fellow Latvian learner! :)

    Mums nebijām cukura, tikai citroni.
    This is wrong because mums is in dative and cannot maintain an agreement with the verb. The subject of the first part is cukura, which requires the verb būt to be in the third person. Now, you only have to turn nav in the imperfect, which is nebija.

    Mums nebija cukura.
    A very literal translation is:
    To us, did not exist [any] of sugar.
     

    bobertfishbone

    New Member
    English - USA
    Thanks a lot, that cleared it up for me, and showed that I have a LOT of learning to do.

    This may be a bit off topic, but is there any definitive book or learning method with Latvian? I haven't been able to find too much, and any help would be greatly appreciated! Feel free to send me a Private Message or email through this forum, if it isn't welcome in this thread.
     

    valdo

    Senior Member
    Latvia, Latvian
    Hallo, Bobertfishbone....
    The best way to learn Latvian, probably, is by communicating with Latvians. I don't think that any books would be of much help....since Latvian grammar is something that drives crazy even Latvians...!!!

    Saludos,
     
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