72 ways to express your Basque self


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  • Present simple

    Synthetic present

    Present habitual

    Imperfect stem and present auxiliary

    I sing (regularly)

    kantatzen dut


    future stem and present auxiliary

    I will be

    izango naiz

    I will buy them

    erosiko ditut

    Could you help me please? (help-will me-aux-you?)

    lagunduko didazu?

    it will probably be true

    egia izango da

    simple past

    synthetic past

    past habitual

    imperfect stem and past auxiliary

    I used to be

    izaten nintzen

    I used to see

    ikusten nuen

    Near past (usually today)

    perfect stem and present auxiliary

    I have come

    etorri naiz

    I have seen

    ikusi dut

    remote past (before today)

    perfect stem and past auxiliary

    I came, I had come

    etorri nintzen

    I saw, I had seen

    ikusi nuen

    past future (or consequence of unfulfilled hypothesis)

    future stem and past auxiliary

    I would come, I would have come

    etorriko nintzen

    I would see, I would have seen

    ikusiko nuen

    he said he would come (come-will indirect say did he)

    etorriko zela esan zuen

    if he had known, he would have come (know is if-he, will come he did)

    jakin izan balu, etorriko zen

    he probably came before us (us in-front-from come-will he did)

    gure aurretik etorriko zen

    hypothetic (if...)

    future stem and hypothetic auxiliary

    if I came, if I were to come

    etorriko banintz

    if I saw, if I were to see

    ikusiko banu

    conditional (consequence)

    future stem and hypothetic potential auxiliary

    ...then I would come

    etorriko nintzateke

    ...then I would see

    ikusiko nuke

    present subjunctive (literature, mainly)

    short stem and present aorist auxiliary

    that I may come

    etor nadin

    that I may see

    ikus dezadan

    present potential (possibility or ability)

    short stem and present potential aorist auxiliary

    I can come

    etor naiteke

    I can see

    ikus dezaket

    simple imperative

    synthetic imperative

    come! (synthetic)


    give me! (synthetic)


    compound imperative

    short stem and imperative aorist auxiliary

    come! (compound)

    etor zaitez!

    do it! (compound)

    egin ezazu!

    Non-finite imperative

    short or perfect stem

    come! (non-finite)

    etor! Etorri!

    give! (non-finite)


    progressive (I am...)

    Imperfect + ari + (izan)

    I am learning

    ikasten ari naiz

    volition (I want...)

    Perfect + nahi + (ukan)

    I want to learn

    ikasi nahi dut

    he wanted to go

    joan nahi zuen

    necessity (I have to...)

    Perfect + behar + (ukan)

    I have to go

    joan behar dut

    You have to eat them

    jan behar dituzu

    ability (I can...alternative to potential)

    perfect/imperfect + ahal + (ukan/izan)

    I can learn

    ikasi/ikasten ahal dut

    You will be able to come

    etorri ahal izango zara

    Perfect as adjective: 'an open door...the door is open'

    ate ireki bat...atea irekia dago

    Perfect in citation: 'come' means 'etorri' (come word-the-doer etorri say want has)

    'Come' hitzak 'etorri' esan nahi du

    Perfect + rik/ta/da as stative adverbial: 'knowing this, I did not believe him' (this know-some, not him am I believing)

    hau jakinik/jakinda, ez nion sinetsi

    Perfect + rik/ta/da as participial predicate: the meat is boiled (meat the boiled-some it is)

    haragia egosirik/egosita dago

    Perfect + tako/dako as an adjective: the man you saw is blind (you the doer seen man the blind is)

    zuk ikusitako gizona itsua da

    Perfect + ez as dynamic adverbial participle: taking the money, he went (money-the taking, go he was)

    dirua hartuz, joan zen

    Short stem + te/tze + determiner is verbal noun: going to bed late is bad (late go-to-bed-ing bad is)

    berandu oheratzea tzarra da

    Short stem + te/tze + determiner is verbal noun: learning Basque will be very helpful to you (Basque learning very help of it will be to you)

    Euskara ikasteak asko lagunduko dizu

    Short stem + te/tze + determiner as complement clause: my friend wants me to learn Basque (my friend the doer I the doer Basque learning want is)

    Nire lagunak nik euskara ikastea nahi du

    Short stem + te/tze + determiner as complement clause: we have decided to drink wine (wine drinking decide it have we)

    ardoa edatea erabaki dugu

    Short stem + te/tze + ko as 'in order to': I will buy a book in order to learn Basque (book one will buy it have I Basque (in order to) learn-of)

    Liburu bat erosiko dut euskara ikasteko

    Short stem + te/tze + ko also complement clause: the teacher told me to go home (teacher the doer house to go-of say it has he)

    irakasleak etxera joateko esan dit

    Short stem + te/tze + ko as adjective: a tool for opening bottles (bottle plural open-of tool one)

    botilak irekitzeko tresna bat

    Short stem + te/tze + ra as complement of movement verbs: I have come to say this (this saying-to come I am)

    hau esatera etorri naiz

    Short stem + te/tze + n as complement clause: he started opening the windows (windows opening start he did)

    leihoak irekitzen hasi zen

    Short stem + te/tze + an meaning on (verb)ing: on seeing you, I remembered (you-done-to seeing at, remembering am I)

    zu ikustean, gogoratu naiz

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