Belarusian/Lesson 12

The initial ў edit

The initial у letter is replaced by the ў if it is preceded by a word with a final vowel.

уро́к a lesson

ця́жкi ўро́к a difficult lesson

This rule does not apply to proper names.

старажы́тная Украіна ancient Ukraine

NOTE: In tarashkievitsa, ў is used in such cases (старажытная Ўкраіна).

(However, note that when an adjective or other word is formed from a proper name, if it starts with a small letter in Belarusian, it's still written with ў: гасці́нныя ўкраі́нцы hospitable Ukrainians).

This is also not applied when the preceding word is separated with a dot, a comma or other punctuation sign.

Сусе́дзi Белару́сi - Расiя, Украiна, По́льшча, Лiтва́ i Ла́твiя. The neighbours of Belarus are Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.

у after vowels edit

It is not normal for Belarusian that у be preceeded by a vowel. It is usually replaced by ў in such a position. However, there is a number of words in which у after vowels makes a syllable and thus is not replaced by ў. They are all borrowings, most of them having the us or um ending characteristic to Latin.

ра́дыус a radius

Сiрыус Sirius

Іу́да Judah (the betrayer of Christ)

European borrowings having au or ou diphthongs also have vowel+у combinations.

шо́у a show

аудыто́рыя a lecture hall

A number of such words (earlier borrowings), however, use ў rather than у.

а́ўтар an author

Noun Declension Groups edit

Belarusian nouns are classified into three groups according to endings they get in declension.

The first declension consists of feminine and masculine nouns ending with а or я.

The second declension is made by neuter nouns and masculine nouns ending with a consonant (having a "zero ending").

The third declension, much less numerous, consists of feminine nouns with zero ending.

Plural Noun Genitive edit

First Declension edit

Most first declension nouns have a zero ending in plural Genitive.

рака́ a river - рэк of rivers

каро́ва a cow - каро́ў of cows

скры́ня a box - скры́нь of boxes

саба́ка a dog - саба́к of dogs

Nouns ending with a consonant + ка obtain а before к in plural Genitive (or е if the first consonant is soft).

пту́шка a cat - пту́шак of cats

ка́зка a tale - ка́зак of tails

ля́лька a doll - ля́лек of dolls

ступе́нька a stair - ступе́нек of stairs

Exceptions: ба́цька a father - ба́цькаў of fathers
дачка́ a daughter - дачо́к (до́чак) of daughters

Nouns ending with a consonant + consonant + а, when the second consonant is not к, have оў (аў when unstressed) ending in plural Genitive.

царква́ a church - цэ́ркваў of churches

Second Declension edit

Second declension nouns usually have оў (аў when unstessed) for hard basis and ёў (яў when unstressed) for soft basis.

лес a forest - лясо́ў of forests

конь a horse - канёў of horses

го́рад a town - гарадо́ў of towns

вакно́ a window - во́кнаў of windows

по́ле a field - палёў of fields

Third Declension edit

Third declension nouns usually have эй (ей for soft basis) ending in plural Genitive.

мыш a mouse - мышэ́й of mice

гусь a goose - гусе́й of geese

Some third declension nouns, however, have оў (аў) or ёў (яў) ending in plural Genitive.

рэч a thing - рэ́чаў of things

The Numbers (1 to 10) edit

Here are the Belarusian numbers from one to ten.

адзiн one

два two

тры three

чаты́ры four

пяць five

шэсць six

сем seven

во́сем eight

дзе́вяць nine

дзе́сяць ten

The word адзiн is deflected by gender and number.

адзiн го́рад one town

адно́ вакно́ one window

адна́ ву́лiца one street

адны́ дзве́ры one door

The plural form адны is used with nouns that have no singular form and are used in plural even when denoting a single object. It also can be used when адзiн means alone or only.

Я тут адзiн. I am here alone.

Мы тут адны́. We are here alone.

Яны́ адны́ до́бра пла́ваюць. = То́лькi яны́ до́бра пла́ваюць. Only they swim well.

The word два has a feminine form дзве.

All other numbers do not deflect.

With адзiн the nouns are used in the Nominative.

With два, тры and чаты́ры the nouns are used in plural Nominative.

With other numbers the nouns are used in plural Genitive.

адзiн год one year - два гады́ two yearts - тры гады́ three years - пяць гадо́ў five years

адно́ ко́ла one wheel - два ко́лы two wheels - чаты́ры ко́лы four wheels - шэсць ко́лаў six wheels

адна́ мыш one mouse - дзве мы́шы two mice - тры мы́шы three mice - пяць мышэ́й five mice

адна́ рака́ one river - дзве ракi two rivers - тры ракi - three rivers - пяць рэк five rivers

Note carefully the last example. The ending of the noun is not shifted as it usually is with feminine nouns having stressed endings.

The question word to ask about quantity is ко́лькi.

Ко́лькi тут паве́рхаў? - Тут адзiн паве́рх. How many floors are here? - There is one floor here.

Ко́лькi там гусе́й? - Там чаты́ры гу́сi. How many geese are there? - There are four geese there.

Exercises edit

The Numbers edit

Use these words with the numbers given in parentheses.

(1) (one, two, seven) book(s)

(2) (one, three, five) mirror(s)

(3) (one, two, four, six) goat(s)

(4) (one, three, eight, ten) oak(s)

(5) (one, two, three, seven) village(s)

(6) (one, two, three, nine) land(s)

Clue: (1) адна кнiга; дзве кнiгi; сем кнiг (2) адно люстра; тры люстры; пяць люстраў (3) адна каза; дзве казы; чатыры казы; шэсць коз (4) адзiн дуб; тры дубы; восем дубоў; дзесяць дубоў (5) адна вёска; дзве вёскi; тры вёскi; сем вёсак (6) адна зямля; дзве зямлi; тры зямлi; дзевяць земляў.

Translation edit

Translate into Belarusian.

(1) There are six wolves here.

(2) How many students are unwell? Three students are unwell.

(3) How many trees are there? There are seven trees there.

(4) How many jars of honey are here? There are two jars of honey here.

(5) How many students paint well? Only she paints well.

(6) Are we here alone? No, two women are here.

Clue: (1) Тут шэсць ваўкоў. (2) Колькi студэнтаў хварэюць? Тры [студэнты хварэюць]. (3) Колькi там дрэваў? Там сем дрэваў. (4) Колькi тут слоiкаў мёду? Тут два слоiкi мёду. (5) Колькi студэнтаў добра малююць? Яна адна добра малюе. (6) Мы тут адны? Не, тут дзве жанчыны.