Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Verb chart - a template using Getmək

Getting to know which verb tense to use can be tricky, especially if you want to learn it without resorting to a lot of grammatical rules. I have devised a chart that situates the verbs along a continuum of past - present - future. It makes sense to me - I hope it will help you too. I print these out on an A3 page for study and reference.

Let's start in the middle with the present tense.



Mən gedirəm
Sən gedirsən
O gedir
Biz gedirik
Siz gedirsiniz
Onlar gedirlər

I am going
You are going
He is going
We are going
You are going
They are going

This is the verb tense that I find myself using most. If I am going to visit the high school, I can tell my lovely assistant Lalə - Mən orta məktəbə gedirəm. When going to lunch, I can say, Lança gedirəm. If teachers have a meeting after school, I can say, Biz iclasa gedirik.

On the past tense side of this, we have the past continuous. I don't find I use this tense much, since it is mostly for things that you used to do in the past but maybe don't do now for some reason. Explaining the reason can be complicated. (See the entry for -ənə qədər etc. for some sample sentences.) However, here is the entry for your verb chart:



Mən gedirdim
Sən gedirdin
O gedirdi
Biz gedirik
Siz gedirdiz
Onlar gedirdilər

I was going / used to go
You were going / used to go
He was going / used to go
We were going / used to go
You were going / used to go
They were going / used to go

On my chart, I place the -di past tense under the continuous past. I use this tense a lot in conversation, when reporting something that I have done recently.

-di past

Mən getdim
Sən getdin
O getdi
Biz getdik
Siz getdiniz
Onlar getdilər

I went
You went
He went
We went
You went
They went

I use this tense at work to explain that someone has already left - O getdi. When shopping, if I am looking for something - say garlic (sarımsaq) - and let's say the shopkeeper is trying to help me but I have already found it, I can say Tapdım! (I found it!) A very useful tense when you are first launching into conversation in full sentences.

In practical terms, the third most useful - and easy to learn - tense is the imperative.



Mən gedim
Sən get
O getsin
Biz gedək
Siz gedin
Onlar getsinlər

Let me go
Let him (her, it) go
Lets go
Let them go

For a native English speaker, the Get! and Gedin! make sense, since we use these forms in English all the time. One of the first xalq mahnısı that I learned in Azərbaycanca was the wonderful Getmə, Getmə. Even my husband understood the chorus - Getmə, getmə, gəl, gözəl yar! Getmə, getmə, gəl! Don't go, don't go, come, my beautiful love! Don't go, don't go, come! (Yeah, it sounds so much better in Azerbaijani!) One day we were shopping in our local Sevimli Dad. It was very crowded, so we both moved outside to make room, but the fellow at the kassa (who knew us well) said - Getmə, getmə! Well, Dom and I - we've been married a long time - both immediately thought of the song and started to sing the chorus. The guy laughed so hard he actually fell off his chair. The rest of the people in the store caught the reference, naturally, and everyone had a good laugh. So learn your imperatives! There may be entertainment value there.

You will find this verb tense very useful in everyday situations, not just fooling around. I use it all the time when riding the bus or subway. To say Excuse me, you use the imperative - Bağışlayın. To ask people to step aside when you are trying to get off (düşmək) you say İcazə verin - Give me permission (i.e., Allow me to pass.) Unfortunately, foreigners can be bothered by beggars, who can sometimes get a bit in-your-face, especially some of the children. I usually say Get burdan  - which means essentially Go away. Not rude, but clear and effective. If someone is really bothering you, you might want to say Rədd ol! which I think would be the equivalent to Get outta here! or Get lost! in English. There is a great scene in the film Baxtiyar where a couple of star-struck young women yell this at Sasha after she whistles to Baxtiyar in the theater. 

The other forms of the Azerbaijani imperative take a bit of getting used to. Listen for people using them and you'll gradually get the hang of how they work.

Over to the left of the -di past is the -miş past. This is maybe the next most useful tense, as you can talk about your past. Here is how it looks:


-miş past

Mən getmişəm
Sən getmisən
O gedib
Biz getmişik
Siz getmişiniz
Onlar gediblər

I have gone
You have gone
He has gone
We have gone
You have go
They have gone

This is the been-there-done-that tense (in the recent or not-so-recent past.) For example, Bu ay mən dörd konsertə getmişəm. (This month I've gone to four concerts.) Or, things you haven't done yet - Biz opera teatriyə getməmişik. (We haven't gone to the opera theater.)

Then, farther to the left still, is the -mişdi past. This is like the past tense of the past tense -miş. It's like talking about the past taking place in the past, if that makes sense. Here's how it looks with the English translation.


-mişdi past

Mən getmişdim
Sən getmişdin
O getmişdi
Biz getmişdik
Siz getmişdiz
Onlar getmişdilər

I had gone
You had gone
He had gone
We had gone
You had gone
They had gone

I use this tense a fair bit, usually telling stories where I did something and then later something else related to it happened. For instance, I bought tickets to the concert, but then I got sick and couldn't go, so I gave the tickets to a friend. Mən bilet almışdım amma koncert günü mən xestə idim. Ona görə də, mən getə bilmədim və bilet dostumə verdim.

Just as useful as describing what you've done in the past is telling people what you plan to do in the future. For plans that are definite, this is the definite future.



Mən gedəcəyəm
Sən gedəcəksən
O gedəcək
Biz gedəcəyik
Siz gedəcəksiz
Onlar gedəcəklər

I will go
You will go
He will go
We will go
You will go
They will go

Two simple examples: I will go to Park Bulvar tomorrow to buy a hat. Sabah mən Park Bulvara gedəcəyəm çünki papaq almaq isteyirəm. I will call you tomorrow. Sabah sənə zəng edəcəyəm.

The next verb tense to learn is the conditional present. It looks a bit difficult at first, but is quite easy.


Əgər… conditional

Əgər mən getsəm
Əgər sən getsən
Əgər o getsə
Əgər biz getsək
Əgər siz getsəz
Əgər onlar getsələr

If I go
If you go
If he goes
If we go
If you go
If they go

There are a lot of situations in life that depend on circumstances, so you need to use this tense. For instance: If I see Dom, I will tell him you are waiting for him. Əgər mən Domu görsəm, mən ona deyərəm ki, sən onu gözləyirsən. And: If you go to that store, bring lots of money! Əgər sən bu dukhana getsən, çox pulu gətir!

As you can see from the first sample sentence, the present conditional can be followed by the indefinite future (something that has just been decided). This is mostly how I use this tense in Azerbaijani.


Indefinite (just decided)

Mən gedərəm
Sən gedərsən
O gedər
Biz gedərik
Siz gedərsiz
Onlar gedərlər

I will go
You will go
He will go
We shall go
You will go
They will go

There are two other Əgər tenses. I don't use them much, but here they are:


Əgər… right now

Əgər mən getirəmsə
Əgər sən getirsənsə
Əgər o getirsə
Əgər biz getiriksə
Əgər siz getirsizsə
Əgər onlar getirlərsa

If I go right now
If you go right now
If he goes right now
If we go right now
If you go right now
If they go right now

Əgər… conditional

Əgər mən getsəydim
Əgər sən getsəydin
Əgər o getsəydi
Əgər biz getsəydik
Əgər siz getsəydiz
Əgər onlar getsəydilər

If I went
If you went
If he went
If we went
If you went
If they went

The other past tense conditionals are as follows:


-ərdi past conditional

Mən gedərdim
Sən gedərdin
O gedərdi
Biz gedərdik
Siz gedərdiz
Onlar gedərdilər

I would go
You would go
He would go
We would go
You would go
They would go

-əcəkdi past conditional

Mən gedəcəkdim
Sən gedəcəkdin
O gedəcəkdi
Biz gedəcəkdik
Siz gedəcəkdiz
Onlar gedəcəkdilər

I would have gone
You would have gone
He would have gone
We would have gone
You would have gone
They would have gone

To express "should"  use the following:


 Gərək… desirable (should)

Gərək mən gedim
Gərək sən gedəsən
Gərək o getsin
Gərək biz gedək
Gərək siz gedəsiz
Gərək onlar getsinlər

I should go
You should go
He should go
We should go
You should go
They should go

Gərək… “should have”

Gərək mən gedəydim
Gərək sən gedəydin
Gərək o gedəydi
Gərək biz gedəydik
Gərək siz gedəydiz
Gərək onlar getəydilər

İ should have gone
You should have gone
He should have gone
We should have gone
You should have gone
They should have gone

For some reason, I find myself using the -məli (must) tenses much more often that the "should" tenses above. 


Məli — necessitative (must)

Mən getməliyəm
Sən getməlisən
O getməlidir
Biz getməliyik
Siz getməlisiz
Onlar getməlidirlər

I must go
You must go
He must go
We must go
You must go
They must go


Məli past

Mən getməliydim
Sən getməliydin
O getməlidi
Biz getməliydik
Siz getməliydiz
Onlar getməliydilər

İ should have gone
You should have gone
He should have gone
We should have gone
You should have gone
They should have gone

You can also use Məli with If, as follows: 


Məli + -sə (If he must)

Mən getməliyəmsə
Sən getməlisənsə
O getməlidirsə
Biz getməliyiksə
Siz getməlisizsə
Onlar getməlidirlərsə

If I must go
If you must go
If he must go
If we must go
If you must go
If they must go

There are two other "should" verb forms, though I've never used them. To complete the verb chart, I will list them here:



Mən gedəsiyəm
Sən gedəsisən
O gedəsidir
Biz gedəsiyik
Siz gedəsisiz
Onlar gedəsidirlər 

I should go
You should go
He should go
We should go
You should go
They should go


Should have

Mən gedəsidim
Sən gedəsidin
O gedəsidi
Biz gedəsidik
Siz gedəsidiz
Onlar gedəsidilər

İ should have gone
You should have gone
He should have gone
We should have gone
You should have gone
They should have gone


Gabrielle said...

Thanks Colleen, I was just going to compile such a chart myself when I came across your blog.

Prof Coline said...

Of all of the posts I have worked on, this one took the longest, but was the most useful. If you set it out in a chart form according to past, present and future, you will know your verbs in no time. In my opinion, learning your verbs is key to conversational Azerbaijani.