donderdag 19 mei 2016

Maltese verbs - learn the past tense!

The Maltese past tense is a little trickier than the present tense. There are also more exceptions. But let's wait no longer and see how to form this past tense.

As a basis, you need the verb stem or mamma of a verb. For 'to work', that's ħadem. That's the third person in the past, meaning 'he worked'. You will need to study as well a second verb stem (that's not the official name). For 'to work', that's ħdim.

You can form the past like this:
Malta, paradise but also home to the Maltese language ©

(I) = verb stem 2 + t
(you) = verb stem 2 + t
(he ) = verb stem 1
(she) = verb stem 1 + et
(we) = verb stem 2 + na
(you) = verb stem 2 + tu
(they) = verb stem 1 + u

Now let's do the conjugation of to work in the past:

ħdimt = I worked
ħdimt = you worked
ħadem = he worked
ħadmet = she worked
ħdimna = we worked
ħdimtu = you worked
ħadmu = they worked

That's it for most of the verbs! Notice as well that if there's a consonant just behind a vowel in the mamma, the consonant eats the vowel before in the third person female and the third person plural. So ħadem + et becomes ħadmet and ħadem + u becomes ħadmu. However, this is not for verbs with one syllable.

With this in mind, you only need the 2 verb stems and you can try to form this with any verb. There's one big remark though: many, many verbs have exceptions. For example, quite a few verbs add the w instead of the u in the third person of the plural. But these are the basic rules behind the verb in the past in Maltese.

Here's more grammar in my book!
Here's my free Maltese course, my paid course and some extra resources to further learn Maltese.

Geen opmerkingen:

Een reactie posten