16. Present and Future Tenses

Belarusian verbal aspect is similar to Russian and Ukrainian. Consult a text on one of these languages for more information on verbal aspect.

16.1 Present tense

Belarusian has one present tense and two future tenses, the future perfect and the future imperfect. The present tense is formed by conjugating the infinitive of the imperfect aspect of a verb for the correct person.

Я тут жыву.I live here.

Я жыву цяпер у сяброў.I am living with friends right now.

Я жыву з імі месяц.I have lived with them for a month.

*The verb быць, *to be, has no present tense conjugation. The verb to be is often rendered in the present tense as a pause, represented as a dash when written. It is dropped completely in third person impersonal constructions. Some of the functions of the verb to be can also be filled by other verbs like бываць, to occur, and стаць, to become.

Яамерыканец, а тыбеларус.I am an american, and you are a belarusian.

Хлопчыквельмі галодны.The young man is very hungry.

Цяжка вывучыць новую мову.It is difficult to learn a new language.

The word ёсць is also used to fulfill some of the functions of the verb to be. It is used either to emphasis the existence of the subject, or as a predicate meaning there is. The word ёсць is etymologically descended from the obsolete present tense conjugation of the Common Slavonic verb byti, to be.

Ён зявіўся такім, якім ён і ёсцьHe appeared as that person, whom he is

па сваёй натуры.by his nature.

сць які-небудзь стары, што даIs there anyone old that lived here*

вайны тут жыў?before the war?

16.2 Future imperfect formation

The future imperfect tense is formed by conjugating the verb быць for the correct person, and following that with the infinitive of a verb’s imperfective aspect.

Што будзеш рабіць?What will you be doing?

Я буду многа чытаць.I will be reading a lot.

16.3 Future perfect formation

The future perfect tense is formed by conjugating the infinitive of a verb’s perfective aspect for the correct person.

Што зробіш?What will you do?

Я скончу гэту кнігу.I will finish this book.

16. Present and Future Tenses - This section undergoes a massive reconstruction. Please visit later for a stable version.