Indo-European copula

A feature common to all Indo-European languages is the presence of a verb corresponding to the English verb to be. Though in some languages[which?] it is vestigial, it is present nonetheless in atrophied forms or derivatives.

General featuresEdit

This verb has two basic meanings:

  • In a less marked context it is a simple copula (I’m tired; That’s a shame!), a function which in non-Indo-European languages can be expressed quite differently.
  • In a more heavily marked context it expresses existence (I think therefore I am); the dividing line between these is not always easy to draw.

Some languages have shared these functions between several verbs: Irish, Spanish and Persian all have multiple equivalents of to be, making a variety of distinctions.

Many Indo-European languages also use the conjugations of the verb "to be" as an auxiliary for the formation of compound (periphrastic) tenses (I’m working; I was bitten). Other functions vary from language to language. For example, although in its basic meanings, to be is a stative verb, English puts it to work as a dynamic verb in fixed collocations (You are being very annoying).

The copula is the most irregular verb in many Indo-European languages. This is partly because it is more frequently used than any other, and partly because Proto-Indo-European offered more than one verb suitable for use in these functions, with the result that the daughter languages, in different ways, have tended to form suppletive verb paradigms.

This article describes the way in which the irregular forms have developed from a series of roots.

The Proto-Indo-European [PIE] rootsEdit

*h1es-Edit

The root *h1es- was certainly already a copula in Proto-Indo-European.

The e-grade *h1es- (see Indo-European ablaut) is found in such forms as English is, Irish is, German ist, Latin est, Sanskrit asti, Persian ast, Old Church Slavonic ѥстъ (jestŭ).

The zero grade *h1s- produces forms beginning with /s/, like German sind, Latin sumus, Vedic Sanskrit smas, etc.

In PIE, *h1es- was an athematic verb in -mi; that is, the first person singular was *h1esmi; this inflection survives in English am, Pashto yem, Persian am, Sanskrit asmi, Bengali first-person verb ending -ām, Old Church Slavonic есмь (esmĭ), etc.

This verb is generally reconstructed for Proto-Indo-European thus:[1]

Person Present
indicative
Imperfect
indicative
Subjunctive Optative Imperative
1st singular *h1és-mi *h1és-m̥ *h1és-oh2 *h1s-iéh1-m
2nd singular *h1és-i *h1és *h1és-esi *h1s-iéh1-s *h1és, *h1s-dʰí
3rd singular *h1és-ti *h1és-t *h1és-eti *h1s-iéh1-t *h1és-tu
1st dual *h1s-uós *h1s-ué *h1és-owos *h1s-ih1-wé
2nd dual *h1s-tés *h1s-tóm *h1és-etes *h1s-ih1-tóm *h1s-tóm
3rd dual *h1s-tés *h1s-tā́m *h1és-etes *h1s-ih1-tā́m *h1s-tā́m
1st plural *h1s-m̥ós *h1s-m̥é *h1és-omos *h1s-ih1-mé
2nd plural *h1s-té *h1s-té *h1és-ete *h1s-ih1-té *h1s-té
3rd plural *h1s-énti *h1s-énd *h1és-onti *h1s-ih1-énd *h1s-éntu

*bʰuH-Edit

The root *bʰuH- or *bʰuh2- (which did not have ablaut variations in the protolanguage[2]) probably meant 'to grow', but also 'to become'.

This is the source of the English infinitive be and participle been. Also, for example, the Scottish Gaelic "future" tense bithidh; the Irish imperative , past bhí and future beidh; the Persian imperative bov, past bud and future bâš; and the Slavic infinitive, etc. for example Russian быть (byt’).

PIE *bh became Latin /f/, hence the Latin future participle futūrus and perfect fuī; Latin fīō 'I become' is also from this root, as is the Greek verb φύω (phúō), from which physics and physical are derived.

This verb can be reconstructed as follows:[1]

Person Indicative Subjunctive Optative Imperative
1st singular *bʰúH-m *bʰúH-oh2 *bʰuH-yéh1-m
2nd singular *bʰúH-s *bʰúH-esi *bʰuH-yéh1-s *bʰúH, *bʰuH-dʰí
3rd singular *bʰúH-t *bʰúH-eti *bʰuH-yéh1-t *bʰúH-tu
1st dual *bʰuH-wé *bʰúH-owos *bʰuH-ih1-wé
2nd dual *bʰuH-tóm *bʰúH-etes *bʰuH-ih1-tóm *bʰuH-tóm
3rd dual *bʰuH-tā́m *bʰúH-etes *bʰuH-ih1-tā́m *bʰuH-tā́m
1st plural *bʰuH-mé *bʰúH-omos *bʰuH-ih1-mé
2nd plural *bʰuH-té *bʰúH-ete *bʰuH-ih1-té *bʰuH-té
3rd plural *bʰuH-énd *bʰúH-onti *bʰuH-ih1-énd *bʰuH-éntu

*h2wes-Edit

The root *h2wes- may originally have meant "to live",[1] and has been productive in all Germanic languages. The e-grade is present in the German participle gewesen, the o-grade (*wos-) survives in English and Old High German was, while the lengthened e-grade (*wēs-) gives us English were. (The Germanic forms with /r/ result from grammatischer Wechsel.) See Germanic strong verb: Class 5.

*h1er-Edit

This has been claimed as the origin of the Old Norse and later Scandinavian languages' present stem: Old Norse em, ert, er, erum, eruð, eru; the second person forms of which were borrowed into English as art and are.[3][page needed] It has also been seen as the origin of the Latin imperfect (eram, eras, erat) and future tenses (ero, eris, erit).

However, other authorities link these forms with *h1es- and assume grammatischer Wechsel (/s/→/r/), although this is not normally found in the present stem. Donald Ringe argues that the copula was sometimes unaccented in Pre-Proto-Germanic, which would have then triggered the voicing under Verner's law.[1][page needed] He explains the Germanic first person singular form *immi as such, deriving it from earlier *ezmi, since -zm-, but not -sm-, was assimilated to -mm- in Germanic (for which other evidence exists as well). Furthermore, the third person plural form *sindi (from PIE *h₁sénti) shows that this word, too, was unaccented. If the accent had been preserved, it would have become *sinþi, but that form is not found in any Germanic language. In this view, it is likely that stressed and unstressed varieties of the copula (with corresponding voiceless and voiced fricatives) existed side by side in Germanic, and the involvement of a separate root *h₁er- is unnecessary.

The Latin forms could be explained by rhotacism.

*steh2-Edit

The root *(s)teh2- meant "to stand". From this root comes the present stem of the so-called "substantive verb" in Irish and Scottish Gaelic, and tha respectively, as well as taw in Welsh. On the absence of the initial s- in Celtic, see Indo-European s-mobile.

In Latin, stō, stare retained the meaning "to stand", until local forms of Vulgar Latin began to use it as a copula in certain circumstances. Today, this survives in that several Romance languages (Galician-Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan) use it as one of their two copulae, and there is also a Romance tendency for a past participle derived from *steh2- to replace the original one of the copula (this occurs in French, Italian and the main dialects of Catalan). See also Romance copula.

Although in Dutch, this verb retains its primary meaning of "stand", it is also used in an auxiliary-like function that only has a secondary meaning of "standing", for example: ik sta te koken ("I am cooking", literally "I stand to cook"). When it is not a full copula (it can normally only be used as an auxiliary with another verb), it does have shades of meaning that resemble that of the Italian sto cucinando ("I am cooking"). The intransitive verbs zitten ("to sit"), liggen ("to lie") and lopen ("to walk/run") are used in similar ways.

German "stehen" also exhibits a similar secondary meaning as a copula in certain locative phrases. For example, "Das Auto steht da" ("the car is over there" lit. "the car stands there").

In Swedish, which usually lacks gerund forms, the corresponding stå is often used similarly, along with sitta ("to sit"), ligga ("to lie") and ("to walk").

In Hindustani the past tense of the copula honā "to be" which are «tʰā», «tʰe», «tʰī» and «tʰī̃» are derived from Sanskrit «stʰā». Gujarati has a cognate verb «tʰavũ» "to happen"; cf. Bengali aorist «tʰā-» (to stay) as well.

The resulting paradigmsEdit

Indo-Iranian languagesEdit

Indic languagesEdit

SanskritEdit

The Vedic Sanskrit verb as (to be) is derived from the Indo-European root *h1es-.

Mood/Tense Indicative Optative Imperative
Present Perfect Imperfect Periphrasatic

Future

Voice Active Passive
1st singular asmi he āsa āsam asitāsmi syām asāni
2nd singular asi se āsitha āsīḥ asitāsi syāḥ edhi
3rd singular asti ste āsa āsīt asitā syāt astu
1st dual svaḥ svahe āsiva āsva asitāsvaḥ syāva asāva
2nd dual sthaḥ sāthe āsathuḥ āstam asitāsthaḥ syātam stam
3rd dual staḥ sāte āsatuḥ āstām asitārau syātām stām
1st plural smaḥ smahe āsima āsma asitāsmaḥ syāma asāma
2nd plural stha dhve āsa āsta asitāstha syāta sta
3rd plural santi sate āsuḥ āsan asitāraḥ syuḥ santu

bhū (to be) is derived from Indo-European *bhuH-.

Mood/Tense Indicative Conditional Optative Aorist Injunctive Benedictive Imperative
Present Perfect Imperfect Future Periphrasatic

Future

Voice Active Passive Active Passive Active Passive Active Passive Active Passive Active Passive
1st singular bhavāmi bhūye babhūva abhavam abhūye bhaviṣyāmi bhavitāsmi abhaviṣyam bhaveyam bhūyeya abhūvam bhūvam bhūyāsam bhavāni bhūyai
2nd singular bhavasi bhūyase babhūvitha abhavaḥ abhūyathāḥ bhaviṣyasi bhavitāsi abhaviṣyaḥ bhaveḥ bhūyethāḥ abhūḥ bhūḥ bhūyāḥ bhava bhūyasva
3rd singular bhavati bhūyate babhūva abhavat abhūyata bhaviṣyati bhavitā abhaviṣyat bhavet bhūyeta abhūt abhāvi bhūt bhāvi bhūyāt bhavatu bhūyatām
1st dual bhavāvaḥ bhūyāvahe babhūviva abhavāva abhūyāvahi bhaviṣyāvaḥ bhavitāsvaḥ abhaviṣyāva bhaveva bhūyevahi abhūva bhūva bhūyāsva bhavāva bhūyāvahai
2nd dual bhavathaḥ bhūyethe babhūvathuḥ abhavatam abhūyethām bhaviṣyathaḥ bhavitāsthaḥ abhaviṣyatam bhavetam bhūyeyāthām abhūtam bhūtam bhūyāstam bhavatam bhūyethām
3rd dual bhavataḥ bhūyete babhūvatuḥ abhavatām abhūyetām bhaviṣyataḥ bhavitārau abhaviṣyatām bhavetām bhūyeyātām abhūtām bhūtām bhūyāstām bhavatām bhūyetām
1st plural bhavāmaḥ bhūyāmahe babhūvima abhavāma abhūyāmahi bhaviṣyāmaḥ bhavitāsmaḥ abhaviṣyāma bhavema bhūyemahi abhūma bhūma bhūyāsma bhavāma bhūyāmahai
2nd plural bhavatha bhūyadhve babhūva abhavata abhūyadhvam bhaviṣyatha bhavitāstha abhaviṣyata bhaveta bhūyedhvam abhūta bhūta bhūyāsta bhavata bhūyadhvam
3rd plural bhavanti bhūyante babhūvuḥ abhavan abhūyanta bhaviṣyanti bhavitāraḥ abhaviṣyan bhaveyuḥ bhūyeran abhūvan bhūvan bhūyāsuḥ bhavantu bhūyantām
HindiEdit

In modern Hindi, the Sanskrit verb अस् (as) (to be) which is derived from the Indo-European root *h1es- has developed into the present indicative forms of the verb होना (honā) (to be).[4] The infinitive होना (honā) itself is derived from the Sanskrit verb root भू (bʱū) which is derived from Indo-European root *bhuH-. The indicative imperfect forms of होना (honā) comes from from Sanskrit स्थित (stʰita) "standing, situated" which are derived from the from the PIE root *steh₂- (“to stand”).[5]

होना honā is the only verb in Hindi to have the following conjugations, and all the other verbs in Hindi lack them. These moods for other verbs are constructed periphrasatically using होना (honā) as the copula.[6]

  • present indicative
  • imperfect indicative
  • presumptive mood
  • present subjunctive

The verb होना (honā) can be translated as "to be", "to exist", "to happen" or "to have" depending on the context, and when used in the third person it could also be translated as "there is/are". The verbs in Hindi are gendered and numbered and they agree with either the object or the subject of the sentence. When a sentence uses dative construction (quirky subject) or the ergative case, the verb agrees in gender and number with the object of the sentence and it agrees with the subject in all other cases.

PERSONAL FORMS of "honā (to be)"
mood tense singular plural
1P - मैं mãĩ 2P - तुम tum1 3P - यह /ये , वह /वो

yah/ye, vah/vo

3P - ये , वे /वो

ye, ve/vo

2P - तू tū 2P - आप āp1
1P - हम ham
indicative5 present हूँ

hū̃

हो

ho

है

hai

हैं

hãĩ

perfect हुआ

huā

हुई

huī

हुए

hue

हुई

huī

हुआ

huā

हुई

huī

हुए

hue

हुईं

huī̃

imperfect था

thā

थी

thī

थे

the

थी

thī

था

thā

थी

thī

थे

the

थीं

thī̃

future4 होऊँगा

hoū̃gā

होऊँगी

hoū̃gī

होओगे

hooge

होओगी

hoogī

होएगा

hoegā

होएगी

hoegī

होएँगे

hoẽge

होएँगी

hoẽgī

presumptive5 present हूँगा

hū̃gā

हूँगी

hū̃gī

होगे

hoge

होगी

hogī

होगा

hogā

होगी

hogī

होंगे

hõge

होंगी

hõgī

past
future4
subjunctive6 present हूँ

hū̃

हो

ho

हो

ho

हों

future होऊँ

hoū̃

होओ

hoo

होए

hoe

होएँ

hoẽ

contrafactual2,6 past होता

hotā

होती

hotī

होते

hote

होती

hotī

होता

hotā

होती

hotī

होते

hote

होतीं

hotī̃

imperative7 present होओ

hoo

हो

ho

होइये

hoiye

future होना

honā

होइयो

hoiyo

होइयेगा

hoiyegā

IMPERSONAL FORMS of "honā (to be)"
Stem हो

ho

Infinitive होना

honā

Oblique Infinitive होने

hone

Conjunctive होकर, होके

hokar, hoke

Progressive होते-होते

hote-hote

PARTICIPLES
singular plural singular plural
Infinitive होना

honā

होने

hone

होनी

honī

होनीं

honī̃

Prospective होनेवाला

honevālā

होनेवाले

honevāle

होनेवाली

honevālī

होनेवालीं

honevālī̃

Agentive
Habitual होता

hotā

होते

hote

होती

hotī

होतीं

hotī̃

Perfective हुआ

huā

हुए

hue

हुई

huī

हुईं

huī̃

Perfective

Adjectival3

हुआ-हुआ

huā-huā

हुए-हुए

hue-hue

हुई-हुई

huī-huī

हुई-हुईं

huī-huī̃

Imperfective

Adjectival3

होता-हुआ

hotā-huā

होते-हुए

hote-hue

होती-हुई

hotī-huī

होती-हुईं

hotī-huī̃

1 the pronouns tum तुम and ham हम can be used in both singular and plural sense, akin to the English pronoun you.
2 the contrafactual mood serves as both the past subjunctive and the past conditional mood.
3 the second (adjoined) part of the adjectival participles -huā हुआ , -hue हुए , -huī हुई & -huī̃ हुईं are respectively shortened to - -वा, -ve -वे, - -वी & -vī̃ -वीं in speech.
4 the indicative future and the presumptive future tenses are often used interchangeably in Hindi.
5 to negate the copulas in indicative and the presumptive mood, the negation particle नहीं (nahī̃) is used
6 to negate the copulas in subjunctive and the contrafactual mood, the negation particle ना (nā) is used.
7 to negate the copulas in imperative mood, the negation particle मत (mat) is used.
BengaliEdit

Bengali is considered a zero copula language, however there are notable exceptions. In the simple present tense there is no verb connecting the subject to the predicative (the "zero verb" copula) but when the predicate expresses ideas of existence, location, or possession, for such cases the verb আছ- (ach) can be roughly translated as "to exist" or "to be present".

  • In the past tense, the incomplete verb আছ- (ach) is always used as the copula, regardless of the nature of the predicative.
  • For the future tense and non-finite structures, the copula is supplied by the verb হওয়া (howa), with the exceptions being the possessive and locative predicatives for which the verb থাকা (thaka, "to remain") is utilized.
  • Bengali does not have a verb for possession (i.e. "to have", "to own"). Instead, possession in Bengali is expressed by the verb আছ- (āch) (for present and past tenses) and the verb থাকা (thaka) (for future tense) inflected with the possessed object and a genitive case for the possessor.

Bengali verbs are highly inflected and are regular with only few exceptions. They consist of a stem and an ending; they are traditionally listed in Bengali dictionaries in their "verbal noun" form, which is usually formed by adding -a to the stem: for instance, করা (kôra, to do) is formed from the stem কর (kôr). The stem can end in either a vowel or a consonant.

Verbal inflections of Bengali are mentioned in the table below:

person 1st 2nd 3rd 2nd 3rd
Intimate Familiar Familiar Formal
pronouns singular আমি

(ami)

তুই

(tui)

তুমি

(tumi)

এ (e)

ও (o)

সে (she)

আপনি

(apni)

ইনি (ini)

উনি (uni)

তিনি (tini)

plural আমরা

(amra)

তোরা

(tora)

তোমরা

(tomra)

এরা (era)

ওরা (ora)

তারা (tara)

আপনারা

(apnara)

এঁরা (ẽra)

ওঁরা (õra)

তাঁরা (tãra)

aspect/mood tense conjugations
Simple present -i -ish -o -e -en
past -lam -li -le -lo -len
future -bo -bi -be -be -ben
Perfect present -echi -echish -echo -eche -echen
past -echilam -echili -echile -echilo -echilen
Progressive present -chi -chish -cho -che -chen
past -chilam -chili -chile -chilo -chilen
Conditional -tam -tish -te -to -ten
Habitual
Imperative present1 -o -un
future -io -ben

1 -ø represents that nothing is added but the verb root itself is used as the conjugation.

NepaliEdit

The copula verb of Nepali has two sets of conjugations. The हो (ho) set is used in sentences that equate two things, like त्यो किताब हो (tyo kitāb ho, “That is a book.”) The छ (cha) set is used in sentences that describe something, or locate where something is, like त्यो ठूलो छ (tyo ṭhūlo cha, “That is big.”). Singular present tense forms of the copulas in Nepali are shown in the table below:

Pronoun हो (ho, “define/identify”) छ (cha, “describe/qualify”)
Positive Negative Positive Negative
1st म (ma) हुँ (hũ) होइन (hoina) छुँ (chũ) छैन (chaina)
2nd Familiar तिमी (timī) हौ (hau) होइनौ (hoinau) छौ (chau) छैनौ (chainau)
Formal तपाईं (tapāīṃ) हुनुहुन्छ (hunuhuncha) हुनुहुन्न (hunuhunna) हुनुहुन्छ (hunuhuncha) हुनुहुन्न (hunuhunna)
3rd Familiar यो (yo) / त्यो (tyo) हो (ho) होइन (hoina) छ (cha) छैन (chaina)
Formal वहाँ (vahā̃) हुनुहुन्छ (hunuhuncha) हुनुहुन्न (hunuhunna) हुनुहुन्छ (hunuhuncha) हुनुहुन्न (hunuhunna)

Iranic languagesEdit

PersianEdit

With regard to the function of the verb ‘to be’ as a copula, the most conspicuous feature of Modern Persian language is the evolution of an existential be, hast (exists), out of ast (is). In fact, when studying the forms and functions of ‘to be’, one might find certain characteristics specific to Persian that is worth pondering upon[7]— i.e. even without considering the diachronic evolution of Modern Persian language and its relation to Ancient Iranian languages (such as Old Persian and Avestan) whose usage of the verb ‘to be’ seems more close to Sanskrit. Paradoxically, despite the fact that Persian is apparently the only Indo-European language that has created an existential be out of the copula, it has simultaneously made an extreme use of the latter to produce a general paradigm for conjugating all Persian verbs.

Historically speaking, like most of Indo-European languages that make use of suppletive roots to denote ‘to be’, Persian integrates Proto-Indo-European (PIE) verbs *h1es- (to be) and *bhuH (to grow> to become> to be). Hence, while Persian infinitive būdan (to be) < PIE *bhuH forms the past stem of the verb (e.g. Persian būd- ‘was’) or acts as an auxiliary verb in formation of pluperfect of other verbs, its present tense is solely based on the derivatives of PIE *h1es-. It is, in fact, from the declension of PIE *h1es- (to be) that six present stems have been created and assigned to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person singular and plural to act as the present-tense conjugation of Persian būdan (to be), as shown in the following table.

Persian English Persian English
1st Person -am (I) am -īm (we) are
2nd Person (thou) art -īd (you) are
3rd Person ast (a) (he/she/it) is -and (they) are

As an example, in the following sentences, the present forms of the verb 'to be' are used as copulas or predicates:

Persian English
man doxtar-e to am. I am your daughter.
īn barādar-e man ast (a or e). This is my brother.
to pedar-e man ī. Thou art my father.

Furthermore, as endings added to the stem of the verbs, these declensional forms have been grammaticalized to shape a general paradigm for the grammatical conjugation of all other verbs; these endings were once auxiliary verbs which evolved into an enclitic. This generalized conjugational paradigm is also applied to the past tense of the verb būdan (shown in the table below). However, what is linguistically notable, is the emergence of an existential be out of the copula, viz hast (exists) out of ast (is). The evolution of this exceptional form, might go back to ancient Iranian languages, where ast could have two variants (cf. Avestan which has both as- and has- <PIE *h1es- ‘be’). In the next phase, what we may call a pseudo-verb appeared, vis. the verb hastan (to exist) has been analogically evolved from hast (exists) and has been conjugated like any other Persian verb (e.g. hast-am = literally: *‘(I) am existence’→ ‘I exist’).

The simple past conjugation of the verb būdan (to be) is in fact formed by a double-copula, in the sense that both the stem and the ending are copulas: the past stem of the verb būd- is derived from PIE *bhuH-, while the endings are from the suppletive form of PIE *h1es- (to be) with the exception of 3rd person singular which has zero ending for the all Persian verbs in the past tense.

Singular English Enclitic copula Plural English Enclitic copula
būdam I was ام -am būdīm we were ايم -īm
būdī thou wast اى -ī būdīd you were اید -īd
būd (būda) he/she/it was Ø (a) būdand they were اند -and

The present perfect conjugation of the verb būdan (to be) is a double copula paradigm as it is produced by addition of all enclitic copulas to the past participle of the verb: būde (been).

Singular English Enclitic copula Plural English Enclitic copula
būdeam I have been -am būdeīm we have been -īm
būdeī thou hast been būdeīd you have been -īd
būde ast (būde a) he/she/it has been ast (a) būdeand they have been -and

The pseudo-verb hastan (to exist) has only simple present tense; in addition, it is truly and purely existencial only in the case of third person singular (hast). The fact is that the verb has been the product of this very case, as an "existential is", hast (he/she/it exists). For other persons the conjugation has to use enclitic copulas. These copulas are, in turn, derived from the declension of PIE *h1es- (to be); as if the predicative "to be" has been an auxiliary verb turned into enclitic, to provide six endings for 1st/2nd/3rd person (singular & plural). However, as it is said, the 3rd person singular has no ending in the case of hastan. That is to say that the existential hast (exists), which is like the alter-ego of the copula ast (is), takes no ending, while the present stem of all other verbs take an archaic ending -ad in their 3rd person singular.

Singular English Enclitic copula Plural English Enclitic copula
hastam I exist -am hastīm we exist -īm
hastī thou existest hastīd you exist -īd
hast he/she/it exists {ad} > Ø (a) hastand they exist -and

Hellenic languagesEdit

GreekEdit

The Ancient Greek verb eimi (I am) is derived from the Indo-European root *h1es-.

  Homeric Greek Classical Attic Modern Greek
Present indicative 1st sg.
2nd sg.
3rd sg.
1st pl.
2nd pl.
3rd pl.
εἰμί (eimi)
εἶς, ἐσσί (eis, essi)
ἐστί(ν) (esti(n))
εἰμέν (eimen)
ἐστέ (este)
εἰσί(ν), ἔασι (eisi(n), easi)
εἰμί (eimi)
εἶ (ei)
ἐστί(ν) (esti(n))
ἐσμέν (esmen)
ἐστέ (este)
εἰσί(ν) (eisi(n))
είμαι (ime)
είσαι (ise)
είναι (ine)
είμαστε (imaste)
είσαστε, είστε (isaste, iste)
είναι (ine)
Preterite indicative 1st sg.
2nd sg.
3rd sg.
1st pl.
2nd pl.
3rd pl.
ἦα, ἔον (ēa, eon)
ἦσθα, ἔησθα (ēstha, eēstha)
ἦ(ε)ν, ἔην (ē(e)n, eēn)
ἦμεν (ēmen)
ἦτε (ēte)
ἦσαν (ēsan)
ἦ(ν) (ē(n))
ἦς, ἦσθα (ēs, ēstha)
ἦν (ēn)
ἦμεν (ēmen)
ἦστε, ἔατε (ēste, eate)
ἦσαν ἔσαν (ēsan, esan)
ήμουν (imun)
ήσουν (isun)
ήταν (itan)
ήμασταν (imaste, imastan)
ήσασταν (isaste, isastan)
ήταν, (ήσαν) (itan, (isan))
Subjunctive 1st sg.
2nd sg.
3rd sg.
1st pl.
2nd pl.
3rd pl.
ἔω ()
ἔῃς, ἔοις (eēis, eois)
ἔῃ(σι), ᾖσι(ν), ἔοι (eēi(si), ēisi(n), eoi)
 
 
ἔωσι(ν) (eōsi(n))
(ō)
ᾖς (ēis)
(ēi)
ὦμεν (ōmen)
ἦτε (ēte)
ὦσι(ν) (ōsi(n))
Optative 1st sg.
2nd sg.
3rd sg.
1st pl.
2nd pl.
3rd pl.
εἴην (eiēn)
εἴης (eiēs)
εἴη (eiē)
 
εἶτε (eite)
εἶεν (eien)
εἴην (eiēn)
εἴης (eiēs)
εἴη (eiē)
εἴημεν, εἶμεν (ei(ē)men)
εἴητε, εἶτε (ei(ē)te)
εἴησαν, εἶεν (eiēsan, eien)
Imperative 2nd sg.
3rd sg.
2nd pl.
3rd pl.
ἔσσο, ἴσθι (esso, isthi)
 
ἔστε (este
ἴσθι (isthi)
ἔστω (estō)
ἔστε (este)
ἔστων, ὄντων (estōn, ontōn)
να είσαι (na ise)


να είστε (na iste) 
 

Infinitive εἶναι, ἔμ(μ)εν(αι) (einai, em(m)en(ai)) εἶναι (einai)
Participle ἐών, ἐόντ- (eōn, eont-)
fem. ἐοῦσα (eousa)
ὦν, ὄντ- (ōn, ont-)
fem. οὖσα (ousa)
όντας (ontas)

The participles are based on the full-grade stem ἐσ- in Homeric, according to Smyth.

Italic languagesEdit

Except for Latin, the older Italic languages are very scarcely attested, but we have in Oscan set (they are), fiiet (they become), fufans (they have been) and fust (he will be), and in Umbrian sent (they are). This section will explain Latin, and the Romance languages that have evolved from it.

Esse and the forms beginning with (e)s- are from the root *h1es-, while the forms beginning with f- are from the root *bʰuH-. For the forms beginning with er-, see *h₁er-. Stāre is derived from the root *steh2-.

In Spanish, Catalan, Galician-Portuguese and to a lesser extent, Italian there are two parallel paradigms, ser/èsser/essere from Latin esse "to be" on one hand, and estar/stare from Latin stare, "to stand" on the other.

For simplicity, the table below has only the full conjugation of the present tense, and the first-person singular forms of some other tenses.

  Latin Old French French Spanish Italian Portuguese Catalan Romanian Sicilian Occitan
Infinitive esse stāre estre ester être ser estar essere stare ser estar ser, ésser estar a fi, fire siri stari estre,èsser
Indicative Present sum

es

est

sumus

estis

sunt

stō

stās

stat

stāmus

stātis

stant

suis

es

est

sommes

estes

sont

este

estes

este

estons

estez

estent

suis

es

est

sommes

êtes

sont

soy

eres/sos

es

somos

sois

son

estoy

estás

está

estamos

estáis

están

sono

sei

è

siamo

siete

sono

sto

stai

sta

stiamo

state

stanno

sou

és

é

somos

sois

são

estou

estás

está

estamos

estais

estão

sóc

ets

és

som

sou

són

estic

estàs

està

estem

esteu

estan

sunt
eşti
este
suntem

sunteţi

sunt

sugnu

esti

simu

siti

staiu

stai

sta

stamu

stati

stannu

soi

sès

es

sèm

sètz

son

Preterite fuī

fuistī

fuit

fuimus

fuistis

fuērunt/fuēre

stetī

stetistī

stetit

stetimus

stetistis

stetērunt/stetēre

fui

fus

fu

fumes

fustes

furent

estai

estas

esta

estames

estastes

esterent

fus

fus

fut

fûmes

fûtes

furent

fui

fuiste

fue

fuimos

fuisteis

fueron

estuve

estuviste

estuvo

estuvimos

estuvisteis

estuvieron

fui

fosti

fu

fummo

foste

furono

stetti

stesti

stette

stemmo

steste

stettero

fui

foste

foi

fomos

fostes

foram

estive

estiveste

esteve

estivemos

estivestes

estiveram

fui

fores

fou

fórem

fóreu

foren

estiguí

estugueres

estigué

estiguérem

estiguéreu

estigueren

fusei/fui

fuseși/fuși

fuse/fu

fuserăm/furăm

fuserăți/furăți

fuseră/fură

fui

fusti

fu

fumu

fùstivu

furu

stesi

stasti

stesi

stèsimu

stàsivu

stèsiru

foguèri

foguères

foguèt

foguèrem

foguèretz

foguèron

Imperfect eram

erās

erat

erāmus

erātis

erant

stābam

stābās

stābat

stābāmus

stābātis

stābant

ier

iers

iert

iermes

seroiz

ierent

estoie

estoies

estoit

estiens

estiez

estoient

étais

étais

était

étions

étiez

étaient

era

eras

era

éramos

erais

eran

estaba

estabas

estaba

estábamos

estabais

estaban

ero

eri

era

eravami

eravate

erano

stavo

stavi

stava

stavamo

stavate

stavano

era

eras

era

éramos

éreis

eram

estava

estavas

estava

estávamos

estaveis

estavam

era

eres

era

érem

éreu

eren

estava

estaves

estava

estàvem

estàveu

estaven

eram

erai

era

eram

erați

erau

era

eri

era

èramu

èravu

èranu

stava

stavi

stava

stàvamu

stàstivu

stàvanu

èri

èras

èra

èram

èratz

èran

Pluperfect fueram

fuerās

fuerat

fuerāmus

fuerātis

fuerant

steteram

steterās

steterāt

steterāmus

steterātis

steterant

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

fora

foras

fora

fôramos

fôreis

foram

estivera

estiveras

estivera

estivéramos

estivéreis

estiveram

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

fusesem

fuseseși

fusese

fuseserăm

fuseserăți

fuseseră

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Future erō

eris/ere

erit

erimus

eritis

erunt

stābō

stābis

stābit

stābimus

stābitis

stabunt

serai

seras

sera

serons

serez

seront

esterai serai

seras

sera

serons

serez

seront

seré

serás

será

serámos

seréis

serán

estaré

estarás

estará

estaremos

estaréis

estarán

sarò

sarai

sarà

saremo

sarete

saranno

starò

starai

starà

staremo

starete

staranno

serei

serás

será

seremos

sereis

serão

estarei

estarás

estará

estaremos

estareis

estarão

seré

seràs

serà

serem

sereu

seram

estaré

estaràs

estarà

estarem

estareu

estaran

voi fi

vei fi

va fi

vom fi

veți fi

vor fi

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

serai

seràs

serà

serem

seretz

seràn

Future Perfect fuerō

fueris

fuerit

fuerimus

fueritis

fuerint

steterō

steteris

steterit

steterimus

steteritis

steterint

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Subjunctive Present sim

sīs

sit

sīmus

sītis

sint

stem

stēs

stet

stēmus

stētis

stent

soie

soies

soit

soions

soiiez

soient

estoise

estoises

estoise

estons

estez

estoisent

sois

sois

soit

soyons

soyez

soient

sea

seas

sea

seamos

seáis

sean

esté

estés

esté

estemos

estéis

estén

sia

sia

sia

siamo

siate

siano

stia

stia

stia

stiamo

stiate

stiano

seja

sejas

seja

sejamos

sejais

sejam

esteja

estejas

esteja

estejamos

estejais

estejam

sigui/siga

siguis/sigues

sigui/siga

siguem

sigueu

siguin/siguen

estigui/estiga

estiguis/estugues

estugui/estiga

estiguem

estigueu

estiguin/estiguen

să fiu

să fii

să fie

să fim

să fiți

să fie

fussi

fussi

fussi

fùssimu

fùssivu

fùssiru

stassi

stassi

stassi

stàssimu

stàssivu

stàssiru

siá

siás

siá

siam

siatz

sián

Imperfect essem/forem

essēs/forēs

esset/foret

essēmus/forēmus

essetis/forētis

essent/forent

stārem

stārēs

stāret

stārēmus

stārētis

stārent

fusse

fusses

fust

fussons

fussiez

fussent

esteüsse

esteüsses

esteüst

esteüssons

esteüssoiz

esteüssent

fusse

fusses

fût

fussions

fussiez

fussent

fuera/fuese

fueras/fueses

fuera/fuese

fuéramos/fuésemos

fuerais/fueseis

fueran/fuesen

estuviera/estuviese

estuvieras/estuvieses

estuviera/estuviese

estuviéramos/estuviésemos

estuvierais/estuvieseis

estuvieran/estuviesen

fossi

fossi

fosse

fossimo

foste

fossero

stessi

stessi

stesse

stessimo

steste

stessero

fosse

sosses

fosse

fôssemos

fôsseis

fossem

estivesse

estivesses

estivesse

estivéssemos

estivésseis

estivessem

fos

fossos

fos

fóssim/fóssem

fóssiu/fósseu

fossin/fossen

estigués

estiguessis

estigués

estiguéssim/estiguéssem

estiguéssiu/estiguésseu

estiguessin/estiguessen

să fi fost

să fi fost

să fi fost

să fi fost

să fi fost

să fi fost

fussi

fussi

fussi

fùssimu

fùssivu

fùssiru

stassi

stassi

stassi

stàssimu

stàssivu

stàssiru

foguèsse

foguèsses

foguèsse

foguèssem

foguèssetz

foguèsson

Future -

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

fuere

fueres

fuere

fuéremos

fuereis

fueren

estuviere

estuvieres

estuviere

estuviéremos

estuviereis

estuvieren

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

serei

serás

será

seremos

sereis

serão

estiver

estiveres

estiver

estivermos

estiverdes

estiverem

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Conditional -

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

seroie

seroies

seroit

seriens

seriez

seroient

esteroie

esteroies

esteroit

esteriiens

esteriiez

esteroient

serias

serias

serait

serions

seriez

seraient

sería

serías

sería

seríamos

seríais

serían

estaría

estarías

estaría

estaríamos

estaríais

estarían

sarei

saresti

sarebbe

saremmo

sareste

sarebbero

starei

staresti

starebbe

staremmo

stareste

starebbero

seria

serias

seria

seríamos

seríeis

seriam

estaria

estarias

estaria

estaríamos

estaríeis

estariam

seria/fóra

series/fores

seria/fóra

seríem/fórem

seríeu/fóreu

serien/foren

estaria

estaries

estaria

estaríem

estaríeu

estarien

aș face

ai face

ar face

am face

ați face

ar face

fora

fori

fora

fòramu

fòravu

fòranu

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Imperative Present -

es

-

-

este

-

-

stā

-

-

stāte

-

-

soies

-

soiiens

soiiez

-

-

esta

-

estons

estez

-

-

sois

-

soyons

soyez

-

-

-

seamos

sed

-

-

está

-

estemos

estad/estén

-

-

sii

-

-

siate

-

-

sta

-

-

state

-

-

-

-

sede

-

-

está

-

-

estai

-

-

sigues

-

-

sigueu/sigau

-

-

estigues

-

-

estigueu/estigau

-

-

fii

-

-

fiți

-

-

-

-

siti

-

-

stai

-

-

stati

-

-

siá

-

siam

siatz

-

Future -

estō

estō

-

estōte

suntō

-

stātō

stātō

-

stātōte

stantō

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Past participle fuisse statum esté esté été sido estado stato/essuto stato sido estado estat/sigut/sét estat fost statu statu estat, estada
Present Participle esse stāns estant estant étant siendo estando essendo stando sendo estando sent/essent estant fiind sennu sannu essent
  Latin Old French French Spanish Italian Portuguese Catalan Romanian Sicilian Occitan

In several modern Romance languages, the perfect is a compound tense formed with the participle as in English, but the old Latin perfect survives as a commonly used preterite in Spanish and Portuguese, and as a literary "past historic" in French, Italian and Catalan.

There is a tendency for a past participle derived from stare (or more specifically its supine, statum) to replace that of the main copula derived from esse. For example, the French participle été comes from statum.

For further information, see the main Romance copula article.

Germanic languagesEdit

Proto-Germanic retained the dual, but only in the first and second person.

  Proto-Germanic
(reconstructed)
Gothic Old Norse Icelandic Faroese Nynorsk
Norwegian
Norwegian
Bokmål
+
Danish
Old Swedish Swedish Old English English Old High
German
German Luxem-
burgish
Old Saxon Dutch
Infinitive *wesaną *beuną? wisan vera vera vera vera/vere være vara vara wesan bēon be wesan sein sinn wesan zijn / wezen
Present
indicative
*immi
*izi
*isti
*izū
*izudiz
*izum
*izud
*sindi
*biumi
*biusi
*biuþi
*beū?
*biuþiz
*beum
*beuþ
*biunþi
im
is
ist
siju
sijuts
sijum
sijuþ
sind
em
ert (est)
er (es)


erum
eruð
eru
er
ert
er


erum
eruð
eru
eri
ert
er


eru
eru
eru
er
er
er


er
er
er
er
er
er


er
er
er
æm/ær
æst
ær


ærum
ærin
æru
är
är
är


är (äro)
är (ären)
är (äro)
eom
eart
is


sint
sint
sint
bēo
bist
biþ


bēoþ
bēoþ
bēoþ
am
art
is


are
are
are
bim, bin
bist
ist


birum, bir(e)n
birut, bir(e)t
sint
bin
bist
ist


sind
seid
sind
si(nn)
bass
ass


si(nn)
sidd
si(nn)
bium
bist
is


sind
sind
sind
ben

is


zijn
bent/zijt*
zijn
Present
subjunctive
*sijǭ
*sijēs
*sijē
*sīw
*sīþiz
*sīm
*sīþ
*sīn
*biwjǭ?
*biwjēs?
*biwjē?
*biwīw
*biwīþiz
*biwīm
*biwīþ
*biwīn
sijau
sijais
sijai
sijaiwa
sijaits
sijaima
sijaiþ
sijaina
sjá
sér



sém
séð

sért



séum
séuð
séu
veri
veri
veri


veri
veri
veri


(vere)






(være)






sē(i)/vari




sēi(n)/vari(n)


(vare)




sīe
sīe
sīe


sīen
sīen
sīen
bēo
bēo
bēo


bēon
bēon
bēon
be
be
be


be
be
be

sīs(t)



sīm, sīn
sī(n)t
sīn
sei
sei(e)st
sei


seien
seiet
seien


sief





sīs(t)



sīn
sīn
sīn
zij

zij


zijn
zij
zijn
Preterite
indicative
*was
*wast
*was
*wēzū
*wēzudiz
*wēzum
*wēzud
*wēzun
was
wast
was
wēsu
wēsuts
wēsum
wēsuþ
wēsun
var
varst
var


várum
várið
váru
var
varst
var


vorum
voruð
voru
var
vart
var


vóru
vóru
vóru
var
var
var


var
var
var
var
var
var


var
var
var
var
vast
var


vārum
vārin
vāru
var
var
var


var (voro)
var (voren)
var (voro)
wæs
wǣre
wæs


wǣron
wǣron
wǣron
was
wast
was


were
were
were
was
wāri
was


wārum
wārut
wārun
war
warst
war


waren
wart
waren
war
waars
war


ware(n)
waart
ware(n)
was
wāri
was


wārun
wārun
wārun
was

was


waren
was/waart*
waren
Preterite
subjunctive
*wēzį̄
*wēzīz
*wēzī
*wēzīw
*wēzīdiz
*wēzīm
*wēzīd
*wēzīn
wēsjau
wēseis
wēsi
wēseiwa
wēseits
wēseima
wēseiþ
wēseina
væra
værir
væri


værim
værið
væri
væri
værir
væri


værum
væruð
væru
væri
væri
væri


væri
væri
væri







var
var
var


var
var
var


vāri




vāri(n)
vore
vore
vore


vore
vore (-en)
vore
wǣre
wǣre
wǣre


wǣren
wǣren
wǣren
were
wert
were


were
were
were
wāri
wārīs
wāri


wārīm
wārīt
wārīn
wäre
wärest
wäre


wären
wäret
wären
wier
wiers
wier


wiere(n)
wiert
wiere(n)
wāri
wāris
wāri


wārin
wārin
wārin
ware

ware


waren
ware
waren
Imperative -
*wes
*wesadau
-
*wesadiz
-
*wisid
*wesandau
-
wis
wisadau

wisats
-
wisiþ
wisandau
-
ver
ver



verið
verið
-
vertu
vertu


-
verið
verið
-
ver
ver


-
verið
verið

ver
ver



ver
ver
-
vær
vær


-
vær
vær

-
-




-
-
var
var


-
var
var
-
wes
wes


-
wesaþ
wesaþ
-
be
be


-
be
be
-
wes
wes


-
wesit
wesit
-
sei
sei


-
seid
seid
-
-
-


-
-
-
-
wes
wes


-
wesad
wesad
-
wees
-


-
weest
-
Past participle verit verið verið vore (vori) vært været varin varit been giwesan gewesen gewiescht (gi)wesan geweest
  • Old English kept the verbs wesan and bēon separate throughout the present stem, though it is not clear that they made the kind of consistent distinction in usage that we find, for example in Spanish. In the preterite, however, the paradigms fell together. Old English has no participle for this verb.
  • The plural forms in Modern Swedish (indicated in brackets) were in common use in formal written language until the mid-20th century, but are now no longer in use except in deliberately archaising texts. The preterite subjunctive is also increasingly being replaced by the indicative.
  • Dutch, like English, has abandoned the original second-person singular forms, replacing them with the second-person plural forms. However, while in English the old forms are still in limited and deliberately archaic use, in Dutch they have disappeared entirely and are no longer known or used at all. The forms listed in the plural are the historical plural forms, the 'jij' and 'gij' forms. Dutch formed a new plural pronoun 'jullie' with inflection similar to the 1st and 3rd person plural, but it would be redundant to list them here.

Slavic languagesEdit

Proto-Slavic
(reconstructed)
Old Church Slavonic Ukrainian Russian Polish Czech Slovak Slovenian Serbo-Croatian Bulgarian
Infinitive *byti бꙑти, byti бути, buty быть, byt' być být byť biti biti
Present *(j)esmĭ
*(j)esi
*(j)estĭ
*(j)esvě
*(j)esta
*(j)este
*(j)esmŭ
*(j)este
*sǫtĭ
ѥсмь, jesmĭ
ѥси, jesi
ѥстъ, jestŭ
ѥсвѣ, jesvě
ѥста, jesta
ѥсте, jeste
ѥсмъ, jesmŭ
ѥсте, jeste
сѫтъ, sǫtŭ
(є[сь]м, je[ś]m)
(єси, jesy)
є, je /{єсть, jesť}



((є)сьмо, (je)śmo)
((є)сте, (je)ste)
(суть, suť)
(есмь, jesm')
(еси, jesi)
есть, jest'



(есмы, jesmy)
(есте, jeste)
(суть, sut')
jestem, -m
jesteś, -ś
jest



jesteśmy, -śmy
jesteście, -ście
jsem
jsi
je



jsme
jste
jsou
som
si
je



sme
ste
sem
si
je
sva
sta
sta
smo
ste
so
jesam, sam/budem*
jesi, si/budeš
jest, je/bude



jesmo, smo/budemo
jeste, ste/budete
jesu, su/budu
съм, səm
си, si
е, e



сме, sme
сте, ste
са, sə
Imperative
*bǫdi
*bǫdi
*bǫděvě
*bǫděta

*bǫděmŭ
*bǫděte
*bǫdǫ

бѫди, bǫdi
бѫди, bǫdi
бѫдѣвѣ, bǫděvě
бѫдѣта, bǫděta

бѫдѣмъ, bǫděmŭ
бѫдѣте, bǫděte
бѫдѫ, bǫdǫ

будь, buď




будьмо, buďmo
будьте, buďte

будь, bud’




будем, budem
будьте, bud’te

bywaj/bądź




bywajmy/bądźmy
bywajcie/bądźcie

buď




buďme
buďte

buď




buďme
buďte

bodi

bodiva
bodita

bodimo
bodite

budi
(neka bude)



budimo
budite
(neka budu)

бъди, bədi





бъдете, bədete

Future *bǫdǫ
*bǫdešĭ
*bǫdetĭ
*bǫdevě
*bǫdeta
*bǫdete
*bǫdemŭ
*bǫdete
*bǫdǫtĭ
бѫдѫ, bǫdǫ
бѫдеши, bǫdeši
бѫдетъ, bǫdetŭ
бѫдевѣ, bǫdevě
бѫдета, bǫdeta
бѫдете, bǫdete
бѫдемъ, bǫdemŭ
бѫдете, bǫdete
бѫдѫтъ, bǫdǫtŭ
буду, budu
будеш, budeš
буде, bude



будемо, budemo
будете, budete
будуть, buduť
буду, budu
будешь, budeš'
будет, budet



будем, budem
будете, budete
будут, budut
będę
będziesz
będzie



będziemy
będziecie
będą
budu
budeš
bude



budeme
budete
budou
budem
budeš
bude



budeme
budete
budú
bom, bodem
boš, bodeš
bo, bode
bova, bodeva
bosta, bodesta
bosta, bodesta
bomo, bodemo
boste, bodeste
bodo, bojo
budem
budeš
bude



budemo
budete
budu
ще бъда, šte bədə
ще бъдеш, šte bədeš
ще бъде, šte bəde



ще бъдем, šte bədem
ще бъдете, šte bədete
ще бъдат, šte bədət
Imperfect *běaxŭ
*běaše
*běaše
*běaxově
*běašeta
*běašete
*běaxomŭ
*běašete
*běaxǫ
бѣахъ, běaxŭ
бѣаше, běaše
бѣаше, běaše
бѣаховѣ, běaxově
бѣашета, běašeta
бѣашете, běašete
бѣахомъ, běaxomŭ
бѣашете, běašeте
бѣахѫ, běaxǫ
bijah, b(j)eh
bijaše, b(j)eše
bijaše, b(j)eše



bijasmo, b(j)esmo
bijaste, b(j)este
bijahu, b(j)ehu
бях, bjah
бе[ше], be[še]
бе[ше], be[še]



бяхме, bjahme
бяхте, bjahte
бяха, bjahə
Aorist *byxŭ
*by(stŭ?)
*by(stŭ?)
*byxově
*bysta
*byste
*byxomŭ
*byste
*byšę
бꙑхъ, byxŭ
бꙑ(стъ), by(stŭ)
бꙑ(стъ) by(stŭ)
бꙑховѣ, byxově
бꙑста, bysta
бꙑсте, byste
бꙑхомъ, byxomŭ
бꙑсте, byste
бꙑшѧ, byšę
bych
bys
by



bychom
byste
by
(bi)
bi
bi
(bi)
(bi)
(bi)
(bi)
(bi)
(bi)
bih
bi
bi



bismo
biste
biše
(бих, bih)
(би, bi)
(би, bi)



(бихме, bihme)
(бихте, bihte)
(биха, bihə)
Present active participle *sy m.
*sǫťi f.
*sy n.
сꙑ, sy m.
сѫщи, sǫšti f.
сꙑ, sy n.
(същ, səšt m.)
(съща, səšta f.)
(също, səšto n.)
Future active participle *bǫdy m.
*bǫdǫťi f.
*bǫdy n.
бѫдꙑ, bǫdy m.
бѫдѫщи, bǫdǫšti f.
бѫдꙑ, bǫdy n.
будучи

(present

adverbial participle)

будущий, buduščij m.
будущая, buduščaja f.
будущее, buduščeje n.
będący m.
będąca f.
będące n.
budoucí m.
budoucí f.
budoucí n.
budúci m.
budúca f.
budúce n.
bodoči m.
bodoča f.
bodoče n.
budući m.
buduća f.
buduće n.
(бъдещ, bədešt m.)
(бъдещa, bədeštа f.)
(бъдещо, bədeštо n.)
Past active participle *byvŭ m.
*byvŭši f.
*byvŭ n.
бꙑвъ, byvŭ m.
бꙑвъши, byvŭši f.
бꙑвъ, byvŭ n.
бувши

(past

adverbial participle)

бывший, byvšij m.
бывшая, byvšaja f.
бывшее, byvšeje n.
bywszy m.
bywsza f.
bywsze n.
byvší m.
byvšia f.
byvšie n.
bivši m.
bivša f.
bivše n.
bivši m.
bivša f.
bivše n.
(бивш, bivš m.)
(бивша, bivša f.)
(бивше, bivše n.)
Resultative participle *bylŭ m.
*byla f.
*bylo n.
бꙑлъ, bylŭ m.
бꙑла, byla f.
бꙑло, bylo n.
був, buw m.
була, bula f.
було, bulo n.
был, byl m.
была, byla f.
было, bylo n.
był m.
była f.
było n.
byl m.
byla f.
bylo n.
bol m.
bola f.
bolo n.
bil m.
bila f.
bilo n.
bio m.
bila f.
bilo n.
бил, bil m.
била, bila f.
било, bilo n.
  • In Russian, the present forms are archaic and no longer in common use, except for the third person forms, which are used in "there is/are" type phrases.
  • In Ukrainian, the present tense forms of the verb "бути" have all but disappeared from contemporary language, except for the third person form which is used in existential phrases; єсть (jesť) is archaic and encountered only in poetry. All participles have turned into other parts of speech, future and past active participles becoming present and past active adverbial participle respectively,[8] and resultative pariciple becoming past tense of verbs.
  • In Serbo-Croatian the forms jesam, jesi, jeste and so on are used as the basic form of the Present Tense "to be" (i.e. I am, you are etc.), while the forms budem, budeš, bude etc. are used only for the formation of the Future Perfect.
  • In Bulgarian, forms бъда, бъдеш, etc. are not used by themselves but only in compound forms (future ще бъда, subjunctive да бъда). In this respect they closely follow the usage (and non-usage) of perfective verbs. As such it has its own forms for the aorist (бидох, биде, биде, бидохме, бидохте, 'бидоха), the imperfect (бъдех, бъдеше, бъдеше, бъдехме, бъдехте, бъдеха) and the resultative participle (бъдел). Another verb - бивам with fully regular conjugation type III paradigm - completes an aspect triple: imperfective съм, perfective бъда, secondary imperfective бивам. The perfective aorist has lost its original meaning and is now used only to form the compound conditional mood (бих чел = I would read). All participles except the resultative participle (бил) have lost their function and are now used as regular adjectives with changed meanings (същ = same, бивш = previous, ex-, бъдещ = future).

Baltic languagesEdit

Lithuanian Latvian Old Prussian
Infinitive būti būt
Present esu, esmi (rare), būnu
esi, būni (rare)
yra, esti, esa (rare), būna
esame, būname (rare)
esate, būnate (rare)
yra, esti (rare), esa (rare), būna (rare)
esmu, esu (vernacular)
esi
ir
esam
esat
ir
Past simple buvau
buvai
buvo
buvome
buvote
buvo
biju
biji
bija
bijām
bijāt
bija
Past active participle buvęs (m. sg.)
buvusi (f. sg.)
buvę (m. pl.)
buvusios (f. pl.)
bijis (m. sg.)
bijusi (f. sg.)
bijuši (m. pl.)
bijušas (f. pl.)
Future būsiu
būsi
bus
būsime
būsite
bus
būšu
būsi
būs
būsim
būsiet, būsit
būs
Imperative
būk

būkime
būkite

esi

būsim
esiet


Quotative esot, būšot
Conditional būčiau
būtum
būtų
būtumėme
būtumėte
būtų
būtu

In Lithuanian, the paradigm būnu, būni, būna, etc. is not considered archaic or dialectal but rather a special use of the verb būti, to be, mostly used to describe repeated actions or states, or habits.

Celtic languagesEdit

In the Celtic languages there is a distinction between the so-called substantive verb, used when the predicate is an adjective phrase or prepositional phrase, and the so-called copula, used when the predicate is a noun.

The conjugation of the Old Irish and Middle Welsh verbs is as follows:

Old Irish substantive verb Old Irish copula Middle Welsh
Present (at)·tó
(at)·taí
(at)·tá
(at)·taam
(at)·taïd
(at)·taat
am
at
is
ammi
adib
it
wyf
wyt
yw, mae, taw, oes
ym
ych
ynt, maen(t)
Preterite ·bá
·bá
·boí
·bámmar
·baid
·bátar
basa
basa
ba
bommar
unattested
batar
buum
buost
bu
buam
buawch
buant
Future bia
bie
bieid, ·bia
beimmi, ·biam
bethe, ·bieid
bieit, ·biat
be
be
bid
bimmi
unattested
bit
bydaf
bydy
byd
bydwn
bydwch
bydant

The forms of the Old Irish present tense of the substantive verb, as well as Welsh taw, come from the PIE root *stā-. The other forms are from the roots *es- and *bhū-. Welsh mae originally meant "here is" (cf. yma 'here').

Irish and Scottish GaelicEdit

In modern Gaelic, person inflections have almost disappeared, but the negative and interrogative are marked by distinctive forms. In Irish, particularly in the south, person inflections are still very common for the tá/bhí series.

[note 1]

The verb bíEdit
Scottish Gaelic Irish
Present affirmative
interrogative
negative
negative interrogative
tha
a bheil
chan eil
nach eil
tá (1 táim, 2 táir, 3 tá, 1pl táimíd, 2pl (archaic) táthaoi, 3pl táid)
an bhfuil
níl (ní fhuil)
nach bhfuil (1 fuilim, 2 fuilir, 3 fuil, 1pl fuilimíd-fuileam, 2pl (archaic) fuiltaoi, 3pl fuilid)
Past affirmative
interrogative
negative
negative interrogative
bha
an robh
cha robh
nach robh
bhí (1 bhíos, 2 bhís, 3 bhí, 1pl bhiomair, 2pl bhíobhair, 3pl bhíodar)
an raibh
ní raibh
nach raibh (1 rabhas, 2 rabhais, 3 raibh, 1pl rabhamair, 2pl rabhabhair, 3pl rabhadar)
Future affirmative
interrogative
negative
negative interrogative
bidh (or "bithidh")
am bi
cha bhi
nach bi
beidh (1 bead, 2 beir, 3 beidh, 1pl beimíd, 2pl beidh sibh, 3pl beid)
an mbeidh
ní bheidh
nach mbeidh
The copulaEdit
Scottish Gaelic Irish
Before a consonant Before a vowel Before a consonant Before a vowel
Present affirmative
interrogative
negative
negative interrogative
is


is
an

nach
is
an

nach
Past/Conditional affirmative
interrogative
negative
negative interrogative
bu


ba
ar
níor
nár
b'
arbh
níorbh
nárbh

[9]

Gaelic (bh)eil and Irish (bh)fuil are from Old Irish fuil, originally an imperative meaning "see!" (PIE root *wel-, also in Welsh gweled, Germanic wlitu- "appearance", and Latin voltus "face"), then coming to mean "here is" (cf. French voici < vois ci and voilà < vois là), later becoming a suppletive dependent form of at-tá. Gaelic robh and Modern Irish raibh are from the perfective particle ro (ry in Welsh) plus ba (lenited after ro).

Modern WelshEdit

The present tense in particular shows a split between the North and the South. Though the situation is undoubtedly more complicated, King (2003) notes the following variations in the present tense as spoken (not as written according to the standard orthography):

Affirmative (I am) Interrogative (Am I?) Negative (I am not)
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
North First person dw dan ydw? ydan? (dy)dw (dy)dan
Second person —, (r)wyt dach wyt? (y)dach? dwyt (dy)dach
Third person mae maen ydy? ydyn? dydy dydyn
South First person rw, w ŷn, — ydw? ŷn? (d)w ŷn
Second person —, (r)wyt ych wyt? ych? (ych)
Third person mae maen ydy?, yw? ŷn? dyw ŷn

For example, the spoken first person singular dw i'n is a contraction of the formal written yr ydwyf fi yn . The Welsh F /v/ is the fricative analogue of the nasal /m/, the PIE suffix consonant for the first person singular.

Affirmative (I am) Interrogative (Am I?) Negative (I am not)
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Preterite First person bues buon fues? fuon? fues fuon
Second person buest buoch fuest? fuoch? fuest fuoch
Third person buodd buon fuodd? fuon? fuodd fuon
Imperfect First person roeddwn roedden oeddwn? oedden? doeddwn doedden
Second person roeddet roeddech oeddet? oeddech? doeddet doeddech
Third person roedd roeddyn oedd? oeddyn? doedd doeddyn
Future First person bydda byddwn fydda? fyddwn? fydda fyddwn
Second person byddi byddwch fyddi? fyddwch? fyddi fyddwch
Third person bydd byddan fydd? fyddan? fydd fyddan

Bod also has a conditional, for which there are two stems. The bas- stem is more common in the North, and the bydd- stem is more common in the South:

Affirmative Interrogative Negative
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
bydd- First person byddwn bydden fyddwn fydden fyddwn? fydden?
Second person byddet byddech fyddet fyddech fyddet? fyddech?
Third person byddai bydden fyddai fydden fyddai? fydden?
bas- First person baswn basen faswn fasen faswn? fasen?
Second person baset basech faset fasech faset? fasech?
Third person basai basen fasai fasen fasai? fasen?

HittiteEdit

The Hittite verb "to be" is derived from the Indo-European root *h1es-.

  Present indicative Preterite indicative Imperative
1st sg. ēšmi ešun ēšlit
ēšlut
ašallu
2nd sg. ēšši ēšta ēš
3rd sg. ēšzi ēšta ēšdu
1st pl. (ašweni) ēšwen
2nd pl. ēšteni ēšten ēšten
3rd pl. ašanzi ešer ašandu

ArmenianEdit

The Classical Armenian present tense derives from PIE *h₁es- (cf. sg. h₁esmi, h₁essi, h₁esti; 3rd pl. h₁s-énti).[10]

  present
1st sg. em
2nd sg. es
3rd sg. ē
1st pl. enkʿ
2nd pl. ēkʿ
3rd pl. en

AlbanianEdit

The Albanian copula shows two distinct roots. The present jam ‘I am’ is an athematic root stem built from PIE *h₁es-. The imperfect continues the PIE imperfect of the same root but was rebuilt based on the 3rd person singular and plural. The preterite, on the other hand, comes from the thematic aorist of PIE *kʷelh₁- ‘turn’ (cf. Ancient Greek épleto ‘he turned’, Armenian eɫew ‘he became’, Old Irish cloïd ‘turns back, defeats’). Analogical or otherwise indirect reflexes are italicized below.

  PIE present PIE → PAlb rebuilt imperfect (NE Arvanitic) imperfect (standard Alb) PIE → PAlb preterite
1st sg. *h₁ésmi jam *h₁és-m̥ → *eham *eśen jeshë isha *kʷl-e-m̥ → *klen qeshë, OAlb qeva
2nd sg. *h₁ési je *h₁és → *eh *eśeh jeshe ishe *kʷl-e-s → *kleh qe
3rd sg. *h₁ésti ishtë (dial.) *h₁és-t → *eśt *eśt je ish → ishte *kʷl-e-to → *kleta kle → qe
1st pl. *h₁s-méi jemi *h₁s-m̥é → *emma/e *eśema/e jeshëmë ishim *kʷl-e-mé → *klema/e qemë
2nd pl. *esi (2nd sg.) + -ni jeni *h₁s-té → *eśtā *eśetā jeshëtë ishit *kʷl-e-té → *kletā qetë
3rd pl. *h₁s-nti janë *h₁s-énd → *eśend *eśend ishinë ishin *kʷl-e-nd → *klend qenë

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Colin Mark has suggested that the Scots Gaelic substantive verb forms can be treated as assertive forms of the copula;[11] since the verb is in any case suppletive, this is a matter of perspective.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Ringe, Don (2006). A History of English: Volume I: From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199284139. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
  2. ^ Jasanoff, Jay (2003). Hittite and the Indo-European Verb. Oxford University Press. p. 112. ISBN 0-19-928198-X.
  3. ^ Calvert Watkins, American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.
  4. ^ "Learner's Hindi-English Dictionary: होना".
  5. ^ Pokorny, J. (2007). Proto-Indo-European Etymological Dictionary. Indo-European Language Revival Association. pp. 2906–2914.
  6. ^ Kachru, Yamina (2006). Hindi. Amsterdam/Philadelphia. pp. 73–94. ISBN 90 272 3812 X.
  7. ^ Toofan, M. Zabān: ast yā hast? (Language: Is or Exists?). Ketāb-e Iran, 2000
  8. ^ "Дієприкметники". «Як ми говоримо».
  9. ^ Bräsicke, Lars. "Gramadach na Gaeilge - Irish Grammar". Retrieved 9 February 2013.
  10. ^ Hrach K. Martirosyan, Etymological Dictionary of the Armenian Inherited Lexicon, s.v. “em” (Leiden: Brill, 2009), 255.
  11. ^ Colin Mark, Gaelic Verbs systemised and simplified, Savage (London & Edinburgh) 1986, p21ff.