Grammatical abbreviations

These are the abbreviations used in the "word-for-word" translations of the Latvian Folk Songs. For even more detail about a grammatical term, click on the full form of the term, and, wherever possible, you will be taken to the webpage which deals with that term.

Abbreviation Full form Explanation Example
1st. p. first person speaker I, me
2nd. p. second person hearer you
3rd.p. third person neither speaker nor hearer he, him, she, her, it, they, them
acc. accusative direct object case redzu meiteni 'I see the girl'
act. active voice verb form, used when refering to doer of action cēlis (past active pple) 'having lifted'
caus. causative verb suffix ‑in; indicates causation dancot 'to dance'; causative: dancināt 'to make (someone) dance'
cond. conditional/subjunctive conditional or subjunctive form of verb; suffix ‑tu darītu 'would do'
dat. dative indirect object case; usually recipient of action iedevu meitenei 'I gave it to the girl'
def. definite adjective ending which marks certain, previously mentioned item or person lielais katls 'the big pot'
dim. diminutive suffix indicates smallness, or endearment; suffix ‑iņ, ‑īt, ‑ēn, etc. galds 'table' galdš 'small table/dear table'
emph. emphatic emphatic form of verb rāja 'scolded'; emphatic: rātin rāja 'scolded (intensively, with vigour)'
fem. feminine feminine gender saimniece 'housewife'
fut. future future tense of verb rakstīšu 'I will write'
gen. genitive possessive case meitenes cimds 'girl's glove';
mājas jumts 'the roof of the house'
imp. imperative command form of verb skrien! 'Run!'
indecl. indeclinable verb participle form (ending in ‑ot, ‑am, or ‑ām, ) which doesn't change for different persons es, lasot, iemācījos 'reading, I learned'; viņš, lasot, iemācījās 'reading, he learned'
indef. indefinite lack of a definite ending on an adjective marks it as indefinite liels katls 'a big pot'
inf. infinitive infinitive verb form; ends in ‑t redzēt 'to see'
loc. locative noun or adjective case which indicates location mājā 'in/into the house';
tirgū 'at the market'
masc. masculine masculine gender saimnieks 'householder (male)'
nom. nominative subject case meitene nāk 'The girl is coming'
pass. passive voice verb form, used when referring to target of action celts 'having been lifted' (past passive pple.)
pl. plural more than one suņi 'dogs'; meitenes 'girls'
ppl. participle verbal form; used in complex tenses, or adjectivally (as a noun modifier) bungodams 'drumming' (pres.ppl.masc.nom.sg.); jājis 'ridden' (pst.ppl.masc.nom.sg.)
pres. present present tense of verb rakstu 'I am writing'
pst. past past tense of verb rakstīju 'I wrote'
refl. reflexive reflexive form of verb: refers to oneself kasīt 'to scratch'; reflexive: kasīties 'to scratch oneself'
sg. singular only one suns 'dog'
voc. vocative case of direct address Jāni, nāc! 'John, come!'


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This page created and maintained by
A. Steinbergs

Last revised September 18, 2008