4.2 - "To be" or not "to be"

The simplest sentences in Ukrainian are very short. You have already met some in Unit 3:

Столиця України – Київ. Kyiv is the capital of Ukraine.
Одеса – обласний центр. Odesa is the regional centre.
На пагорбах – виноградники. On the slopes there are vineyards.
Ужгород – цікаве місто. Uzhhorod is an interesting city.

You will see that the Ukrainian sentences above don't have a word for "is" or "are". Sometimes a pause is used to replace these words.

It is normal to omit "is", "am" or "are" (that is, the present tense of the verb "to be") unless you want to emphasise the fact that something is present or exists, e.g.:

В Ужгороді є виноградники? Are there vineyards in Uzhhorod?
Так, є. Yes, there are.

To practise this concept, go to Exercise 4.2A. Before attempting the exercise, learn the following words:

країна country
місто town/city
село village
столиця capital
острів island
Part of the collection of resources at UkrainianLanguage.org.uk
© 2007 Marta Jenkala