4.7 - The future imperfective

The final example on page 4.6 showed how the infinitive is used to form the future imperfective, that is "I shall be doing" or "I am going to do" (explanation of the term "imperfective" will come later).

To understand how the future imperfective works you need to identify:

  • the subject (a noun or pronoun which is the doer of the action)
  • the future of the verb "to be" – бути
  • the infinitive of the verb denoting the action.
subject future of "to be" infinitive  
я буду читати I shall read / I am going to read
ти будеш читати you shall read / you are going to read
він буде читати he shall read / he is going to read
вона буде читати she shall read / she is going to read
воно буде читати it shall read / it is going to read
ми будемо читати we shall read / we are going to read
ви будете читати you shall read / you are going to read
вони будуть читати they shall read / they are going to read

As with all verbs in Ukrainian, the endings of the future of the verb "to be" change according to who is doing the action. The same principle exists in English, but there are fewer endings (only three: am, is, are – see the last column in the chart above).

The endings are important and need to be learnt, as the subject, when it is a pronoun, is often omitted, and it is the verb ending which tells us who is doing the action. To practise the endings do Exercise 4.7A.

There is another way of expressing the future imperfective in Ukrainian, and it has more or less the same meaning as the form you've already met. If you've learnt the above endings (-у, -еш, -е, -емо, -ете, -уть), you will have no difficulty recognising it in a text. It consists of:

  • the subject
  • the verb, made up of the infinitive, plus the letter м, plus the above endings.
subject verb
я читати - м - у
ти читати - м - еш
він / вона / воно
(same ending)
читати - м - е
ми читати - м - емо
ви читати - м - ете
вони читати - м - уть

Now go to the next page for a reading text in the future.

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© 2007 Marta Jenkala