8.2 - Form of the past imperfective

In Ukrainian this tense is very easy to form, and there are very few exceptions. Here are a few examples of Ukrainian sentences in the past imperfective:

Що ви робили на початку 90-их? What were you doing in the early 90s?
Київська адміністрація мала проблеми з оплатою за газ. The Kyiv local adminstration had problems with gas payments.
Василь ніколи нікого не слухав. Vasyl never listened to what anyone said.
Місто Лева завжди займало важливе місце в історії України. Lev's city (Lviv) has always occupied an important position in Ukrainian history.

From the above it can be seen that the endings for past imperfective are:

  • -в for masculine singular (agreeing with the subject Василь)
  • -ла for feminine singular (agreeing with the subject адміністрація)
  • -ло for neuter singular (agreeing with the subject місто)
  • -ли for plural (agreeing with the subject ви).

This tense is formed on the basis of the infinitive (the dictionary form of the verb): e.g. думати – to think. The infinitive ending -ти is removed, and the above endings are added to the stem дума- :

я (masc.), ти (masc.), він ... думав
я (fem.), ти (fem.), вона ... думала
воно ... думало
ми, ви, вони ... думали

There are a small number of exceptions, which are given on the next page and on page 13.3.

Part of the collection of resources at UkrainianLanguage.org.uk
© 2007 Marta Jenkala