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Letters 1Edit

About typing UkrainianEdit

We have seen many reports about the Ukrainian alphabet. Please read this post (https://www.duolingo.com/comment/10560322) about typing in Ukrainian

Just one little thing: NEVER WRITE IN BOTH LATIN AND CYRILLIC! EITHER USE ONE OR THE OTHER!!!

e.g. Write "tse mama" or "це мама" - NEVER "цe мaмa"

Welcome!Edit

Please make sure you read the following posts before you start the course:

   Before you set about conquering the DL Ukrainian tree (https://www.duolingo.com/comment/9969991)
   A quick introduction to Ukrainian (https://youtu.be/o76SHvlLS5I)

We would like to welcome you to the Ukrainian for English speakers course. It is the official language of Ukraine but is also spoken in parts of Russia, Poland, Romania, The Czech Republic, Canada and many other countries! Despite what you may think, Ukrainian doesn't sound as Slavic as Polish or Russian, but more like Italian or Latin.

The Ukrainian language is written using a variant of the Cyrillic alphabet (just like Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian, etc.). In this skill you will learn 13 of the 33 letters. We will not present letters separately, but rather in simple words that contain them. Here you will learn the words that have the following letters:

Ukrainian Letter English Equivalent
М м man [m]
А а awesome [ɑ]
Т т table* [t]
О о ball [ɔ]
І і see [i]
К к key* [k]
Д д dot* [d̪]
Е е ten [ɛ]
Х х loch [ɦ]
Ц ц

cats*

[t͡s]
Я я yard [jɑ]
Н н nose n]
И и like in hit but longer [ɪ]
  • Note that sounds with asterisk aren't pronounced with a puff of air like in English.

There are no articles a/an, the in the Ukrainian language. The meaning of English articles is usually conveyed by the context. But sometimes words like this and that are used when translating. So for example; the word дім can mean "house", "a house" and "the house" depending on the context.

Although there are Present, Past and Future forms of Ukrainian verb to be - бути, it is rarely used in Present tense. English words is, am, are don't have Ukrainian counterparts. Thus, the English four-word sentence I am a student is just two words in Ukrainian: Я студент. In writing, when a sentence equates two nouns in a row, a long dash is written between the nouns to indicate the verb to be. For example, My sister is a student translates to Моя сестра — студентка.

Which form of and do I use?Edit

In Ukrainian, there are four words that mean and; і, та, а and й. Three of them; і, та and й are all used to link similar things, the only reason we have so many is so we can switch them around to make the language flow and sound more melodic.

   Мама і тато - Mom and dad
   Та я! - And me!
   Мова й алфавіт - Language and alphabet

Strictly speaking, there are certain rules when to use which, but we do not impose them in this course to make it easier for beginners. Therefore, it is really up to you when to use which. :)

But on the other hand, а is used to contrast between two different things. It is kind of in the middle between "and" and "but" and most of the times it can be translated as either "and" or "but".

   Мама там, а тато тут - Mom is there, and/whereas dad is here
   Я працюю а ти танюєш - I work and/whereas you work
   Мене звати Віктор а вас звати Віра - My name is Victor and/whereas your name is Vira

To see more on the Ukrainian language see this video (https://youtu.be/o76SHvlLS5I) To see more on the Ukrainian alphabet see this post. (https://www.duolingo.com/comment/17636713) Or to see more on Ukrainian grammar, check out the Grammar Portal (https://www.duolingo.com/comment/19744201)

Letters 2Edit

New LettersEdit

In this skill you are learning the words that contain the following letters:

Ukrainian Letter  !English Equivalent  !IPA
С с small [s̪]
Ч ч chair [t͡ʃ]
Й й yoga, boy [j]
У у moon [u]
В в vase [v]
Б б book* [b]
Л л look [l]
Ї ї yeast [ji]
ь ... No sound, it's a soft sign that softens the previous consonant.
Read more here (https://www.duolingo.com/comment/17636713)     -


  • Note that sounds with asterisk aren't pronounced with a puff of air like in English.

YOU IN UKRAINIANEdit

Ви is a plural or singular formal you. It can be used to address to a group of people or to one person in a formal setting (like talking to a boss, an older person

Ти is a singular informal you, which can be used with friends, relatives, children.

You can read more on that here (https://www.duolingo.com/comment/17638789)

ABOUT GENDER AND NUMBER OF NOUNSEdit

Ukrainian nouns have gender (masculine, feminine, neuter) and number. Gender is fairly easy to define.

Gender Ending Example
Masculine consonant друг male friend
Feminine
школа school
Neuter
місто city

A trick to remember: "ah ya oh eh" sounds like "Hiya Owen"!

Nouns тато (dad) and дядько (uncle) don’t have a consonant ending, but for an obvious reason are considered masculine.

In plural form masculine and feminine nouns have ending и or і: маши́ни (cars); брати́ (brothers); студе́нти (students).

ABOUT PRONOUN-NOUN AGREEMENTEdit

Pronouns that describe nouns also have gender and number and agree with nouns in form.

Masc. Fem. Neuter Plural
Чий бра́т? (whose brother?) Чия́ сестра́? (whose sister?) Чиє місто? (whose city?) Чиї батьки?(whose parents?)
Мій брат (my brother) Моя сестра (my sister) Моє місто (my city) Мої батьки (my parents)

Letters 3Edit

In this skill you will learn the words that contain the following letters:

Ukrainian Letter English Equivalent IPA
Ю ю youth [ju]
П п pool [p]
Р р A trilled "r" like Spanish/Italian, read more here [r]
Є є yes [jɛ]
Ш ш shop [ʃ]
Щ щ street (read more below) [k]
Г г hill [d̪]
З з zoo [z]
Ж ж treasure [ʒ]
Ф ф fox [f]

Pronunciation of щEdit

The sound that щ makes can be difficult for learners to learn but believe it or not, we use this sound in English a lot! Say the following words:

   Street
   Straight
   Stride

Note that the first three letters are pronounced sh-ch-r. If we remove the "r" sound we get the same sound as щ! Now say the same words without the "r" sound.

   St(r)eet
   St(r)aight
   St(r)ide

However...

In Modern Ukrainian, many people also pronounce it like a "sh" sound. But not just any sh sound. Here is a guide on the more casual pronunciation:

   Say "car" in a general American accent
   Stop! Keep your tongue in that final "r" position!
   Now make a "sh" sound with your mouth in that position.

Note that this is different to the "sh" in "ship" (which is the sound ш makes)

A quick note on verbsEdit

Ukrainian verbs, just like verbs in many other languages, have conjugations, that is, depending on a personal pronoun a verb takes a different ending. For example: я їм (I eat), ви їсте́ (you eat); я люблю́ (I like), ви любите (you like).

Ukrainian verb infinitives (initial forms of verbs you find in dictionaries) always have ending –ти. For example: пити (to drink); я люблю пити сік (I like to drink juice).

Ukraine-specific vocabularyEdit

One word in this section might be confusing for foreigners if they are not familiar with it. Here is a picture to demonstrate:

Борщ (borshch) - a Ukrainian soup


Source: Wikipedia

PhrasesEdit

These are all 33 letters of Ukrainian alphabet in order. We did not cover letter Ґ, because words with this letter are rare.

   А а - as [ah] in bus
   Б б - as [b] in book
   В в - as [v] in vase
   Г г - as [h] in happy
   Д д - as [d] in dot
   И и - as [i] in bit
   І і - as [e] in meet
   Ї ї - as [yee] in yeast
   Й й - as [y] in boy
   Е е - as [e] in ten
   Є є - as [ye] in yes
   Ж ж - as [zh] in pleasure
   З з - as [z] in zone
   К к - as [k] in key
   Л л - as [l] in hill
   М м - as [m] in man
   Н н - as [n] in nose
   О о - as [o] in ball
   П п - as [p] in peace
   Р р - as [r] in rabbit
   С с - as [s] in small
   Т т - as [t] in table
   У у - as [u] in moon
   Ф ф - as [f] in fox
   Х х - as [h] in hook
   Ц ц - as [ts] in gets or [zz] in pizza
   Ч ч - as [ch] in chair
   Ш ш - as [sh] in shop
   Щ щ - as [shch] fresh cheese
   Ь – no sound, softens the previous consonant
   Ю ю - as [yoo] in youth
   Я я - as [ya] in yard

Having a conversation in UkrainianEdit

Like English, Ukrainian has more than one way of greeting people:

   Приві́т - Hi (for friends, family, children)
   До́брий ра́нок - Good morning
   До́брий день - Good afternoon/day (a general way to say hello)
   До́брий ве́чір - Good evening
   До поба́чення - Goodbye

There are of course other phrases but you will learn them as time goes on. These are standard phrases everyone should know.

Saying your nameEdit

In Ukrainian there are two forms for saying/asking for names. There are 100% interchangeable!

   If someone asks "Як вас зва́ти?" (lit. how to call you?), say "Мене́ зва́ти..." (lit. to call me...)
   If someone asks "Як вас звуть?" (lit. how do (they) call you), say "Мене́ звуть..." (lit. (they) call me).

Asking how you areEdit

In Ukrainian, there are two ways o ask someone how they are say both with slightly different meaning.

"Як справи?" (lit. how (are) things) is used to ask how someone is doing. They might reply with a lengthy answer such as "*I'm fine, thanks for asking, I went to the village yesterday and you'll never guess who I saw...". A good alternate translation would be "Any news?/How are you doing?"

"Як ти/ви?" (lit. how (are) you) is used to ask how someone is feeling. Similar to the English "How are you holding up?"

Note on Ukrainian Culture - Smiling and feelingEdit

In Ukraine, asking how someone isn't simply like:

   "Hey, how are you?"
   "I'm great thanks, and you?"
   "I'm great too"

In Ukraine, asking how someone is, is seen as a kind and lovely question to ask. You don't simply pass a stranger and ask it. People will often reply with long and honest answers about their life and how they are feeling for example "I'm not so good today because...". Also, not listening to what they have to say after asking the question is seen as quite rude.

You may notice that Ukrainians (and Eastern Europeans in general) smile less than most other Europeans and especially Americans! This is not because they are sad but rather it is seen as a bit odd to smile while doing your shopping, walking down the street and other everyday activities. Of course, Ukrainians do smile but just not as often as most people :)

AnimalsEdit

If you are too lazy to read it all look for the "Summary" headings at the end of each section.

About Grammatical GenderEdit

In Ukrainian, all nouns have a gender (just like Spanish, German, Russian, French). In Ukrainian, there are three grammatical genders; masculine, feminine and neuter. Essentially, everything in Ukrainian (including non-living things such as chairs, socks and cities) are all a he, she or an it. Unlike some languages, guessing what gender a noun is easy, just learn these rules and you'll know 90% of Ukrainian noun's genders.

   Masculine nouns end in a consonant, for example: брат, друг, дім, мед, кінь, павук are .all masculine.
   Feminine nouns usually end in -а or -я, for example: вода and свиня are feminine.
   Neuter nouns usually end in -о, -е or a double consonant followed by -я for example: молоко, поле and життя are neuter.

Now, like any language Ukrainian obviously has exceptions. Words relating to men are usually masculine (тато, дядько) nouns ending in -ь can be any gender but the majority are feminine and the exception to the consonant rule is суддя.

Gender - SummaryEdit

To learn the endings quickly, we use a trick called Hiya Owen.

   Masculine nouns ends in a consonant (simple, right?)
   Feminine nouns end in -а -я (ah ya sounds like hiya)
   Neuter nouns end in -о -е (oh eh sounds like Owen)

All together, the endings sounds like Hiya Owen! The only other rule you need to remember is that nouns ending in double-consonant+я are neuter e.g. жи*ття

You can read more about gender of Ukrainian nouns here http://www.ukrainianlanguage.org.uk/read/unit05/page5-3.htm and here. http://ukrainiangrammar.com/article/2011-01-22/the-noun-gender.html

About plural of nounsEdit

In this lesson you will learn a couple of new nouns in plural form. They follow the same rule as all Ukrainian nouns. Ukrainian by nature isn't a very irregular language, so by learning this rule you'll be an Ukrainian-plural expert in no time!

Here are the basic rules, you can find more information here http://ukrainianlanguage.org.uk/read/unit05/page5-4.htm and here http://ukrainianlanguage.org.uk/read/unit06/page6-3.htm

FeminineEdit

   If it ends in -а take the ending -и
   If it ends in -я take the ending -і (not ї, that's a common mistake :P)
   If it ends in -жа, -ча, -ша or -ща, replace the -а with -і.
Hard Soft Mixed
Мама - Мами Диня - Дині Груша - Груші

Learn more here http://ukrainianlanguage.org.uk/read/unit06/page6-4.htm

MasculineEdit

   Most nouns take the ending -и
   Nouns ending in -ь and take the ending -і (note many words lose its -е-)
   Many ending in -р take the ending -і also
   Nouns ending in -й take the ending -ї
   If it ends in -ж, -ч, -ш or -щ, add an -і.
   If it ends in -ж, -ч, -ш or -щ add an -і.
Hard Soft Mixed
Брат - Брати День - Дні Читач - Читачі
... ... Лікар - Лікарі
... ... Водій - Водії

Learn more http://ukrainianlanguage.org.uk/read/unit06/page6-5.htm

Neuter NounsEdit

   If it ends in -о take the ending -а
   If it ends in -е take the ending -я
   If it ends in -же, -че, -ше or -ще, replace the -е with -а.
Hard Soft Mixed
Місто - Міста Море - Моря Прізвище - Прізвища

Many loan words don't change such as метро (subway/metro), авто (car, from German "das Auto") and медіа (media).

You can learn more about hard, soft and mixed nouns here http://ukrainianlanguage.org.uk/read/unit05/page5-4.htm

You can read more about gender and plural forms of Ukrainian nouns here, here and here. http://www.ukrainianlanguage.org.uk/read/unit05/page5-3.htm https://ferulang.wordpress.com/2014/09/07/lesson-1/ http://learn101.org/ukrainian_plural.php

Plural SummaryEdit

   If it ends in a consonant, а, у, и remove the final vowel and add -и
   If it ends in -о replace it with -а
   If it ends in -е replace it with -я
   If it ends in -ь, -я, -є, ю, replace it with -і
   If the final consonant is -ч, -ш, -ж or -щ replace the final vowel with -і

AgreementEdit

Adjectives, possessive pronouns (and sometimes verbs) always agree with their noun, but we will learn more about that later. To see more on Ukrainian nouns check out the this post https://www.duolingo.com/comment/18537234

FamilyEdit

About To Have In UkrainianEdit

Like saying your name, to have is not translated word for word in Ukrainian. Even though there is a verb to have in Ukrainian it requires a thing called case, something that you haven't learned yet. There is a brief description of the verb at the bottom but it's best to use the first form when beginning. There is pretty difference and both forms are correct in 99.9% of situations.

У себе бути - First FormEdit

This form literally translates into "At one to be". To put it into the present tense just change the себе to one of the words used when saying your name and change the бути to є in the present tense. So "I have" would be "У мене є, literally meaning "To me there is". Let's take some examples.

   У мене є сестра - I have a sister (lit. To me there is (a) sister)
   У тебе є брат - You have a brother (lit. To you there is (a) a brother)
   У вас є мати - You have a mother (lit. To you there is mother)

Here is the full verb in the present tense.

Ukrainian English Transliteration
У мене є I have U mene ye
У тебе є You have (singular and informal) U tebe ye
У його є He/It has U yoho ye
У її є He has U yiyi ye
У нас є We have U nas ye
У вас є You have (plural and formal) U vas ye
У їх є

They have

U yikh ye

Мати - Second FormEdit

This form works just like a normal verb but there's a twist you have to change the following words ending! This is quite complicated if you are just starting and you don't need to learn it until a later skill. But if you do want to learn it; Read this post on the grammar portal and check out the table below. https://www.duolingo.com/comment/17682201

Ukrainian English Transliteration
Я маю I have Ya mayu
Ти маєш You have (singular and informal Ty mayesh
Він має He has Vin maye
Вона має She has Vona maye
Воно має It has Vono maye
Ми маємо We have My mayemo
Ви маєте You have (plural and formal Vy mayut'
Вони мають They have Vony mayut'

Words/Phrases Taught In This Skill

   У мене є - I have
   У вас є - You have (plural and formal)
   Ваш - Your (masculine, plural, formal)
   Ваша - Your (feminine, plural, formal)
   Ваші - Your (plural, plural, formal)
   Дідусь - Grandfather
   Онук - Grandson
   Онука - Granddaughter
   Хлопець - Boy
   Дівчина - Girl
   Бабуся - Grandmother
   Старший - Older (masculine)
   Старша - Older (feminine)
   Молодший - Younger (masculine)
   Молодша - Younger (feminine)

Numbers 1Edit

About gender of numeralsEdit

Ukrainian cardinal numerals “один” (one) and “два” (two) have gender forms:

один брат - one brother (masculine); одна сестра - one sister (feminine); одне місто - one city (neuter)

два брати - two brothers (masculine); дві сестри - two sisters (feminine)

Masculine form of two is also used with neuter nouns:

два міста - two cities (neuter); два села – two villages (neuter)

So, when using numerals “один” (one) and “два” (two) with nouns, match the gender form of a numeral and a noun:

один студент (masculine)

одна студентка (feminine)

одне місто (neuter)

два студенти (masculine plural)

дві студентки (feminine plural) About using numbers with nouns

In Ukrainian language nouns, when used with numerals, take different number and case forms. In this lesson you will learn different forms of nouns which are used with different numerals.

With numeral “one” and all numerals that end with “one” (21, 41, 191) nouns are used in Nominative singular form:

один рік/студент (Nominative singular masculine) одна машина/студентка (Nominative singular feminine)

With numerals “two” “three” and “four” and all numerals that end with “two”, “three” and “four” (22, 43, 194, etc.) nouns are used in Nominative plural form:

два, три, чотири роки/студенти (Nominative plural masculine) дві, три, чотири машини/студентки (Nominative plural feminine)

With all other numerals nouns are used in Genitive plural form:

5, 6, 7, 8 … років/студентів/машин/студенток (Genitive plural)

Numbers 11, 12, 13, and 14 are exception to this rule. They all are followed with nouns in Genitive plural form:

11, 12, 13, 14 … років/студентів/машин/студенток (Genitive plural)

The rule of making Genitive Plural of nouns is pretty complicated and is not explained in this course. We recommend you to just memorize the Genitive form of nouns you will use in this lesson.

Nominative singular Nominative plural Genitive plural
used with numeral 1 and all numerals ending with 1 used with numerals 2,3,4 and all numerals ending with 2,3,4, except for "teens" used with all other numerals, including "teens"
рік роки років
студент студенти студентів
машина машини машин
студентка студентки студенток

About telling age in UkrainianEdit

The way we say our age in Ukrainian is quite different from English. A word-to-word translation of a phrase “мені 20 років” is “to me it is 20 years”. Pronoun “мені” here is a Dative form of a personal pronoun”я” (I). So, to tell and ask about age in Ukrainian follow the pattern:

Personal Pronoun in Dative Case + number + рік/роки/років.

Nom. Pers. Pron. Gen. Pers. Pron. ... Example
Я → Мені + …рік/роки/років Мені 21 рік. – I am 21.
Ви → Вам + …рік/роки/років Скільки вам років? – How old are you? Вам 24 роки? - Are you 24?

To see more on Ukrainian Grammar check out the Grammar Portal https://www.duolingo.com/comment/17635866

When Typing In Ukrainian, Do NOT Use Numerals!

Words Taught In This Skill

   рік - year
   студентки - (female) students
   студентів - of students, student's, students (genitive plural)
   номер - number
   машин - of cars, cars', cars (genitive, plural)
   вам - to you (plural, formal)
   мені - to me
   тобі - to you (singular, informal)
   скільки - How many
   вже - already
   один - 1 (masculine)
   одна - 1 (feminine)
   одне - 1 (neuter)
   два - 2
   три - 3
   чотири - 4
   п'ять - 5
   шість - 6
   сім - 7
   вісім - 8
   дев'ять - 9
   десять - 10
   одинадцять - 11
   дванадцять - 12
   тринадцять - 13
   чотирнадцять - 14
   п'ятнадцять - 15
   шістнадцять - 16
   сімнадцять - 17
   вісімнадцять - 18
   дев'ятнадцять - 19
   двадцять - 20
   тридцять - 30
   сорок - 40
   п'ятдесят - 50
   шістдесят - 60
   сімдесят -70
   вісімдесят - 80
   дев'яносто - 90
   сто - 100

Numbers 2Edit

About using numbers with nounsEdit

In Ukrainian, nouns, when used with numerals, take different number and case forms. In this lesson you will learn different forms of nouns which are used with different numerals.

With numeral “one” and all numerals that end with “one” (21, 41, 191) nouns are used in Nominative singular form:

один рік/студент (Nominative singular masculine) одна машина/студентка (Nominative singular feminine)

With numerals “two” “three” and “four” and all numerals that end with “two”, “three” and “four” (22, 43, 194, etc.) nouns are used in Nominative plural form:

два, три, чотири долари/мільйони/мільярди (Nominative plural masculine) дві, три, чотири гривні/тисячі (Nominative plural feminine)

With all other numerals nouns are used in Genitive plural form:

5, 6, 7, 8 … доларів/мільйонів/мільярдів/гривень/тисяч (Genitive plural)

Numbers 11, 12, 13, and 14 are exception to this rule. They all are followed with nouns in Genitive plural form:

11, 12, 13, 14 … доларів/мільйонів/мільярдів/гривень/тисяч (Genitive plural)

The rule of making Genitive Plural of nouns is pretty complicated and is not explained in this course. We recommend you to just memorize the Genitive form of nouns you will use in this lesson.

When Typing In Ukrainian, Do NOT Use Numerals!

Hobby Edit

About Ukrainian verbs in general Edit

Ukrainian verbs have only three tenses: Present, Past and Future. Here is an example with the verb їсти – to eat in all tenses:

їсти - infinitive

Я їм – I eat/I am eating

Я їв or Я їла – I ate (masculine and feminine)

Я буду їсти – I will eat/I will be eating

Ukrainian verbs have different grammatical categories in different tenses.

In Present and Future Tenses Ukrainian verbs conjugate (change by person), but do not have gender. So looking at a verb in the Present or Future Tense you will not be able to tell whether a male or female person is/was performing the action. Here is an example with the verb їсти – to eat in Present and Future Tenses:

Present Tense Future Tense
Я їм. - I eat/am eating. Я буду істи. - I will eat/will be eating.
Ти їси. - You eat/are eating. Ти будеш істи. - You will eat/will be eating.
Він/Вона їсть. - He/She eats/is eating. Він/Вона буде істи. - He/She will eat/will be eating.
Ми їмо. - We eat/are eating. Ми будемо істи. - We will eat/will be eating.
Ви їсте. - You eat/are eating. Ви будете істи. - You will eat/will be eating.
Вони їдять. - They eat/are eating. Вони будуть істи. - They will eat/will be eating.

In Past tense Ukrainian verbs have gender and number endings. Here is an example with the verb їсти – to eat in Past Tense:

Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
Він їв. – He ate. Вона їла. – She ate. Воно їло.- It ate. Вони їли. - They ate.

All Ukrainian verbs with no exceptions have the same endings in Past Tense.

You can read more about Ukrainian verbs herehere and here.

About infinitive Edit

Infinitive is the base form of a verb which all other forms come from. It is the form which verbs go by in a dictionary. For example: (to) eat, (to) like, (to) drink.

Ukrainian infinitives have ending –ти: їсти, любити, пити. Infinitive has many uses in a language. For example in phrases like “Я люблю їсти” – I like to eat, “Я хочу їсти” - I want to eat, “Я буду їсти” - I will eat, the second verb is used in infinitive form.

About verb “to be” in Present Tense Edit

Although Ukrainian verb “to be” has Present, Past and Future forms, its Present form “є” is rarely used. In sentences like: “Мій тато – актор”, “Моя сестра – дизайнер”, “Так, моя бабуся - пенсіонерка” verb “to be” is implied and is substituted by a dash. It is not wrong, but it is not very common to use the verb in these sentences: “Мій тато є актор”, “Моя сестра є дизайнер”, “Так, моя бабуся є пенсіонерка”.

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