Georgian Grammar

Quick Introduction to the Lexical Categories

Nouns | Adjectives | Numerals | Pronouns | Adverbs | Verbs | Conjunctions | Interjections | Particles

Nouns in Georgian can be grouped in the following categories: Animated and Static, 'Who' or 'What,' Concrete and Abstract, Proper and Common, Collective, Uncountable, and Verbal Nouns. Every living being or everything that moves belongs to the group of animated nouns, such as humans, animals, fish, etc. Objects that are unable to move themselves belong to the group of static nouns. Words that answer the question vin (who?) belong to the 'who' group of nouns, such as humans. All the other nouns answer the question ra (what?) and belong to the 'what' group of nouns, including animals and static objects. The words of 'who' group are concrete nouns only, and the words of 'what' group can be concrete or abstract. Nouns can be proper or personal, such as names of particular cities, villages, mountains, forests, rivers, etc., including personal names and last names. All other nouns are common or general. Words such as khalkhi (people), eri (nation), jgupi (group) belong to the group of collective nouns. Some nouns can indicate separate objects or a group of objects together, such as tskhvari (sheep), tq'e (forest), potoli (leaf). Although these words have plural forms, depending on context they indicate either a single object, or a group of objects.

Uncountable nouns include words such as tapli (honey), pkvili (flour), rdze (milk), okro (gold), etc. Verbal nouns indicate an action, or position of objects. Such nouns are: ts'era (to write), kitkhva (to read), sheneba (to build), etc. Nouns decline. Georgian language has seven grammatical cases.

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There are two categories of adjectives in Georgian:
1. Primary and 2. Derivative.
Primary adjectives characterize objects according to their traits and qualities, which these objects may have in lesser or greater degrees. For example, words like "didi" (big), "lamazi" (beautiful), "parto" (wide), "tetri" (white), "shavi" (black), "ts'iteli" (red), "q'viteli" (yellow), "advili" (easy), "p'atara" (small), etc. belong to the group of primary adjectives; words like "dzalian" (very), "odnav" (a little bit), "upro" (more) give the lesser or greater qualities to these types of adjectives.

Derivative Adjectives form by attaching certain suffixes or prefix-suffixes to nouns, pronouns, or adverbs. The suffixes ian, ier/iel, osan, ovan, and a, indicate possession. They transform nouns into adjectives. Interrogative forms of the adjectives are: "rogori?" "ranairi?" (what kind) "romeli?" (which) "sadauri?" (what origin, which place) "rodindeli?" (what period of time).

Adjectives form comparative and superlative grades: the word "upro" (more) in front of an adjective indicates the grade of comparison; the word "q'velaze upro" (most, most of all) in front of an adjective indicates the superlative grade. Adjectives usually accompany nouns but sometimes are used independently. Like nouns, the adjectives are also divided in consonant-end and vowel-end forms. For example, the consonant-end adjectives are: "didi" (big), "maghali" (tall), "dzneli" (difficult, hard), "muki" (dark), etc. The vowel-end adjectives are: "p'at'ara" (small, little), "mok'le" (short), "mts'vane" (green), "vits'ro" (narrow), etc. Adjectives decline like nouns.

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Numerals can be classified in Cardinals, Ordinals, Fractions, and Collective groups. Numerals answer the questions ramdeni? (how many), meramdene? (which one in order). In sentences the numerals stand independently or together with nouns. Numerals can be simple or complex. Simple cardinal numerals consist of only a single root.

Complex numerals are compounds of two or more words.
All cardinal numerals from one to ten are the simple numerals: 1 -- erti, 2 -- ori, 3 -- sami, 4 -- otkhi, 5 -- khuti, 6 -- ekvsi, 7 -- shvidi, 8 -- rva, 9 -- tskhra, 10 -- ati. Numerals from eleven to nineteen are the complex numerals, compounds of three word roots: 11 -- tertmet'i, 12 -- tormet'i, 13 -- tsamet'i, 14 -- totkhmet'i, 15 -- tkhutmet'i, 16 -- tekvsmeti, 17 -- chvidmet'i, 18 -- tvramet'i, 19 -- tskhramet'i.

All numerals from 20 (oci) and above are constructed on so called "system of twenties," because every numeral following the number 20 adds the numbers from 1 to 9 (to even numbers) and 11 to 19 (to odd numbers) to this number or number 20 multiplied by other numbers. With the exception of number 1, the ordinal numerals form by attaching the prefix-suffix me-e to the root of cardinal numerals: meore -- 2nd, mesame -- 3rd, meotkhe -- 4th, mekhute -- 5th, meekvse -- 6th, meshvide -- 7th, merve -- 8th, metskhre -- 9th, meate -- 10th, metertmet'e -- 11th, metormet'e -- 12th, metsamet'e -- 13th, metokhmet'e -- 14th, metkhutmet'e -- 15th, metekvsmete -- 16th, mechvidmet'e -- 17th, metvramet'e -- 18th, metskhramet'e -- 19th, meotse -- 20th. Numerals decline like nouns.

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Pronouns are divided into the following categories:
1. Personal: me (I), shen (you), is (he/she/it), chven (we), tkven (you), isini (they).
2. Possessive:
chemi (mine), sheni (yours), misi/imisi (his, hers, its), chveni, tkveni, mati/imati (ours, yours, theirs).
3. Demonstrative: es (this), eg (that), is (that/he/she,/it), igi (that/he/she/it), eseni (these), egeni (those), isini (those, they), aseti, amnairi, amistana (such, this kind), iseti, imnairi, imistana (that kind), amdeni (this much), imdeni, magdeni (that much/that many).
4. Interrogative: vin (who), ra (what), romeli (which one), rogori (what kind), ranairi (what sort), ramdeni (how much, how many), sadauri (of what origin), rodindeli (of what time), visi (whose), risi (of what).
5. Negative:
aravin (no one, nobody), veravin (no one), nuravin (not a single one), araperi, veraperi, nuraperi (nothing).
6. Definite:
tvit/tviton (self, himself, herself, itself), tvitoeuli (each of them), q'vela (everyone).
7. Indefinite: vighats/a (someone, somebody), raghats/a (something), romelighats/a (something, anything), vinme (someone), rame (something), romelime (some, any, anyone), zogi, zogierti (some).
8. Directional: vints (who), rats (what), romelits (which), visits (whose), risits (of what), etc. Pronouns decline. Their declension rules differ from the declension of nouns, adjectives, or numerals.

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Adverbs are non-inflected parts of speech showing where, when, how, why, or for what the actions happen. Adverbs mainly accompany verbs and are used with adjectives and adverbs as well. Adverbs derive from different parts of speech, mainly from the adjectives, nouns, and verbal nouns. They form from the dative, genitive, instrumental, and adverbial case markers.

There are different categories of adverbs:
1. Place: ts'in (in the front, ), uk'an (behind), zevit (up), kvevit (down), ak (here), ik (there)
2. Time: akhla (now), gushin (yesterday), khval (tomorrow), zeg (the day after tomorrow)
3. Manner or Condition: k'argad (well), tsudad (badly), nela (slowly), chkara (quickly)
4. Cause: amit'om (because of this), imit'om, magit'om (because of that)
5. Aim: amistvis (for this), imistvis
6. Quality and Measure: met'ad (very much, considerably), nak'lebad (less)
7. Interrogative: sad? (where), rodis? (when), rat'om? (why), rogor? (how)
8. Adverbs of Direction are formed by using the particle ts: sadats, saidanats, saitk'enats, etc.

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Georgian verb has the following properties:
Person: First, Second and Third persons. Georgian verb can be mono-personal (subject only), bi-personal (subject and one object), and tri-personal (subject and two objects). Verbs agree not only with subjects but also with direct or indirect objects.

Number: Singular and Plural. Singular verb requires subject in singular; plural verb requires subject in plural.

Transitiveness: Verbs that contain direct objects are transitive; mono-personal verbs are always intransitive; bi-personal verbs can be either transitive or intransitive.

Voice: Active (subject acts upon object) voice verbs are always bi-personal or tri-personal; they are always transitive: ak'etebs (he/she does). Passive (subject is acted upon) voice verbs are mono-personal or bi-personal; they are always intransitive: k'etdeba (it is being done). Passive voice verbs have two patterns: Dynamic and Static. Dynamic passive verbs express the process of action. Static passive verbs express the results/completed process of action. Medial (subject is not acting or acted upon) voice verbs are mono-personal or bi-personal. Most of them are intransitive: ts'vims (it rains), tovs (it snows), etc.

Other properties of the Georgian verb are: Mood (narrative, subjunctive, interrogative), Aspect (perfective and imperfective), Version (subjective, objective, neutral), and Contact (direct and indirect).

Preverbs: There are 15 preverbs in Georgian. They indicate directions, show the aspect, and change the tense (form the future and past/aorist from the present). Georgian Verb has 12 tenses.

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Conjunctions are auxiliary parts of speech. They are used to join words, parts of speech, or sentences. Some conjunctions (da, tu, magram, kholo, etc.) join words as well as sentences. The following conjunctions join only sentences: rom, rodesats, rotsa, tu, ara, sanam, vidre, radganats, rata, rak'i, rogorts k'i, etc.

1. Coordinate Conjunctions join parts of speech or the sentences that are equal to each other. These conjunctions are: da (and), tu (and, if, whether, or), magram (but), kholo (but, only), an (either), an--an (either--or), anu (or, that is), e.i. -- abbreviated ese igi (that is, i.e.), khan, khan--khan (sometimes--sometimes), gind, gind--gind (either--or), aramed (but), k'i ara--aramed (not--but), tund, tund--tund (either--or), agretve, aseve (also), ara mart'o (not only).

2. Subordinate Conjunctions join clauses of complex sentences. These conjunctions are: rom (because, in order to, that), imit'om rom (because), imis gamo, radgan, radganats (because), rodesats, rotsa (when, whenever), tu (if), tu ara (if not), sanam (before), vidre (as long as, until, up to, than), rogorts (as), vinaidan (because, since, for), imit'om rom (because), rata (in order to) rak'i (as, since), torem (else, if not, otherwise), titkos (as if), vidre (than), tumtsa (although, however), ase rom (so that), rotsa (when), etc.

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Interjections are non inflected syllables, or groups of syllables and words, which directly express feelings, will or desire. Sound and tone are very important to pronounce interjections. Often a same interjection may be used to express different feelings. At the same time, different interjections can be used to express one feeling.

Interjections are divided into the following groups:
Happiness and Joy: oh, uh, vah
Sadness: vai, vaime, ui, uime, oh, uh, okh
Praise and Approval: q'ochagh, vasha
Regret: eh, ah
Hatred: puh, pu, pui
Surprise: va, vah, bitch'os, eriha
Calling Up, Appeal: aba, he, aba he, aba ho, ei, hei, aba midi
Wish: akh, ah, net'avi

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Particles are independent syllables, or combinations of syllables and words that accompany parts of speech, or entire sentences and give them additional meaning. Some particles appear as independent words; some appear as postpositions.
There are following groups of particles:
1. Interrogative: khom (indeed), gana (is it not?), nutu (is it possible!)
2. Negative: ar, ara (no, do not), ver, vera (no, can not), nu (don't), aghar (not again), veghar (not any more), nughar (don't any more), arts, verts (neither/nor).
3. Proximity: titkmis, k'inagham (almost).
4. Distinguishing-limitative: mart'o, mkholod (only, just).
5. Surprise: ra, ar, ak'i, ar.
6. Wish: net'avi, net'a (I wish), dae (let it be).
7. Fear and encouragement: vaitu (what if), ikneb (perhaps).
8. Answering: k'i, ho, diakh (yes), ara (no), vera (no, can not).
9. Separate: turme (as it appears, as it appeared), kholme (frequent repetition of an action).
The following particles appear as postpositions: me, ghatsa (indefinite), ts, ode, ve (strengthening), metki, tko (indicating repeated speech).

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