*Note: The stem of the first person takes no ending, so here the "‫ "פ‬is in final position & changes accordingly


The infinitive of verbs ends in "‫ "-)ע(ן‬the equivalent of "to + verb" in English. ‫ = איך וויל שלאפן‬I want to sleep ‫ = איך וויל וווינען אין פאריז‬I want to live in Paris. To form the present tense of a verb we take the stem which is the Infinitive minus the "‫ "-)ע(ן‬ending (ie the stem of the verb "‫)"וווין" → "וווינען" ,"שלאפ" → "שלאפן‬ & add the following verb-endings.  

The present tense in Yiddish is more flexible than in English and it is not always necessary to contrast between "I sleep" & "I am sleeping" both of which are usually rendered as "‫."איך שלאף‬ The present tense can also sometimes be used to refer to the immediate future " ‫" = "איך גיי מארגן‬I'm going/I'll go tomorrow"  


Note:   In  the  plural  there  are  two  forms  of  the  verb  to  be.  We  will  be  using   ‫ זייט ,זענען‬but both variants are acceptable in the standard language.

Indefinite articles
Indefinite articles in Yiddish are like those in English. ‫ = אן/א‬a/an "An" is used when the noun begins with a vowel (‫)ו ,א ,ע‬ ‫ = א בוך‬a book (a non-specific book) ‫ =אן עפל‬an apple (a non-specific apple) There is no indefinite article for plural nouns (-) ‫ )-( = ביכער‬books (books in general) Indefinite articles in Yiddish are the same for all genders & cases.  

- Exercises
Translate the following sentences into Yiddish using the glossary provided. 1 I'm reading a book. 2 We live in Poland. 3 We are here. 3 She wants an apple. 4 They speak Yiddish. 5 He buys books. 6 You (pl) live in England? 7 They are at home. 8 I am tired. 9 He is a teacher 10 She speaks Polish and I speak Ukrainian  

Note: "‫רעד + ט = "רעדט‬ Pronounced [ret]



Note: The glossary is arranged in the alphabetical order of the Yiddish words (or rather alefbetical* order).

* not a real word

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