Basics - Part 3
To have, or not to have
"Имам" is the Bulgarian verb for "to have".
As we've seen before, a verb can usually be negated by using the не particle: аз съм (I am), аз не съм (I am not).
However, in the case of "имам", there is a specific verb to mean "not to have": нямам.
"Имам котка" - I have a cat
"Нямам котка" - I don't have a cat
Here's the conjugation of both verbs at the present tense:
This is a standard example of conjugation of verbs of the 3rd group. These are verbs that end in -ам, such as харесвам (to like) and искам (to want). So you can conjugate these two, and many others, exactly the same way:
The 3rd person singular of имам is also used to mean "there is". Unlike English, it remains singular even when followed by a plural:
"Има котка" - There is a cat
"Има много котки" - There are many cats
"Няма котки" - There are no cats
Asking closed questions
Asking a closed question (one that can be answered by yes or no), is quite simple. For this, we use the ли particle, usually added after the verb (with the verb to be, съм, at the present tense, it is placed before):
"Има ли котка?" - Is there a cat?
"Имаш ли куче?" - Do you have a dog?
"Момче ли си?" - Are you a boy?
Note how, in this last example, we had to move "момче" to the beginning of the sentence.
You may remember that we cannot start a sentence with the present form of "to be", because these forms do not have a tonic accent. This is why we can either say "аз съм мъж" or "мъж съм" (I am a man). The same goes with the ли particle. It cannot appear at the beginning of the sentence, hence the inversion.