Here are some verbs that you are going to practice in this lesson, as well as some that you have already learned to conjugate in the present tense:
- чета - to read
- живея - to live
- пиша - to write
- пия - to drink
- знам - to know
- ям - to eat
- уча - to study, to learn
- спя - to sleep
- правя - to do, to make
- говоря - to speak, to talk
- виждам - to see
- отивам - to go
- слушам - to listen
- обичам - to love
- имам - to have
- искам - to want
- харесвам - to like
3 conjugation groups
Each verb belongs to one of 3 conjugation groups. This, unfortunately, cannot be determined by looking at the verb's citation form. It is instead determined by the ending of the verb in its 3rd person present tense conjugation.
If the 3rd person present tense conjugation ends in:
- е: той чете (he reads) ➜ 1st group
- и: той учи (he learns) ➜ 2nd group
- а (or я): той има (he has) ➜ 3rd group
Often, verbs with citation forms ending in -ам or -ям belong to the 3rd group, and others (ending in -а or -я) belong to the 1st or 2nd groups. But this is not a rule, and you can already see that ям belongs to the 1st group (той яде).
Since the last letter in the 3rd conjugation determines the group, from now on we'll specify the group of new verbs by adding that last letter between brackets: чета (-е). Verbs ending in -ам are assumed to belong to the 3rd group unless otherwise specified.
Present tense conjugation
To conjugate a verb in the present tense, you take its stem, and add the right termination for the subject.
|Group 1||Group 2||Group 3|
In the 1st group,
all verbs with citation form ending in -я, or with a stem ending in a vowel, use the -я and -ят endings for аз and те, respectively: аз пия, те пият (I drink, they drink).
In the 2nd group,
all verbs with stems not ending in -ж, -ч or -ш use the -я and -ят endings for аз and те: аз говоря, те говорят (I speak, they speak).
All of the verbs seen in this lesson are regular in the present tense, but note that знам (to know) and ям (to eat) end in -ам/-ям but belong to the 1st group. In fact, it is also correct to use "зная" instead of "знам".
Present simple vs continuous
In English, there are 2 present tenses: present simple: "I eat meat" (generally), and present continous (or progressive): "I'm eating meat" (right now). In Bulgarian, there is only 1 present tense, so the context defines whether it is a general statement or something that's happening right now.
"Ядеш ли месо?" - Do you eat meat?
"Какво правиш?" - What are you doing?