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Basque Grammar

Welcome to the 8th lesson about Basque grammar. We will first learn about prepositions, negation, questions, adverbs, and pronouns including: personal, object and possessive pronouns.

We will start with prepositions. In general, they are used to link words to other words. For example: I speak Basque and English the preposition is [and] because it connects both words Basque and English. The following is a list of the most used prepositions in Basque.

Prepositions - Basque
and eta Audio
above gainean Audio
under azpian Audio
before aurretik Audio
after ondoren Audio
in front of aurrean Audio
behind atzean Audio
far from urrun Audio
near gertu Audio
in -(e)an Audio
inside barru - Audio
outside kanpo - Audio
with -(a)rekin, -ekin Audio
without gabe Audio
about buruzko Audio
between artean Audio
but baina Audio
for -(a)rentzat Audio
from -(e)tik Audio
to -(e)ra Audio

Preposition Grammar Rules

The following examples use prepositions in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence.

Prepositions + Rules - Basque
I eat without a knife
[preposition + noun] labanik gabe jaten dut Audio
she lives near the church
[verb + preposition] elizatik gertu bizi da Audio
he is taller than her
[adjective + preposition] bera baino altuagoa da Audio
he came with his small dog
[preposition + pronoun] bere txakur txikiarekin etorri zen Audio
can you come with me?
[preposition + pronoun] nirekin etorri ahal zaitezke? Audio

Negation in Basque

Now let's learn how to make a negative sentence (negation). For example: Saying no, I can't, I don't ... The following examples use negation in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence.

Negation + Rules - Basque
I understand you
[affirmative form] ulertzen zaitut Audio
I don't understand you
[negation + verb] ez zaitut ulertzen Audio
this is not the correct word
[negation + adjective] hau ez da hitz zuzena Audio
don't leave me
[imperative negation] ez nazazu utzi Audio
no problem
[negation + noun] problemarik gabe Audio

Negative Sentences - Basque
I don't speak French
[negation + present tense] ez dut frantsesez hitz egiten Audio
she didn't visit Germany
[negation + past tense] ez zen alemaniara joan. Audio
he cannot see us
[negative modal verb] ezin gaitu ikusi Audio
can't she play chess?
[interrogative negation] ezin al du xakean jolastu? Audio
we will not come late
[negation + future tense] ez gara berandu etorriko Audio

Questions in Basque

Now let's learn how to ask questions (interrogative). Such as: what, why, can you ...? Here are some common examples:

English - Basque
how? nola? Audio
what? zer? Audio
who? nor? Audio
why? zergatik? Audio
where? non? Audio

More of the interrogative form, now in a sentence:

Questions + Rules - Basque
where do you live?
[interrogative + verb] non bizi zara? Audio
does she speak Chinese?
[interrogative verb] txineraz hitz egiten al du? Audio
how much is this?
[interrogative preposition] zenbat balio du honek? Audio
can I help you?
[interrogative modal verb] Lagundu zaitzaket? Audio
what is your name?
[interrogative preposition] zein da zure izena? Audio

Adverbs in Basque

It's time to learn the adverbs in Basque. But what is an adverb? In general, adverbs modify verbs and adjectives. For example: You speak fast. The adverb is [fast] because it describes the verb and answers the question how do you speak?. Here is a list of the most common ones:

Adverbs - Basque
now orain Audio
yesterday atzo Audio
today gaur Audio
tonight gaur gauean Audio
tomorrow bihar Audio
soon laister Audio
quickly azkar Audio
slowly poliki-poliki Audio
together batera Audio
very oso Audio
almost ia Audio
always beti Audio
usually ohi Audio
sometimes batzuetan Audio
rarely oso gutxitan Audio
never inoiz ez Audio

The following examples use the adverbs in different ways and places to demonstrate how it behaves in a sentence.

Adverbs + Rules - Basque
do you understand me now?
[pronoun + adverb] ulertzen nauzu orain? Audio
I need help immediately
[noun + adverb] laguntza behar dut berehala Audio
she is very intelligent
[adverb + adjective] oso argia da Audio
I will always love you
[verb + adverb] beti maitatuko zaitut Audio
can we learn German together?
[adverb in a question] alemana ikasi al dezakegu elkarrekin? Audio

Pronouns in Basque

We're almost done! This time we will learn the pronouns in Basque. In general, a pronoun can be used instead of a noun. For example instead of saying my teacher speaks 3 languages, you can use the pronoun he, and say he speaks 3 languages. Here is a list of the most common ones:

Personal Pronouns - Basque
I ni Audio
you zu Audio
he hura, bera Audio
she hura, bera Audio
we gu Audio
they haiek Audio

Object Pronouns - Basque
me ni - Audio
you zu - Audio
him hura -, bera - Audio
her hura -, bera - Audio
us gu - Audio
them horiek -, haiek - Audio

Possessive Pronouns - Basque
my nire Audio
your zure Audio
his bere Audio
her bere Audio
our gure Audio
their beraien Audio

I think it's better to put the above example in a sentence to better assist you. The following examples use pronouns in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence. We will start with the personal pronouns.

Personal Pronouns - Basque
I am your friend
[1st pronoun + verb] zure laguna naiz Audio
you speak very fast
[2nd pronoun + adverb] oso azkar hitz egiten duzu Audio
he has three dogs
[3rd pronoun + verb] hiru txakur dauzka Audio
she can speak German
[3rd pronoun + verb] alemanez hitz egiten du Audio
we will not come late
[1st plural pronoun] ez gara berandu etorriko Audio
they bought milk and bread
[3rd plural pronoun] esnea eta ogia erosi dituzte Audio

The object pronoun is used as a target by a verb, and usually come after that verb. For example: I gave him my book. The object pronoun here is him. Here are more examples:

Object Pronouns - Basque
can you tell me your name?
[1st object pronoun] zure izena esan al diezadakezu? Audio
I will give you money
[2nd object pronoun] dirua emango dizut Audio
she wrote him a letter
[3rd object pronoun] gutun bat idatzi zion Audio
they visited her yesterday
[3rd object pronoun] atzo bisita egin zioten Audio
can she help us?
[1st pl. object pronoun] lagundu ahal gaitzake? Audio
he gave them food
[3rd pl. object pronoun] janaria eman zien Audio

Possessive Pronouns - Basque
my name is Maya
[1st possessive pronoun] nire izena maya da Audio
your brother lives here
[2nd possessive pronoun] zure anaia hemen bizi da Audio
her mother cooks for us
[3rd possessive pronoun] bere amak guretzat sukaldatzen du Audio
his hobby is reading books
[3rd possessive pronoun] bere zaletasuna liburuak irakurtzea da Audio
our dream is to visit Paris
[1st pl. possessive pronoun] gure ametsa paris bisitatzea da Audio
their house is not far
[3rd pl. possessive pronoun] beren etxea ez dago oso urruti Audio

One more thing you need to know is the demonstrative pronouns. They're very easy to learn.

Demonstrative Pronouns - Basque
this is my house hau nire etxea da Audio
that restaurant is far jatetxea oso urrun dago Audio
these apples are delicious sagar horiek zoragarriak dira Audio
those stars are shiny izar horiek distiratsuak dira Audio

I hope you learned a lot about the Basque grammar in this lesson. Please check out our main menu here for more lessons: homepage. The next lesson is below, have fun!

Inspirational Quote: First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. Epictetus

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