Latvian Grammar

Welcome to the 8th lesson about Latvian 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 Latvian and English the preposition is [and] because it connects both words Latvian and English. The following is a list of the most used prepositions in Latvian.

Prepositions
Latvian
and
un Audio
above
virs Audio
under
zem Audio
before
pirms Audio
after
pēc Audio
in front of
priekšā Audio
behind
aiz Audio
far from
tālu no Audio
near
tuvu Audio
in
iekšā Audio
inside
iekšpusē Audio
outside
ārpus Audio
with
ar Audio
without
bez Audio
about
aptuveni Audio
between
starp Audio
but
bet Audio
for
par, priekš Audio
from
no Audio
to
līdz Audio

Preposition Grammar Rules

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

Prepositions + Rules
Latvian
I eat without a knife
[preposition + noun]
es ēdu bez naža Audio
she lives near the church
[verb + preposition]
viņa dzīvo netālu no baznīcas Audio
he is taller than her
[adjective + preposition]
viņš ir garāks par viņu Audio
he came with his small dog
[preposition + pronoun]
viņš atnāca ar savu mazo sunīti Audio
can you come with me?
[preposition + pronoun]
vai jūs varat nākt man līdzi? Audio

Negation in Latvian

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
Latvian
I understand you
[affirmative form]
es tevi saprotu Audio
I don't understand you
[negation + verb]
es tevi nesaprotu Audio
this is not the correct word
[negation + adjective]
tas nav pareizais vārds Audio
don't leave me
[imperative negation]
neatstāj mani Audio
no problem
[negation + noun]
nav problēmu Audio

Negative Sentences
Latvian
I don't speak French
[negation + present tense]
es nerunāju franču valodā Audio
she didn't visit Germany
[negation + past tense]
viņa nav apmeklējusi vāciju Audio
he cannot see us
[negative modal verb]
viņš nevar mūs redzēt Audio
can't she play chess?
[interrogative negation]
vai viņa nespēlē šahu? Audio
we will not come late
[negation + future tense]
mēs neieradīsimies vēlu Audio

Questions in Latvian

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

English
Latvian
how?
kā? Audio
what?
ko? (kas?) Audio
who?
kurš? Audio
why?
kāpēc? Audio
where?
kur? Audio

More of the interrogative form, now in a sentence:

Questions + Rules
Latvian
where do you live?
[interrogative + verb]
kur tu dzīvo? Audio
does she speak Chinese?
[interrogative verb]
vai viņa prot ķīniešu valodu? Audio
how much is this?
[interrogative preposition]
cik tas maksā? Audio
can I help you?
[interrogative modal verb]
vai es varu jums palīdzēt? Audio
what is your name?
[interrogative preposition]
kā jūs sauc? Audio

Adverbs in Latvian

It's time to learn the adverbs in Latvian. 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
Latvian
now
tagad Audio
yesterday
vakar Audio
today
šodien Audio
tonight
šovakar Audio
tomorrow
rīt Audio
soon
drīz Audio
quickly
ātri Audio
slowly
lēnām Audio
together
kopā Audio
very
ļoti Audio
almost
gandrīz Audio
always
vienmēr Audio
usually
parasti Audio
sometimes
dažreiz Audio
rarely
reti Audio
never
nekad Audio

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

Adverbs + Rules
Latvian
do you understand me now?
[pronoun + adverb]
vai tagad jūs mani saprotat ? Audio
I need help immediately
[noun + adverb]
man nekavējoši ir vajadzīga palīdzība Audio
she is very intelligent
[adverb + adjective]
viņa ir ļoti gudra Audio
I will always love you
[verb + adverb]
es tevi mūžam mīlēšu Audio
can we learn German together?
[adverb in a question]
vai mēs nevarētu mācīties vācu valodu kopā? Audio

Pronouns in Latvian

We're almost done! This time we will learn the pronouns in Latvian. 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
Latvian
I
es Audio
you
tu/jūs Audio
he
viņš Audio
she
viņa Audio
we
mēs Audio
they
viņi /viņas//tie/tās Audio

Object Pronouns
Latvian
me
man /mani (accusative) Audio
you
tev, jums /tevi/jūs Audio
him
viņam /viņu Audio
her
viņai /viņu/viņas (posessive) Audio
us
mums /mūs Audio
them
viņiem /viņām//viņus/viņas//tiem/tām//tos/tās Audio

Possessive Pronouns
Latvian
my
mans /mana/mani/manas Audio
your
tavs/tava/tavi/tavas//jūsu Audio
his
viņa Audio
her
viņas Audio
our
mūsu Audio
their
viņu /to 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
Latvian
I am your friend
[1st pronoun + verb]
es esmu jūsu (tavs) draugs Audio
you speak very fast
[2nd pronoun + adverb]
jūs runājat ļoti ātri (tu runā ļoti ātri) Audio
he has three dogs
[3rd pronoun + verb]
viņam ir trīs suņi Audio
she can speak German
[3rd pronoun + verb]
viņa prot vācu valodu Audio
we will not come late
[1st plural pronoun]
mēs neieradīsimies vēlu Audio
they bought milk and bread
[3rd plural pronoun]
viņi nopirka pienu un maizi 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
Latvian
can you tell me your name?
[1st object pronoun]
vai jūs varat man pateikt savu vārdu? Audio
I will give you money
[2nd object pronoun]
es iedošu jums naudu Audio
she wrote him a letter
[3rd object pronoun]
viņa rakstīja viņam vēstuli Audio
they visited her yesterday
[3rd object pronoun]
viņi viņu apmeklēja vakar Audio
can she help us?
[1st pl. object pronoun]
vai viņa varētu mums palīdzēt? Audio
he gave them food
[3rd pl. object pronoun]
viņš viņiem pasniedza ēdienu Audio

Possessive Pronouns
Latvian
my name is Maya
[1st possessive pronoun]
mans vārds ir maya Audio
your brother lives here
[2nd possessive pronoun]
tavs brālis dzīvo šeit Audio
her mother cooks for us
[3rd possessive pronoun]
viņas māte mums gatavo ēdienu Audio
his hobby is reading books
[3rd possessive pronoun]
viņa hobijs ir grāmatu lasīšana Audio
our dream is to visit Paris
[1st pl. possessive pronoun]
mūsu sapnis ir apmeklēt parīzi Audio
their house is not far
[3rd pl. possessive pronoun]
viņu māja nav tālu Audio

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

Demonstrative Pronouns
Latvian
this is my house
šī ir mana māja Audio
that restaurant is far
šis restorāns ir tālu Audio
these apples are delicious
šie āboli ir garšīgi Audio
those stars are shiny
tās zvaigznes ir mirdzošas Audio

I hope you learned a lot about the Latvian grammar in this lesson. If you have any question about this lesson please contact me here. The next lesson is below, have fun!

Latvian Phrases   Latvian Phrases

Latvian Vocabulary   Latvian Vocabulary



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