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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. 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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