13.3 - Revisiting the past

Compared to the future perfective and present, the past imperfective and perfective are fairly straightforward and have been covered in some detail in Unit 8. There are few true exceptions (see page 8.2), but there are a small number of verbs, with stems ending in consonants, which do not follow the pattern in the masculine, and which may therefore be difficult to recognise in a text. We will not go into the reasons for this, but suggest you learn the most frequently occurring verbs like this, given below:

infinitive  past tense compounds and some other verbs like this
могти (змогти)
be able
міг (зміг), могла, могло, могли допомогти, перемогти
lead, take someone (on foot)
вів, вела etc довести, провести, привести
ніс, несла принести, занести
convey by transport
віз, везла привезти
put, place
клав, клала красти, впасти, плисти
become used to
alternative forms (with/without -ну):
звик / звикнув
звикла / звикнула
звикли / звикнули
слабнути, сохнути, бліднути, мокнути, мерзнути
бігти (побігти)
біг, бігла забігти, вибігти, запобігти
ліз, лізла залізти, прилізти, вилізти, гризти
ріс, росла  
їв (з'їв), їла  
іти / йти
go (on foot)
ішов / йшов, ішла / йшла піти, вийти, прийти, пройти, підійти, дійти

The past gerund

The function of the present (imperfective) gerund was explained on pages 12.2 and 12.3. The past (perfective) gerund is just as useful to describe one action happening before another, as in:

Вимкнувши світло, він заснув. Having turned out (turning out) the light, he went to sleep.

It can also be used to describe one action being the consequence of another:

Вимкнувши світло в квартирі на одну годину, ви заощадите половину кіловата. By turning off the light in your apartment for half an hour, you will save half a kilowatt.

As you can see from the above examples, the past gerund is formed by adding the ending -ши to the masculine form of the past perfective, as in:

зробив-ши having done
з'їв-ши having eaten
написав-ши having written
пішов-ши having gone
відвідав-ши having visited

In certain contexts the past gerund is better translated as "by doing" or "doing".

To practise the past gerund, go to Exercise 13.3A.

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© 2007 Marta Jenkala