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Lesson Seven - the past tense

Over the past lessons, you have now learnt that the Bulgarian verb has two aspects, respectively called the ‘imperfective’ and the ‘perfective’.

In order to make things easier for you, I chose to introduce them as green and red last time and this very code of colours will be used each time we encounter them in their appropriate use.

Now that you master how to talk about events in the present and the future tense, I think it’s time for you to learn to talk about events that occurred in the past. Please note that the lesson has remained unstressed as all the words have been seen in previous lessons.







Build Strength

As usual, we will first provide the answers to the exercises from the last lesson. Check your own work and notes to see how much you got right. First exercise was to translate from 'phonetic' Bulgarian into cyrillic Bulgarian:

1. Tazi kashta e stara Тази къщта е стара
2. Iskam da kupia edna stara kashta v Balgaria Искам да купя една стара къщта в България
3. Ima li tuk byuro za obmiana na valuta? Има ли тук бюро за обмяна на валута
4. Mislia tshe tazi kashta e krasiva i goliama Мисля че, тази къщта е красива и голяма
5. Kade e byuroto za obmiana na valuta? Къде е бюрото за обмяна на валута
6. Byuroto e blizo ottuk Бюрото е близо оттук
7. Iskame da otkrivame ofis v Sofia Идкаме да откриваме офис в София
8. Kade e ofisat? Ofisat e v stolitzata na Balgaria
Къде е офисът Офисът е д столицата на България

You then had to choose the proper ending to the words to express “THE”:

1. куфарът
2. чантата
3. сутринта
4. дървото
5. кафето
6. леглото
7. захара
8. дупката
9. офисът
10. колата

Translation of the short text into Bulgarian:

Казвам се Марк. Аз съм англичанин и живея в България. България е красива страна. Времето е часто хубаво там. Сега, аз съм в България за 2 седмици. Искам да купя един апартамент във Варна. Днес лошо ми е - аз съм болен.

Translation of Bulgarian sentences into English:

1. Every day, I have lunch at twelve.
2. I don’t have any money. I can’t buy stamps.
3. I get up early every morning.
4. I have breakfast with a sandwich with kashkaval.
5. Tomorrow, I leave for Sofia for three weeks.
6. I don’t have time. I am busy.
7. This flat is very big.
8. It’s sunny today. The weather is very nice.
9. The car is new.
10. We can speak Bulgarian well now.

Translation of Bulgarian questions into English:

1. How much does this house cost?
2. Where do you buy yoghurt?
3. What time do you have breakfast every morning?
4. How do you pay for your purchases?
5. When do you leave for Burgas?

Possible answers to the five questions from above (don't worry if you choose different ones!):

1. Тази къщта струда 100,000 лева
2. Аз купя мляко кисело на пазара
3. Закусвам в 7 часа
4. Заплащам за покупките си с кредитна карта
5. Тръгвам за Бургас рано

Make Progress

As I said it at the beginning of the lesson, it’s important for you to know how to talk about events occurring in the past. One of the major Bulgarian tenses of the past is called the “Aorist”, a word you may not even bother trying to remember once you know how things work! It may appear to you as something very difficult to learn, but as with other things you’ll get used to it in the end. Although you may feel tempted to make comparisons with English tenses, try not to, as it would bring more confusion and will impair your learning progress.

This tense will help you talk about events that took place at a precise moment in the past and the events you are talking about are not often repeated. They involve the speaker because he has experienced things he wants other people to know about. It is used with the perfective aspect of the verb.

Now that you are aware of the three different groups of the Bulgarian verb, we’ll explain the way this tense is built with the help of the table below.

Съм : to be
Бях, Беше, Беше, Бяхме, Бяхте, Бяха

Try to translate the following sentences into English:

Ходихте ли в Рила заедно ?
Да, разбира се.
Закусихме рано и тръгнахме.
Видяхме приятели там.
Всичко беше много весело.
След това ние с Иво ходихме в Самоков.
Беше един приятен ден за всички.

Practice Makes Perfect

Because you are not familiar yet with this form of the past tense, I thought we won’t have you translate any sentences from English into Bulgarian but rather have you find the proper endings of the verbs.

Read the short text below and translate, choosing the correct ending:

Вчера ние (тръгна) рано за София, защото времето (съм) много хубаво. (имам) много работа там в офис. След обяд (ходя) заедно на гарата. (искам) да купим билет на влак за брат ми.

Успех и до скоро! Good luck and see you soon! Catherine