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Dr. Tamar Makharoblidze a short Grammar of Georgian Introduction Georgian

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6. Pronouns
6.1. Personal pronouns

I            me

You          shen

She/he/it     is

We          chven

You          tkven

They         isini
The I-II personal pronouns don’t change forms. The forms of the personal pronouns of the II person (singular and plural) lose the last consonant “n” in the vocative, especially when they are used with nouns: shen (nom.) - shen! or she k’atso (voc.)

tkven (nom.) - tkven! or tkve khalkho – you people! (voc.)

The III person singular “is” is used for “she,” “he” and “it”. There is no difference in gender. There is no grammatical gender in Georgian, but the III person pronouns expose the space location towards the first person - the speaking person.
es         sing. This, near the first person

eg         sing. This, near the second person (that near you)

is (igi)  sing.  That, far from the first/second persons

eseni      Pl. These, near the first person.

egeni      Pl. These, near the second person.

isini       Pl. Those, far from the first/second persons

The III person pronouns don’t form all cases, unless they are produced artificially.
Flexion of the III person personal pronouns:


Nom. es eg igi is

Erg. aman magan man iman

Dat. amas magas mas imas

Gen. -----------------------------------

Instr. amit magit mit imit

Adv. amad magad mad imad

Voc. -----------------------------------


Nom. eseni egeni igini isini

Erg. amat magat mat imat

Dat. amat magat mat imat

Gen. ----------------------------------------

Instr. ----------------------------------------

Adv. ----------------------------------------

Voc. ----------------------------------------

6. 2. Demonstrative pronouns
This/that these/those - es /eg/ is, eseni /egeni/isini

This kind, such – aseti/iseti/egeti, amistana/imistana/magistana, amnairi/magnairi/imanairi

     Flexion of demonstrative pronouns with nouns:


es kali

Eg kali

is  kali

es/eg/is kelebi


am kalma

mag kalma

im kalma

am/mag/im kelebma


am kals

mag kals

im kals

am/mag/im kelebs


am kalis

mag kalis

im kalis

am/mag/im kelebis


am kalit

mag kalit

im kalit

am/mag/im kelebit


am kalad

mag kalad

im kalad

am/mag/im kelebad






6. 3. 1. Possessive pronouns
My           chemi

Your          sheni

His/hers/its    misi / amisi / imisi

Our          chveni

Your         tkveni

Their         mati / amati / imati

The third person possessive pronouns repeat the same kind of space exposition as done in personal pronouns. Compare: es/is/eg, eseni/egeni/ isini and sing. misi - amisi - imisi; pl. mati - amati - imati
Actually the prefix “a”- shows the distance near the first person, while prefix “i”- exposes the opposite – far from the first/second persons. (As the second person is a member of communication and it is always near the first person.)
6. 3. 2. Flexion of possessive pronouns

The flexion of possessive pronouns look like others of the same type of consonant-stem-final adjectives and nouns.









I person singular








II person singular








III person singular








I person plural








II person plural








IIII person plural








The same flexion model used for adjectives with nouns is used for possessive pronouns with nouns, but the possessive pronouns keep the dative case marker:
Nom. chemi megobari chemi megobrebi

Erg. chemma megobarma chemma megobrebma

Dat. chems megobars chems megobrebs

Gen. chemi megobris chemi megobrebis

Instr. chemi megobrit chemi megobrebit

Adv. chem megobrad chem megobrebad

Voc. chemo megobaro chemo megobrebo

6. 4. Reflexive pronouns

Himself – tviton or tavad; His/her/its own - tavisi. These pronouns are produced from tavi (head).

6. 5. Indefinite pronouns

vinme (somebody), vighats (someone), rame (something), raghats (something), romelighats (something), rogorighats (somehow), romelime (any), ramdenime (a few).

6. 6. Definite pronouns

erti (one), k’atsi (human, somebody), zogi (some people), zogierti (somebody), skhva (other), ertmaneti or erturti (each-other).

6. 7. Interrogative pronouns

vin? (who?) ra? (what?), rogori? (what kind?) sadauri? (where from?) rodindeli? (from when?) ramdeni? (how much?) romeli? (which?)

6. 8. Directional pronouns are produced from interrogative pronouns by adding the particle “ts.”

vints (who), rats (what), rogorits (that kind) sadaurits (where from) rodindelits (from when) ramdenits (how/that much) romelits (which).

We expose the universal regulation - The general semantic categories are universal for any language. The semantics of the class-category is also universal. Different languages expose the regulations by diverse types of linguistic models giving the priority to the dominant categories. The Indo-European languages have three forms of gender, Iberian languages have a category of animate and inanimate things; some other languages have different signs for such classification, such as systems of religious or social signs for proper identification etc.

In the Kartvelian languages we have the semantic category of classes not only in the diachronic level. This category is not productive in the temporary system of the Kartvalian languages and it has the tendency of disappearing. But still on the synchronic level in Georgian this category is exposed in morphology and syntax: In noun groups, in case and plural systems, in participles, in different groups of pronouns, in verbs (makvs/mq’avs), in proverbs, etc.

In our opinion ergative markers in Georgian and Svan m/man come from the pronouns relating to the human, the who category (from me, mare- a man, Svan.). The same origin has m - the first person object marker and v - the first person subject marker; in mi-mo proverbs the center of orientation is the first person, expressed by m having the proper opposition - ts.

The general diathesis of the category of person is animate-inanimate /who-what semantics. This category is very well exposed in the semantics of the different groups of Georgian pronouns. The personal and demonstrative pronouns have the rest of the class category opposition of s- m. The marker of ergative follows the forms in the other cases:

Nom. is

Erg. m-a-n (“n” is the later marker of ergative)

Dat. m-a-s

Gen. m-is(i)

Inst.( i)-m-it

Adve. (i)-m-ad

Whatever we think about affix “a”, either consider this with the previous consonant or take it as an inter-consonant vowel, in spite of this, we must say that the ergative declination is quite clear in the Georgian language. This is the same model of declination as in the other Caucasian languages.

In the Georgian language the class category is within the whole language system. It’s spread by pronouns into the noun declination and verbal conjugation. It is properly exposed in the poly-personal verbal system. The class category appears in the basic semantics of the each category of the poly-personal verb. The verbal category of the personal relationship inside the verb of course is connected with the class category. The who-what semantic category is the base for many categories in the language, although in the modern language it has no referents itself – except for just a few forms. Being a base semantic category for many other categories is the reason why there is no need for it to be exposed with proper morphological referents.

For typological comparison: There are different forms for the different classes in the Basque language; for example, the post position “for” has the different references for animate and un-animate nouns. Basque also has so called allocutives in the verb showing the gender for the second verbal person (subject, direct object and indirect object). It has feminine and masculine gender, while there is no gender in the pronouns and nouns in the Basque language. This is a very interesting fact that the Basque language has the two types of class categories – gender and who-what category. These categories produce the proper systems in the language.

The universal classification scheme of the class category:

  1. Human

1. a. Female

1. b. Male

1. c. Neutral (child)
2. Thing

2. A. Animated

2. A. a. Female

2. A. b. Male

2. A. c. Neutral

2. B Inanimate

2. B. a. Classes by the different signs (size, color, forth, light, dynamic, growth, astronomical things, religious units etc.)

2. B. b. Anything else
According to empirical data the simpler this scheme looks the level of abstraction is higher in a language. The category of classes is a universal linguistic phenomena and each language has to expose this somehow showing its individuality.

8. Numerals
8.1. Numerals of quantity
The Georgian system of numbers is based on a counting system of 20. The numbers more than 20 and less than 100 are compound and the first number is composed of one or more 20's and then the remaining number is added. For example, 77 is expressed as “sam-ots-da-chvidmet’i” (lit. three-times-twenty and seventeen)
The numerals 11-19 are produced by the following scheme: ati (ten)+ the figure. The first vowel “a” and the nominative case marker ‘i’ are missing, ati t. 13 (t+s=ts), 17(t+sh=ch), 18(rv->vr), 19 have some phonetic changes.

1 erti

2 ori

3 sami

4 otkhi

5 khuti

6 ekvsi

7 shvidi

8 rva

9 tskhra

10 ati

11 tertmet’i

12 tormet’i

13 tsamet’i

14 totkhmet’i

15 tkhutmet’i

16 tekvsmet’i

17 chvidmet’i

18 tvramet’i

19 tskhramet’i

20 otsi 25  - otsdakhuti,  26 - otsdaekvsi 

30 - otsdaati     31 – otsdatertmet’i,  37 – otsdachvidmet’i

40 - ormotsi            42  - ormotsdaori

50 - ormotsdaati       57 -  ormotsdachvidmet’i

60 - samotsi             69  -  samotsdatskhra

70 - samotsdaati        79   -  samotsdatskhramet’i

80 - otkhmotsi           81  -  otkhmotsdaerti

90 - otkhmotsdaati      98  -  otkhmotsdatvramet’i

100 - asi   200 - orasi,  300 -  samasi,  400 - otkhasi,  etc.

1000 - atasi              1000 000 -  milioni

Millard  -  miliardi    Uncountable -  utvalavi

Georgian doesn’t use plurals with numerals – unlike English, for example. Compare: Six books, five notebooks with ekvsi ts’igni (not tsc’ignebi), khuti rveuli (not rveulebi).

In Georgian nouns are used in singular with “many”, “much”, “a few” – unlike English.

Compare these Georgian-English forms: Many animals - mravali or bevri tskhoveli; A few persons - ramdenime adamiani.

8. 2. Numerals of order are produced by affixes “me-e.” Except “the first” – “p’irveli.” The final “a” is missing in merve (8-rva) and metskhre (9-tskhra).  Samples: ori – me-or-e (the second), sami – me-sam-e (the third), tkhutmet’i – metkhutme’t’-e (the 15th), otsi - me-ots-e (the 20th), etc.

8. 3. The partial numerals are produced from numerals of order by adding the adverbial case marker: meore-d-i or nakhevari (half); mesame-d-i, moetkhe-d-i, mekhute-d-i, etc. The marker of the adverbial case “-ad” acts as a derivation marker.
All numerals have the same type of flexion as nouns and numerals with nouns following the declination model of adjectives with nouns.

9. Adverbs
9. 1. The adverbs of manner
Most adverbs are produced from the adverbial case of adjectives. (Some of them lose the case marker consonant, the final “-d”) neli - nela (slowly), chkari - chkara (quickly),  k’argi- k’arga/k’argad (well/OK), maghali – maghla (up), dabali - dabla (down), etc. 

nela, chkara, k’arga/k’argad, tsudad/avad (badly/ill);  utseb/utsbat/utsabedad - suddenly,  shemtkhvevit or  uneblied - accidentally, autsileblad - for sure.

9. 2. The adverbs of place
Near - akhlos  Next - gverdze  Far - shors  or moshorebit

Nearby - shoriakhlos

Up -  zemot or maghla or aghma (directed)

Down  - kvemot or dabla or daghma (directed)

Here - ak /aket /akve/aketk'en/akedan  

There - ik /iket /ikve/iketk'en/ikedan  

In front -  ts’in           Behind – uk’an

Right  - marjvniv        Left  -  martskhniv

Correct side – ts’aghma         Wrong side – uk’ughma

Some places - zoggan or alag-alag or adgil-adgil (“place” is alagi or adgili)

Very often these adverbs produce new compound words by joining to the opposite words: shoriakhlos (nearby), ts’aghma-uk’ughma (front and behind), ts’in da uk’an (before and behind), zemot-kvemot (up and down), aka-ika (some places), aket-ikit (here and there), alag-alag (at some places), adgil-adgil (at some places).


9. 3. The adverbs of time

Today – dghes;   Tomorrow- khval;   Yesterday - gushin;

The day before yesterday – gushints’in;

The day after tomorrow - zeg;   In 2 days - mazeg;

This year- ts’els;  Last year - sharshan;  Next year - gaisad;

Often – khshirad;  Seldom - ishviatad;

Sometimes - zogjer or  khandakhan or drodadro;

Always – sul / (sul) mudam or (sul) q’oveltvis or q’oveldros;

Never - arasdros /arasodes;

Immediately -  ts’amierad  or  mq’isve  or mashinve;

Now  - akhla; Right now - akhlave 

Then - mashin;

After - mere  or  shemdeg

Ever - odesme

Mostly – umet’esad

9. 4. Adverbs of purpose     
For this - amad/amistvis

for that - magad /magistvis and imad/imistvis

9. 5. Adverbs of reason
Because of this - amitom  

Because of that  - imitom or magitom

9. 6. Adverbs of measure
Once - ertkhel, Twice – orjer, 3 times – samjer, 4 times - otkhjer, etc. Suffix “-jer” produces these adverbs.

Quite/fully - sruliad or savsebit or q’ovlad

Completely/fully – mtlianad,  Partially – nats’ilobriv

Less – tsot’a / tsot’ati;    Little by little – tsot’a-tsot’a,

More – met’ad or met’ts’ilad (mainly), More or less met’nak’lebad,

Very - dzalian

9. 7. Interrogative adverbs

Where? - sad? When - rodis?

Why?- rat’om? How? – rogor?  What for?- ristvis?

9. 8. Adverbs as conjunctions
The particle “-ts” produces conjunctions from these interrogative adverbs – sadats, rodesats, rat’omats, ristvisats, rogorts/rogorats. These words are used in complex sentences as conjunctions.


10. The conjunctions and particles

And - da;   That/if – rom;   But - magram;  Though - tumtsa;

while/till - sanam / manam (manam… sanam);  Than/till - vidre;             However / but - kholo;  On the other hands/but – k’i;

Or (either or) - an (…an);  Or - tu / tuk’I;

Sometimes - khan (…khan);  But however - aramed;

Because – imit’om;  Therefore – amit’om or mashasadame; Because of /for - radganats;

i.e. – ese igi;   Or else – torem;  Which - romelits; 

Such as – rogorits; That/whatever - rats;  Whoever - vints;  However - rogorts / tumtsa; As many/much - ramdenits;   

May-be - ikneb;  Affirmative – khom;  Really? (doubting) - gana;

Order intensification - aba;   I wish/wonder  - netavi or netav;

Already – uk’ve;   Almost  -  titkmis/lamis /k’inagham;

Apparently - turme;  Repetition (of action) -  kholme.

11. Interjections

Calling (mots’odeba) - aba! ai! ei! au! hei! hai

Wish (natvra) – net’av, net’avi, -mts

Sorrow (mts’ukhareba) - vai! vaime! vui! ui! uime! ah! oh! apsus! oi! uh! o!

Joy (sikharuli) - vakh! vahsa! ura!

Exclamation (aghtatseba) – bich’os! q’ochag’! barakala! vasha! dideba! vasha-dideba!

Surprise (gakvirveba) - vaa! au! vah! ah!

Swear (pitsi/pitsili) - ghmertmani! shemma mzem! Dedashvilobam! da-dzmobam!

Affectionate (saalerso) - genatsvale, getaq’va(ne).

12. Infinitive
In Georgian infinitives are used as nouns, although they are produced from verbs. They can receive case markers. The most infinitives are produced by the suffix “-a”: ts’er-a (to write), khat’v-a (to paint), mushaob-a (to work), pren-a (to fly), etc. Some infinitives have -om, -ol, -il, -ul endings. A few infinitives are produced by “si-il” and “si-ul.”

a. k’vdoma - to die, ndoma - to want, jdoma - to sit, skhdoma - to sit (meeting), sk'doma - to break out, sh(v)roma - to work/to do, ts’vdoma - to reach, t’q’doma - to break, kht’oma-to jump;

b. brdzola - to fight, krola - to blow, ts’ola - to lie, q’ola - to have;

c. dughili - to boil, ts’ukhili - to worry, kukhili - to thunder, dumili -silent, t’q’uili-to lay, t’k’ivili - pain, q’muili - to wail, bghavili - to moan, k’navili - to mew, q’virili - to shout, t’irili - to cry;

d. sik’vdili - death, sirbili - to run, sitsili - to laugh, shimshili -hunger (this is assimilated from simshili);

siq’varuli - love, sikharuli- joy, sibraluli - to feel pity/sorry for, siaruli - to walk.

The infinitives can have the proverbs showing different direction: misvla, mosvla, gaprena, shemoprena, gadarbena, etc.
Infinitives can appear after modal verbs. Compare:


a. shemidzlia/minda dakhat’va/dats’era - infinitive

b. shemidzlia/minda davkhat’o/davts’ero - II subjunctive

Future (II series)

a. shemedzleba/mendomeba dakhat’va/dats’era - infinitive

b. shemedzleba/mendomeba davkhat’o/davts’ero - II subjunctive
Past (II series)

a. shemedzlo/mindoda dakhat’va/dats’era - infinitive

b. shemedzlo/mindoda damekhat’a/damets’era -II Turmeobiti (The 10th row in the III series)

13. Participle
Usually participles are used as nouns or adjectives.

  1. The participles of transitive verbs are produced by the following affixes: m-, me-el, m-ar/al. damts’eri (one, who wrote), mts’erali (writer), mkhat’vari (painter), masts’avlebeli (teacher), etc.

  2. The future participles of passive are produced by affixes sa- and s-el: (da)sats’eri (something to write), (da)sakhat’i (something to paint), (ga)saketebeli (something to do), etc.

The past participles of passive are produced by the following affixes: -il, -ul, na-, m-ar. dats’erili (written), gaketebuli (made), nakhat’i (picture/painted), dakhatuli (painted), damdnari (melted) etc.
These participles can have negative forms as well, produced by u- and u-el: daukhat’avi (unpainted), dauts’ereli (unwritten), etc.

14. Derivation
Derivation is very rich in Georgian. Word derivation by adding the definite prefixes and suffixes produce many new nouns and adjectives from one root. For example: k’atsi (man), uk’atso (without a man), uk’atsrieli (no human existence place), sak’atse (something for man), k’atsuri (manly), k’atsoba (manhood), k’atsiani (with/having a man), arakatsi (bad man/no-man).
ant’i-(opposite) ant’i-rusuli (Anti-Russian), ant’i-kartuli (Anti-Georgian);

-izm and -ist - k’omunizmi /k’omunisti (communism/communist)

Like -nairi, -tana, -peri -gvari   k’atsistana (like a man), kalisnairi (like a woman), chemperi (like me), shengvari (like you).
Geographical names are produced by sa-o, sa-et, -et

sakartvelo, saprangeti, ruseti  

Destinative meaning/(for) is produced by the affixes: sa-e, sa-o, sa-ur sakatme - for hens; sazghvao - for sea; sapekhuri -for step.

sa-ur is seldom used sataguri - for mouse.

Abstract nouns are produced by si-e, -oba, -eba,    silamaze (beauty); bavshvoba (childhood); bedniereba (happiness).

Origin is produced by -el, (for human) -ur/ul  (for things), The suffix -ul is dissimilated form of the suffix -ur. Usually Georgian doesn't accept two 'r'-s in one word unless there is one "l" between them. Compare: azia-aziuri, kartli-kartluri, korea-koreuli. Only foreign words may have two 'r'-s.

Origin is also produced by -iur,  -del, -eul   tbiliseli (Tbilisian), kartuli (Georgian), gushindeli (from yesterday), mziuri (sunny), dediseuli (from mother).

Specialty is produced by me-e and me-ur (less used)   mebag’e (gardener), mezg’vauri (sailor).
Diminutive forms are produced by –ik’(a), -ik’o, -uk’, -a, -ilo/a, -un

The first two suffixes –ik’(a), -ik’o, are widely used for personal nouns. besik’i, tamrik’o, sosik’a, anuk’i, vaj’a, tamila, dedilo, mamilo, tamuna, k’atsuna (a small man – satirically).

Previous situation is produced by affixes na-ev and na-ar. nakmrevi (a woman, who had a husband before), natsolari (a man, who had a wife before). 
Possessive forms are produced with -ian, -osan, -ovan, (-ier, -a very seldom). tsoliani (married man with wife), kmriani (married woman with husband), gulovani (brave, with heart), goni (brain)  gonieri (clever),  ghone (strength) – ghonieri (strong).
Negative forms are produced by u-o and u-ur. ukhelo  (without a hand), uts’ignuri (not-educated from tsigni - book).


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