I have learned "they" is "вони" in Ukrainian, but what if I want to say "they are"? Do I have to change anything? For example, in the following sentences, I do not understand how 'they' is made to become 'they are' according to the chosen word after вони.

  1. "вони тако́ж там" | "They are also there" |

(також has the meaning 'also' and in this case appears to change the usage of вони into 'they are'.)

  1. "вони́ ще надво́рі" | `"They are still out" |

(ще has the meaning 'more' and once again appears to change the usage of вони into 'they are'.)

Are my translations correct? I am looking for further clarification.

  • 5
    Related: conventions for the omission of verb є Commented Jul 28, 2018 at 16:27
  • 1
    Ukrainian also has old form (ukr) of бути for present time: I amя єсмь, you areти еси, isєсть, You areви єсте, they areвони суть. Today old form єсть also can be as є: я єсть, ти єсть. Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 19:29

1 Answer 1


English and Ukrainian are somewhat opposite for conjugation of verbs in present indefinite.

P-n \ N-r  Singular          Plural
1-st       (I) see           (we) see
2-nd       (you) see         (you) see
3-rd       (he/she/it) sees  (they) see

P-n \ N-r  Singular          Plural
1-st       (I) am            (we) are
2-nd       (you) are         (you) are
3-rd       (he/she/it) is    (they) are

In English most of verbs have only two forms for present indefinite (see and sees); the notable exception is the verb to be, which has 4 forms.

In Ukrainian most of verbs have 6 forms for present indefinite; the notable exception is the Ukrainian equivalent of the verb to be, which has a single form.

P-n \ N-r  Singular            Plural
1-st       (I) бачу            (we) бачимо
2-nd       (you) бачиш         (you) бачите
3-rd       (he/she/it) бачить  (they) бачать

P-n \ N-r  Singular            Plural
1-st       (I) є               (we) є
2-nd       (you) є             (you) є
3-rd       (he/she/it) є       (they) є

To be in present indefinite not only has a single form (unlike most of other verbs), but also usually is omitted from the sentence.

You're absolutely right about translations, but absolutely wrong about explanations. Neither the word also, nor the word still change the meaning of the word вони. Everything is much simpler: absence of verbs in a sentence makes it (the sentence) to be interpreted as there's somewhere an omitted є in it. (If Google Translate made you to think that words also or still matter for interpreting вони — never mind, it may be just the way Google Translate works, but not the way the Ukrainian language works.)

In many of the cases when є is usually omitted, you're still allowed to put it. But putting it may change the meaning of the sentence a bit: sometimes it would introduce emphasis like putting unnecessary do into positive sentences in English (I want it vs. I do(!) want it), sometimes it would emphasize the fact of existence of something over its location, sometimes it would just make the sentence to sound unnaturally. In sentences describing physical location of something, є is almost never used (if for some reason you want to put a verb there, it's better to put перебуває "is located" than є).

Also please note that everything I've said about omitting є above is related to present indefinite. In continuous tenses, we also don't use є, but the reason is quite different: we simply build continuous tenses in other way (that's not just about omitting an unneeded word anymore). In the past and future indefinite we still use equivalents of to be (був/була/було/були for past and буду/будемо/будеш/будете/буде/будуть for future).

See also: Conventions for the omission of verb `Є`

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