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Letters 1 updated 2022-05-06 ^

About typing Ukrainian

We have seen many reports about the Ukrainian alphabet. Please read this post about typing in Ukrainian

A note about spelling Ukrainian words:

do not write in both Latin and Cyrillic, use either one or the other

e.g. Write "tse mama" or "це мама" - not "цe мaмa". Note how the vowels look different, the Latin "e" and the Cyrillic "е" are unfortunately NOT interchangeable.

Welcome!

Please make sure you read the following posts before you start the course:

We would like to welcome you to the Ukrainian for English speakers course. It is the official language of Ukraine but is also spoken in parts of Russia, Poland, Romania, The Czech Republic, Canada and many other countries! Despite what you may think, Ukrainian doesn't sound as Slavic as Polish or Russian, but more like Italian or Latin.

The Ukrainian language is written using a variant of the Cyrillic alphabet (just like Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian, etc.). In this skill you will learn 13 of the 33 letters. We will not present letters separately, but rather in simple words that contain them. Here you will learn the words that have the following letters:

Ukrainian Letter English Equivalent IPA
М м man [m]
А а awesome [ɑ]
Т т table* [t]
О о ball [ɔ]
І і see [i]
К к key* [k]
Д д dot* [d̪]
Е е ten [ɛ]
Х х loch [ɦ]
Ц ц cats* [t͡s]
Я я yard [jɑ]
Н н nose n]
И и like in hit but longer [ɪ]

*Note that sounds with asterisk aren't pronounced with a puff of air like in English.

There are no articles a/an, the in the Ukrainian language. The meaning of English articles is usually conveyed by the context. But sometimes words like this and that are used when translating. So for example; the word дім can mean "house", "a house" and "the house" depending on the context.

Although there are Present, Past and Future forms of Ukrainian verb to be - бути, it is rarely used in Present tense. English words is, am, are don't have Ukrainian counterparts. Thus, the English four-word sentence I am a student is just two words in Ukrainian: Я студент. In writing, when a sentence equates two nouns in a row, a long dash is written between the nouns to indicate the verb to be. For example, My sister is a student translates to Моя сестра — студентка.

Which form of and do I use?

In Ukrainian, there are four words that mean and; і, та, а and й. Three of them; і, та and й are all used to link similar things, the only reason we have so many is so we can switch them around to make the language flow and sound more melodic.

Strictly speaking, there are certain rules when to use which, but we do not impose them in this course to make it easier for beginners. Therefore, it is really up to you when to use which. :)

But on the other hand, а is used to contrast between two different things. It is kind of in the middle between "and" and "but" and most of the times it can be translated as either "and" or "but".

To see more on the Ukrainian language see this video

To see more on the Ukrainian alphabet see this post.

Or to see more on Ukrainian grammar, check out the Grammar Portal

Letters 2 updated 2022-05-06 ^

NEW LETTERS

In this skill you are learning the words that contain the following letters:

Ukrainian Letter English Equivalent IPA
С с small [s̪]
Ч ч chair [t͡ʃ]
Й й yoga, boy [j]
У у moon [u]
В в vase [v]
Б б book* [b]
Л л look [l]
Ї ї yeast [ji]
ь No sound, it's a soft sign that softens the previous consonant. Read more here -

*Note that sounds with asterisk aren't pronounced with a puff of air like in English.

YOU IN UKRAINIAN

Ви is a plural or singular formal you. It can be used to address to a group of people or to one person in a formal setting (like talking to a boss, an older person

Ти is a singular informal you, which can be used with friends, relatives, children.

You can read more on that here

ABOUT GENDER AND NUMBER OF NOUNS

Ukrainian nouns have gender (masculine, feminine, neuter) and number. Gender is fairly easy to define.

Gender Ending Example
Masculine consonant друг male friend
Feminine -а,-я школа school
Neuter -о,-е місто city

A trick to remember: "ah ya oh eh" sounds like "Hiya Owen"!

Nouns тато (dad) and дядько (uncle) don’t have a consonant ending, but for an obvious reason are considered masculine.

In plural form masculine and feminine nouns have ending и or і: маши́ни (cars); брати́ (brothers); студе́нти (students).

ABOUT PRONOUN-NOUN AGREEMENT

Pronouns that describe nouns also have gender and number and agree with nouns in form.

Masc. Fem. Neuter Plural
Чий бра́т? (whose brother?) Чия́ сестра́? (whose sister?) Чиє місто? (whose city?) Чиї батьки?(whose parents?)
Мій брат (my brother) Моя сестра (my sister) Моє місто (my city) Мої батьки (my parents)

Letters 3 updated 2021-09-25 ^

In this skill you will learn the words that contain the following letters:

Ukrainian Letter English Equivalent IPA
Ю ю youth [ju]
П п pool [p]
Р р A thrilled "r" like Spanish/Italian, read more here [r]
Є є yes [jɛ]
Ш ш shop [ʃ]
Щ щ street (read more below) [k]
Г г hill [ɦ]
З з zoo [z]
Ж ж treasure [ʒ]
Ф ф fox [f]

Pronunciation of щ

The sound that щ makes can be difficult for learners to learn but believe it or not, we use this sound in English a lot! Say the following words:

Note that the first three letters are pronounced sh-ch-r. If we remove the "r" sound we get the same sound as щ! Now say the same words without the "r" sound.

However...

In Modern Ukrainian, many people also pronounce it like a "sh" sound. But not just any sh sound. Here is a guide on the more casual pronunciation:

  1. Say "car" in a general American accent

  2. Stop! Keep your tongue in that final "r" position!

  3. Now make a "sh" sound with your mouth in that position.

Note that this is different to the "sh" in "ship" (which is the sound ш makes)

A quick note on verbs

Ukrainian verbs, just like verbs in many other languages, have conjugations, that is, depending on a personal pronoun a verb takes a different ending. For example: я їм (I eat), ви їсте́ (you eat); я люблю́ (I like), ви любите (you like).

Ukrainian verb infinitives (initial forms of verbs you find in dictionaries) always have ending –ти. For example: пити (to drink); я люблю пити сік (I like to drink juice).

Ukraine-specific vocabulary

One word in this section might be confusing for foreigners if they are not familiar with it. Here is a picture to demonstrate:

Борщ (borshch) - a Ukrainian soup

Source: Wikipedia

Phrases updated 2020-11-21 ^

These are all 33 letters of Ukrainian alphabet in order. We did not cover letter Ґ, because words with this letter are rare.


Having a conversation in Ukrainian

Like English, Ukrainian has more than one way of greeting people:

There are of course other phrases but you will learn them as time goes on. These are standard phrases everyone should know.

Saying your name

In Ukrainian there are two forms for saying/asking for names. They are 100% interchangeable!

Asking how you are

In Ukrainian, there are two ways to ask someone how they are, but each one has a slightly different meaning.

"Як справи?" (lit. how (are) things) is used to ask how someone is doing. They might reply with a lengthy answer such as "*I'm fine, thanks for asking, I went to the village yesterday and you'll never guess who I saw...". A good alternate translation would be "Any news?/How are you doing?"

"Як ти/ви?" (lit. how (are) you) is used to ask how someone is feeling. Similar to the English "How are you holding up?"


Note on Ukrainian Culture - Smiling and feeling"

In Ukraine, asking how someone is, does not work as simple as in English:

In Ukraine, asking how someone is, is seen as a kind and lovely question to ask. You don't simply pass a stranger and ask it. People will often reply with long and honest answers about their life and how they are feeling for example "I'm not so good today because...". Also, not listening to what they have to say after asking the question is seen as quite rude.

You may notice that Ukrainians (and Eastern Europeans in general) smile less than most other Europeans and especially Americans! This is not because they are sad but rather it is seen as a bit odd to smile while doing your shopping, walking down the street and other everyday activities. Of course, Ukrainians do smile but just not as often as most people :)

Animals updated 2022-05-06 ^

If you are too lazy to read it all look for the "Summary" headings at the end of each section.

About Grammatical Gender

In Ukrainian, all nouns have a gender (just like Spanish, German, Russian, French). In Ukrainian, there are three grammatical genders; masculine, feminine and neuter. Essentially, everything in Ukrainian (including non-living things such as chairs, socks and cities) are all a he, she or an it. Unlike some languages, guessing what gender a noun is easy, just learn these rules and you'll know 90% of Ukrainian noun's genders.

Now, like any language Ukrainian obviously has exceptions. Words relating to men are usually masculine (тато, дядько) nouns ending in can be any gender but the majority are feminine and the exception to the consonant rule is суддя.

Gender - Summary

To learn the endings quickly, we use a trick called Hiya Owen.

All together, the endings sounds like Hiya Owen! The only other rule you need to remember is that nouns ending in double-consonant+я are neuter e.g. жи*ття

You can read more about gender of Ukrainian nouns here and here.

About plural of nouns

In this lesson you will learn a couple of new nouns in plural form. They follow the same rule as all Ukrainian nouns. Ukrainian by nature isn't a very irregular language, so by learning this rule you'll be an Ukrainian-plural expert in no time!

Here are the basic rules, you can find more information here and here

Feminine

Hard Soft Mixed
Мама - Мами Диня - Дині Груша - Груші

Learn more here

Masculine

Hard Soft Mixed
Брат - Брати День - Дні Читач - Читачі
Лікар - Лікарі
Водій - Водії

Learn more

Neuter Nouns

Hard Soft Mixed
Місто - Міста Море - Моря Прізвище - Прізвища

Many loan words don't change such as метро (subway/metro), авто (car, from German "das Auto") and медіа (media).

You can learn more about hard, soft and mixed nouns here

You can read more about gender and plural forms of Ukrainian nouns here, here and here.

Plural Summary

Agreement

Adjectives, possessive pronouns (and sometimes verbs) always agree with their noun, but we will learn more about that later.

To see more on Ukrainian nouns check out the this post

Family updated 2022-05-06 ^

About To Have In Ukrainian

Like saying your name, to have is not translated word for word in Ukrainian. Even though there is a verb to have in Ukrainian it requires a thing called case, something that you haven't learned yet. There is a brief description of the verb at the bottom but it's best to use the first form when beginning. There is pretty difference and both forms are correct in 99.9% of situations.

У себе бути - First Form

This form literally translates into "At one to be". To put it into the present tense just change the себе to one of the words used when saying your name and change the бути to є in the present tense. So "I have" would be "У мене є, literally meaning "To me there is". Let's take some examples.

Here is the full verb in the present tense.

Ukrainian English Transliteration
У мене є I have U mene ye
У тебе є You have (singular and informal) U tebe ye
У його є He/It has U yoho ye
У її є He has U yiyi ye
У нас є We have U nas ye
У вас є You have (plural and formal) U vas ye
У їх є They have U yikh ye

Мати - Second Form

This form works just like a normal verb but there's a twist you have to change the following words ending! This is quite complicated if you are just starting and you don't need to learn it until a later skill. But if you do want to learn it; Read this post on the grammar portal and check out the table below.

Ukrainian English Transliteration
Я маю I have Ya mayu
Ти маєш You have (singular and informal Ty mayesh
Він має He has Vin maye
Вона має She has Vona maye
Воно має It has Vono maye
Ми маємо We have My mayemo
Ви маєте You have (plural and formal Vy mayut'
Вони мають They have Vony mayut'

Words/Phrases Taught In This Skill

Numbers 1 updated 2022-05-06 ^

About gender of numerals

Ukrainian cardinal numerals “один” (one) and “два” (two) have gender forms:

один брат - one brother (masculine); одна сестра - one sister (feminine); одне місто - one city (neuter)

два брати - two brothers (masculine); дві сестри - two sisters (feminine)

Masculine form of two is also used with neuter nouns:

два міста - two cities (neuter); два села – two villages (neuter)

So, when using numerals “один” (one) and “два” (two) with nouns, match the gender form of a numeral and a noun:

один студент (masculine)

одна студентка (feminine)

одне місто (neuter)

два студенти (masculine plural)

дві студентки (feminine plural)

About using numbers with nouns

In Ukrainian language nouns, when used with numerals, take different number and case forms. In this lesson you will learn different forms of nouns which are used with different numerals.

With numeral “one” and all numerals that end with “one” (21, 41, 191) nouns are used in Nominative singular form:

один рік/студент (Nominative singular masculine) одна машина/студентка (Nominative singular feminine)

With numerals “two” “three” and “four” and all numerals that end with “two”, “three” and “four” (22, 43, 194, etc.) nouns are used in Nominative plural form:

два, три, чотири роки/студенти (Nominative plural masculine) дві, три, чотири машини/студентки (Nominative plural feminine)

With all other numerals nouns are used in Genitive plural form:

5, 6, 7, 8 … років/студентів/машин/студенток (Genitive plural)

Numbers 11, 12, 13, and 14 are exception to this rule. They all are followed with nouns in Genitive plural form:

11, 12, 13, 14 … років/студентів/машин/студенток (Genitive plural)

The rule of making Genitive Plural of nouns is pretty complicated and is not explained in this course. We recommend you to just memorize the Genitive form of nouns you will use in this lesson.

Nominative singular Nominative plural Genitive plural
used with numeral 1 and all numerals ending with 1 used with numerals 2,3,4 and all numerals ending with 2,3,4, except for "teens" used with all other numerals, including "teens"
рік роки років
студент студенти студентів
машина машини машин
студентка студентки студенток
About telling age in Ukrainian

The way we say our age in Ukrainian is quite different from English. A word-to-word translation of a phrase “мені 20 років” is “to me it is 20 years”. Pronoun “мені” here is a Dative form of a personal pronoun”я” (I). So, to tell and ask about age in Ukrainian follow the pattern:

Personal Pronoun in Dative Case + number + рік/роки/років.

Nom. Pers. Pron. Gen. Pers. Pron. Example
Я → Мені + …рік/роки/років Мені 21 рік. – I am 21.
Ви → Вам + …рік/роки/років Скільки вам років? – How old are you? Вам 24 роки? - Are you 24?

To see more on Ukrainian Grammar check out the Grammar Portal

When Typing In Ukrainian, Do NOT Use Numerals!

Words Taught In This Skill

Numbers 2 updated 2018-10-25 ^

About using numbers with nouns

In Ukrainian language nouns, when used with numerals, take different number and case forms. In this lesson you will learn different forms of nouns which are used with different numerals.

With numeral “one” and all numerals that end with “one” (21, 41, 191) nouns are used in Nominative singular form:

один рік/студент (Nominative singular masculine) одна машина/студентка (Nominative singular feminine)

With numerals “two” “three” and “four” and all numerals that end with “two”, “three” and “four” (22, 43, 194, etc.) nouns are used in Nominative plural form:

два, три, чотири долари/мільйони/мільярди (Nominative plural masculine) дві, три, чотири гривні/тисячі (Nominative plural feminine)

With all other numerals nouns are used in Genitive plural form:

5, 6, 7, 8 … доларів/мільйонів/мільярдів/гривень/тисяч (Genitive plural)

Numbers 11, 12, 13, and 14 are exception to this rule. They all are followed with nouns in Genitive plural form:

11, 12, 13, 14 … доларів/мільйонів/мільярдів/гривень/тисяч (Genitive plural)

The rule of making Genitive Plural of nouns is pretty complicated and is not explained in this course. We recommend you to just memorize the Genitive form of nouns you will use in this lesson.

When Typing In Ukrainian, Do NOT Use Numerals!

Hobby updated 2018-10-25 ^

About Ukrainian verbs in general

Ukrainian verbs have only three tenses: Present, Past and Future. Here is an example with the verb їсти – to eat in all tenses:

їсти - infinitive

Я їмI eat/I am eating

Я їв or Я їлаI ate (masculine and feminine)

Я буду їстиI will eat/I will be eating

Ukrainian verbs have different grammatical categories in different tenses.

In Present and Future Tenses Ukrainian verbs conjugate (change by person), but do not have gender. So looking at a verb in the Present or Future Tense you will not be able to tell whether a male or female person is/was performing the action. Here is an example with the verb їсти – to eat in Present and Future Tenses:

Present Tense Future Tense
Я їм. - I eat/am eating. Я буду істи. - I will eat/will be eating.
Ти їси. - You eat/are eating. Ти будеш істи. - You will eat/will be eating.
Він/Вона їсть. - He/She eats/is eating. Він/Вона буде істи. - He/She will eat/will be eating.
Ми їмо. - We eat/are eating. Ми будемо істи. - We will eat/will be eating.
Ви їсте. - You eat/are eating. Ви будете істи. - You will eat/will be eating.
Вони їдять. - They eat/are eating. Вони будуть істи. - They will eat/will be eating.

In Past tense Ukrainian verbs have gender and number endings. Here is an example with the verb їсти – to eat in Past Tense:

Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
Він їв. – He ate. Вона їла. – She ate. Воно їло.- It ate. Вони їли. - They ate.

All Ukrainian verbs with no exceptions have the same endings in Past Tense.

You can read more about Ukrainian verbs here, here and here.

About infinitive

Infinitive is the base form of a verb which all other forms come from. It is the form which verbs go by in a dictionary. For example: (to) eat, (to) like, (to) drink.

Ukrainian infinitives have ending –ти: їсти, любити, пити. Infinitive has many uses in a language. For example in phrases like “Я люблю їсти” – I like to eat, “Я хочу їсти” - I want to eat, “Я буду їсти” - I will eat, the second verb is used in infinitive form.

About verb “to be” in Present Tense

Although Ukrainian verb “to be” has Present, Past and Future forms, its Present form “є” is rarely used. In sentences like: “Мій тато – актор”, “Моя сестра – дизайнер”, “Так, моя бабуся - пенсіонерка” verb “to be” is implied and is substituted by a dash. It is not wrong, but it is not very common to use the verb in these sentences: “Мій тато є актор”, “Моя сестра є дизайнер”, “Так, моя бабуся є пенсіонерка”.

Occupations updated 2018-10-25 ^

About gender in names of professions

Some Ukrainian names of professions have a masculine and a feminine form:

However, it is not wrong to use masculine names of most professions with feminine nouns:

Most Ukrainian names of professions have only one form:

About sound interchange

To make language flow better, Ukrainian has a number of sound interchanges . One of the most common is –у/-в interchange.

In this lesson you will learn a word “учитель” or “вчитель”– teacher. It is the same word, you just say “-у” or “-в” at the beginning depending on what sound the previous word ended. If it is a consonant, you start with “-у”: мій учитель – my teacher. If it is a vowel, you start with “-в”: мій тато вчитель – my dad is a teacher.

This interchange happens to avoid two or more consonants in a row. You do not have to follow that strictly though. In everyday speech Ukrainians often do not pay attention to this rule.

Later in this course you will see more cases of this and other sound interchanges.

About cases of nouns and pronouns

In Ukrainian language nouns and some pronouns change their forms depending on the role they play in a sentence. For example a noun кава (coffee) can become каву, кавою or кави, depending on its function. Nouns change their forms by taking different endings.

Different functions of a noun (and some pronouns) in sentence are called cases. There are seven cases in Ukrainian: Nominative, Accusative, Instrumental, Genitive, Locative (Prepositional), Dative and Vocative. So, majority of Ukrainian nouns have seven forms.

In this course you will learn basics of four cases most commonly used with Nouns. Here is a short overview of functions of cases in this course:

In sentences like: “My brother is a student” or “I want to read” words “brother” and “I” are subjects of the sentences (doers of the action). A subject of a sentence will always be in Nominative case. It is an initial form of a noun which they go by in a dictionary. Here are a few other examples of sentences with nouns in Nominative case:

In sentences like: “I eat chicken” or “I see you” words “chicken” and “you” are receiving action. Such words (nouns and pronouns) are direct objects of the action and are always in Accusative case. Here are a few other examples of sentences with nouns in Accusative case:

When you say “with” somebody or something, for example: “I dance with a sister” or “I like pizza with cheese”, this person or thing will be in Instrumental case. Here are a few other examples of sentences with nouns in Instrumental case:

When you say “without” something or “I don’t have” something, you will be using a Genitive case:

Later in this course you will learn rules of changing Noun endings in different cases. It is also important to note that different cases show relations of nouns in a sentence, but do not change the meanings of nouns. So you do not have to put nouns in correct case form to say something. Your language may not be grammatically correct, but your message will be understood by a communication partner.

Food 1. Nominative and Accusative Case updated 2022-05-06 ^

About The Accusative Case

As it was already mentioned, nouns have different forms in a sentence to show their "job" i.e. what they are doing. In this lesson you will learn Accusative – this is the easiest case in the Ukrainian language. Compare sentences with nouns in Nominative and Accusative form:

Nominative Accusative
Моя ковбаса там. My sausage is there. Я люблю ковбасу. I like like sausage.
Це не моя риба. This is not my fish. Він не любить рибу. He does not like fish.
Де моя піца? Where is my pizza? Вони люблять піцу. They like pizza.

On the left hand side we have the form you've been using so far, this is called the Nominative case. The nominative case is used for what linguists call the "subject". The subject is the person/thing that is doing something e.g. "The man is walking" - The man is the subject, he is doing the walking.

On the right hand side, we can see the Accusative case. The accusative case is used for what linguists call the "direct object". The direct object is the person/thing that is being directly affected by the action. For example "I eat an apple" - Which is the subject? Which is the direct object? Try and answer this before continuing.

The answer is: "I" is the subject because it is doing the eating and "apple" is the direct object because the eating is being done to it.

As we can see, in the accusative case words change a little bit:

About transitive verbs

There are many verbs that require a noun in Accusative case after them. You already know a few: люблю ( I like), хочу (I want), їм (I eat), п’ю (I drink), готую (I cook). There is a lot more. Such verbs are called Transitive Verbs. You can read more here.

So, every time you talk about something that is being acted on (use a noun after a transitive verb), you have to use it in Accusative case. Here are a few examples:

How do I make a word Accusative?

It's super easy! Just change the ending

Feminine

Words Ending in-а change to -у Words ending in -я change to to -ю
Тітка - Тітку Моя - Мою
Вода - Воду Вечеря - Вечерю
Мама - Маму Картопля - Картоплю

Masculine Animate

An animate noun is a noun that is living (not dead) for example хлопець (boy), чоловік (man) and лікар (doctor). The use the genitive case where feminine nouns use the accusative, but you needn't worry about it for now, we'll introduce it in a later skill.

Tl;dr

For the direct object, change -а to -у. -я to -ю

To see more on Ukrainian Grammar check out the Grammar Portal

Local foods

Some vocabulary might be confusing to the ones not familiar with the local foods. Here are some examples:

Каша

Кашаs are cooked grains such as buckwheat, wheat, millet, barley.

Example: buckwheat, very common in Ukraine.

Example: barley

Каша is translated as porridge and cereal sometimes. But notice how kasha can be salty (these ones have meat in them)

Вареники

Varenyky are a type of dumplings, similar to the Polish pierogi.

(notice the сметана from Letters 3)

Макарони

Even though it sounds like "macaroni", the Ukrainian word макарони describes many types of pasta and not only macaroni. You can basically translate it as "pasta".

Ковбаса

Things that are called "sausage" in English fall into two categories in Ukrainian:

Сосиска

It's not prepared yet. You have to cook, grill or fry it. You can put it in a hot dog. It's countable (a lot of sausages, I like sausages)

Ковбаса

It was already cooked or smoked, you just cut it and put it on bread. Salami for us is a type of ковбаса. It's uncountable ("a lot of sausage" (not sausages), "I Iike sausage" (not sausages))

Source: Wikipedia

Food 2. Accusative Case updated 2019-01-12 ^

The verbs їсти and пити

As you already know, Ukrainian verbs conjugate in Present tense. You will learn conjugation rules later in this course. In this lesson you will learn conjugation of verbs “їсти” – to eat and “пити” – to drink.

Pronoun Verb їсти Verb пити
я їм п’ю
ти їси п’єш
він/вона їсть п’є
ми їмо п’ємо
ви їсте п’єте
вони їдять п’ють

About Accusative after “їсти” and “пити”

Їсти” and “пити” are both transitive verbs, so don’t forget that what the action is being done too e.g. eating onions and drinking water . This is a very strict rule with no exceptions.

The onions and the water are having something done to them. See the notes on Food 1 for more information on the Accusative case.

About Adjective Agreement

As you already know, all Ukrainian nouns have a gender (masculine, feminine and neuter). The adjective that describes the noun must match the gender of that noun. For example; добрий батько but добра матір (добрий матір is simply wrong in Ukrainian).

masculine feminine neuter plural (for all genders)
- ий - а - е - і
смачний сік (tasty juice) смачна кава (tasty coffee) смачне молоко (tasty milk) смачні фрукти (tasty fruit)
cвіжий сир (fresh cheese) свіжа капуста (fresh cabbage) свіже масло (fresh butter) свіжі яблука (fresh apples)

This happens in all seven cases of nouns, thus adjectives, as well as other parts of speech that describe or replace a noun, have case forms. In this course we are teaching only Nominative forms of adjectives. All other case forms are usually taught at more advanced levels. It is worth mentioning though that misusing or ignoring adjective-noun agreement will not hinder your conversation and may rarely cause minor misunderstanding.

The Plural

Some nouns do not have a plural form because they are considered as collective names: картопля - potatoes, капуста - cabbage, цибуляonions.

If we need to use them in plural form (two potatoes, three cabbages, four onions) we use special words which mean "one thing of" a certain vegetable: картоплина – one piece of potatoes, капустина – one cabbage, цибулина – one onion. These words follow the same rule for pluralizing, but since they are not essential we are not using them in this course.

“коштувати” - To cost

Please, do not forget to use correct conjugation form of a verb “коштувати” - to cost in Present tense:

Singular Plural
Це коштує Ці коштують
This costs These cost

Скільки коштує цей банан? - How much does this banana cost? (third person singular)

Скільки коштують ці банани? – How much do these bananas cost? (third person plural)

Local foods

Here are some illustrations of the vocabulary from this section one might find confusing

Сало (salo, lard, fatback)

Сметана (sour cream)

Мюслі (muesli)

(Note: muesli is not any kind of cereal, it's a specific breakfast food)

Source: Wikipedia

Instrumental updated 2022-05-06 ^

About Instrumental case

In Ukrainian we use nouns in Instrumental case after preposition “з” (with). Nouns of all genders change endings in Instrumental case. Masculine and neuter nouns take endings -ом, -ем; feminine –ою, -ею.

Nominative Instrumental
masc. майонез (mayonnaise) сир (cheese) майонезом сиром
fem. вода (water) ковбаса (sausage) Я люблю піцу з водою ковбасою
neuter молоко (milk) вино (vine) молоком вином

Here are a few examples of sentences with nouns in Instrumental case.

You can read more about general use of Instrumental case here, and about Instrumental case in Ukrainian here and here.

About question words “who” and “what”

Question words “хто” (who) and ”що” (what) change to “ким” (with who) –and “чим” (with what) in Instrumental case.

To see more on Ukrainian Grammar check out the Grammar Portal

Genitive updated 2022-05-06 ^

About Genitive case

Genitive case has many uses in Ukrainian language. Here you will learn two of them.

Genitive Case is used in the construction with the word “немає” meaning "there is not/there are not".

Genitive Case is used after preposition “без” – "without".

About making the Genitive form of nouns

Neuter nouns take endings -a, -я; feminine take endings –и, -і.

Nominative Genitive
feminine вода -water ковбаса -sausage У мене немаєБез води ковбаси
neuter молоко -milk вино -vine У мене немаєБез молока вина

Due to historical changes masculine nouns take two sets of endings in Genitive case: -a, -я (countable or concrete objects) or -у, -ю (materials, substances and abstract nouns).

Nominative Genitive
masculine майонез -mayonnaise сир -cheese брат -brother син -son У мене немаєБез майонезу сиру брата сина

However, there is a tendency in Ukrainian language to use more endings -у, -ю.

Note: word “хліб” is an exception and has ending –a in Genitive case.

You can read more about general use of Genitive case here.

To see more on Ukrainian Grammar check out the Grammar Portal

Cafe updated 2018-10-25 ^

About conjugation of the verb “to want”

In this skill you will learn conjugation of the verb “хотіти” - to want:

Pronoun Verb хотіти
я хочу
ти хочеш
він/вона хоче
ми хочемо
ви хочете
вони хочуть

Present Tense 1 updated 2022-05-06 ^

About verb conjugation

As you already know Ukrainian verbs have conjugation (change endings depending on person and number) in Present tense. Ukrainian verbs have two conjugation patterns.

Most verbs with vowel –и in front of Infinitive ending -ти belong to Conjugation II:

Most verbs with other vowels in front of Infinitive ending belong to Conjugation I:

Follow these simple steps to define conjugation type of a verb:

Due to historical developments of Ukrainian language there is also a number of verbs that undergo changes in stem when conjugated. It is like irregular verbs in English. Some of them have a pattern, others just have to be memorized.

About Conjugation I

Most Ukrainian verbs belong to Conjugation I. They have two slightly different sets of personal endings, depending on the last letter of a word stem (the last letter in front of the ending).

Conjugation I

Stem ends in a vowel Stem ends in a consonant
Pronoun читати – to read нести – to carry
я читаю несу
ти читаєш несеш
він читає несе
вона читає несе
ми читаємо несемо
ви читаєте несете
вони читають несуть
About Conjugation I verbs with suffix “ва

A number of Conjugation I verbs with suffix “ва” (готувати – to cook, працювати – to work, подорожувати – to travel) drop it when conjugated.

Pronoun готувати – to cook працювати – to work подорожувати – to travel
я готую працюю подорожую
ти готуєш працюєш подорожуєш
він готує працює подорожує
вона готує працює подорожує
ми готуємо працюємо подорожуємо
ви готуєте працюєте подорожуєте
вони готують працюють подорожують
About Conjugation II

Conjugation II verbs with the infinitival ending -ти also drop the proceeding vowel -и. Example: учити – я учу; говорити – я говорю. They also have slightly different sets of personal endings, depending on the last letter of a word stem.

Conjugation II

Stem ends in consonants ж, ч, ш, щ Stem ends in vowel or soft consonant
Pronoun вчити – to learn говорити – to speak
я вчу говорю
ти вчиш говориш
він вчить говорить
вона вчить говорить
ми вчимо говоримо
ви вчите говорите
вони вчать говорять

You can read more about Ukrainian verb conjugation here and here.

To see more on Ukrainian Grammar check out the Grammar Portal

Places updated 2022-05-06 ^

About Locative case of nouns

Locative case is generally used to express location. In Ukrainian language it is always used after the following prepositions:

preposition –“в/у” translated as “in” or “at”

preposition –“на” translated as “on” or “at”

About making the Locative form of nouns

Lacative case is very simple. Nouns of all genders take ending “–i”.

Nominative Locative
masculine університет театр університеті театрі
feminine школа пошта в/у … на … школі пошті
neuter село місто селі місті
About prepositions in Locative case

Preposition “в/у” is used interchangeably to avoid consonant clusters and make language flow better. “В” is used before words that start with a vowel; “у” is used before words that start with a consonant. This rule, however, is not strictly followed by native speakers.

Generally, preposition “в/у” is used with buildings (у магазиніat a store, у театріat a theatre), while preposition “на” is used with open space places (на стадіоніat a stadium). However, some objects that are obviously buildings go with preposition “на” and vice versa.

About “odd balls” in Locative case

Some nouns have ending “” in Locative case. These are usually nouns that end with a letter “”:

The word аеропорт can have both endings: у аеропорту/у аеропортіat an airport, however it is more often used with the ending “”.

About conjugation of a verb “жити”

In this skill you will learn conjugation of a verb “жити”.

Pronoun Verb "жити"
я живу
ти живеш
він/вона живе
ми живемо
ви живете
вони живуть

Here letter “в” is thrown in to avoid two vowels in a row.

About Accusative after “шукати”

The verb “шукати” – to look for is a transitive verb, so don’t forget to ALWAYS put nouns that follow it in Accusative case. This is a very strict rule with no exceptions.

Я шукаю школу. – I am looking for a school. (школу – Acc.)

Я шукаю пошту. - I am looking for a post office. (пошту – Acc.)

Я шукаю вулицю. – I am looking for a street.(вулицю – Acc.)

To see more on Ukrainian Grammar check out the Grammar Portal

Objects updated 2018-10-25 ^

About more nouns in Locative case

In this skill you will learn more nouns in Locative case. They follow the same rule: nouns of all genders take ending “–i”.

Nominative Locative
masculine стіл столі
feminine квартира кімната кухня в/у … на … квартирі кімнаті кухні
neuter крісло кріслі

In the word “стіл(table) a historical vowel interchange is taking place. Vowel “і” changes to “о” in an open syllable.

стіл – на столі

Some nouns take ending “” in Locative. Those are mostly nouns that end with letter "к"

холодильник – у холодильникуin a fridge чайник – у чайникуin a kettle рюкзак – у рюкзакуin a backpack

About adjective-noun agreement

Adjectives have masculine, feminine, neuter and plural endings in Ukrainian language. Adjectives agree in form with the nouns they describe.

masc. fem. neuter pl.
дорогий готель -expensive hotel дорога квартира -expensive apartment дороге крісло -expensive armchair дорогі сумки -expensive bags
улюблений салат -favorite salad улюблена кава -favorite coffee улюблене вино -favorite wine улюблені макарони -favorite pasta

This happens in all seven cases of nouns, thus adjectives, as well as other parts of speech that describe or replace a noun, have case forms. In this course we are teaching only Nominative forms of Adjectives. All other case forms of adjectives are usually taught at more advanced levels. However it is worth mentioning that misusing or ignoring of adjective-noun agreement will not hinder your conversation and may rarely cause minor misunderstanding.

About meaning of some pronouns

In this skill you will learn Possessive pronouns “його”, “її” and Personal pronouns in Accusative case “його”, “її”. Although they look the same, they belong to different groups of pronouns.

Example Type of pronoun
Його речі у кімнаті. - His things are in the room. Його дружина. - His wife. Я знаю де її речі. - I know where her things are. Її речі на кухні. - Her things are in the kitchen. Possessive pronouns (his, her)
Вона любить його. – She loves him. Я добре знаю її. - I know her well. Personal pronouns in Accusative case (him, her)
About irregular gender of nouns

Some of nouns do not have a regular gender ending. The noun “ніч(night) has a consonant ending, but is a feminine noun.

Clothes updated 2018-10-25 ^

About Accusative after “шукати”

Verbs “шукати” – to look for, “купити” – to buy, “дайте” – give are all transitive verbs, so don’t forget to ALWAYS put nouns that follow them in Accusative case. This is a very strict rule with no exceptions.

About a phrase “It suits me”

In Ukrainian phrase “Мені пасує …” – It suits me Dative case of pronoun is used.

About irregular gender of nouns

Neuter nouns that have double consonant before ending “” belong to neuter gender: взуття – shoes (Neuter noun).

The Past Tense updated 2018-10-25 ^

About The Past Tense

The past tense is pretty easy in Ukrainian. There are only two things you need to take into account.

Example - Мати - To have

I had -

Said By A Man - Я мав Said By A Woman - Я мала

You had (inf./sg.) -

If you're a male - Ти мав If you're a female - Ти мала

He had

Він мав

She had -

Вона мала

It had -

Воно мало

We had -

Ми мали

You had (f./pl.) -

Ви мали

They had -

Вони мали

Present 2 updated 2022-05-06 ^

To see more on Ukrainian Grammar check out the Grammar Portal

Future Tense updated 2018-10-25 ^

About The Future Tense

In Ukrainian, there are two future tenses. The first one (which is the form taught in the Duolingo course) is very easy and the second one is pretty similar to the present tense in some ways.

First Form (Duo Form)

This form is really easy! Just use the future tense of "бути" (which is irregular) followed by the infinitive (the name of the verb). Here is читати in the future tense.

Читати

See, easy right. No need to learn endless conjugations and you can use this is pretty much every situation!

Second Form

The second form is a bit more complicated; First, we get the infinitive and like the present tense each pronoun gets an ending.

Note that the course was not constructed with this tense so not all answers will be accepted with this tense

Fun Fact The word післязавтра means the day after tomorrow, which actually has an English translation, overmorrow

Pronouns. Dative. updated 2022-05-06 ^

To see more on Ukrainian Grammar check out the Grammar Portal

Pronouns. Accusative. updated 2022-05-06 ^

To see more on Ukrainian Grammar check out the Grammar Portal

Sports updated 2018-10-25 ^

A quick note on dialect

The Ukrainian word "футбол" is quite ambiguous for us to explain mainly because it has different translations for different speakers of English. Basically, футбол is the sport shown in this Wikipedia article or this:

Modal verbs updated 2022-05-06 ^

To see more on Ukrainian Grammar check out the Grammar Portal

People updated 2018-10-25 ^

Cousins!

To say that someone is your cousin in Ukrainian is really easy! We simply put двоюрідний/а before the words for brother and sister. Think of it a saying my cousinly brother or my cousinly sister

Questions updated 2018-10-25 ^

How to ask questions in Ukrainian

There are quite a number of ways to ask a question in Ukrainian. In this course, we teach the simplest way.

Ти добре - Ти добре?

There are two other ways that aren't used in this course but you will frequently see them on your language learning journey!

Ти добре - Чи ти добре?

Ти добре - Ти добре, так?

Question words

In this skill, you will also learn some question words. Here are ones that your familiar with in English.

There are also a few that you aren't familiar with using in English.

For example; Про що ви думаєте? - What are you thinking about?

For example; Звідки ви? - Where are you from?

Verb Aspects updated 2022-05-06 ^

Apects Overview

As you know already, Ukrainian verbs are conjugated by tense, number and sometimes gender. Here is an example.

Читати - To read
Past Present Future Conditional
Я читав/читала Я читаю Я буду читати Я читав би/читала б
Ти читав/читала Ти читаєш будеш читати Ти читав би/читала б
Він читав Він читає Він буде читати Він читав би
Вона читала Вона читає Вона буде читати Вона читала б
Ми читали Ми читаємо Ми будемо читати Ми читали б
Ви читали Ви читаєте Ви будете читати Ви читали б
Вони читали Вони читають Вони будуть читати Вони читали б

In Ukrainian the final thing to take note of when conjugating a verb is aspect. There are two types of aspect:

Perfective Aspect

This aspect will be taught in this lesson, it is used for an action that was/will be completed. We form it by adding a prefix to the verb. For читати we add про-. Here is the perfective form of читати.

Прочитати - To read (to the end)
Past Present/Future* Conditional
Я прочитав/прочитала Я прочитаю Я прочитав би/прочитала б
Ти прочитав/прочитала Ти прочитаєш Ти прочитав би/прочитала б
Він прочитав Він прочитає Він прочитав би
Вона прочитала Вона прочитає Вона прочитала б
Ми прочитали Ми прочитаємо Ми прочитали б
Ви прочитали Ви прочитаєте Ви прочитали б
Вони прочитали Вони прочитають Вони прочитали б

*Note that in the perfective; the future and present are the same.

Imperfective Aspect

This is the aspect used for a habit, repeated action or an action thought of in general terms this is the base form of the verbs that you've used so far.

English Translation

Even though there is no perfect translation for aspects in English. Here is the idea that they portray.

Imperfective
Я читав Я читаю Я буду читати Я читав б
I was reading, I used to read I read, I am reading I will be reading I would be reading
Perfective
Я прочитав Я прочитаю Я прочитав би
I have read I am reading (to the end)/I will have read I would have read

To see more on Ukrainian Grammar check out the Grammar Portal

Spiritual updated 2018-10-25 ^

A Brief Overview of Religion in Ukraine

Ukraine is in quite a unique position in the world, it is on the crossroads of the Catholic, Orthodox and Islamic influence. Despite this, almost two thirds of Ukrainians identify as un-affiliated the largest religious group in Ukraine is Eastern Orthodoxy which is followed by about one quarter of the population followed by Eastern Catholicism which is followed by just over 5% of Ukrainians. Historically, there was also a large Muslim, Jewish and Pagan following however it isn't as frequent in the modern age.

Cases Revision. updated 2022-05-06 ^

To see more on Ukrainian check out the Portal

Ukraine-specific vocabulary

Котлета

A meat dish that looks like this:

(made of minced meat)

or also like this:

Can be translated as cutlet, meatloaf or meatball, depending on the type of котлета.

Source: Wikipedia


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