Verbal Aspect in Slavic Languages

As you know perfectly, Slavic verbs come in pairs (perfective-imperfective). But, in Southern Slavic languages this distinction is quite blurry, as Slovene, Serbo-Croatian, and especially Macedonian and Bulgarian can use the present tense in all verbs, not only in the imperfective ones.


I think possibly what you perceive as different is the way they are used to form he idea of a future meaning possibly. The imperfective and perfective differences between the verbs is definitely there. As a learner I think it’s he most difficult aspect of Slavic languages to master too - mostly because you can often use both and you don’t realise that you’re not saying what you think you’re saying and the listener had no clue you didn’t mean what you said! :smiley:


This is why I think I’ll have to wait until I’m retired to be able to learn a Slavic language to a decent level :frowning:


As a learner of Russian, Ukrainian, Czech (and soon) Polish, I find it also quite hard to distinguish them, since they, as opposed to most of the western European languages, have less aspect tenses, and I personally find it hard when to describe an action at a certain time… Any advices, tips or infornation about a better understanding of this topic?

I would really appreciate it.

Regards to everyone.


My advice would be… expose yourself to each of the languages as much as you can!

I (as a native spaker of one Slavic language) can say that I could understand Russian, Serbo-Croatian-Bosnian-Montenegrian language/s, Bulgarian, Slovak, Serbian, … and other Slavic languages to certain amont (this is advantages if you decide to learn one Slavic language - you can understand all of them to a certain amount :wink::upside_down_face:) but if you want to speak them fluently - it is harder!!!

Even I didn’t start learning my 3. Slavic language until I “mastered” second. Anyway it happens that we mix similar languages together but if you are just at the beginning and learning 2 or more languages in the same time you can either mix them all the time or learn simultaneously all sentences, words, grammar of languages and remember those differences better… by learning all the languages together.
But I guess this could be quite exhausting to do every day… you know learning 3 languages every day when we sometime don’t wanna learn even one can be tiring :smile:…

I personally prefer to “master” one before I go to second and this way I don’t mix them up as much :wink:. But this is me. You might prefer some other way :upside_down_face:

I feel your pain… I actually used to think the same… I did speak Slovene as a native language but yet I somehow wasn’t able to acquire another Slavic language.

I thought that … well…they just can’t be learned :blush:… the problem was just that - that I wasn’t using the right techniques :wink::upside_down_face:

Now I see… when I manage to learn Russian suddenly my comprehensiveness of Ukrainian and even Belorussin improved… in Slovakia (now I am working on this language) I was able to have a conversation with Slovaks (this was before I learned Russian, i just spoke Slovene) and until I answer that I am not from Slovakia, that I am a foreigner, but that I can understand them anyway… they would just smile in response and keep on talking :laughing::rofl: - this can happend to you if you are on “električka” or waiting for a bus.

So, my realisation - don’t give up… keep trying until you find your own way to acquire- not to learn - the languages :wink::upside_down_face:

It is worth it!!! You will learn one but understand 12 :wink: