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Basic Bulgarian, Grammar - The verb "to be"

We touched on the verb "to be" in Lesson 2, so I figured I would write a quick grammar note to give you all the forms. At the same time, we'll see all the personal pronouns (things like "I", "you", "they").


  1. аз съм [as sɤm] - I am
  2. ти си [ti si] - you are
  3. той/тя/то е [tɔj/tja/tɔ ɛ] - he/she/it is


  1. ние сме ['ni.ɛ smɛ] - we are
  2. вие сте ['vi.ɛ stɛ] - you are
  3. те са ['tɛ sɐ] - they are

Notice that in "ние" and "вие" the combination "ие" is pronounced as two vowels like in the French name Pierre, not like a "ye" as in "yes". Moreover, the stress is on the "и", not on the "е". Also notice how "той" is pronounced essentially as "toy", and "съм" is very close to the Latin "sum". Such are our Indo-European roots :)

Well, what are some things we could be?

Аз съм ...

  • учител [o'tʃitɛɫ] - a teacher
  • адвокат [ɐdvo'kat] - a lawyer
  • лекар ['lɛkɐr] - a doctor
  • крадец [krɐ'dɛts] - a thief
  • мениджър ['mɛnidʒɐr] - a manager
  • секретарка [sɛkrɛt'arkɐ] - a (female) secretary
  • пенсионер [pɛnsio'nɛr] - retired (literally "someone on retirement allowances")
  • безработен [bɛzrɐ'bɔtɛn] - unemployed :/
  • капитан [kɐpi'tan] - a captain
  • пилот [pi'ɫɔt] - a pilot
  • магьосник [mɐ'gjɔsnik] - a wizard

Notice something? No indefinite articles (a/an) in Bulgarian.

September 22, 2015


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