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Georgian lesson: Declensions

Here I'll talk about declension of nouns in Georgian :) This will be my last post about Georgian basics, then I will wait until Duolingo releases the course :)

Georgian has seven cases, and there exist four types of declensional nouns-regular, syncopating, truncating and syncopating-truncating. Let's start with regular declension:

კაცი (K'atsi)-Man

Nominative: კაცი (K'atsi) ("ი" (I) is the suffix that indicates nominative case)

Ergative/Narrative: კაცმა (K'atsma) ("მა" (Ma) or sometimes "მ" (M) if noun ends on vowel, are suffixes that indicate ergative/narrative case)

Dative: კაცს (K'atss) ("ს" (S) is the suffix that indicates dative case)

Genitive: კაცის (K'atsis) ("ის" (Is) is the suffix that indicates genitive case)

Instrumental: კაცით (K'atsit) ("ით" (It) is the suffix indicating instrumental case)

Adverbial: კაცად (K'atsad) ("ად" (Ad), or sometimes "დ" (D) if noun ends on vowel, are the suffixes that indicate adverbial case)

Vocative: კაცო (K'atso) ("ო" (O), or sometimes "ვ" (V) if the noun ends on vowel, are the suffixes that indicate vocative case)

Now, when you know regular declension suffixes of the nouns, let's start with syncopating declension. Syncopating is a type of declension when the inside vowels get lost in a noun in time of declension. Syncopating happens only in Genitive, Instrumental and adverbial cases, and only with nouns that have "არ" (Ar), "ალ" (Al), "ან" (An), "ელ" (El), "ოლ" (Ol), "ორ" (Or) syllables inside. Here's the example:

მგელი (Mgeli)-Wolf

Nominative: მგელი (Mgeli)

Ergative/Narrative: მგელმა (Mgelma)

Dative: მგელს (Mgels)

Genitive: მგლის (Mglis) (Here, it's not მგელის (Mgelis), but მგლის (Mglis), because the noun contained syllable "ელ" (El) and it syncopated)

Instrumental: მგლით (Mglit)

Adverbial: მგლად (Mglad)

Vocative: მგელო (Mgelo)

If noun has syllable "ორ" (Or) inside, "ო" (O) will change into "ვ" (V), მინდორი (Mindori)->მინდვრის (Mindvris) - Field

Truncating sometimes happens in nouns that end on vowel "ა" (A), "ე" (E) or "ო" (O) and only in genitive and instrumental cases. Here's the example:

დანა (Dana)-Knife

Nominative: დანა (Dana)

Ergative/Narrative: დანამ (Danam) (Here, as we said above, when the noun ends on vowel, the suffix is "მ" (M))

Dative: დანას (Danas)

Genitive: დანის (Danis) (Here, the vowel "ა" (A) truncated)

Instrumental: დანით (Danit)

Adverbial: დანად (Danad)

Vocative: დანავ (Danav) (As we said above, if the noun ends on vowel the suffix in vocative is "ვ" (V))

The syncopating-truncating noun declensions are the hardest. It only happens with seven nouns: ქვეყანა (Qvekana)-country, პეპელა (Pepela)-butterfly, ბეგარა (Begara)-duty, ტომარა (Tomara)-sack, ფანჯარა (Panjara)-window, მოყვარე (Mokvare)-mate, ქარხანა (Qarkhana)-factory. Here's the example:

ფანჯარა (Panjara)-window

Nominative: ფანჯარა (Panjara)

Ergative/Narrative: ფანჯარამ (Panjaram)

Dative: ფანჯარას (Panjaras)

Genitive: ფანჯრის (Panjris) (Here, this noun both syncopated and truncated)

Instrumental: ფანჯრით (Panjrit)

Adverbial: ფანჯრად (Panjrad)

Vocative: ფანჯარავ (Panjarav)

And the last thing you should know about cases :) nominative indicates the subject noun, and shows its original form. Ergative/narrative is a special subject form of the noun, dative is the object form, genitive is the possessive form, instrumental shows that something happens "with" the noun, as if something's using it, adverbial is hard to explain, but as its name indicates, it helps adjectives turn into adverbs, and vocative is the case used for direct address.

This is all :) Hope you enjoyed Georgian basics :) Yes, it was really hard, but without these rules, know that you won't be able to speak Georgian properly :) Thank you for reading :)

The link to all the posts: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/9660890

July 21, 2015



Hard but well-explained :-)


haha thank you ^_^


As I read in the Russian thread making these forum-style small lessons raises the chances that the course will be added to incubator. Moderators see that there is a person who really is interested in the course development and give him or her this possibility.


That's amazing! :) Maybe they can add the course ^_^


It would be nice to see the cases in example sentences. My native language is Hungarian, so I'm sure I've been using most of the cases, but I don't know them by name :)

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