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Sambahsa conjugated verbs

Page history last edited by Mundialecter 1 year, 10 months ago

Sambahsa conjugated verbs.


Here : Sambahsa conjugator


The aim of this document is to explain the conjugation of the most common Sambahsa verbs. When needed, the Sambahsa Phonetic Transcription will be used with brackets [ ].

 Except for the three irregular verbs ses, habe & woide, the conjugation of a Sambahsa verb can be deduced, not from its infinitive, but from its bare stem. In dictionaries, Sambahsa verbs are always indicated under this form.

Sambahsa verbs are conjugated in different tenses, the most important ones are present and past (or “preterit”). There are, as in English, two numbers and three persons.

Sambahsa takes its conjugational system from Proto-Indo-European (PIE), a reconstructed language spoken more than 2000 years ago, at the very root of the majority of the languages spoken today in Europe, as well as of Iranian and North-Indic (Hindi, Bengali, etc.) languages. Though we don’t possess any document written in PIE, its probable grammar can be deduced with a reasonable degree of certainty through the comparison of its daughter languages. Among these are Sanskrit and Old Greek, whose grammar is known with utmost precision and which share undoubted similarities. Many of these common features can be found, among others, in Latin and Anglo-Saxon, the language from which English is ultimately derived.

Modern English has almost no conjugational endings, and the most known auxlangs (artificial languages meant for international communication) tend to use no conjugational endings, or conjugational endings that only indicate the tense, but not the person nor the number. However, most modern Indo-European languages (except English, the most spoken ones are Portuguese, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Parsi, Hindi, Bengali, and the amount of their speakers exceed the number of Anglophones) still have conjugational endings that indicate three persons and two numbers, at least for the present indicative and often for a past tense. Sambahsa, as a modern language based on Indo-European, ought to follow this pattern, and not the model reconstructed for “classical” PIE, that included one additional number (dual), one or two sets of endings beyond the active conjugation (medio-passive and/or passive) and several tenses that used endings grouped in one of those three categories: indicative, perfect and aorist.


However, it is not a mere sentiment of naturality that has led to the preservation of conjugational endings in Sambahsa; other considerations, based on motives of precision and brevity, have been decisive too. As an example, many auxlangs will use a verbal system that can be described as follows:


Personal pronoun + Verbal stem + Tense ending


While Sambahsa tends to have :


Verbal stem + Personal & Tense ending


This means that Sambahsa is one syllable shorter than many other auxlangs.


Other auxlangs, in the present tense, can go on without conjugational ending.


Personal pronoun + Verbal stem


This system is indeed the easiest one, but it is not devoid of defects. Especially in the 3rd person, when the personal pronoun is replaced by a substantive, a reader may have difficulties identifying the verb at first sight (a little like in the English sentence: Doctors help rape victims) and this can provoke uncertainties as to the real meaning of the sentence. On the contrary, many Sambahsa present tense endings are consonantal, which means that they don’t lengthen the number of syllables but still help to identify the conjugated form as a verb.


Here are the conjugational endings of Sambahsa for the present tense:





1st person singular

-o / -m / nothing

*-o / *-m

2nd person singular



3rd person singular



1st person plural



2nd person plural



3rd person plural

-(e)nt / -e



Many of these IE endings are still to be found among modern languages.

When the ending is clearly distinct from the stem, Sambahsa needs not use personal pronouns. The major exception is for the 2nd person plural, which sounds virtually like the 3rd person singular. Since this person is mostly used for courtesy, the usage of the pronoun “yu” is particularly recommended.

The choice of the different options is conditioned by the necessity of preserving the initial stress of Sambahsa verbal stems.


The past endings are less well attested:




Indo-European (perfect endings)

1st person singular



2nd person singular



3rd person singular



1st person plural



2nd person plural



3rd person plural




Here, unlike the present tense, there are more divergences, because Indo-European had in fact several sets of endings for different tenses whose number was reduced in its daughter languages. Hence, the Sambahsa endings may be indeed closer than PIE to the ones found in other IE languages.

Example of Latin (simple past tense) : -i, -ista, -it, imus, istis, erunt

And of Icelandic : (nothing), -st, (nothing), -um, -udh, -u


Furthermore, the main feature of Indo-European verbs in the past tenses is that they commonly underwent certain modifications of their stems. Sambahsa still displays many of those phenomena, and the rule is that a verb that undergoes a modification of its stem in the past tense can drop the conjugational endings in this tense but must therefore use the personal pronouns.


Example : ghehd = to be able, can. Thus ghehdo = I can (the use of the personal pronoun is not required)

In the past tense, ghehd turns regularly to ghohd. For “I could”, we get either ghohdim (with ending) or io ghohd (without ending but with personal pronoun, as in English).


The main verb families will be analysed gradually, as one has to proceed when he/she meets a Sambahsa verbal stem he/she wants to conjugate. Only the tenses that present difficulties (mostly present and past) will be shown.


Before going further, it shall be remembered that conjugational endings beginning with –s or –t can change the final letter of the verbal stem:


-b + s / t = -ps / -pt ;  -k / -g + s/ t = -cs / -ct.  And, with verbs whose stem is in ehv, eiv or euv,

v + s / t = -fs / -ft.

These changes may look arbitrary at first sight, but it helps to remember the English pairs :


Describe / description

Drive / drift


Normally, the present endings are added directly to the bare stem. However, when this system leads to something completely unpronounceable, an “e” can be inserted. This occurs for stems in “-gn” [ny] used with endings in consonants.


Example : sehgn + t = sehgnet [sE:nyët]


On the contrary, remember that, in Sambahsa, “w” can work as both a vowel and a consonant. Thus:


Sehkw + t = sehkwt [sE:kut]


Last but not least, for reasons of euphony or etymology, an s can be inserted between the past tense ending and the verbal stem, which can undergo the alterations mentioned above for consonants plus s. This “s” is called “the sigmatic aorist”.


Ex: absorb + (s) + it = absorpsit



C = consonant    V = vowel



1st category of verbs : nasal infix


The nasal infix is the letter “n” or “m” found in the verbal stem, and which disappears in the past tense.

See the excellent analysis by Robert Winter:



Such verbal stems end this way:  -Cen –Cem  -neC  -meC

The “e” is always unstressed.


In the present tense, this unstressed “e” disappears everywhere possible.

Moreover, if “s” or “ss” comes in contact with the final “n” or “m” after the deletion of this “e”, the “s” or “ss” disappears too.


Examples :   posen = *posn = pon-        pressem = *pressm = prem


(compare the English words “postpone” and “position”).


The infinitive is obtained by suffixing “-es” to this stem without “e”.


Examples:   posen = pones [pons]   brinegh = bringhes [bringz]


The past tense is obtained simply by removing the “e” and the nasal infix.


Examples:  posen = pos     brinegh = brigh

The conditional tense is obtained by suffixing “ie” to this verbal stem without “e”.


However, one should not forget that “the Von Wahl rules” (see below) apply to the stems with nasal infixes.


Example :


 scinesd = *scisd = (after applying the Von Wahl rule according to which d becomes s)  sciss


The past passive participle is made by suffixing –t (which can trigger the Von Wahl rules) or –en to the the verbal stem without unstressed “e” or infix.




Scinesd = sciss / scisden

Posen = post / posen



The nasal infix system may seem complicated, but still survives in English among irregular verbs.


Examples:  bring = brought    think = thought


But Sambahsa : brinegh = brigh    tanek (to concentrate) = tak


This irregularity occurs among words of Romance origin like “picture” vs “paint”.



-          Linekw = to leave


Present tense: linkwo, linkws, linkwt, linkwm(o)s, linkwte [lInkut], linkwnt


In Sambahsa, “w” is never stressed.


Infinitive: linkwes


Past tense: either io likw, tu likw...

Or : likwim, likwsta/likwist/likwst, likwit, likwam, likwat, likweer.


The latter form is recommended since a final “w” is difficult to pronounce as a semi-vowel standing alone.


Past participle:  likwt / likw(e)n



-          surprined = to surprise


Present tense: surprindo, surprinds, surprindt, surprindmos, surprindte, surprinde(nt)

Infintive : surprindes [surprIndz]

Past tense:  either : io surpris, tu surpris

Or: surprisim, surprisist/surprissta, surprisit, surprisam, surprisat, surprisseer


Past participle:  surpris / surpriden





-          interrumep = to interrupt


Present tense : interrumpo, interrumps, interrumpt, interrumpmos, interrupte, interrumpe(nt)

Infinitive : interrumpes


Past tense : io interrup, tu interrup…

Or : interrupim, interrupist/interrupst(a), interrupit, interrupam, interrupat, interrupeer [interüpEer]

Past participle : interrupt / interrupen



-          sisen = to let (+ infinitive)


Present tense : sino, sins, sint, sinmos, sinte, sine(nt)

Infinitive : sines [sins]

Conditional : siniem, sinies, siniet, siniem(o)s, yu siniete, sinient

Past tense : io sis, tu sis…

Or : sisim, sisist, sisit, sisam, sisat, siseer

Past participle: sist / sisen



-          annem = to breathe


Present tense : annmo, annems, annemt, annmmos, annemt, annment

*annmt and *annms would be unpronounceable; thus, the unstressed “e” is kept.

Infinitive : annmes [Anmës]

Past tense: io ann, tu ann...

Or : annim, annst(a)/annist, annit, annam, annat, anneer

Past participle: annt / annen



-          clihen = to tilt


Present tense: clihno, clihns, clihnt, clihnmos, clihnte, clihne(nt)

Infinitive: clihnes [klIns]

Past tense : io clih, tu clih

Or : clihsim, clihst(a), clihsit, clihsam, clihsat, clihr

Notice the use of the sigmatic aorist to avoid a sequence of two vowels.

Past participle: cliht / clihn



-          pregen = to impregnate


Present tense: pregno, pregens, pregent, pregnems, pregent, pregnent

Surely the most complicated sambahsa verb. In SPT:

[ prEnyo, prEdjëns, prEdjënt, prEnyëms, prEdjënt, prEnyënt ]

Infinitive : pregnes [prEnyës]

Past tense: io preg, tu preg..

Or : pregim, precst(a)/pregist, pregit, pregam, pregat, pregeer

Past participle: prect / pregen



2nd category of verbs : unstressed “e”


This category often includes verbs of Romance origin that ended in –are in Latin. They correspond to English nouns ending in “-ation”; it is frequently enough to subtract this suffix and to add “e” instead, to get the Sambahsa verb. However, endings in “-ication” form a special sub-category (see below) while other nouns in “-cation” replace this ending with “-que” in Sambahsa.

Example: “provocation” = provoque (to provoke).


This unstressed ending “e” means that there is no ending for the 1° person singular of the present tense. Instead, one has to use the unstressed personal pronoun “io”.

The 1st person plural ending is thus “-ms”, because *-mos would change the accented syllable.

As the 2° person plural is similar to the 3° person singular, one has likewise to use the personal pronoun “yu” before it.

The ending of the 3° person plural “nt” can be dropped if the meaning is evident (ex: when the subject is mentioned in the sentence).

The infinitive is very simple since it corresponds to the verbal stem itself. Likewise, to get the past participle, one has just to suffix “-t” or “-n”.

For the conditional, the “e” is dropped before suffixing “ie”.

All verbs of this category must bear the endings of the past tense. The final “e” must be dropped, except if its absence would result in a phonetic change of the last consonant of the verbal stem (ex: endings in “ge” and “ce”).


-          exclame : to exclaim


Present : io exclame, exclames, exclamet, exclamems, yu exclamet, exclame(nt)

Infinitive : exclame

Conditional : exclamiem, exclamies, exclamiet, exclamiem(o)s, yu exclamiete, exclamient

Past tense : exclamim, exclamist, exclamit, exclamam, exclamat, exclameer

Past participle : exclamet / exclamen



-          lance : to launch


Present : io lance, lances, lancet, lancems, yu lancet, lance(nt)

Infinitive : lance

Past tense : lancim, lancist, lancit, lanceam [lantsëAm], lanceat [lantsëAt], lanceer

Past participle : lancet / lancen



-          change : to change


Present : io change, changes, changet, changems, yu changet, change(nt)

Infinitive : change

Past tense : changim, changist, changit, changeam [tcandjëAm], changeat [tcandjëAt], changeer

Past participle : changet / changen



-          murmure : to murmur


Present : io murmure [murmÜr], murmures, murmuret, murmurems, murmuret, murmure(nt)

Infinitive : murmure

Past tense : murmurim [murmUrim] , murmurist, murmurit, murmuram, murmurat, murmureer [murmürEër]

Past participle : murmuret / murmuren


There is a sub-category of verbs endings with « ie ». Those verbs often correspond to English nouns ending in “-ication”. Example: “publication” = publie “to publish”.


Since “ie” is a stressed diphthong, they share some features with the verbs whose stress falls on the last syllable. Furthermore, this “ie” may turn to “ic-” for euphonic reasons, and, notably, in the conditional tense.


All verbs of this category follow the same pattern :


-          publie : to publish


Present : publiem, publies, publiet, publiem(o)s, yu publiete, publient

Conditional: publiciem, publicies, publiciet, publiciem(o)s, yu publiciete, publicient

Infinitive : publie

Past tense: publicim, pubilicist/publiest(a), publicit, publiam, publiat, publieer

Past participle: publiet / publien





3rd category of verbs : ehC


These are verbs whose inner vowel is “eh”, followed by one or several consonants (verbs ending with only “eh”, like deh, belong to the category of verbs ending with a stressed vowel sound). According to the few statistical data that exist for Sambahsa, they may represent the most widespread category. Their functioning consists in the ablaut of the inner consonant, much like English “swear, swore, sworn”. However, while “ablaut” is considered irregular in English, it is a fully normal system in Sambahsa. The “eh” of the verbal stem turns to “oh” in the past tense and in the past participle.

Thus : ghehd = ghohd = ghohdt / ghohden  


This ablaut means that the use of the past tense endings is optional.

The infinitive is “e” suffixed to the verbal stem. However, the use of both the past tense endings and the infinitive ending is disallowed if they change the accentuation or/and pronunciation of a consonant within this verbal stem.


-          ghehd : to be able to


Present : ghehdo, ghehds, ghehdt, ghehdmos, yu ghehdte, ghehde(nt)

Infinitive : ghehde

Past tense: io ghohd, tu ghohd...

Or : ghohdim, ghohdist/ghohdst(a), ghohdit, ghohdam, ghohdat, ghohdeer

Past participle : ghohdt / ghohden



-          spehc : to look at


Present : spehco [spE :ko], spehcs, spehct, spehcmos, yu spehcte, spehce(nt) [spE:ts(ënt)]

Infinitive : spehce

Past tense : io spohc, tu spohc

Or : spohcim, spohcist/spohcst(a), spohcit, spohcam, spohcat, spohceer

Past participle: spohct / spohcen


-          kwehk : to seem


Present : kwehko, kwehcs, kwehct, kwehkmos, yu kwehcte, kwehke(nt)

Infinitive : kwehke

Past tense : io kwohk, tu kwohk, ...

Or: kwohkim, kwohcst(a)/kwohkist, kwohkit, kwohkam, kwohkat, kwohkeer

Past participle : kwohct / kwohken



-          sprehg : to talk to, ask to


Present : sprehgo, sprehcs, sprehct, sprehgmos, yu sprehcte, sprehge(nt)

Infinitive : sprehge

Past tense : io sprohg, tu sprohg,...

Or: sprohgim, sprohcst(a) / sprohgist, sprohgit, sprohgam, sprohgat, sprohgeer

Past participle : sprohct / sprohgen



-          kwehr : to do, make


Present: kwehro, kwehrs, kwehrt, kwehrmos, yu kwehrte, kwehrnt

The form with “nt” is preferred because it is monosyllabic.

Infinitive : kwehre

Past tense : io kwohr, tu kwohr...

Or : kwohrim, kwohrst(a) / kwohrist, kwohrit, kwohram, kwohrat, kwohreer

Past participle: kwohrt / kwohrn



-          tehrb : to have to


Present : tehrbo, tehrps, tehrpt, tehrbmos, yu tehrpte, tehrbe(nt)

Infinitive : tehrbe

Past tense : io tohrb, tu tohrb...

Or : tohrbim, tohrpst(a) / tohrbist, tohrbit, tohrbam, tohrbat, tohrbeer

Past participle: tohrpt / tohrben



-          trehv : to find, meet


Present: trehvo, trehfs, trehft, trehvmos, yu trehfte, trehve(nt)

Infinitive: trehve

Past tense: io trohv, tu trohv

Or : trohvim, trohfst(a) / trohvist, trohvit, trohvam, trohvat, trohveer

Past participle : trohft, trohven



-          sehkw : to follow


Present : sehkwo, sehkws, sehkwt, sehkwm(o)s [sE :kum(o)s], yu sehkwte [sE :kut], sehkwnt

Infinitive : sehkwe

Past tense : io sohkw, tu sohkw…

However, because of the difficult pronunciation of the final « -kw », forms with conjugational endings are preferred :

Sohkwim, sohkwst(a) / sohkwist, sohkwit, sohkwam, sohkwat, sohkweer

Past participle: sohkwt / sohkwn


-          skehpt : to wait for


Present : skehpto, skehpts, skehpt, skehptmos, yu skehpte, skehpte(nt)

The “t” of the ending is merged within the “t” of the verbal stem.

Infinitive : skehpte

Past tense: io skohpt, tu skohpt

Or: skohptim, skohptst(a) / skohptist, skohptit, skohptam, skohptat, skohpteer

Past participle: skohpt / skohpten



-          sehgn : to muse, dream


Present : sehgno, sehgnes, sehgnet, sehgnems, yu sehgnet, sehgne(nt)

An “e” has been added before the ending in order to facilitate pronunciation.

Infinitive : sehgne

Past tense: io sohgn, tu sohgn...

However, since the final “gn” is difficult to pronounce, forms with conjugational endings are preferred:

Sohgnim, sohgnist, sohgnit, sohgnam, sohgnat, sohgneer




4th category of verbs: eu & ei


The inner vowel of the verbs is “ei” or “eu”, but their ablaut is respectively “i” or “u”. (This disappearance of the letter “e” is called the “zero-grade”.) Their infinitive is made by suffixing “-es” to this “zero-grade” form, unless it changes the pronunciation of a consonant within the stem.


-          kheiss : to feel


Present: kheisso, tu kheiss, kheisst, kheissmos, yu kheisste, kheisse(nt)

“tu” is compulsory before “kheiss” since the ending can’t be heard.

Infinitive: khisses [qIsës]

Past tense: io khiss, tu khiss...

Or: khissim, khisst(a) / khissist, khissit, khissam, khissat, khisseer

Past participle: khisst / khissen



-          deik : to show, indicate


Present: deiko, deics, deict, deikmos, yu deicte, deike(nt)

Infinitive: dikes [diks]

Past tense : io dik, tu dik…

Or : dikim, dicst(a)/dikist, dikit, dikam, dikat, dikeer

Past participle: dict / diken




-          eiskw : to intend, want, seek


Present: eiskwo, eiskws, eiskwt, eiskwm(o)s, yu eiskwte [Eyskut], eiskwnt

Infinitive: iskwes [Iskwës]

Past tense: io iskw, tu iskw

De facto, because of its difficult pronunciation, this form is always replaced by the next one:

Iskwim, iskwst(a) / iskwist, iskwit, iskwam, iskwat, iskweer

Past participle: iskwt / iskwn



-          sneigv : to snow


Present : sneigvt : Since “v” is not directly after “ei”, it does not turn to “f”

Infintive: snigves

Past tense: snigv(it)

Past participle: snigvt / snigven



-          neic : to kill, slay


Present : neico, neics, neict, neicmos, yu neicte, neice(nt)

Infintive: nices [nItsës]

Past tense: io nic, tu nic

Or: nicim, nicst(a) / nicist, nicit, nicam, nicat, niceer

Past participle: nict / nicen



Verbs in “eu” do not show major differences. Do not forget that “u” is pronounced [ü] if one of the next two letters is “e”.


-          beud : to appeal to, seek, beg


Present : beudo, beuds, beudt, beudmos, yu beudte, beude(nt)

Infinitive: budes [büdz]

Past tense: io bud, tu bud..

Or: budim, budst(a) / budist, budit, budam, budat, budeer

Past participle: budt / buden


Eu can appear at the end of a verbal stem. In the past tense, the “sigmatic aorist” is often used.


-          kleu : to listen to


Present: kleum, kleus, kleut, kleum(o)s, yu kleute, kleunt

In the first person singular, “m” is used instead “o” because the verb ends with a stressed vowel sound.

Infinitive: klues [klü:s]

Past tense: io klu, tu klu(st)...

Or: klu(s)im, klusist/klust(a)/kluist(a), klu(s)it, klu(s)am, klu(s)at, klur

“eer” is shortened to “r” after stressed vowels.

Pasr participle: klut / klun



“ei” is quite rare alone at the end of a verbal stem and, for reasons of accentuation, appears instead as “eih”.


-          credeih : to believe


Present: credeihm, credeihs, credeiht, credeihm(o)s, yu credeihte, credeihnt

Infinitive: credihes [krëdI:s]

Past tense: io credih, tu credih...

Or: credihsim, credihst(a), credihsit, credihsam, credihsat, credihr

Past participle: crediht / credihn




5th category of verbs : a


Their inner vowel is “a”, or the diphthongs “au” or “ay”. Their ablaut is particular in that the “a” turns to “ie” only in the past tense, but not for the past participle, which keeps “a”. Furthermore, this ablaut, though recommended, is optional, and these “a” verbs can undergo the application of the “Von Wahl rules” (optionally for the past tense, but obligatorily for the past participle in “t”). These “a” verbs can be considered a transition between the ablaut verbs and the verbs that are subjected to the Von Wahl rules.

For the infinitive, the same rules apply as for the verbs in “ehC”.

The best illustration is given by the following verb:


-          salg : to go out of


Present: salgo, salcs, salct, salgmos, yu salcte, salge(nt)

Infinitive: salge

Past tense:

We can either use the ablaut: io sielg, tu sielg...

Or, with endings: sielgim, sielcst(a)/sielgist, sielgit, sielgam, sielgat, sielgeer

Or, we can use the Von Wahl rule according to which, lg = ls in the past tense.

Thus: io sals, tu sals...

Or, salsim, salsst(a)/salsist, salsit, salsam, salsat, salseer

(the form with ablaut is more common)

Past participle: sals (von Wahl rule) / salgen



-          nak : to reach


Present : nako, nacs, nact, nakmos, yu nacte, nake(nt)

Infinitive: nake

Past tense: io niek, tu niek...

Or: niekim, niecst(a)/niekist, niekit, niekam, niekat, niekeer

Nakim, nacsta... are possible but in fact never used.

Past participle: nact / naken



-          jawab : to reply


Present: jawabo, jawaps, jawapt, jawabmos, yu jawapte, jawabe(nt)

Infinitive: jawabe

Past tense: io jawieb, tu jawiepst...

Or: jawiebim, jawiepst(a)/jawiebist, jawiebit, jawiebam, jawiebat, jawiebeer

Jawabim, etc appears seldom.

Past participle: jawapt / jawaben



-          ghyan : to open


Present: ghyano, ghyans, ghyant, ghyanmos, yu ghyante, ghyane(nt)

Infinitive : ghyane

Past tense : io ghyien [gyen], tu ghyien…

Or : ghyienim, ghyienst(a)/ghyienist, ghyienit, ghyienam, ghyienat, ghyieneer

Theoretically: ghyanim, etc.

Past participle: ghyant / ghyanen



-          ghang : to walk


Present: ghango, ghancs, ghanct, ghangmos, yu ghancte, ghange(nt)

Infinitive: ghange

Past tense: io ghieng, tu ghiencst...

Or: ghiengim, ghiencst(a)/ghiengist, ghiengit, ghiengam, ghiengat, ghiengeer

Rare: ghangim, etc.

Past participle: ghanct / ghangen



-          salv : to save


Present: salvo, salvs, salvt, salvmos, yu salvte, salve(nt)

Infinitive: salve

Past tense: either with sielv, with or without endings, or with salv + endings.

Past participle: salwt [sAlut], by application of the rule for “v” of past participles (see below); salven.



-          trag : to drag, pull, draw


Present: trago, tracs, tract, tragmos, yu tracte, trage(nt)

Infinitive: trage

Past tense: io trieg, etc, with or without endings.

However, because of the proximity with Latin, a widespread form is to use trag + sigmatic aorist + endings. Thus, we get:

Traxim, tracst(a)/traxist, traxim, traxam, traxat, traxeer

Past participle: tract / tragen



 The next verb will illustrate, even for other verb categories, the issue of stems ending with unstressed –er or –el.


-          safer : to travel


Present: io safer, safers, safert, saferms, yu safert, safernt

In the 1st person singular, there is no ending, and the personal pronoun is used, because *saferm could create a confusion with saferms.

Infinitive: safer

No “e”, because this would shift the stress.

Past tense: io siefer, tu sieferst...

Here, all past endings can be used on either saf(e)r or sief(e)r because the pronunciation of the “f” (consonant within the verbal stem) remains unchanged when it stands close to “r”.

Past participle: safert / safern



Verbs in ay have an ablaut in ieu.


-          sayg : to say


Present: saygo, saycs, sayct, saygmos, yu saycte, sayge(nt)

Infinitive: sayge

Past tense: io sieyg, tu sieycst

Or, with endings : sieygim, sieycst(a)/sieygist, sieygit, sieygam, sieygat, sieygeer

Saygim is nearly never used.

Past participle: sayct / saygen



“ay” can appear at the end of a stem:


-          bay : to fear


Present: baym, bays, bayt, baym(o)s, yu bayte, baynt

Infinitive: baye

Past tense: io biey, tu bieyst...

Or : bieyim, bieyst(a)/bieyist, bieyit, bieyam, bieyat, bieyr

Bayim or baysim are possible in theory, but never used.

Past participle: bayt / bayn



Verbs in “au” behave much like verbs in “ay”.


-          aur : to hear


Present: auro, aurs, aurt, aurm(o)s, yu aurte, aurnt

Infinitive : aure

Past tense : io ieur, tu ieurst…

Or : ieurim, ieurst(a)/ieurist, ieurit, ieuram, ieurat, ieureer

Past participle : aurt / aur(e)n



-          kau : to notice


Present : kaum, kaus, kaut, kaum(o)s, yu kaute, kaunt

Infinitive: kaue

Past tense: io kieu, tu kieust...

Or, with endings and, when needed, the sigmatic aorist : kieusim, kieust(a)/kieusist, kieusit, kieusam, kieusat, kieur/kieuseer

Kau is seldom used without ablaut.

Past participle: kaut / kaun







6th category of verbs : Von Wahl rules


The final consonants of these verbs undergo modifications for the past tense and the past participle in “t”. These are as follows:



Verbal stem final consonants

final consonants after modification












Moreover, verbs ending with “v” undergo the following modifications for their past participle in “t”.


After "o-" or "u-", the "v" disappears. Example:  mov = mot


Otherwise, “v” turns to “w”.

Examples:   solv = solwt;  lav = lawt



Those rules may look difficult at first sight, but they only encompass within a regular framework irregularities often seen in English.


Decide : decision;  permit : permission; convert : conversion; solve : solution;  move : motion



-          clud : to close


Present : cludo, cluds, cludt, cludmos, yu cludte, clude(nt)

Infinitive : clude

Past tense: io clus, tu clusst...

Or: clusim, clusst(a)/clusist, clusit, clusam, clusat, cluseer

Past participle: clus / cluden



-          sedd : to sit


Present: seddo, sedds, seddt, seddmos, yu seddte, sedde(nt)

Infinitive: sedde

Past tense: io sess, tu sesst,...

Or : sessim, sesst(a)/sessist, sessit, sessam, sessat, sesseer

Past participle: sess / sedden



-          permitt : to permit, allow


Present: permitto, permitts, permitt, permittmos, yu permitte, permitte(nt)

Infinitive: permitte

Past tense: io permiss, tu permisst...

Or : permissim, permisst(a)/permissist, permissit, permissam, permissat, permisseer

Past participle : permiss / permitten


-          volg : to turn oneself


Present : volgo, volcs, volct, volgmos, yu volcte, volge(nt)

Infinitive : volge

Past tense : io vols, tu volsst…

Or : volsim, volsst(a)/volsist, volsit, volsam, volsat, volseer

Past participle: vols / volgen



-          curr : to run


Present: curro, currs, currt, currm(o)s, yu currte, curre(nt)

Infinitive : curre

Past tense: io curs, tu curst..

Or : cursim, curst(a)/cursist, cursit, cursam, cursat, curseer

Past participle : curs / curren




7th category of verbs : final stressed vowel sound


Those verbs all end with a final stressed vocalic sound, i.e., a  vowel, or “h” just after a vowel. Those ending with ending with “h” are numerous. We can mention: deh = “to put”; stah = “to stand”; gnoh = “to know”; dah = “to give”; bah = “to speak”; bih = “to become”; ghyah = “to be open”. Verbs of the same category without “h” are less common: syou = “to sew”; brai = “to bray”.


All those verbs follow the same pattern:


-          gwah : to go to


Present: gwahm, gwahs, gwaht, gwahm(o)s, yu gwahte, gwahnt

Infinitive: gwahe

Past tense: gwahsim, gwahst(a)/gwahsist, gwahsit, gwahsam, gwahsat, gwahr

Past participle: gwaht / gwahn




8th category: other verbs


They follow the general rules and must bear conjugational endings in the past tense, since their stem undergoes no change.


-          styr : to steer


Present: styro, styrs, styrt, styrm(o)s, yu styrte, styr(e)nt

Infinitive: styre

Past tense: styrim, styrst(a)/styrist, styrit, styram, styrat, styreer

Past participle: styrt / styrn



For pure reasons of etymology, some verbs may use the “sigmatic aorist” in the past tense.

Such are em (to take [figurative sense]) = emsim, emsist... or duc :


-          duc = to lead


Present: duco, ducs, duct, ducmos, yu ducte, ducent

Infinitive : duce [düts]

Past tense : duxim, ducst(a)/duxist, duxit, duxam, duxat, duxeer

Past participle : duct / ducen




We hope that this sketch of Sambahsa conjugated verbs will help you to cope with 90 % of situations. The rest can be found in the complete Grammar. Just recall that a Sambahsa verbal stem must fulfil two requirements:


-          the stress must fall on the same place for all persons in the present tense.

-          In all tenses, and except for nasal infix verbal stems, the unstressed “e” of final CeC can be dropped unless this changes the pronunciation of the preceding consonant.









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