Conjugate Verbs


  • Language: Georgian
  • Alternate names: Kartuli, Gruzinski, Common Kartvelian
  • Language code: kat
  • Language family: Kartvelian, Georgian
  • Number of speakers: 4178604
  • Script: Georgian script


Georgian is the primary language of about 3.9 million people in Georgia itself (83 percent of the population), and of another 500,000 abroad (chiefly in Turkey, Iran, Russia, the USA and Europe). It is the literary language for all ethnographic groups of Georgian people, especially those who speak other South Caucasian languages (or Kartvelian languages): Svans, Mingrelians, and the Laz.

Judeo-Georgian, sometimes considered a separate Jewish language, is spoken by an additional 20,000 in Georgia and 65,000 elsewhere (primarily 60,000 in Israel).

The verb

The Georgian verbal system is considerably complex. Rather than using the terms "tense", "aspect", "mood", etc. separately, linguists prefer to use the term "screeve" to distinguish between different time frames and moods of the verbal system. A screeve is a set of six verb forms inflected for person and number.

Verbs are traditionally divided into four classes:

  1. transitive verbs,
  2. intransitive verbs,
  3. verbs with no transitive counterparts (medial verbs) and
  4. indirect verbs.

There are numerous irregular verbs in Georgian, but they all belong to one of these classes. Each class uses different strategies to build the verb complex, irregular verbs employing somewhat different formations.

Sample verb: shen (Class 1)

Present subseries Future subseries Aorist series Perfective series
Present indicative Imperfect Present subjunctive Future indicative Conditional Future subjunctive Aorist indicative Optative Perfect Pluperfect Perfect subjunctive
Sg.1 v\-a\-shen\-eb v\-a\-shen\-eb\-d\-i v\-a\-shen\-eb\-d\-e a\-v\-a\-shen\-eb a\-v\-a\-shen\-eb\-d\-i a\-v\-a\-shen\-eb\-d\-e a\-v\-a\-shen\-e a\-v\-a\-shen\-o a\-m\-i\-shen\-eb\-i\-a a\-m\-e\-shen\-eb\-i\-na a\-m\-e\-shen\-eb\-in\-o\-s