CoolJugator: The Smart Conjugator in Basque

This is a very simple Basque verb conjugator. There are many Basque conjugators online, but, with this one, our goal is to make Basque conjugation easy, smart and straightforward.

You can input verbs into the CoolJugator bar above in any form, tense or mood in both Basque and English. The Basque CoolJugator can currently conjugate around 48 verbs. We suggest you try it out.

You can also click here to browse the list of Basque verbs that we can conjugate.

Common Basque verbs

If you run out of ideas, some common Basque verbs:

The Basque language

Basque is a linguistic isolate, a non Indo-European language spoken by close to 700 hundred thousand people mainly in the Basque Country, which currently falls largely under the territory of Spain (and parts of it of France - although there are only around 50 thousand Basque speakers in France, and the language has no official status there). Basque forms its own language group, and it is said to be one of the earliest languages spoken in Europe when Indo-Europeans arrived and brought their languages.

The Basques were hunter-gatherers who lived in Europe before the Indo-European farmers came along. The origin of their language is unknown, and many diverse theories exist aiming to explain it, trying to link it to various Caucasian, Iberian languages, or yet other ones arguing that the language developed natively in that region. It is thought that Basque is a descendant of the Aquitanian language, an ancient language spoken in the Pyrenees, and it has also been suggested that the Basques descend from early farmers who mixed with local hunters before becoming isolated for millennia. It is not entirely clear why exactly the Basque culture and language become isolated, although it is believed that this has to do with the geography and politics of the region: the Basque area has lots of forested mountain terrains, making it very difficult to conquer; moreover, there were no significant known resources in the area, reducing the incentives for its conquering. As a result, Basque remained largely intact during the Indo-European migration, and also it changed little due to the Muslim conquest of Spain, which changed Castellano quite significantly (for example, causing many words in Spanish to start with the Arabic definite article 'al'/'a' - 'almohada' - 'pillow', 'azúcar' - 'sugar', etc. Basques had even developed their own pagan religion, and mythology, of which, sadly, little has survived. Basque was largely unaffected by other languages before the Middle Ages, but some administrative divisions started appearing in the region at the time of the Middle Ages, which caused the split of the Basque language into dialects (they are counted differently, but some people point to 5 main dialects) along the borders of those administrative regions. These dialects developed further until Franco's dictatorship in Spain in 1939. Franco started a programme fueled by nationalism and dictatorial duress, and he heavily suppressed the use of Basque in Spain. This situation lasted for a long time, but it became slightly better in the seventh decade of the last century, when schools and education in Basque were again permitted. This also fuelled the development of Euskara Batua - a standardised version of Basque, which is largely a constructed language based on a number of features of the different Basque dialects, and which currently is still taught in official education and is recognised as the basis of Basque. Dialectal boundaries still remain (it is sometimes said that 'each valley has its own Basque'), and, despite the fact that only about half of the speakers of the Basque country currently speak Basque due to the suppression of the language by the dictatorial regime, Basque has been experiencing a partial revival in some regions.

Basque has a number of interesting features not found in other nearby languages: the ergative case (a special form of the noun when it takes a transitive verb, i.e. when the verb takes a direct object) - such an ergative cases only exists in a handful of languages, such as Georgian, Chechen, and other Caucasian ones, Mayan, Mixe–Zoque, Wagiman and other Australian Aboriginal languages, as well as Burushaski, Yaghnobi and Tibetan. It has some very interesting vocabulary, especially when it comes to simple words: su (fire), zur (wood), aiz (rock), jo (hit), jan (eat), lur (ground), ke (smoke), lan (work), etc. Moreover, Basque has influenced through its vocabulary other languages spoken in the region: for example, 'izquierdo' in Spanish, meaning 'left' (cf. Basque ezkerda 'the left one'), Portuguese 'esquerdo', Catalan 'esquerre').

Basque is written in the Latin alphabet.

About Basque conjugation

Basque conjugation is a procedure in which Basque verbs are changed to match with various other features of the phrase and its context. In Basque, you usually have to have a couple of basic forms of the verb to work out its other forms. Interestingly, only a couple of Basque forms have their full conjugations (i.e. are conjugated synthetically, for example 'nator' - 'I come'), while the majority of forms are conjugated periphastically - they derive out of main forms (for example, one could say 'etortzen naiz' to mean 'I come' as well, even though this periphastic version is closer to 'coming I am'). As a result, just by manipulating periphastic forms and auxiliary verbs, one can arrive at a great deal of Basque verbs. So, while it is said that the conjugation rules of Basque verbs are fairly complicated (for example, the transitive form of a verb may have up to 24 variations), this periphastic nature of the verb as a mitigating factor in the complexity. Moreover, in fact there are only a few irregular verbs in Basque, so you only have to learn a few auxiliary forms.

The main verb in Basque has only these simple forms:

  • the infinitive - for example, 'ikus', which means 'to study'
  • the past participle for example, 'ikusi', which means 'studied'
  • the verbal noun for example, 'ikuste(a)', which means '(the act of) studying'
  • the present participle / imperfective participle (interestingly, it is etymologically just an old locative of the verbal noun) for example, 'ikusten', which means 'studying'
  • the future / subjucntive participle for example, 'ikusiko', which means 'will study' or 'so that (X) study'

Other forms can be regarded as inflections of the past participle or verbal noun: 'ikusia' ('seen'), 'ikustean' - 'on seeing', etc.

In Basque, the verb generally agrees in person and number not only with its subject, but also with its direct or indirect object.

In the Basque CoolJugator, as usually in CoolJugators, we try to provide you as much information about the verb as possible, although we also try to focus on the most important aspects of Basque conjugation. We hope that this conjugation information, next to the abundant examples we provide, will help you become a better Basque speaker, or just learn more about the language, or both.

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