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PIE root

From Old East Slavic бꙑти ‎(byti), from Proto-Slavic *byti.



быть ‎(bytʹimpf

  1. to be
    Так бы́ло, так есть и так бу́дет всегда́!
    Tak býlo, tak jestʹ i tak búdet vsegdá!
    So it was, so it is, and so it will always be! [from the Hymn of the Russian Federation]

Usage notes[edit]

Omitted in the present tense except in the third-person singular "есть", which is used occasionally to express possession or definition or for emphasis. "есть" is originally 3rd person singular but is now used for all persons, e.g. "я и есть тот челове́к" - "I am that person". See also .


Note: present tense forms "есмь", "еси", "есмы", "есте" are archaic, "суть" is dated and used seldom and "есть" has a limited usage in modern Russian.

See also[edit]

  • past negative: (note the stress)
    не́ был, не была́, не́ было, не́ бы́ли
  • conditional/subjunctive:
    бы ‎(by), б ‎(b)