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


  • IPA(key): [bɨt͡sʲ]
  • (file)


быць (bycʹ)

  1. to be

Usage notes[edit]

  • It is omitted in the present tense except in the third-person singular ёсць which is used either to emphasise the existence of the subject, a predicate meaning “there is” and to express possession (English verb "to have")
    Ёсць які-небудзь стары, што да вайны тут жыў? (Josc’ jakí-njébudzʹ starý, što da vajný tut žyŭ?)
    Is there anyone old that lived here before the war?
    У мяне ёсць пытанне (u mjanjé joscʹ pytánnje)
    I have a question.
  • It is usually expressed in the present tense as a pause, represented in the written language by a dash.
    Я беларус, а ты украінец (ja - bjelarús, a ty - ukraínjec)
    I am a Belarusian and you are a Ukrainian.
    Хлопчык вельмі галодны (xlópčyk vjél’mi halódny)
    The young man is very hungry.
  • However, the dash is not written in third person impersonal adverbial phrases.
    Цяжка вывучыць новую мову (cjážka vývučycʹ nóvuju móvu)
    It is difficult to learn a new language.
  • Other verbs such as бываць and стаць can also be used instead.