izan

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Basque[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From the participle prefix *e- + the stem -iza- of unknown origin + the past participle suffix -n. The nor paradigm has numerous suppletive stem forms.

The present-tense forms have three stems: -a (third-person singular only), -aiz (with first and second-person singular prefixes), and -ara (in first and second person plural forms}.

Verb[edit]

izan

  1. (auxiliary, intransitive) to be
    Hau nire emaztea da.This is my wife.
    Gizakiak gara.We are people.
    Synonym: egon
  2. auxiliary used with intransitive (nor) verbs
    Zer gertatu da?What happened?
Usage notes[edit]

Southern Basque (like Spanish) has two different verbs that are usually translated to English as “to be”; izan and egon. Izan is used to express a quality of something, while egon is used to express a state (e.g. location). For example:

  • Mahaia handia da. — The table is big. (using izan because this is an inherent quality of the table)
  • Mahaia zikina dago. — The table is dirty. (using egon because this is a temporary state that the table is in)
  • Iñaki Donostiakoa da. — Iñaki is from San Sebastián. (using izan because it is an immutable quality of Iñaki)
  • Iñaki Donostian dago. — Iñaki is in San Sebastián. (using egon because it is describing Iñaki's location)

Northern Basque does not have this distinction, so "to be" is translated as izan in almost all contexts.

Conjugation[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

The stem -(t)zai- occurs in the indicative forms. The potential and imperative forms have the suppletive stem -ki-. Forms with plural nor agreement throughout the paradigm have the suffix -zki- immediately attached the stem and preceding the nori agreement suffixes.

Verb[edit]

izan

  1. (auxiliary, intransitive, with dative agreement) auxiliary used with intransitive verbs with dative arguments (nor nori verbs)
    Txapela erori zaio.His hat fell off.
    Etorri zitzaigun.He came to us.
    Atea itxi zaio.The door closed on him.
    Erruki zakizkio.Take pity on him.
Conjugation[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Verb[edit]

izan

  1. Alternative form of *edun (auxiliary used with transitive (nor nork) verbs).
Usage notes[edit]
  • Basque grammarians usually refer to this, along with the nor nori nork auxiliary, by the northern citation form ukan or by the reconstructed participle form *edun; as separative verb from the intransitive forms of izan.

Etymology 4[edit]

Verb[edit]

izan

  1. Alternative form of *edun (auxiliary used with transitive verbs that take a dative argument (nor nori nork)).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • izan in Etymological Dictionary of Basque by R. L. Trask, sussex.ac.uk

Spanish[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

izan

  1. Third-person plural (ellos, ellas, also used with ustedes?) present indicative form of izar.
  2. (used formally in Spain) Second-person plural present indicative form of izar.