The present time with the simple verb
Нени эдет? (what does he do?)
Канайдат? (how does he do?)
This tense is used to express the common present action, and it also can express permanent situations and habits, facts which are always true.
An altai verb has both simple and complex forms, and this is the simple one that consists of one word.
To form the simple form in the present we add -ат, -ет, -от, -ӧт, -йт to the base form of the verb.
In case a verb base ends in any vowel we add the affix –йт, for example, ойнойт – plays, иштейт –works, сӱӱйт –loves, јийт – eats.
In case a verb base ends in any consonant sound we have the following affixes:
1. if the last syllable has a hard back vowel (а, у, ы) we add the affix -ат: кычырат –reads, отурат – seats.
2. If the last syllable has the hard back vowel (o) we add the affix -от: токтодот – stops, ойгозот –wakes.
3.If the last syllable in a verb base has a soft front vowel (и, е, ӱ) the following affix is –ет, for example, берет –gives, келет –comes, ичет – drinks.
4. If the last vowel in the last syllable is (ӧ) the affix is –ӧт: кӧрӧт – looks at.
Remember! When we add an affix beginning with a vowel, the last voiceless consonant of a verb or a noun changes into its voiced variant: айт=say, айдат=says, тап=find, табат=finds, тут=hold, тудат=holds, кош=add, кожот=adds, ук=listen to, угат=listens to, беш=five, бежинчи= fifth, кыс=daughter/girl, кызым=my daughter, ат=name/horse, адыҥ=your name/your horse, баш=head, бажым=my head, тиш=tooth, тижи=her tooth/his tooth.
In altai language we have two questions НЕНИ ЭДЕТ? КАНАЙДАТ? for the simple verb in present because the question НЕНИ ЭДЕТ? (what does he do?) is asked to express an action, for example, draws, plays, works, etc.
The question КАНАЙДАТ? (How does he do?) is asked to find out how a person behaves himself, and feels: laughs, weeps, cries, etc.
Now you see that every verb in altai language changes its ending for every person and you can use only a verb without a personal pronoun so a verb alone can show who does an action. The personal ending of a verb goes after the time affix. Look at an example: барадым=I go, it consists of a verb base бар+ад (the time affix –АТ has changed into its voiced version –АД)+ым (personal ending for the first person singular).
The simple verb in present has the following personal endings:
–ИМ, -ЫМ for the first person singular (I), the examples are: ажанадым=I eat, айдадым=I say, келедим= I come, бередим= I give, кӧрӧдим=I see/I look at.
–ИҤ, -ЫҤ for the second person singular (you), the examples are: ажанадыҥ=you eat, кычырадыҥ=you read, ойнойдыҥ= you play, иштейдиҥ=you work, келедиҥ=you come.
The third person singular of the verb has no personal ending and has only the affix to express the time: ол келет=he comes, ол алат=she takes, ол берет=he gives, ол барат=he goes.
The plurals of a simple verb present
The plural first person (we) of the simple verb present is formed by adding affixes –ИС, -ЫС to the simple verb. As you know these affixes are the short forms of the affixes –ЫБЫС, -ИБИС which are very rarely used in both spoken and written altaian. So we prefer using the shorten ones.
Look at examples: келедис=we come, барадыс=we go, аладыс=we take, айдадыс=we say, учадыс=we fly, кӧрӧдис=we see/look at, угадыс=we listen to/hear.
The verb of the second person is formed by adding affixes –ААР ( ЫГАР) after (а,ы,у), and –ЕЕР (ИГЕР) after (и, е, ӱ). But after (ӧ) we add –ӦӦР, and after (o) we have –ООР.
The sound (г) in the affixes –ЫГАР, – ИГЕР is reduced, so they change into affixes –ААР, – ЕЕР, the examples are: барадыгар (барадаар)= you go, келедигер (келедеер)= you come.
The third person both singular and plural of the present simple verb has no personal ending and has only the affix to express the time: олор келет= they come, олор алат=they take, олор берет= they give, олор барат= they go.
Мен ойнойдым – I play
Сен ойнойдыҥ – you play
Ол ойнойт – he plays
Бис ойнойдыс – we play
Слер ойнойдоор – you play
Олор ойнойт – they play
Мен ичедим – I drink
Сен ичедиҥ – you drink
Ол ичет – he drinks
Бис ичедис – we drink
Слер ичедеер – you drink
Олор ичет – they drink