Apart from Hungarian, are there any other languages with definite and indefinite conjugation (verbal inflections)?

For example (in Hugarian):

Definite conjugation: I see the tree. – Látom a fát.

Indefinite conjugation: I see a tree. – Látok egy fát.

See more: https://myhunlang.com/2010/02/07/the-difference-between-definite-and-indefinite-conjugation/

Given user23769's answer below, are there any non-Uralic languages with definite and indefinite conjugation?

3 Answers 3


Mordvin is another example of that feature.

  • 2
    That Mordvin/Erzya it is also an Uralic language is not surprising.
    – Circeus
    Jun 21, 2021 at 3:07

Inuit languages have specific and nonspecific verbs. Specific verbs are used when the direct object is definite, and nonspecific verbs are used in other cases.

However, the relationship between these two categories appears to be lexical.

Many verbs belong in both categories, and can take either set of endings depending on the type of information about the verb's arguments that speakers intend to communicate. Others are restricted to one category or require a morphological change in order to move between categories.

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    Partly lexical, at least. Some verbal roots are inherently definite (only used in ergative constructions with the subject in the ergative case and the object(s) definite and in the plain form), and some are inherently indefinite (only used in accusative constructions with the subject in the plain form and any object(s) present indefinite and in the instrumental case). Most verbs, however, are either used directly in both (e.g., Gl. takuvoq ‘he sees’, takuvaa ‘he sees it’) or use a suffix to more or less predictably switch between definite and indefinite. Nov 3, 2021 at 9:19

Punjabi has indefinite and definite verb conjugations, specifically of the subjunctive forms of verbs. An inflecting suffix ਗਾ (Gurmukhi) / گا (Shamukhi) is used for this.


میں اُتھے جاواں

"I will go there"


میں اُتھے جاؤں‌گا

"I will surely go there"

English captions are approximate of course

  • 1
    Can you please provide transcriptions for those who do not read Gurmukhi or Shamukhi? Can you also explain how the Punjabi forms relate to definiteness the same way the Hungarian examples in the question do? From the English translations, the suffix you mention seems rather to express an intensive or desiderative mood than a definite conjugation. Sep 5, 2022 at 14:58
  • There is no way to translate these exactly to English; the only reason I used "surely" instead of the "a / the" distinction in the opening post is because Punjabi does not use particles so it would make less sense. It would be more accurate to translate both to "I will go there," but the distinction in meaning still exists in Punjabi just to indicate an additional degree of certainty/specificity/definiteness. They are quite similar to the Hungarian in that they are suffixed verbal conjugations. Sep 6, 2022 at 16:59
  • The suffix is "-ga" Indefinite: "main utthe javan" Definite: "main utthe javanga" Sep 6, 2022 at 17:00
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    I think you mean ‘articles’ rather than ‘particles’. The thing is that what the question is asking about is different conjugations for definite and indefinite objects. Neither of your sentences, at least in their English translations, contains an object, since ‘go’ is an almost (though not quite) universally intransitive verb. Can the same effect be applied to a transitive construction; e.g., can adding -ga to the verb turn a sentence that means “He painted a house” into one that means “He painted the house”, referring to a specific house? Sep 6, 2022 at 18:02
  • If instead -ga would make it mean something like “He definitely painted a house”, intensifying the certainty that the painting took place, rather than narrowing down the house to a specific one, then that’s a different function, something more along the lines of an intensive or desiderative. Sep 6, 2022 at 18:03

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