Latvian has three conjugations for verbs: Short, Long and Mixed. They can also be referred to as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd conjugations, respectively, but that nomenclature isn’t always consistent.
To determine whether a verb fits into the short, long or mixed conjugation, apply the following rules:
- If the infinitive form has one syllable, it is a short conjugation verb.
- If the infinitive form has more than one syllable and the first person present form is identical to the first person simple past form, it is a long conjugation verb.
- If the infinitive has more than one syllable and the first person present is different from the first person simple past form, it is a mixed conjugation verb.
However, you also have to remember that prefixes, such as ap, at, pie, etc., do not count as syllables. So, pienākt is a short conjugation verb because it is nākt plus a prefix.
Even though reflexive verbs add an –ies to the end of the infinitive, they still follow the rules. You can drop the -ies to help you determine whether the infinitive is one syllable (ceļties -> ceļt) and look at the first person present and past forms. If they are the same, the verb belongs to the long conjugation.