From Proto-Baltic *skait-, from an ablaut variant of Proto-Indo-European *skey- ‎(to cut; to separate). The original meaning was thus “cut (off),” apparently a reference to incisions made on wood to mark numbers or quantities (a custom found among many peoples, and also among ancient Latvians); the noun skaits “number” would have originally meant “incision,” and the verb skaitīt “to make incisions” > “to mark the number,” “to count.” It is also possible that another stem, proposed by some researchers as the source of skaitīt: Proto-Indo-European *kʷeit- ‎(to observe) (> Russian честь ‎(čestʹ, honor), Sanskrit चेतति ‎(cétati, to notice, observe), केतः ‎(kétaḥ, will, intention, tendency, invitation)), has converged historically with *skey- in this word. Cognates include Lithuanian skaitýti ‎(to read; to count; to calculate), Proto-Slavic *čьsti, *čitati “to read, to count,” from earlier Proto-Slavic *kitō or *skitō (Old Church Slavonic чисти ‎(čisti, to count), first person present tense чьтѫ ‎(čĭtǫ), Russian читать ‎(čitát’, to read), dialectal and archaic честь ‎(čest’, to read, to count), Bulgarian чета ‎(četá, to read), dialectal четъ ‎(četǎ́, to count), Czech čítat ‎(to read, to count), čísti ‎(to read), Polish czytać ‎(to read), Old Polish czyść), Gothic 𐍃𐌺𐌰𐌹𐌳𐌰𐌽 ‎(skaidan), German scheiden ‎(to divide, to separate).[1]


This entry needs audio files. If you have a microphone, please record some and upload them. (For audio required quickly, visit WT:APR.)


skaitīt tr. or intr., 3rd conj., pres. skaitu, skaiti, skaita, past skaitīju

  1. to count (to say the numbers in order)
    skaitīt līdz desmit — to count to ten
    skaitīt uz priekšu un atpakaļ — to count up and down
    iemacīties skaitīt — to learn (how) to count
    sensenos laikos cilvēks partis skaitīt tikai līdz divi — in ancient times, people could count only (up) to two
    Annele putnu gaidot skaita: divdesmit, piecdesmit, simtu, divi simti... bet debess paliek kā izmirusi — Annnele, waiting for the bird(s), counted: twenty, fifty, a hundred, two hundred... but the sky remained as if dead
  2. to count (to establish how many objects, people, etc. there are in a given group by assigning to each of them a number in order)
    skaitīt grāmatas — to count books
    skaitīt naudu — to count money
    skaitīt balsis — to count votes
    skaitīt ar pirkstiem — to count on (one's) fingers
    skaitāmie kauliņi — abacus (lit. countable beads)
    viņš skaitīja, cik katra loga restēm caurumiņu — he counted how many holes (there) were on the window grill
    vecais sienas pulkstenis gurdi skaita sekundes, kas kļūst par minūtēm un stundām — the old wall clock tiredly counts the seconds that (in turn) become minutes and hours
    agrāk šādus smilšu pulksteņus lietoja, skaitot slimnieka pulsu — earlier they used such hourglasses (when) taking (lit. counting) a person's pulse
  3. to count (to measure the time from a certain event on)
    Latvijā futbola sākumu skaita ar 1907. gadu, kad Rīgā organizēja pirmo futbola kolektīvu — the beginning of soccer in Latvia is counted with (= from) 1907, when the first soccer team was organized in Riga
  4. to count (syllables), to scan, to recite (poetry), to pray {{prayer)
    vīri un sievas... klusībā skaita tēvreizi — men and women... quietly counted (= scanned, recited) the Lord's prayer
    man sarīkojumā bija jāskaita Aspazijas dzejolis — at the party I had to count (= recite) Aspazija's poem
  5. to recite (to speak monotonously, usually repeating the same words)
    “trepes, trepes, trepes”, Zvans skanīja, gudrodams, kur vislabāk tās meklēt — “stairs, stairs, stairs,” Zvans recited, wondering where he could find them
    “nakts un tumsa... nakts un tumsa...” viņas lūpas skaita šos divus vārdus — “night and darkness... night and darkness...” her lips recited these two words
    Gunta jau attin ēdamlietu saini pie galda un skaita skaļā balsī: “halva, pīrāgi, kotletes, sviests, rieksti” — Gunta unwrapped the foodstuffs on the table and recited aloud: “halva, pies, meatballs, butter, nuts”
  6. to count (something) as (something) (to consider something as part of some group; to belive something to be true, to have happened)
    mani lūdzu neskaitīt līdz — please don't count me in
    skaitīt kādu par izglītotu — to count (= consider) someone as educated
    ja Daņilovas gravai pārbrauksim, varam skaitīt, ka esam mājās — if (= when) we will have passed Daņilova's glen, we can count (ourselves) (already0 at home


Derived termsEdit

prefixed verbs:
other derived terms:

Related termsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Karulis, Konstantīns (1992), “skaitīt”, in Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca (in Latvian), Rīga: AVOTS, ISBN 9984-700-12-7
Read in another language