tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Dec 07 18:14:38 1999

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jatlh jeyD:

> I am very confused....
> how do you say "I think you are beautiful"

yItuv . . .

> whats the difference between
> SoH  'IH
> bI'IH
> or is there none?

<SoH 'IH> isn't really a sentence. If it means anything, it's a noun phrase
meaning "beautiful you". Klingon just doesn't do sentences like "you are
beautiful" the way English does.

<bI'IH>, on the other hand, means exactly "You are beautiful.", and is a
perfectly formed, complete sentence.

For "I think you are beautiful", things are interesting. Often times, the
English "I think" is a way of qualifying a remark to make it less bold and
less likely to offend, as in "Well I think it's stupid". Klingons would
rarely do this sort of thing, and would just say what they mean - <QIp> "It
is stupid". 

At other times, the "I think" expresses some uncertainty with the statment,
as in "I think it's red", implying "but I might be wrong". For this, Klingon
has a built in grammatical tool: the suffix <-law'>. <-law'> expresses
uncertainty on the part of the speaker: <Doqlaw'> - "It is apparently red"
or "I think it's red".

Finally, "I think" can mean just that, and that is probably the case with "I
think you are beautiful". In this case, Klingons would use the "sentence as
object" construction. They would say what they think - "you are beautiful".
They would then add the special pronoun <'e'> to stand in for the previous
sentence, and then add "I think":

bI'IH 'e' vIQub - "You are beautiful. I think that" -OR- "I think you are

For more about SAO, see TKD 6.2.5

Beginners' Grammarian

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