tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Oct 24 13:04:49 2002

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Re: Learning Project (hopefully)

Gina wrote:

>I'm not sure any of these are right so anyone who can help me understand why
>they are wrong, please do.

Since you didn't flag the Subject line with "KLBC" for the attention of the 
Beginning Grammarian, I'll comment.

> > The prisoner eats.
>Okay, in this one I think eats would be the verb and prisoner would be the
>subject and there is no object:
>   Sop qama' ( not sure about how this is done )


> > The officer kills the prisoner.
>This one kills is the verb, the person being killed is the prisoner, so that
>is the subject and the officer would be the object???
>   yaS HoH qama'

That means:  "The prisoner kills the officer."

The subject is the one acting (in this case, the one doing the 
killing).  The object receives the action of the verb (in this case, the 
one being killed).  Klingon word order is object - verb - subject ("OVS" 
for short).  All together this becomes:

   qama' HoH yaS.
   The officer kills the prisoner.

   yaS HoH qama'.
   The prisoner kills the officer.

> > The woman sees the man.
>In this one sees would be the verb, man would be the subject and woman would
>be the object...or is the woman the subject because she is doing the seeing?

The latter:  "the woman" = subject, "sees" = verb, "the man" = object.

   loD legh be'.
   The woman sees the man.

>I'm not sure about this one...
>be' legh loD or is it loD leghbe'

   be' legh loD
   The man sees the woman.

   loD leghbe'.
   He/She does not see the man.

{-be'} is a suffix meaning "not", which negates the action of the verb.  Be 
careful not to confuse the noun {be'} "woman" with the verb suffix {-be'} 

By itself, {legh} is a verb in the third person with what we call a "zero 
prefix", that is you can't see it.  Without any context - that is, if the 
subject and object are not known - it can be translated variously as:

   He sees him/her/it/them.
   She sees him/her/it/them.
   They see them.

> > The man runs.
>Man would be the object and runs would be the verb.
>   qetloD

"man" = subject (the one doing the running);  there is no object in this 
sentence.  Thus:

   qet loD.
   The man runs.

Be careful to separate the words.

> > A prisoner drinks water.
>uummm.  drinks is the verb, prisoner is the subject because it is doing the
>drinking and water is the object????


>I'm not sure about this one.
>bIQ tlhutlh qama'


> > A woman drinks liquor.
>Same with this, I'm not sure, but I think Liquor is the object, drinks is
>the verb and woman is the subject.

Right, but remember Klingon OVS word order.  It's the opposite from 
English, which Okrand did intentionally to make it feel more "alien".

>be' tlhutlh HIq

This means:  "The liquor drinks a woman." (!?)

   HIq tlhutlh be'.
   A woman drinks liquor.

If it's easier, remember that in Klingon the subject always FOLLOWS the verb:

   tlhutlh be'.
   The woman drinks.

   tlhutlh loD.
   The man drinks.

... and the object always PRECEDES the verb:

   HIq tlhutlh.
   He drinks liquor.
   She drinks liquor.

   HIq tlhutlh be'.
   The woman drinks liquor.

   bIQ tlhutlh loD.
   The man drinks water.

And you can add the negative suffix {-be'} to the verb to say that the 
action does not occur:

   HIq tlhutlhbe'.
   He doesn't drink liquor.
   She doesn't drink liquor.

   tlhutlhbe' be'.
   The woman doesn't drink.
   The woman isn't drinking.

   tlhutlhbe' loD.
   The man doesn't drink.
   The man isn't drinking.

   HIq tlhutlhbe' be'.
   The woman doesn't drink liquor.
   The woman isn't drinking liquor.

   bIQ tlhutlhbe' loD.
   The man doesn't drink water.
   The man isn't drinking water.

Mastering Klingon OVS word order is the crucial first step.  Until it 
becomes automatic, you'll always be confused since you won't know who is 
doing what to whom!

Ca'Non Master of the Klingons

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