Verb types

A verb denotes an action or an occurence, ex. to eat, to speak, to look and to think.

A verb can involve an agent and a recipient. The agent performs or "causes" an action, and the recipient receives or "experiences" the action.

Pandunia has three verb types: verbs that end in -a, verbs that end in -u and verbs that end in -i. The endings decide the order of the agent and the recipient of the action in the sentence. So the sentence structure depends on the type of the verb.

Simply put, the ending -a means:
If there is anything right before the verb, it is the agent.
If there is anything right after the verb, it is the recipient.

The ending -u means:
If there is anything right before the verb, it is the recipient.
If there is anything right after the verb, it is the agent.

And finally, the ending -i means that the subject is in the state denoted by the verb root.

Consider the following examples:
me safa. – I clean.
me safa kamare. – I clean a room.
kamare safu. – The room is cleaned.
kamare safu me. – The room is cleaned by me.
kamare safi. – The room is clean.

As you can see, -a and -u indicate word orders that are opposite to each other. Verbs that end in -a are active and verbs that end in -u are called passive.

Active verbs

Verbs that end in -a are called active verbs.

In active sentences, the focus is on the doer (i.e. the agent) of the action. So the sentence word order is subject–verb–object.

feme kitaba buke.
– The woman writes a book.

The subject of an active verb is the doer or the agent who does the action that the verb indicates. The action is done to the object, which is the passive recipient of the action.

te vida ke? – You see what?
me vida lole. – I see them.
te beka pang. – You bake bread.

Passive verbs

Verbs that end in -u are called passive verbs. The sentence word order is again subject–verb–object, but the roles of subject and object are different than with active verbs.

In passive sentences, the focus is on the recipient of the action. The action is done to the recipient, which is the subject, and the object is the source or the agent of the action.

buke kitabu.
– The book gets written.

Often passive sentences in Pandunia can be translated to English by using the passive voice or an intransitive verb but sometimes a transitive verb can be used too.

pang beku te. – Bread is baked by you.
pakse domisu arbe. – Birds are housed by trees.
te suku me. – You are pleased by me. (Or: You like me.)

Stative verbs

Verbs that end in -i are called stative verbs. They are basically adjectives that describe the subject in a verb-like manner. The subject of a stative verb is in the state denoted by the verb root.

buke kitabi.
– The book is written.

Stative verbs differ from passive verbs by the fact that a stative verb is about being in a state whereas a passive verb indicates a change of state. In other words, a stative verb is a passive of being and a passive verb is a passive of becoming.

Summary of the verb types

The verb types are summarized in the table below.

Active verb Passive verb Stative verb
kitaba kitabu kitabi
write get written be textual
safa safu safi
make clean get cleaned be clean
nova novu novi
make new get new be new
yama yamu yami
eat get eaten be eatable
gusta gustu gusti
taste taste like be tasty
ama amu ami
love be loved be dear
suka suku suki
please get pleased be pleased
foba fobu fobi
frighten get frightened be afraid


-an- denotes someone or something that does the action of the root. It is the active participle suffix.

loga – to speak
logani – speaking
logane – the one who speaks

-ut- denotes someone or something that undergoes the action of the root. It is the passive participle suffix.

loga – to speak
loguti – spoken
padu – to fall
paduti – fallen

-ik- denotes someone or something that is predominantly characterized by the base word.

uni (one) → uniki (only, sole, single)
dome – home
domiki – domestic
novi (new) → novike (novice, newbie)

Causative verbs

Causative verbs express an action, which the subject causes to happen via some third party that is not mentioned. In Pandunia, causatives are formed with the active participle suffix -an-.

maw yama fixe. – The cat eats fish.
me yamana fixe pa maw. – I feed fish to the cat.

me bina dome. – I build the house.
me binana dome. – I have the house built.


In Pandunia, prepositions are basically a sub-category of verbs.

Prepositions of place and time

Pandunia has four prepositions of place and time.

  1. sa - presence, location or moment (in general): with, at, in, on, by, during, while
  2. na - absence or lack: without
  3. ca - origin, beginning or cause: from, since, because
  4. pa - destination, end or purpose: to, till, until, for, then

A preposition begins a prepositional phrase. In a simple prepositional phrase the preposition is complemented by a pronoun or a noun phrase.

me sa hotel. - I'm in the hotel.
me sona sa hotel. - I sleep in the hotel.
me sona ca xam pa sube. - I sleep since evening until morning.
me safara ca london pa paris. - I travel from London to Paris.

Prepositions can be complemented also by a verb phrase. Then they refer to time.

me denga ca te gowa. - I have waited since you left.
me denga pa te laya dome. - I wait until you come home.
me denga sa te sona. - I wait while you sleep.


sa is an all-purpose preposition. Its basic meaning is "with".

me libu sa dome.
I stand with house.
I stand by the house.

me loga sa pandunia.
I speak with Pandunia.
I speak in Pandunia.

me loga sa doste sa pandunia sa fon.
I speak with friends with Pandunia with telephone.
I speak with friends in Pandunia by telephone.

Verbs as prepositions

In Pandunia some verbs function like prepositions do in English.

me kata pang. - I cut bread.
me kata pang, uza caku. - I cut bread, use a knife. (I cut bread with a knife.)

me denga dura dul hor. - I wait, (it) lasts two hours. (I wait during/for two hours.)

Here are some verbs that are usable as prepositions:

bada - to follow; after, behind
dura - to last; during, for the time/duration of
jungu - to be centered; amid, amidst, in the middle, in the center
loka - to occupy, to be located; at
sirka - to surround; around
supra - to surpass; over, above

Verbs without prepositions

Prepositions are not used as frequently in Pandunia as in English. In many phrases, the verb says enough alone.

me laya dome. - I come home.
te sida kurse. - You sit (on) the chair.
le lala sofa'. - S/he lies (on) the sofa.
fix nata daria. - Fish swim (in) the sea.
jenger marca daw. - Warriors march (on) the road.

Preposition of relation

Preposition ko indicates manner or style. It corresponds to English prepositions like, than, as and as if.

me jana pandunia ko gur. - I know Pandunia like a master.

ko relates the verb or the adjective to a point of comparison. In the above example jana (know) is the verb and gur (master) is the point of comparison.

ko is also used when adjectives are compared.

bace si min day ko pape. - The child is smaller than the father.
law pape si samo day ko pape. - Grandfather is as big as father.

ko relates the adverbs of comparison – max (more), min (less) and samo (same) – to the point of comparison, which is pape (father) in the examples above.