Sentences

Observations

Observations are the simplest sentence type. They may consist of only one word, which draws the listener's attention.

maw! – A cat!
barxa! – (It) rains!

Stative Sentences

With noun or pronoun subject

Normally a sentence consists of a subject and a predicate. In the simplest sentences, the subject is a noun or a pronoun and the predicate is an adjective or a noun.

me bon. – I am good.
le novi. – It is new.
le sarah. – She is Sarah.
sarah bon. – Sarah is good.
petre day. – The stone is big.
meze novi. – The table is new.

The word no is added to form the negative.

me no bon. – I'm not good.
le no novi. – It's not new.
le no sarah. – She is not Sarah.

It is possible to add the word si (yes) before the predicate in positive sentences, for style or for convenience. Then the structure is similar like in negative sentences.

sarah si bon. – Sarah is good.
petre si day. – The stone is big.
meze si novi. – The table is new.
meze no purani. – The table is not old.

Also two personal pronouns can be combined with si and no.

me si le. – I am he/she.
me no te. – I'm not you.

With adjective subject

The same rule applies also for two adjectives.

jowan si sundari. – Young is beautiful.
novi no purani. – New is not old.

With verb subject

A verb can't be subject as such. So the verb is first, use ye to start a comment about the verb.

canta, ye bon. – Singing, that is good. (Singing is good.)

Active Sentences

An active sentence is a sentence where the subject does the action denoted by the verb to the object. The focus is on the subject as the active participant. The correct word order is subject-verb-object (SVO).

In Pandunia, active verbs are easy to identify because all of them end in -a.

The following sentences are in SVO order.

me niama aple. – I eat apples.
me vida te. – I see you.

Passive Sentences

In the passive voice the focus of the sentence is on a subject that is a passive recipient that undergoes the action. So the recipient is the subject of the sentence. Often the agent is not mentioned at all.

In Pandunia, the passive voice is expressed with the verb ending in -u. The word order is subject–verb–(optional object) or, more precisely, recipient–verb–(optional agent).

te vidu. – You are seen.
musike audu. – Music is heard.
pang beku. – Bread is baked.
kope parcu. – Cup breaks. (Cup gets broken.)

The agent can be mentioned after the verb with or without the preposition da.

te vidu me. - You are seen by me.
te vidu da me. - You are seen by me.

Sometimes a passive verb can be translated with an active verb in English. That is sometimes the case with suku, which means to be pleased by (a passive verb) or to like (an active verb). That is because the direction of pleasing is from the active doer to the passive recipient.

me suku musike. – I am pleased by music. / I like music.

Pivot structure

Basic pivot structure (SVOVO)

In the pivot structure the word order is:
subject – verb 1 – object 1 – verb 2 – object 2.

Object 1 has two roles. It is at the same time the object for the verb 1 and the subject for the verb 2.

me wana te niama sabze. – I want you eat vegetables.

In the example above, me wana has te as its object. At the same time, te functions as the subject of the following predicate, niama sabze. So te is the pivot of the entire sentence.

Verb series

There can be two, three or even more verbs in a series, and all of them are about the same subject

  1. me gowa dome. – I go home.
  2. me abla gowa dome. – I can go home.
  3. me wana abla gowa dome. – I want to be able to go home. (Word for word: I want can go home!)

Pronoun dropping

In certain types of expressions the pronouns get dropped for brevity. This is done especially in commands and requests.

Short pivot structure (VOVO)

me eska te baxa pandunia. – I ask do you speak Pandunia.
eska te baxa pandunia? – Do you speak Pandunia.

Short pivot structure (VVO)

me pliza te laya dome. – I ask you to come home.
pliza laya dome! – Please come home! (Word for word: Request come home!)

Combining phrases with conjunctions

Basic conjunctions

  1. e and (connects two similar words or phrases)
  2. o or (connects two alternative words or phrases)
  3. a - but (introduces a word or phrase that contrasts with or contradicts the preceding word or phrase)

me suku maw e waf. – I like cats and dogs.
me suku maw o waf. – I like cats or dogs.
me suku maw a no waf. – I like cats but not dogs.


Particles

Affirmation and Negation

Affirmative

Particle si is affirmative and no is negative. si affirms the existence of something, whereas no denies it. In other words si means "to be" or "there is" and no means "not to be" or "there is not".

Expressions are affirmative by default, so the word si is not always necessary. However it is especially convenient in expressions of state.

me si ren. – I am a person.
le si novi meze. – It is a new table.

Negative

Such sentences can be simply negated with no.

me no ren. – I'm not a person.
le no novi meze. – It's not a new table.

The word no is used for denying anything. It affects always the next word. Different scopes of negation may result depending on the location of the negative word.

me vida te. – I see you.
me no vida te. – I don't see you.
me vida no te a lole. – I see, not you, but them.

me pliza te safa kamar. – I ask you to clean the room.
me no pliza te safa kamar. – I do NOT ask you to clean the room.
me pliza te no safa kamar. – I ask you NOT to clean the room.

The particles si and no are used also for answering questions.

eska te vida me? – Do you see me?
si. (me si vida te.) – Yes. (I do see you.)
no. (me no vida te.) – No. (I don't see you.)

Negative questions are answered so that si and no apply to the verb, not the whole question.

eska te no vida me? – Don't you see me?
si. (me si vida te.) – Yes. (I do see you.)
no. (me no vida te.) – No. (I don't see you.)

Modifier particles

Particles du and da are used to link a noun, an adjective or a verb phrase to a noun to modify it. du connects the modifying word or phrase to the main noun word. da works in the opposite direction, it connects the main noun to the modifying word or phrase.

Possession

The modifier particle can be used for any possessive noun or pronoun.

With regards to possession, du works like the apostrophe-s ('s) in English. It indicates that the previous word has possession of the next one.

maria du mame – Maria's mother
maria du mame du dome – Maria's mother's house

da works like "of" in English. It indicates that the next word has possession of the previous one.

mame da maria – the mother of Maria
dome da mame da maria – the house of the mother of Maria

It's possible to use da and du with personal pronouns too, so one can say things like dome da me (the house of mine) but it's better to use the short possessive pronouns and say simply mi dome (my house).

Modification with noun phrases

Another way to use these particles is to connect an adjective or other words with a noun. It gives us more information about the noun, and the particle makes it clear in which end the main noun is.

The modifier particles are useful for creating complex adjectives that consists of two or more words.

rozi rang du labe – rose-colored lips
samani rang du kan – sky-colored eyes

Or in the opposite order:

labe da rozi rang – lips of the rose-color
kan da samani rang – eyes of the sky-color

The particles help in creating measure words too.

un sake du patate – one sack of potatoes
dul sake du patate – two sacks of potatoes
max sake du patate – more sacks of potatoes

Note that du and da connect phrases together. So a modifier phrase with and without du can mean a different thing.

max sundari fule – more beautiful flowers
max du sundari fule – more of beautiful flowers

Modification with verb phrases

Verbs and verb phrases are turned into modifiers by placing da or du immediately next to the verb. The places of the agent and the recipient stay the same in modifying phrases as in declarative phrases.

A declarative phrase:
maw vidu me. – A cat is seen by me.

The corresponding modifying phrase:
maw da vidu me – the cat that is seen by me

Note! Although da seems to have a similar role here as English relative pronouns which, that, who and whom, it's still nothing more than a particle connecting a modifier (in this case: a verb phrase) to the modified.

The opposite word order is made with du and the verb ending in -a.

A declarative phrase:
me vida maw. – I see a cat.

The corresponding modifying phrase:
me vida du mawMy seen cat i.e. the cat that I see

Pay attention to the final vowels! They are crucial for the meaning!

maw da vidu man – the cat that is seen by the man
maw da vida man – the cat that sees the man
maw vida du man – the cat-seen man
maw vidu du man – the cat-seeing man

Note! In Pandunia, words can be put in many different orders. That's why some translations sound clumsy in English although the original phrases are perfectly natural in Pandunia.

Modification with adposition phrases

The modified noun can be part of an adposition phrase too.

me safara pa du site si teli. – My destination city is far away.

With the modified noun at the beginning, we need to call into action the otherwise rarely used postpositions nu, cu, su, and pu.

site da pu me safara si teli. – The city I’m traveling to is far away.
yi kalam da su me zay kitaba si novi. – This pen, with which I’m writing now, is new.

9.2.5. Modification with clauses

Any clause can modify a noun in the same manner: the modified noun is moved to the beginning of the modifying clause and separated out with da, or moved to the end and separated out with du.

me xerca me paso abla laxa du eni xey. – I'm looking for anything I might have left behind.

In more complex cases, it can become challenging to maneuver the noun to the end of the clause. In these cases, the word order may be relaxed as long as it is clear where in the modifying clause the noun goes. Note, however, that it may be more understandable to simply rearrange the sentence entirely.

lole loga loke da me no abla eureka sa karte. – They named a place I couldn't find on the map. me cana table da ren. me raya mome xudu eska lole tema liga momi partia. – I've tabulated the people that I think we should ask about joining our party.

Modal particles indicate what the speaker thinks about s/he says in relation to the listener. Modal particles are commonly used in many languages. East Asian languages, including Chinese and Japanese, use famously sentence-final particles.

In Pandunia, a modal particle modifies the subsequent word, or the whole sentence, when the modal particle is the last word in the sentence.

The particle plus (also) is a good example because it functions much like in English.

le niama bir plus. – S/he drinks beer, also.
le niama plus bir. – S/he drinks also beer.
le plus niama bir. – S/he also drinks beer.
plus le niama bir.Also s/he drinks beer.

Modal particles can modify all kinds of words, including pronouns and numerals, which adjectives can't modify.

Tense and Aspect Particles

In Pandunia, tense can be expressed with time words and time phrases if needed. The general time words are pas (past), zay (present) and wil (future, upcoming). They function like adjectives and adverbs, so typically their place is before the verb.

me pas tena maw. – I had cats.
a me no zay tena maw. – But I now don't have cats.
ablo me wil tena maw. – Maybe I will have cats.

It's also possible to say it in a longer way like sa pase (in the past) etc.

me tena maw sa pase. – I had cats in the past.
a me no tena maw sa zaye. – But I don't have cats at present.
ablo me tena maw sa wile. – Maybe I will have cats in the future.

Note! Verbs are not conjugated. So the verb tena stayed the same in all tenses in the examples above.

Naturally time words are used only when they are necessary. Usually it is enough to mention the time just once at the beginning of the text and not in every single sentence, if the tense doesn't change.