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The basics of Pandunia

Pandunia is a constructed language that has a minimalistic grammar and a globalistic vocabulary.

Letters and sounds

Pandunia uses a systematic spelling where each letter represents one spoken sound.

The vowels a, e, i, o, u are pronounced as in "are there three or two".

The consonants are: b, c (sounds like ch in church), d, f, g (always hard), h, j, k, l, m, n, p, r (never silent), s (always voiceless), t, v (sounds like w), x (sounds like sh), y, z.

Never changing words

Words don't ever inflect or change in Pandunia – not even when they change their word class! The same word, without any change in form, can serve as a noun, adjective or verb.

Personal pronouns

mi mimen
I, me we, us
tu tumen
you you all
ya yamen
he/she, him/her they, them

Basic sentence structures

The particle ye 'yes' separates the subject and the verb.

mau ye yam. – The cat eats.
jen ye some. – The person sleeps.

If the subject is a personal pronoun, the ye is left out.

mi yam. – I eat.
tu some. – You sleep.

The basic word order is subject–verb–object – the same as in English!

mi ame tu. – I love you.

When the direct object is a noun, it is marked apart from the verb by a demonstrative pronoun, numeral or another determiner.

mi yam un pai. – I eat a pie.
tu yam ni pai. – You eat this pie.

Negation

To negate a word, add no before it.

mi no some. – I don't sleep.
tu yam no jen. – You eat no-one.

To be

The verb e means 'to be'. It can be left out in very simple sentences.

mi e jen. – I am a person.
mi jen. – I'm a person.

It can't be left out when it is part of a serial verb.

mi vol e mau. – I want to be a cat.
mi vol mau! – I want a cat!

Multi-purpose words

Pandunia words can be ambiguous because they often have more meanings compared to English.

ya ame mau. – He loves cats. / She loved a cat. / He or she will love the cat.

But actually the meaning is clear in the real context:

pre tri nen, mi ha du mau i un vaf. mi max ha un fem ben. ya ame mau! – Three years ago, I had two cats and a dog. I also had a daughter. She loved the cats!

Time

Tenses and aspects are optionally expressed with the help of adverbs and auxiliary verbs, like zai (currently), pas (in the past), le (already), and xa (in the future).

mi zai ame tu. – I am loving you.
mi pas ame tu. – I loved you.
mi le ame tu. – I have loved you.
mi xa ame tu. – I will love you.

Passive

The passive voice is formed with the help of the helping verb be.

tu be ame. – You are loved.
mi be ame de tu. – I am loved by you.

Modifying other words

To modify a noun, put adjectives before it.

un neu ame – a new love
la bon pai – the good pie

To modify a verb, put adverbs before it. The adverb can be tagged with di.

mi bon vide tu. – I see you well.
tu vide di ame ya. – You seemingly love him/her.

Modifiers are compared with max 'more, -er', maxim 'most, -est', min 'less', minim 'least' and par 'equally, as'. The point of comparison is introduced with ka 'than, as'.

tu e max lau ka mi. – You are older than me.
tu e maxim lau. – You are the oldest.

Questions

To ask yes–or–no questions, replace the verb with "(verb) no (verb)" pattern or add he 'eh, huh' to the end of the sentence.

tu vide no vide mi? – Do you see me?
tu vide mi, he? – You see me, eh?

To ask a content question, write a normal sentence and replace the word in question with ke 'what, who'.

tu ame ke? – Who do you love?
tu ame ke man? – Which man do you love?
ke man ye ame tu? – Which man loves you?
tu ame ya ke poli? – How much do you love him?

Commands

To state a command, leave out the subject and start the sentence with the verb.

yam ni pai! – Eat this pie!
vide go mau! – Look at that cat!