Skip to content

4. Pronouns

Pronouns can substitute nouns and noun phrases.

Personal pronouns

Personal pronouns refer to people. They are used as substitutes for a person's name.

Singular Plural
mi mimen
I, me we
tu tumen
you you all
da damen
he or she they

All pronouns can be used for all genders. In Pandunia, personal pronouns do not specify whether the person discussed is a woman or a man. For example, in the third person, one word – da – refers to women, men and people of other genders alike. It a gender-neutral personal pronoun and it treats everyone equally.

There are three first-person plural pronouns. tumimen is the inclusive we that includes the audience: 'you, I and other people'. yamimen is the exclusive we that excludes the audience: 'I and other people only'. Finally, mimen is the neutral we that can be both inclusive and exclusive. It is also the most common first-person plural pronoun, and the other two are used only occasionally.

The possessive pronouns consists of the personal pronoun and the possessive particle su.

Singular Plural
mi su mimen su
my our
tu su tumen su
your your
da su damen su
his or her their

Reflexive pronoun

The reflexive pronoun is used when the object of a sentence is the same as the subject.

se – self

Note! The same reflexive pronoun is used for all persons, so it corresponds to English myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves and themselves all at once.

mi vide se – I see myself.
da vide se – She sees herself. / He sees himself. / It sees itself.
mimen vide se. – We see ourselves.

The expression semen is used as the reciprocal pronoun.

semen – each other, one another

mi e tu vide semen. – Me and you see each other.
mimen vide semen. – We see each other.

Demonstrative pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns are used with nouns to make them more specific. The demonstrative pronouns in Pandunia are:

ye – this (near the speaker)
vo – that (far from speaker)
la – the (known by both the speaker and the listener)

The proximal demonstrative ye points to things that are near the speaker. The distal demonstrative vo points to things that are far from the speaker.

tu vol vo buku, he? – Do you want that book?
no, mi vol ye buku, no vo. – No, I want this book, not that. The demonstratives can serve as subjects and objects in the same way as nouns.

ye es hau. – This is good.
vo es dus. – That is bad.
tu vol ye, he? – Do you want this?
no, mi vol vo. – No, I want that.

When the verb is a content word, there needs to be a modal particle, like ya or no, between the subject and the verb.

mi vide du jen. – I see two persons.
ye ya gani e vo no gani. – This one sings and that one doesn't sing.

The basic proximal and distal pronouns are used for introducing a new object. The topical demonstrative la, on the other hand, does not specify physical distance but it is used when the speaker has already mentioned the object or person in question and it is known by the audience or is topical within the discourse.

ye es mau. da vol yam vo mushu. – This is a cat. It wants to eat that mouse.

mi ten un mau e un vaf. la vaf es dai. da yam poli yam. – I have a cat and a dog. The dog is big. It eats a lot of food.

Abstract use

The demonstrative pronouns can be used also discourse internally. Then they refer to abstract entities of discourse, not concrete objects. la refers to things previously spoken, ye refers to things currently being spoken, and vo refers to things about to be spoken.

ye jumla es korte. – This sentence is short.

In the above, ye jumla (this sentence) refers to the sentence being spoken.

mi seme vo: mi ame tu. – I mean this: I love you. OR I mean that I love you.
mi ame tu. mi seme la. – I love you. That is what I mean.

In the above, the pronoun vo refers to the content of the next statement and la refers to the content of the previous statement.

Interrogative pronouns

ke is a general-purpose interrogative pronoun. It does the job of English words who and what.

ke? – Who or what?

The adjectival interrogative pronoun is also ke and it means the same as English which.

ke she? – What? (Which thing?)
ke jen? – Who? (Which person?)
ke zaman? – When? (What time?)
ke loka? – Where? (In which place?)
ke yang? – How? (What way?)
ke sabu? – Why? (What reason?)

Also adjectives are questioned with ke.

ke neu? – How new?
ke koste? – How costy?
ke poli? – How many?
ke kam? – How few?
ke dai? – How big?
ke shiu? – How small?

tu ha ke dai di mau? – How big a cat do you have?