Skip to content

7. Modifiers

A modifier is a word that adds a particular quality or description, such as good, bad, big, and fast, to another word. In Pandunia, there is only one class of modifiers. The same word can modify nouns and verbs, whereas in English only adjectives can modify nouns and only adverbs can modify verbs. For example, the word mei ('beautiful' or 'beautifully') modifies a noun in sentence A and a verb in sentence B.

A. vo es mei kitabe. – That is a beautiful writing.
B. tu mei di kitabe. – You write beautifully.

Modifying nouns

In Pandunia, "adjectives" are modifiers that are placed before the noun that they modify.

un neu gar – a new car
un suga gar – a fast car
men dai mezabig tables
men gau meza – high tables
un hau jen – a good person

Two or more modifiers can modify the same noun.

un shiu neu gar – a little new car

Modifying verbs

A modifier that modifies a verb is placed immediately before the verb.

tu suga loge. – You talk fast.
damen hau kitabe. – They write well.

It is common to put the modifying particle di between the modifier and the verb. It makes the structure of the verb phrase clearer.

tu mei di kitabe. – You write beautifully.
damen suga di marche. – They walk fast.

Modifying other modifiers

The particle di is used also when a modifier modifies another one.

un dai di hau buku – a greatly good book
poli bala di ame ja jenstrongly loving people

Degree words

Degree words tell us about the intensity of something.

tre – very
bas – quite, sufficiently, enough
max – more
min – less max ka bas – too

Degree words are placed before the word that they modify.

un dai man – a big man
un tre dai man – a very big man
un bas dai man – a big enough man / a sufficiently big man un max dai man ka bas – a too big man

A degree word together with a modifier forms a compound adverb that can modify a verb or a sentence. The compound adverb is placed immediately before the verb that it modifies.

tre poli – very much
mi tre poli vol loge. – I want very much to speak.
mi vol tre poli loge. – I want to speak very much.

It is also possible to place the compound adverb very last in the sentence, and then it modifies the sentence as a whole. The meaning is the same like when the compound adverb modifies the main verb.

mi vol loge tre poli. – I want to speak very much.
sual tu sona bas hau? – Did you sleep well enough?

Adverbs of comparison

Adjectives can be compared with the adverbs of comparison.

  • max (more) indicates comparison of superiority
  • maxim (most) indicates the superlative of superiority
  • min (less) indicates comparison of inferiority
  • minim (least) indicates the superlative of inferiority
  • par (as or equally) indicates the comparison of equality

The particle ka relates the adverbs of comparison to the object of comparison.

aple es max hau ka oranje. = Apples are better than oranges.
oranje es min hau ka aple. = Oranges are less good than apples.
tu loge par hau ka mi. = You speak as well as me.