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Verbs

Verbs are unchanging in Pandunia. Things like person, number, time and mood are indicated by separate words, not by changing the form of verbs as in English and other languages.

Person and number

Person and number are indicated by the subject. For example, the verb si ('to be') has the same form in all persons.

mi si dosti. – I am a friend.
tu si dosti. – You are a friend.
ya si dosti. – He or she is a friend.
mimen si dosti. – We are friends.
tumen si dosti. – You are friends.
yamen si dosti. – They are friends.

Also a noun can serve as subject.

mau si hevan. – The cat is an animal.

Frequently there is a marker between the subject and the verb to indicate where the subject ends and the verb begins. It is particularly helpful when the subject and the verb are content words that could serve as both. The marker is typically a particle or an auxiliary verb. One of the many suitable markers is ye ('yes'), which adds no content to the sentence but helps to clarify its structure.

karote si uma yam. – Carrot is horse food.
uma ye yam karote. – The horse eats carrots.

Other suitable markers include auxiliaries of time and mood, which are introduced next.

Auxiliaries of time

The relationship of an action, event or state to time is indicated with auxiliary verbs.

xuru ('begin, start') indicates beginning of an action or transition to a new situation.

mi xuru fuke la kote. – I start wearing the coat. = I put the coat on.
kaguji ye xuru hoge. – Paper starts to burn.
tu xuru yam. – You start to eat.

fin ('end, cease, quit, stop') conveys the idea of "to stop doing something".

yamen fin haha. – They stopped laughing.
kaguji ye fin hoge. – Paper ceased to burn.
tu fin yam. – You stop eating.

pul ('fulfill', 'complete') indicates that an action is done completely.

tu pul yam un piza. – You ate a pizza completely.
mi pul vide la filme. – I completed watching the film. / I watched the film completely.

fen ('partially') indicates that the action is only partially done.

tu fen yam un piza. – You ate some of the pizza.
mi fen vide la filme. – I watched some of the movie.

zai '(be present') indicates that a situation is happening at present.

mi zai yam un piza. – I am eating a pizza.

dur ('keep on', 'continue', 'proceed') indicates that a situation is continuing or in progress.

mi dur yam la piza. – I keep on eating the pizza.

ade ('have a habit', 'be used to') indicates that an action is done regularly.

mi ade gul yo bir. – I have a habit of drinking beer.

le ('attain, accomplish, reach; already') indicates that an action has happened in the past and is still ongoing, or is relevant to the current situation. It is best translated by already or (not) yet. You can think of it somewhat like the present perfect in English (I have done, I have eaten).

ya le si guru. – He or she is already a teacher.
mi no le gul yo alkohol. – I haven't drank alcohol yet.
mi le no gul yo alkohol. – I am already not drinking alcohol.
mi le da la buku to yamen. – I have given the book to them. Or: I already gave the book to them.
yamen no le ridone ya to mi. – They haven't given it back to me. Or: They didn't give it back to me yet.
mi le lai to site. – I have come to the city. Or: I already came to the city.

pas ('pass, go past, go through') indicates that an action is finished and is no longer relevant to the current situation. You can think of it somewhat like the past simple in English (I finished, I ate).

mi pas da la buku to yamen. – I gave the book to them. (Maybe they don't have it anymore or they gave it back.)
mi pas vizite Franse. – I have visited France.
mi pas ada gul yo bir. – I used to drink beer. / I had a habit of drinking beer.
mi pas lai to site. – I came to the city.

xa ('will, shall') indicates that the event will take place later or in the future.

ya xa si guru. – He or she shall be a teacher.
mi no xa gul un bir. – I will not drink a beer.

Transitivity

In general, there are three types of verbs.

  1. Transitive verbs need a direct object, which is the target of the action.
  2. Intransitive verbs don't accept an object. Then the action is directed to the subject.
  3. Ambitransitive verbs can be both transitive and intransitive.

Pandunia verbs are typically ambitransitive i.e. they may or may not require an object depending on the sentence structure. When there is an object, the verb is transtive, and when there isn't an object, the verb is intransitive.

mi bule sui. – I boil water. (transitive sentence)
sui bule. – Water boils. (intransitive sentence)
beker beke pang. – The baker bakes bread. (transitive sentence)
pang beke a tanur. – Bread bakes in the oven. (intransitive sentence)

Serial verb construction is a string of verbs that share the same subject, which is before the verbs. In serial verb constructions the verbs are interpreted so that the first verb (an auxiliary verb) is something that the subject possesses and the second verb is something that the subject does (when there is an object in the end) or experiences (when there is no object).

mi bil kitabu la javabu.
I have the ability to write the answer.
– I can write the answer.
mi halal kitabu la javabu.
I have the permission to write the answer.
– I may write the answer.
mi mus kitabu la javabu.
I have the compulsion to write the answer.
– I must write the answer.

Note that the same auxiliary verbs can be used alone as transitive verbs in the pivot construction.

guru halal mi kitabu la javabu. – The teacher permits me to write the answer.
guru mus mi kitabu la javabu. – The teacher compels me to write the answer.

Prepositions

In Pandunia, prepositions are words that function almost like verbs. They always take an object.

a – at, on, by, next to, on the side of
de – off, away from, from
ex – out of, outside
in – in, inside
kon – with, together with
pos – after
pre – before
pro – for, forth, forward
re – back, back to
to – to, until
tra – through, beyond
vise – instead of

ya ga in la dome. – He/she went into the house.
ya ga ex la dome. – He/she went out of the house.
ya lai re la dome. – He/she came back to the house.
ya loga kon la xefe. – He/she speaks with the boss.