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Sentences

Observations

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

mau! – A cat!
xave! – Rain! / (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 pronoun and the predicate is an adjective or a noun.

mi bon. – I am good.
ya neu. – It is new.
ya Sara. – She is Sara.

When the subject is a noun, the connecting verb si (to be) is necessary.

Sara si bon. – Sara is good.
ite si dai. – Stones are big.
meza si neu. – The table is new.

The word no is added to form the negative. Then the verb si is not needed.

Positive Negative
mi bon. mi no bon.
I am good. I am not good.
ya neu. ya no neu.
It is new. It is not new.
ya Sara. ya no Sara.
She is Sarah. She is not Sarah.
Sara si bon. Sara no bon.
Sarah is good. Sarah is not good.

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

mi si ya. – I am he/she.
mi no (si) tu. – I'm not you.

With adjective or verb subject

The same rule applies also for two adjectives, or a verb and an adjective.

jun si mei. – Young is beautiful.
neu no lau. – New is not old.
gani si bon. – Singing is good.

Action Sentences

A predicate can also be a verb. In this case, there may be objects as well as the subject. These come after the predicate.

mi marce. – I walk.
tu yam yo aple. – You eat some apples.
mimen done ya yo pesa. – We give her some money.

Sometimes, the subjet of one sentence can become the object of another.

la fuke ye gan. – The clothes dry.
sol ye gan la fuke. – The sun dries the clothes.

To clarify the order or to add other objects, the auxiliary verbs fa and be are used. fa indicates that the subject is the agent or doer of the action, and be indicates that the subject is the patient, or receiver.

mi fa salam mi su dosti. – I greet my friend.
mi be salam mi su dosti. – I am greeted by my friend.
pa fa mi salam mi su dosti. – Father makes me greet my friend.

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.

mi vol tu yam yo fito. – I want you to eat vegetables.

In the example above, mi vol has tu as its object. At the same time, tu functions as the subject of the following predicate, yam yo fito. So tu is the pivot of the entire sentence.

The second verb in a pivot structure is the main verb. The first verb is a modal verb, which indicates a modality such as desire, permission or obligation.

mi vol tu yam fito. – I want you to eat vegetables. (desire)
mi sel tu yam fito. – I advise you to eat vegetables. (advice)
mi halal tu yam fito. – I allow you to eat vegetables. (permission)
mi bil tu yam fito. – I enable you to eat vegetables. (ability)
mi mus tu yam fito. – I compel you to eat vegetables. (obligation)
mi rai tu yam fito. – I think you eat vegetables. (opinion)

Verb series structure

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

  1. mi ga to dom. – I go home.
  2. mi bil ga to dom. – I can go home.
  3. mi vol bil ga to dom. – I want to be able to go home. (Word for word: I want can go home!)

The last verb in the series is the main verb. The verbs before it are modal verbs.

tu vol yam yo fito. – You want to eat vegetables. (desire)
tu sel yam yo fito. – You had better eat vegetables. (advice)
tu halal yam yo fito. – You may eat vegetables. (permission)
tu bil yam yo fito. – You can eat vegetables. (ability)
tu mus yam yo fito. – You must eat vegetables. (obligation)

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)

mi amir tu kai la mun. – I command you to open the door.
amir tu kai la mun. – Open the door!

Short pivot structure (VVO)

mi cing tu lai to dom. – I ask you to come home.
cing lai to dom! – Please come home! (Word for word: Request come home!)

Questions

Yes-no questions

Yes-no questions are questions that expect 'yes' or 'no' as answer. The easiest way to form a yes-no question in Pandunia is to simply attach the particle he ('eh', 'huh') to the end of a statement.

tu yam un piza. – You eat a pizza. (statement)
tu yam un piza, he? – Do you eat a pizza? (question)

It is also possible to use no ('no', 'not') or ye ('yes') instead of he to suggest the expected answer.

tu yam un piza, no? – You eat a pizza, don't you?
tu yam un piza, ye? – You eat a pizza, right?

The third way to ask a yes-no question is to contradict the verb with the A-not-A structure.

tu yam no yam un piza? – Do you or don't you eat a pizza?
tu bil no bil yam un piza? – Can you or can't you eat a pizza?

Finally, you can emphasize the question by using sual.

mi sual, tu yam un piza? – I ask do you eat a pizza?
sual tu yam un piza? – Do you eat a pizza?

Yes-no questions are answered with ye ('yes') and no ('no').

tu vide mi, he? – Do you see me?
ye. (mi ye vide tu.) – Yes. (I do see you.)
no. (mi no vide tu.) – No. (I don't see you.)

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

tu no vide mi, he? – Don't you see me?
ye. (mi vide tu.) – Yes. (I see you.)
no. (mi no vide tu.) – No. (I don't see you.)

Alternative questions

Questions that offer alternatives end with the particle he or start with the word sual to indicate that an answer is expected. The question is answered by repeating the chosen alternative.

tu yam un o du banana. – You eat one or two bananas. (statement)
tu yam un o du banana, he? – Do you eat one or two bananas? (question)
un. – One.

Open questions

Open questions, or wh- questions, ask for more information. In Pandunia they use the word ke.

piza si ke? – What is pizza?

The question word may be moved to the front of the sentence for emphasis. However, unlike in English, the word order may also be left alone.

ke tu zai yam? – What are you eating?
tu zai yam ke? – You are eating what?
ya lai a ke sate? – When does he arrive?
tumen vizite a ke jen su dom? – Whose house did you all visit?

Relative clauses

A relative clause is a subordinate clause that modifies a noun phrase, most commonly a noun. For example, the phrase "the person who lives there" includes the noun person, which is modified by the relative clause who lives there.

There are different ways to build a relative clause in Pandunia. The relative pronoun in Pandunia is jo and it corresponds to English that, who and which.

In Pandunia, relative clauses are always set off by commas.

la buku, jo la jen fa kitabu, pada. – The book, which the person writes, falls.

It is possible to leave also jo out. This structure is called reduced relative clause.

la buku, la jen fa kitabu, pada. – The book the person writes falls.

The relative pronoun is necessary when the relativized noun is the subject of the relative clause.

la jen, jo fa kitabu la buku, pada. – The person that writes the book falls.

Also the object noun of a preposition can be the target of the relative clause. It's possible to use relative pronouns or the reduced relative clause structure.

la kalam, na jo la jen fa kitabu la buku, pada. – The pen, with which the person writes the book, falls.
la kalam, la jen fa kitabu la buku a, pada. – The pen the person writes the book with falls.

The relative pronoun can be put in its right place in the pivot structure or it can be left out by using the reduced relative clause structure.

la jen, mi vide jo fa kitabu la buku, pada. – The person, whom I see write the book, falls.
la jen, mi vide fa kitabu la buku, pada. – The person that I see write the book falls.

Also a resumptive relative pronoun can be used if needed.

la jen, mi fa kitabu la buku na jo su kalam, padu. – The person whose pen I write the book with falls.

Content clauses

A content clause is a subordinate clause that provides content that is commented or referred to by its main clause. In Pandunia they are typically introduced with the conjunction ki.

mi sabe ki tu si dosti. – I know that you are a friend.
yamen fikir ki mimen le cuti. – They think that we have left.

A content clause can be placed before or after the clause that talks about it. The demonstrative vo points to the following content clause and la points to the previous one.

vo si bari, ki mi le no vide yamen.It is important that I haven't seen them.
ki pan jen be sana ka par, la si klar.That all people are created as equals; it is clear.

The content clause marker ki can be combined to the prepositions in order to construct conjunctions of cause and purpose.

to ki – so that, in order that, with the result that
de ki – because, for the reason that

mi duku yi buku do ki mi transe la teste. – I read this book so that I will pass the test.
mi le transe la teste ze ki mi duku la buku. – I have passed the test because I read the book.

Conditional clauses

The word gar means 'to suppose', and in conditional sentences, it works in the same way as English 'if'.

mi no yam ya gar mi si tu. – I wouldn't eat it if I were you.

The rest of the sentence can optionally be preceded by the word asar, which means 'then'.

gar tu tocu la tava, asar tu pasi la hande.If you touch the pan, then you will hurt your hand.


Combining phrases with conjunctions

e – and (connects two similar words or phrases)
o – or (connects two alternative words or phrases)
ama – but (introduces a word or phrase that contrasts with or contradicts the preceding word or phrase)

mi suka mau e vaf. – I like cats and dogs.
mi suka mau o vaf. – I like cats or dogs.
mi suka mau ama no vaf. – I like cats but not dogs.


Particles

Affirmation and Negation

Affirmative

Expressions are affirmative by default.

mi si xefe. – I am the boss.
ya si neu meza. – It is a new table.

Affirmation can be emphasized with the adverb ye ('yes indeed').

mi ye si xefe. – I indeed am the boss.
ya ye si neu meza. – It indeed is a new table.

Negative

Such sentences can be simply negated with no.

ya no si xefe. – He is not the boss.
ya no si neu meza. – 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.

mi vide tu. – I see you.
mi no vide tu. – I don't see you.
mi vide no tu a yamen. – I see, not you, but them.

mi cing tu safi la kamar. – I ask you to clean the room.
mi no cing tu safi la kamar. – I do NOT ask you to clean the room.
mi cing tu no safi la kamar. – I ask you NOT to clean the room.

Modifier particles

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

Modification with noun phrases

One 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.

rode rang di labi – rose-colored lips
sama rang di yen – sky-colored eyes

Or in the opposite order:

labe de rode rang – lips of the rose-color
yen de sama rang – eyes of the sky-color

The particles help in creating measure words too.

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

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

max mei hua – more beautiful flowers
max di mei hua – more of beautiful flowers

Modification with verb phrases

Verbs are turned into modifiers by placing de or di immediately next to the verb. Verb phrases can also be made into modifiers in this way, but any objects must be moved to before the verb.

xute de grafe pente – the art of picture-painting (the art of painting pictures)
ale su mede su suke – the joy of others-helping (the joy of helping others)

Possession

The possessive particle su works like the apostrophe-s ('s) in English. It indicates that the previous word has possession of the next one.

Maria su mama – Maria's mother
Maria su mama su dom – Maria's mother's house

The same particle is used with with personal pronouns too.

mi su dom – my house
tu su dom – your house
ya su dom – his or her house
mimen su dom – our house
tumen su dom – your house
yamen su dom – their house

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), zai (present) and xa (future, upcoming). They function like adverbs, so typically their place is before the verb.

mi pas ha mau. – I had cats.
ama mi no zai ha mau. – But I now don't have cats.
bil, mi xa ha mau. – Maybe I will have cats.

It's also possible to say it in a longer way like na pas zaman (in the past) etc.

mi ha mau na pas zaman. – I had cats in the past.
ama mi no ha mau na zai zaman. – But I don't have cats at present.
bil, mi ha mau na xa zaman. – Maybe I will have cats in the future.

Note! Verbs are not conjugated. So the verb ha 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.

Sentence-ending particles

Sentence-ending particles are modal particles or interaction particles that occur at the end of a sentence. They indicate the speaker's mood or attitude to the meaning of the sentence. They can also indicate what kind of reaction to the sentence the speaker expects from the listener. For example, the speaker can use the particle ne to indicate that they expect the listener express their point of view.

ba indicates a suggestion or a command.

yam ba! – Eat!

fi indicates disdainment, disrespect or contempt. It translates as bah, fie.

tu fete ya, fi. – You did it, bah.
fi! piza! mi no vole. – Bah! Pizza! I don't want (it).

he asks a direct yes or no question. It translates as eh? or huh?.

tu ame kafe, he? – You love coffee, huh?

me indicates indifference, boredom or lack of excitement.

me. ya no neu. – Meh. It's not new.

ne asks for the listener's point of view on the matter, usually their agreement. It is different from he in that it's not directly asking a question but it only seeks confirmation. It roughly translates as right?, isn't it?, isn't that so?, etc. One uses it at the end of sentence if one is not completely sure about something but thinks it's probably true.

tu ame kafe, ne? cepe un kupe ba! – You love coffee, right? Grab a cup!
ya neu, ne? – It is new, isn't it?

na is used to introduce a statement. It can fill a pause, particularly at the beginning of a response to a question. It can also introduce a statement that may be contrary to expectations.

tu kitabu ya, he? – na, no le. – Did you write it? – Well, not yet.
ya bon, ne? – na, ye. – It's good, isn't it? – Well, yes.

o indicates that the speaker is uncertain of the matter. It roughly translates as or...?.

ya okei a tu, o... – It is okay for you, or...

va indicates that the speaker is excited, amazed or surprised. It can be used on its own or at the start or end of a sentence to express how amazing or surprising something is.

va! Wow!
va, ya dai! – Wow, it's big!
ya dai, va! – It's so big!

ye reinforces the meaning of the sentence or indicates agreement. The speaker is absolutely sure of what they are saying. It can be translated as indeed or truly.

mi le vide tu ye. – I truly saw you.
ya ver, ye. – It is true indeed.
ya neu, ne? – ya neu, ye. – It is new, right? – It's new indeed.