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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. da es mei kitab. – That is a beautiful writing.
B. tu mei li kitab. – You write beautifully.

Modifying nouns

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

un nove karo – a new car
un rapid karo – a fast car
meni dai mezabig tables
meni gau meza – high tables
un gud jen – a good person

Two or more modifiers can modify the same noun.

un let nove karo – a little new car

Modifying verbs

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

tu rapid loga. – You talk fast.
di jen gud kitab. – They write well.

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

tu mei li kitab. – You write beautifully.
di rapid li marche. – They walk fast.

Modifying other modifiers

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

un dai li gud buk – a greatly good book
bala li lovente jenstrongly loving people

Degree words

Degree words tell us about the intensity of something.

ver – very
bas – quite, sufficiently, enough
mor – more
les – less

Degree words are placed before the word that they modify.

un dai man – a big man
un ver dai man – a very big man
un bas dai man – a big enough man / a sufficiently 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.

ver much – very much
mi ver much van loga. – I want very much to speak.
mi van ver much loga. – 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 van loga ver much. – I want to speak very much.
sual tu sona bas gud? – Did you sleep well enough?

Adverbs of comparison

Adjectives can be compared with the adverbs of comparison.

mor (more) indicates comparison of superiority
mor... dan hol (most... of all) indicates the superlative of superiority
les (less) indicates comparison of inferiority
les... dan hol (least... of all) indicates the superlative of inferiority
sim (as or equally) indicates the comparison of equality

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

aple es mor gud dan aranja. – Apples are better than oranges.
aranja es les gud dan aple. – Oranges are less good than apples.
tu loga sim gud dan mi. – You speak as well as me.