Verb types

A verb denotes an action or an occurence, for example to eat, to speak, to look and to think.

A verb can involve an agent and a patient. The agent performs or "causes" an action, and the patient receives or "experiences" the action.

There are three types of verbs in Pandunia:

  1. Agent-oriented verbs: The subject does the action in the SVO word order. The the verb ends in -a.
  2. Patient-oriented-verbs: The subject "suffers" the action in the SVO word order. The verb ends in -u.
  3. Stative: The subject is in the state that is indicated by the verb. The verb ends in -i.

Consider the following examples:
me safa. – I clean. (active verb)
me safa kamar. – I clean a room. (active verb with an object)
kamar safu. – The room is cleaned. (passive verb)
kamar safu me. – The room is cleaned by me. (passive verb with postponed agent)
kamar safi. – The room is clean. (stative verb)

As you can see, -a and -u indicate opposite orders of the agent and patient.

Agent-oriented verbs

Verbs that end in -a are called agent-oriented verbs because the agent comes before the verb. The agent and patient are arranged around the verb as depicted in the figure below.

There can be only one verb, one agent, and one patient one after another in a sentence. The word order cycle is unfolded by removing one of the three arrows. This results into following three word orders:

  1. Agent – verb – patient
  2. Patient – agent – verb
  3. Verb – patient – agent

If there is a word immediately before the verb, it is the agent. If there is a word immediately after the verb, it is the patient.

Order A-1: Agent, verb and patient

The most common word order in Pandunia is agent–verb–patient. It is used typically in the active voice, where the the focus is on the agent (i.e. the doer) of the action.

me vida les. – I see them.
te beka pang. – You bake bread.

Order A-2: Patient, agent and verb

The second order is patient–agent–verb. It is frequent in dependant clauses.

ke te vida? – What do you see?
me yama pang, de te beka. – I eat bread that you baked.

Order A-3: Verb, patient and agent

The third order is the verb-patient-agent, which is rarely used. It is described here only for the sake of completeness.

Patient-oriented verbs

Verbs that end in -u are called patient-oriented verbs because the patient comes before the verb. The agent and patient are arranged around the verb as depicted in the figure below.

There can be only one verb, one agent, and one patient. Therefore it is possible to put them in exactly three different orders:

  1. Patient – verb – agent
  2. Agent – patient – verb
  3. Verb – agent – patient

The arguments of patient-oriented verbs are exactly in the opposite order compared to agent-oriented verbs.

Order U-1: Patient, verb and agent

The patient-verb-agent order is common in the passive voice, where the focus is on the passive recipient of the action.

Often they can be translated to English by using the passive voice or an intransitive verb but sometimes a transitive verb can be used too.

pang beku te. – Bread is baked by you.
kupe parcu. – The cup got broken.
rajer suku les. – The king is pleased by them.

Order U-2: Agent, patient and verb

The agent–patient–verb order is a possible alternative for the agent–verb–patient order. It is used in the active voice, where the the focus is on the agent (i.e. the doer) of the action.

me les vidu. - I them see.
te pang beku. - You bread bake.

Order U-3: Verb, agent and patient

The verb–agent–patient order is very rare but possible. It is described here only for the sake of completeness.

Stative verbs

Verbs that end in -i are called stative verbs. They are basically adjectives that describe the subject in a verb-like manner. The subject of a stative verb is in the state denoted by the verb root.

Stative verbs differ from passive verbs by the fact that a stative verb is about being in a state whereas a passive verb indicates a change of state. In other words, a stative verb is a passive of being and a passive verb is a passive of becoming.

Stative verbs are always intransitive. They can't have an object.

Comparison of the verb types

The verb types are summarized in the table below for the normal subject–verb–object word order.

Noun Stative verb Passive verb Active verb
kitabe kitabi kitabu kitaba
writing written get written write
saf safi safu safa
tidyness tidy, clean get clean make clean
nou novi novu nova
novelty new, novel get new make new
yam yami yamu yama
food eaten get eaten eat
guste gusti gustu gusta
taste tasty be tasted taste, try
am ami amu ama
love dear be loved love, hold dear
Noun Stative verb Passive verb Active verb
suke suki suku suka
joy, pleasure joyful, happy please enjoy, like
nide nidi nidu nida
need needy be needed need
vol voli volu vola
want wanting be wanted want
tam tami tamu tama
greed greedy covet, hog make greedy
fobe fobi fobu foba
fear afraid, scared fear scare
lai layi layu laya
arrival get reached arrive, reach
fuke fuki fuku fuka
clothing clothed be worn wear
dur duri duru dura
time, duration lasting last, take time spend, put time


-an- denotes someone or something that does the action of the root. It is the active participle suffix.

loga – to speak
logani – speaking
logane – the one who speaks

-it- denotes someone or something that undergoes the action of the root. It is the passive participle suffix.

loga – to speak
logiti – spoken
padu – to fall
paditi – fallen
una to unite → uniti united

Causative verbs

The causatives are the verbs that are used to indicate that one person causes another person to do something. It can be by asking, paying, requesting, or forcing the person.

Sometimes the simple active verb is causative.

Tomas pada Yusef. – Thomas drops Yusef.
Yusef padu. – Yusef falls.

In other situations, the causative is formed by using one of the participle suffixes. -ana means that someone causes someone to do something. -ita means that someone causes something to be done to someone or something.

Sara padana Tomas. – Sara causes Thomas to drop (something).
Sara padita Yusef. – Sara causes Yusef to be dropped.

Here is a more complete example. Note that "to feed" has two different causative meanings in English.

pex yamu. – Fish is eaten.
mau yama pex. – The cat eats fish.
me yamita pex pa mau. – I feed fish to the cat.
me yamana mau va pex. – I feed the cat with fish.

A causative can imply that the action is done for the causer.

me no bina dom. me binita le. – I don't build the house. I have it built (for myself).


In Pandunia, prepositions are basically a sub-category of verbs.

Prepositions of place and time

Pandunia has five prepositions of place and time.

  1. ya - presence or togetherness: with, by use of
  2. na - absence or lack: without
  3. va - location or moment (in general): at, in, on, by
  4. ja - origin, beginning or cause: from, since, because
  5. pa - destination, end or purpose: to, till, until, for, then

A preposition begins a prepositional phrase. In a simple prepositional phrase the preposition is complemented by a pronoun or a noun phrase.

me va hotel. – I'm in the hotel.
me sona va hotel. – I sleep in the hotel.
me sona ja xam pa sube. – I sleep since evening until morning.
me safara ja London pa Paris. – I travel from London to Paris.

Prepositions can be complemented also by a verb phrase. Then they refer to time.

me denga ja te kita. – I have waited since you left.
me denga pa te laya dom. – I wait until you come home.
me denga va te sona. – I wait while you sleep.


va is an all-purpose locative preposition. Its basic meaning is "at".

me liba va dome.
I stand with house.
I stand by the house.

me loga va pandunia.
I speak with Pandunia.
I speak in Pandunia.

me loga ya doste va pandunia va fon.
I speak with friends with Pandunia with telephone.
I speak with friends in Pandunia by telephone.

Verbs as prepositions

In Pandunia some verbs function like prepositions do in English.

me kata pang. – I cut bread.
me kata pang, uza chake. – I cut bread, use a knife. (I cut bread with a knife.)

me denga dura dul hor. - I wait, (it) lasts two hours. (I wait during/for two hours.)

Here are some verbs that are usable as prepositions:

bada - to follow; after, behind
dura - to last; during, for the time/duration of
jungu - to be centered; amid, amidst, in the middle, in the center
loka - to occupy, to be located; at
sirka - to surround; around
supra - to surpass; over, above

Verbs without prepositions

Prepositions are not used as frequently in Pandunia as in English. In many phrases, the verb says enough alone.

me laya dome. – I come home.
te sida kurse. – You sit (on) the chair.
le lala sofa. – S/he lies (on) the sofa.
pex nata daria. – Fish swim (in) the sea.
jenger marca dau. – Warriors march (on) the road.

Preposition of relation

Preposition ka indicates the way something is done. It corresponds to English prepositions like, than, as and as if.

me sava pandunia ka master. – I know Pandunia like a master.

ka relates the verb or the adjective to a point of comparison. In the above example sava (know) is the verb and master (master) is the point of comparison.

ka is also used when adjectives are compared.

pute sa min dayi ko pape. – The child is smaller than the father.
laupape sa samo dayi ka pape. – Grandfather is as big as father.

ka relates the adverbs of comparison – max (more), min (less) and samo (same) – to the point of comparison, which is pape (father) in the examples above.