Observations are the simplest sentence type. They may consist of only one word, which draws the listener's attention.
– A cat!
barxa! – (It) rains!
With noun or pronoun subject
Normally a sentence consists of a subject and a predicate. In the simplest sentences, the subject is a noun or a pronoun and the predicate is an adjective or a noun.
– I am good.
le novi. – It is new.
le Sara. – She is Sara.
Sara boni. – Sara is good.
petre dayi. – The stone is big.
meze novi. – The table is new.
The word no is added to form the negative.
me no boni.
– I'm not good.
le no novi. – It's not new.
le no Sara. – She is not Sara.
It is possible to add the word sa (to be) before the predicate in positive sentences, for style or for convenience. Then the structure is similar like in negative sentences.
Sara sa boni.
– Sara is good.
petre sa dayi. – The stone is big.
meze sa novi. – The table is new.
meze no purani. – The table is not old.
Also two personal pronouns can be combined with si and no.
me sa le.
– I am he/she.
me no sa te. – I'm not you.
With adjective subject
The same rule applies also for two adjectives.
jovani sa sundari.
– Young is beautiful.
novi no sa purani. – New is not old.
With verb subject
A verb can't be subject as such. So the verb is first, use de to start a comment about the verb.
canta, de sa boni. – Singing, that is good. (Singing is good.)
An active sentence is a sentence where the subject does the action denoted by the verb to the object. The focus is on the subject as the active participant. The correct word order is subject-verb-object (SVO).
In Pandunia, active verbs are easy to identify because all of them end in -a.
The following sentences are in SVO order.
me yama aple.
– I eat apples.
me vida te. – I see you.
In the passive voice the focus of the sentence is on a subject that is a passive recipient that undergoes the action. So the recipient is the subject of the sentence. Often the agent is not mentioned at all.
In Pandunia, the passive voice is expressed with the verb ending in -u. The word order is subject–verb–(optional object) or, more precisely, recipient–verb–(optional agent).
– You are seen.
musike audu. – Music is heard.
pang beku. – Bread is baked.
kope parcu. – Cup breaks. (Cup gets broken.)
The agent can be mentioned after the verb with or without the preposition da.
te vidu me. - You are seen by me.
te vidu da me. - You are seen by me.
Sometimes a passive verb can be translated with an active verb in English. That is sometimes the case with suku, which means to be pleased by (a passive verb) or to like (an active verb). That is because the direction of pleasing is from the active doer to the passive recipient.
me suku musike. – I am pleased by music. / I like music.
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.
me vola te yama vejete. – I want you eat vegetables.
In the example above, me vola has te as its object. At the same time, te functions as the subject of the following predicate, yama vejete. So te is the pivot of the entire sentence.
The first verb in a pivot structure is a modal verb, which indicates a modality such as advice, desire, permission or obligation.
me vola te yama vejete.
– I want you to eat vegetables. (desire)
me sela te yama vejete. – I advice you to eat vegetables. (advice)
me halala te yama vejete. – I allow you to eat vegetables. (permission)
me musa te yama vejete. – I compel you to eat vegetables. (obligation)
Verb series structure
There can be two, three or even more verbs in a series, and all of them are about the same subject.
- me gova dom. – I go home.
- me abla gova dom. – I can go home.
- me vola abla gova 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, which that indicate a modality such as likelihood, ability, advice, permission, desire, or obligation.
te abla yama vejete.
– You can eat vegetables. (ability)
te selu yama vejete. – You had better eat vegetables. (advice)
te halalu yama vejete. – You may eat vegetables. (permission)
te vola yama vejete. – You want to eat vegetables. (desire)
te musu yama vejete. – You must eat vegetables. (obligation)
In certain types of expressions the pronouns get dropped for brevity. This is done especially in commands and requests.
Short pivot structure (VOVO)
me suala te baxa pandunia.
– I ask do you speak Pandunia.
suala te baxa pandunia? – Do you speak Pandunia.
Short pivot structure (VVO)
me cinga te laya dom.
– I ask you to come home.
cinga laya dom! – Please come home! (Word for word: Request come home!)
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" containst 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 de and it corresponds to English that, who and which.
The relativized word can be emphasized by di, as in the following example, but it is necessary only in complex phrases.
In Pandunia, relative clauses are always set off by commas.
di buke, de jan kitaba, padu. – That book, which the person writes, falls.
Normally the same sentence includes only de.
buke, de jan kitaba, padu. – The book that the person writes falls.
It is possible to leave also de out. This structure is called reduced relative clause.
buke, jan kitaba, padu. – The book the person writes falls.
The relative pronoun is necessary when the relativized noun is the subject of the relative clause.
jan, de kitaba buke, padu. – 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.
di kalam, ya de jan kitaba buke, padu.
– That pen, with which the person writes the book, falls.
kalam, jan kitaba buke ya, padu. – 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.
di jan, me vida de kitaba buke, padu.
– The person, whom I see write the book, falls.
jan, me vida kitaba buke, padu. – The person that I see write the book falls.
Also resumptive relative pronoun can be used if needed.
di jan, me kitaba buke ya de du kalam, padu. – The person whose pen I write the book with falls.
Finally, a content clause can also involve de, which refers back to the previous phrase.
jan kitaba buke, de sa hami. – The person writes a book, which is important.
However, it is unclear whethere de (which) refers to only the book or the fact that the person writes the book. It can be clarified by an expression like di fate (the fact).
jan kitaba buke, di fate sa hami. – The fact that the person writes the book is important.
Combining phrases with conjunctions
- e and (connects two similar words or phrases)
- o or (connects two alternative words or phrases)
- a - but (introduces a word or phrase that contrasts with or contradicts the preceding word or phrase)
me suku mau e vaf.
– I like cats and dogs.
me suku mau o vaf. – I like cats or dogs.
me suku mau a no vaf. – I like cats but not dogs.
Affirmation and Negation
Expressions are affirmative by default.
me sa xef.
– I am the boss.
le sa novi meze. – It is a new table.
Affirmation can be emphasized with the adverb yo (indeed).
me yo sa xef.
– I indeed am the boss.
le yo sa novi meze. – It indeed is a new table.
Such sentences can be simply negated with no.
le no sa xef.
– He is not the boss.
le no sa novi meze. – 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.
me vida te.
– I see you.
me no vida te. – I don't see you.
me vida no te a les. – I see, not you, but them.
me cinga te safa kamar.
– I ask you to clean the room.
me no cinga te safa kamar. – I do NOT ask you to clean the room.
me cinga te no safa kamar. – I ask you NOT to clean the room.
Words ye (yes) and no (no) are used for answering questions.
suala te vida me?
– Do you see me?
ye. (me yo vida te.) – Yes. (I indeed see you.)
no. (me no vida te.) – No. (I don't see you.)
Negative questions are answered so that ye and no apply to the verb, not the whole question.
suala te no vida me?
– Don't you see me?
ye. (me vida te.) – Yes. (I see you.)
no. (me no vida te.) – No. (I don't see you.)
Particles du and da are used to link a noun, an adjective or a verb phrase to a noun to modify it. du connects the modifying word or phrase to the main noun word. da works in the opposite direction, it connects the main noun to the modifying word or phrase.
The modifier particle can be used for any possessive noun or pronoun.
With regards to possession, du works like the apostrophe-s ('s) in English. It indicates that the previous word has possession of the next one.
Maria du mam
– Maria's mother
Maria du mam du dom – Maria's mother's house
da works like "of" in English. It indicates that the next word has possession of the previous one.
mam da Maria
– the mother of Maria
dom da mam da Maria – the house of the mother of Maria
It's possible to use da and du with personal pronouns too, so one can say things like dom da me (the house of mine) but it's better to use the short possessive pronouns and say simply mi dom (my house).
Modification with noun phrases
Another 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.
rozi rang du labe
– rose-colored lips
samani rang du oke – sky-colored eyes
Or in the opposite order:
labe da rozi rang
– lips of the rose-color
oke da samani rang – eyes of the sky-color
The particles help in creating measure words too.
un sake du patate
– one sack of potatoes
dul sake du patate – two sacks of potatoes
max sake du patate – more sacks of potatoes
Note that du and da connect phrases together. So a modifier phrase with and without du can mean a different thing.
max sundari fule
– more beautiful flowers
max du sundari fule – more of beautiful flowers
Modification with verb phrases
Verbs and verb phrases are turned into modifiers by placing da or du immediately next to the verb.
arte da penta graf
– the art of painting pictures
suke da helpa ale – the joy of helping others
Tense and Aspect Particles
In Pandunia, tense can be expressed with time words and time phrases if needed. The general time words are paso (past), zayo (present) and vilo (future, upcoming). They function like adverbs, so typically their place is before the verb.
me paso tena mau.
– I had cats.
a me no zayo tena mau. – But I now don't have cats.
ablo me vilo tena mau. – Maybe I will have cats.
It's also possible to say it in a longer way like va pase (in the past) etc.
me tena mau va pase.
– I had cats in the past.
a me no tena mau va zaye. – But I don't have cats at present.
ablo me tena mau va vile. – Maybe I will have cats in the future.
Note! Verbs are not conjugated. So the verb tena 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.