Observations are the simplest sentence type. They may consist of only one word, which draws the listener's attention.
– A cat!
shava! – (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 pronoun and the predicate is an adjective or a noun.
– I am good.
ye nove. – It is new.
ye Sara. – She is Sara.
When the subject is a noun, the connecting verb si (to be) is necessary.
Sara si bon.
– Sara is good.
seku si dai. – Stones are big.
meza si nove. – The table is new.
The word no is added to form the negative. Then the verb si is not needed.
|mi bon.||mi no bon.|
|I am good.||I am not good.|
|ye nove.||ye no nove.|
|It is new.||It is not new.|
|ye Sara.||ye 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 ye.
– I am he/she.
mi no tu. – I'm not you.
With adjective or verb subject
The same rule applies also for two adjectives, or a verb and an adjective.
jovan si sundar.
– Young is beautiful.
nove no lau. – New is not old.
chanta si bon. – Singing is good.
A predicate can also be a verb. In this case, there may be objects as well as the subject. These come after the predicate.
– I walk.
tu yam yo apel. – You eat some apples.
mimon dona ye yo pesa. – We give her some money.
Sometimes, the subjet of one sentence can become the object of another.
la fuku ya gan.
– The clothes dry.
la sol ya gan la fuku. – 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 doste.
– I greet my friend.
mi be salam mi su doste. – I am greeted by my friend.
pa fa mi salam mi su doste. – Father makes me greet my friend.
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 ba 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 ba 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 ba fito.
– I want you to eat vegetables. (desire)
mi sel tu yam ba fito. – I advise you to eat vegetables. (advice)
mi halal tu yam ba fito. – I allow you to eat vegetables. (permission)
mi bil tu yam ba fito. – I enable you to eat vegetables. (ability)
mi mus tu yam ba fito. – I compel you to eat vegetables. (obligation)
mi rai tu yam ba 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.
- mi ga do dom. – I go home.
- mi bil ga do dom. – I can go home.
- mi vol bil ga do 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)
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 do dom.
– I ask you to come home.
cing lai do dom! – Please come home! (Word for word: Request come home!)
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 ya ('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, ya? – 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 ya ('yes') and no ('no').
tu vide mi, he?
– Do you see me?
ya. (mi ya vide tu.) – Yes. (I do see you.)
no. (mi no vide tu.) – No. (I don't see you.)
Negative questions are answered so that ya and no apply to the verb, not the whole question.
tu no vide mi, he?
– Don't you see me?
ya. (mi vide tu.) – Yes. (I see you.)
no. (mi no vide tu.) – No. (I don't see you.)
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, 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 she tu zai yam?
– What are you eating?
tu zai yam ke she? – You are eating what?
ye lai na ke sata? – When does he arrive?
tumon keka na ke jen su dom? – Whose house did you all visit?
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 buke, jo la jen fa kitabe, pade. – The book, which the person writes, falls.
It is possible to leave also jo out. This structure is called reduced relative clause.
la buke, la jen fa kitabe, pade. – 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 kitabe la buke, pade. – 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 kitabe la buke, pade.
– The pen, with which the person writes the book, falls.
la kalam, la jen fa kitabe la buke na, pade. – 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 kitabe la buke, pade.
– The person, whom I see write the book, falls.
la jen, mi vide fa kitabe la buke, pade. – The person that I see write the book falls.
Also a resumptive relative pronoun can be used if needed.
la jen, mi fa kitabe la buke na jo su kalam, padu. – The person whose pen I write the book with falls.
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 doste.
– I know that you are a friend.
yemon fikir ki mimon le chuti. – They think that we have left.
A content clause can be placed before or after the clause that talks about it. The demonstrative go points to the following content clause and la points to the previous one.
go si bari, ki mi le no vide yemon.
– 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.
– so that, in order that, with the result that
ze ki – because, for the reason that
mi duku ni buke 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 buke. – I have passed the test because I read the book.
The word gar means 'to suppose', and in conditional sentences, it works in the same way as English 'if'.
mi no yam ye 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 tochu la tava, asar tu pasi la hande. – If you touch the pan, then you will hurt your hand.
Combining phrases with conjunctions
– 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.
Affirmation and Negation
Expressions are affirmative by default.
mi si xefe.
– I am the boss.
ye si nove meza. – It is a new table.
Affirmation can be emphasized with the adverb ya ('yes indeed').
mi ya si xefe.
– I indeed am the boss.
ye ya si nove meza. – It indeed is a new table.
Such sentences can be simply negated with no.
ye no si xefe.
– He is not the boss.
ye no si nove 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 yemon. – I see, not you, but them.
mi cing tu safe la kamar.
– I ask you to clean the room.
mi no cing tu safe la kamar. – I do NOT ask you to clean the room.
mi cing tu no safe la kamar. – I ask you NOT to clean the room.
Particles di and da 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. da 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:
labi da rode rang
– lips of the rose-color
yen da 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
mas sake di patate – more sacks of potatoes
Note that di and da connect phrases together. So a modifier phrase with and without da can mean a different thing.
mas sundar hua
– more beautiful flowers
mas di sundar hua – more of beautiful flowers
Modification with verb phrases
Verbs are turned into modifiers by placing da 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.
suta da grafi pente
– the art of picture-painting (the art of painting pictures)
alo su mede su suka – the joy of others-helping (the joy of helping others)
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
ye su dom – his or her house
mimon su dom – our house
tumon su dom – your house
yemon 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.