Luxembourgish Lessons #5: Adverbs, Net, and Gär
Welcome to number five of the Luxembourgish lessons. This lesson will discuss adverbs in a general sense, as well as an inside look into two (technically three) of them: net and gär (and also keen)
I can likely assume that everyone knows what an adverb is- a word that modifies verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs, mounting to something like this:
- Ech liesen ëmmer Bicher "I always read books"
- D'Haus ass séier reng "The house is very clean"
In Luxembourgish, when a sentence begins with an adverb, the main verb must immediately follow the adverb. For example:
- Mir ginn zesummen ("We go together")
- Zesumme gi mir (lit. "Together go we")
In Luxembourgish, if an adjective has a related adverb, the adjective can be used as an adverb with no changes made:
- D'Kaze si schnell "The cats are fast"
- D'Kaze renne schnell "The cats run quickly"
Net in Luxembourgish means "not". The use of net in Luxembourgish is identical to that in German, so for those who know German well, this wouldn't be much of a surprise, but I'll try to quickly sum up how net is used:
- Negating nouns with a definite article (Si brauch d'Jackett net "She doesn't need the jacket")
- Negating verbs (D'Kand geet net "The child is not going")
- Negative adverbs (Net wierklech "not really")
- Negating adjectives used with sinn (to be) (Et ass iwwerhaapt net schlecht "It is not bad at all")
Net usually comes after conjugated verbs, placed at the end of a sentence if there is a direct object:
- Hien ësst net -> "He does not eat"
- Hien ësst den Uebst net -> "He does not eat the fruit" (lit. "He eats the fruit not")
In sentences with an unconjugated verb (such as the perfect tense), net occurs before the unconjugated verb:
- Hien huet den Uebst net giess -> "He has not eaten the fruit" (lit. "He has the fruit not eaten")
Like the German kein or the Dutch geen, keen is the Luxembourgish negative article, a composition of k(e) + en, and is used like an indefinite article. For example:
- Ech si kee Mann "I am not a man"
- Dir sidd keng Fra "You are not a woman"
It is also used to negate nouns with no article:
- Si hu Kanner "They have children"
- Si hu keng Kanner "They have no children"
Keen on its own translates to "nobody" or "no one", as opposed to een ("somebody" or "one"):
- Een drénkt Béier net "One (you) does not drink beer"
- Keen drénkt Béier "Nobody drinks beer"
The adverb gär (with pleasure) on its own is used to say that you like doing something:
- Ech droe gär Kleedung "I like wearing clothes"
- Du drénks gär Mëllech "you like drinking milk"
When gär is used in conjunction with hunn (to have), the phrase is used to mean "to like" or "to love"
- Ech hunn dech gär "I love you"
- Si huet den Hond net gär "She does not like the dog"
- Luxembourgish Lessons #1: Basics
- Luxembourgish Lessons #2: More on the Eifel Rule
- Luxembourgish Lessons #3: Welcome, Hunn, and Predicate Adjectives
- Luxembourgish Lessons #4: Verbs: Present Tense