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  5. "How do you know that the sun…

"How do you know that the sun is hot?"

Translation:tuj jul chay' 'e' DaSov?

June 17, 2018



Can anyone explain the placement of chay' in this sentence, and whether it's possible to put it at the very beginning?


This is really two sentences:

  • tuj jul "the sun is hot"
  • chay' 'e' DaSov "how do you know that?"

'e' is a pronoun, referring to the previous sentence and acting as the object in another sentence.

Usually, nothing is before the object, and so it seems to act as a kind of conjunction, e.g. tuj jul 'e' vISov "I know that the sun is hot" -- but more literally, that's still two sentences: "The sun is hot. I know that.", where the final "that" means "the contents of the previous sentence".

If there is a question word or an adverb, that comes before the object. chay' 'e' DaSov? "How do you know that?

I don't think you could put it at right at the beginning, i.e. at the beginning of the first sentence, because I don't think you can have a question as an object. chay' tuj jul 'e' DaSov would mean something like "How is the sun hot? You know that." which would be something like "You know that how is the sun hot?", which does not make grammatical sense in English. (I don't think it can mean "You know how the sun is hot.", but I'm not certain.)


Okrand hasn't actually come down on questions as objects, but in general they don't work. The exception: nuq (and probably 'Iv) simply stand in for a noun that is the answer, so if the answer goes in the first sentence as a sentence-as-object, then it's okay. We have the canonical nuq Datlhutlh DaneH What do you want to drink?

But when you're asking chay', you're not just substituting in the answer, so this doesn't work.

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