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  5. "bIyaj'a', mara?"

"bIyaj'a', mara?"

Translation:Did you understand, Mara?

June 21, 2018



What does the suffix " 'a' " represent?


On verbs, it is used to indicate a yes–no question.

bIyaj. "You understand."
bIyaj'a'? "Do you understand?"

qagh SoplaH torgh. "Torg can eat gagh."
qagh SoplaH'a' torgh? "Can Torg eat gagh?"

On nouns, the suffix -'a' it has a different meaning, which will be introduced later in the course.


I would like to add in a note that the -'a' verb suffix does NOT act like a question mark. It is not used with questions words. It is only used to turn a statement into a yes/no question.



For example:

nuq SoplaH torgh? "What can Torg eat?"
qagh SoplaH 'Iv? "Who can eat gagh?"
qatlh qagh SoptaH torgh? "Why is Torg eating gagh?"

all use question words (nuq "what", 'Iv "who, whom", qatlh "why") and so do not use -'a'.


The syatax of the sentence i put in is proper in english or is it because you don't have varied answers yet in the database?


Could be either of those. Without knowing what you wrote, it's impossible to say.

What is the entire sentence that you wrote as an answer?


I put "Mara did you understand"


That should have a comma after "Mara", but Duolingo generally ignores punctuation.

That sentence is rejected because it unnecessarily changes the word order relative to the Klingon sentence.

We expect bIyaj'a', mara? to translate to "Did you understand, Mara?" and mara, bIyaj'a'? to translate to "Mara, did you understand?" -- that is, a vocative (indicating the name of the person you are speaking to) should be translated in the same position in the sentence as in the original.

Sometimes the word order has to be changed for grammatical reasons (to accommodate the different grammar of the two languages or the preferred style), but sometimes, multiple word order are equally possible, and in that case, the original word order should generally be followed -- this is the case with vocatives.

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