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  5. "The teacher teaches history."

"The teacher teaches history."

Translation:qun ghojmoH ghojmoHwI'.

July 31, 2018



How sure are we {ghojmoH} can be used this way with a subject? I'm not sure you can cause History to learn something. Is there any canon to go by for it or similar words?


There appears to be a lot of flexibility. The most standard object of a verb with -moH is the object of the unmarked verb. So with ghojmoH the object would be the thing being learned/taught.

It appears that when there is no object for the unmarked verb, the subject of the unmarked verb can appear as the object of the verb with -moH. So the sentence ghojwI' ghojmoH ghojmoHwI' appears to be a valid way to say who is learning/being taught.

However, if you are expressing both the object and the subject of the unmarked verb, then you have to do it this way: ghojwI'vaD qun ghojmoH ghojmoHwI'.

Finally, it appears to be OK to use the prefix trick: qun mughojmoH ghojmoHwI'.


Indeed. There isn't quite enough evidence to say for sure, but one interpretation is that the object and beneficiary of [verb]moH is not completely regular, but varies from verb to verb and depending on context, based on what makes sense to the imagined native speakers. In the case of teaching, regarding the student as a "beneficiary" of teaching makes sense. With other verbs, it may make less sense; if you deprive somebody of something, it may make less sense to treat them as the beneficiary of HutlhmoH or weSmoH.

In the case of ghojmoH, we have a couple of examples:

QIt ghaHvaD yIn Hegh je vIghojmoH (paq'batlh - 2011)

  • I don't have the official translation handy, but something like "I will slowly teach him of life and death."

qum DuSaQmeyDaq 'Irghbe'meH ghotpu' nabmey ghojmoH (PCHA message - 2017)

  • "In public schools, it teaches procedures so that people don't bully"

On the other hand, paq'batlh also includes the following:

SuvwI' DameH puqloDwI' / vIghojHa'moH DaH 'e' vItlhoj

  • Official English translation/original: I see now, I have failed / To raise my son a man.

  • Literal back-translation: "I now realize that I failed to teach my son for the purpose of him acting like a warrior."

Here, it would seem that vIghojHa'moH (implicitly) takes puqloDwI' (or an elided ghaH) as its object, suggesting that the object of ghojmoH can be either the learner or the subject learned.

Looking at similar examples, I believe the earliest example we have of this pattern is from a SkyBox trading card:

tuQtaHvIS Hem. ghaHvaD quHDaj qawmoH. (S20)

  • "He wears it proudly as a reminder of his heritage."


petaQvam vIqopbej
QIt ghaHvaD yIn Hegh je vIghojmoH
'ej 'oy' SIQ ghaH

I will bring this p'takh to justice
And teach him life and death,
The slow and painful way!


Kahless, are you a KLI member? If you have done the language course, then go to module 7, unit 4 entitled yonmoHbe' bortaS.

I don't know whether it would be ok to quote it here as I would like to encourage people to pay for that course. It is only $10 to become a member and get the course for free.

Sections of the course do not become accessible until previous sections are passed. If need be, if you use the Klingon discord, if you are a member of KLI I could copy and paste the relevant section into the members only room there.

But basically, it has a discussion about this very question for ghojmoH. In summary, it concludes that we have evidence (albeit unclear) for the object of ghojmoH being the person being taught but also for it being the subject being taught so as of now, we cannot be quite sure whether only one or either are to be the accepted/standard usage.


phuvtuo, I thought about that very discussion as I read this one. The verse David quotes from paq'batlh is evidence enough that I now plan to update that discussion. reH De' chu' nughojmoHlaH yIn.

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