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  5. "We do not trust Torg's enemiā€¦

"We do not trust Torg's enemies."

Translation:torgh jaghpu' DIvoqbe'.

August 10, 2018



Granted, we haven't really studied possessives yet. But when we have an adjective modifying a noun, it comes after the noun. And the one possessive we've learned before, -Daj, is a suffix. Therefore, I assumed that in order to form the possessive "Torg's, of Torg," torgh should come after the noun jaghpu', not before it.

Is this just something we've yet to learn, stuck in a bit early?


I had a similar question when I started the course. Yes....it's a bit strange. An "adjective" (which, in Klingon grammar, is considered a form of verb) follows a noun that it modifies, while a genitive noun (ie, a noun that modifies another noun, or a possessive), comes before.

So, for example:

"Torg's socks" = torgh paSlogh.
"red socks" = paSlogh Doq.
"Torg's red socks" = torgh paSlogh Doq.



There are no adjectives in Klingon, despite what the Duolingo course may say. Klingon accomplishes what in English is done with adjectives by using verbs or nouns.

To use a verb to modify a noun in the way an adjective does in English, the Klingon verb must be a verb of state or quality. For the most part, this is a verb whose meaning begins with be, like Quch be happy and HoS be strong. These words may follow a noun to describe that noun. tlhIngan Quch happy Klingon; tlhIngan HoS strong Klingon. So far as we know, a noun may only have one verb of state or quality following it in this manner. (So if you want to say The strong, happy Klingon, you have to use another construction.)

When you want one noun to modify another noun, this is called a genitive relationship. In Klingon, a genitive relationship is indicated by what is called a noun-noun construction. The two nouns are put together, wherein the second noun is the thing you're talking about (the head noun) and the first noun narrows its sense. So if you have torgh jaghpu', the head noun, the thing you're talking about, is jaghpu', and it is narrowed by torgh. Which jaghpu'? The torgh ones, not any other ones. Torg's enemies.

It is common for beginners to think of Klingon as having "adjectives" following the noun, but this is not the case. Be clear on whether the modifier you're using is a noun or a verb, and use it in the correct way.


Also: in the word tiles version of this sentence, there is no -pu' suffix available to use. Fortunately, it accepts the singular form jagh as correct, but there is no way to reproduce the exact sentence above using the word tiles.


Also note the DI- prefix on the verb. As it is only for an Object which is a "them", it makes the Object plural with or without the plural suffix on that Object. An important skill, as you get more advanced, and perhaps read texts not in the course, is to recognise situations like this when the plural suffixes are superfluous due to other context clues.


The versions with and without the plural suffix are both marked as "best" -- but the sentence discussion can only show one of them, which may or may not be the one that the system generates a tapping exercise for.

I believe tapping exercises with word tiles are only generated from translations marked "best", but if there are multiple "best" translations, I believe that it may pick any of those to create a tapping exercise.

So if it picked the one without the plural suffix, that may reinforce the fact that the plural suffix is optional in Klingon.

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