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  5. "vutpa'Daq raS lulan mara tor…

"vutpa'Daq raS lulan mara torgh je."

Translation:Mara and Torg placed the table in the kitchen.

August 16, 2018



I translated this sentence as follows: Mara and Torg put it on the kitchen table. I now know, that this translation is incorrect. But vutpa' raSDaq lulan mara torgh je would resemble my false translation, right?


The English verb put is tricky. Its plural present tense (put), past tense (put), and past participle (put) forms are identical. Let me use the word place instead, whose plural present tense (place) and past tense (placed) forms are different.

The sentence vutpa' raSDaq lulan mara torgh je means Mara and Torg place it on the kitchen table. It could mean that they're doing this right now or that they'll do it in the future. It could also mean that, in the past, it was Mara and Torg's job to place it on the table, but you're not describing a specific instance of actual placement, just their job of doing so.

But if you want to say they placed it on the table, there was this one time they had an object and actually placed it on the table, that's an action that's already complete. You're describing an action with an end built into it. vutpa' raSDaq lulanpu' mara torgh je Mara and Torg placed it on the kitchen table. This is known as perfective, and is usually marked in Klingon with -pu' or -ta'. Klingon does not have past tense markers on its verbs, so this sentence could also mean Mara and Torg will have placed it on the kitchen table (sometime in the future). Which one it is depends on context.


Thanks for the explanation. I was mistaken about where something was/is/will be placed. The table in the kitchen or something on the kitchen table.


And you wouldn't need an 'oH in there anywhere to designate the direct object pronoun (unless it's for extra emphasis)?


Generally, you can elide pronouns that don't have suffixes hanging on them. Otherwise, you'd include them in case it might be unclear what pronoun is being elided. This is especially true in cases where the pronoun is being used in a position that was previously used by some other noun or pronoun that isn't the antecedent of the pronoun.

SoQ jatlh HoD. vIHo'.
The captain gives a speech. I admire (the captain? the speech?)

SoQ jatlh HoD. ghaH vIHo'.
The captain gives a speech. I admire him.

SoQ jatlh HoD. 'oH vIHo'.
The captain gives a speech. I admire it.


Just to be clear, my question about the elidement of 'oH was with regard to Whaaarrrg's revised sentence - with 'oH potentially representing the object that Mara and Torg were placing on the kitchen table - not the original sample sentence.

And as always, you answer was very helpful - and I learned a new English word in the process, to elide. qatlho'! :-)


Yes, I would say so.


Of all the exercises Dulingo has you do, the one I have the hardest time with is listening to spoken Klingon and then writing it down.

Sometimes when the words are spoken, they don't sound the way I think they should sound.

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