1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Klingon
  4. >
  5. "Is Mara your friend? Yes, sh…

"Is Mara your friend? Yes, she is our friend."

Translation:jupra' ghaH'a' mara'e'? HISlaH. jupma' ghaH.

September 3, 2018



proper nouns get the 'e', and pronouns get the 'a'?


The -'e' noun suffix and the -'a' verb suffix do two completely different things. There is a separate -'a' noun suffix that does a third different thing.

The noun suffix -'a' means a greater or more major type of that noun. bIQ is "water", but bIQ'a' is an "ocean". mIv is a "helmet", but mIv'a' is a "crown". Duy is an "emissary", but Duy'a' is an "ambassador". This suffix cannot be placed on verbs and it doesn't really make any sense on pronouns, so you should only put it on nouns. This sentence does not contain an example of this suffix.

The -'a' verb suffix turns a statement into a question and can only go on verbs and pronouns acting as the verb "to be". When a pronoun is acting as a noun instead of a verb, then it cannot take the -'a' verb suffix. In this case ghaH is acting like the verb "to be" so CAN take the -'a' verb suffix if it is a question. jupra' ghaH means, "She is our friend." jupra' ghaH'a' means, "Is she our friend?"

The noun suffix -'e' is used in a few ways which are all variations on marking a noun as the focus or topic of a sentence. In sentences where a pronoun is acting like the verb "to be", if you also state a subject noun, then the noun suffix -'e' is required to mark that noun as the topic. It is the only time that the suffix -'e' is required. jupra' ghaH'a' mara'e' means "Is Mara our friend?"

The -'a' is on the verb (the pronoun acting as verb) to make it a question and the -'e' is on the subject noun because subject nouns are required to be marked that way when using a pronoun as a verb.

jupma' ghaH does not have either the -'a' verb suffix or the -'e' noun suffix. That is because it is a statement, not a question, so doesn't need the -'a' verb suffix, and it does not have a stated subject noun to take the -'e' suffix.


Verbs, or pronouns acting like verbs, get the -'a'. This suffix means that the sentence has become a yes/no question.

'ey qagh.
The gagh is delicious.

'ey'a' qagh?
Is the gagh delicious?

In a pronoun-as-verb sentence, if you've got noun phrases on both sides of the pronoun, the phrase after the pronoun gets an -'e'. It doesn't matter whether it's a common noun, a proper noun, a noun phrase, or even multiple nouns or noun phrases.

Learn Klingon in just 5 minutes a day. For free.