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  5. "Is her name Mara?"

"Is her name Mara?"

Translation:mara 'oH'a' pongDaj'e'?

October 14, 2018



I would like to use this to understand Klingon word order. I am unfamiliar with what it is. Thanks.


This Skill (that's what the units of lessons are called in Duolingo) simply introduces you to some basic sentences to memorize. As you go along the Tips will introduce more and more of the grammar so you can understand how these sentences are put together. The Tips for this Skill does have a brief note about Word Order. Typically the word order is Object-Verb-Subject, which can often seem the reverse of English. This sentence is a very special kind of sentence and actually uses the word order Object-Pronoun-Topic, but for this special kind of sentence, the "pronoun" is acting like a "verb" and the "topic" is acting like a "subject", so it's very similar to Object-Verb-Subject.

Duolingo has hidden the Tips so I want to make sure you know about them and where to find them. I would like to ask that you review those Tips so we don’t have to continuously repeat the information that we have explained there.

If you are doing the course on iOS or Android, you cannot currently access the Tips through the app. To access the Tips, you will have to access the course using a web browser at https://www.duolingo.com/. You can still do it on your mobile device, but you will have to use the web browser instead of the app (or you can do it from a computer). When you click on a Skill, it will expand to reveal a Start button and a Tips button.

If you click on the Tips button it will reveal the Tips and give you a detailed explanation of the grammar that is introduced in that Skill. If you have questions after reading the Tips for any Skills, then please return to the forum to ask your question, explaining what you didn’t understand or what seems contradictory to you.


Shouldn't be pongDaj'a' ? As it refers to yes/no type of question... otherwise I wouldn't be understanding that difference yet


The interrogative -'a' goes on the verb and this syllable means something different on nouns. When using the interrogative verbal -'a', it does not go at the end of the sentence, but rather at the end of the verb (which is often in the middle of the sentence). Notice that there is an -'a' on 'oH which is acting like a verb in this sentence. This sentence is written correctly.


The -'e' suffix goes on nouns and often marks emphasis, focus, or topic. In most cases it is completely optional and can go on either the object or the subject. However, when using a pronoun as the verb "to be" ('oH in this case), there is a grammatical rule that says if you state the subject that the pronoun is referring to (pongDaj in this case) then you MUST mark it with -'e':
mara 'oH'a' "Is it Mara?"
mara 'oH'a' pongDaj'e' "Is her name Mara?"


why is it "is her name mara" and not "mara is this your name" (because of the -Da)


The -Daj suffix makes pongDaj mean her name (or his name or its name). You will learn the details of the suffixes later.


My answer is going to contain complicated grammar that I'm not going to bother explaining here. You will eventually learn all this. But for now I want to show you that Klingon has ways to indicate some of the variations that English also has.

To ask, "Is your name Mara?" you would say, mara 'oH'a' ponglIj'e'?
To ask, "Mara, is this your name?" you would say mara, ponglIj 'oH'a'?

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