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  5. "Read the tenth book!"

"Read the tenth book!"

Translation:paq wa'maHDIch yIlaD!

November 8, 2018



I swore I would not participate in the comments anymore, but this is so random and frustrating. There is no explanation as to why numbers sometimes appear first, last, or in the middle. One just has to guess, and I'm about 33%, there appears to be no logic nor explanation. I think an explanation would be very helpful.


A number used for counting a noun comes before the noun.

wa' yIH one tribble
cha' ghopDu' two hands
wa'maH paqmey ten books

A number used for numbering, for labeling the number of a noun, the number comes after the noun.

yIH wa' tribble number one
ghop cha' hand number two
paq wa'maH book number ten

An ordinal number, used to tell the order of a noun in a sequence, gets -DIch and comes after the noun.

yIH wa'DIch first tribble
ghop cha'DIch second hand
paq wa'maHDIch tenth book

Using a number to tell how many times something is done makes the number act like an adverbial, coming near the front of the sentence. It does not get attached to nouns. The number gets -logh.

wa'logh yIH vIyachpu' I stroked the tribble once.
cha'logh ghopwIj vIjoqmoH I wave my hand twice.
wa'maHlogh paq vIlaDta' I read the book ten times.


And just to demonstrate that the -logh sentences aren't attaching the number to the noun, I can also say things like this:

wa'logh jachpu' yIH The tribble screamed once.
cha'logh joq ghopDaj His hand waves twice.
wa'maHlogh pumpu' paq The book fell ten times.


I just wanted to say thanks, David, for a very comprehensively written and helpful review of numerical syntax rules. I'm saving this page just for study purposes!


I've added a couple extra sentences to the Tips & Notes for this lesson to help clarify that counting numbers come before the noun, ordering numbers (using -DIch) come after the noun, and repetition numbers (using -logh) come at the front of the sentence. I don't think we use the numbers in a numbering/labeling way in this course, so I have left that out of the explanation for now.

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