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  5. "I will give you my teacup."

"I will give you my teacup."

Translation:SoHvaD tu'lumwIj vInob.

December 14, 2018



Someone please straighten me out: I put, "SoHvaD tu'lumwIj jInob.", and was marked correct, but was cited for a typo for using {jI-} instead of {vI-}. I thought (reasoned) that the purpose of the prefix trick is so that I can use "qanob," thereby saving the extra word, "SoHvaD." Is it because I am giving the teacup to, "someone?" Duh?


You cannot use a no-object prefix here. There is an object! You do have the option to use the indirect object for the prefix, but if you use SoHvaD instead, then you must use the direct object for the prefix.


Thank you for answering my original question. Very much.


ghaHvaD bIjatlhnIS (not, "DajatlhnIS"); You must talk to him. I'm still a little confused. Is the subject/ object, or the subect/ no object combination correct?


Here, what you must say is NOT identified, so there is no direct object, just an indirect object, so the no-object prefix is correct.


Sometimes I wish those were marked as errors instead of typos, but as it's only one character difference, the program does what it does.

{SoHvaD tu'lumwIj vInob.} "I give it (my teacup), to you."

{tu'lumwIj qanob.} "I give you my teacup." (utilising the prefix trick) The "prefix trick" could perhaps be thought of as a slang usage that is used often enough in everyday conversation you'd need to know about it too. My thought is that, grammatically, the extra noun (tu'lumwIj) is just floating there in the void outside of the sentence. Usually that would require a type five noun suffix to syntactically mark it as something related to the following sentence, {'e'} would be a good bet in this case. I'd assume way back in the mists of time (in the dim and distant 1990's), said suffix was omitted more and more, while maintaining the meaning, and in time the suffix was deemed superfluous, and eventually becoming just as correct through usage.


The prefix trick isn't slang, though it is unfairly called a "trick" (I should know; I'm the person who named it that).

The rules of Klingon tell us that verb prefixes must agree with the subject and the object. Notice that it doesn't say direct object; it just says object. When you apply the prefix trick, all you're doing is eliding the indirect object and making the prefix agree with the indirect object instead of the direct object. The prefix is still agreeing with an object; it's just a different one than usual. This is, I believe, how the prefix trick can do what it does.

The origin of the prefix trick is Marc Okrand employing it without comment all the way back to Power Klingon: ghIchwIj DabochmoHchugh ghIchlIj qanob If you shine my nose, I'll give you your nose. Eventually people made enough noise about it that he explained it in an interview for HolQeD.

In tu'lumwIj qanob, tu'lum isn't floating out there with no indication of its role in the sentence. It is the direct object. It is sitting in the object position. It's just that the verb prefix agrees with an elided indirect object.

The verb prefix is not really the pronoun. It just agrees with the pronoun. In this case it agrees with a pronoun you can't see.


Please show me how that would look, and comment on what you did, if you please.


How what would look?


I really meant that question for Kahless, and deleted it, because I wasn't sure that it was my best question. And thank you for your contributions.


The prefix trick works as follows: if the indirect object is first- or second-person, and if the direct object is third-person, then you can elide the indirect object and make the verb prefix agree with the indirect object instead of the direct object.

To use the prefix trick with SoHvaD tu'lumwIj vInob, in which the indirect object is second-person and the direct object is third-person, elide the SoHvaD and make the verb prefix agree with SoH instead of tu'lumwIj. You get tu'lumwIj qanob.


I can almost get it. It's not really a trick because all of the parts of speech are there, if not visible. Some are only seen in my head, and I presume in that of the listener.

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