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  5. "They need to breathe."

"They need to breathe."

Translation:tlhuHnIS chaH.

March 5, 2019



I have to admit to still being occasionally tripped up by Klingon pronouns. I had answered with 'lutlhuHnIS,' which was marked wrong and I'm not entirely sure why. I had thought that I could leave off the 'chaH' as long as it was implied by having the 'they' prefix on the verb itself. Why does that not work in this case?


The {lu-} prefix denotes that there is a singular Object in the sentence. As there is no object for the verb "to breathe" the correct prefix for "no object" is used. In this case for "they" there is no prefix. A lack of prefix can also mean a few other things and as duolingo sentences lack context, the pronoun is included to specify which one.


The lu- prefix indicates that the subject is "they" and the object is one of "him, her, it".

But in this sentence, there is no object -- the English is not "they need to breathe it" but simply "they need to breathe".

The prefix for "subject = they; no object" is the empty prefix.

So you could have said tlhuHnIS without the pronoun.

But lutlhuHnIS is not a correct translation of "They need to breathe" (no object).

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