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  5. "Where is Worf?"

"Where is Worf?"

Translation:nuqDaq ghaH wo'rIv'e'?

April 5, 2019



What's the rule for adding 'e' to someone's name? Sometime I see this suffix added and sometimes not ...


The -'e' noun suffix is only required when using a pronoun as the verb "to be". In all other instances the -'e' suffix is optional. When noting the location of a person or place, you state the location (with -Daq) and the person (with the correct pronoun): DujDaq ghaH "He is on the ship." Since the pronoun is acting as both the subject and the verb, you would not normally also be able to add an explicit subject (i.e. say who "he" is). But for this kind of sentence, there is a very special rule that allows you to also state an explicit subject (i.e. who or what the pronoun is referring to). To do this, you must mark the explicit subject with -'e': DujDaq ghaH wo'rIv'e' Or to ask where, replace the location with nuqDaq.


Klingon doesn't have a verb "to be".

That's no problem for adjectives such as "Torg is strong" or "Mara is clever", because what would be adjectives in English are verbs in Klingon, so you don't need a "to be" verb there -- HoS torgh is "Torg is strong" and val mara is "Mara is clever". One might translate a word such as val into "be clever".

But it does mean that other kinds of "to be" sentences have to be expressed differently -- for example, "Torg is a captain" or "Mara is in space".

For that, Klingon takes advantage of the fact that the personal pronouns can be used in a way similar to verbs -- for example, tlhIngan jIH is "I am a Klingon" and HoD ghaH is "He is a captain". A more literal translation might be "I - Klingon" or "He - captain" which is fine in Russian but not so much in English.

This is combined with the topic suffix -'e' to form "to be" sentences.

"Torg is a captain" is HoD ghaH torgh'e'. A more literal translation might be "As for Torg: he's a captain."

Similarly with "Mara is in space": loghDaq ghaHtaH mara'e' -- or more literally: "As for Mara: she is (continually) in space" (logh "space", loghDaq "in space").

So if a noun is the subject of a "to be" sentence with another noun or a location "on the other side", you're going to need a personal pronoun such as ghaH or 'oH and an -'e' suffix on the noun.

Otherwise, you don't need the -'e' suffix. (With an exception that will be taught later where it can be helpful.)

For example, "Torg is strong" is HoS torgh -- no -'e' because it's not a "NOUN is NOUN" or "NOUN is in LOCATION" type sentence. "Torg sees Mara" is mara legh torgh -- again no -'e' because it's not one of those sentences. But "His name is Torg" is torgh 'oH pongDaj'e' with -'e' because this is a "NOUN is NOUN" sentence -- the "his name" word pongDaj needs the -'e' suffix (in standard Klingon).


BTW: I've already read the entry for 'e' in the Duolingo dictionary and I didn't find it helpful.


Have you been reading the Tips & Notes for each unit? Sentences using ghaH and -'e' were first described in the Tips & Notes for the Pronouns unit and using such sentences for locations is described in the Tips & Notes for this Locations unit.

Since Duolingo has hidden the Tips & Notes I want to make sure you know about them and where to find them. If you have not been reading the Tips & Notes, I would like to ask that you review those so we don’t have to repeat too much of the information that we have explained there.

If you are doing the course on iOS or Android, you cannot currently access the Tips & Notes through the app. To access the Tips & Notes, 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, a key, and a light bulb.

If you click on the light bulb it will reveal the Tips & Notes and give you a detailed explanation of the grammar that is introduced in that Skill. If you have questions after reading the Tips & Notes 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.


Sometimes I don't understand until I hear the explanation worded in a particular way. The two who posted before you provided exactly what I was looking for. Nonetheless, thanks for pointing out the tips & notes.

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