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  5. "SuvwI' bovuv'a'? HISlaH. wIv…

"SuvwI' bovuv'a'? HISlaH. wIvuv."

Translation:Do you respect the warrior? Yes, we respect her.

September 1, 2019



Why not mavuv? When exactly is wIwuv used?


The ma- prefix means there is no object (the action of the verb is not happening to or at any particular person or thing). Thus mavuv means, "We respect." At times there may be particular people or things we respect, but this sentence is not talking about any particular person or thing we respect, it's just saying that it's something we do.

On the other hand, the wI- prefix means there is a specific object that we have in mind. Since the specific object is not stated within the sentence, the speaker expects that you will understand what that particular object is from the context. Thus wIvuv means, "We respect him/her/it." In this case, the context of the question asked tells us that the "him/her/it" is SuvwI'. Klingon does not always make the sexual gender clear, so in the Klingon sentence, the warrior might be male or female and in exercises where you can write in the answer either "him" or "her" is accepted ("it" is not accepted, since warriors are "beings capable of language").

There are also other "we" prefixes that could be used. For instance, the DI- prefix indicates that there are multiple objects. Since the plural markers are optional, the question in this exercise could be interpreted as, "Do you respect the warriors?" However, in that case, the response would have been HISlaH. DIvuv. ("Yes. We respect them.")

An explanation is given in the Tips & Notes, but I know it’s a lot of new information and some details are bound to be difficult to understand or slip through the memory. However, 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 and a Tips button.

If you click on the Tips button 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.


Can a warrior be female, too?

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