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  5. "He does not understand the b…

"He does not understand the book that he is reading."

Translation:paq laDtaHbogh yajbe' ghaH.

October 16, 2019

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tortitudette

Apologies for the lesson-one style question again, but I'm having trouble understanding when ghaH is required, as in this exercise. Is it to specify that the subject is singular? Or am I missing something else? Thanks so much as always.

October 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

In basic Object-Verb-Subject sentences and clauses, pronouns are rarely required. They are used mostly to clarify what subject or object you're talking about.

If we just said paq laDtaHbogh yajbe', that would be a perfectly grammatical sentence, but without further context you have no idea who's reading and not understanding a book or books. He/she? It? They? We don't know. At least by adding a ghaH explicitly we have a clue whom we're talking about.

Pronouns are required when you're using a "pronoun-as-to-be" sentence (tlhIngan ghaH he/she is a Klingon) and when you want to hang a suffix on a pronoun ('oHDaq jIyIt I walk to it). But when they're standing alone as a subject or object they are dropped unless you want to keep them there for added clarity. You may find that you need to add that clarity a lot in Klingon. He reads it is simple enough in English, but it translates to Klingon laD without any indication of who is doing what, unless you add pronouns: 'oH laD ghaH he/she reads it.

October 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tortitudette

Ah, I see, thank you for clarifying. Just so I'm clear, is "pronoun-as-to-be" the only time pronouns are required grammatically? Your points about clarity are very well taken, but when my first answer paq laDtaHbogh yajbe' was marked wrong, I assumed I was making grammatical mistake, rather than one of sentence quality. Thank you as always!

October 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidTrimb3

There are a few other times you need to include a pronoun. I mentioned a couple above.

Here's another: if you want to say I am happier than you, you need to employ a comparative sentence, and you can't drop the pronouns. jIH Quch law' SoH Quch puS.

Another time: when specifying "area nouns" in the vicinity of someone represented by a pronoun, you need to keep the pronoun. jIH tlhop area in front of me.

October 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tortitudette

Oh geez I'd misread your first explanation a few times, and somehow missed your point about needing a pronoun if you want to hang a suffix on it entirely. Thank you so much for clarifying further. I think part of my difficulty stems from being a native speaker of English and never having learned these grammatical terms and concepts in a structured way before.

October 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

It turns out that one of the best ways to learn more about your own language is to begin learning another language.

October 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kahless62003

It's primarily for specifying/clarifying that you are dealing with a he/she instead of one of the other possibilities a lack-of-prefix implies, in situations the context has not been previously established (like all duolingo sentences). So {paq laDtaHbogh ghaH yajbe'.} and {paq laDtaHbogh ghaH yajbe' ghaH.} and {paq laDtaHbogh yajbe'.} would, I think, be equally valid, with the caveat that previous establishing of context would be preferred/needed to interpret the intended meaning of the sentence. Consider the effect of a preceding context establishing sentence of {paq laD martaq HoD} or {paq laD martaq HoD, yaSpu'lI' je}. With the first, no {ghaH} in the following sentence may be needed. With the second, pronouns would be helpful to sort out who is reading/understanding what.

October 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tortitudette

Thank you! I think I was reading too much into this exercise but the clarity is very helpful.

October 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

ghaH is not required in this sentence.

October 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tortitudette

May I suggest adding paq laDtaHbogh yajbe' as an acceptable answer? I'd already translated paq laDtaHbogh yajbe' ghaH into English in an earlier exercise, so in this English to Klingon exercise I purposefully left ghaH off as a way to test my understanding of when a pronoun is required, and (as you can tell) got confused when I was marked wrong. Thank you as always!

October 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

That is already an accepted translation on this exercise. Are you sure you did not make some error?

October 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tortitudette

Oh hmm, it's always possible I made a different mistake. Though I was using the word bank so I doubt it was a spelling error, and I at least thought I'd double checked that the lack of ghaH was the only difference from the correct answer Duolingo gave me. If I run into the question again, I'll try the same answer and screenshot / flag this question directly if I get the same outcome. But this is very helpful for my purpose anyway, which was to confirm that ghaH may be useful here, but isn't strictly required.

October 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdmcowan

Duolingo has been known to have bugs. A screen shot would be very helpful. The contributors have also been known to leave out translations, so a report of "my answer should have been accepted" and/or a note in the sentence discussion (as you have done here) is appreciated. I don't know why the system marked you wrong, but I do confirm that your original idea that ghaH is not required in this sentence is correct!

October 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tortitudette

For some reason I can't reply to the last of your comments on this thread, but you were exactly right. I just tried paq laDtaHbogh yajbe' in a word bank answer and was marked correct. My guess is that I mistakenly switched paq and laDtaHbogh the first time, and blamed the lack of ghaH for the outcome, rather than my incomplete understanding of word order in relative clauses. I also clearly wasn't as careful in checking as I'd thought. Thank you again!

October 16, 2019
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