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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



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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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


The tips for this lesson talk about applying -bogh to a verb, and it covers the cases where there's 1 and 2 nouns associated with the verb, but what about 0? I'm having difficulties constructing such a sentence, but maybe it's possible? Something like: qengbogh par. If I added ghah before or after qengbogh it would be clear which of the two is disliked, the person being carried, or the person carrying. If such a sentence were to be formed, would one pronoun be required in such a case?


It appears that one cannot use a headless (no noun) relative clause.


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.


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


ghaH is not required in this sentence.

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