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"That Klingon is strong. She is a great warrior."

Translation:HoS tlhInganvetlh. SuvwI' Dun ghaH.

October 29, 2019

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Madness-Master

Why did I get it wrong when I wrote "tlhinganvetlh'e'"?


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

Why would that word have an -'e' on it? What in the English indicates that there is special focus on "that Klingon"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Madness-Master

I thought "that klingon" was enough.


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

"That Klingon" is tlhInganvetlh.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Madness-Master

I know that. I guessed it was the same as for another sentence " tlhInganpu' chaH be'pu'vam'e'". But I know figure it's because that has a noun that need's to be bound in. Or am I missing the reason entirely?


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

Ah, yes. That is a completely different situation. The sentence HoS tlhInganvetlh is composed simply of a verb and subject noun. In such a case, adding -'e' to the noun adds focus or emphasis to it. We don't teach how that works in this course and you shouldn't do it in this course.

The sentence tlhInganpu' chaH be'pu'vam'e' has no actual verb in it. The pronoun chaH is acting as both the subject and as a connector equating that subject to the object before it. It is acting sort of like the English "to be" (conjugated as "are" in that sentence). But since the pronoun is already there, you can't just also add a subject noun. You can either use a pronoun or a noun, but not both. Except that there is a special rule in Klingon that allows you, only in the special case of using a pronoun as a connector like that, to add in an extra noun that the pronoun represents by marking it with the suffix -'e'.

Notice that with a real verb, the pronoun gets replaced by the noun:
HoS chaH ("They are strong.")
HoS tlhInganpu' ("Klingons are strong.")

But when using the pronoun as a connector, like a verb, the subject noun gets added on and marked with -'e':
tlhInganpu' chaH ("They are Klingons.")
tlhInganpu' chaH be'pu''e' ("The women are Klingons.")

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