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  5. "The green pants that Martok …

"The green pants that Martok is wearing are handsome, aren't they?"

Translation:'IH yopwaH SuD tuQtaHbogh martaq, qar'a'?

January 22, 2020



Shouldn't it read "... yopwaH'e' ..."? Otherwise, why couldn't it read as "Martok who is wearing the green pants is handsome, isn't he." ? Maybe I'm missing something...


Using the -'e' suffix to mark the head noun in a -bogh phrase is not a grammatical requirement. It is a handy tool to clarify such structures. If you think it's likely that your listener/reader will understand without it, then it's fine to leave it off. Even if your listener may not understand, you're still not required to add it, but expect a series of clarifying questions. There are even reasons one might want to intentionally leave ambiguity, for instance in philosophy or poetry. Both answers are accepted for this sentence.


After completing my answer, I looked back at the top of this sentence discussion and realized I answered the wrong question. My previous answer still applies, but leaves out some crucial information. In fact, in exercises where you have to translate from English to Klingon we had NOT entered an accepted translation with -'e' and if you tried using '-'e' it would have been rejected. I've added it now.

However, your answer still would have been rejected due to a small grammar quirk. When an adjectival verb is being used adjectivally (i.e. appearing after the noun), any type 5 noun suffix (like -'e') gets tagged onto the adjectival verb, not the noun. So the correct way to use -'e' in this sentence would be SuD'e'.

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