Home > Rhean Language > Verbs
Simple Verb Tenses
Negation & Interrogation
The Adverbial Participle
The Infinitive as a Noun
With the Participles
With the Simple Tenses
Differences in Negation
Verbs from Nouns
Simple Verb Tenses
Kinoksoi Keir Jodonir
In Rhean, all verbs end in -ak or -ek in their infinitive (dictionary) form, and these verbs conjugate for their subject and tense. Tenses fall into one of two moods: the real and the hypothetical (the imperative is also a mood, but is not split into tenses). First, let's look at the three simple tenses in the real mood.
Rhean has only one simple present tense, which can correspond in English to both "he does" and "he is doing". In the present tense, the conjugations are:
|PRESENT||-ak verbs||-ek verbs|
|ta*||-aš, -a||-iš, -e|
So from verbs like ravowak
'to work' and olamek 'to drink', we get
forms like: ravowam 'I work (am working)',
ravowaš 'he/she/it works', ravowaz
'they work'; and olamit 'you drink (are
drinking), olamiǩ 'you (pl.) drink', olame
'he/she/it drinks', olamimu 'we drink'.
*The third person singular has two endings here. The -aš/-iš ending is the full ending, and is still the only one used when any suffix is added after these conjugations. But as the final verb in a sentence, it is more common to use the -a/-e ending. In proper public-speaking, newsreader language, -aš/-iš is always used.
You drink too much.
Tocet i mačikom ravowaš.
dad in town-INST work-3SG
Dad works in town.
The present tense also covers events that are not tied to any
specific moment in time, such as habitual actions or ongoing states. So where in
English we might say "I have been working here for a long
time", in Rhean this would be:
Zde nagya kronon todom ravowam.
through long time-ACC here-INST work-1SG
Or "I am working here a long time".
A few irregular -ek verbs,
called the erzakstva*
verbs (most of which are auxiliaries) retain the -e-
in the present tense endings:
Er mu asmem.
that(-ACC) NEG think-1SG
I do not allow that.
This simple past tense has a shade of the perfective to it, so it can be used for things like "he ate" and also "he has eaten". The conjugations for the past tense are:
|PAST||-ak verbs||-ek verbs|
I saw you.
Kina jambin lakyem snanaiš.
yesterday legs-ACC both break-3SG:PAST
He broke both legs yesterday.
In Rhean it is rare (but not unheard-of) to use the present tense for future events, as we often do in English: "I'm leaving tomorrow" is davgarat deštirma "I will leave tomorrow". The future tense conjugates like this:
|FUTURE||-ak verbs||-ek verbs|
Notice the final vowel of -ira/-iri in parentheses. These are almost never used except in very formal speech. All other times the future third person singular for both conjugations is -ir.
Emže ekzit ftukirvi.
soon station-DAT arrive-1PL:FUT
We will arrive at the station soon.
Davgarat vöš jiterminir.
tomorrow world self-end-3SG:FUT
The world will end tomorrow.
Negation & Interrogation
Minasacek ki Jarhek
Any verb can be negated simply by placing mu directly in front of it:
Zank mu danisioš.
law(-ACC) NEG defy-3SG:PAST
(he) didn't break the law.
Ürok mu tafirma.
dog(-ACC) NEG eat-1SG:FUT
I won't eat dog.
Yai draaz mu kunim.
my house(-ACC) NEG like-1SG
I don't like my house.
Yes/no type questions can be made with the particle ču, whose use is explained further
in the section on questions. Inverted question marks are
used, as in Spanish, to mark the beginning of a question.
I know them.
żTian ču šiznit? / żČu tian šiznit?
them-ACC QU know-2SG / QU them-ACC know-2SG
Do you know them?
żČu mu börirti?
QU NEG fight-2SG:FUT
Won't you fight?
The inverted question mark can also be used in the middle of a longer
sentence that includes a question:
Yai draaz mu kunim, żču kunit?
my house(-ACC) NEG like-1SG , QU like-2SG
I don't like my house, do you? (lit. do you like?)
ču is also used when giving a
żČu anduirta li unteǧirta?
QU walk-2SG:FUT or drive-2SG:FUT
Are you walking or driving?
The participles are used as adjectives, and there is one for each simple tense:
|-ak verbs||-ek verbs|
The past participle carries no passive
meaning, but instead means "which has done..." or "which
the train which has arrived
krod ekirov čeno
book(-ACC) write-PTP woman
the woman who wrote a book
Note: the object (krod) of the verb (ekirak) remains in the accusative.
The present participle means "which is doing..."
or "which does...", the connotation being that the subject is in
the middle of doing something.
the dog that is barking (the barking dog)
afton unteǧar otoǩ
car-ACC drive-PRP man
the man driving a car
The future participle means "which will do...",
"which is going to do...", with a connotation of "ready to
do..." or "just about to do..." A note: this form is
stressed on the final syllable.
the airship which is going to leave
the boxers who are going to fight
These participles are frequently used in the compound tenses. For the sentences given above, especially when there is an object, relative clauses are preferred.
The Adverbial Participle
This form used as an adverb, meaning "while
doing", "in doing", or "by doing". This is formed by
replacing -ak with -adve
and -ek with -idve
(erzakstva verbs in -edve).
Unteǧadve aftozritud miriomu.
drive-AVP car-accident(-ACC) see-1PL:PAST
While driving, we saw a car accident.
Toya royus magridve lekutaren eklültimat.
this knob(-ACC) turn-AVP electricity-ACC disengage-2SG
You turn the power off by turning this knob.
The adverbial participle can also connect verbs which are performed by the same subject but not necessarily simultaneously, for example when someone does one thing and then another:
Vadan fugridve ekopiradve öhöraiš.
window-ACC open-AVP out-lean-AVP vomit-3SG:PAST
He opened the window, leaned out, and vomited.
The passive, like the participles, turns the verb into an
adjective. The -ak verbs form the passive
with -abza, and the -ek
verbs with -ibza. The erzakstva -ek verbs use -ebza.
This form is commonly used with the verbs for "to be".
a broken plate
I am defeated (have been defeated)
żRoc ču cemuie olamibza?
wine QU all-ADV drink-PASS
Has the wine all been drunk? (notice omitted "is" če)
Er mu asmebza.
that NEG permit-PASS
That is not permitted.
Rhean does not use nap
to show the agent in the passive voice the way English uses "by". You
can be hit 'nap' a hockey stick, but you
cannot be hit 'nap' your brother. This
latter example sounds like someone picked your brother up and swung him at you.
In fact, Rhean usually avoids the passive if an agent is specified at all. There
is an exception: a preposition zize which
puts nouns in the accusative case:
Milicia yan gzacioš.
police me-ACC arrest-3SG:PAST
The police arrested me.
Zize milician gzacibza ašem.
"by" police-ACC arrest-PASS be:1SG:PAST
I was arrested by the police.
The word zize is a contraction of zizidve, from the verb zizek meaning "to be under the effects of..." or "to suffer the actions of...", hence the accusative case. This construction is interesting because it reverses the cases of the agent and patient. But it fell out of common use in the last century and sounds as dated as English t'is.
The imperative is the command-form of a verb used to tell somebody to do something. It is formed, like the other tenses, by adding a suffix to the verb stem. Rhean has an imperative for each of the six personal forms:
|IMPERATIVE||-ak verbs||-ek verbs|
|loz||-yet, -ye||-yat, -ya|
|liz||-yeǩ, -ye||-yaǩ, -ya|
And having forms for all persons, Rhean uses its imperative differently than
many languages. The second person imperative is the straightforward command to a
Think about that.
Skijie olamiot, mu unteǧyet.
too-much drink-2SG:PAST , NEG drive-2SG:IMP
You drank too much, don't drive.
The second person singular and plural have an identical
alternate form. This -ya / -ye
can be used for singular or plural commands.
Sit. (to one person)
Sit. (to a group of people)
Sit. (one or a group)
Commands can be made into more polite requests with kraza 'please', which can come before or after.
Melunie palbyet, kraza.
Speak slowly, please.
The "he, she, it" and "they" forms (-yeš
/ -yaš , -yez
/ -yaz) are best described by English
let or may. This sounds very literary in English, but is common in
Let them fight.
Let them enter.
Eya ürok šinyaš!
May that dog die!
May it all fall down.
The "we" form (-yemu / -yamu) is like English
Let's not fight.
Let's meet tomorrow.
Eya pökin menuzyemu.
Let us punish those people.
And using ču to make it a question, it
offers a suggestion:
Shall we go?
Should we go in?
żČu unteǧyemu li anduyemu?
Should we drive or walk?
The "I" form (-yem / yam) is almost never found on its own, because people seldom boss themselves around verbally. However, used with
ču it becomes a suggestion as above, but for what one person could do.
żČu milician mošyam?
Should I call the police?
All of these imperative forms are used in some very strange ways when it
comes to indirectly quoting commands, or saying what one has told another to do.
Radaiš du melunie unteǧyem.
tell-3SG:PAST THAT slowly drive-1SG:IMP
He told me to drive slowly.
Zduaiš du u laǩudu yuryet.
say-3SG:PAST THAT to hell-DAT go-2SG:IMP
He said you can go to Hell.
Ža u laǩudu yuryeš radye!
then to hell-DAT go-3SG:IMP
Then tell them to go to Hell!
This is more fully explained here.
In Rhean, "to be" is ček, and is one of the very few irregular verbs. It is the most irregular verb in the language, but its forms follow a fairly reasonable pattern:
Like other verbs,
comes at the end of the phrase:
Yai kaš izute če.
my mother doctor be-3SG
My mother is a doctor.
Dioǩi i cumzhernokom čez.
drinks in refrigerator-INST be-3PL
The drinks are in the fridge.
Kina i mačikom ašemu.
yesterday in city-INST be-1PL:PAST
We were in the city yesterday.
Dioǩi cumez yerez.
drinks cold be-3PL:FUT
The drinks will be cold.
Lai peši ot bocom ašez!
your feet upon table-INST be-3PL:PAST !
Your feet were on the table!
is omitted, especially in the third person present tense:
Er čevez, po tori yaril.
that expensive , BUT these cheap
That one is expensive, but these are cheap.
Negation of ček is never expressed as * mu ček (not even, as far as anyone knows, in any backwards provincial dialect). There is a separate verb for "not be", deǧek. This is an erzakstva verb: deǧem, deǧet, deǧedve but deǧioz, deǧirvi etc.
He's not a child!
Kina todom deǧiot.
yesterday here-INST not-be-2SG:PAST
You weren't here yesterday.
There is a particle de (reduced from deǧedve)
which means "not being" and can be used to say "not X, but
Sen de Čarad kuraiš.
Sen NOT Charad come-3SG:PAST
Charad came, but not Sen.
Nap lekužadom de telovukrom ftukiomu.
by train-INST NOT airship-INST arrive-1PL:PAST
We arrived by airship, not by train.
Ačiga de glüp čet!
genius NOT idiot be-2SG
You're not a genius, you're an idiot!
As seen in previous examples, like Dioǩi cumez
the verb ček
can be used with adjectives. There is also an alternative: adding -igek to any
adjective turns it into a verb meaning "to be ...". This verb
conjugates regularly in all tenses.
to be cold
cumez če / cumezigiš
it is cold
cumez deǧe / mu cumezigiš
it is not cold
cumez yere / cumezigir
it will be cold
cumez deǧioš / mu cumezigioš
it was not cold
This suffix can also be used with the passive form of verbs. The final -a
of -(a/i)bza drops, giving -(a/i)bzigek:
Myol viom cemuie olamibzige.The use of -igek with the passive seems to be the only case where its use is not decreasing among speakers in the Capital. Elsewhere, it is being replaced by ček and deǧek.
beer already all drink-PASS-BE-3SG
All the beer has already been drunk.
802-žul Osikar Mezüzemir krošibzigioš.
802-year Ossica-GEN president kill-PASS-BE-3SG:PAST
The president of Ossica was killed in the year 802.
To say things like 'there is...' or 'there were...' the irregular verb anček, which conjugates
exactly like ček (think of it as an
+ ček), is used:
Ot pölom šula anče!
upon floor-INST water exist:3SG !
There's water on the floor!
żČu kina amöz anaše?
QU yesterday rain exist:3SG:PAST
Was there rain yesterday?
This is also the verb for "to have". Rhean has verbs like dovruak 'possess, own' and glamak 'hold' which may be used, but the most common way to express "X has Y" is to say "with X there is Y". In this construction, the possessor is in the instrumental case, without any preposition, and the thing possessed is the subject of anček.
This word anček has other useful functions, including its use in the compound tenses.
Otoǩom ürok anče.
man-INST dog exist:3SG
The man has a dog.
żLoǩem ču afto anče?
you-INST QU car exist:3SG
Do you have a car?
Sai že. Yaǩem lak ančez!
yes EMPH . me-INST two exist:3PL !
Yes! I have two.
The Infinitive as a Noun
Menza Dalam Čarakei
The infinitive, though it is the way every verb is listed in a dictionary, actually behaves like a noun. A verb left in the infinitive is a noun meaning "the act of..." or "...-ing"
żČu yoguek kunit?
Do you like to swim?
Telokia toya piǩom unteǧak ǧalam.
weather-GEN this kind-INST drive-INF(-ACC) hate-1SG
I hate driving in this kind of weather.
fight-INF(-ACC) stop-2PL:IMP !
Aften štikak sekelzeč.
cars-ACC fix-INF difficult
Fixing cars is difficult. (notice omitted če)
Nap hažakom staliom.
by run-INF-INST get-tired-1SG
I got tired from running.
Used in the accusative, the infinitive can work with auxiliary verbs like rek 'can do' fadek 'must do' zdubek 'should / ought to do' etc. This construction is explained here.
|-ak verbs||-ek verbs|
The hypothetical mood is used to talk about things which do not actually happen as if they do. In English we say would or would have for such hypothetical situations. Usually this mood is used in a conditional "if" or "when" construction; it contrasts with the real mood which might also be used in if/when sentences. Look at the difference:
żAdis miryad lerekbaš mišk bulmoč ba kuin heroč?
IF ten-thousand lerek-full bag(-ACC) find-2SG:HYP COND* what-ACC do-2SG:HYP
If you found a bag with ten thousand lereks** in it, what would you do?
żAdis miryad lerekbaš mišk bulmat ba kuin herirta?
IF ten-thousand lerek-full bag(-ACC) find-2SG. COND what-ACC do-2SG:FUT
If you find the bag with ten thousand lereks** in it, what will you do?
In the first example, the speaker is asking about a purely hypothetical situation, regardless of whether it is likely at all that you might find a bag with ten thousand lereks in it ("supposing..." or "if you were to..."). In the second example, it sounds as if there really is a bag full of a thousand lereks that you are looking for, and the speaker is asking what you will do with it if you find it.
* this ba closes a conditional clause.
More on that here.
** the lerek is the monetary unit of Rhea.
Remember that the present tense is also used for events that are not tied to any moment in time, so the hypothetical present tense can be used for most "if you ever"... and "he would..." senses. But there are also a past and future hypothetical forms. These are formed by a past or future suffix between the verb and the hypothetical ending: -al- for the past, -ir- for the future. These suffixes can also be used as alternates for the past and future in the real mood -- olamalim for olamiom etc. (the Ftomarinz dialect uses this all the time). The past hypothetical is used when speculating about how things might have been:
Adis erkie kuraloč ba mu ofkepalöč.
IF early come-PAST-2SG:HYP COND NEG miss-PAST-2SG:HYP
If you had got here early, you wouldn't have missed it.
Ki dorod miralöč ba, nar driknit dahkalöč.
and WHEN see-PAST-2SG:HYP COND , until unconscious-DAT laugh-PAST-2SG:HYP
And when you saw it, you would have laughed till you passed out.
Speculation about the future can use the real mood because there still remains the possibility that it could happen. The future hypothetical is very difficult to translate, and is rarely used. Rhean grammarians only include this redundant form for the sake of 'symmetry'.
Adis davgarat amöz anyerör ba ǧufarvo mu heriromu.
IF tomorrow rain exist:FUT:3SG:HYP COND barbecue NEG do-FUT-1PL:HYP
Adis davgarat amöz anyere ba ǧufarvo mu herirva.
IF tomorrow rain exist:3SG:FUT COND barbecue NEG do-1PL:FUT
If it rains tomorrow, we won't have the barbecue.
The hypothetical forms of the irregular verb ček are predictable from the real mood forms. Simply add the hypothetical conjugations to č- for the present, aš- for the past, and (in theory) yer- for the future.
The compound tenses use anček to add more shades of meaning to verbs. For example, while a simple past tense verb like tafait "you ate" can also mean "you were eating", the compound version tafar anašet stresses that you were in the middle of eating, and tafov anašet stresses that you had finished eating. You will often see this kind of construction used with dorod ... ba "when ... happened / is happening / etc."
WITH THE PARTICIPLES
Remember that the participles
turn verbs into adjectives meaning "in the middle of doing",
"having finished doing" or "about to do". Using anček
with these makes a verb like "I was in the middle of doing"
"I have just finished doing" etc. This can get a bit tricky since anček
in any tense can be used with any of the participles.
With the present participle:
|tafar anče||is (in the middle of) eating|
|tafar anaše||was (in the middle of) eating|
|tafar anyere||will be (in the middle of) eating|
|tafov anče||has eaten|
|tafov anaše||had eaten|
|tafov anyere||will have eaten|
With the present participle:
|tafi anče||is about to eat|
|tafi anaše||was about to eat|
|tafi anyere||will be about to eat|
The meanings in Rhean do not exactly match the English phrases I've given, but this should give you a sense of how this anček works. And how about this one: tafi anašöm "I would have been just about to eat".
WITH THE SIMPLE TENSES
So Kinoksoi Keirom
Here, a whole phrase complete with a conjugated verb in a simple tense is
combined with anček
in the third person singular. This looks like it says "there is
(the fact that) ..." With the present
tense, it expresses habitual actions:
U toya güüjadrözu knaštem kuramu anče.
to this restaurant-DAT often come-1PL exist:3SG
We come to this restaurant often.
U toya güüjadrözu knaštem kuramu anaše.
to this restaurant-DAT often come-1PL exist:3SG:PAST
We used to come to this restaurant often.
With the past tense, it indicates past experiences, things which you have done at one time or another.
żČu krupan unteǧait anče?
QU tank-ACC drive-2SG:PAST exist:3SG
Have you ever driven a tank?
rek* - can (do)
zdubek* - should (do)
fadek - must (do)
smak - may (do)
These take objects in the accusative case, whether that object is a noun or another verb:
I can do that.
He can swim.
Telovukron profsek rem.
I can fly an airship.
You must do this.
żČu tor tafak fadim?
QU this(-ACC) eat-INF(-ACC) must-1SG
Do I have to eat this?
Since the infinitive, the act-of-doing, is the object of the auxiliary, there is no structural difference between these verbs and others like 'like (to do)', 'hate (to do)', 'stop (doing)' etc.
|afton štikaš||he fixes the car|
|afton štikak reš||he can fix the car|
|afton štikak zdubeš||he should fix the car|
|afton štikak smaš||he may fix the car|
|afton štikak fadiš||he must fix the car|
|afton štikak hošaš||he wants to fix the car|
|afton štikak kuniš||he likes fixing the car|
|afton štikak ǧalaš||he hates fixing the car|
|afton štikak tomaš||he stops fixing the car|
DIFFERENCES IN NEGATION
The negation particle mu negates only what comes directly after it. And so, there is a difference between putting mu before the infinitive and putting it before the auxiliary. This is the difference between "can't do" and "can not-do", or "must not do" and "don't have to do".
Mu börek fadiǩ.
NEG fight-INF(-ACC) must-2PL
You must not fight.
Börek mu fadiǩ.
fight-INF(-ACC) NEG must-2PL
You don't have to fight.
Nasfek mu rem!
breathe-INF(-ACC) NEG can-1SG
I can't breathe!
Zde nagya kronon mu nasfek rem.
through long time-ACC NEG breathe-INF(-ACC) can-1SG
I can go without breathing for a long time.
So yezem yurak mu smat.
with us-INST go-INF(-ACC) NEG may-2SG
You may not go with us.
So yezem mu yurak smat.
with us-INST NEG go-INF(-ACC) may-2SG
You do not have to go with us. (you may "not-go")
Verbs from Nouns
Kra Menzir Jodonin
Some nouns can be compounded with a verb-maker, like herak
'do' or sacek 'make', to form a verb:
ǩaba 'bath' --> ǩaba-herak 'bathe, take a bath'
lenk 'argument' --> lenk-sacek 'argue'
Sometimes you may see these run together as one word: burhatsacek 'confess', or separated without a hyphen: burhat sacek. Regardless of how it's written, this is a true compound and no other words can be put between burhat and sacek.
Back to the index.
Back to prepositions.
On to adjectives.