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8. Verbs

Verbs are unchanging in Pandunia. Things like person, number, time and mood are indicated by separate words, not by changing the form of verbs as in English and other languages.

Person and number

Person and number are indicated by the subject. For example, the verb e ('to be') has the same form in all persons.

mi e dosti. – I am a friend.
tu e dosti. – You are a friend.
da e dosti. – He/she is a friend.
mimen e dosti. – We are friends.
tumen e dosti. – You are friends.
damen e dosti. – They are friends.

Also a noun can serve as subject.

mau e hevan. – The cat is an animal.

Frequently there is a marker between the subject and the verb to indicate where the subject ends and the verb begins. It is particularly helpful when the subject and the verb are content words that could serve as both. The marker is typically a particle or an auxiliary verb. One of the many suitable markers is ya ('yes'), which doesn't change the meaning of the sentence but only helps to clarify its structure.

tuzi yam. – Rabbit food. – OR Rabbit eats.
tuzi ya yam. – Rabbit does eat. ~ Rabbit eats.
karote e tuzi yam. – Carrot is rabbit food.
tuzi ya yam karote. – Rabbits eat carrots.

Other suitable markers include auxiliaries of time and mood, which are introduced next.

Auxiliaries of time

The relationship of an action, event or state to time is indicated with auxiliary verbs.

shuru 'begin, start' indicates beginning of an action or transition to a new situation.

mi shuru fuku la kote. – I start wearing the coat. ~ I put the coat on.
kaguji ya shuru hogo. – Paper starts to burn.
tu shuru yam. – You start to eat.

fin 'end, cease, quit, stop' conveys the idea of "to stop doing something".

damen fin haha. – They stopped laughing.
kaguji ya fin hogo. – Paper ceased to burn.
tu fin yam. – You stop eating.

pul 'fulfill, complete' indicates that an action is done completely.

tu pul yam un piza. – You ate a pizza completely.
mi pul visi la filme. – I completed watching the film. / I watched the film completely.

fen 'partially' indicates that the action is only partially done.

tu fen yam un piza. – You ate some of the pizza.
mi fen visi la filme. – I watched some of the movie.

zai 'be present' indicates that a situation is happening at present.

mi zai yam un piza. – I am eating a pizza.

dura 'keep on, continue, proceed' indicates that a situation is continuing or in progress.

mi dura yam la piza. – I keep on eating the pizza.

ada 'have a habit, be used to' indicates that an action is done regularly.

mi ada gul yo bir. – I have a habit of drinking beer.

le 'attain, accomplish, reach; already' indicates that an action has happened in the past and is still ongoing, or is relevant to the current situation. It is best translated by already or (not) yet. You can think of it somewhat like the present perfect in English (I have done, I have eaten).

da le e guru. – He/she is already a teacher.
mi no le gul yo alkohol. – I haven't drunk alcohol yet.
mi le no gul yo alkohol. – I am already not drinking alcohol.
mi le don la buku to damen. – I have given the book to them. Or: I already gave the book to them.
damen no le ridon da to mi. – They haven't given it back to me. Or: They didn't give it back to me yet.
mi le lai to siti. – I have come to the city. Or: I already came to the city.

pas 'pass, go past, go through' indicates that an action is finished and is no longer relevant to the current situation. You can think of it somewhat like the past simple in English (I finished, I ate).

mi pas don la buku to damen. – I gave the book to them. (Maybe they don't have it anymore or they gave it back.)
mi pas vizite Franse. – I have visited France.
mi pas ada gul yo bir. – I used to drink beer. / I had a habit of drinking beer.
mi pas lai to siti. – I came to the city.

sha 'will, shall' indicates that the event will take place later or in the future.

da sha e guru. – He/she shall be a teacher.
mi no sha gul bir. – I will not drink beer.


In general, there are three types of verbs.

  1. Transitive verbs need a direct object, which is the target of the action.
  2. Intransitive verbs don't accept an object. Then the action is directed to the subject.
  3. Ambitransitive verbs can be both transitive and intransitive.

Pandunia verbs are typically ambitransitive i.e. they may or may not require an object depending on the sentence structure. When there is an object, the verb is transtive, and when there isn't an object, the verb is intransitive.

mi bule sui. – I boil water. (transitive sentence)
sui bule. – Water boils. (intransitive sentence)
baker bake ban. – The baker bakes bread. (transitive sentence)
ban bake a tanur. – Bread bakes in the oven. (intransitive sentence)

Serial verb construction is a string of verbs that share the same subject, which is before the verbs. In serial verb constructions the verbs are interpreted so that the first verb (an auxiliary verb) is something that the subject possesses and the second verb is something that the subject does (when there is an object in the end) or experiences (when there is no object).

mi bil kitabi la javabe.
I have the ability to write the answer.
– I can write the answer.
mi halal kitabi la javabe.
I have the permission to write the answer.
– I may write the answer.
mi mus kitabi la javabe.
I have the compulsion to write the answer.
– I must write the answer.

Note that the same auxiliary verbs can be used alone as transitive verbs in the pivot construction.

guru halal mi kitabi la javabe. – The teacher permits me to write the answer.
guru mus mi kitabi la javabe. – The teacher compels me to write the answer.


In Pandunia, prepositions are words that function almost like verbs. They always take an object.


The preposition a denotes a destination, goal or purpose, 'to, toward, for'.

damen marche a bazar. – They walk to the market.
mi vol don ye buku a tu. – I want to give this book to you.


The preposition bi denotes an instrument or tool, 'with, by, by means of'.

da bate bi hamar. – He hits with the hammer.
da kitabi bi kalam. – He writes with a pen.

It also denotes means of exchange, 'for'.

da shope la juba bi unli 20 euro. – She bought the dress for only 20 euros.

It also denotes the language of speech or a text, 'in'.

mimen loga bi pandunia – We speak in Pandunia
damen kitabi bi farsi – They write in Persian.


The preposition de denotes separation or departure, 'off, away from, from'.

damen lai de Brazil. – They come from Brazil.


The preposition ex denotes location on the outside, 'out, outside'.

demi ya protesta ex la burgi. – People protest outside the castle.


The preposition in denotes location on the inside, 'in, inside'.

zulmivan ya sir in la burgi. – The tyrant hides in the castle.


The preposition kon denotes togetherness, 'with, in the company of'.

da loge kon la shefe. – He/she speaks with the boss.


The preposition pos denotes later position in time or space, 'after, later than'.

damen lai pos mi. – They come after me.


The preposition pre denotes earlier position in time or space, 'before, in front of'.

damen lai pre mi. – They come before me.


The preposition pro denotes intention, cause or motivation, 'for, for the sake of, in order to, pro'.

mi kurse pro salta. – I jog for health.


The preposition re denotes movement back, 'back, in return'.

da don la buku re mi. – He gave the book back to me.


The preposition tra denotes piercing through, 'through'.


The preposition via denotes road or way, 'via, by way of'.

mimen lai a Berlin via Praha. – We come to Berlin via Prague.


The preposition vise denotes substitution, 'instead of, on behalf of'.

da loga vise mi. – He speaks on my behalf.