Sentences

Observations

Observations are the simplest sentence type. They may consist of only one word, which draws the listener's attention.

mau! – A cat!
shava! – (It) rains!

Stative Sentences

With noun or pronoun subject

Normally a sentence consists of a subject and a predicate. In the simplest sentences, the subject is a pronoun and the predicate is an adjective or a noun.

mi bon. – I am good.
ya nove. – It is new.
ya Sara. – She is Sara.

When the subject is a noun, the connecting verb e (to be) is necessary.

Sara e bon. – Sara is good.
petre e dai. – Stones are big.
meza e nove. – The table is new.

The word no is added to form the negative. Then the verb e is not needed.

Positive Negative
mi bon. mi no bon.
I am good. I am not good.
ya nove. ya no nove.
It is new. It is not new.
ya Sara. ya no Sara.
She is Sarah. She is not Sarah.
Sara e bon. Sara no bon.
Sarah is good. Sarah is not good.

Also two personal pronouns can be combined with e and no.

mi e ya. – I am he/she.
mi no tu. – I'm not you.

With adjective subject

The same rule applies also for two adjectives.

jovan e sundar. – Young is beautiful.
nove no puran. – New is not old.

With verb subject

A verb can't be subject as such. So the verb is first, use de to start a comment about the verb.

cante e bon. – Singing is good. (Singing is good.)

Active Sentences

An active sentence is a sentence where the subject does the action denoted by the verb to the object. The focus is on the subject as the active participant. The correct word order is subject-verb-object (SVO).

The following sentences are in SVO order.

mi yam di apel. – I eat some apples.
mi vide tu. – I see you.

Passive Sentences

In the passive voice the focus of the sentence is on a subject that is a passive recipient that undergoes the action. So the recipient is the subject of the sentence. Often the agent is not mentioned at all.

In Pandunia, the passive voice is expressed with the particle be.

tu be vide. – You are seen.
musike be audi. – Music is heard.
pan be bake. – Bread is baked.
kope be parce. – The cup is broken.

The agent can be mentioned after the verb with or without the preposition de.

tu be vide de mi. - You are seen by me.
mi be vide de tu. - I am seen by you.

Pivot structure

Basic pivot structure (SVOVO)

In the pivot structure the word order is:
subject – verb 1 – object 1 – verb 2 – object 2.

Object 1 has two roles. It is at the same time the object for the verb 1 and the subject for the verb 2.

mi vol tu yam di vege. – I want you eat vegetables.

In the example above, mi vol has tu as its object. At the same time, tu functions as the subject of the following predicate, yam di vege. So tu is the pivot of the entire sentence.

The first verb in a pivot structure is a modal verb, which indicates a modality such as advice, desire, permission or obligation.

mi vol tu yam di vege. – I want you to eat vegetables. (desire)
mi rai tu yam di vege. – I think you to eat vegetables. (opinion)
mi las tu yam di vege. – I allow you to eat vegetables. (permission)
mi mus tu yam vege. – I compel you to eat vegetables. (obligation)

Verb series structure

There can be two, three or even more verbs in a series, and all of them are about the same subject.

  1. mi gou dom. – I go home.
  2. mi kan gou dom. – I can go home.
  3. mi vol kan gou dom. – I want to be able to go home. (Word for word: I want can go home!)

The last verb in the series is the main verb. The verbs before it are modal verbs, which that indicate a modality such as likelihood, ability, advice, permission, desire, or obligation.

tu kan yam di vege. – You can eat vegetables. (ability)
tu xude yam di vege. – You had better eat vegetables. (advice)
tu las yam di vege. – You may eat vegetables. (permission)
tu vol yam di vege. – You want to eat vegetables. (desire)
tu mus yam di vege. – You must eat vegetables. (obligation)

Pronoun dropping

In certain types of expressions the pronouns get dropped for brevity. This is done especially in commands and requests.

Short pivot structure (VOVO)

mi sual tu basha pandunia. – I ask do you speak Pandunia.
sual tu basha pandunia? – Do you speak Pandunia?

Short pivot structure (VVO)

mi ching tu lai dom. – I ask you to come home.
ching lai dom! – Please come home! (Word for word: Request come home!)

Questions

Yes-no questions

Yes-no questions those questions that expect 'yes' or 'no' as answer. The easiest way to form a yes-no question in Pandunia is to simply attach the particle he ('eh', 'huh') to the end of a statement.

tu yam un piza. – You eat a pizza. (statement)
tu yam un piza, he? – Do you eat a pizza? (question)

It is also possible to use no ('no', 'not') or ye ('yes') instead of he to suggest the expected answer.

tu yam un piza, no? – You eat a pizza, don't you?
tu yam un piza, ye? – You eat a pizza, right?

The third way to ask a yes-no question is to contradict the verb with the A-not-A structure.

tu yam no yam le piza? – Do you or don't you eat the pizza?
tu kan no kan yam le piza? – Can you or can't you eat the pizza?

Yes-no questions are answered with ye ('yes') and no ('no').

tu vide mi, he? – Do you see me?
ye. (mi ye vide tu.) – Yes. (I do see you.)
no. (mi no vide tu.) – No. (I don't see you.)

Negative questions are answered so that ye and no apply to the verb, not the whole question.

tu no vide mi, he? – Don't you see me?
ye. (mi vide tu.) – Yes. (I see you.)
no. (mi no vide tu.) – No. (I don't see you.)

Alternative questions

Questions that offer alternatives end with the particle he that indicates that an answer is expected. The question is answered by repeating the chosen alternative.

tu yam un o du banana. – You eat one or two bananas. (statement)
tu yam un o du banana, he? – Do you eat one or two bananas? (question)
un. – One.

Relative clauses

A relative clause is a subordinate clause that modifies a noun phrase, most commonly a noun. For example, the phrase "the person who lives there" containst the noun person, which is modified by the relative clause who lives there.

There are different ways to build a relative clause in Pandunia. The relative pronoun in Pandunia is de and it corresponds to English that, who and which.

The relativized word can be emphasized by di, as in the following example, but it is necessary only in complex phrases.

In Pandunia, relative clauses are always set off by commas.

di buke, de jan kitaba, padu.That book, which the person writes, falls.

Normally the same sentence includes only de.

buke, de jan kitaba, padu. – The book that the person writes falls.

It is possible to leave also de out. This structure is called reduced relative clause.

buke, jan kitaba, padu. – The book the person writes falls.

The relative pronoun is necessary when the relativized noun is the subject of the relative clause.

jan, de kitaba buke, padu. – The person that writes the book falls.

Also the object noun of a preposition can be the target of the relative clause. It's possible to use relative pronouns or the reduced relative clause structure.

di kalam, a de jan kitaba buke, padu.That pen, with which the person writes the book, falls.
kalam, jan kitaba buke a, padu. – The pen the person writes the book with falls.

The relative pronoun can be put in its right place in the pivot structure or it can be left out by using the reduced relative clause structure.

di jan, mi vide de kitaba buke, padu. – The person, whom I see write the book, falls.
jan, mi vide kitaba buke, padu. – The person that I see write the book falls.

Also resumptive relative pronoun can be used if needed.

di jan, mi kitaba buke a de du kalam, padu. – The person whose pen I write the book with falls.

Finally, a content clause can also involve de, which refers back to the previous phrase.

jan kitaba buke, de e hami. – The person writes a book, which is important.

However, it is unclear whethere de (which) refers to only the book or the fact that the person writes the book. It can be clarified by an expression like di fate (the fact).

jan kitaba buke, di fate e hami. – The fact that the person writes the book is important.

Combining phrases with conjunctions

Basic conjunctions

  1. e and (connects two similar words or phrases)
  2. o or (connects two alternative words or phrases)
  3. a - but (introduces a word or phrase that contrasts with or contradicts the preceding word or phrase)

mi suku mau e vaf. – I like cats and dogs.
mi suku mau o vaf. – I like cats or dogs.
mi suku mau a no vaf. – I like cats but not dogs.


Particles

Affirmation and Negation

Affirmative

Expressions are affirmative by default.

mi e shefe. – I am the boss.
ya e nove meza. – It is a new table.

Affirmation can be emphasized with the adverb ye (indeed).

mi ye e shefe. – I indeed am the boss.
ya ye e nove meza. – It indeed is a new table.

Negative

Such sentences can be simply negated with no.

ya no e shefe. – He is not the boss.
ya no e nove meza. – It's not a new table.

The word no is used for denying anything. It affects always the next word. Different scopes of negation may result depending on the location of the negative word.

mi vide tu. – I see you.
mi no vide tu. – I don't see you.
mi vide no tu a yamen. – I see, not you, but them.

mi ching tu safa kamar. – I ask you to clean the room.
mi no ching tu safa kamar. – I do NOT ask you to clean the room.
mi ching tu no safa kamar. – I ask you NOT to clean the room.

Modifier particles

Particles du and da are used to link a noun, an adjective or a verb phrase to a noun to modify it. du connects the modifying word or phrase to the main noun word. da works in the opposite direction, it connects the main noun to the modifying word or phrase.

Possession

The modifier particle can be used for any possessive noun or pronoun.

With regards to possession, du works like the apostrophe-s ('s) in English. It indicates that the previous word has possession of the next one.

Maria du mam – Maria's mother
Maria du mam du dom – Maria's mother's house

da works like "of" in English. It indicates that the next word has possession of the previous one.

mam da Maria – the mother of Maria
dom da mam da Maria – the house of the mother of Maria

It's possible to use da and du with personal pronouns too, so one can say things like dom da mi (the house of mine) but it's better to use the short possessive pronouns and say simply mi dom (my house).

Modification with noun phrases

Another way to use these particles is to connect an adjective or other words with a noun. It gives us more information about the noun, and the particle makes it clear in which end the main noun is.

The modifier particles are useful for creating complex adjectives that consists of two or more words.

rozi rang du labe – rose-colored lips
samani rang du oke – sky-colored eyes

Or in the opposite order:

labe da rozi rang – lips of the rose-color
oke da samani rang – eyes of the sky-color

The particles help in creating measure words too.

un sake du patate – one sack of potatoes
dul sake du patate – two sacks of potatoes
max sake du patate – more sacks of potatoes

Note that du and da connect phrases together. So a modifier phrase with and without du can mean a different thing.

max sundari fule – more beautiful flowers
max du sundari fule – more of beautiful flowers

Modification with verb phrases

Verbs and verb phrases are turned into modifiers by placing da or du immediately next to the verb.

arte da penta graf – the art of painting pictures
suke da helpa ale – the joy of helping others

Tense and Aspect Particles

In Pandunia, tense can be expressed with time words and time phrases if needed. The general time words are ceno (past), zayo (present) and poso (future, upcoming). They function like adverbs, so typically their place is before the verb.

mi ceno ha mau. – I had cats.
a mi no zayo ha mau. – But I now don't have cats.
ablo mi poso ha mau. – Maybe I will have cats.

It's also possible to say it in a longer way like a censate (in the past) etc.

mi ha mau a censate. – I had cats in the past.
a mi no ha mau a zaisate. – But I don't have cats at present.
ablo mi ha mau a pososate. – Maybe I will have cats in the future.

Note! Verbs are not conjugated. So the verb ha stayed the same in all tenses in the examples above.

Naturally time words are used only when they are necessary. Usually it is enough to mention the time just once at the beginning of the text and not in every single sentence, if the tense doesn't change.