Verbs, part 1

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l- lĕ- I kɛ- ke- me
r- rĕ- you (singular) ʐɛ- že- you (singular)
j- jĕ- he, she, it m- mĕ- him, her, it
ɬɛ- łe- we nɨ- ny- us
ŕɨ- rhy- you (plural) ʂ- šĕ- you (plural)
vɨ- vy- they mɨ- my- them

A finite verb in Tirëlat (typically the main verb in a sentence or independent clause) typically has a prefix to mark either the subject or object of the verb. Which of the two is marked (if at all) depends on other features of the verb. Most commonly, the subject is marked with a prefix, but the object may be marked if it is more relevant than the subject. The nominative verb prefixes are the same as the possessive prefixes on nouns.

llinajʐanɛz maj linarː
linajžanez maj linaar
I watch the dragons

saj linarː vɨʂikitin
saj linaar vyšikitin
the dragons have flown

I told him


The first suffix after the verb stem expresses the grammatical voice of the verb. The active voice is unmarked.


The passive voice (-ru) takes a transitive verb and makes it intransitive. The subject of the passive verb corresponds to the object of the transitive verb. The original subject of the transitive verb may be omitted, or added after the verb by using the ablative case.

su nik jkaɖamin mɨ nirik , sɨ nirik jkaɖarumin (dɨ nik)
su nik jĕkazdamin my nirik; sy nirik jĕkazdarumin (dy nik)
the mouse ate the cheese; the cheese was eaten (by a mouse)


The middle voice (-mu) also makes a transitive verb intransitive, but the original subject of the transitive verb is either absent or the same as the object.

su kiritada jkiritalin ma xoɬpidin , su xoɬpidin jkiritamulin
su kiritada jĕkiritalin ma khołpidin; su khołpidin jĕkiritamulin
the doctor cured the sick person; the sick person recovered

The middle voice may be used to express a reflexive verb.

I hurt myself


The causative voice (-ku) takes an intransitive verb and makes it transitive. The subject of the original verb corresponds to the direct object of the causative verb.

su taːla jtɜkilin , vɨtɜkikulin ma taːla
su taala jĕtëkilin; vytëkikulin ma taala
the man ran; they chased the man


The following suffix (after the voice suffix, if any) expresses the grammatical mood (or modality) of the verb. The indicative mood is unmarked. The imperative suffix is included here for convenience, although it differs from the others in being only used in positive verbs (as opposed to negative or interrogative), and never being followed by other verb suffixes.


The intentional mood (-da) is used to express intentions, including wants, desires, and plans.

I intend to rise (I will rise)


The optative mood (-gha) is used to express wishes. In contrast to the intentional mood, this mood is used in cases where the speaker may have little or no influence over the situation.

su ŋak jkaɖaruɣamikan dɨ ɣulː
su ŋak jĕkadzarughamikan dy ghuul
the duck did not want to be eaten by the wolf


The deontic mood (-ta) is used to express requirement or recommendation. English equivalents are words like "should", "have to", "ought to", or "must".

they must not see


The potential mood (-ba) is used to express ability, probability, or permission.

lkaɖaban mɨ ɬavː
lĕkadzaban my łaav
I can eat glass


The conditional mood (-nu) is used to express the condition in a conditional sentence. Note that it is the verb in the dependent clause that is marked. The verb in the independent clause may be unmarked (indicative), or it may be marked with another mood such as the deontic or potential.

rkɛzanuj mɨ zjaniki taniɡira da, rlinajʐataj vɜ rsarɡa
rĕkezanuj my zjaniki tanigira da, rĕlinajžataj vë rĕsarga
if you seek a pleasant peninsula, look around you


The imperative mood (-k) expresses positive commands. Negative commands can be expressed with a negative subjunctive (-kaj) or by rephrasing the command to use a word like "avoid" (vikka).

ʂakini sarɡik vɜ palu
šakini sargik vë palu
turn left at the sign

vikkak vari u jaː
vikkak vari u jaa
avoid doing that (don't do that)

zirakaj ma ʂɜɬkida
zirakaj ma šëłkida
don't fear the reaper

On to part 2 (tense and evidentials).