Lesson 4 – introducing the prefix jI-

I am hungry

Beginners, welcome!

Today we're going to study how to express hunger - and the grammar behind it too!

The expression is:
jIghung = I am hungry

Which breaks down into:
jI- = verb prefix (subject: I; object: 0)
ghung = be hungry

1/ jI- = I--0

The prefix jI- is a verb prefix that must be used when the subject is “I” and there is no object, that is, when the verb is intransitive or used intransitively.

For instance, the verb “laugh” never takes a direct object (i.e. it is intransitive): you can never say “I laugh something”, it must always be “I laugh” with no object added.

Thus, jI- will have to be used with this verb:
jIHagh = I laugh (Hagh = to laugh)

The prefix jI- can also be used when the object is vague or unstated:
jIlegh = I see
jIQoy = I hear

2/ ghung = be hungry

The Klingon language does not have adjectives.

Instead, it uses verbs with the meaning: to be + quality/status, also called “stative verbs”.

Such verbs by definition cannot take an object and must always take “no-object” prefixes.

For example:
jI'oj = I'm thirsty ('oj = be thirsty)
jIbIr = I'm cold (bIr = be cold)

Now it's your turn! Try and make a sentence using today's new structure:

jI-verb = I verb

Here are a few more verbs you can use:

ghung = be hungry bIr = be cold Hagh = to laugh
'oj = be thirsty yoH = be brave yIn = to live
Doy' = be tired val = be clever tlhuH = to breathe


Prepared by Aurélie Demonchaux (ghItlhjaj)