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Questions

Kaltxì nìmun! Hello again! And welcome to Lesson 5.

This time we talk about how to ask and answer questions. Pretty simple stuff.

Topics

Question Words

Asking Questions Using -pe+

Answering -pe+ Questions

Asking and Answering Yes/No Questions

Vocabulary Used

Question Words

Let's dive right in with some quick vocab.

Na'vi English
tute person
'u thing
tseng place
lun reason
krr time
fya'o way

To form question words like who, what, where, etc., You add -pe+ (what/which) onto the nouns listed above. It can go either onto the beginning or onto the end. Fya'o shortens to fya in this case. Pefya / Fyape is by far more common than fya'ope or pefya'o. And there's the + sign again. Remember a few lessons ago, this means that -pe+ when used on the beginning of a word, may cause the word's first letter to change.

The question words in Na'vi, again, are just the above nouns with the -pe+ added either to the beginning or end:

Na'vi english
pesu = tupe who
peu = 'upe what
peseng = tsengpe where
pelun = lumpe why
pehrr = krrpe when
pefya = fyape how

Question words, like these here, are listed in the dictionary as inter. (which stands for interrogative)

Notice that when you use -pe+ on the end of the word, the letter changing bit is avoided. This is handy for people who often forget to change the first letter.

Using these words is simple, and a lot like English. The only difference is that the word doesn't have a set place in the sentence because Na'vi word order is flexible. So here are some examples of using some of these words:

Asking Questions Using -pe+

Examples

Nga tupe lu?
Who are you?

Nga za'u ftu peseng?
Where do you come from? / Where are you from?

Question words (such as those listed in the previous table) do not need to come first or last or anywhere specific -- note the first example where tupe comes in the middle unlike in the English translation where Who has to come first. (More on words like ftu later.)

It is also possible to stick -pe+ onto any noun.

Examples

Ngaru sunu peioang?
Which animal do you like?

Tsamsiyupe lu lom?
Which warrior is missing?

Answering -pe+ Questions

Answering -pe+ questions works exactly how you might think it does. Here are some possible answers to all the above examples:

Oe Tirea Aean lu.
I am Tirea Aean.

Oe za'u ftu Yuesey.
I come from The USA.

As you can see, one way to look at it is, -pe+ questions are seeking a noun as the answer. You can repeat the question asked, but replace the question word with the answer it seeks, as I've done above. This is not a requirement though; word order possibilities remain flexible as ever.

ikran sunu oer.
I like banshee.

Lom lu Tsu'tey
Tsu'tey is missing.

Here, I chose to use whichever order instead of repeating the same word order as was asked in the question.

Asking and Answering Yes/No Questions

All the above questions require a specific answer which is either the name of a person or place, or a time or a reason, etc. There is another very common type of question to ask: The yes/no question. This is super easy. All you do is add srak to the end of the sentence, or srake to the beginning.

Examples

Ngaru lu fpom.
you have peace.

Ngaru lu fpom srak?
Do you have peace?

Yom ngal teylut.
You eat beetle larvae.

Srake yom ngal teylut?
Do you eat beetle larva?

The answer to a srake/srak question is either srane (yes) or kehe (no). It's also possible, like in English, to explain the situation instead of answering srane or kehe, or after doing so.

Hopefully this has been simple and helpful.

Vocabulary Used

Na'vi English
nìmun adv. again
tute n. person
'u n. thing
tseng n. place
lun n. reason
krr n. time
fya'o n. way
pesu = tupe inter. who
peu = 'upe inter. what
peseng = tsengpe inter. where
pelun = lumpe inter. why
pehrr = krrpe inter. when
pefya = fyape inter. how
nga pn. you
lu vin. be, am, is, are
za'u vin. come
ftu adp. from (direction)
ioang n. animal, beast
tsamsiyu n. warrior
lom adj. missing, missed
srak = srake part. marker for yes/no questions
fpom n. peace, wellbeing
yom vtr. eat
teylu n. beetle larva
srane part., intj. yes
kehe part., intj. no
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