Dal'qörian verb tense

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The present tense

The present tense indicates something which is happening now. It includes habitual actions and statements of fact:

  • The building is collapsing.
  • She lives in France.
  • I visit my brother every Tuesday.

The present progressive

This is the ing form of the verb used with a present tense form of the verb to be. It can have several functions in English:

a to describe an action that is going on at this moment:

  • She’s talking too loudly!
  • Ask that man what he’s selling.
  • He is driving too fast!
  • They are expecting him here at any moment.

b to describe an action that is going on during this period of time or a trend:

  • Are you still working for the same company?
  • More and more people are becoming vegetarian.

c to describe an action in the future that has already been planned or prepared:

  • We’re going on holiday next week.
  • I’m meeting my boyfriend tonight.
  • Are they visiting you next winter?

d to describe a temporary event or situation:

  • He usually plays the drums, but he's playing bass guitar tonight.
  • The weather forecast was good, but it's raining at the moment.

e with always, forever, constantly, to describe and emphasize a continuing series of repeated action:

  • Stacey and Brian are always arguing!
  • You're forever complaining about your mother-in-law!

The dal'qörian present progressive tense is used to denote 'only' the action that is happening now, as in example a and most times in examples b and d above:

  • Mæ evédria den vös! He is driving too fast!
  • Binä quascria diöra ni qualtédrämös! I am asking you a question!
  • Jöna grætölária Palö. John is congratulating Paul.
  • Yil yil! stæabetár diöra giÞvetária! Oh do stop exaggerating!
  • Diö, máriÞ di méÞril sä ädavonas, brát ábæÞria, yil? Are you still working for the same company as before?
  • DanöÞ brát mériÞ nörasáb,, taÞ vädenária stæmöjátsiel. There are more and more people becoming vegetarian.

The Dalcurian present progressive is only used to denote the future if the event will happen on the same day:

  • IádaninÞi, binä tirigöria di qömerinöj qve binöra. I'm meeting my boyfriend tonight

C see Future tense

E is rendered by the infinitive:

  • Stäsé ön Brián sævála vecsár! Stacey and Brian are always arguing! (lit: Stacey and Brian always argue!)
  • Diö sævála rödnqonvelistr di siaparenöj-vála qve diöra. You're always/forever complaining about your mother-in-law. (lit: You, about your mother-in-law, always complain.)

The present perfect tense

In English, the present perfect is formed with the auxiliaries have/has and the past participle. Its use in dal'qörian is much the same and is used for:

ː Verbs of state that begin in the past and lead up to and include the present. (usually with for or since)
ː To express habitual or continuous action.
ː Events occurring at an un-defined or unspecified time in the past, with ever, never, already, yet or before:

  • Rödn vélas yérasel, mæ gä’ábrahabitr dérÞ. He has lived here for many years.
  • Rödn 20 yérasel, ména, andri séÞa nörasabödä, gä’ábra-acäödr. We have taught at this school for 20 years.
  • Binä gä’ábraqömárax,, sintra binä gä’descöbr,, taÞ di abödä qve binöra perösendos! I haven’t slept since I found out the house is haunted!
  • Dörac di vétä qve mæöra, mæ gä’ábragliár visániöestáj. He has worn glasses all his life. ('glasses' is singular in dal’qörian and can mean 'a pair of glasses')
  • Iádas, sia, dörac séÞa qömblas, máriÞ di sabaj, gä’ábramösár, levaltr. She has had to catch the bus every day this week.
  • Dörac iáda, binä gä’ábra nis ecörämös di sentániäj. I have had a headache all day.

When used with ever, never, already, yet, before and just, then these must go 'after' the past participle. However, with the form ever + before, then 'before' immediately 'follows' ever: (ever is rendered by the intensifier esti, see Intensifiers)

  • Nabödn, te binä, gä’ábraságr esti vonéri taÞ! Nobody has ever said that to me before!
  • Döqu sä séÞa, te ména, gä’ábradaƒödr esti. Nothing like this has ever happened to us.
  • Éren gä’ábravisör néavára ni plampäj. They have never seen a hippo.
  • Sia gä’ábrastæabetár aléaræÞ di ábæabödäj qve siöra, yil? Has she finished her homework already?
  • Binä gä’ábrabesöcérax nø di 'Tate Gallery'. I haven’t visited the Tate Gallery yet.
  • Sonar diöra! Binä gä’ábralétr aléaræÞ tredimä! Hurry up! Ive told you three times already!
  • Binä, te mæ, gä’ábraqonvetár jenö. I have just spoken to him.

Have/has been

The form have/has been is rendered in one of three ways. When referring to places such as countries, cities, friends houses etc, in the sense of 'having been/never been', the verb besöcér-visit is used:

  • Binä gä’ábrabesöcér néavára Japéna. I have never been to Japan.
  • Mæ gä’ábrabesöcér néavára di abödä qve binöra. He has never been to my house.

And idiomatically in sentences such as:

  • Diö gä’ábrabesöcér nø abödä, néƒaracte? Haven't you been home yet?

When talking about performances, concerts, shows or anything connected with performing arts, the verbs visör-to see and ansör-to watch are preferred:

  • Di beröj qve binöra gä’ábravisör esti ni peƒerödn. My brother has never been to a concert. (lit: has never seen).
  • Iáda voninÞi, ména, andri animatáj, gä’ansör ni mosödrämös. We’ve been to the cinema tonight. (lit: This evening, we, at the cinema, have watched a film).

When have/has been refers to the 'whereabouts' (in an existential sense with since/for) or the 'state' of someone/something, and the action is still on going, the present indicative tense is used with the preposition sintra-since:

  • Sintra hec qömblasel, ména dérÞ. We have been here for six weeks (and still are.) (lit: Since six weeks, we are here).
  • TiÞ morgér,, taÞ, sintra etirimiÞ, ména talehasria, néƒaracte? It seems like we’ve been on holiday for ages, doesn’t it? (lit: It seems that, since a long time, we are on holiday, doesn’t it?)
  • Sintra ni Þömn äda, danöÞ ni veclérÞ darø lemasträmös, öcra di öløsimáj, qamöria. There has been a really bad smell coming from the cellar for over a month. (lit: Since a month ago, there is a really bad smell, from the cellar, coming).

To ask about the whereabouts of someone, or to answer in the affirmative, the verb Þalár-to reside is used:

  • Dorac iáda, væl? gä’ábraÞalár diö. Where have you been all day? (lit: All day, where have resided you?)
  • Binä, andri léjänabödä, gä’ábraÞalár. I have been at the hospital. (lit: I, at the hospital, have resided.)

The present perfect continuous

In English, there are basically two uses for the present perfect continuous tense. (There is usually a connection with the present or now):

A. An action that has just stopped or recently stopped:

  • I'm tired (now) because I've been running.
  • Why is the grass wet? (now) Has it been raining?
  • She has been out running along the canal.
  • You don't understand (now) because you haven't been listening.

B. An action continuing up to now (usually used with for or since):

  • I have been reading for 2 hours. (I am still reading now.)
  • We've been studying since 9 o'clock. (We're still studying now.)
  • We have been waiting over an hour for a bus! (still waiting)

The examples in A are rendered using the Dalcurian simple past with, for the most part, the adverb jenö-just:

  • Binä tädø,, qösra binä jenö gä'vaÞr. lit: I'm tired, because I just ran.
  • Várö? di rasenj nahasrädn. TiÞ jenö gä'danpör, yil?. Why is the grass wet? It just rained, yes?.
  • Sia, enga di geböædénij, jenö gä’vaÞr. She, alongside the canal, just ran.
  • Diö vestéörax,, qösra diö jenö gä'alhörax. You didn't understand because you just listened not. (just in this example indicates that this has just happened).

The examples in B would normally be rendered in the present tense:

  • Sintra 2 stöndæel äda, binä quádria. lit: Since 2 hours ago, I am reading.
  • Sintra 9, ména stödæéria. lit: Since 9, we are studying.
  • Sintra on stöndæ äda, ména, öcra ni sabaj, vögéria! lit: Since an hour ago, we are, for a bus, waiting!

However, if the event has just finished, then the sentence goes into the present perfect tense:

  • Sintra 2 stöndæel äda, binä gä'ábraquádr. lit: Since 2 hours ago, I have read. (but I've just finished)
  • Sintra 9, ména gä'ábrastödæér. lit: Since 9 we have studied. (but we've just stopped)
  • Sintra on stöndæ äda, ména, öcra séÞa sabaj, gä'ábravögér! lit: Since an hour ago, we, for this bus, have waited. (the bus has just arrived)

The Past Tense

There are 2 forms of the past tense in Dalcurian: simple past, perfect or pluperfect past.

Simple past

The Dalcurian simple past is formed with the prefix gä’ to the front of the infinitive:

  • gör-go gä’gör-went
  • andöcr-give gä’andöcr-gave
  • pilƒör-steal gä’pilƒör-stole
  • Ädiáda, mæ, te binä, gä’andöcr ni gistäj. He gave me a present yesterday.
  • Sia gä’voltir quascr mæöra eÞöa. She wanted to ask him something.
  • Sia, te sia, gä’Þonábr disiri tagéÞrädnas. She gestured very seductively to her.

The dal'qörian simple past is used in much the same way as in English. However, one of its main uses in Dalcurian is to render the English past continuous tense (the past tense of the verb to be-was/were and the present participle of a main verb; see Past continuous).

Perfect/Pluperfect Past

This tense states an action that began in the past and ended before another began (usually followed by before or when). This is formed with the auxiliary verb had in English, which is 'ádra in Dalcurian and formed in the same way as the Present Perfect:

  • jedár-adjust gä’ádrajedár-had adjusted
  • täsplétr-burst gä’ádratäsplétr-had burst
  • Binä, öcra di danpörämös stæabetár, gä’ádravögér,, vonéri binä näocr gadörajvalcr. I had to wait for the rain to stop before I could walk the dog.
  • Mæ gä’ádragörør jenö,, vömä diö gä’téádr. He had just gone out when you rang.

Notice how, in English, the auxiliary and main verb can separate; this can’t happen in dal'qörian.

The Continuous Past

Again, in English, this tense has multiple uses:

ː To describe the background in a story written in the past tense:
* The sun was shining and the birds were singing as the elephant came out of the jungle.

ː To describe an unfinished action that was interrupted by another event (usually followed by when or until):
* I was having a great dream when/until the dog barked.

ː To describe an action that happened over a period of time:
* They were climbing for twenty seven days before they reached the summit.

ː With 'wonder', to make a very polite request:
* I was wondering if you could baby-sit for me tonight?

ː To express a change of mind:
* I was going to spend the day at the beach but I decided to go on an excursion instead.

With the exception of the last 2 examples above, Dalcurian uses its simple past to render this tense. If the action was unfinished or interrupted, the subordinate clause is introduced by lintöni-until. Where 'before' is used in the English sentence, again, Dalcurian uses lintöni:

  • Di Siárij gä’ømár,, ön di vögäl gä’löigár,, sä di majentáj, gä’ömøqamör di jonglæ. The sun was shining and the birds were singing as the elephant came out of the jungle. lit: The sun shone and the birds sang as the elephant came out of the jungle.
  • Binä gä’æanémr éagöra,, lintöni di gadöraj gä’vaƒr. I was having a great dream when/until the dog barked. lit: I dreamed well until the dog barked.
  • Rödn senal’dionta iádel, éren gä’qlimbér,, lintöni éren gä’öraqur di viténiÞ. They were climbing for twenty seven days before they reached the summit. lit: For 27 days, they climbed until they reached the summit.

To express a change of mind or plan/intention, the verb septér-intend is used in the simple past:

  • Binä, andri öbri, dörac di áda, gä’septér gör,, brát binä, máriÞ ni töribesöcérämös, gä’edécödr gör tisdæd. I was going to spend the day at the beach but I decided to go on an excursion instead.

lit: I, at the beach, throughout the day, intended to go but I, with an excursion, decided to go instead.

  • Ména, am Strománi, gä’septér vehær,, brát ména nöra gä’ábra, lintöni Tødröna, lobéstr. We were planning on a summer wedding but we’ve had to put it off until October now. lit: We, in the summer, intended to marry but we now have had to, until October, postpone.

With 'wonder', a special verb is used. The verb is formed with the appropriate reflexive personal pronoun attached to the end of the word qualtéa. (This is quite an idiomatic word; qualtéa roughly translates as a thought or goal that may be difficult to reach):

  • Qualtéabinöria méla diöra neldrquas te binä di vötöj qve diöra¿ I was wondering if you would lend me your car? lit: I am wondering if you would lend to me your car?
  • Qualtéaménöria,, öbæ tev’araciev, diö iquirquas, máriÞ ménöra, amøcamör¿ We were wondering whether you'd like to come out with us later? lit: We were wondering whether later, you would like, with us, to come out?