- 1 Conjugations
- 2 The Infinitive
- 3 Participle formation
- 4 Tense
- 5 To Be or not to Be!
- 6 The verb to do
- 7 Modal Verbs
- 8 Verb Moods
Almost all Dalcurian verbs are regular in inflection. The position of the verb is much the same as in English, in that it normally follows the subject, except when the word order of a prepositioned phrase takes preference. Dalcurian verbs are non finite; they do not show agreement. This is denoted from the noun or pronoun that precedes it.
Following is a quick glance at the various conjugations of the Dalcurian verb, using gör-to go as an example. The first person singular pronoun I will act as the subject since there is no verb agreement:
|I go||binä gör|
|I am going||binä göria|
|I went||binä gä'gör|
|I have gone||binä gä'ábragör|
|I had gone||binä gä'ádragör|
|I will go||binä göræ|
|I will have gone||binä gä'ábragöræ|
|I would go||binä görquas|
|I would have gone||binä gä'ábragörquas|
Tenses that do not exist in Dalcurian are: will be going, would be going, was/were going, have/had been going and the passive tense. The negative form adds x to the end of the inflection (see Negatives)
This is the form that ends in r. Whether or not this equates as a to infinitive depends on context. If the infinitive follows the modals: want and like, then to is implied by default:
- Mæ voltir gör. He wants to go.
- Ména iqur talehasr. We like to go on holiday.
- Mæ Þöldr gör. He should go.
- Binä gä'létr mæöra görax. I told him not to go.
There are no split infinitives in Dalcurian: to slowly walk, to boldy go, adverbials always precede verbs.
The preposition te is only used with infinitives to translate a gerund, see Nouns.
The Dalcurian present participle (the English ing form) adds ia to the infinitive and always implies am/are and is with the verb:
- gör-go göria-am/are/is going
- quascr-ask quascria-am/are/is asking
The past participle is formed with the prefix gä’ to the infinitive.
- ságr-say gä’ságr-said
- örendör-specify gä’örendör-specified
The present perfect and past perfect tense are formed by infixing ábra-have and ádra-had between the prefix and the infinitive: (in Dalcurian, the present perfect participle is called a perfect participle)
- gä’ábragör-have gone gä’ádragör-had gone
- gä’ábraquascr-have asked gä’ádraquascr-had asked
The present tense
The present tense indicates something which is happening now. It includes habitual actions and statements of fact. Either the progressive tense or the infinitive is used:
- Di prodnæj täöcria! The building is collapsing!.
- Sia, am Efranca, habitr. She lives in France.
- Dionadas, binä besöcér di beröj qve binöra. 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:
- He's driving too fast!
- I'm asking you a question.
- John is congratulating Paul.
- I'm meeting my boyfriend tonight.
In Dalcurian, an ia inflection denotes this tense. It should be noted that the Dalcurian present progresseive is only used for actions that are happening now, or in terms of the future, will happen on the same day (a minor exception is the use of the progressive in some comparative sentences; see Comparative sentences in the Adjectives section):
- Mæ evédria den vös! He is driving too fast!
- Binä, andri diöra, quascria ni qualtédrämös! I am asking you a question!
- Jöna grætölária Palö. John is congratulating Paul.
- IádaninÞi, binä, máriÞ di qömerinöj qve binöra, tirigöria. I'm meeting my boyfriend tonight
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.
In Dalcurian, an adverb plus the infinitive will normally be used:
- Diö, máriÞ di méÞril sä ädavon, brát ábæÞr, yil? Are you still working for the same company? Lit: You, with the company as previous, still work?
- Frætörädnas, danöÞ brát mériÞ nörasáb,, taÞ vädenár stæmöjátsi. There are more and more people becoming vegetarian. Lit: Continuously, there are still more people who become vegetarian.
C to describe an action in the future that has already been planned or prepared:
- We’re going on holiday next week.
- Are they visiting you next winter?
Here, the future tense must be used (see Future below)
D to describe a temporary event or situation:
- He usually plays the drums, but he's playing guitar at present.
As with the examples in B, an adverb and an infinitive equate this:
- Picalosni, mæ spélögr di derömj,, brát qedérÞas, mæ spélögr gæatéj. He usually plays the drums, but he's playing guitar at present.
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!
And again, as with B and D:
- Stäsé ön Brián sævála vecsár! Stacey and Brian are always arguing! Lit: Stacey and Brian always argue!
- Diö sævála qonvenistr di siaparenöj-vála qve diöra. You're always/forever complaining about your mother-in-law.
The present perfect tense
In English, the present perfect is formed with the auxiliaries have/has and the past participle. Its use in Dalcurian is much the same and is used for:
- Verbs of state that begin in the past and lead up to and include the present. (usually with for or since)
- To express habitual or continuous action.
- 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.
- Sintra binä gä’descöbr,, taÞ di abödä perösendos,, binä gä’ábraqömárax! 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 Dalcurian and can mean 'a pair of glasses')
- Dörac iáda, binä gä’ábra ni ecör'penjämös. I have had a headache all day.
When used with never, already, yet, before and just, then stylistically, these normally go before the past participle (as most adverbs precede the verb in any state). Rendering the form ever before, use the expressionesti vonéri, as this can show a degree of suprise or distain depending on context:
- Nabödn, te binä, gä’ábraságr taÞ vonéri esti ! Nobody has ever said that to me before!
- Döqu sä séÞa, te ména, gä’ábradafödr esti! Nothing like this has ever happened to us!
- Éren gä’ábravisör esti néavára ni plampäj. What, they've never seen a hippo?.
- Sia aléaræÞ gä’ábrastæabetár di ábæabödäj qve siöra, yil? Has she finished her homework already?
- Binä nø gä’ábrabesöcérax di 'Tate Gallery'. I haven’t visited the Tate Gallery yet.
- Sonaros diöra! Binä gä’ábralétr esti aléaræÞ tredimä! Hurry up! Ive told you three times already!
NOTE: If the action has just taken place, one can insert jenö-just immediatly after ábra:
- Binä, te mæ, gä’ábrajenöqonvetár. I have just spoken to him.
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 néavára gä’ábrabesöcér Japéna. I have never been to Japan.
Again, esti can be used to add force to the statement:
- Binä esti néavára gä’ábrabesöcér Japéna! Look, I have NEVER been to Japan!
- Mæ néavára gä’ábrabesöcér di abödä qve binöra. He has never been to my house.
When talking about performances, concerts, shows or anything connected with performing arts, the verb vehigeladr-to attend is preferred:
- Di beröj qve binöra gä’ábravehigeladr ni peferödn. My brother has been to a concert.
- Iáda voninÞi, ména, andri animatáj, gä’ébrvehigeladr. We’ve been to the cinema tonight.
When have/has been refers to 'location' (in an existential sense with since/for) or the 'state' of someone/something, and the action is still on going, then the statement remains in the present indicative or present progressive with the preposition sintra-since:
- Sintra hec qömblasel, ména dérÞ. We have been here for six weeks (and still are.) .
- DanöÞ morgér,, taÞ, sintra etirimiÞ, ména talehasria, néfaracte? It seems like we’ve been on holiday for a while, doesn’t it? (lit: It seems that, since a long time, we are holidaying, 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 standard:
- 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 and still ongoing (usually used with for or since):
- I have been reading for 2 hours.
- We've been studying since 9 o'clock.
- We have been waiting over an hour for a bus!
The examples in A are rendered using the Dalcurian simple past with, for the most part, the adverb jenö-just which infixes:
- Binä tädø,, qösra binä gä'jenövaÞr. Lit: I'm tired, because I just ran.
- Várö? di rasenj nahasrädn. DanöÞ gä'jenödanpör, yil?. Lit: Why is the grass wet? It just rained, yes?.
- Sia, enga di geböædénij, gä’jenövaÞr. She, alongside the canal, just ran.
The examples in B would normally be in the present tense:
- Sintra 2 stöndæel äda, binä quádria. I have been reading for 2 hours. (and still am)Lit: Since 2 hours ago, I am reading.
- Sintra 9, ména stödæéria. We've been studying since 9 o'clock (and still are)Lit: Since 9, we are studying.
- Sintra on stöndæ äda, ména, öcra ni sabaj, vögéria! We have been waiting over an hour for a bus! (and still waiting) Lit: Since an hour ago, we are, for a bus, waiting!
However, if the event has finished, then the verb clause goes into the present perfect tense, again with or withoutjenö:
- Sintra 2 stöndæel äda, binä gä'ábrajenöquádr. I have been reading for 2 hours. (but have just finished) Lit: Since 2 hours ago, I have just read. (but I've just finished)
- Sintra 9, ména gä'ábrajenöstödæér. We have been studying since 9 o'clock. (but have finished) Lit: Since 9pm we have just 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 or no longer waiting)
The Past Tense
There are 2 forms of the past tense in Dalcurian: simple past, and perfect or pluperfect past.
The Dalcurian simple past is formed with the prefix gä’ and the infinitive:
- gör-go gä’gör-went
- andöcr-give gä’andöcr-gave
- pilför-steal gä’pilför-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.
This tense states an action that began in the past and ended before another began (usually followed by before or when). The auxilliary ádra infixes:
- jedár-adjust gä’ádrajedár-had adjusted
- täsplétr-burst gä’ádratäsplétr-had burst
- Binä, lintöni di danpörämös gä'stæabetár, gä’mösár vögér,, vonéri binä näocr gadörajvalcr. I had to wait for the rain to stop before I could walk the dog.
- Mæ gä’ádrajenögörør,, 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 Dalcurian.
The Continuous Past
Again, in English, this tense has multiple uses:
- 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.
- 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.
- To describe an action that happened over a period of time:
* They were climbing for twenty seven days before they reached the summit.
- With 'wonder', to make a very polite request:
* I was wondering if you could baby-sit for me tonight?
- 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:
- 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’vafr. 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:
- Dörac di áda, binä, andri öbri, gä’septér neparépør,, brát binä, máriÞ ni töribesöcérämös, gä’edécödr tisdæd gör . I was going to spend the day at the beach but I decided to go on an excursion instead. Lit: Throughout the day, I, at the beach, intended to spend time but I, with an excursion, decided to instead go .
- Ména, am Strománi, gä’septér vehær,, brát, ména gä'mösár, 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 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, te binä, neldrquas di vötöj qve diöra¿ I was wondering if you would lend me your car? lit: I am wondering if you, to me, would lend 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?
The Future Tense
The Dalcurian future tense is simply formed with the suffix æ. In English, the future tense can be formed by using the present tense or by using the auxiliary verbs will/shall (shall is used more to denote an intention or order):
- We are going out tonight.
- We shall go out tonight.
- I will be a good father!
- I’m going to/will be twenty one soon.
- Thou shall not kill!
Dalcurian can also use the present progressive tense to describe the future:
- Tev’araciev iáda, binä görøria. I am going out later today.
However, as stated earlier, this tense is only used if the event in question will happen 'on the same day'. For example, one wouldn't typically say:
- Vonériáda, ména görøria. We are going out tomorrow. But rather:
- Vonériáda, ména görøræ. We will go out tomorrow.
NOTE: Although this is standard Dalcurian grammar, learners will certainly not come under scrutiny for using the progressive tense.
The future is also used when you are uncertain when the event will take place, and with hypothetical statements/questions:
- Nösaraciev, binä quascræ mæöra. I will ask him sooner or later.
- Vömä? nörasägræ éren. When are they going to learn? Lit: When will learn they?
- Qualtéabinör méla, vonériáda, danöÞ danpöræ? I wonder if it’s going to rain tomorrow? Lit: I wonder if, tomorrow, it will rain?
- DanöÞ nébaræ, am perösarä, sævála dasquriøámn. There’s always going to be sadness in the world. Lit: There will be, in the world, always sadness.
- Binä nitörieÞ stæpatiquálö,, brát binä qönér,, taÞ Éan quascræ binöra néba di onis sáj qve mæöra. I’m not quite sure, but I think Ian is going to ask me to be his best man.
There is also another inflection to the future tense, which is an additional n. This equates to the English use of shall and where will is used in requests, and can also translate as lets:
- Iáda'ninÞi, ména görøræan, yil? Shall we go out tonight?
- Iáda'ninÞi, ména görøræan. Let's go out tonight
- Diö qoÞ, öcra binöra, eÞöa vaquræan, yil? Will you do something for me?
The Passive Tense
In English, the passive tense is formed with a form of the verb to be and the past participle of the verb. Verbs are said to be either ACTIVE: The executive committee approved the new policy, or PASSIVE: The new policy was approved by the executive committee in voice. In the active voice, the subject and verb relationship is straightforward: the subject is a be-er or a do-er and the verb moves the sentence along. In the passive voice, the subject of the sentence is neither a do-er or a be-er, but is acted upon by some other agent or by something unnamed: The new policy was approved.
Dalcurian has no passive voice. Instead, the active voice is used with an impersonal pronoun, either minä-you/one or minäla-they (not to be mistaken as éren-they-this is only used when the they are known).
There are several passive tenses in English, again, all of which can be rendered by the active voice in Dalcurian. Below are several examples to illustrate this, using the verb inoventör-design:
- The car/s is/are designed with safety in mind.
- Minäla, amqönérämös mérasámn, inoventör di vötöj/el Lit: They, in thought of safety, design the car/s.
- The car/s is/are being designed with safety in mind.
- Minäla, amqönérämös mérasámn, inoventöria di vötöj/el. Lit: They, in thought of safety, are designing the car/s.
- The car/s was/were designed with safety in mind.
- Minäla, amqönérämös mérasámn, gä’inoventör di vötöj/el. Lit: They, in thought of safety, designed the car/s.
- The car/s have been designed with safety in mind.
- Minäla, amqönérämös mérasámn, gä'ábra-inventör di vötöjel. lit: They, in thought of safety, have designed the car/s.
- The car/s had been designed with safety in mind.
- Minäla, amqönérämös mérasámn, gä'ádra-inventör di vötöjel. lit: They, in thought of safety, had designed the car/s.
- The car/s was/were being designed with safety in mind.
This is the 'odd ball' of the Dalcurian passive equivalent. The construction was/were being designed indicates that the process was halted for some reason. For instance, we could elaborate on the sentence: The cars were being designed with safety in mind but due to a design fault their production was delayed. The Dalcurian equivalent is to use the simple past; context becoming clear from additional text or info.
- The car/s will be/will have been designed with safety in mind.
- Minäla, amqönérämös mérasámn, inoventöræ di vötöj/el. Lit: They, in thought of safety, will design the car/s.
To Be or not to Be!
The verb to be is probably one the most inflected verbs in use, even though it is classed as an auxiliary verb. It has no less than eight conjugations in English and even more in German! In complexity, the Dalcurian verb to be néba, is far less complex than in other languages. It has only 'one' inflection which is to denote the future tense nébaræ-will be and it's the words it is used in conjunction with that denote its other tenses. As you should know by now, there are no present tense conjugations am/are/is; their existence lies within the pronoun/noun or the present participle of a main verb. In fact, it should be noted that néba has very little usage at all in Dalcurian speech, save for political and very formal contexts.
Néba-present/progressive tense being
This is the am/are/is being form, invariably followed by an adjective. Dalcurian does not use néba at all in this construct, but rather idiomaticaly uses the present progressive verb inflection ia with an adjective (if the adjective ends in i, then this is removed):
- Gegéna, éren faliÞ'ia. They are being stupid again. lit: They are stupiding again.
- Megan veclérÞ belistø'ia. Megan is being really noisy. lit: Megan is really noisying.
To make this past, was/were being, one simply puts the adjective into the past tense:
- Gegéna, éren gé'faliÞ'ia. They were being stupid again. lit: They were stupiding again.
- Megan veclérÞ gé'belistø'ia. Megan was being really noisy. lit: Megan was really noisying.
When néba is used with the modal verbs már-may, nöacr-can, mösár-must, Þöldr-should in the present tense, it takes the infinite meaning be, but with voltir-want, it acts as a to infinitive:
- Mæ voltir néba berömni. He wants to be famous.
- Di löræasáÞ mösár néba te’qurehendø. The music must be louder. (Note: the modal verb mösár is translatable as to have to and not as strict as must).
- Mæ Þöldr néba dérÞ. He should be here.
Néba future tense
The future tense is denoted in the same way as any other Dalcurian verb except that it adds an r before the future inflection æ:
- Dörac vonériáda, danöÞ nébaræ strömi. It will be hot all day tomorrow.
For more on néba as an adjectival copula, see Adjectives