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Key Points

  • Adjectives can precede or follow the word they describe.
  • All adjectives can be used as adverbs.
  • Comparisons are formed with zok "most".
  • The suffix -aan forms past participles.
  • The suffix -taas forms present participles.

About Adjectives

An adjective is a word that describes a noun. English examples include "strong", 'great", and "beautiful". Adjectives are an important and flexible part of the language. This lesson covers how to form adjectives and the many ways they can be used.

Adjectives can precede or follow the word they describe.

Adjectives as Nouns

As we learned in the Sentence Structure lesson, some adjectives (strong adjectives) can also be used as nouns. These nouns normally mean "the quality or state of being (adjective)", similar to English words that end in "-ness" ("darkness", "coldness", etc.). See the examples below of adjectives being used as nouns:

Possessive suffixes, verbs, and other adjectives can help indicate when a strong adjective is being used as a noun.

Adjectives as Verbs

English has verbs like "strengthen", "weaken", and "sharpen" to mean "to make or become (adjective)." Most dragon adjectives are also the equivalent verb. This oftentimes results in verbs that have no direct English translation. See the examples below of adjectives being used as verbs:

Meyz "to become" may also be used alongside an adjective to produce the same meaning; meyz sahrot "to become strong", or meyz fundein "to come unfurled".

Comparisons

In English, "-er" and "-est" (superlative) are used to form comparisons; "I am stronger than you," or "She is the greatest warrior." The dragon language is less subtle. Comparisons are typically formed using zok "most". Below are English comparisons and their dragon equivalents:

Below are other words important to forming comparisons:

Word Definition Example
Med like/similar to Norok med dovah "Fierce like a dragon"
Ol as Mid ol dok "as loyal as a hound"
Pruzaan best/better Bo pruzaan "(to) fly (is) better/best"
Ronit to rival Mulaagii ronit kodaav "her strength rivals a bear's"

Experiment with zok and the words above to help form comparisons.

About Adverbs

An adverb is a word that describes a verb, or sometimes an adjective. Most English adverbs end with "-ly"; "she fought boldly" or "the courageously brave warrior".

Dragon adjectives and adverbs are interchangeable. Consider the following examples:

Like English, adverbs may precede or follow the verb they describe. If an adverb describes an adjective, it must precede the adjective.

Adverbial phrases may also be formed using voth "with" or ko "in" in tandem with nouns. Krif voth ahkrin means "to fight courageously", or literally "with courage". This can be used to express adverbs in places where there is no equivalent adjective: tinvaak voth vahzen "to speak truly (with the truth)", aam voth sahvot "to serve faithfully (with faith)", or dir ko faaz "to die painfully (in pain)".

Past Participles

Ordinary verbs can become participles, verb forms that can behave as an adjective or adverb. A past participle indicates something that has taken place in the past. English examples include "a stolen crown", "a conquered kingdom", or "an honored friend".

Past participles in the dragon language are usually formed with the suffix -aan. Examples include duaan "devoured", wahlaan "built", and agaan "burned". If a verb ends in "h", the suffix becomes -laan, as seen in mahlaan "fallen".

Verbs that contain aa or ii in their final syllable are reduced to a and i. For example, qahnaar "to vanquish" becomes qahnaraan "vanquished," and krii "to kill" becomes kriaan "killed/slain".

Sometimes the suffix -aan is not used and context is used to imply the participle; kron junaar "a conquered kingdom", or gahrot du'ul "a stolen crown". The suffix -aan should be used where a past participle could be confused for a present participle; kron junaar "a conquering kingdom" (possible), or gahrot du'ul "a stealing crown" (rather unlikely).

Some verbs have irregular past participles. These should be used instead of the suffix -aan. Below is a list of all irregular past participles:

Verb Past Participle
Gron "to bind" Gro "bound"
Kren "to break" Krent "broken/shattered"
Naak "to eat" Naako "eaten"
Saan "to lose" Sizaan "lost"

Present Participles

Another way to form participles is with the suffix -taas. A present participle indicates a noun that is presently doing an action. For example, viintaas tuz describes "a shining blade" or "a blade that shines". A krontaas hun likewise describes "a conquering hero" or "a hero who conquers".

Unlike -aan, the vowels aa and ii are not reduced in the final syllable.

Sometimes the suffix -taas is not used and context is used to imply the participle; kron jun "a conquering king", or ag yol "a burning fire". The suffix -taas should be used where a present participle could be confused for a past participle; kron jun might be "a conquered king", but agtaas yol probably isn't "a burned fire".

Verbs that end in "t" use the suffix -aas; funtaas grahmindol "a failing stratagem".

Some verbs have irregular present participles. These should be used instead of the suffix -taas. Below is a list of all irregular present participles:

Verb Past Participle
Dir "to die" Viir "dying"
Lahney "to live" Nahl/Nahlaas "living/alive"

Do not confuse present participles for progressive/continuous verb tense, which does not exist in the dragon language. "Botaas" should be used in "botaas dovah" ("a flying dragon"), but never like "Dovah botaas brom" ("The dragon is flying north"). Use "Bo" as a verb instead; "Dovah bo brom" ("The dragon flies north").

Exercises

1. Write the past participles of each verb below:

  1. Bo "to fly"
  2. Kron "to conquer"
  3. Kriin "to slay"
  4. Naak "to eat"
  5. Yah "to seek"
  6. Bonaar "to humble"

See answer

  1. Boaan
  2. Kronaan
  3. Krinaan
  4. Naako
  5. Yahlaan
  6. Bonaraan

2. Write the present participles of each verb below:

  1. Bo "to fly"
  2. Kron "to conquer"
  3. Kriin "to slay"
  4. Gahrot "to steal"
  5. Dir "to die"
  6. Qahnaar "to vanquishing"

See answer

  1. Botaas
  2. Krontaas
  3. Kriintaas
  4. Gahrotaas
  5. Viir
  6. Qahnaartaas

3. How would you say "We are stronger"?

See answer

Mu zok mul. "We are the most strong."

4. Given the strong adjective nahlot "silent", what part of speech is nahlot being used in the following sentences?

  1. Nahlot dovah saraan.
  2. Dovah saraan ko nahlot.
  3. Dovah saraan nahlot.
  4. Dovah nahlot ok paal.

See answer

  1. Adjective. "The silent dragon waited."
  2. Noun. "The dragon waited in silence."
  3. Adverb. "The dragon waited silently."
  4. Verb. "The dragon silenced his foes."
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