lesson 8: particles (written by ijo Son)

back to fynotek lessons page

get ready, because today is going to be one long shot of grammar—but if you know toki pona grammar well, you'll have no trouble :)

particles are words with no meaning. they instead give a sentence structure, and are very important!

firstly, we have two sets of pairs: ak/ka and ki/ik:

ak and ka are context particles. if you speak toki pona, ak X ka Y is the same as X la Y, and you can skip this section. if you don't speak toki pona, here’s what that means!

the basic formula for ak and ka is “ ak [context] ka [sentence]”.

"context” can be anything a listener should know about when interpreting your sentence. for example, if i start a sentence with “ak sefo ka”, it means that the thing that i am about to say is good.

context can also be a condition! for example, in the sentence “if you’re at my house, i will speak to you”, the condition is “you’re at my house”, so it can be translated as “ak faha ñue fotaumiy ka hor ñaka” (remember that “if” conditions use hypothetical verb tenses!).

context can be a full sentence, a noun phrase, or a prepositional phrase. if you don't know what that means, it means that almost anything can go in between ak and ka.

remember to look at the previous lesson to see when you need to use hypothetical verb tenses!

ki and ik mark relative clauses. if you know what that means, X ki Y ik means that Y is a relative clause modifying X. you can now skip this section. if you don't know what that means, don't worry!

ki and ik allow you to modify words with a verb phrase instead of normal modifiers. the formula is “[thing you want to modify] ki [verb phrase] ik”.

we usually do this in english with the word that. for example, in “the person that spoke to you”, “spoke to you” is a verb phrase describing the person. so, in fynotek, this is translated as “fmutue ki hiro ñaka ik”.

almost done! one more left: i.

toki pona speakers: i is just like “e ni:” or “ni:”, and is often used when you'd use a preverb in toki pona, since fynotek doesn't do preverbs. you can skip the rest of this section.

non-toki pona speakers: i is used to introduce a new verb phrase or sentence from a verb.

in english, to introduce a new verb, we often use the word to. for example, in “i want to see this house”, “to see” is the second verb, so this sentence gets translated as “hepwik i jaomae fotojuon” (remember, wants use hypothetical verb tenses!). when introducing a new verb like this, keep the tense and person the same as the first verb (but make it hypothetical if needed).

in english, we often use the word that to introduce a sentence. for example, in “i know that you are good”, “you are good” could be a whole sentence on its own, but we instead attach it to the word “know”. so, in fynotek, this is translated as “ratas i sefoa”.

congratulations! you made it through the gauntlet of grammar. don't feel bad if you need to look back at this lesson or the previous one—we covered a lot today!

fynotek to english homework (currently broken)

english to fynotek homework (currently broken)