Published using Google Docs
Lesson 10
Updated automatically every 5 minutes

Jamoyo bas  -  Wrapping things up  

This would be an excellent moment for a most awkward confession. Basicly, I lied about a dozen given translations. In all cases I fibbed about the English counterpart being a preposition. Take for example a sentence from lesson 7:

Yunus: - Li gevu ge tunti wa.

Yunus: - You run faster than I do.

li gevu ge tunti wa

you run fast surpass i

you run faster than me 

The word tunti, originally translated as "than", actually has a much better translation as the verb "to surpass":

zeto tunti akuyun

result surpass expectation

the result surpassed our expectations

ijejeng na adensi tunti asaka yo

stupidity of incident surpass description all

the stupidity of the incident surpassed all description

A similar case is the word "until" (or so the translation was until now) as used in the snippets below from earlier texts in this course:

wa lara lai maro kwa deche ata wa bochu tai

i stay there month one until i hatch then

I stayed there for one month until the time I hatched

naim nyom doya yo deche dingu

rabbit rub furniture all until sparkle

the rabbit rubbed all furniture until it sparkled

Deche actually is a verb, meaning "to meet":

om deche la kizado

opt meet at restaurant

let's meet in a restaurant

deche janjashi

meet habitual

they met in the usual way

nong kwiku deche bua

not before meet brother

I never met your brother before

nunai deche alum na Yula

travel meet edge of world

they traveled to the edge of the world

The word le "to have" is another preposition-like word in Kah which is actually a verb. The meaning can be expanded somewhat to "with" or "having, holding" or in a more verbal sense "to have, hold" when you look at the construction used in the conversation in the previous paragraph:

Ben: -Simbu le tiro vai lai.

Ben: -The six year old boy over there.

This sentence can also be translated as "the boy having six years". Also compare the following examples:

varu le chempe gevu chu

soldier hold gun run from

the soldier holding the gun ran off

bau sofi le pepe bo kiki

dog swim hold stick in mouth

the dog swam holding the stick in his mouth

reza en nuvu le seo na chai

hard that walk hold cup of tea

it is hard to walk holding a cup of tea

More examples of proper use of the word le are:

tatang reju uyu le duntu  -  never trust someone with fangs

nenju sunda le pengo  -  I like the bike with the flag

yudo le doti yam nenyun  -  the house with the red roof is pretty

tumbenyo le mosa -  a cheese sandwich, sandwich with cheese

The antonym of le is leleng and behaves the same way. It can be translated either as "without" or "to be without", "to not have":

wa leleng apa  -  I don't have any money

bau leleng dun  -  a dog without teeth

In fact, many words translated until now as prepositions work like this in Kah: 

bo  -  (to be) inside

ti  -  (to be) above

tila  -  (to be) on top of

vu  -  (to be) below, under

chu  -  (to come) from, to leave

tos  -  (to be) regarding, to concern, regard, for, with, intended for, per

And examples of their use are:

buyu bo podo  -  the man is inside the store

shina ti finso  -  the clouds are above the water

kwenga tila titi  -  the spider is on top of my head

yinga jovan yulo vu zonya  -  the monster is hiding underneath my bed

shuki wau chu podo na Mohamed -  this candy is from Mohamed's shop

kaiko wau tos nyonoka  -  this book is about politics

Kah does not have many words resembling English prepositions altogether. Most locative expressions contain the verb la "to be at":

la Sumaro na sumpol sasta...  -  in February 2009...

la kwando  -  at school

la Irakan  -  in Iraq

la penyo  -  in the woods

Another very important one is tos "about, to concern" but also "for, with". It is used in a whole variety of situations which are covered my multiple prepositions in English:

kaiko wau tos haijono  -  this book is about biology

wa kova yu tos aya  -  I emailed him considering the matter

awau nong tos li  -  this doesn't concern you

nong jo aya tos awau  -  I dont know anything about this

ju mim wi tos aye  -  I feel real bad about it

haya jam tos meo?  -  what are you doing with the cat?

ben la nyiru tos fia  -  the kids were bickering over a toy

adepo tos li  -  a delivery for you

nong keju wehim tos aye  -  I won't hear of it

Let's look at one of the example sentences above again:

ben la nyiru tos fia

child be at bicker concern toy

the kids were bickering over a toy

There are two verbs here, nyiru and tos, placed directly after one another, without conjunction. Kah allows a subject to take multiple verbs! This is known as a "serial verb construction" (SVC), in which multiple verbs are strung together.

For example, each of the following three verbs can be used separately in combination with the same subject:

wa nunai

I travel

I traveled

wa de

I come

I came

wa ka

I talk

I talked

But they can also be strung together by merely placing them next to one another to form one sentence:

The example above uses the three verbs in a string: nunai, de and ka, all having the same subject! The translation of the sentence is:

wa nunai de ka li

I travel come talk to you

I traveled to come to talk to you

Such verb strings in the following sentences are underlined:

yunyo nuvu lutum podo

they walk pass by store

they walked past the stores


nong keju ka tos

not want talk about

I don't want to talk about it

simbu bon che titi

boy fall hit head

the boy fell hitting his head

om nuchi paza remos

opt go out buy icecream

let's go out for some icecream

om baska jeto rejo yo

opt decide consider fact all

let's decide considering all facts

wanyo nubo fanai tunu Sibiran nunai Chosonan

we enter train  cross Siberia travel North Korea

we travelled across Siberia to North Korea by train

This probably is the trickiest aspect about Kah for most people. Therefore, this entire lesson will be devoted to serial verb constructions. Every paragraph will be concluded with a short exercise in order to get acquainted with the matter first before moving on to the next level.


10.1 Purpose

Let's start off easy with a couple of examples from colloquial English doing the same thing:

come see me

let's go shopping

Kah would put two verbs in the sentence in the exact same way:

de weyun wa

come see me

come see me

om nuchu pazanu

opt go shop

let's go shopping

Sentences like these express purpose. One could add a conjugator "in order to" or "to" eno:

de eno weyun wa

come purp see me

come to see me

om nuchu eno pazanu

opt go purp shop

let's go shopping

More examples of the use of two verbs with or without eno in order to express purpose are:

gevu lo (eno) hai

run emph (purp) live

run for your life!

kava yu (eno) haka tos

call he (purp) ask concern

I called him to ask about it

bau tomia (eno) muvan ule

dog die (eno) save owner

the dog died saving its owner

umomi pau yu miki (eno) momi

doctor give 3sg medicine (purp) cure

the doctor gave him medicine to cure him

kwaibo ponya (eno) zapau aboko

click button (purp) submit subscription

click the button to submit your subscription

soi zapau kovaka (eno) wanyo tengi kava

please submit give email-address (purp) we can call

please submit your email so we can get in touch

Examples using this construction can be found in the letter below:

 owenju - respected, dear... (used in formal letters)

 munjo - to inform

 tara - to wait, wait for

 nenila - airport

 kova - to email

 Peching - Beijing

 jeto - to consider, think about as an option

 wanki - supper

 kava - to call, make a phonecall to

 Ital - Italian

 kubora - to reserve, make reservations

 nunya - table

 wenjule - respectfully, sincerely yours (used in formal letters)


Now please make the following exercise:

1)  Combine the pictures like the example below to make a sentence expressing purpose:

jala kaizaya

place trap

to place a trap






yun tanu

watch movie

to watch a movie


chevu roya

kick ball

to kick a ball







to punish

to punish it


seseche ben

spank child

to spank a child






hiza kil

catch mouse

to catch a mouse


jari yunum

turn on tv

to turn on the tv






lara sham

stay warm

to keep warm


jango mengo gai

dress sweater thick

to put on a thick sweater








to score




10.2 Tunti tio

The verb translated as "than" tunti is used in comparative constructions:

mul wan tunti ume

cow be big surpass sheep

cows are bigger than sheep

nin wan tunti tira yo

sun be big surpass planet all

the sun is bigger than all planets 

chempe tenza tunti shuki (eno) munchu uyu la gevu

gun useful purpass candy (to) chase off peron be at run

guns are more useful than candy to send people running

wa le apa wi tunti li

i have money much surpass you

I have more money than you

And superlatives are formed by using the verb tio "to be above all":

Chomolumah wen tio

Mt everest high above all

Mount Everest is the highest

uma jo nen tio

mother know good above all

mother knows best

huyu nenje tio, win eom milkos?

who smart above all, horse or doorknob

who's smarter, a horse or a doorknob?

The following cartoon shows ample use of both verbs:

Unga tenza tio

 baska - to decide

 zauza - to irritate

 janjesko - to confuse

 mwevu - to stroll, wander

 haka - to ask

 sencho  - to give birth to, to lay

 geta - instantly, imminent

 mindi - vermin, bugs

 jekil - rat

 unai - snake

 yunga - human

 shushoi - to pet, stroke

 cheze - right away, directly after

 nyeki - to smile

 numia - to hunt

 cheta - sudden, suddenly

 jebas - to conclude

2)  Answer the following questions regarding the cartoon above:

a) Hayu unga nen tio?

b) Haya kwo janja bencho?

c) Reo hiwi kwenga tengi bencho tos tato?


Please translate the following sentences to Kah:

d) Mike is bigger than me.

e) I am smarter than a horse.

f)  Horses are smarter than doorknobs.

g) I have more candy than you.

h) I have more horses than you.

i)  Horses are bigger than cats.

j)  My horse is the biggest.

k) My horse is the blackest.


Please translate the following sentences to English:

l)   Nini wi tunti jom.

m) Kaiko wau wan tunti aye.

n)  Kwenga tengi bencho reo wi tio.

o) Nong keju li wan tunti wa ha?

p) Nenju meo wi tunti bau.

q)  Nenju win si tio.


Look carefully at the pictures below and answer the following questions in Kah:

r) Roya hana wan tio?

s) Roya jim sin tio ha?

t) Haya dau na roya saska?

u) Ajim wan tunti ayam ha?


Observe the picture below and answer the questions in Kah:

v)  Tira hana wan tio?

w) Tira hana jesa en nenyun tio?

x)  Nin tira mau ha?

y)  Soi sendau tira jom yanyo sin tio.

z)  Ka tira hana le rongu.



10.3 Fanai de Rioh

A word like de "to come/go" can be used like both a preposition and a verb in Kah. Compare:

de vado!

go home

go home! 

bau vuvunyau de vado

dog limp go home

the dog limped towards our home

wanyo la de Rioh

we be at go Rio

we are going to Rio

wanyo nubo fanai de Rioh

we enter train go rio

we took the train to Rio

The word chu also expresses a motion from a certain point:

uma kwi chu chipola

Mother already from market

mother came from the market

chu Kah tom Ingilka

from kah become english

from Kah to English

kovako chu bua

email from brother

an email from my brother

kovako nong chu mea

email not from sister

the email was not from my sister

A very common type of verb strings consist of two verbs, one describing the action by which the means of transportation is entered or mounted, and a second one expressing the direction involved.A frequently used verb occurring such constructions is nubo "to enter". Take for example the sentence we encountered earlier in this paragraph:

wanyo nubo fanai de Rioh

we enter train go rio

we took the train to Rio

nubo anenu de Peching

enter flight go beijing

to take a flight to Beijing

nubo nia deza aki

enter car bring food

to get some food by car

nubo fanai de lai

enter train go there

they went there by train

And a comparable one is nuti "to mount":

nuti win gevu dola

mount horse run city

they took a horse (running) to the city

nuti sunda muno vado

mount bike drive home

to ride home by bike

nuti sunda tunu sindola

mount bike cross village

to ride across town on a bike

Likewise, combining a verb like muno "to drive, ride" with a verb expressing direction or location results in constructions as:

muno uyu de bandola

drive person go town

to drive someone to town

al nong tengi muno nia deche sindola

imp not can drive car reach village

the village cannot be reached by car

Now please make the following exercise:

3)  Translate the following to Kah:

a) They rode their bikes to the library.

b) They rode their horses to the library.

c) They rode their horses to town.

d) The library cannot be reached by horse.

e) The boy ran across the street.

f)  The boy rode across the street on his bike.

g) They took a plane to Acapulco.

h) They took the train to Acapulco.

i)  We took a flight to the market.

Translate the following sentences into English

j) Uma muno ben de kaikodo.

k) Ben nuti sunda muno kaikodo.

l) Om nubo naini de kizado.

m) Umukwan nubo nia nuchi sindola.

n) Keju nuchu muno ha?.

o)  Bau tengi nuti sunda de vado ha?.

p) Haya linyo janja muno de Akapulkoh?

q) Keju nuti sunda muno ha?

r) Win nong janja tengi nubo fanai de vado.

Read the following letter and answer the questions:


s) Hayu janko nuko?

t)  Tos hayu be janko nuko?

u) Haya nubo de Tokioh?

v) Nunai chu hala deche hala?w) Kwiku nunai Seol mau ha?

x) Haya nen tio la Tokioh?



10.4  Yun kwesho kwan Kah

Another very important verb occurring in these strings is za "to take" or "to use". Please note how it is used as the first verb in the construction below:

za koya janko nuko

take pen write letter

to write a letter with a pen

za tuya tu seki

take knife cut meat

to cut meat with a knife

za duzu jando wendo

take brick build tower

to build a tower with bricks

za api jaru api

take fire fight fire

fight fire with fire

The part that is translated in English with "with" is expressed by the verb za and it is placed in front of the actual action, which is the opposite of the English situation, where the phrase denoting the instrumental value is placed after the verb:

za koya janko nuko

za tuya tu seki

za duzu jando wendo


to write a letter with a pen

to cut meat with a knife

to build a tower with bricks

But za is not the only verb acting in such an instrumental manner

wa yun kwesho kwan Kah

i look website learn kah

I learned Kah from a website 

nenti nong jango vuzepe ye gevu

better not dress heels that run

you better not run with those heels

yu ponti junya sai sese  

he lift weight cultivate mustle

he is building mustle by lifting weights

al nong tengi yun kochi jesa kaiko

imp not can look cover judge book

you can't judge a book by it's cover

him Led Zeppelin sisi kwan Ingilka

listen Led zeppelin just learn english

he learned English by merely listening to Led Zeppelin

4)   Please translate the following sentences to Kah: 

a) Please do not write with pencil.

b) I can beat you up with one finger.

c) You can't pay with Euros here.

d) To build a tower with trees.

e) To build a tower with eggs.

f)  They killed the horse with a gun.

g) One can't eat soup with a fork.

h) The soldier chased the dog holding the stick in his mouth with a gun.

i)  You better not run with a knife.

j)   Maybe we ought to stirfry it in oil.

Please translate the following sentences to English:

k)   Varu za pepe cheche bau.

l)    Varu za chempe cheche bau.

m)  Varu za tuya tutu bau.

n)   Uba nubo nia mimia kwenga.

o)   Tinti za koya janko nuko yu.

p)   Hamun nong za pepe jando wendo?

q)   Al janja za tuya tu aya.

r)    Soi za Dolar papau.

s)   Al nong janja za tuya janko nuko.

t)    Yunga wi yun yunum kwan Ingilka.


 10.5 Li kwan bas Kah!

Combining verbs is also very useful in order to express a resultative state of something. In this matter, the second verb used tends to denote something with a finitive meaning. A very common verb in these constructions is bas "to end, finish".

jamoyo bas aya

prepare end thing

to wrap something up

jampi bas sindola

burn finish village

to burn a village to the ground

nong tengi bas pai li!

not can finish thank you!

I can't thank you enough!

Other verbs involved are:

al cheche mimia simbu

they beat kill boy

the boy was beaten to death

tinki tomia

starve die

to starve to death

bunche kai doki

slam shut door

to slam the door shut

gegeze uzo munchu vado

chase fly expel home

to chase a fly out of the house

mune sisimbe kihu

throw scatter plate

to throw a plate to pieces

fum mompi pisau

blow extinguish candle

to blow out a candle

Another finitive serial verb construction is the sentence describing the level to which you have mastered Kah at this point:

li kwan bas Kah!

you study and Kah

you're done studying Kah!

Therefore I promise this is the last exercise from this course:

5)   Please translate the following sentences to Kah: 

a)  I ate it all up.

b)  I'm done looking at it.

c)  Finish building the tower!

d) Can one truly be done learning a language?

e) Maybe you ought to finish the tower with bricks.

f)  The boys beat the bricks to pieces.

g) The boys kicked the tower to pieces.

h) You won't starve to death if you don't eat candy for a day.

i)  They threw the soldier off the tower to his death.

j)  How I'd like to shoot that parrot dead.

k) His parents kicked him out when he was 16.

l)  He drove the car out of the train station.

m) He kicked the cardoor shut.

Please translate the following sentences to English:

n)  Al soza bas binso yo.

o)  Tonto al nong kiza, ke tinki tomia.

p)  Tengi janko bas nuko nintau ha?

q)  Papau bas ubu lo!

r)   Nong tus kiza bas ayo.

s)  Chen mimia yu!

t)   Simbu mune seo bai.

u)  Haya za cheche mimia yu?

v)  Al nong za kope cheche uyu.

w) Champe sol tunti kope.

x)  Hata bau jandun mimia meo?

y)  Nong jo ata bau jandun miamia meo tai.

z)  Nong jo amun bau jandun mimia meo chumunye.


 Tau jere li tengi koyun auko na vu gejole :

Muhim lilo!

Soi tombe kwalanyo na Kah noza ashika na vu:

1) Kwaibo nova wau.

2) Kwaibo ponya ya ka "Ask to join!" boko:



3) Mai nende la kwalanyo na Kah!

Pai li ho en kwan Kah!

Nova tenza: