[tlhIngan Hol] Expressing "must"

Lieven levinius at gmx.de
Mon Nov 14 13:41:14 PST 2016

Am 14.11.2016 um 21:40 schrieb mayqel qunenoS:
> Something which during the 14 months I've been on this list, only once
> someone has mentioned is this:
> the {-nIS}, expresses "need"; it isn't equivalent with the english "must".

Actually, I have never focused much on the different kind of "must", 
perhabs because in German, there is not much difference between "must" 
and "need".

For instance, in German one says "I must go to the bathroom", while in 
english it may be "I need to..."

There is the canon example {qaleghnIS} "I need to see you", where it's 
not clear if anyone is forcing someon, or if it's necessary. I may be 
wrong (or confused) with the english phrasing, but if I were to say "We 
have to talk" or "We must talk", it's maybe not necessary, and nobody is 
forcing it, or requesting it. In Klingon, I would say {majatlhnIS} and I 
think that's clear.

Was it not you who said two days ago that you need to scramble the 
english words in your brain to get one idea? I think this is one more. 
 From my point of view, I think it's okay to say {-nIS} = "must/need".

> if I write {jIQongnIS}, then this means "I need to sleep". I need to
> sleep because I am exhausted. Similarly {jISopnIS}, is "I need to eat";
> I *need* to eat, because I'm starving.
> But what if I want to express "must" ? The must doesn't necessarily
> express "need". Mainly it expresses "obligation". Mainly it expresses
> "necessity".

It depends on the situation, of course. You could use it to emphasize:
{DaH jIQongnIS. jIDoy'be', 'a jIQong 'e' ra' HoD.}
"I must sleep now. I'm not tired, but my captain ordered me to."

> Example: "because you're a bad cat, I must tickle you" {vIghro' mIgh
> SoHmo' vIqotlh. 'ut.}

Lieven L. Litaer
aka Quvar valer 'utlh
Grammarian of the KLI

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