[tlhIngan Hol] Expressing "must"

David Holt kenjutsuka at live.com
Wed Nov 16 13:15:30 PST 2016

jatlh SuStel:

> Really, there's a ton about this easily found: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=difference+between+need+and+must

More than half of the links found in such a search say that there is no significant difference in how they are used in English.  Many of those still go on to talk about a supposed subtle difference.  I don't find the distinction they are making to be very meaningful and it doesn't really match how I differentiate them.  Spanish also has a few different options for this kind of expression and I found similar disagreement and minimization in the Spanish discussions.  Those searches have not helped me understand what the difference might be in Klingon.

> Wait, there's one last element: need implies a kind of personal

> urgency; must or have to has less of such a sense; any urgency is

> imposed from outside.

So then the line is drawn at the outside edge of my own physiology and psychology?  That would be convenient, but I certainly think many of André's examples and both of Alan's examples contradict that.  I wonder if instead it is similar to the language/non-language issue.  There would be no hard fast line, but the way you use it might give us a window into your thinking.  By using {-nIS} perhaps some amount of personal investment is implied in the need/requirement and by using one of the "required/forced" verbs perhaps you are removing the individuals own desires/needs/fears from the sentence and making it more cold and impersonal.

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