[tlhIngan Hol] new verb: tlheb

Lieven L. Litaer levinius at gmx.de
Mon Nov 21 00:07:42 PST 2022

At the qepHom, Maltz explained some interesting new verb and its usage:

The request asked:
How does one differentiate between need to/must/have to and should/ought
to in Klingon? There is a rather big difference between “I need to do
something” (because otherwise something bad will happen) and “I should
do something” (because it’s the honourable thing to do).

For reference:
It was printed in qepHom 2022 booklet, page 20.

online in the wiki:

-- begin quote --
      For "should" or "ought," make use of tlheb "urge" as in:

     qagh vISop net tlheb
     "I should eat gagh."
     (It is urged that I eat gagh.)

     qagh DaSop 'e' vItlheb
     "You should eat gagh (in my opinion)."
     (I urge you to eat gagh.)

     qagh vISop 'e' vItlheb
     "I should eat gagh."
     (I know it's the right thing for me to do)
     (I urge me to eat gagh)

     Note that the object of tlheb is the thing (activity) being urged,
not the person being urged. That is, you don't say something like
qatlheb (presumably, "I urge you"). The construction is always S 'e'/net
tlheb, where S is a sentence whose subject is the person being urged to
do whatever the verb is referring to.

     For "need to" and so on, of course, use the suffix -nIS.

     LL: Can I say this with the following meaning?
     jISop 'e' Datlheb'a'
     "Should I eat?"
     (Do you think I should eat?)

     MO: Yes.

     LL: So I see a connection to the opinion of the second subject. net
tlheb is a general statement, while 'e' tlheb X means that person X
thinks that the subject of the sentence should do someting. Is that right?

     MO: Right. Almost always, the subject of tlheb is "I" or "you"
(when it's not net tlheb), but a third-person subject is possible.

-- end quote --

Later, during the qepHom 2022, Marc Okrand clarified:

     This is not used in the case of "I repaired the computer, it should
work now". That's a different kind of "should".
     The usage of this expression implies the decision of the person who
should do something. Therefore, it is also not used in a phrase like "it
should rain".

Lieven L. Litaer
aka the "Klingon Teacher from Germany"

More information about the tlhIngan-Hol mailing list