Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Let's Learn Sinhalese in English 8



In most languages, there is a special sentence structure where  you cannot see a distinct action. For example, when you say “I am running” or “I run” or “I have run”, you have some action (that is, “the action of running”) in it. However, when you say “I am good” or “He is a doctor” or “We are in the class”, there you can’t see any action. These “actionless sentences” are constructed with “BE” (am/is/are) in English. Now let’s see how it is done in Sinhala.

I will explain it with respect to English “be” sentence structure; it will be much easier then. In English, you write it in one of three ways.

     1.       After the verb “be” you have an adjective. For example:

      I am good.
      She is beautiful.
      They are kind.

In Sinhala, you can very easily make the equivalent sentence just by writing the doer first, then the adjective (quality that the doer possesses), and after that “-yi” is appened to the adjective. This “-yi” is similar in function to the “be” verb in English.

      Mama ho’mdayi. (I am good.)

      Eya: lassanayi. (She is beautiful.)

      Egollo karuna:vanthayi. (They are kind.)

Let’s learn how to make the other variants of this sentence. To form the postive question, you just put “-dha” at the end of adjective ending with “-yi”. If you like, you can remove “-yi” when appending “dha”.

      Mama ho’mdayidha?
      Mama ho’mdadha?
      (Am I good?)

      Eya: lassanayidha?
      Eya: lassanadha?
      (Is she beautiful?)

      Egollo karuna:vanthayidha?
      Egollo karuna:vanthadha?
      (Are they kind?)

To make the negative statement of these, you simply put “naehae” after the adjective, and while doing so, remove “-yi” too.

      Mama ho’mda naehae. (I am not good.)

      Eya: lassana naehae. (She is not beautiful.)

      Egollo karuna:vantha naehae. (They are not kind.)

To form the negative question, just substitute “naedhdha” for “naehae” above.

      Mama ho’mda naedhdha? (Am I not good?)

      Eya: lassana naedhdha? (Is she not beautiful?)

      Egollo karuna:vantha naedhdha? (Are they not kind?)

Now let’s see how tag questions are formed. Simply put “ne:dha” at the end of the positive or negative statements above.

      Mama ho’mdai ne:dha? (I am good. Aren’t I?)
      Mama ho’mda naehae ne:dha? (I am not good. Am I?)

      Eya: lassanai ne:dha? (She is beautiful. Isn’t she?)
      Eya: lassana naehae ne:dha? (She is not beautiful. Is she?)

      2.       After the “be” verb, you may have a noun. For example:

      I am a child.
      I am the child.
      He is a sportsman.
      We are teachers.

In Sinhala, you can make these sentences first putting the doer as usual, and then just placing the noun (definte or indefinite) after that. That’s it.

      Mama lamayek. (I am a child.)

      Mama lamaya: . (I am the child.)

      Eya: kri:dakayek. (He is a sportsman.)

      Api guruvaru/teacherla: . (We are teachers.)

Deriving other variants is as usual. Let’s see a few examples of them.

      Mama lamayek neme: . (I am not a child.)
      Mama lamayekdha? (Am I a child?)
      Mama lamayek ne:dha? (I am a child. Aren’t I?)
      Mama lamayek neme: ne:dha? (I am not a child. Am I?)

      Mama lamaya: neme: . (I am not the child.)
      Mama lamaya:dha? (Am I the child?)
      Mama lamaya: neme:dha? (Am I not the child?)
      Mama lamaya: ne:dha? (I am the child. Aren’t I?)
      Mama lamaya: neme: ne:dha? (I am not the child. Am I?)

      Eya: kri:dakayek neme: . (He is not a sportsman.)
      Eya: kri:dakayekdha? (Is he a sportsman?)
      Eya: kri:dakayek neme:dha? (Is he not a sportsman?)
      Eya: kri:dakayek ne:dha? (He is a sportsman. Isn’t he?)
      Eya: kri:dakayek neme: ne:dha? (He is not a sportsman. Is he?)

      3.       After the “be” verb, you have a preposition (and connected noun). This includes “there is/are” sentence structure too. For example:

      I am in the class.
      She is at the gate.
      We are on the road.
      There is a bird on the roof.

In Sinhala, making these sentences is not so easy as above two, but this is not difficult either. First say the doer, and then say the preposition and its noun as you normally say in Sinhala (we learned this earlier). Optionally you can put “inne:” after the prepositional part (ie, preposition and its noun), or before the prepositional part.

      Mama panthiye:/panthiya thula.
      Mama panthiye:/panthiya thula inne: .
      Mama inne: panthiye:/panthiya thula.
      (I am in the class.)

      Eya: ge:ttuva la’mga.
      Eya: ge:ttuva la’mga inne: .
      Eya: inne: ge:ttuva la’mga.
      (She is at the gate.)

      Api pa:re:/pa:ra uda.
      Api pa:re:/pa:ra uda inne: .
      Api inne: pa:re:/pa:ra uda.
      (We are on the road.)

To make the negative statement, you just put “naehae” or “neme:” after the prepositional part. Append “-dha” to the prepositional part to form the postive question. To make the negative question, put “naedhdha” or “neme:dha” to the positive statement. Tag questions are formed as usual. Study the following examples well, and you will see the patterns (the same set of patterns you had seen before). If there is “inne:” in the sentece, then that part comes last.

      Mama panthiye: naehae/neme: .
      Mama panthiya thula naehae/neme: .
      Mama panthiye:/panthiya thula neme inne.
      Mama inne: panthiye/panthiya thula neme.
      (I am not in the class.)

      Eya: ge:ttuva la’mga naehae/neme: .
      Eya: ge:ttuva la’mga neme inne: .
      Eya: inne: ge:ttuva la’mga neme: .

      (She is not at the gate.)

      Mama panthiye:dha?
      Mama panthiya thuladha?
      Mama panthiye:/panthiya thula innavadha?
      Mama inne panthiye:dha/panthiya thuladha?
      (Am I in the class?)

      Eya: ge:ttuva la’mga neme:dha?
      Eya: ge:ttuva la’mga neme:dha inne?
      Eya: inne ge:ttuva la’mga neme:dha?

      (Is she not at the gate?)

      Api pa:re:/pa:ra uda ne:dha?
      Api pa:re:/pa:ra uda ne:dha inne:?
      Api inne: pa:re:/pa:ra uda ne:dha?
      (We are on the road. Aren’t we?)

      Api pa:re:/pa:ra uda neme: ne:dha?
      Api pa:re:/pa:ra uda neme: ne:dha inne?
      Api inne: pa:re:/pa:ra uda neme: ne:dha?
      (We are not on the road. Are we?)


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