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Toaq with Ease

Chíetoaı kọfe – 5th Lesson

Sá chaq nä gı cháq da. Sá chaq nä huı cháq da. Some days, they are good. Some days, they are bad.
Ina… Okay…
Sá chaq nä bu gı cháq da. Keo tú chaq nä paq sá gı cháq da. Some days aren’t good. But every day has something good in it (every day is such that something good is part of it).
Ma noaq súq sá kue móq? Did you read a book?
Sá kue nä noaq há kúe da. Sá kue nä cho há kúe da. Keo sá kue nä … oe, fa súq hí raı móq? Some books, you read them. Some books, you enjoy them. But some books… Hey, where are you going?


  1. We now revisit the subject of and . In this sentence, we see sá chaq, which means “a/some day(s)”. In general, to interpret sá [verb], think “a/some thing(s) which is/are or do/does the thing described by the verb”. sá chaq “some things which are days”, or simply “some days”.

  2. The structure of this sentence differs from all the ones we have seen so far: there is a noun in front of the verb, and there is a new word before the verb. It carries the glottal tone . By using the particle , it becomes possible to place nouns in front of the verb. This can be done for different reasons. In the present situation, the noun sá chaq “some days”, followed by , is placed in front of the verb, and then a sentence of a familiar shape follows: a verb and a noun. The noun is cháq, the likes of which you have already met. In previous lessons, it was translated as “the day(s)”. When sá chaq “some days” was used earlier in the sentence, which is the case here, then any subsequent cháq refers to those same days. This is why the English translation of the sentence contains “they are good”. It could also have been translated as “Some days, those days are good”, or, more formally, “Some days are such that they (those days) are good”. We will see many repetitions of this pattern throughout this lesson.

  3. bu means “not”. For now, absorb the word as is.

  4. Here is the same sentence pattern but with , “every”, instead. Interpreting tú [verb] works exactly like the counterpart, except that instead of “some”, we have “every”. Thus, tú [verb] means “everything which is or does the thing described by the verb”. In the case of tú chaq, this gives us “everything which is a day”, or, more simply, “every day”. As before, the subsequent occurence of cháq refers to the same days.

  5. The pattern ma … móq is used to form yes-no questions. The móq indicates that we’re dealing with a question, much like da indicates that we’re dealing with an assertion. The past tense in this sentence is only implied. We will see how to express tense explicitly in a future lesson.

  6. , “one” or “you”, is a generic impersonal pronoun. It is used to refer generically to a person or people, as in “One does not simply walk into Mordor”. Like every other pronoun in Toaq, it is gender-neutral.

  7. hí raı means “what” or “which thing(s)”. Here, it appears as the second noun of the verb fa, “to go (somewhere)”, which is the destination. The literal meaning of “You go what?” should therefore be understood as “What is the destination of your going?”, or, more simply, “Where are you going?”.



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