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Toaq with Ease

Cíko chỉetoaı – Lesson 6

Jỏaı déo kúne da. The child is looking for the dog.
Hu máma, kúne bı, tỉ hó hı rảı moq? Mother, the dog, where is it?
Kúne bı, nỉe hó kúa da. The dog, it’s in the room.
Hı kủa? Which room?
Núokua. The bedroom.
Nỉe bũ hó núokua da. It’s not in the bedroom.
Nủı hó da… Mả tỉa hó sófa moq? It’s small… Is it behind the sofa?
Tỉa bũ hó sófa da. It’s not behind the sofa.
Fả súq tu kủa ba. Go to every room.
Hu máma, kíao bı rỉa máq da! Mother, the door, it’s open!
Oaı! Mả bủı kúne moq? Jỏaı múy ba. Uh-oh! Is the dog outside? Let us go looking.


  1. kune “dog” is a root word with more than one syllable. We met another such root in Lesson 4. An interesting point worth appreciating here again is that the words for “dog” and “apple” are verbs in Toaq. kune means “to be a dog”, shamu “to be an apple”. The noun meanings are derived from these verbs, either via a rising tone (kúne “the dog(s)”, shamu “the apple(s)”) or via sa (sa kủne “some dog(s)”, sa shảmu “some apple(s)”) or tu (tu kủne “every dog”, tu shảmu “every apple”).

  2. hu is a so-called vocative marker. It is placed in front of a noun and indicates that the noun is the party being addressed by the speaker. Here, it is the mother (máma) who is being addressed.

  3. Here we see another use for the particle : by allowing one to state a noun first, one can establish that noun as the topic of the sentence. In English, this is sometimes expressed via phrases like “As for the dog, …”, or “About the dog, …”.

  4. hı X can generally be translated as “which X” or “what X”. Grammatically, it works just like sa and tu. hı kủa “which (thing that is a) room”, hı kủne “which dog”. In the previous lesson, hı rảı was given as simply “what”. This is because the verb raı means “to be something”, so hı rảı means “which thing that is something”, which really just amounts to “what”.

  5. nuokua “bedroom” is a compound whose components are nuo “sleep” and kua “room”. You should have no problem remembering that it means “bedroom”, since that’s the room which is mainly used for sleeping.

  6. “not” is often placed right after the verb. We will learn about this in much more detail in later lessons.

  7. ba is what turns this sentence into a command.

  8. muy is another pronoun. It means “we”, but specifically refers to the speaker and the listener, as opposed to the speaker and some third party.



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