Answers to exercises

Exercise 1

  1. lojban 


  2. dunda 

    gismu (give)

  3. praxas. 

    cmene (Prague — Praha in Czech — the capital of the Czech Republic)

  4. mi 

    Neither: it's a type of cmavo (structure word) called a 'pro-sumti', a word that stands in for a sumti, like an English pronoun stands in for a noun

  5. cukta 

    gismu (book)

  6. prenu 

    gismu (person)

  7. blanu 

    gismu (blue)

  8. ka'e 

    Neither, it's a cmavo or structure word, meaning 'can'

  9. dublin. 

    cmene (the capital of Ireland)

  10. selbri 

    Neither, it's a lujvo or compound word

Exercise 2

  1. karce 

    x1 is a car/automobile/truck/van [a wheeled motor vehicle] for carrying x2, propelled by x3

    (A car propelled by natural gas is a different kind of thing to a diesel truck.)

  2. nelci 

    x1 is fond of/likes/has a taste for x2 (object/state)

  3. cmene 

    x1 (quoted word(s)) is a/the name/title/tag of x2 to/used-by namer/name-user x3 (person)

    (Different people have different names for things.)

  4. sutra 

    x1 is fast/swift/quick/hastes/rapid at doing/being/bringing about x2 (event/state)

  5. crino 

    x1 is green

  6. sisti 

    x1 ceases/stops/halts activity/process/state x2 [not necessarily completing it]

  7. prenu 

    x1 is a person/people (noun) [not necessarily human]

  8. cmima 

    x1 is a member/element of set x2; x1 belongs to group x2; x1 is amid/among/amongst group x2

  9. barda 

    x1 is big/large in property/dimension(s) x2 as compared with standard/norm x3

    (Is the Taj Mahal big? Yes, compared to me; no, compared to Jupiter.)

  10. cusku 

    x1 expresses/says x2 for audience x3 via expressive medium x4

  11. tavla 

    x1 talks/speaks to x2 about subject x3 in language x4

    Note the different place structures of cusku and tavla. With cusku the emphasis is on communication; what is communicated is more important than who it is communicated to. Quotes in e-mails frequently start with "do cusku di'e" (di'e means 'the following') as the Lojban equivalent of "You wrote". (ciska 'write' places more emphasis on the physical act of writing.) With tavla the emphasis is rather more on the social act of talking: you can tavla about nothing in particular.

Exercise 3

  1. la klaudias. dunda le cukta la bil.
    Claudia gives the book(s) to Bill.

  2. le karce cu sutra
    The car(s) is/are fast.

  3. la kamIL. cukta
    Camille is a book.

  4. mi fanva la kaMIL. la lojban
    I translate Camille into Lojban.

  5. le prenu cu sisti
    The person(s) stop(s) (whatever it was they were doing)

  6. le ninmu cu cliva
    The woman/women leave(s)

  7. la .istanbul. barda
    Istanbul is big. (An understatement — it has a population of over ten million)

  8. mi tavla la mari,as.
    I talk to Maria.

  9. la meiris. pritu la meilis. mi
    Mary is on the right of Mei Li, if you're facing me.

  10. le cipni cu vofli
    The bird(s) flies/fly

  11. crino
    It's / they're green.

  12. ninmu
    She's a woman / They're women / There's a woman / There are some women

In sentences 1, 3, 4, 7, 8 and 9, cu is possible but not necessary. In the last two sentences, cu is impossible, since it has to separate the selbri from the sumti that comes before it, and there are no sumti here to separate. Those last two sentences are observatives, as discussed in Changing Places.

Note that I have translated these sentences in the present tense (since in English you have to choose a tense) but they could be in any tense; so le cipni cu vofli could also mean "The bird flew", for example. We'll look at how Lojban expresses tense in later lessons; just remember that you don't actually need it — normally it's obvious whether an action takes place in the past, present or future.

Exercise 4

  1. zo'e cusku le glico le prenu le cukta
    Someone expresses the English thing for the person(s) through a book
    The book is a medium for English to people

  2. do vecnu le karce mi zo'e
    You sell me the car for some amount
    I am sold the car by you (Notice how le karce is assigned x2, since it follows an x1 place immediately.)

  3. la fits.djerald. fanva zo'e le glico zo'e la .Odisis
    Fitzgerald translates something into English from some language as The Odyssey
    The Odyssey is a translation into English by Fitzgerald

  4. mi vecnu zo'e zo'e le rupnu
    I sell something to someone for the dollar
    I sell (it) for a dollar

  5. zo'e kabri zo'e le rokci
    Something is a cup, containing something, made of stone
    Stone is something cups are made of

  6. do tavla zo'e la lojban. la lojban.
    You talk to someone about Lojban in Lojban
    You talk about Lojban in Lojban

    Note: As you can see, you can have more than one sumti in front of the selbri. This is unlike English, where you usually have only the subject before the verb. This can happen with or without place tags; for instance, do zo'e la lojban. tavla la lojban. means the same thing as do tavla zo'e la lojban. la lojban.