Chapter 3. Commands, Questions, and Possessives

Table of Contents
Softening the blow...
More Possessives
Answers to Exercises


So far we've looked at simple propositions, sentences that say that something is true. You can, in theory, say anything you want with propositions, but it's pretty inconvenient. For example, if I want you to run, I could say just that:

I want you to run

but I'd probably just say:


How do we do this in Lojban? We can't copy English grammar and just say bajra, since, as we've seen, this means "Look! Someone/something runs". Instead we say

ko bajra

ko means 'you, the person I'm talking to', but only in commands. (In normal sentences it's do). Normally it comes in the first place of the bridi, since normally you're asking people to do something or be something, not to have something done to them. However, you can put it elsewhere, e.g.

nelci ko

This means something like "Act so that [someone unspecified] likes you", and sounds pretty odd in English, but you could use it in the sense of "Try to make a good impression." Another example is:

mi dunda le cifnu ko

or "Act so that I give the baby to you," with the possible meaning "Get up and put your cigarette out — I'm going to pass you the baby."

You can even have ko in two places in a bridi, for example,

ko kurji ko
[Act so that] you take care of you

or in other words, "Take care of yourself." In fact, as alluded to in the last exercise of the previous lesson, we can put the selbri anywhere other than the beginning of the sentence. (We can't just put the selbri at the very beginning of the sentence, without fa before the x1 sumti, because this would imply 'someone/something' for the first place: the selbri would become an observative.) Because of this freedom with sumti position, we can (and do) say

ko ko kurji



x1 (agent) kills/slaughters/murders x2 by action/method x3


x1 inscribes/writes x2 on display/storage medium x3 with writing implement x4; x1 is a scribe


x1 invents/creates/composes/authors x2 for function/purpose x3 from existing elements/ideas x4


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


x1 is in/inside/within x2; x1 is on the inside/interior of x2 [totally within the bounds of x2]


x1 loves/feels strong affectionate devotion towards x2 (object/state)


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

Exercise 1

Imagine that someone says these things to you. What is it that they want you to do?

  1. ko klama mi

  2. ko dunda le cukta mi

  3. la .izaBEL. nelci ko

  4. ko sutra

  5. ko ko nelci