The gismu for dates is detri:

x1 is the date (day, week, month, year) of state/event x2, at location x3, by calendar x4

Phew! Like tcika, though, most places of detri can be left out. The location is only important if we're talking about radically different timezones, or different planets, and the calendar is normally assumed to be the standard Western one — if you want to use, for example, the Arabic or Chinese calendars, you can put le xrabo or le jungo in the fourth place. (As always, context is important — in a discussion of Islamic history we would probably assume that the Arabic calendar was being used.)

The tricky bit is the number in x1. Normally we don't want to specify the day, week, month and year! To prevent confusion, the following conventions are used:

We can therefore say

li repa pi'e ze pi'e pasoxaso cu detri lenu lo remna cu klama le lunra
21/7/1969 is-the-date-of the-event a human goes (to) the moon

Now, just as with tcika, we often want to put the event first — after all, in most languages we would normally say "My birthday is on the fifteenth of August" rather than "The fifteenth of August is the date of my birthday." We can manage this change by using place tags, e.g.

fe lenu mi jbena [kei] cu detri fa li pamu pi'e bi
the-event I am-born is-dated 15/8

but it is easier to use se, like this:

lenu mi jbena cu se detri li pamu pi'e bi
the-event I am-born is-dated 15/8

In both cases, putting the lenu phrase before the cu is convenient — and a well-established Lojban trick of the trade: cu is powerful enough to close off any structure in front of it, including lenu mi jbena.

As you have probably guessed, there is also a sumti tcita for 'dated': de'i, which works like ti'u (notice how sumti tcita tend to be similar to the selbri they suggest). So the other way I can tell you my birthday is:

mi jbena de'i li pamu pi'e bi

Question. If only one number is used with detri, it is the day. So how do we say what year an event happened without giving the day and month as well?

The gismu for 'year', nanca cannot be used instead of detri, since it has the place-structure

x1 is x2 years in duration, by standard x3

i.e. it gives the length of an event in years, not the year when an event happened. One way out is to use a cmene for the year, so the year I (Robin) am writing this would be la pasososonanc. (And the year I (Nick) am writing this would be la renonopananc..)

Tip: You will also see year names ending in nan: la renonopanan.

Tip: More recently there has been a proposal to make single numbers refer by default to year rather than day; the controversy on this has not settled down yet.



x1 is new/unfamiliar/novel to observer x2 in feature x3 (ka) by standard x4; x1 is a novelty


conquer, sieze ('war-take')


x1 discovers/finds out x2 (du'u) about subject/object x3; x1 finds (fi) x3 (object)


x1 is the country of peoples x2 with land/territory x3; (people/territory relationship)


x1 reflects French/Gallic culture/nationality/language in aspect x2


Communist ('work-govern-idea')


revolution ('government-change-force')


Joins two sumti together as a mass. We'll have more to say about this later.


manifesto ('thought-book')

Exercise 5 — history quiz

Give the dates to answer these questions, using cmene for the years. If you don't happen to know them, that's OK — they're given at the bottom of the exercise.

  1. lenu la kolombus. facki lo cnino gugde cu se detri ma

  2. la mexmet. dable'a la konstantiNUpolis. de'i ma

  3. lenu fraso jecyga'ibai cu se detri ma

  4. la marks. joi la .engels. finti le guntrusi'o selpeicku ku de'i ma

  5. la muxamed. klama la medinas. de'i ma

(1492; 1453; 1789; 1848; 622)