This lesson is long, but it covers almost everything a sentence is, or has, or will be.
Composing long sentences is what we need to master a language effectively. So how do we Compose higher level sentences?
Sentence is called ‘वाक्य’ (bakya) in Nepali and Word is called ‘शब्द’ (shabda). Meaning is ‘अर्थ’ (artha).
वाक्य (bakya) = Sentence
शब्द (sabda) = Word
अर्थ (artha) = Meaning
भात (bhat) = Rice
व्याकरण (byakaran/ vyakaran) = Grammar
किताब (kitab) = Book
बहिनी (bahini) = Little Sister
चोर (chor) = Thief
साथी (sathi) = Friend
ईमान्दर (imaandaar) = Honest
स्वतन्त्र (swatantra) = Free
सबै (sabai) = All
व्यक्ति (byakti) = Individual; Human Being
जन्मजात (janmajaat) = By Birth
इमान (imaan) = Dignity; Honour
अधिकार (adhikar) = Rights
माम्ला (maamla) = Matters
S = Subject
V = Verb
O = Object
Od = Direct Object
Oi = Indirect Object
A = Adjective
Av = Adverb
P/C = Postposition/Case marker
Va = Active Voice
Vp = Passive voice
1. In a sentence, the subject (action doer) comes first, then comes the object (action receiver) and finally the verb.
रामले भात खायो (ram le bhat khayo)
= Ram ate rice.
[ S + O + V ]
2. If the verb applies to two objects, the indirect object follows the subject and then the direct object follows the Indirect Object.
मैले तिमीलाई व्याकरण सिकाएँ (maile timi lai vyakaran sikaye)
= I taught you Grammar.
[ S + Oi + Od + V ]
3. Addressing Words (like oi or ey) goes at the beginning.
ए भाइ ! (eh bhai)
= Hey bro!
4. Adjectives that modify nouns come before the oun.
रातो घर (rato ghar)
= Red house
[A + S]
5. Postpositions apply to the word they modify.
रामको भाइ श्यामले भात खायो (ram ko bhai shyam le bhat khayo)
= Ram’s brother Shyam ate Rice. [Applies to ‘Shyam’]
6. The main verb should always be kept last.
भाइ किताब पढेर सुत्यो (bhai kitab padhera sutyo)
= Brother read a book and fell asleep.
Formation of Words
1. In Active Voice Sentences, the subject’s gender, singularity and the point-of-view (1st person, 2nd person etc.) must agree with the verb while in passive voice sentences, the object’s gender, singularity and point-of-view must agree with the verb.
Va: बहिनी घरमा बस्छे (bahini ghar ma basche)
= Sister stays at home.
Where ‘bahini’ (sister/ female, singular, 3rd person) subject agrees with the verb ‘basche’ (stays).
Vp: चोरहरु पक्रिए (Chor haru pakrie)
= The thieves were caught.
Where ‘chorharu’ (thieves/ male, plural, 3rd person) object agrees with the verb ‘pakrie’ (caught)
2. When a single sentence contains two subjects of different gender, the conjugation of ‘uniharu’ is used (see verb conjugation lessons for more [grammar section]).
जन र मेरी घर गए (jan ra meri gharma gae)
= John and Mary went home.
3. If the sentence has two (or more) pronouns, then the verb conjugation is done according to the highest ordinance. (1st > 2nd > 3rd)
हामी तिमी साथी हौँ (hami timi sathi hau)
= We (and) you are friends.
तिमी र राम जाओ (timi ra ram jao)
= You and Ram (should) leave.
4. If Paired words such as ‘Neither, nor’ or ‘either, or’ is used in sentences, the verb form will be in singular tense. (Condition= The two subjects should be similar)
कि राम कि जन आउँछ (ki ram ki jan aaucha)
= Either Ram or John will come.
5. If the paired words modify subjects of different gender, singularity status or point-of-view, the verb form is determined by the latter subject’s status. [Point of view = Xth Person]
कि छोरा कि छोरी जान्छे (ki chora ki chori jaanche)
= Either son or daughter will go.
कि छोरी कि छोरा जान्छे (ki chori ki chora jaancha)
= Either daughter or son will go.
6. The status of an adjective depends on the noun’s status it modifies.
काली केटी (kali keti)
= A Black Girl
कालो केटा (kalo keta)
= A black boy
कला केटाहरु (kala keta haru)
= Black Boys
Where: original ‘kalo’ (black) is for singular, male nouns, its feminine form ‘kali’ and its plural form ‘kala’
7. If the adjective ends in sounds ‘o’ (ओ) and ‘Ā’ (आ), its female form will usually end in the sound ‘i’ (ई) and its plural form will end in the sound ‘Ā’(आ) (including female plural).
8. If the adjective ends in any other sound other than ‘o’ or ‘Ā’, then it will not be altered in any way.
दयालु केटी (dayalu keti)
= Kind Girl
दयालु केटा (dayalu keta)
= Kind boy
दयालु केटीहरु (dayalu ketiharu)
= Kind girls
Where: ‘Dayalu’ (kind) is not altered in any way. (It ends in sound ‘u’)
9. If there are many adjectives modifying a single word, then the adjective will be in accordance with the word.
मोटो, कालो केटा (moto, kalo keta)
= A fat black boy.
मोटी, काली केटी (moti, kali keti)
= A fat, black girl.
Where: The adjective ‘kalo’ and ‘moto’ are in accordance with both the subjects.
TYPES OF SENTENCES
In Nepali, there are 3 types of sentences.
1. सरल वाक्य (saral bakya) = A complete sentence with a simple structure. It is roughly translated as ‘Simple Sentence’.
रामले भात खायो (ram le bhat khayo)
= Ram ate rice.
2. मिश्र वाक्य (mishra bakya) = The sentence has one main clause along with other dependent clauses. Also known as ‘Complex Sentence’.
तिमी जान्छौ भने म पनि जान्छु (timi janchau bhane ma pani janchu)
= if you go, I too, will go.
3. संयुक्त वाक्य (samyukta bakya) = The sentence which has two or more independent clauses. Also known as ‘Compound Sentence’.
त्यो मान्छे गरीब छ तर ईमान्दर छ (tyo manche garib cha tara imandar cha)
= That person is poor but (he) is honest.