An adverbial or adverb is a type of word which describes the manner of the activity of a sentence. This could be when or how an activity takes place (1).

In English, adverbs often end -ly (suddenly, quickly, slightly, etc). Other adverbs are time elements (today, last night, etc) and frequency elements (twice, always, never. etc). Several adverbials are found to have the verb suffix -Ha' to reverse the base meaning, but these are attested words and does not mean we can make our adverbials in this fashion.

Types of adverbials

Basic adverbs

Klingon Translation Klingon Translation
batlh honorably not never
batlhHa' dishonorably ngugh then, at that time
bong accidentally, unintentionally pay' suddenly
chaq perhaps pe'vIl forcefully
chIch on purpose, purposely pIj often, frequently
DaH now pIjHa' seldom, infrequently
Do' luckily, fortunately qen recently
Do'Ha' unluckily, unfortunately QIt slowly
ghaytan likely reH always
ghaytanHa' unlikely roD regularly, habitually
ghIq after that, subsequently rut sometimes
jaS differently SIbI' immediately
jaSHa' similarly SIbI'Ha' later, eventually
jay' intensely (invective) (see below) tugh soon
loQ slightly, a little bit tlhoS almost
motlh usually, typically, expectedly tlhoy overly, excessively
neH only, merely, just (see below) vabDot even, including, also
nIteb alone vaj thus, in that case, so, accordingly, then
nItebHa' together wej not yet
nom fast, quickly 'eQ just, a moment ago

Time Stamps

Some "time" nouns can function as adverbials.
Klingon Translation Klingon Translation
DaHjaj today DaHjaj po this morning
wa'Hu' yesterday wa'Hu' ram last night
wa'leS tomorrow wa'leS po tomorrow morning


Adverbials that indicate "frequency" can be made from numbers by adding the suffix -logh (2).
Number Translation Frequency Translation
wa' one wa'logh once
cha' two cha'logh twice
chorgh eight chorghlogh eight times

Placing adverbials

In Klingon, an adverbial usually comes before the object-verb-subject construction which it describes. If there is a "time" adverbial, it precedes any other adverbial:
DaHjaj nom Soppu' Today they ate quickly (3)

An adverbial may be placed between the object and verb if the object has the -'e' suffix:
HaqwI''e' DaH yISam Find the surgeon now!

The question words ghorgh (when), qatlh (why), and chay' (how) come at the beginning of the sentence, before anything else. (4)


The adverbial jay' is unique in that it is placed at the end of a sentence and effectively turns the entire sentence into an invective (5).
qaStaH nuq? What is happening? qaStaH nuq jay'? What the #$%@ is happening?
mIch 'elpu' They've entered the sector mIch 'elpu' jay' They've entered the #$%@ sector

Only / merely

The adverbial neH is unique in that it follows the verb and has the effect of minimizing or trivializing the event.
qama' vIqIppu' neH I merely hit the prisoner
Duj yIQotlh neH Just disable the ship!
neH is also the only adverbial can follow a noun, where it means only, alone. yaS neH yIqIp Hit only the officer!


Some adverbials can occur alone, functioning much like exclamations. nom Quickly! wej Not yet!


1 : The Klingon Dictionary 5.4, p. 55

2 : The Klingon Dictionary 5.2, p. 55

3 : The Klingon Dictionary, chapter 6.7

4 : The Klingon Dictionary, chapter 6.4

5 : The Klingon Dictionary 5.4, p. 177

Category: Grammar    Latest edit: 19 Sep 2020, by WikiAdmin    Created: 13 Jul 2014 by BradWilson
History: r10 < r9 < r8 < r7 - View wiki text
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