A conjunction is used to join nouns together, or to join sentences together(1). When joining nouns, the conjunction comes after the final noun. When joining sentences, the conjunction comes between the sentences(2).

nouns sentences translation
je 'ej and
joq qoj and/or
ghap pagh either/or
- 'ach but


with nouns:

DeS 'uS je, an arm and a leg (both of them)
DeS 'uS joq, an arm or a leg or both
DeS 'uS ghap, an arm or a leg (but not both of them)
Sometimes in a list of 3 or more items, or when noun-noun items are in the list, it is helpful to separate the items with commas for ease of reading. When speaking, a brief pause between each item avoids confusion.

with sentences:

vIlegh 'ej vIqIp, I see him and I hit him
vIlegh qoj vIqIp, I see him or I hit him or I do both
vIlegh pagh vIqIp, I see him or I hit him (but I don't do both)

je combined with verbs

When je follows a verb, it means also, too.
vIlegh je, I also see him or I see him too.

If a subject is mentioned, it comes after the conjunction:

notlh veS, 'a tugh manotlhchoH je maH.
(Azetbur in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

The usage of je meaning "also" can even be used to multiple sentences(3):

QIStaqDaq cholonDI' jIyIn. DaH jIyIn je.
I am alive as I was when you left me at Kri'stak.
literally: "I was alive When you abandoned me. Now I am alive too."

je isn't linking time contexts, it's modifying the third verb: "I was alive then; I'm also alive now".

Okrand once wrote a message in the newsgroup(4):
qep'a' wejDIchDaq jatlhtaH tlhIngan Hol HaDwI'pu'. ghoHtaH je. tIv'eghtaH je.

According to this, V1. V2 je can mean V1 happens. V2 also happens. One would have expected 'ej ghojtaH here.

Accepting this usage means that yoHbogh matlhbogh je SuvwI' from the "Warriors anthem" doesn't have to be dismissed as "poetic grammar".

The usage of the conjunction je is not only linked to the verb of a sentence. Depending on context, it can also refer to a location, a pronoun or the verb. Compare the following:

HoD vIleghpu'. qaleghpu' je. I saw the captain. I saw you, too. = refers to "you"
Duleghpu' HoD. qaleghpu' je. The captain saw you. I saw you, too. = refers to "I"
qacholpu'. qaleghpu' je. I approached you. I saw you, too. = refers to the action
vaS'a'Daq qaleghpu'. DujDaq qaleghpu' je. I saw you at the Great Hall. I saw you on the ship, too. = refers to the location

Conjunction but

Another sentence conjunction is 'ach, sometimes shortened to 'a, which means but, nevertheless, however, even so.

vIqIp 'ach vIHoHbe' I hit him but I didn't kill him.


1 : The Klingon Dictionary 5.3, p. 55

2 : The Klingon Dictionary 6.2.1, p. 61

3 : paq'batlh

4 : Newsgroup message of November 10, 1996

Category: Grammar    Latest edit: 11 Aug 2021, by KlingonTeacher    Created: 27 Jun 2014 by BradWilson
History: r11 < r10 < r9 < r8 - View wiki text
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