How Do I say... What if?

In Klingon, there is only one kind of "if", which is the type 9 verb suffix -chugh (1). It is used to make statements like "if it rains, you'll be wet", but it is not known if these can be used for irrealis situations like "If I could fly, I would do it".

For the english expression "what if it rains?" one must rephrase the idea and remember that this phrase is actually missing one verb: "what happens if it rains?". This can easily be said in Klingon using the (sometimes overly used) verb qaS happen :

SISchugh (vaj) qaS nuq
If it rains, (then) what happens?

The parts in phrases with -chugh may also be reversed: (2)
qaS nuq SISchugh
What happens if it rains? or: What if it rains?

Since Klingon is always very context-related, one may choose a different verb, depending on the situation:

nuq wISop narghchugh targh
What will we eat if the targ escapes?

See also


1 : The Klingon Dictionary, p. 43

2 : The Klingon Dictionary, p. 62

Category: Grammar    Latest edit: 01 Aug 2019, by AghItlhjaj    Created: 27 Apr 2015 by KlingonTeacher
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