This is a glossary of grammatical terms used on this wiki.
Adjective[edit | edit source]
A word that modifies or describes a noun. "Big" and "tall" are examples of adjectives.
Adverb[edit | edit source]
A word that modifies or describes a verb. "Quickly" and "slowly" are examples of adverbs.
Content word[edit | edit source]
In toki pona, any noun, verb, or modifier can be used in any of those roles. Collectively these words are referred to as "content words" and are distinguished from particles. pona, suwi, and moku are examples of content words in toki pona.
Imperative[edit | edit source]
A command or instruction. "Do as I say, not as I do" is an imperative sentence, as is "go!".
Indicative[edit | edit source]
A grammatical mood that describes a real or actual thing. The sentence "the cat is cute" is an example of an indicative sentence.
Intransitive Verb[edit | edit source]
A verb that cannot take a direct object. "Smile" is an intransitive verb: "the baby smiles."
Modifier[edit | edit source]
In toki pona, adverbs and adjectives are never distinguished, unlike English. Any toki pona word that can modify a noun can also modify a verb, and vice versa. For this reason, the two are often lumped together as "modifiers" when discussing toki pona grammar.
Noun[edit | edit source]
A word that names a person, place, or thing. "Fish", "tree", and "Oklahoma" are nouns.
Object[edit | edit source]
The thing or things to which the action of the sentence is done. In the sentence "you pet the dog," the word "dog" is the object.
Optative[edit | edit source]
A grammatical mood that expresses a wish, hope, or desire. The sentence "the children should do their homework" is an example of an optative sentence.
Particle[edit | edit source]
A word that has no definite meaning but is used to show the grammatical structure of a sentence. li, e, and pi are examples of particles in toki pona.
Predicate[edit | edit source]
The part of the sentence that is attached to the subject. In the sentence "The human looks at the tree", "looks at the tree" is the predicate and "the human" is the subject.
Preposition[edit | edit source]
A word that describes a noun's relationship to the rest of the sentence in time or space. "After" and "beside" are examples of prepositions. Often the preposition and the noun it introduces are referred to as the "prepositional phrase." In the sentence "don't give coffee to infants," "to infants" is a prepositional phrase.
Proper Noun[edit | edit source]
A noun that names a specific or definite thing. Personal names and names of places are usually proper nouns. "Preston", "Europe", and "Mount Everest" are examples of proper nouns.
Semantic (value)[edit | edit source]
The "meaning" of the word. Generally opposed to syntax, which describes how words are placed next to one another, semantics concerns itself with the possible alternative words that could occupy a single position in a sentence.
Sentence[edit | edit source]
A group of words that contain a subject and a predicate. "Dogs chase cats" is a sentence. "Apple pie" is not.
Subject[edit | edit source]
The main actor or actors in a sentence. In the sentence "I read the book," the word "I" is the subject.
Syntax[edit | edit source]
The position of words in a sentence or phrase. Often words are categorized by the kinds of positions they can occupy in a sentence, or what words they can appear next to.
Transitive Verb[edit | edit source]
A verb that takes a direct object. "Eat" is a transitive verb: "I eat the cookie.
Verb[edit | edit source]
A word that names an action. "Run" and "sit" are examples of verbs.
Vocative[edit | edit source]
A form of a noun used to call to or address something or someone. In the phrase "hey you!", the word "you" is vocative. English does not distinguish vocative from non-vocative nouns, but other languages (like toki pona) do.