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This is a glossary of grammatical terms used on this wiki.

A[edit | edit source]

A word that modifies or describes a noun. "Big" and "tall" are examples of adjectives.
A word that modifies or describes a verb. In English, they often end in "-ly". "Quickly" and "slowly" are examples of adverbs.

C[edit | edit source]

content word
The main type of word in Toki Pona, which can be used as a noun, verb, or modifier (although its primary definition's part of speech can affect its meaning in other parts of speech). pona, suwi, and moku are examples of content words in toki pona. Contrast particle.

I[edit | edit source]

A grammatical mood that expresses a command or instruction. "Do as I say, not as I do" is an imperative sentence, as is "go!". Toki Pona marks the imperative with o. Contrast indicative, optative, vocative.
A grammatical mood that describes a real or actual thing. "The cat is cute" is an example of an indicative sentence. Contrast imperative, optative, vocative.
intransitive verb
A verb that cannot take a direct object. "Smile" is an intransitive verb: "the baby smiles." Contrast transitive verb. See also the article Transitivity.

M[edit | edit source]

In Toki Pona grammar, an adjective or adverb. Unlike English, Toki Pona never distinguishes these parts of speech; any word that can modify a noun can also modify a verb, and vice versa.

N[edit | edit source]

A word that names a person, place, or thing. "Fish" and "tree" are common nouns; "Oklahoma" is a proper noun.

O[edit | edit source]

The thing(s) to which the action of the sentence is done. In the sentence "you pet the dog," "the dog" is the direct object.
A grammatical mood that expresses a wish, hope, or desire. "The children should do their homework" is an example of an optative sentence. Contrast imperative, indicative, vocative.

P[edit | edit source]

A word with no semantic meaning that marks the grammatical structure of a sentence. li, e, and pi are examples of particles in toki pona. Contrast content word.
The part of a sentence that includes a verb and sometimes objects. In the sentence "The human looks at the tree", "looks at the tree" is the predicate. Contrast subject.
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.
A verb that accompanies the main verb to make distinctions in grammatical mood or aspect; an auxiliary (helping) verb.
proper adjective
In Toki Pona grammar, an adjective that names a specific or definite thing, equivalent to a proper noun but requiring a headnoun. Proper adjectives are the only standard words that are capitalized in sitelen Lasina.
proper noun
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.

S[edit | edit source]

The "meaning" of a word. Semantics is concerned with the possible alternative words that could occupy a single position in a sentence. Contrast syntax.
A group of words that contain a subject and a predicate. "Dogs chase cats" is a sentence. "Apple pie" is not; it is a sentence fragment.
The main actor or actors in a sentence. In the sentence "I read the book," the word "I" is the subject. Contrast predicate.
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. Contrast semantic (value).

T[edit | edit source]

transitive verb
A verb that takes a direct object. "Eat" can be a transitive verb: in "I eat the cookie", it takes the direct object "the cookie". Contrast intransitive verb. See also the article Transitivity.

V[edit | edit source]

A word that names an action. "Run" and "sit" are examples of verbs.
A form of a noun used to call to or address something or someone. In the phrase "hey you!", the word "you" is vocative. Toki Pona marks the vocative with o. English does not usually distinguish vocative from non-vocative nouns, aside from the archaic particle "O" as in "O Canada". Contrast imperative, indicative, optative.