Grammar · Spelling and pronunciation · Sentences · Nouns · Determiners · Pronouns · Adjectives · Adverbs · Verbs · Prepositions · Conjunctions · Questions · Clauses · Numbers · Word formation · Abbreviations · Punctuation
A determiner is a word that modifies a noun to express the noun's reference, including its identity and quantity. Apart from the plural marker -s (which is considered a determiner in LFN), the determiners always precede the noun.
Tota means "all". It indicates the entire quantity of the noun's referent, which must be plural if countable. Unlike cada, tota refers to the whole thing, rather than the separate individuals that comprise it:
- Tota linguas es asurda. – All languages are absurd.
- Me va ama tu per tota tempo. – I will love you for all time / the whole of time.
- La lete ia vade a tota locas. – The milk went everywhere.
Ambos means "both". It can be used in place of tota when the entire quantity is known to be only two. The noun must be plural:
- Ambos gamas es debil. – Both legs are weak.
They can also be used as pronouns.
LFN has two articles – the definite article la, and the indefinite article un. "Definite" here means that the noun's referent is "already defined", as opposed to being something new.
La introduces a noun that denotes someone or something that the listener is already aware of. It is used in the following types of situation:
The thing has already been mentioned:
- Me ia compra un casa. La casa es peti. – I've bought a house. The house is small.
The listener can easily guess that the thing exists:
- Me ia compra un casa. La cosina es grande. – I've bought a house. The kitchen is large.
The rest of the sentence specifies the thing well enough:
- El ia perde la numeros de telefon de se amis. – She's lost the phone numbers of her friends.
The listener can perceive the thing directly:
- La musica es bela, no? – The music is lovely, isn't it?
The thing is well known to everyone. This includes fields of study and abstract nouns:
- La luna es multe distante de la tera. – The moon is a long way from the earth.
- Me no comprende la matematica. – I don't understand mathematics.
- El ama la cafe. – She loves coffee.
- La felisia es plu importante ca la ricia. – Happiness is more important than wealth.
Un introduces a singular noun that refers to something the listener is not yet aware of. It is not used with plural or uncountable nouns. (It also serves as a quantifier meaning "one".)
- Me vole leje un libro. – I want to read a book.
- Un gato ia veni en la sala. – A cat came into the room.
Some languages have a partitive article that indicates an indefinite quantity of an uncountable noun. LFN uses la, or no article at all:
- Me gusta la cafe. – I like coffee / I like the coffee.
- Me gusta cafe. – I like coffee.
- Me bevi cafe. – I drink coffee.
The demonstratives point to the noun's referent, locating it in time or space or the discourse itself.
Esta means "this". It is similar to la, but points to an item that is near the speaker, either physically or metaphorically:
- Me posese esta casa. – I own this house.
- Esta libros es merveliosa. – These books are wonderful.
- Me gusta esta cafe. – I like this coffee.
- Esta mense ia es difisil. – This month was difficult.
- Esta frase conteni sinco parolas. – This sentence contains five words.
Acel means "that". It is also similar to la, but points to an item that is distant from the speaker, or at least more distant than esta:
- Acel xico regarda acel xicas. – That boy is looking at those girls.
- Atenta denova en acel modo. – Try that way again.
- Acel torta es noncomable. – That cake is inedible.
Esta and acel can be converted to pronouns.
The interrogative determiners are one way to create questions.
Cual asks "which" or "what":
- Cual animal es acel? – What animal is that?
- Cual vejetales es la plu bon? – What vegetables are the best?
- Tu veni de cual pais? – What country do you come from?
- Cual fenetras es rompeda? – Which windows are broken?
- Cual pinta tu prefere? – Which paint do you prefer?
Cuanto asks "how many" with a plural countable noun, and "how much" with an uncountable noun:
- Cuanto casas es en tu strada? – How many houses are on your street?
- Cuanto pan tu pote come? – How much bread can you eat?
Cual and cuanto are also used as pronouns.
Selection determiners Edit
The selection determiners pick out specific individuals from the whole set:
- cada – each, every
- cualce – whichever, any
- alga – some, a few, a little, any
- no – no
- sola – only
Cada means "each" or "every", considering all the items separately as individuals. The noun must be countable but singular:
- Cada can ave un nom. – Each dog has a name.
- Me no ia leje cada parola. – I didn't read every word.
- Tu fa la mesma era a cada ves. – You make the same mistake every time.
Cualce means "any", i.e. it doesn't matter which. The noun is normally countable. "Any" with an uncountable noun is usually "alga":
- Prende cualce carta. – Pick any card.
- Cualce contenadores va sufisi. – Any containers will do.
Alga indicates that the identity of the noun's referent is unspecified:
- Me ia leje acel en alga libro. – I read that in some book (or other).
- Cisa me va reveni a alga dia. – Maybe I will come back some day.
- Alga cosa es rompeda. – Something is broken.
When used with a noun that is uncountable, or a noun that is countable and plural, alga indicates that not only is the referent's identity unspecified, but its quantity is too. The quantity is often understood to be fairly small – otherwise you would say multe – but not as emphatically small as with poca:
- Me va leje alga libros. – I'm going to read some books / a few books.
- Alga polvo ia cade de la sofito. – Some dust fell from the ceiling.
- El ave alga pan en se sesto. – She has some bread in her basket.
No means "no". It indicates that the noun's referent is absent or non-existent:
- Me ave no arbores en me jardin. – I have no trees / I don't have any trees in my garden.
- Tu va senti no dole. – You will feel no pain.
- No arbor es plu alta ce la tore Eiffel. – No tree is taller than the Eiffel tower.
- Me ia encontra no person en la parce. – I met nobody in the park.
Sola means "only", i.e. just this and no others:
- El es la sola dotor en la vila. – He is the only doctor in town.
- Estas es la sola du parolas cual nos no comprende. – These are the only two words we don't understand.
- Me va destrui la mur con un sola colpa. – I shall destroy the wall with a single blow.
These determiners, with the exception of no and sola, can also be used as pronouns. They also form the special pronouns cadun, cualcun, algun, e nun, which refer to people. To refer to things, the determiners are simply followed by cosa.
The possessive determiners are the personal pronouns – me, tu, nos, e vos – preceded by la:
- La me gato ia come un mus. – My cat ate a mouse.
- Me gusta multe la tu dansa. – I like your dance very much.
- La nos ecipo va gania la premio. – Our team will win the prize.
- La me desira es forte. – My desire is strong.
Possession can also be indicated with a phrase like de me:
- Acel es la casa de tu. – That is your house.
The third-person possessive is la se, regardless of whether the equivalent pronoun would be el, lo, los, on, or se.
- La ipopotamo abri (la) se boca. – The hippopotamus opens its mouth. (reflexive)
- Nos regarda (la) se dentes. – We look at its teeth. (not reflexive)
Some fluent speakers tend to omit la in the possessive determiners:
- Esta es me casa. – This is my house.
- Me ia considera tu demanda. – I've considered your question.
- Nos dentes es en nos bocas. – Our teeth are in our mouths.
But it's not possible to omit la if the noun possessed is a verb reused as a noun, because omitting la would then cause a big change in the meaning of the sentence:
- La tu desira es comprendable. – Your desire is understandable. (desira = noun)
- Tu desira es comprendable. = You desire to be understandable. (desira = verb)
Quantifiers are determiners that help express the amount or quantity of the noun's referent:
- -s – -s (plural marker)
- un – one, a
- du, tre, cuatro... – two, three, four...
- multe – many, much
- poca – few, little
- plu – more
- la plu – most
- min – fewer, less
- la min – least
The plural marker -s is the most basic quantifier. A noun phrase that includes a plural noun does not require any other determiner:
- Me va leje libros. – I'm going to read [some] books.
- Me va leje la libros. – I'm going to read the books.
As well as being the indefinite article, un is the number "one". It indicates a single quantity of the noun's referent. The noun must therefore be countable but singular:
- Me ave un frate e du sores. – I have one brother and two sisters.
The other cardinal numbers – du, tre, cuatro, etc – are likewise quantifiers.
- Me ave tre gatos obesa. – I have three fat cats.
- Me ave cuatro plu anios ca me frate. – I am four years older than my brother.
Multe indicates a large quantity of the noun's referent. It means "many" with a plural countable noun, and "much" with an uncountable noun:
- Esta casa ia sta asi per multe anios. – This house has stood here for many years.
- La pijones come multe pan. – The pigeons eat a lot of bread.
Poca is the opposite of multe, and indicates a small quantity. It means "few" with a plural countable noun, and "little" with a uncountable noun:
- Me reconose poca persones. – I recognize few people. (really not many)
- El pote dona poca aida. – He can give little help. (really not much)
- Compare: Me pote leje alga parolas. — I can read a few words. (a small number)
Plu means "more". It indicates a larger quantity of the noun's referent, and can be used with plural and uncountable nouns. La plu means "most" – the largest quantity:
- Tu ave plu libros ca me. – You have more books than me.
- La plu linguas es bela. – Most languages are beautiful.
- Plu pan es en la cosina. – There's more bread in the kitchen.
- La plu fango es repulsante. – Most mud is revolting.
Min is the opposite of plu, and means "less" or "fewer". It indicates a smaller quantity, and can be used with plural and uncountable nouns. La min means "least" or "fewest":
- Me desira min vejetales ca el. – I want fewer vegetables than her.
- Tu ia leje la min libros de cualcun ci me conose. – You have read the least books of anyone I know.
- El ave min interesa a cada dia. – He has less interest every day.
With the exception of no, the quantifiers can all be converted to pronouns.
Three additional determiners are concerned with similarity and difference:
La mesma means "the same". The word la cannot normally be omitted, although it can be changed to esta or acel:
- Tu porta la mesma calsetas como me. – You're wearing the same socks as me.
- La gera ia comensa en la mesma anio. – The war began in the same year.
- Nos va reveni a esta mesma tema pos un semana. – We will come back to this same topic in a week's time.
Otra means "other":
- Nos ave aora esta tre otra problemes. – We have these three other problems now.
- La otra solve ia es plu bon. – The other solution was better.
- Tu ave otra pan? – Do you have any other bread?
Tal means "such", i.e. of this or that kind:
- Me construi un macina de tempo. – I'm building a time machine.
- Tal cosas es nonposable. – Such things are impossible.
- Me xerca un abeor. – I'm looking for a beekeeper.
- Me no conose un tal person. – I don't know such a person.
- Tu vole jua a futbal con nos? – Do you want to play football with us?
- Me prefere evita tal eserse. – I prefer to avoid such exercise.
- Tu ave plu libros como estas? – Do you have more books like these?
- Si, me ave du otra tal libros. – Yes, I have two other such books.
Order of determiners Edit
The determiners follow a certain order:
- The predeterminers tota and ambos, if present, precede all others.
- Next comes an article, a demonstrative, an interrogative, a selection determiner, or a possessive. There is normally no more than one such determiner in a noun phrase.
- After that, there can be one or more quantifiers or similarity determiners.
- The adjectives bon and mal, while not themselves determiners, usually precede the noun, following any determiners.
- El ia colie se poca posesedas e parti. – She gathered her few possessions and left.
- Nos no ia tradui ancora acel otra cuatro frases. – We still haven't translated those other four sentences.
- Tota la omes ia vade a la costa. – All the men went to the coast.