1. (a) = around (with inflexion)


Yodas ven asma mouzoni puyi ayoi.

He walked about his former home.

(b) = approximately (without inflexion)

Nuni habuva uza hauntada asma marnu vonjá.

The meeting will last about an hour.

vamievatta asma sunu nara e Dolar.

I spent about five dollars.

Pesedesyatta asma gigou (nara) e Dolar

(= Pesedesyatti gigou [nara] e Dolar i e.)

The figure comes to about $1,000.

The inflected forms (asmi/asmo) are adjectives or adverbs:

Yovas nesoucya ga asmo.

He is somewhere about.

U rah omagatti oralat asmi!

Don’t throw paper about!

2. = around

(ai) qisi qiyou

Yoqoubandi ayoi esnula (ai) qisi qiyou hangeqo.

He took his friend about the town.

Ayoi beqi daya asmahapovatqa (ai) qisi qiyou.

All his books are scattered about.

3. = approximately

e, e zoi, e zoi e

Andas e (zoi e) yanvonja.

It’s about six o’clock.

Nuni habuva uza hauntada e (zoi e) marnu vonjá.

The meeting will last about an hour.

Vamievatti sunu nara e Dolar e zoi.

I spent about five dollars.

Yodas jabedi yanpou luna e zoi.

He is about sixty (years old).

haunta . . . e zoi:

Pu yotrairuqdi vudocyiar haunta pou luna e zoi, go vas boubdi pauranten.

He went through about ten years of bullying at school.

The preposition e, or prepositional phrase e zoi e, cannot follow a transitive verb; in such cases, the terminal e zoi is placed at the end of the relevant phrase.


yazzoli, about two (a couple of) (adj.)

canzoli, about three: a few

meizoli, about four: several

pouzolati, about ten

yabbouzolati, about twenty, etc.

Numerals may combine with the word zoi, approximation, to render an approximate quantity in the form of an adjective. There is no rule on when the above should be used in preference to e zoi e:

Yodas jabedi yanpouzolati lun.

He is about sixty (years old).

4. = concerning


E nuni nar yole bupemicada?

What about the money you borrowed?

Meizolis bahuda e abui laguanten.

Several people asked about you(r news).

e qata, e (qata e)

Ni svai bumas avi yenda e (qata e) ayo?

Could you tell me about him?

Pu yozaranda e cyaurgaraqa.

He was thinking about (= of) the holidays.

Rah avi yostioyexatta remí e qata.

He said little to me about it.

e yen, e (yen e):

Vadas piriq sava e (yen e) asmapauranatten.

I spoke about (= on) education.

Rah avi yostioyexatta remí e yen.

He said little to me about it.

e buhai e:

Vas e buhai e ayo yole rah das asen ilirda.

There’s something about him that doesn’t add up.

5. Additional notes:

(a) The term “about to” is rendered by emun, emosyuzatu or resda e:

Emun yopamevanda go ayoi goma na sebouda.

He was about to go when his mother came.

Emosyuzatu, yomas oubedi cenga gon.

He was about to kill the chicken.

Rah varesda e baqain bouain.

I’m not about to give in.

(b) The term “(about time)” is rendered by emosyada oher or cyai:

Emosyada oher pamevanda. OR

Cyai pamevanda.

It’s (about) time to go.

(c) The term “up and about” is rendered by ganenda e ralestada:

Yoganenda e ralestada stayi.

He is up and about again.

(d) The phrasal verb “be about” is rendered by das (uma) qata lesqidi or das qata sescyuda e:

E nu yodas qata sescyuda?

What is it all about?

Nunieni murai das uma qata lesqidi majuaqista.

This policy is about fairness.

(e) The verb “think about”, whether meaning to direct one’s thoughts toward or to have an opinion about, is rendered by zaranda e:

Buzaranda e nu (saqir)? OR

E nu (saqir) buzaranda?

What are you thinking about?

Buzaranda e nu (tou)? OR

E nu (tou) buzaranda?

Whom are you thinking about?

Nu (vayole nun yole) buzaranda e nunieni xasat?

What do you think about the results?

(f) The verb “think about”, specifically referring to people or animals, is also rendered by zaranda with the dative (indirect object):

Buzaranda iher nu (tou)? OR

Iher nu (tou) buzaranda?

Whom are you thinking about?

Yozaranda esnuli ayoi nu liqavatti qab ai naqelaqo.

He thought about his friend lost in the snow.

(g) The introductory expressions “what about” and “how about” are rendered by e (ni):

E (ni) nuni syusat yole bumoudicyan raxida?

What about that letter you were going to write?

E (ni) yos vaqabda jounaboni?

What about going to the movies?

(h) The term “about face!” is rendered by vequmati!


1. (a) = high(er) (with inflexion)


Quseron quseda es yengi.

The plane flew above the clouds.

Aur jesda es oubieri ayoi.

The water reached above his knees.

Yovas mouda es hangeqo.

He lives above the town.

1. (b) = high(er) (without inflexion)

es beqa, above all

Anlaguanestadi ayoi zevus es uzeqocya.

His voice was heard above the din.

The inflected forms (esi/eso) are adjectives or adverbs:

Nuni esi jebi.

The above decision.

Uvasatis ye sendezzona esi/eso.

The tenants of the flat above.

Yovas mouda esi/eso.

He lives above.


Anlaguanestadi ayoi zevus vau uzeqocya.

His voice was heard (over and) above the din.

lebouda cer:

Ayoi ebica moudiq lebouda cer nun esnulá ayoi.

His intelligence is above that of his friend’s.

2. = beyond (with inflexion)


yan sesibtena, above criticism

yan anlovistá, above suspicion

yan darogá ani, above the call of duty

yan pezian ibesyá, above the speed limit


Nunieni daya avi airebheibreqatta.

This book is above me.

3. = more than


Rah saqir boupanastada cer pou nara e Dolar ganien.

There is nothing above ten dollars here.

4. Additional notes:

(a) The expression “above in rank” is rendered by das qeida cer:

Yodas qeida cer ava.

He is above me in rank.

(b) The expression “not be above doing something” is rendered by uma qezestada iher:

Uma yoqezestada iher pasyanda.

He is not above telling a lie.


1. = (from) one side to the other (with inflexion)


Tuca syenda oma zabi.

The mouse ran across the table.

Beiji uma pesqouda oma zabo.

The cat lies across the table.

oma sicyi/sicyo (with inflexion)

Yozancyida oma sicyi qaba/qabqá.

He walked across the street.

Yovas mouda oma sicyo qaba/qabqá.

He lives across the street.

The inflected forms (omi/omo) are adjectives or adverbs:

Guscya hedera omo.

The distance across.

2. Additional notes:

(a) Phrasal verbs may be formed by prefixing oma-:

Yomesqiraratti ayoi moudi.

He put across his plan.

(b) Sometimes “across” is inherent in the verb and so is not translated:

Avi yolinoubatti saro.

He slapped me across the face.

(lit., He slapped my cheek.)


1. (a) = afterwards


sulat bebes, the moment after

Yosebouda bebes.

He came after(wards).

(b) conjunction

Bebes yar yosebouda.

After he had arrived.

(c) preposition

Bebes ayoi sebou.

After his arrival.

Yosebouda bebes ava.

He came (= arrived) after me.

Yosuda bebes ava ai nuni pes.

He is after me on the list.

2. adverb


Ayoi uoliaireubatta iloubi.

He shouted after them.

3. prepositional

iloubdi (as a verb)

iloubdi naisedunatqa, after the war

Iloubdi jaqi naqelat, tovungara amazonatta eher jebida.

After each snowfall, the children went out to play.

The preposition “after” followed by a gerund in English is also rendered by iloubdi:

Iloubdi amietti arenavat, (gon) anaisovatti sou sqoyo.

After clearing the trees, they planted wheat in the field.

4. = concerning


Canzolis bahuda e abui senuscya.

Several people asked after you(r health).

5. = after the manner of


yas Magritte, after Magritte

6. Additional notes:

(a) The phrasal verb “chase after” is rendered by liloubatti:

Toussa liloubattiva.

The dog chased (after) me.


1. = the length of (with inflexion)

oma (piyoi)

Vasyenda oma seduscyi.

I ran along the beach.

Tuca syenda oma piyoi emeqara.

A mouse ran along the wall.

oma (piyó):

Yovas mouda oma seduscyo. OR

Yovas mouda oma piyó seduscyá.

He lives along the beach.

Vaqaindi nuri sula oma pepiyoto qaba.

I saw flowers all along the way.

2. = by way of


Anjesda gan spanu assabri nuri.

You reach it along a little path.

3. Additional notes:

(a) The expression “all along”, meaning “from the beginning”, is rendered by ye sejira:

Ye sejira, vasyida yole rah

bumoudicyanda oher boubda.

I knew all along you weren’t going to come.

(b) The expression “along with” is rendered by e aspeu e or e yes e:

Ayoi vajicyadi nuri sula e aspeu/yes e saronat.

I gave him flowers along with perfume.

(c) The verb “be along” is rendered by boubda:

Uza vaboubda yogi.

I’ll be along soon.

(d) The verb “get along” is rendered by habuegada or mujanbuda:

Yohabuegada xayarsyi e ayoi aibaubonten.

He’s getting along okay in his business.

Yomujanbuda xayari gonien.

He’s getting along fine now.

(e) The verb “get along with” is rendered by rinqanda:

Avi yorinqanda xayari.

He got along well with me.

(f) The verb “go along with” is rendered by:

qabda gasta:

Vaqabda gasta ayo.

I went [along] with him.

das iloub qabdi:

Vadas iloub qabdi ayoi moudi.

I went along with his idea.


1. = in the general vicinity of  (with inflexion)


Ni hamobon vas asma amunqo nunieni?

Is there a café around here?

2. = about (see about)


1. (a) = position

o (oher before unassimilated foreign terms)

Uma vaspireuda aher vas pauranda oher Harvard.

I have given up on the idea of studying at Harvard.

(b) = specific time

Vaqab qoubandibu jaunvonjo.

I’ll pick you up at eight.

Valiamahusatta canvonjo [desqesa].

I woke up at three o’clock in the morning.

Busebouda vonjo pebepirati.

You couldn’t have come at a better time.

(c) = specific activity

Yogaruraulada moudio ayoi.

He worked away at his plans.

2. = position outside (with inflexion)


Tou yasyenuqatta os andeno ai andar.

People queued at the entrance in an orderly fashion.

Os areto vas nuris.

There’s someone at the door.

3. (a) = position outside (without inflexion)


Ama aret vas nuris.

There’s someone at the door.

(b) = at the rate of (with inflexion)

yabnu ama marusyá, two at a time

Hauya pamevanda ama marnua e Dolar.

Prices start at one dollar.

4. = at the home or premises of  (without inflexion)


buhai pauranzon, at school

buhai jouna[bon], at the movies

buhai ava, at my place

Vavas pu raulada buhaiRenault”.

I used to work at Renault.

Pu yogarupauranda buhai naipauranajon.

He studied at university.

Vasabanda husi buhai eyanbon.

I fell asleep at the theatre.

The preposition buhai is an alternative to oher or –o, especially in regard to locations ending in –ban, –bon or –zon, which are familiar, to do with home, study, work or recreation, often in a figurative sense. Cp.

buhai pauranzon, at school

pauranzono, at the school

5. (a) = according to (without inflexion)


ai marnui asyuca, at a certain stage

ai avi jabe, at my age

(b) = general time

ai ninta, at night

6. (a) = next to (with inflexion)


Daya sabanda yun leyi avi.

The book fell at my feet.

(b) = appointed to (without inflexion)

Yosediadi darnaisyebeqat yun pouque e Svedia.

He is ambassador at/to the Court of Sweden.

7. = at the age of jabeyo:

Vasesejiratta oher iscyoviarda jabeyo pova.

I began smoking at ten [years of age].

8. Additional notes:

(a) The phrase “at the time” is rendered by gon:

Vamansenuscyada gon.

I was ill at the time.

(b) Phrasal verbs ending in “at” in English are often translated by a transitive verb:

Yobuqaratti toussa sungu.

He threw stones at the dog.


1. (a) = denoting the agent


»Lihusati celinis syeusqo« uher Cyaikovskiý.

The Sleeping Beauty by Tchaikovsky.

Uher is used before proper nouns; the instrumental –u is used if the complement is qualified:

»Lihusati celinis syeusqo« dargehan biranu nestoi nuni ye Rusia.

The Sleeping Beauty by the famous Russian composer.

Agency is automatically assigned after passive constructions in –gi:

»Lihusati celinis syeusqo« gehangi Cyaikovskiý. »Lihusati celinis syeusqo« gehangi nestoi dargehan biran ye Rusia.

The Sleeping Beauty [is composed] by Tchaikovsky. The Sleeping Beauty [is composed] by the famous Russian composer.

(b) = method

Vajuda uher mas gadi noub.

I signalled by raising my hand.

2. = next to (with inflexion)


Sedua louma vejerda yun bajaqi ayoi.

The bullet went by his ear.

Yovas mouda yun qabqo rasri.

He lives by a main road.

3. Additional notes:

(a) Repetitive adverbial phrases with “by” are rendered by –i . . . –u constructions (English also sometimes uses “-ly . . . -ly”):

asyuni asyunu, little by little

yoyevi yoyevu, step by step

pesogei pesogeu, slowly [slowly]

Used adjectivally, such phrases are placed after the noun (English uses hyphens):

Lotocyou yoyevi yoyevu e asen peu.

A step-by-step guide to healthy living.


1. (a) = for the benefit or favour of


Vadidi nunieni sula eher abu.

I bought the flowers for you.

Avi surin eher ayo.

My feelings for him.

(b) = representing

Nu vayole tanerali qasyanat eher [= yole neuyesatti] »Peace«?

What’s the word for “peace” in Taneraic?

Pavun eher Liverpola.

The Member for Liverpool.

Yosyusda eher ava = yomas avi syusda.

He is writing for me.

(c) = in order

Eher nunien aibaida.

For this to work.

Airebaibaqatta eher mas endadi nuni zon.

It is too early for cleaning the rooms.

2. = indirect object


Ayoi heibreqada eher sebouda.

It’s difficult for him to come.

Asheibreqada iher Paul eher sebouda.

It’s easy for Paul to come.

3. = that


Rah abisa yole busebouda.

There’s no need for you to come.


1. (a) = place (with inflexion)


Ayoi esnula liqavatta ai zono.

His friend was lost in the house.

The preposition ai governs the allative and locative when it refers to an actual place. Ai does not govern inflexion when its use is figurative; instead, –o is used.


Yenceti renlesqi meyono usremí.

Recent events in various cities.

The genitive aher is used in conjunction with –o when the place signified is qualified (or the ligative e is used):

Yenceti renlesqi meyono usremí aher Europa. OR

Yenceti renlesqi meyono e Europa usremí.

Recent events in various European cities.

(b) = existential (without inflexion)

Remí travarniq airouda ai ayoi peuqa.

There is a lot of tragedy in his life.

2. = amongst


Yozaranda esnuli ayoi nu liqavatti qab aima naqelaqo.

He thought about his friend lost in the snow.

3. (a) = defining periods –a:

Valiamahusatta canvonjo desqesa.

I woke up at three o’clock in the morning.

(b) = defining superlatives

Pepeva celini livargungara syouqá.

The most beautiful mountains in the world.

Eher usya mara peuqá avi.

For the first time in my life.

(c) = defining characteristics

Breqasya garucigoscyada uher beditar usemeqara.

A breeze blew through the cracks in the wall.


1. = within the limits of


Yobicyiarda meyonqi.

He hitched a ride into town.

2. = inside (with inflexion)


Yonesoqda ai gavanqi.

He jumped into the river.


1. = next to (with inflexion)


Yoqabda yen gavanqi.

He went near the river.

Yohusda yen gavanqo.

He slept near the river.

2. = in the general vicinity of asma amunqo:

Ni hamobon vas asma amunqo nunieni?

Is there a café near here?


1. = defining


Raucya meyon aher Nova-Yorka acyabasastada.

The mayor of New York is tough.

Yar anmas acyedetti beqi angas mouzona.

All the windows of the house were broken.

2. = about


Yozaranda e cyaurgaraqa.

He was thinking of the holidays.

3. = belonging to (with inflexion)


Uvasatis ye sendezzona esi.

The tenants of the flat above.


1. = in contact with surface of (with inflexion)


Marnu dayá au zabo.

A book on the table.

2. = indicating physical location (with inflexion)

Tuca uma pesqouda au zasseyo ayoi.

A mouse sat on his shoulder.

3. = according to (with inflexion)


Yosuda bebes ava ai peso nuni.

He is after me on the list.

4. = indicating figurative or actual location


Piriq yorovo mara.

On the first floor.

Anaibebestadiva auva sedino nunieni.

You can reach me on this number.


1. (a) = extraneous to (with inflexion)

ama -a

Bevaca peu ama duvona.

A life outside time.

1. (b) = on or to the exterior (with inflexion)

ama -i/-o

Genouxon vas ama vuiteinzono.

The library is outside the museum.

Buqabustada ama garugayarroni.

You need to go outside the train.

2. = on the exterior (without inflexion)


Li, epa vas mandibda.

Outside, the weather is cold.

3. = exteriorly (without inflexion)


U usyebida liyi.

Play outside!


1. (a) = permeation


Breqasya garucigoscyada uher beditar usemeqara.

A breeze blew through the cracks in the wall.

(b) = penetration

Toussa syenda uher emaqepiti bocyeit.

The dog ran through the tunnel.

Sedua louma vejerda uher ayoi zasse.

The bullet went through his shoulder.

(c) = by way of, via

Vaqainda uher angas.

I looked through the window.

Yoyansyenatta liaireitati uher are ima.

He fled through the back door.

(d) = by agency of

Asenda uher ayo yole vamanqaudiyo.

It is through him that I found it.

(e) = by means of

Anmas amauqda uher buca.

It was done through sleight of hand.

2. = [from] . . . to


aher 5 iher 20, [from] 5 through 20

3. = by way of, out of (with inflexion)


ama riqá, through the looking-glass

4. = from one side to the other (with inflexion)


Yoqabda oma syeusqi asbulihi.

They went through a thick forest.

Ledoun syenda oma zoni.

A horse ran through the house.

5. = amongst or between


Lipalesubiaris syenda aima jamesi.

The thief ran through the crowd.

6. = during


Vamahusatta usyi usyu haunta nintat.

I kept waking up through the night.

7. = by reason of


lacyeqo jebo bousqová, through carelessness

lacyeqo metera, through having forgotten

8. = achieved by means of


Tanerai gasta asibiaru.

Taneraic through reading.


1. = permeating all through (with inflexion)

uher beqa

Trajor uher beqa yorovata.

A bad smell throughout the building.

2. = everywhere (without inflexion)

beqa ga

beqa ga oher Europa, throughout Europe

3. = all during (with inflexion)

haunta beqa

haunta beqa nintata, throughout the night

haunta beqa yoyexá, throughout the story


1. = in the direction of


Uzalunato, svai vabanada iher Parija.

I would like to go to Paris next year. OR

Uzalunato, svai banada meyoni e Parija.

I would like to go to the city of Paris next year.

2. = on the subject of

e [yen e]

Lotocyou yoyevi yoyevu e asen peu.

A step-by-step guide to healthy living.

3. Additional notes:

(a) “To may be the sign of the infinitive.

(b) Sometimes “to” is inherent in the verb and so is not translated:

Yoqabustadi senuscyazon.

He had to go to hospital.


1. = in the direction of (with inflexion)


Yosyenda uma areti.

He ran toward the door.

Yoibisda besubi uma maya moubi ayoi.

She felt embarrassed toward her parents-in-law.


Yobicyiarda umasrinati iher Italia.

He hitched south toward Italy.

2. = around (without inflexion)


Yogaruda asma desqouqa.

He returned home toward evening.

Pesedesyatta asma gigou e Dolar cer anosqasitta.

The final figure was more toward $1,000.


1. = dative


Avi yorinqanda xayari.

He gets along well with me.

2. = adulterated with


Svai vahamodi nuri hasat ucyato.

I’d like some tea with milk.

3. = comitative


Vaqabda buhai jounabon gasta yabnu esnulá.

I went to the cinema with two friends.

Leave a Reply