"Roi" vs "Sad" vs copula-drop
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To be or not to be, in Bodin
This public article was written by pachelbel, and last updated on 13 May 2019, 17:35.
5. Bodin IdiomsThe difference between when you use "roi" and when you use nothing (or occasionally "sad") is basically similar to when you use "ser" vs "estar" respectively in Spanish.
"Roi" is used for things that are unchanging, permanent, inherent, or integral to something's being. When used with a verb after it, it means that verb always applies and that the sentence is stating an inherent condition of the world/universe. (e.g. "roi bicei" = "is-inherently must" = "must-always, as a condition of the world/universe, as opposed to simply must-because-rules-require-it".)
For instance, if you were saying that "all humans are terrible", if you said it with "roi", you would be making a cynical statement about the inherent condition of humanity for all time, whereas if you said it without, you would be saying that all humans that currently exist are being terrible right now, but not saying that that's forever the case.
Fun fact: "roi" is not technically a verb. Originally, as can be seen from its -i ending, it was an adverb with the meaning "inherently, forever, always". Due to "sad" being dropped almost all the time (see below), "roi" ended up in the verb's place at the beginning of the sentence, until it began to be treated as a verb.
"Sad" is technically the to-be verb, but it's dropped almost all the time. It, or rather its absence, is used for any condition that is current, transient (hypothetically if not actually), or not an inherent quality of whatever is being discussed. Emotions, states of being, locations, appearances, physical conditions, ages: all these use the cop-drop schema.
"Sad" itself is only used where you would use the infinitive "to be" in English - that is, when you need to refer to the actual concept of being something rather than just state that something is something-else. (For instance, when translating that one Hamlet quote.)