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Pro-Verbs and Converbs
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Verbs replacing verbs / Subordinate clauses
This public article was written by Vulcanman, and last updated on 23 Apr 2021, 00:18.

20. Verbs
Menu 1. Pro-verbs and Converbs 2. Conjunctions vs. Converbs 3. Oddball Pro-Verbs (affirmation and negation)
[top]Pro-verbs and Converbs

Just as pronouns can replace nouns, pro-verbs can replace verbs/verbalizers. An English example would be: He wants to go home and so do I.

In this case, the verb “do” is functioning as a pro-verb replacing "wants to go home". Shikathi makes use of pro-verbs on a regular basis. Shikathi pro-verbs are a type of verbalizer like “akām, lator, and ekrō” and as such, they follow the similar conjugation rules.


(pyshton akām = to eat)

pishton ūmakām pyn pyshton indraakam. = I eat and he eats.


pishton ūmakām indrāpnam. = I eat and so does he.

Because Shikathi uses two words to make a verb (noun + verbalizer), there are cases where Shikathi would use a pro-verb when English cannot. In these cases only the verbalizer is the one being replaced. When this happens, the verb becomes a converb.


(pyshton akām = to eat)
(sähar akām = to drink)

pishton ūmakām pyn sähar indraakam. = I eat and he drinks.


pishton ūmakām sähar indrāpnam. = I eat and he drinks.

Pro-verbs / converbs are derived from conjunctions. It's important to note that in some cases, the conjunction would be used instead of their converbial forms. A good rule of thumb is that if there is a single subject, use the conjunction, and if there is more than one subject, use the converb.


pishton ūmakām sähar aeāpnam. = I eat and she drinks.

pishton ūmakām sähar ūmpnam. = I eat and I drink.

pyshton säharpn ūmakām. = I eat and I drink.

[top]Conjunctions vs. Converbs

Converbs are mainly used if there are two different subjects. Otherwise, use the conjunction (or in some cases, a preposition)


(shraethän = arrival)
(shraethän akām = to arrive)
(drao = after)

pyshton ūmkīakam shraethän ūmdrōam. = I will eat after I arrive.

pyshton shraethändrao ūmkīakam. = I will eat after I arrive.

pyshton ūmkīakāmky shraethän ūmdrōam. = We will eat after I arrive.

pyshton shraethändrao ūmkīakamky. = We will eat after we arrive.

Forming Pro-Verbs and Converbs

Most pro-verbs and converbs are formed from coordinating or subordinating conjunctions. Just like regular verbs, they come in 3 forms (intransitive / transitive / passive). Here is a list of the more common conjunctions and their converbial / pro-verbial forms:

ConjunctionPro-Verb / ConverbTranslation
pyn (pin) (pn)pnam / pnal / pyne (pine)and / also
rebrebām / rebāl / rebebut / yet / however / instead
äse / äzeäsām / äsāl / äseor / nor / or else / otherwise
sytarsytam / sytal / syte (site)therefore / and so / thus __ (with subjunctive: for / in order that / so that)
dasdasām / dasāl / dāsebecause
kys (kis) (ks)ksam / ksal / kse (kyse) (kise)than
bych (bich) (bch)bcham / bchal / bche (byche)as / like
pänpänām / pänāl / päneuntil / unless
draodrōām / drōāl / droibefore
saosōām / sōāl / soiafter
taetēām / tēāl / tealthough / even though / regardless of / in spite of / despite
tethyktethkām (tethkm) / tethkāl (tethkl) / tethkeeven if / even when
ðyk / thykðykām (thkam) / ðykāl (thkal) / ðyke (ðike) (thke)when / if / once / as soon as
bithykbithkām (bithkm) / bithkāl (bithkl) / bithkeas if
rūmrūmām / rūmāl / rūmeas long as / provided that
myn (min) (mn)mynam / mynal / myne (mine)since / now that
kēakēām / kēāl / keiwhile
kaeskesām / kesāl / kesethat / which
ðāfaðafām (thafām) / ðafāl (thafāl) / ðāfe (thāfe)where
ðādasðadāsm (thadāsm)/ ðadāsl (thadāsl)/ ðadāse (thadāse)why
ðākemðakemym (thakemym)/ ðakemyl (thakemyl)/ ðakeme (thakeme)how


(shofpō akām = to play)
(thōn lator = to want)
(shofynthī akām = to be fun)

shofpō ūmkīakam ūmdrē ilthkam. = I will play if you will play with me.

shofpō ūmkīakām īkrī thōn ilthkal.= I will play only if you want to.

shofpōam chōglaet ilakām shofinthī kūkīäsāmtō. = You have to play, or it won't be fun.

shofpō ūmkash ildasam. = I'm playing because you are (playing).

shofpō ūmkīakāmtō ildrōam. = I will not play before you do.

Conjugating Pro-Verbs and Converbs

Pro-verbs and converbs are generally conjugated like regular verbs. Use the same affixes that are used with regular verbs. See below for some examples....

...ūmpnām = ...and I do too.
...ūmtorpnām = ... and i did too.
...ūmkīpnām = ... and I will too.
...ūmkatorpnām = ... and I used to too.

Unfortunately, Shikathi pro-verbs and converbs do have a set of their own irregulars. The good news is that the irregulars are only seen in the irrealis forms. Here are the irrealis pro-verbs/converbs. The plural forms are even more irregular with many vowel mutations. They are listed as well.

ConjunctionPro-Verb / ConverbTranslation
pyn (pin) (pn)penm / penl / pene and / also
pnimky / pnilky / pinky
rebrenm / renl / renebut / yet / however / instead
rynimky / rynilky / rinky
äse / äzeänm / änl / äneor / nor / or else / otherwise
änimky / änilky / änky
sytarsytenm / sytenl / sytene therefore / and so / thus __ (with subjunctive: for / in order that / so that)
sytnimky / sytnilky / sytinky
dasdenm / denl / denebecause
dnimky / dnilky / dinky
kys (kis) (ks)kenm / kenl / kenethan
knimky / knilky / kinky
bych (bich) (bch)benm / benl / bene as / like
bnimky / bnilky / binky
pänpäshenm / päshenl / päsheneuntil / unless
päshnimky / päshnilky / päshinky
draodrōinm / drōinl / drōinebefore
draonimky / draonilky / drōinky
saosōinm / sōinl / sōineafter
saonimky / saonilky / sōinky
taetienm / tienl / tienealthough / even though / regardless of / in spite of / despite
tenimky / tenilky / tinky
tethyktethenm / tethenl / tetheneeven if / even when
tethnimky / tethnilky / tethinky
ðyk / thykðenm (thenm) / ðenl (thenl) / ðene (thene)when / if / once / as soon as
ðynimky / ðynilky / ðinky
bithykbyðenm / byðenl / bithene as if
bythnimky / bythnilky / byðinky
rūmrūinm / rūinl / rūineas long as / provided that
rūmnimky / rūmnilky / rūinky ('rūminky' due to hypercorrection)
myn (min) (mn)menm / menl / menesince / now that
mynimky / mynilky / minky ('myninky' due to hypercorrection)
kēakēinm / kēinl / kēinewhile
kianimky / kianilky / kēinky ('kianinky' due to hypercorrection)
kaeskaenm / kaenl / kaenethat / which
kēnimky / kēnilky / kaenky
ðāfaðafenm (thafenm) / ðafenl (thafenl) / ðafene (thafene)where
ðafnimky (thafnimky) / ðafnilky (thafnilky) / ðafinky (thafinky)
ðādasðadenm (thadenm) / ðadenl (thadenl) / ðadene (thadene)why
ðatnimky (thatnimky) / ðatnilky (thatnilky) / ðadinky (thadinky)
ðākemðakenm (thakenm)/ ðakenl (thakenl)/ ðakene (thakene)how
ðaknimky (thagnimky) / ðaknilky (thagnilky) / ðakinky (thakinky)

[top]Oddball Pro-Verbs (affirmation and negation)

In Shikathi, there exist two special pro-verbs that are not derived from conjunctions or adpositions. These are either used to answer questions (affirmatively or negatively) or to express an affirmation or denial of a statement.

Affirmative / Negative Pro-Verbs as Answers to Questions

In English, one could ask: Do you speak Shikathi? to which the answer could be a simple : Yes or No. However, there is also the possibility of using the pro-verb: Yes I do or No I don't.

The Shikathi equivalent to yes is am while the equivalent to no is tor. So for the question:

Do you speak Shikathi?
shykāðī āzha ilatorpa.

The answer can be any of the following:


Yes I do.
ūmāl. (from Middle Shikathi: ūmamāl)


No I don't.
ūmtrāl. (from Middle Shikathi: ūmtorāl)

It's important to remember which verb the pro-verb is standing in for (intransitive, middle voice, transitive, passive, etc.) For example, in response to the question:

Are you Shikathi?
shykāðī ilakāmpa.

It would be incorrect to respond with ūmāl with the intention of saying "yes I am". the correct response would be ūmām.

Affirmative / Negative Pro-Verbs as Affirmation and Denial

Shikathi can also use the "yes/no" pro-verbs as an affirmation or denial to statements rather than answers to a question. When doing this, one can also include the comparative / superlative structure as intensifiers.

For example if someone said:

Shikathi is difficult to learn.
shykāðī sidamām tähirtyrthī.

an appropriate response could be:

Yes it is! or Yes it sure is! or Yes!!! It really really is!!!
kūām! or kūamām! or nekūamām!


No it isn't! or No, it really isn't! or It really isn't at all!!!
kūtrām! or kūtramām! or nekūtramām!

List of Affirmative / Negative Pro-Verbs
(note: Due to Shikathi phonetic rules, there are some spelling changes that occur with certain subject pronouns)

Subject PronounAffirmative Pro-Verb / ConverbTranslationNegative Pro-Verb / ConverbTranslation
ūmūmām / ūmāl / ūmākyes I am / yes I doūmtrām / ūmtrāl / ūmtrākno I'm not / no I don't
ililām / ilāl / ilākyes you are / yes you doiltrām / iltrāl / iltrākno you're not / no you don't
indraindrām / indrāl / indrākyes he is / yes he doesindrātorām / indrātorāl / indrātorākno he isn't / no he doesn't
aeaeām /eāl / eākyes she is / yes she doeseātorām / eātorāl / eātorākno she isn't / no she doesn't
zenzenām / zenāl / zenākyes one is / yes one doeszentrām / zentrāl / zentrākno, one is not / no, one doesn't
kūām / kūāl / kūākyes it is / yes it doeskūtrām / kūtrāl / kūtrākno it isn't / no it doesn't
tos (this particular pronoun is fine in Shkathi but awkward in Englishtosām / tosāl / tosākaffirmatively, no one is / affirmatively, no one doestostrām / tostrāl / tostrākit's not that no one is / it's not that no one does

For the plural, add any of the Shikathi pluralizers, the most common being -ky

Are you guys going to learn Shikathi?
shykāðī sydām ilakāmkypa.

Yes we are!

No we aren't!

Tense, Aspect, and Mood of Affirmative / Negative Pro-Verbs

The rules are the same as with the standard pro-verbs.

Example 1 (Future Tense):

Will you learn Shikathi?
shykāðī sydām ilakāmpa.

Yes I will.

No I won't.

Example 2: (Past Tense)

Did you learn Shikathi?
shykāðī sydām iltorakāmpa

Yes I did.
Note: It's extremely important not to mix up the two-syllable word ūmtrām (No I don't) with the three-syllable word ūmtorām (Yes I did).

No I didn't.

Example 3 (Imperfective Aspect w/ Past Tense):

Didn't you used to study Shikathi? / Weren't you studying Shikathi?
shykāðī tōgna ilkātyrlātyrtōpa.

Yes I did. / Yes i was.

No I didn't. / No I wasn't.

Before looking at example 4, remember that even the standard pro-verbs have their own irrealis forms (listed above). The irrealis forms of the affirmative and negative pro-verbs are as follows:

enm / enl / ene
enimky / enilky / inky

trenm / trenl / trene
trenimky / trenilky / trinky

Example 4 (Irrealis Mood):

Would you learn Shikathi if you could?
shykāðī ilarenpa tährāmthyk. (Note: The future-irrealis mood corresponds to the English modal "would")

Yes I would.

No I wouldn't.

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