Type 7 verb suffixes

Type 7 verb suffixes add aspect(1) and can only be attached to verbs. Beginners tend to confuse aspect with tense. There are four of those suffixes, which can be grouped in two sorts: one indicates an accomplished, ended action, the other shows an ongoing action:

Sort Suffix Meaning
A -pu' perfective
A -ta' accomplished, done
B -taH continuous
B -lI' in progress with a known end


By omitting an aspect suffix, you are explicitly saying that the action is not complete and not continuous.(2) What's important is whether the particular action you're describing is completed as it happens at that point in the sentence.

For instance, wa'Hu' pItSa' vISop Yesterday, I ate pizza says that pizza-eating happened yesterday, but in that sentence pizza-eating was NOT completed. It is a statement of general truth. General truths are not completed; the FACT of my eating pizza was not completed. Pizza-eating happened yesterday.

But then there's wa'Hu' pItSa' vISoppu' Yesterday, I ate pizza. English makes no distinction, but it means something different in Klingon: Yesterday there was pizza-eating, and I'm telling you that I ate and finished eating it. This is not a general truth; this is describing a specific event. Yesterday, pizza-eating happened and completed.

The former version might be an answer to the question wa'Hu' nuq DaSop What did you eat yesterday? The latter to the question wa'Hu' nuq Data'pu' What did you do yesterday?


Completed action

  • The suffix -pu' indicates that an action is completed.
  • The suffix -ta' indicates that the activity was "deliberately undertaken", that means that someone has planned it and in fact did it.

It is not defined in TKD if it must be the subject's decision to do the action, or whether someone else could have done it. As a fact, all the (few) canon examples found in TKD, TKW and Monopoly have the subject which is intentionally doing something, even in the example So'wI' chu'lu'ta' the subject is an indefinite subject. Until further clarification, it is not clear if it is correct to say pawta' Duj The ship has arrived (as planned) or pumta' nagh The stone fell down (intentionally).

Ongoing action

  • The suffix -taH indicates that an action is going on continuously, not matter if done intentionally or not.
  • The suffix -lI' indicates that the activity is going on with a known goal or end.

Using -lI' instead of -taH is optional, whenever the ideas behind -lI' apply. You can always use -taH for any kind of ongoing action(3). So if I can say De' vIlI'lI' I am transmitting data, I can also say De' vIlI'taH.

Although TKD explains that it is "possible" to consider -lI' as the continuous counterpart to the suffix -ta' (just as -taH is to -pu')(4), most Klingonists agree that the suffix -lI' is not related to the intention of the subject. One would accept HeghlI' "He is dying", because even without dying intentionally, the goal is known. pumlI' nagh The stone is falling certainly makes sense, because anything that falls usually hits the ground.

TKD gives the example chollI' "it [e.g. the torpedo] is getting closer", "when it is known that the missile has been aimed at that target."(5) This does confirm that the thing itself does not have the intention to do what it does, a torpedoe does not "think" or "intend" to do what it does. The speaker also does not "intend" what is happening, nor can he even know whether that torpedo has been fired intentionally; it might have been an accident. He is neutral as describing what is going on. chollI' peng is just a description of what the torpedo is doing: approaching an obvious target it is going to hit.

If it not clear what the missile's target is, then using -taH "would be more appropriate". (6)


pItSa' vISopta'. I have eaten the pizza.

bIHeghvIpchugh bIHeghpu'
If you are afraid to die, you have already died. (The Klingon Way, p. 72)

Soppu'mo' Qong vavwI', 'ach vIvemmoHta'be'mo' QongtaH ghaH.
My father sleeps because he has finished eaten. But because I did not wake him up, he ist still sleeping.

See also

Type Sort Suffixes
1 Oneself/one another -chuq, -'egh
2 Volition/predisposition -nIS, -qang, -rup, -beH, -vIp
3 Change -choH, -qa'
4 Cause -moH
5 Indefinite subject/ability -lu', -laH
6 Qualification -chu', -bej, -ba', -law'
7 Aspect -pu', -ta', -taH, -lI'
8 Honorific -neS
9 Syntactic markers -DI', -chugh, -pa', -vIS, -mo', -bogh, -meH, -'a', -jaj, -wI', -ghach
R Rovers -Ha', -Qo', -be', -qu'


1 , 2 : The Klingon Dictionary p. 40

3 , 4 : The Klingon Dictionary p. 43

5 , 6 : The Klingon Dictionary p. 42

Category: Grammar    Latest edit: 01 Mar 2017, by KlingonTeacher    Created: 11 Apr 2014 by RejutkaLupex
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