• Lesson I – Background information
• Lesson II – Black Speech Sounds and Pronunciation
• Lesson III – Nouns
• Lesson IV – Verbs: Infinitive and Present Tense
• Lesson V – Verbs: Future Tense
• Lesson VI – Adjectives and Word Order
• Lesson VII – Prepositions
• Lesson VIII – Verbs: Past Tense
• Lesson IX – Numbers
• Lesson X – Pronouns and Commands (Imperatives)
• * Lesson XII – Comparsions
• * Lesson XIII – Suffix order
• * Lesson XIV – Questions
• * Lesson XV – Participles and Passive Voice
• * Lesson XVI – Conditional and Subjunctive Moods
• Appendix A: Prefixes and Suffixes
• Appendix B: Grammar quick overview
• Appendix C: Measures, Directions, Army Ranks
• Appendix D: List Of Abbreviations
* Lesson XVI – Conditional and Subjunctive Moods
The Second Nazgul, Witch-Queen Of Angmar, maybe the only member of Black Speech Community who knew Scatha said “Conditional tense works the same way as in English, except for one thing: you use the subjunctive tense. Subjunctive tense is simply the stem of the verb, just like the imperative.”
She didn't give any example, and I think one tense for all types of conditions isn't enough. It will be hard to translate back from Black Speech because just verb stem already means Present Tense and Imperative. Both in English and Russian the most of Subjunctive Mood forms are closer to Past Tenses (as opposing to Present like The Second Nazgul supposed). Therefore I've made my own rules.
I think Subjunctive can be in Present and Past (Perfect) forms, but they have no person suffix (-at or -ut).
Almost real event
If we are sure that both condition and specially the result are real we don't use Subjunctive Tense. We use Present Tense for condition and Future Tense for main clause, the same as in English. Main clause could be Imperative (the second example).
Unsure but still quite possible (Suppositional Mood)
If the event is unlikely to happen but still possible, and the result is intended,
then main sentence is in Future Tense
and condition is unnecessary word trosh
Supposing almost unreal things
If we're just supposing what could be happen, if we're dreaming without any prediction,
or we're quite unsure about possibility,
we use Past Subjunctive
1) The condition isn't real, but in comparsion to previous case, we're unsure about consequences too
(may be he will buy something else).
2) “at” here is the part of word “krât” (away), not 3rd person ending. In overall sentence Goblins will definitely run away (close to the first case), but probability of meeting Balrog is very low.
3) Both main clause and condition are could + infinitive in English as well as in Black Speech.
Absolutely impossible, already missed
Some event can be totally unreal only if it already didn't happen. These sentences have some shade of regret or missed opportunity. Condition is Past Subjunctive like previous case, but main sentence is would/could/might + Past Subjunctive. It wouldn't be a big mistake to mutually mix it with previous type of Subjunctive Mood.
1) We think he will never get money.
2) Yûl (= less) is an adjective. Suffix -arz added to make an adverb. See Lesson XV for more information on passive voice (“kuluz atsuga”, another variant was “atsaguz”).
3) It's a reduced form, fortunately reverse word order in English sentence doesn't change anything in Black Speech.
The main difference between variants above is certainty of consequences in main sentence. In hasty speech last three cases could be mixed.
Condition may be also expressed in phrases started with words like “even though” (= yal, from Horngoth), “even if” (= yal ghung), “although” (= nân), “however” (= molkû), “whenever” (= muhkû), “whoever” (= mirzkû), “whatever” (= mashkû) etc., then we use modal verbs “may” (= gâkh), “might” (= gâkhuz), “would” (= shulg), “should” (= zauguz) with Present Subjunctive or just Past Subjunctive without modal verb. Some examples:
* Both main sentence and dependent clause are in subjunctive mood here
Subjunctive without condition
All examples above were complex conditional sentences, where word “if ” (ghung) was indicating subjunctive mood (or was meant but skipped). But simple sentences and complex sentences without condition are more tricky!
Both Sunbjuntive tenses (present and past/perfect) are used in simple sentences with modal verbs could (pâshuz), might (gâkhuz), should (zauguz), would (shulg), would/should like (shulg brogb), would rather (shulg ashbazg), had rather/better (zauguz mâz) without condition. Last three expressions also met in complex sentences. Compound sentences consist of two simple sentences are made the same way. Subjunctive tenses also used in questions expressing polite ask or demand after words mentioned just now.
Just a condition or wish
A condition without consequence is mostly used in exclamations of regret. Use Past Subjunctive or modal verb (in Past Subjunctive) with Present Subjunctive verb in such expressions:
We can express our unrealized wish in complex declarative sentence instead of exclamation. The rule is the same as above.
Wish somebody something
Use simple Present Subjunctive in exclamation sentences like:
As if / Like
Translation of sentences with “as if” or “like” conjugation depends on tense used in clause of manner. Past and all Perfect tenses are translated as Past Subjunctive, Present tense as Present Subjunctive appropriately. Tense in main clause isn't changed. The whole phrase “as if” could be translated as one word “zash”.
Subjunctive tenses are used in dependent clauses of purpose started with “so that” (= zash zamal, or just zash) or just simply “that” (= zamal). Usually an action of such clauses is expressed with modal verbs may, might, should with Present Subjunctive. Instead of expression “in order that” with subjunctive you may use just infinitive (with -at ending), which is better, laconical way.
After impersonal constructions
After expressions like it's important that, it was possible that etc. infinitive without “to” (sometimes preceeded by “should”) is used in English. Translation of such constructions into Black Speech would be long and ugly, and most of these words were absent in dictionary, therefore I've made my own shorter translations presented in following table:
|it's important||hormarza||it's necessary||bolkarza|
|it's (im)possible||(nar)falgashaz||it's desirable||nargza|
|it's unbelievable||narghugarza||it's likely||ghugza|
|it's natural||gilrolarza||it's strange||razarza|
Please note “is” might be in past or future tense (was, will be) in English, but translation to Black Speech would be the same.
If action in dependent clause is simultaneous to the action in main clause or will be in the future then use Present Subjunctive, if it was preceeding main clause use Past Subjunctive. Finally, some examples:
Present Subjunctive is used in complex sentences when someone asks another person to do something after words like urdanogat, ghashnat (= to command, to order), shagat (= to demand), gundat-ir (= to insist), lûpat (= to request), thrâgat (= to suggest, to propose), lubhat (= to recommend) and so on.
Most of dependent clauses in these examples can be replaced with infinitive (i.e. “I ordered him to steal the ring” = “Urdanoguz-izg ta orskat nazg”), which is easier and more elegant way.
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