Dative case

Dative case (abbreviated as DAT) is a grammatical case used to indicate recipient or purpose of an action. In Nûrlâm it is marked by postposition -ûr for declension class I or -zûr for declension class II. It's usually translated into English with prepositions “to” and “for”. Typical applications of dative in Black Speech include:

  • denotes indirect object of certain verbs (giving, obtaining ownership or similar action): “He gives the ring to Nazgul” = “Tathrâk nazgum Nazgulûr
  • Dative of purpose – object of verb denotes purpose of an action: “Fight for your life!” = “Mauk kîbgibûr”, “Quest for glory” = “Sogurm imburmûr”;
  • Dative of purpose in English expressions with preposition “in”: “in memory of …” = “bhûrmûr …-ob”;
  • Dative of benefit (or harm) – object of verb will take advantage (or disadvantage) of an action: “He left the ring for himself” = “Taranguz nazg îmûr”;
  • Dative of agent – object of active verb is the agent of an action, usually with verbs concerning sight (look, seem) and sometimes other feelings, specially in impersonal sentences (where it replaces subject). “It looks fine to me” = “Thakâ bhog dazûr”, “It's cold to him” = “Tazûr graz”, “This meat seems edible to me” = “Za âps thakâzhâ throkharz dazûr” = “Za âps thakzhâ throkhat dazûr1);
  • direct object of certain verbs (e.g. “has-” = “to pray”) usually to indicate recipient of addressed action;
  • direct object in impersonal constructions (connected to dative of benefit and dative of agent). “It will be painful to him” = “Tazûr kubâ hrizgûrz ”.

Dative case suffix -ûr is not used in Nûrlâm to translate English preposition “for” when:

  • Purpose is expressed with verb, gerund or complex sentence – Gerundive is used instead: “Fight for gaining the glory” = “Tad gambat imburm”.
  • “For” expresses duration of time – preposition “furn” is used instead: “I walked for 8 hours” = “Da ukhuz furn skri sib”.


In English (and some other languages as well) dative case is mixed with allative (denotes destination of motion) because both are translated with preposition “to”. In Standard Nûrlâm they are two distinct cases. As general rule, when translating from English into Black Speech, you should check, if the preposition “to” can be replaced with “for” without losing sense, then dative case should be used, otherwise translate with allative. However in colloquial speech these two cases are often mixed together, at least since Shadowlandian dialect, where allative ending -u was used for dative. Colloquial Nûrlâm also copy this feature.

the same with gerundive instead of adverb
case_dative.txt · Last modified: 2023/09/07 19:38 by