Lojban/Vocabulary 1


  • doi
  • coi
  • be'e
  • je'e
  • je'enai
  • co'o
  • re'i
  • re'inai
  • zo
  • ma
  • la
  • mi
  • smuni
  • gismu
  • lujvo
  • tanru
  • sumti
  • bridi
  • cmavo
  • cmene


doi       DOI      vocative marker
                   generic vocative marker; identifies intended listener;
                   elidable after COI

coi       COI      greetings
                   vocative: greetings/hello

be'e      COI      request to send
                   vocative: request to send/speak

je'e      COI      roger
                   vocative: roger (ack) - negative acknowledge; used
                   to acknowledge offers and thanks

je'enai   COI*     negative acknowledge
                   vocative: roger (ack) - negative acknowledge;
                   I didn't hear you

co'o      COI      partings
                   vocative: partings/good-bye

re'i      COI      ready to receive
                   vocative: ready to receive - not ready to receive

re'inai   COI*     not ready to receive
                   vocative: ready to receive - not ready to receive

zo        ZO       1-word quote
                   quote next word only; quotes a single Lojban word
                   (not a cmavo compound or tanru)

ma        KOhA7    sumti ?
                   pro-sumti: sumti question (what/who/how/why/etc.);
                   appropriately fill in sumti blank

la        LA       that named
                   name descriptor: the one(s) called ... ; takes name
                   or selbri description

mi        KOhA3    me
                   pro-sumti: me/we the speaker(s)/author(s); identified
                   by self-vocative


{doi} works like vocatives like {coi}. A speaker or author tells who they want to listen or read after this word. {do} stands for the listener.

In English poetry sometimes people say O before names, but usually people just put the name at the beginning or the end of a sentence separated from the rest by a comma or as a sentence of its own. In English, people also say "Hey" before names. This carries the added effect of getting someone's attention.

If I felt like saying something completely useless, I would say {doi do}, identifying the listener as the person listening.

Can someone say {doi} by itself (without a name following like I can with the rest of the vocatives)?


Near the beginning of a conversation or upon noticing another Lojban speaker to talk to, a Lojban speaker will often say {coi}. The listener usually replies {coi}.

This has about the same meaning as the English words "Hi", "Hello", "Howdy", and "Greetings". As with most of the vocatives, I can follow it with a name. I must either have la or a mandatory pause between {coi} and the name.

A common Lojban phrase {coi ro do} means "Hi, all.".

{coinai} means the opposite of {coi}, and therefore "goodbye", but most people say {co'o} to express that thought.


A Lojban speaker not speaking, wanting to speak, and not sure if other speakers will allow him/her to speak will sometimes say {be'e} to ask permission.

In English, people usually only ask to speak on formal occasions like the courtroom and in large meetings. In school students raise their hands for a turn to speak. When people say "Excuse me.", they don't expect someone to deny them from speaking. They also ask "May I have a word with you?" Like most vocatives, I can follow {be'e} with the listener.

While I see {be'enai} as correct grammar, I can't figure out a meaning for it beyond "Ha ha, I know a cmavo you don't!"


{je'e} acknowledges that the speaker heard and understands the last utterance. As with most vocatives, I can follow {je'e} and {je'enai} with the name of the listener.

In English, people acknowledge "Thank you.", with "Welcome.". They say "I heard." to acknowledge they heard the last utterance. They say "I understand." To point out they understand the last utterance. "Okay." also acknowledges the last utterance, but carries more hint of agreement than {je'e}. To show that nearly anyone would understand an utterance, English speakers sometimes use the word "Duh!".

{je'enai} means the opposite of {je'e}. It means "I did not hear and/or I did not understand."

In English people say "Huh?" or "Wha?" or "What?" to denote similar meanings.


A Lojban speaker says {co'o} to another Lojban speaker shortly before ending conversation or close proximity to the second Lojban speaker. The second Lojban speaker often replies {co'o}. As with most other vocatives, I can follow {co'o} with a name.

English phrases with similar meanings include "Goodbye.", "So long.", and "See you later.".

{co'onai} means the opposite of {co'o}, but Lojban speakers seem to prefer {coi} to express this meaning nearly unanimously. I like {coi} better because it has two less syllables.


This word signifies that the speaker can listen to the listener. I can follow {re'i} with a name like most vocatives to signify the listener.

English phrases with similar meanings include "Go ahead.", "I'm all ears.", and "I'm listening."

la daniel. cusku zo be'e .i la kleir. cusku zo re'i Daniel says, "May I have a word with you?". Claire says, "Go ahead.".

{re'inai} means the opposite of {re'i}. Therefore it means the speaker cannot listen to the listener.

In English {re'inai} translate to "Sorry, I'm busy.", "I'm not accepting visitors.", and "I can't listen right now."


{zo} quotes the next word. By quoting the next word, a speaker can refer to a word as a word instead of as its meaning. {zo broda} has about the same meaning as {lu broda li'u}, but {zo} can only quote one word.

In English, I might put a word in quotes italics to quote it. If I only wanted to quote one word, I might say "the word foo".

I can talk about the word {zo} as a word by saying {zo zo}. {zo nai} quotes the word {nai} instead of meaning the opposite of {zo}.


In asking another Lojban speaker for information, a Lojban speaker might say give a bridi describing their information with a blank for the listener to insert their answer. The asker would signify that blank with {ma}. The answerer would probably not repeat the entire le bridi, but instead just the information to replace {ma} with.

In English, a person might say "What" or "blank" instead.


{la} must go before names, except names in vocatives where the speaker can replace it with a mandatory pause. English has no article for names. For non-names it has the articles "a", "an", and "the".

zo la gadri {la} is an article.


{mi} refers to the speaker or author. An English speaker would probably say "me" to mean the same. I pronounce both the same.

If I wanted to say something that didn't mean much. I would say, {mi'e mi}, pointing out the speaker as myself.

Does {minai} mean {do}?

I believe that {minai} would mean anyone but yourself.


smuni mun smu      meaning
                   x1 is a meaning/interpretation of x2
                   recognized/seen/accepted by x3

                   [referential meaning (=selsni, snismu)]; (cf. jimpe,
                   sinxa, valsi, tanru, gismu, lujvo, cmavo, jufra)
gismu gim     gi'u root word
                   x1 is a (Lojban) root word expressing relation x2
                   among argument roles x3, with affix(es) x4

                   [gismu list, if physical object (= (loi) gimste);
                   referring to the mental construct (e.g. propose adding
                   a new gismu to the gismu list = gimpoi, gimselcmi,
                   gimselste)]; (cf. cmavo, cmene, lujvo, smuni, sumti,
                   tanru, valsi)
lujvo luv jvo      affix compound
                   x1 (text) is a compound predicate word with meaning
                   x2 and arguments x3 built from metaphor x4

                   (cf. stura, cmavo, gismu, rafsi, smuni)
tanru         tau  phrase compound
                   x1 is a binary metaphor formed with x2 modifying x3,
                   giving meaning x4 in usage/instance x5

                   (x2 and x3 are both text or both si'o concept)
                   (cf. gismu, smuni)
sumti sum     su'i argument
                   x1 is a/the argument of predicate/function x2 filling
                   place x3 (kind/number)

                   (x1 and x2 are text); (cf. bridi, darlu, gismu)
bridi     bri      predicate
                   x1 (text) is a predicate relationship with relation
                   x2 among arguments (sequence/set) x3

                   [also: x3 are related by relation x2 (= terbri
                   for reordered places)]; (x3 is a set completely
                   specified); (cf. sumti, fancu)
cmavo         ma'o structure word
                   x1 is a structure word of grammatical class x2,
                   with meaning/function x3 in usage (language) x4

                   [x4 may be a specific usage (with an embedded language
                   place) or a massified language description; x3 and x4
                   may be merely an example of cmavo usage or refer to
                   an actual expression; cmavo list, if physical object
                   (= (loi) ma'oste); referring to the mental construct
                   (e.g. propose adding a new cmavo to the cmavo list =
                   ma'orpoi, ma'orselcmi, ma'orselste)]; (cf. gismu,
                   lujvo, gerna, smuni, valsi)
cmene     cme me'e name
                   x1 (quoted word(s)) is a/the name/title/tag of x2
                   to/used-by namer/name-user x3 (person)

                   [also: x2 is called x1 by x3 (= selcme for reordered
                   places)]; (cf. cmavo list me'e, gismu, tcita,
                   valsi, judri)


In Exercises 1 to 11, translate the Lojban sentence to English.
1. coi. braun. e'apei mi ba te cmene do lu la bab. li'u
2. be'e meiris. mi'o ca cliva
3. ko'a cusku lu le lujvo cu lujvo li'u .i ko'e cusku zo je'e
4. ko'a cusku lu mi cmavo li'u .i ko'e cusku lu je'enai li'u
5. co'o .ednas. ko ba klama mi
6. la daniel. cusku zo be'e .i la kleir. cusku zo re'i
7. mi cusku lu be'e. reitcel. li'u le nanmu pe la reitcel. cusku lu la reitcel. cusku lu re'inai li'u li'u
8. mi cusku zo bridi .i mi na cusku tanru
9. mi cusku lu lu smuni cmene li'u tanru ma ma li'u .i la keven. cusku lu smuni cmene li'u tanru zo smuni zo cmene li'u
10. mi'e la mark.
11. le prenu pe mi te cmene mi lu la brai'an. li'u

In Exercises, 100 to 131, translate le jufra (the sentence) given.
100. le se bridi cu smuni le selbri mi .i
101. zo coi smuni zoi gy. hello .gy mi .i
102. gy. goodbye .gy smuni zo co'o mi .i
103. lu mi'e. brai'an. li'u smuni lu mi me la brai'an. li'u mi .i
104. fi la'o smuni. George Bush .smuni goi ko'a smuni fa ko'a la'o smuni. Mr. President .smuni .i
105. le ve gismu cu smuni le rafsi mi .i
106. zoi ly. gi'u .ly ve gismu zo gismu .i
107. zo smuni gismu .i
108. zo gismu gismu fi le te gismu .i
109. zo selbri gismu le du'u se bridi .i
110. zo selbri lujvo lu se bridi li'u .i
111. zo selbri lujvo zo'e le te lujvo be fa zo bridi .i
112. zo selbri se ve se lujvo lu se bridi li'u .i
113. zo selma'o lujvo fo lu se cmavo li'u .i
114. zo selma'o lujvo fi le se cmavo .i
115. zo selma'o lujvo lu se cmavo li'u le ve cmavo lu se cmavo li'u .i
116. zo selbri lujvo lu se bridi li'u le bridi lu se bridi li'u .i
117. zo tertau lujvo lu te tanru li'u le tanru lu te tanru li'u .i
118. lu gismu smuni li'u tanru zo gismu zo smuni .i
119. lu gismu lujvo li'u tanru zo gismu zo lujvo lu gismu co lujvo li'u .i
120. lu le tanru li'u cu smuni lu le ve lujvo li'u mi .i
121. zo tanru gismu zo'e le se tanru zoi ly. tau .ly .i
122. le gismu sumti dei li pa .i
123. nei sumti dei li re .i
124. li ci sumti dei li ci .i
125. zo sumti gismu .i zo sumti sumti di'u li pa .i
126. mi klama le se klama le te klama .i le te klama sumti di'u li ci .i
127. dei bridi le du'u bridi dei
128. lu le ninmu klama le nanmu li'u bridi le du'u klama le nanmu
129. do nanmu .i di'u bridi le du'u nanmu do .i
130. di'e bridi le du'u cliva la'o gy. Elvis .gy .i la'o gy. Elvis .gy cliva .i
131. zo .ui cmavo zoi selma'o. UI .selma'o lu mi gleki li'u la lojban.

In Exercises 200 to 226, give an English translation of each place of each le sumti given.
201. le smuni
202. le se smuni
203. le te smuni
204. le gismu
205. le se gismu
206. le te gismu
207. le ve gismu
208. le lujvo
209. le se lujvo
210. le te lujvo
211. le ve lujvo
212. le tanru
213. le se tanru
214. le te tanru
215. le ve tanru
216. le xe tanru
217. le sumti
218. le se sumti
219. le te sumti
220. le bridi
221. le se bridi
222. le te bridi
223. le cmavo
224. le se cmavo
225. le te cmavo
226. le ve cmavo

In Exercises 301 to 321, use the best word in the vocabulary of this lesson to fill in each blank of each sentence. You may use each word more than once.
301. Teacher: _____ is the capital of Kentucky?
Pupil: Frankfort.

302. Mother: Did you hear what I just said?
Daughter: _____, except I missed the part about chocolate.

303. I said "_____", and she told me, "Sorry, I can listen right now."
304. _____ name is Jessica, but my friends call me Jessie.
305. Welcome to _____ .alaskas.!
306. When I say "_____ Eliza", that means I'm talking to you.
307. I wish I could stay longer. _____
308. If I knew le _____, I wouldn't have asked you for a definition.
309. Say "doi" and then le _____ of the person you wish to talk to.
310. _____ Robert! It's so nice to see you after all these years.
311. I wouldn't have said "_____" if I wasn't all ears.
312. Did you rent the movie, "_____, Myself & Irene"?
313. Which le rafsi did you use to make that le _____?
314. How can you call that le _____, when a phrase compound needs at least two words?
315. If f(x) = y, then f is the function and yby. _____ fy.
316. That's na ____ because any decent predicate needs at least pa le selbri.
317. ro le attitudinals are a type of word called le _____.
318. _____, but I would feel happy to listen another time.
319. ____ la romeos. _____ la romeos. Wherefore art thou Romeo?
320. _____ blue begins with the letter "b".
321. Lojban has 1342 le _____.

Answers to exercisesEdit

1. Hello Brown. May I call you Bob?
2. May I have a word with you, Mary? Let's leave.
The Lojban means more "We leave." than the English. Maybe I could change that with an attitudinal meaning "suggestion" or {ko} and {mi} instead of {mi'o}.
3. The first person says, "The affix compound qualifies as an affix compound." The second person sasy, "I understand."
4. The first person says, "I qualify as a structure word.". The second person says, "Huh?".
5. Goodbye, Edna. Come see me in the future.
6. Daniel says, "May I have a word with you?". Claire says, "Go ahead.".
7. I said, "May I speak with you, Rachel?" The man associated with Rachel said, "Rachel said, 'I can't listen right now.'"
8. I said the word {bridi}. I did not say the word {tanru}.
9. I said, "What modifies what in the metaphor 'meaning sort of name'?" Kevin said, "In the metaphor 'meaning sort of name', 'meaning' modifies 'name'."
10. I go by the name Mark.
11. People associated with me call me "Brian".

100. According to me, "the relationship of a sentence" means "the relationship of a sentence".
101. I see "Hello" meaning {coi}.
102. I see {co'o} as meaning "Goodbye".
103. I accept the interpretation "I am Brian." for the sentence "I am Brian.".
104. George Bush accepts the interpretation of Mr. President as himself.
105. I recognize the interpretation of the affixes of a root word as the affixes of a word.
106. The word {gismu} (meaning root word) has the affix {gi'u}.
107. The word {smuni} qualifies as a root word.
108. The relationship of the word {gismu} has a role for the roles of the relationship of a root word.
109. The word {selbri} denotes the relationship {se bridi}.
110. The affix compound {selbri} means {se bridi}.
111. The relationship of the compound word {selbri} has the same roles as the compound word {bridi}.
112. The compound word {selbri} comes from the metaphor {se bridi}.
113. The word {selma'o} comes from the metaphor {se cmavo}.
114. The relationship of the word {selma'o} involves the grammatical class of a structure word.
115. The compound word {selma'o} means {se cmavo}, and its relationship involves its meaning, and it comes from the metaphor {se cmavo}.
116. The compound word {selbri} means {se bridi}, and its relationship involves the predicate, and it comes from the metaphor {se bridi}.
117. The compound word {tertau} means {te tanru}, and its relationship involves a binary metaphor, and it comes from the metaphor {te tanru}.
118. "Root word sort of meaning" qualifies a binary metaphor with "root word" modifying "meaning".
119. In binary metaphor "Root word sort of compound word", "root word" modifies "compound word", and it means "compound word of root word sort".
120. According to me, "metaphor made into compound word" means "binary metaphor".
121. The root word {tanru} denotes the relationship involving the modifier of the metaphor, and has the affix {tau}.
122. The root word is in the current utterance filling the first role.
123. The current utterance is in the current predicate filling the second role.
124. Three is in the current utterance filling the third role.
125. The word {sumti} qualifies as a root word. The word {sumti} is in the previous utterance filling the first role.
126. I go to the destination from the origin. The destination is in the previous utterance filling the third place.
127. The current utterance qualifies as a predicate with the predicate relationship and the the role the current utterance.
128. The predicate "The woman goes to the man." involves the going relationship and the role of the man.
129. You qualify as a man. The last utterance involves the man relationship and the argument you.
130. The next utterance qualifies as a predicate involving the leaving relationship and Elvis. Elvis leaves.
131. The structure word {.ui} comes from the grammatical class {UI}, means I feel happiness, and is used in the Lojban language.

201. meaning
202. symbol with meaning
203. interpreter of meaning
204. root word
205. relationship expressed by root word
206. roles in relationship expressed by root word
207. affixes of root word
208. compound word
209. meaning of compound word
210. roles of relationship of compound word
211. metaphor used to make compound word
212. binary metaphor
213. modifier of metaphor
214. modified of metaphor
215. meaning of metaphor
216. usage of metaphor
217. argument
218. predicate of argument
219. role filled by argument
220. predicate
221. relationship of predicate
222. argument of predicate
223. structure word
224. grammatical class of structure word
225. meaning of structure word
226. language of structure word

301. ma
302. je'e
303. be'e
304. mi
305. la
306. doi
307. co'o
308. smuni
309. cmene
310. coi
311. re'i
312. mi
313. lujvo
314. tanru
315. sumti
316. bridi
317. cmavo
318. re'inai
319. doi, doi
320. zo
321. gismu

Last modified on 8 July 2008, at 21:13