Lojban/Introduction to Lojban grammar

The most basic Lojban bridi (sentences) consist of sumti (nouns or noun phrases) and selbri (verbs).

mi viska do (I see you)

By default, the first word is the actor (x1), the second word is the action, and the third word is the demonstrative. Noun phrases other than pronouns are preceded by an article.

le gerku cu viska le mlatu (the dog (does) see the cat)

Without the article, words put next to each other combine into a compound word, the left working as an adjective on the right.

xajmi prenu (funny person)

These 90 example sentences with as basic as possible grammatic structure variation is like a w:Swadesh list for grammar instead of vocabulary:

  1. mi zukte lo .elsa  ♪  I play a song.
  2. mi na zukte lo .elsa ca lo cabdei  ♪  I do not play a song today.
  3. xu mi zukte lo .elsa ca lo cabdei (ju'ocu'i)  ♪  Do I play a w:song today?
  4. xu lo zgito'axre po le .elsa  ♪  Does the song have chords?
  5. mi zukte ma  ♪  What do I play?
  6. mi mo le .elsa  ♪  What do I do with the song?
  7. mo'oi .elsa tolcau lo zgito'axre  ♪  Which song has chords?
  8. mo'oi zgito'axre (ctaipe) po le .elsa  ♪  Which (kind of) w:chords does the song have?
  9. ma zukte lo .elsa  ♪  Who plays a song?
  10. mi zukte lo .elsa ca .e vi .e ta'i .e ri'a .e ki'u ma  ♪  When, where, how, why and for what do I play a song?
  11. vi ma le .elsa zgito'axre  ♪  Where are the chords of the song?
  12. mi zukte lo .elsa teka'a ma  ♪  From where do I play a song?[1]
  13. mi zukte lo .elsa seka'a ma  ♪  Where do I play a song to?
  14. mi zukte la'u ma .elsa  ♪  How many songs do I play?
  15. ko zukte lo .elsa (.o'icu'i)  ♪  Play a song!

    w:Numerals, w:conjunctions, w:prepositions
  16. mi zukte re lo .elsa I play two songs.
  17. mi zukte so'u ji so'o ji so'i lo .elsa Do I play a few, some or many songs?[2]
  18. mi zukte lo .elsa tolcau/secau zgito'axre I play a song with/without chords.
  19. mi zukte lo .elsa po'o xau mi I play a song only for myself.
  20. mi zukte lo .elsa .enai lo zgito'axre I play a song but not chords.
  21. mi zukte lo .elsa fi'o se dunda lo zgito'axre I play a song that/which has got chords.[3]
  22. mi zukte ge lo .elsa gi lo zgito'axre I play both a song and chords.[4]
  23. mi zukte lo drata .elsa .e ti temci ri tolcau lo zgito'axre I play another song, this time one with chords.[5]
  24. mi ka'enai tolcau lo .elsa secau lo zgito'axre I cannot have a song without chords.
  25. zgito'axre se zukte mo'ine'a lo .elsa Around the song chords are played.
  26. ji'a le .elsa zgito'axre (se zukte cu) menrece ti ro zgito'axre Among all these chords are also the song's chords (played).
  27. ji'a le .elsa cu cafne zukte crane clatei zasxa'u zgito'axre zukte In front of enduring chord playing also the song is frequently played.
  28. le .elsa zgito'axre se zukte klina bavla'i se ciska zgito'axre Right next to written chords are the song's chords played.

    w:Tenses, adjectival brivla
  29. mi pu zukte lo .elsa ca lo prulamdei 🎵 I played a song yesterday.[6]
  30. mi puzi zukte lo .elsa 🎵 I have just played a song.
  31. mi na caba'o tolcau lo .elsa .i ku'i mi zukte ra ca lo cabdei 🎵 I have not had a song (till now) but today I play one.
  32. mi za'o cabna zukte lo .elsa 🎵 I am still playing a song at this moment.
  33. mi zukte lo .elsa poi ke'a capu'o te jmina zgito'axre 🎵 I play a song chords are going to be added to.
  34. mi ba zukte lo xamgu .elsa ca lo bavlamdei 🎵 I will play a good song tomorrow.
  35. mi zukte lo .elsa poi lo zgito'axre po ke'a bixygau ke'a xamgu 🎵 I play a song whose chords make it good.
  36. lo itca zgito'axre zukte cu gasnu le nu le .elsa xamgu 🎵 A certain chord playing makes the song good.[7]
  37. ro zgito'axre zukte da'i gasnu lo nu le .elsa xamgu 🎵 Any chord playing would make the song good.
  38. mi na pu kanpe le nu lo nu zukte lo .elsa kei ta xamgu 🎵 I did not expect that playing a song is that good.
  39. le .elsa na binxo xamgu .ijanai ri tolcau ti zgito'axre (ku'i cumki tolcau lo di'u drata) 🎵 The song does not become good with these chords (but maybe with other ones).

  40. mi zukte lo .elsa .inaja ri zgito'axre ba bixygau ri xamgu 🎹 If I play a song its chords will make it good.
  41. mi zukte lo .elsa .inaja mi ji'a ba lerci zmadu jmina zgito'axre xau ri 🎹 If I play a song I will also add chords to it later.
  42. mi da'i zukte lo .elsa .inaja ri na tolcau lo zgito'axre 🎹 If I played a song it would not have chords.
  43. mi da'i pu zukte lo .elsa .inaja ri na pu tolcau lo zgito'axre 🎹 If I had played a song it would not have had chords.
  44. mi xa'o pupu zukte lo zgito'axre co'i mi pu zukte lo .elsa 🎹 When I played a song I already had played chords.
  45. mi xa'o bapu zukte lo zgito'axre co'i mi zukte lo .elsa 🎹 When I play a song I will already have played chords.
  46. mi za'o ba tolcau zgito'axre ca mi zukte lo .elsa 🎹 When I play a song I will still have chords.
  47. xu le .elsa za'o xamgu ca mi zukte lo zgito'axre 🎹 Will the song still be good when I play chords?
  48. mi pu jinvi nu lo .elsa cu kakne co xamgu 🎹 When I played the song I thought it can be good.
  49. .ei zukte lo zgito'axre ca zukte lo .elsa 🎹 When playing a song chords must be played.
  50. xu nu zukte lo .elsa kei nibli nu .ei zukte lo zgito'axre 🎹 Does playing a song mean having to play chords?
  51. nu zukte lo zgito'axre kei na nibli co cpacu lo .elsa 🎹 Playing chords does not mean to get a song.
  52. nu mi .elsa xamgu jinvi kei na nibli nu lo drata prenu cu nelci ra 🎹 That I find the song good does not mean that anyone else likes it.
  53. nu zukte ta .elsa kei selgu'a ju'i vasru lo zgito'axre zukte 🎹 The task of playing that song also includes chord playing.
  54. le nu lo .elsa ka xamgu zukte kei kei nibli lo zgito'axre zukte 🎹 Whenever a song is well played (then) there is also chord playing (involved).

  55. le .elsa xamgu .iri'abo mi pu jmina lo zgito'axre (ra ca lo clira zmadu) ⏳ The song is good because I added chords (to it earlier).[8]
  56. mi zukte lo zgito'axre .iseri'abo le .elsa po ra tende ka'e xamgu ⏳ I play chords so that their song can be good.
  57. mi zukte lo zgito'axre .iseri'abo le .elsa xamgu ⏳ I play chords and so/hence/therefore the song is good.
  58. mi zukte lo zgito'axre .ijonai le .elsa xamgu ⏳ Either I play chords or the song is good.
  59. nu na zukte lo zgito'axre kei da'i fanta lo nu lo .elsa xamgu ⏳ Not playing chords would prevent a song from being good.
  60. mi zukte lo cninu finti zgito'axre za'umai ca fanta le nu lo .elsa ka xamgu ⏳ I play newly invented chords even when it prevents a song from being good.
  61. no .elsa ka xamgu kei ri'anai pujeca jmina zgito'axre ⏳ Despite of having added and still adding chords no song is good.
  62. mi na zmadu zukte lo ranji zgito'axre ku'i seri'anai le .elsa ka xamgu ⏳ I do not play further chords anymore but nonetheless the song is good.
  63. .ei so'i zgito'axre bixygau ri .elsa xamgu ⏳ Many chords have to make their songs good.
  64. le zgito'axre jmina po mi mu'i bixygau lo .elsa xamgu ⏳ My chord adding is about making a song good.
  65. .ei mi pamoi zukte lo zgito'axre xau tolcau lo .elsa ⏳ For having a song I have to play chords first.

    • Time relations
  66. .ei jmina zgito'axre pu lo .elsa kakne ka xamgu ⏲ Before a song can be good chords must be added.
  67. mi cabna zukte lo .elsa ca'o zukte lo zgito'axre ⏲ I am playing a song during playing chords.
  68. bixygau lo .elsa xamgu fi'o zgito'axre ca'o zukte ra ⏲ During playing a song it were made good with chords.
  69. lo nu zukte le .elsa kei capu'o jmina lo zgito'axre ⏲ By playing the song chords are going to be added.
  70. le nu jmina lo zgito'axre kei bixygau le .elsa xamgu ⏲ By adding chords the song became good.
  71. le .elsa pu binxo xamgu ba nu jmina lo zgito'axre ra ⏲ The song became good after adding chords to it.
  72. le .elsa cu xamgu ba'o mi zukte lo zgito'axre xau ra ⏲ The song is good since I play chords for it.
  73. mi co'a ca zukte lo zgito'axre xau lo .elsa ⏲ From now on I play chords for songs.
  74. mi ji'a zukte lo zgito'axre (xau ti) roroi ca mi zukte lo .elsa ⏲ Whenever I play a song I also play chords (for it).
  75. nu mi ca zukte lo zgito'axre kei nibli nu le .elsa ca xamgu ⏲ As long as I play chords the song is good.
  76. nu mi ba zukte lo zgito'axre cajeba mi cfari kei nibli nu le .elsa ba xamgu ⏲ As soon as I play chords the song will be good.
  77. mi roroi/cafne/suzroi/noroi zukte lo mulno .elsa seba'i po'o zgito'axre ⏲ I always/often/sometimes/never play whole songs instead of only chords.

  78. lo mulno .elsa zukte ku xamgu zmadu lo zukte po'o zgito'axre 🔸 Playing a whole song is better than playing only chords.
  79. zukte lo mulno .elsa cu zmadu po'o lo zgito'axre lo ka da'i xamgu 🔸 It would be better to play whole songs instead of only chords.
  80. lo xamgu zmadu .elsa da'i nu zukte xau mi lamji temci (.o'onai) 🔸 A better song should be played for me next time!
  81. do xamgu zmadu zukte lo mulno .elsa seba'i po'o zgito'axre (.o'onai) 🔸 You better play a full song instead of only chords!
  82. lo .elsa ka tolcau le zmadu zgito'axre kei ka xamgu zmadu 🔸 The more chords a song has the better it is.
  83. le .elsa tolcau zmadu/mleca lo zgito'axre lo sarcu (xau ka xamgu) 🔸 The song has more/less chords than necessary (for being good).
  84. nu bixygau lo .elsa xamgu kei a) dunli ji b) zmadu lo zgito'axre zukte lo tolsurla 🔸 Does making a song good need a) as much effort as or b) more effort than playing chords?
  85. lo mi lamji prenu .elsa zgito'axre cu zmadu ri po mi 🔸 My neighbor's song has more chords than mine.
  86. nu zukte lo .elsa kei frica le nu zukte lo zgito'axre 🔸 Playing a song is different from playing chords.
  87. mi traji zgito'axre zukte co'i cerni 🔸 In the morning I play the most chords.
  88. le traji xamgu zukte prenu cu kakne nu le traji xlali .elsa cu xamgu simlu 🔸 The best player can make that the worst song appears good.
  89. zukte zgito'axre tolcau .elsa cu traji xamgu tadji le zukte ti 🔸 The best way to play a song is playing it with chords.
  90. noda dunli lo .elsa zukte lo nandu 🔸 Nothing is as difficult as playing a song.

Associated detailed rule explanations in the main grammar manual