Lesson I.2: Hu hattest þu? (2. Dæl)
The dialogue of this lesson is a conversation between two persons: Franz and Mr. Swart. We also discuss some grammar: subject pronouns and some important verbs in the present tense.
In this short dialogue Mr. Swart uses the form you – þu.
|Franz||Goden Morgen. Ert þu Herr Ƕeit?|
|Herr Swart||Na, ic em Herr Swart. Hu hattest þu?|
|Franz||Ich hatte Franz. Þanke, Herr Swart. Ic em lætt.|
|Herr Swart||Bidde, Franz. Ic em eak lætt. Oþ lætter!|
|Good morning.||Goden Morgen.|
|You are... (singular)||þu ert ...|
|Are you...? (singular)||Ert þu ...?|
|I am late.||Ic em lætt.|
|See you later.||Oþ lætter.|
ȝiȝ and þuEdit
Unlike many European languages, there is only a singular, and a plural form of 'you' in Niw Englisc. English around 1600 had "thou" and "ye" for the singular and plural, but now usually has just "you." In Niw Englisc, if you address one person, you use "þu" and if you address more than one, you use "ȝiȝ." If you address two people, you use "ȝit."
Notice that Franz addresses Mr. Swart with his last name while Mr. Swart addresses Franz with his first name. Even with this, they both use "þu" with each other, because there is one Franz and one Mr. Swart.
A noun is a word that describes a person, place, animal, or thing, e.g. "apple", "woman", "man", etc. Pronouns are the little words that refer to previously mentioned nouns, e.g. "it", "she", "he", or even "we", "him", etc.
The subject of a sentence is the noun or pronoun that the sentence is about. Usually it is the most active thing or being of the sentence. For example, in the sentence "The woman ate an apple.", both "woman" and "apple" are nouns, but "woman" is the subject of the sentence because the sentence is about the action performed by the woman. (If you are curious: "apple" is the direct object of the sentence.)
If we replace the nouns of the example by pronouns, the sentence becomes: "She ate it." In this example, "she" and "it" are pronouns. The subject of this sentence is the pronoun "she" and therefore this kind of pronoun is called a subject pronoun.
Now that you know about the English subject pronouns, here is a table of them with their Niw Englisc counterparts. Note that you corresponds to three different words in Niw Englisc, depending on whether you address one or more persons and whether you are using a more formal or more familiar way of addressing them.
|3rd person||he, she, it||he, scie, it|
*Wit is the first person dual ("we two"), and ȝit is the second person dual ("you two").
To say the name of someone or something you can use to be called — haten. The form of the verb is the only remnant of the passive form of the verb. You have already seen some forms of the verb haten. Here is a more systematic table with all the forms in the present tense. Note that the subject pronouns are capitalized because they start the sentences.
|My name is...||Ic hatte ...|
|His/Her/Its name is...||He/scie/it hatte...|
|Their names are...||Hje hatten ...|
|Our names are...||Wiȝ hatten ...|
|Your name is...||Þu hattest ...|
|Your names are...||Ȝiȝ hatten ...|
|What is your name?||Hu hattest þu?*|
|What are your names?||Hu hatten ȝiȝ?*|
Note: There are possessive pronouns (e.g. "my", "your", "his", her", ...) in Niw Englisc, they just don't apply here. For instance, native speakers usually don't say Mein Name is ... (My name is...).
Verbs are the words that describe the action of a sentence, e.g. (to) run, (to) call, (to) be, etc. Conjugation refers to changing the form of a verb depending on the subject of a sentence. For example, the verb to be – wesen has several different forms: (I) am..., (you) are..., (he) is..., etc. Most English verbs, however, have only two forms in the present tense, e.g., (I/you/we/they) run and (he/she/it) runs. Niw Englisc verbs, on the other hand, have usually several forms in the present tense.
You have already learned the forms of one Niw Englisc verb: to be called – haten.
|singular||1st person||I am called||ic hatte|
|2nd person||you are called||du hattest|
|3rd person||he/she/it is called||he/scie/it hatte|
|plural||1st person||we are called||wiȝ hatten|
|2nd person||you are called||ȝiȝ hatten|
|3rd person||they are called||hje hatten*|
Two extremely common verbs are to be — wesen and to have — haben. They are conjugated like this:
|singular||1st person||I am||ic em|
|2nd person||you are||þu ert|
|3rd person||he/she/it is||he/scie/it is|
|plural||1st person||we are||wiȝ sind|
|2nd person||you are||ȝiȝ sind|
|3rd person||they are||hje sind|
|singular||1st person||I have||ich habe|
|2nd person||you have||þu hafst|
|3rd person||he/she/it has||he/scie/it hafþ|
|plural||1st person||we have||wiȝ habeþ|
|2nd person||you have||ȝiȝ habeþ|
|3rd person||they have||hje habeþ|
The test consists of three parts: grammar, vocabulary, and translation. The grammar part is about conjugation; i.e., different forms of verbs for different subject pronouns. The vocabulary and translation problems are all from English to Niw Englisc because this is what you have to learn if you want to communicate in Niw Englisc.
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