Episode 11: Commando

Hello and welcome to episode 11.

Today we’re going to be talking about commands. How do you give commands in Guaraní, to dogs or even people? For once, it’s simple and easy! All you do for a command to one person is put an e on the front of it. It takes the softer e sound. So if I wanted to tell you to study, I’d say, Estudia. If I wanted to tell you to practice, I’d say epractica. How would you tell someone to clean? Emopotĩ.

If you’re talking to more than one person, you put a pe on the front of it, which is easy to remember because you use that beginning when talking to multiple people anyway. So if a teacher wanted to tell all her students to study, she’d say: Pestudia. How would you order a few people make cheese? Pejapo kesu.

Now, some of these commands can come out sounding a little harsh, like, Who do you think you are, ordering me to make cheese? So Paraguayans have some cabooses that they latch on to let the receiver of the command know just how serious you are. The first one translates to “please,” and that is mi. Pejapomi kesu means "Please make cheese." How would you say “Sandra, Please study.” Sandra, estudiami.

The other one is more of a pleading caboose. My host sister uses it all the time when she’s whining to her mom. This is na. It’s kind of like, come on. When a mother has asked her daughter to clean her room three times and is asking her again, she’ll say, Emopotĩna. Or you might hear it like, "Come on, let’s go," which would be jahana. As you see here, you can use that “Let’s” form with these cabooses as well.

Sometimes you’ll hear the mi and the na combined, like, “come on, please. Like, “Mariela, please, come on, make pizza.” Mariela, ejapomina pizza. Sometimes it almost sounds like na should be followed with, “I’ll be your best friend.” So how would you say: “Maria, please cook tonight.” using mi and na? Maria, ecocinamina ko pyhare.

For the next caboose, the gloves come off. This caboose is usually used to mean: "I’m serious." This is ke. Now let’s say that mother has lost her temper and she wants to say, “Clean right now!” She would say, Emopotĩke! Ko’ãga! How would you yell at someone to get out of your house, using that sẽ verb that means to leave? Esẽke!

Ke is not always used for seriousness, but sometimes more for emphasis. For example, I’ve heard it used to encourage customers to come into a shop. Think of it as an exclamation mark on a command, whether good or bad. You’ll also hear this with Jaha, to mean, "Let’s go!" Jahake!

Sometimes you want to tell someone to not do something. For this you would use “don’t” in English, right? Well the equivalent of that is ani. After ani, you would just use the regular driver car, which for one person would be re-, like "Don’t you eat my pizza." Ani re’u che pizza. For more than one person, it’s pe-. For example, "Don’t you all use my shoes." Ani peiporu che sapatu. What would be, to one person: “Don’t use my ipod." Ani reiporu che ipod. How about, to a bunch of people: “Don’t talk right now.” Ani peñe’ẽ ko’ãga. How would you tell someone, “Don’t go to Asuncion tomorrow.” Ani reho Paraguaype ko’ẽrõ.

Sometimes you’ll hear ani by itself, just used to say “Don’t.” Or you might hear Anike!, like when one sister is hitting another sister, for a stronger “Don’t!” with an exclamation mark.

You’ll also hear the caboose ti used with ani, tacked on to the verb, which is like “Please don’t.” Like a negative version of mi. You might hear a father tell his daughter not to go out that night. Ani resẽti ko pyhare. How would you say, “Please don’t drink my terere”? Ani re’uti che terere.

Another caboose you might here with ani is a good one. This is ve. This means "more". You’ll hear Anive like when someone’s tickling someone, to mean, “No more!” But you can use ve with any verb, like to say, “I want to drink more terere.” Aterereseve. How would you ask someone to make more pizza? Ejapove pizza.

The irregular verbs have their own forms of commands. For come it’s eju or peju. For go it’s eho or peho. Eat is he’u. I hear that a lot at the dinner table. He’uke Paulita. for "Eat!" or He’uve for "Eat more!" Or pe’u for more than one person. Say something is ere, the same form for you say. Use peje for multiple people.

Now let us review what we have learned today, my special little students.

  1. -mi: please
  2. -ke: strong command
  3. -na: pleeeease, pleading
  4. ani: don’t
  5. ti: negation on a command
  6. ve: more
  7. eju: come (command)
  8. eho: go (command)
  9. he’u: eat (command)
  10. ere: say (command)

Pauli, mb’ae rejapota ko’ara?
Emopotĩmi ha upei jastudia Guaraní.
Héẽ, bueno.

Pauli, what are you going to do today?
I don’t know.
Please clean and then let’s study Guaraní.
Ok, good.

Convo 2
Oscar, ehomi ecocinama la mandi’o.
Héẽ, nde.
Che acocina kuri kuehe.
Pero aterere hína.

Oscar, please go cook the mandioca.
Yes, you.
Because I cooked it yesterday.
But I’m drinking terere.

And now sentences...
1. (To a few people) Go study.
Peho pestudia.

2. Come on, please cook pizza.
Ecocinamína pizza.

3. Eat more pizza Julio.
He’uve pizza Julio.

4. Don’t eat more pizza Helen.
Ani re’uve pizza Helen.

5. (To a bunch of people with an exclamation mark.) Get to work!

6. Don’t talk to Carlos.
Ani reñe’ẽ Carlospe.

7. Don’t come tomorrow.
Ani reju ko’ẽro.

8. (to your siblings) Don’t eat my pizza.
Ani pe’u che pizza.

9. Let’s drink terere!

10. (to guests) Eat more!

11. Mateo, eju jaterere.
Mateo, come here, let’s drink terere.

12. Aníke reiporu che sapatu.
Don’t use my shoes.

13. Anivéna reñe’ẽ.
Please don’t talk more.

14. Eho eñe’ẽ nde érmanandi.
Go talk to your sister.

15. Ani re’uti che terere.
Please don’t drink my terere.

16. Pepracticavéke!
Practice more!

17. Ani recambiati.
Please don’t change.

18. Ani reiporu che ipod ko’ára.
Don’t use my ipod today.

19. Jahana. Atererese.
Let’s go. I want to drink terere.

20. Pestudia ko pyharekue.
Study tonight.