• Our unit of inquiry is the sentence and its components.
  • Verbs are the kernels/the most important parts of sentences
  • Verbs are located at the very end of sentences in Tibetan.
  • The furthest you are from the verb, the least important the information is.
  • The normal order is: Subject - Object - Verb.
  • Subjects and objects can be omitted.
  • Subjects are marked to resolve ambiguity.
  • Markers have priority over the order. (བཀྲ་ཤིས་ མོག་མོག་གིས་ ཟ་གི་འདུག)

Please react to this introduction in the discussion below :slightly_smiling_face:


Thanks Drupchen! Very very helpful! Super clear! One doubt please: what does the གི after ཟ stand for? Thanks!

For the moment, it is enough to think that གི་འདུག or ཡི་འདུག are the present tense conjugation of the verb ཟ་.

More about this in the coming videos :slight_smile:

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Great video and the summary also helps a lot!!! Thank you!

When we keep the marker in its correct place but change the order, ( མོག་མོག་བཀྲ་ཤིས་གིས་ཟ་གི་འདུག) does it sound strange for tibetans or does it still sounds good? For example, to be used as a poetic technique or to emphasize the subject…?

:grin: :pray:t3:


You are right. What happens is the same as when you change the place of a component in English:

canonical order: Tashi eats the momos.
changed order: The momos, Tashi eats (them).

The focus of the message has changed from “Tashi is doing something” to “It is the momos (and not something else) that Tashi eats.”


Is it just me or tibetans organize sentences a bit like master yoda does? :thinking:


yes, they do. I think I heard that the inspiration is Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche talking in English. And there was also a Tibetan Lama as inspiration for his face. I don’t remember exactly right now.


actually, George Lucas based the character of Yoda on a Gelug Lama called Serkong Rinpoche. His reincarnation lives in Dharamsala now haha

the particle to indicate the subject is always ཀྱིས?

In spoken Tibetan, གིས་ always.

In written, it follows the last letter of the previous syllable:

  • After ད བ ས, ཀྱིས
  • After ག ང , གིས
  • After ན མ ར ལ, གྱིས
  • འ becomes ས་ or is followed by ཡིས་
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