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…kw’es yeláwels x̲wém kw’el kyó

Illustration for '...that my car is faster'

…that my car is faster

…kw’es yeláwels x̲wém kw’el kyó means ‘…that my car is faster’.

Literally it means: ‘…that more fast (is) my car’.

Vocabulary and pronunciation

  • kw’esthat
  • yeláwelmore (see yeláw)
  • -s – the -s has several uses in the language, in this case it marks that there is a ‘third person’ subject (i.e. the thing we are talking about is not you or me). See futher notes on this ending below in this post.
  • x̲wémfast
  • kw’elmy (you would normally say tel, but you use kw’el when talking about distant objects, or objects that exist as possibilities
  • kyócar

Audio: Elizabeth Herrling
Note: this is an edited selection from a longer phrase. The full phrase will be covered in a following post.


The structure of this phrase is as follows:


Note that Elizabeth adds an -s ending to yeláwel. There are several different uses for -s in the language, but in this case it marks the following:

  • First, that this part of the sentence is not a main sentence (a sentence by itself), but a sentence that is part of a larger sentence.
  • Second, that the subject of this sentence (in this case, the car we’re talking about) is a ‘third person’, meaning that it is not me (the speaker) or you (the person spoken to)

Whenever those two conditions hold, elders will add the -s ending somewhere in the embedded sentence, and in this case Elizabeth puts it on yeláwel. There is no English equivalent of this ending, so you can’t really translate it.

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