Hand-book of Volapük/15

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The verbs given so far have been in the form which simply asserts, called the indicativ mood.

The infinitiv mood, or verb-noun, has the ending -ön. It is usually, though not always, preceded in English by to. In Volapük it may be in various tenses: patüp, petüp, potüp, or putüp.

Logön, to see. Elogön, to have seen. Ologön, to be about to see (as we cannot say to shall). Ulogön, to be about to have seen. Liladön binos pöfüdik, to read is profitable. Liladam binom pöfüdik, reading is profitable.

Notice that the neuter-impersonal verb, binos, is used with the infinitiv as subject.

Vilob liladön buki at, I wish to read this book.

Opöfüdos alime eliladön buki at, It will benefit every one to have read this book.

Kanob liladön, I can read.

The verbs may, can, must (called by some grammarians, signs of the potential mood), let, dare, etc., have no to after them in English, yet the verb following them is in the infinitiv.

Mutob pükön, I must speak (I am obliged to speak). Dalob sagön, I may say (am permitted to say). Letom puli golön, he lets the boy go; he allows the boy to go.

Konsälob olis kömön, I advise you to come. Olemob buki al studön volapüki, I shall buy a book, to study Volapük.

Here "to" means "in order to." In this case the infinitiv must be preceded by al. To test (,,al blufön") whether al should be used or not, see if you can change the English phrase into an equivalent one containing "for," or if it answers the question "for what ?"

I shall buy a book (for what ?) to study Volapük. Osegolob adelo al spatön, I shall go out to walk (for walking) to-day.

Eblibob in zif al lemön klotis, I have remained in the city in order to buy clothes.

No mutobs lifön al fidön, sod fidön al lifön, we must not live to eat, but eat to live.

The English verb-noun in -ing must be translated by the infinitiv. Fidön zesüdos al lifön, eating is necessary for living.

The infinitiv, being a kind of verb-noun, may be declined, tho' this seldom occurs.

Löf studöna, the love of studying.

It is permitted to insert the personal pronouns before the ending -ön in order to indicate the subject.

Binobön u ne binobön ! [for me] to be or not to be !

The infinitiv in the passiv voice is formed in the same way, and is subject to the same rules.

Pamilagön, to be admired. Pevunön, to have been wounded. Pomatön, to be about to be married, to be going to be married.