Verb Forms

Omission of Verb Particles

Verb particles may be omitted at the speaker's discretion, or, if preferred, the speaker may apply the following guidelines:

  • The dictionary form of the verb may express the simple present, allowing for the omission of the markers nun, du- and u.

  • In storytelling, as well, the dictionary verb form alone may be used to narrate events. Technically speaking, it's not that the simple past particle le is omitted in this case, but rather a story is told as if the scene of a film were being described, in the present tense, with the omission of nun, du- or u.

  • Other than in the cases described above, tense/mood may be established anew with every subject phrase and maintained without repetition for other verbs or until the tense/mood is changed within that clause. In other words, the particle for any tense/mood may be omitted in subsequent verbs within a clause once the tense/mood has been established with the first verb of each predicate.

Simple Present Tenses

Globasa's simple present tenses are expressed as follows.

Simple Present Tenses
Verb Form Markers Sample Sentences
General Present


Mi (nun) yam pingo.
I eat the apple.
I am eating the apple.
Continuous/Habitual Present

(nun) (du-)

Mi (nun) (du)yam pingo.
I (continuously/habitually) eat apples.

Dictionary Verb Form

By default, the dictionary verb form expresses the general present tense, which is equivalent to the English simple present. In addition, the dictionary form alone may also express the present active tense, which is equivalent to the present progressive in English. In other words, the dictionary verb form alone is ambiguous and implies the omission of either nun or du-.

The Particle u

As an alternative to using the dictionary verb form alone, the particle u may be used in place of either nun or du-. This particle is typically only used in formal texts or speech as a simple way to mark the predicate where no other tense/mood marker is being used.

Prefix du-

As a verb prefix, du- expresses the continuous/habitual aspect, which depicts an activity or a state over an indefinite period of time, rather than happening in a single moment in time or for a specific length of time. The prefix du- is typically omitted with the present tense.

As nouns, words with the prefix du- are equivalent to the gerund in English.

dulala - (the act of) singing
dudanse - (the act of) dancing

The prefix du- is truncated from dure (duration).
Etymology of dure: English, French, German, Spanish

Simple Past

The simple past tenses are expressed using the particle le.

Etymology of le: Mandarin (了 “le”), Swahili (-li-), Russian (-л “-l”)

Simple Past Tenses
Verb Form Markers Sample Sentences
General Past


Mi le yam pingo.
I ate the apple.
Continuous/Habitual Past

le du-

Mi le duyam pingo.
I used to eat apples.

Simple Future Tenses

The simple future tenses are expressed using the particle xa.

Etymology of xa: Arabic (سوف “sawf”, سا “sa”), English (shall), Dutch (zal)

Simple Future Tenses
Verb Form Markers Sample Sentences
General Future


Mi xa yam pingo.
I will eat the apple.
Continuous/Habitual Future

xa du-

Mi xa duyam pingo.
I will (continuously/habitually) eat apples.

Immediate Past and Future Tenses

The immediate past and future tenses are expressed as follows using the prefix ja-.

Immediate Past and Future Tenses
Verb Form Markers Sample Sentences
Immediate Past


Mi jale yam pingo.
I just ate the apple.
Immediate Future


Mi jaxa yam pingo.
I am about to eat the apple.

Prefix ja-

The prefix ja- means immediately adjacent and is truncated from jara (neighbor).

Etymology of jara: Arabic (جارة “jara”), Swahili (jirani), Indonesia (jiran)

Compound Tenses

The compound tenses are formed by combining any two of the general tense particles (nun, le, xa).

Linguistically speaking, the compound tenses are used for expressing different grammatical aspects in detail. There are three aspects expressed through the compound tenses, which correlate with the three rows in each of the tables below: progressive (active), perfective (completed) and prospective.

While the simple tenses report events only from the point of view of the present moment, the compound tenses are used for reporting the temporal status and aspect of an event from the point of view of the present, past or future.

Some compound tenses are rarely used and are often best expressed using a simple tense instead. Others are more useful and may be rather common in speech, particularly the following tenses: past active (le nun), present completed (nun le), future completed (xa le), past prospective (le xa).

Compound Present Tenses

The compound present tenses are expressed as follows:

Compound Present Tenses
Verb Form Markers Sample Sentences
Present Active

(nun) nun

Mi (nun) nun yam pingo.
I am eating the apple.
Present Completed

nun le

Mi nun le yam pingo.
I have eaten the apple.
Present Prospective

nun xa

Mi nun xa yam pingo.
I am going to eat the apple.

Compound Past Tenses

The compound past tenses are expressed as follows:

Compound Past Tenses
Verb Form Markers Sample Sentences
Past Active

le nun

Mi le nun yam pingo.
I was eating the apple.
Past Completed

le le

Mi le le yam pingo.
I had eaten the apple.
Past Prospective

le xa

Mi le xa yam pingo.
I was going to eat the apple.

Compound Future Tenses

The compound future tenses are expressed as follows:

Compound Future Tenses
Verb Form Markers Sample Sentences
Future Active

xa nun

Mi xa nun yam pingo.
I will be eating the apple.
Future Completed

xa le

Mi xa le yam pingo.
I will have eaten the apple.
Future Prospective

xa xa

Mi xa xa yam pingo.
I will be going to eat the apple.

It is worth noting that whereas the perfect tenses in English do not always express a completed action, the completed tenses in Globasa always do.

Continuative Aspect

The continuative aspect adverb dupul is used when an action or state began in the past and continues into the present. In English, this is expressed either with the present perfect or the perfect progressive.

Example Sentences with the Present Perfect in English

Mi no dupul oko te xorfe mesi tiga.
I haven't seen her since March.

Mi dupul kone te dur 30 nyan.
I have known him for 30 years.

Mi dupul sen gadibu.
I have been angry.

Yu dupul sen kepul?
How have you been?

Example Sentences with the Perfect Progressive in English

Mi dupul yam hin pingo dur un satu.
I have been eating this apple for one hour.

Yu dupul fale keto?
What have you been doing?

Mi dupul doxo hin kitabu xorfe jaleli sabedin.
I have been reading this book since last week.

Conditional Mood

The conditional mood is expressed using the particle ger.

The particle ger is truncated from eger (if).
Etymology of eger: Hindi (अगर “agar”), Persian (اگر “agar”), Turkish (eğer)

Conditional Mood
Verb Form Markers Sample Sentences


Mi ger yam pingo.
I would eat the apple.
Conditional Past

ger le

Mi ger le yam pingo.
I would have eaten the apple.

The subordinate clause (if...) uses the dictionary form of the verb.

Mi ger yam pingo eger mi sen yamkal.
I would eat the apple if I were hungry.

Passive Voice

The passive voice is expressed using the prefix be-.

Etymology of be-: Mandarin (被 “bèi”), English (be), Norwegian (ble)

Passive Voice
Verb Form Markers Sample Sentences
Present Passive

(nun) be-

Pingo beyam mi.
The apple is eaten by me.
Past Passive

le be-

Pingo le beyam mi.
The apple was eaten by me.
Future Passive

xa be-

Pingo xa beyam mi.
The apple will be eaten by me.

Although the passive mood can technically also be used with all the compound tenses, in practice it is most often used with the general present, past and future tenses, as illustrated above.

Note: In Globasa, the agent in passive voice sentences is expressed as the direct object without the need for a preposition to mark the agent. In contrast, English marks the agent using by.

Myaw le no velosi yam piu.
The cat didn't eat the bird quickly.

Piu le no velosi beyam myaw.
The bird wasn't quickly eaten by the cat.

Imperative and Jussive Moods

In Globasa, commands (imperative mood) and exhortation (jussive mood) are both expressed using the particle am.

The particle am is truncated from amiru (command)
Etymology of amiru: Arabic (أمر “amr”), Turkish (emir), Swahili (amri, -amuru)

Imperative and Jussive Moods
Verb Form Markers Sample Sentences
Imperative Mood


(Yu) Am yam!

(Uyu) Am yam!
(You all) eat!

Imi am yam!
Let’s eat!
Jussive Mood


Te am yam.
May she eat.

Mi am yam.
May I eat.

Imperative Mood

The pronouns yu and uyu may be omitted when expressing the imperative mood.

Jussive Mood

The jussive mood is similar in meaning to the imperative mood but is used for the 3rd person (te/to, ete/oto), as well as the 1st person singular (mi).

The jussive mood can also function as a mandative subjunctive within subordinate clauses. The mandative subjunctive expresses a demand, requirement, request, recommendation or suggestion.

Mi vole ki te am safegi sesu kamer.
I want him to clean his room.

Mi peti ki imi am xorata jaldi.
I ask that we arrive early.

Kitabu hu xwexiyen am doxo da no sen daymo lungo.
The book that the pupils are to read is not very long.


Negation for all verbs forms is expressed with the word no and, as an adverb, it immediately precedes the verb and any other modifying adverbs.

Marker Sample Sentences

Mi no sen lao.
I am not old.

Te no yam pingo.
S/he doesn't eat the apple.

Am no yam pingo.
Don't eat the apple.

Infinitive Mood

In Globasa, the infinitive verb form is marked with the particle na and is typically omitted within a clause once it has been established with the first verb. See Infinitive Verb Phrases under Sentence Structure.

Etymology of na: Greek (να “na”), Hindi (-ना “-na”)

Subordinate Clauses

As seen above, if clauses in conditional sentences use the dictionary verb form. However, not every sentence that has an if clause is a conditional sentence. Unless the sentence is conditional, if clauses are marked for tense.

Eger mi xa yam pingo, mi xa no haji sen yamkal.
If I eat the apple (in the future), I will no longer be hungry.

Eger te le yam yusu pingo, kam yu xa sen gadibu?
If he ate your apple (in the past), will you be angry?

Eger te yam yusu pingo, kam yu gadibucu?
If he eats your apples (in general), do you get angry?

Sentences with other subordinate clauses

Besides eger (if), subordinate clauses may begin with other conjunctions, such as denwatu hu (when), denloka hu (where), koski (because), etc. Tense markers are obligatory in all these subordinate clauses.