Word Order: Sentence Structure


The typical phrase order in Globasa is Subject-Verb-Object.


Direct Object Marker

Other than S-V-O, Globasa allows two other options with the subject always preceding the verb: S-O-V and O-S-V.  This flexible phrase order is made possible using the direct object marker el, which essentially functions as a preposition. As illustrated below, el is used with S-O-V and O-S-V, which are typically only used in poetry and song lyrics.

  • Patre mwa matre. - (S-V-O) The father kisses the mother.

  • Patre el matre mwa. - (S-O-V) The father kisses the mother.

  • El matre patre mwa. - (O-S-V) The father kisses the mother.

Etymology of el: Korean (을 “eul”)



Globasa uses the verb is (be), known as the copula, to link together noun phrases and/or infinitive verb phrases. 


Stative Verb Sentences

In Globasa, adjectives are used as verbs and do not need to be linked to the subject with a copula. These predicative adjectives are known as stative verbs.



Infinitive Verb Phrases

Infinitive verb phrases are marked by the particle na followed by the verb. They are used in the following sentence structures.

Noun/Verb Complements

The infinitive verb form must be used in noun and verb (transitive, intransitive or stative) complements.​

  • Verb Complements

Mi suki na lala. 
I like to sing.

Mi musi na ergo.

I must work. or I have to work.

Mi no abil na danse.

I cannot dance.

Gitara asan na soti. 
The guitar is easy to play. 

Mi jumbi na idi. 
I am ready to go. 


  • Noun Complements

misu xiwon na oko yu - my desire to see you

Nominal Verb Phrases

Verb phrases functioning in the place of noun phrases are known as nominal verb phrases and require the infinitive verb form.


In these sentences, the infinitive verb phrase may be moved to the end of the sentence if it is not already in that position.

Cele is na triunfa.

The goal is to win.

Na sabarkal is problem.
To be impatient is a problem. 

Is problem na sabarkal.

It is a problem to be impatient.

  • As the subject of a stative verb sentence:


In these sentences, the infinitive verb phrase may also be moved to the end of the sentence.

Na soti gitara asan.
To play the guitar is easy. or Playing the guitar is easy.
Asan na soti gitara.
It is easy to play the guitar.

Na suyon in bahari amusane.
To swim in the sea is fun. or Swimming in the sea is fun.

Amusane na suyon in bahari.
It is fun to swim in the sea.

  • As the complement of a preposition:

fe tayday fe na danse - Instead of dancing

Te le sokutu dur na danse.
He fell while dancing.

Fe na doxo, nini le xorsomno.
Reading, the boy fell asleep.

Prepositional Phrases

Globasa, like most SVO languages, uses prepositions rather postpositions. Prepositional phrases always immediately follow the noun phrases they modify. 


Myaw in sanduku somno.
The cat in the box is sleeping. 

Prepositional phrases that modify verbs enjoy relative free word order. By default, they immediately follow the verb. However, they may be moved anywhere in the sentence. This movement of prepositional phrases may be indicated using commas, as seen below. 

Myaw yam in sanduku maux. 

Myaw, in sanduku, yam maux. 

Myaw yam maux, in sanduku
In sanduku, myaw yam maux. 

The cat eats the mouse in the box. 

Indirect Object

The indirect object is always marked with the preposition tas (to, for). Indirect object phrases, like direct object phrases marked with el, may be moved without the need to indicate movement using commas. 

Mi gibe kitabu tas nini.
I give the book to the child. 

Mi gibe tas nini kitabu.

I give the child the book. 

Mi gibe kitabu tas te.
I give the book to her/him.

Mi gibe tas te kitabu.

I give her/him the book.

Mi gibe to tas nini.

I give it to the child. 

Mi gibe to tas te. 

I give it to her/him.

Tas nini mi gibe kitabu. 
To the child I give a book. 

Tas te mi gibe to. 
To her/him I give it. 

Prepositional Verbs


In Globasa, prepositions are turned into verbs using the suffix -ya in order to combine subjects with prepositional phrases.  


Prepositional verbs may or may not be followed by a noun phrase.

Myaw inya.
The cat is inside. 

As nouns, prepositions that add -ya may form prepositional phrases with fe.

Fe inya, myaw somno.

Inside, the cat is sleeping.

Myaw fe inya somno.

The cat inside is sleeping.

Nouns used in phrasal prepositions may also be used as verbs in the same way as prepositional verbs.

Myaw ruke sanduku. 
The cat is behind the box. 

Myaw ruke.
The cat is in the back. 

Fe ruke, myaw somno.
In the back, the cat is sleeping. 

Myaw fe ruke somno. 
The cat in the back is sleeping.

Myaw fe ruke de sanduku somno.

The cat behind the box is sleeping.

leya and xaya

The nouns leya and xaya also function as the verb counterparts to the prepositions lefe and xafe. In other words, lefeya and xafeya are not used, just as leli and xali are used instead of lefeli and xafeli. 


  • leya - (n) the past; (v) be before, come before, precede

  • xaya - (n) the future; (v) be after, come after, follow 


The prepositional verb feya functions as a copula with the question words keloka (where) and kewatu (when). 

Myaw feya keloka?
Where is the cat?

Filme feya kewatu?
When is the movie?

As a result, feya may be used as a copula with all prepositions of place and time as an alternative to turning said preposition into a verb, as described above. 

Myaw feya in sanduku. = Myaw inya sanduku. 
The cat is in the box. 

Filme feya xafe axamli yam. = Filme xaya axamli yam. 
The movie is (comes) after dinner. = The movie follows dinner. 


The verb hay is used to express there is/are. Phrases in sentences with hay enjoy free word order, as the following examples illustrate.

Hay multi kitabu in kitabudom.
There are many books in the library.

Multi kitabu hay in kitabudom.

There are many books in the library.

In kitabudom hay multi kitabu.

In the library there are many books.

The verb hay is also used in sentences related to atmospheric conditions, such as the following:

Hay barix.
"There is rain."
It's raining. 

Hay termo.
"There is heat."
It's warm. 


The conjunction ki is used when a clause (a complete sentence) functions as the subject or direct object of a sentence. 

Clause in Place of Direct Object


Clause in Place of Subject

Clauses in place of the subject may be moved to the end of the sentence. 

No surprisa mi ki yu le xuli mobil. 
It doesn't surprise me that you repaired the car.

Ke- Questions

In Globasa, the word order in interrogative sentences is the same as that of their counterpart statements. 

Yusu name is keto? 
"Your name is what?"
What is your name?

Misu name is Roberto.
My name is Robert.


Yu kepul?
"You are how?"
How are you?

Mi bono.

I'm fine.


Parti xa okur keloka?
"The party will happen where?"
Where will the party take place?

Parti xa okur in misu preferido yamkan.
The party will take place in my favorite restaurant.


To the extent possible under law, Globasa.net has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work.

  • Facebook