Lesson 3: Introduction to Verbs

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Verbs are the most difficult part of Rihan grammar for English speakers to learn, as they conjugate much differently than do English verbs. Instead they conjugate similar to verbs in Latin or in one of its modern descendants, like Spanish or Italian. Rihan verb conjugations are regular though, so the good news is that once you learn them, you can easily conjugate any verb without having to remember a long list of exceptions.

There are two simple tenses, three aspects, three voices, and four moods of Rihan verbs. English has many of the same verb types, though in English there are usually only two or three different forms of a verb that are used across all the types, while in Rihan there are 60.

Don't panic just yet! You're not expected to learn all 60 at once. We'll start off with the most commonly used verb forms and slowly go from there. Once you've learned several verb forms, you'll quickly discover patterns in their conjugation which will make them easier to remember.

Present and Past

This lesson will focus on what in English we commonly call present and past tense verbs in both their positive (indicative) and negative moods. The dictionary form of Rihan verbs is the Present Active Indicative Indicative. We'll just call it the present tense though, as it serves the same function as the English present tense.

To form the past tense, or the Past Active Indicative Indicative, you simply add the suffix -n to the end of the present tense.

To form the negative mood of the present tense, called the Present Active Indicative Negative, you simply add -(u)khe to the present tense. The u is inserted if the verb ends in a consonent, otherwise only -khe is added.

To form the negative mood of the past tense, called the Past Active Indicative Negative, you add -akhe to the end of the present tense.

Common Rihan Verbs
Present urri
Past urrin
Present, Negative urrikhe
not go
not speak
not walk
not sleep
not eat
Past, Negative urriakhe
didn't go
didn't speak
didn't walk
didn't sleep
didn't eat


Rihan verbs do not change for person when using pronouns. Whether the pronoun is first person, second person, or third person, the verb is the same.

Arhem urri.
I go. I am going.

Rii urri.
She goes. She is going.

Like and Not Like

Some Rihan verbs express the negative in their positive form. Two such common occurrences are with the verbs fvakiir, "to dislike an object or thing," and chohha, "to dislike a person."

The verb drahha means "to like," but when one wishes to express that they don't like someone or something, they would properly use fvakiir and chohha instead of creating a negative version of drahha.

In common speech, though, especially among the poor and uneducated, one might hear the words drahhakhe or drahha'akhe. This is grammatically incorrect. It is similar to using an English double negative, e.g. "I didn't get no ticket." Such usage may legitimately occur, however, in humor, poetry, or other places where language play is often employed.

Words such as chohhakhe, "to not dislike someone," and "fvakiirukhe, "to not dislike an object or a thing," are not incorrect, however. To use these words would be to express that one does not hate someone or something as had been implied.

Man: Hwi chohha arhem.
You dislike me.
Woman: Dhat, arhem chohhakhe hwi.
No, I do NOT dislike you.
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