10.24. Tense questions: cu'e

The following cmavo is discussed in this section:



tense question

There are two main ways to ask questions about tense. The main English tense question words are When? and Where?. These may be paraphrased respectively as At what time? and At what place? In these forms, their Lojban equivalents simply involve a tense plus ma, the Lojban sumti question:

Example 10.179. 

do klama le zdani ca ma
You go-to the house [present] [what-sumti?].
You go-to the house at what-time?

When do you go to the house?

Example 10.180. 

le verba vi ma pu cadzu le bisli
The child [short-space] [what-sumti?] [past] walks-on the ice.
The child at/near what-place walked-on the ice?

Where did the child walk on the ice?

There is also a non-specific tense and modal question, cu'e, belonging to selma'o CUhE. This can be used wherever a tense or modal construct can be used.

Example 10.181. 

le nanmu cu'e batci le gerku
The man [what-tense?] bites the dog.

When/Where/How does the man bite the dog?

Possible answers to Example 10.181 might be:

Example 10.182. 


Some ways from here.

Example 10.183. 


A long time ago.

Example 10.184. 

vi le lunra
[short-space] The moon.

On the moon.

Example 10.185. 


He hasn't yet done so.

or even the modal reply (from selma'o BAI; see Section 9.6):

Example 10.186. 

seka'a le briju
With-destination the office.

The only way to combine cu'e with other tense cmavo is through logical connection, which makes a question that pre-specifies some information:

Example 10.187. 

do puzi je cu'e sombo le gurni
You [past-short] and [when?] sow the grain?

You sowed the grain a little while ago; when else do you sow it?

Additionally, the logical connective itself can be replaced by a question word:

Example 10.188. 

la .artr. pu je'i ba nolraitru
That-named Arthur [past] [which?] [future] is-a-king

Was Arthur a king or will he be?

Answers to Example 10.188 would be logical connectives such as je, meaning both, naje meaning the latter, or jenai meaning the former.