Pronouns are words such as "I, we, you, it" etc.
- tul: to hope
- Qap: to succeed
- ghom: group
The speaker most commonly encounters "pronouns" when using Klingon's pronominal prefixes. The verb prefixes conjugate the verb that they are prefixed to. In English, one conjugates verbs in many ways, depending on such things as the number of the subject and object, tense, etc. In Klingon, one conjugates using the prefixes depending on the "type" of the subject and object; that is, the type of pronouns that the subject and object can respectively be replaced with. Each prefix represents the type of subject and the type of object.
In the sentence vIlegh, meaning "I see he/she/it", the speaker uses the prefix vI to indicate that the subject is "I" and the object is "he/she/it". Using simple pronouns to disambiguate, the speaker could say Duj vIlegh jIH, "I see the ship", with jIH "I" as the subject and Duj "ship" as the object. As the noun ship belongs to the category of it, the speaker uses vI (subject I, object he/she/it).
Just about all English pronouns have Klingon equivalents, though Klingon does not differentiate pronouns depending on whether the speaker uses the pronoun as a subject or an object. To clarify: In English two words mean "myself": I and me. One uses "I" only as a subject, and one uses "me" only as an object. In Klingon, the pronoun jIH, meaning "I/me" serves the same purpose that "I" and "me" do, and the speaker can use it as a subject or an object.
The prefix in front of each verb in a Klingon sentence denotes both the object and the subject of the sentence, but one can use the pronoun words in Klingon to supplement the prefixes, especially to rectify ambiguities produced by some of the prefixes that denote different objects and subjects depending on context. (see #Prefixes for an example of that)
- bIH: they, them (for use with nonsentient objects)
- chaH: they, them (for use with beings who can speak)
- 'e': that (referring to previous part of sentence, see below)
- ghaH: he/she, him/her
- jIH: I, me
- maH: we, us
- net: that (similar to 'e'; also: see below)
- 'oH: it
- soH: you (singular)
- tlhIH: you (plural)
'e' and net
Klingon uses 'e' to refer to the previous part of the sentence (see Subject-Object-Verb), i.e., in the English sentence "He hopes that his team will win," one makes his team will win into the object of the sentence, by the use of "that". "that" is used in the same way that one uses 'e' in a Klingon sentence.
Qap ghomDaj 'e' tul ghaH: He hopes that his group succeeds
- Qap ghomDaj, his group succeeds; tul ghaH, he hopes
net is synonymous with 'e', but is used only when the verb of the sentence to be used as an object has no prefix, and the subject intended by the speaker is one or someone, rather than he, she, it, or they that is normally intended to be the subject when the verb has no prefix.
As "to be"
When the speaker wishes to describe a state of "being" between a pronoun and something else ("She is an engineer"), the speaker uses the pronoun as if it were a verb, as Klingon has no word meaning "to be". The pronoun, accepts verb suffixes.
jo'wI ghaHbej She is definitely an engineer
jo'wI, engineer; ghaHbej, "She is definitely"