GRAMMAR OF FRATER

From the book Frater: The Simplest International Language Ever Constructed  by Phạm Xuân Thái.

ALPHABET

 A  B D E F G I J K L M N O P R S T U 
 a bǝ
 eifǝ 
 i lǝ
ou rǝ
u

Vowels

 A E I O U

Consonants

 B D F G J K L M N P R S T

Stress

The stress is placed on the last syllabe of the word:

          Sistemfrater

There is neither diphtong nor mute in Frater. Every letter is pronounced:

          ebdoma (eb-do-ma)

Roots

Frater roots never change. The noun, the adjective, the verb and the adverb have the same root:

          frater - brother; fraternal; fraternize; fraternally

The roots of Frater belong mostly to Latin and Greek. They have been chosen in consideration of their greatest internationality.

In Frater, we can form all logical words:

          temkia - when
         
tem + kia
          time + what

          samberkulina* - kitchen
         
samber + kulinia
          room + cook

* Domkulina in the original. [T.N.]

Article

There is no definite or indefinite article in Frater.

Feminine

In Frater, it is always the word gine (woman) that forms the feminine of the noun. There is no gender concord.

          frater - brother > fratergine - sister

Plural

There is no number concord in Frater:

          mensa longa - a long table
          tri mensa longa
- three long tables 

We use the word multi (many) to forestall doubt about whether the topic is singular or plural, when there is no qualifier such as several, many, all, three, etc. 

          ili obliga presen informamulti anu a Mitin Komon - it shall submit annual reports to the General Assembly

Compounds

Compounds are formed by combining two or more roots, the main one being placed the first. The root used as a qualificative to the other is placed after the main one:

          domposta - postoffice

Adjectives

In Frater, adjectives are invariant and placed after their nouns with the exception of the cardinal numbers:

          frater - brother, fraternal
          bi frater
- two brothers
          frater maga mi es a London -
my elder brother is in London

Possessive adjectives

They are formed by placing the personal pronouns after their nouns with the preposition ot (of) between the two. Yet the use of ot is optional.

Comparative of adjectives

When the compared object is not mentioned, the comparison is not expressed in Frater:

          kia (es) maga?
         
which be big
          which is bigger?

          dis es maga
         
this be big
          this is bigger

When the compared object is mentioned:

  1. The comparative of superiority "more than" is translated with plus; e.g. mensa dis es mikro - this table is small; mensa na es mikro plus - that table is smaller; mensa mi es mikro plus ot ni - my table is smaller than yours.
  2. The comparative of inferiority "less than" is translated with plusne; e.g. kas ni es serius plusne ot ili - your case is less serious than his.
  3. The comparative of equality "as... as" is translated with je; e.g. biblo ni es maga je ot mi - your book is as big as mine.

Remark: As for verbs and adverbs, the degrees of comparison are formed in the same way as with adjectives:

          mi logo belo plus ni - I speak more rapidly than you
          m
i logo belo plusne ni - I speak less rapidly than you
          m
i logo belo je ni - I speak as rapidly as you

Superlative

Simple superlative: tele - very.

          ros es bel tele - the rose is very beautiful

Relative superlative:

  1. plasuni - the most; e.g. ros es bel plasuni inter flor - the rose is the most beautiful among flowers;
  2. plasunine - the least; e.g. ili es andro desirleban plasunine, mi kones na - he is the least ambitious man that I know.

Cardinal numbers

In Frater, the first nine numbers are:

          1 - uni
          2 - bi
          3 - tri
          4 - kuar
          5 - kuinti
          6 - ses
          7 - sep
          8 - okta
          9 - nona
          0 - nul

Tens: They are formed by combining the first nine numbers with the word deka (ten):

          10 - deka
          20 - bideka
          30 - trideka
          40 - kuadrideka
          50 - kuintideka
          60 - sesdeka
          70 - sepdeka
          80 - oktadeka
          90 - nonadeka

Hundreds, thousands, millions: They are formed by combining the first nine numbers with the words senti (100), mil (1000) and milion (1 000 000): 

          100 - senti
          300 - trisenti
          1000 - mil
          5000 - kuintimil
          1 000 000 - milion
          6 000 000 - sesmilion

Reading of numbers: In Frater, numbers are read as they are written. We read each figure in indicating successively the number of hundreds, tens, and unities.

From 10 to 20:

          11 - dekauni
          12 - dekabi
          13 - dekatri
          14 - dekakuar
          15 - dekakuinti
          16 - dekases
          17 - dekasep
          18 - dekaokta
          19 - dekanona  

From 20 to 100:

          21 - bidekauni
          24 - bidekakuadri
          52 - kuintidekabi
          55 - kuintidekakuinti
          86 - oktadekases
          87 - oktadekasep

The number 365 is read: trisenti-sesdeka-kuinti.

The number 1957 is read: mil-nonasenti-kuintideka-sep.

As for telephone calling, we may read as follows: 21 346: bi-uni-tri-kuadri-ses.

Ordinal numbers

The cardinal numbers once placed after their nouns become ordinal numbers:

          mensa bi es na - the second table is there

Multiplicative numbers

They are formed by adding the word tem (time) to the cardinal numbers:

          bitem  double
         
sestem sextuple

Fractional numbers

They are formed by adding the word unisur (one above) to the cardinal numbers:

          unisurbi - a half
          unisurtri - a third
          unisurkuadri - a quarter

Remark: As the noun, the adjective, the verb and the adverb have the same root:

          uni is also a unity
          deka is also a ten
          dekabi is also a dozen
          senti is also a hundred
          mil is also a thousand
          milion is also a million

Time

Words: To indicate time, we use the following words: sekun (second); minut (minute); ora (o'clock); unisurkuadri (a quarter); unisurbi (a half).

          es kuadri (ora) - it is four o'clock a. m.
         
es deka ses (ora) - it is four o'clock p. m.
         
10.12 - es deka (ora) dekabi (minut)
         
2.30 - es bi (ora) unisurbi
         
4.45 - es kuadri (ora) kuadrideka kuinti
         
5.55 - es kuinti (ora) kuintideka kuinti

How to ask time

          tem es kia? - what time is it?

Dat

          A Paris, 11 Lunadekauni, 1917 - In Paris, 11 November 1917
         
Lito es morta dat 21 Lunasep, 1920
- Peter died on the 21st of July, 1920

Personal pronouns

 mi - I, me mis - we, us
 ni - you (sing.)
 nis - you (plur.)
 ili - he, him, she, her, it
 ilis - they, them

Reflexive pronouns: auto - oneself.

          Lito eksbio auto - Peter kills himself

Possessive pronouns: They are formed by adding ot (of) to the personal pronouns.

 ot mi - mine
 ot mis - ours
 ot ni - yours (sing.)
 ot nis - yours (plur.)
 ot ili - his, hers, its ot ilis - theirs

e.g. frater mi es beni, ot ni je - my brother is happy, yours too

Verb

The verb is absolutely invariant in person and in number.

  • PAS (past) denotes the past tense;
  • FUTUR (future) denotes the future tense;
  • INTEM (in time) denotes the gerund;
  • PROBABLE (probably) denotes the conditional tense.

The passive voice is formed by adding the auxiliary verb es (to be) to the infinitive.

Verb IDE (think)

Present

mi ide - I think  
mis ide - we think
ni ide - you think (sing.)
nis ide - you think (plur.)
ili ide - he, she, it thinks
ilis ide - they think

Past

mi ide pas - I thought mis ide pas - we thought
ni ide pas - you thought (sing.)nis ide pas - you thought (plur.)
ili ide pas - he, she, it thoughtilis ide pas - they thought

Future

mi ide futur - I shall thinkmis ide futur - we shall think
ni ide futur - you will think (sing.)
nis ide futur - you will think (plur.)
ili ide futur - he, she, it will thinkilis ide futur - they will think

Imperative

Stop! - Stop!

Conditional

mi bibe probable - I would drink mis bibe probable - I would drink
ni bibe probable - you would drink (sing.)nis bibe probable - you would drink (plur.)
ili bibe probable - he, she, it would drink
ilis bibe probable - they would drink

Passive voice

mi es trauma - I am wounded
mis es trauma - we are wounded
ni es trauma - you are wounded (sing.)nis es trauma - you are wounded (plur.)
ili es trauma - he, she, it is woundedilis es trauma - they are wounded

Construction of Frater

In Frater, the grammatical order of the sentence is: subject-verb-object. There is no inverting in the word order of Frater.

          mensa bi es na
         
table two be there
         
the second table is there

          mi resta futur a Paris peri bi luna
         
I stay future in Paris about two month
         
I shall stay in Paris about two months

          mi abe ne dola
         
I have no money
         
I have no money

          ni abe futur ne dola
         
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