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Pronouns

A pronoun is a word that refers either to the participants in the discourse at hand (eg. I, you) or to someone or something mentioned in that discourse (eg., he, they, those). In Ido, there are six different types of pronoun: personal, reflexive, possessive, demonstrative, relative, and indefinite.


Personal Pronouns

Strictly speaking, there are only six personal pronouns in Ido:

me I/me ni we/us
vu you vi you all
lu he/she/it li they/them

In English, one makes no distinction between the singular and plural forms of you, except in the somewhat dialectical expression you all (or y’all); in Ido, one says vu only when addressing a single person, vi when addressing a group. Those wishing to express a higher degree of familiarity or antiquarian flavor when addressing a single person (eg., to family and very close friends) can use the secondary pronoun tu (“thou/thee”).

Note that lu refers to any third person entity, regardless of gender or animation:

Ka la postisto livris la pako? Yes, lu livris lu camatine. Did the mailcarrier deliver the package? Yes, they delivered it this morning.

Other languages divide the third person according to gender. This division is not necessary in Ido, but may be translated by the secondary pronouns ilu / ili (he / they), elu / eli (she / they) and olu / oli (it* / they). Except at the end of a clause, the final u is often dropped:

Ka la postisto livris la pako? Yes, il livris ol camatine. Did the mailcarrier deliver the package? Yes, he delivered it this morning.
Il dicis ke el dicis... He said she said...

* “It” in Ido includes inanimate objects as well as entities of indeterminate sex: “infants, children, humans, young, old, people, individuals, horses, bovines, cats, etc.”

All these pronouns refer to specific entities, but there are also two pronouns in Ido for referring to different types of non-specific entities. The first of these is onu, used to refer to an unspecified person or people in general:

Qua dicis to a vu? ‘Onu’. ‘Onu’ multe parolas, no? Yes ya ... yes ya. Who told you that? ‘They’. ‘They’ talk a lot, don’t they? They certainly do ... they certainly do.
On ne aplaudas la tenoro pro klarigar sua voco. One does not applaud the tenor for clearing his throat.
On povas glutar mi-litro de sango ante maladeskar. You can swallow a pint of blood before you get sick.

The second is lo, more or less “the thing/business (just mentioned)” and “that which is”:

Vu deziras ta pafilo, ka no, Zed? Avancez e prenez olu. Me volas lo. You want that gun, don’t you Zed? Go ahead and pick it up. I want you to.
Lo grava esas ne sembligar, ke ni panikas. The important thing is to not make it look like we’re panicking.

Finally, there is the zero pronoun, used for purely impersonal expressions:

Pluvas. It’s raining.

Reflexive Pronouns

A pronoun that refers back to the subject of a clause (eg., English myself, themselves) is called a reflexive pronoun. In Ido, this is identical to the personal pronouns — except for those in the “third person” (he, she, they, etc.), all of which use su:

Me vundis me cadie. I hurt myself today.
Vu vundis vu cadie. You hurt yourself today.
Ni vundis ni cadie. We hurt ourselves today.
El vundis su cadie. She hurt herself today.
Li vundis su cadie. They hurt themselves today.

If one were to use a pronoun other than su in the last two examples, it would mean that the subjects hurt someone else, not themselves:

El vundis el cadie. She hurt her today.
Li vundis li cadie. They hurt them today.

Bear in mind that su refers only to the subject of the clause that it’s in, which may or may not be the main clause of the sentence.

El vidis ke il vundis ilu. She saw that he hurt him.
El vidis ke il vundis su. She saw that he hurt himself.
El vidis il vundar su.* She saw him hurt himself.
El vidis il vundanta su.* She saw him hurting himself.

* An infinitive verb or a participle with a complement counts as a separate clause.


Possessive Pronouns

Possessive pronouns show what belongs to whom, and in Ido are as follows:

mea my/mine nia our/ours
vua your/yours via your/yours
lua his/her/hers/its lia their/theirs

The reflexive is sua, and one can use ilua, elua, and olua for a more gender-specific “his”, “hers”, “its”. There does not appear to be a word for “one’s”, but it would presumably be onua.

Mea Deo! Lu esas plena de steli! My God! It’s full of stars!
Qua esas tua impero, mea mastro? What is thy bidding, my master?
Vua femini, me volas komprar vua femini. Vendez a me vua filiini! Your women, I want to buy your women. Sell me your daughters!
Nulu movez su o me deskrapos elua tota fardo! Nobody move or I scrape off all her makeup!
Il manjis ilua hepato kun fabi e glaso de bona Chianti. He ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.
Il manjis sua (propra) hepato kun fabi e glaso de bona Chianti. He ate his (own) liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.
Revoluciono esas sempre segunlega en la unesma persono, quale « nia revoluciono ». Esas nur en la triesma persono — « lia revoluciono » — ke lu esas kontrelega. Revolution is always legal in the first person, such as “our revolution”. It is only in the third person — “their revolution” — that it is illegal.
Ti ek vi suficante fortunoza havar ankore via vivi, prenez li kun vi! Ma lasez la membri qua vi perdis; li nun apartenas a me. Those of you lucky enough to still have your lives, take them with you! But leave the limbs you have lost; they belong to me now.
Ne suficas sucesar; onua maxim bona amiko devas faliar. It is not enough to succeed; one’s best friend must fail.

Demonstrative Pronouns and Adjectives

Ido has three demonstrative adjectives — ica (“this”), ita (“that”), and tala (“such”) — which are used to indicate a person or thing being referred to in terms of their proximity:

ica mikra porketo this little piggy
ita mikra porketo that little piggy
tala mikra porketo such a little piggy

Ica and ita are usually shortened to ca and ta, without the stylistic rules that govern ilu, elu, and olu: ca mikra porketo.

All three demonstrative adjectives can be used without change as pronouns for the nouns they refer to:

Yen la du mikra porketi! Ca iris a merkato. Ta restis heme. There’s the two little piggies! This one went to market. That one stayed home.

When changed into actual nouns (by adding -o to their roots), they mean not only “this/that thing” but “this/that business or fact”.

Ca iris a merkato, e co plezas a me, ma ta restis heme, e to iracigas me. This one went to market, and this pleases me, but that one stayed home, and that makes me angry.

If necessary, co and to can be prefixed with third person pronouns to indicate gender: ilco, elco, olco.


Relative & Interrogative Pronouns

Relative pronouns refer to an expressed or implied person or thing in another clause; they correspond with English who, what, and which:

Renkontrez la viro qua renkontris Andy Griffith! Meet the man who met Andy Griffith!
Renkontrez la muso qua renkontris Andy Griffith! Meet the mouse that/which met Andy Griffith!
Me ne audis to, quo la viro qua renkontris Andy Griffith dicis. I couldn’t hear what the man who met Andy Griffith said.
Me ne audis, quo perturbis me. I couldn’t hear, which upset me.

Like in English, Ido relative pronouns are also used as interrogative pronouns, that is, pronouns used in questions:

Qua renkontris Andy Griffith? Who (what/which man) met Andy Griffith?
Qua esas la viro qua renkontris Andy Griffith? Who is the man who met Andy Griffith?
Quo la viro qua renkontris Andy Griffith dicis? What did the man who met Andy Griffith say?

Interrogative pronouns take the accusative -n when they are the object of an action, somewhat like who/whom in English:

Quan Andy Griffith insultis? Whom did Andy Griffith insult?
Qua insultis Andy Griffith? Who insulted Andy Griffith?

Indefinite Pronouns

Indefinite pronouns are those that do not refer to any definite person, thing, or amount in particular. Like all Ido words, they can be changed to other parts of speech by changing their endings:

ula some
ulu someone
ulo something
ule somehow
nula no
nulu no one
nulo nothing
nule nohow
omna every
omnu every one, each one
omno everything
omne in every way

And so on.