What if I told you, that by the end of this 3-part blog post series, you’ll know how to structure each of the following 8 types of sentences?
- Can I…?
- Could I….?
- May I…?
- Should I…?
- Must I…?
- Do I have to…?
- Do I need to…?
- Shall I…?
…and what if I told you that with the short-cuts and tips I’ll give you, it’s going be a walk in the (Viharamahadevi) park for you?
Oh boy, have I got your attention now… :)
It all comes down to what I’ve already told you on my About Page:
By deconstructing spoken Sinhala into its most important bits, we can discover common patterns across different areas that we can then group together.
Whoop-dee-doo, but what’s the point of doing this?
Because by grouping different areas based a common set of rules, we minimize the amount of “new” rules we need to learn. No point taxing your brain unnecessarily, right?
So to come back to the above 8 sentence types, the great news is that when expressing them in Sinhala, some of them use the SAME words and SAME sentence structure, making our lives much easier.
Based on these common set of rules, I’ve bunched them into the 3 following groups;
So relax, stay focused, and I’ll show you the simplest way to learn all 3.
1. The “Can I?” Group
This group consists of:
- “Can I…?”
- “Could I…?”
- “May I…?”
As mentioned above, in spoken Sinhala, we use the same words and sentence structure to express the above 3.
Let’s learn what these words are:
Learning to ask “Can I?”, “Could I?”, and “May I?”
Let’s first learn how to say the positive statements, “I can”, “I could”, and “I may”:
“I can” / “I could” / “I may”
(Note that this literally reads as “for me, can”)
Now, if you remember from Episode 3 of the Sinhala Video Tutorials, I gave you a simple rule to convert a positive statement into a question, which I have reproduced below:
Using the above grammar rule, we can now convert the previous positive statements into the question form, which will be “Can I?”, “Could I?”, and “May I?”
“Can I?” / “Could ?” / “May I?”
(Note that this literally reads as “for me, can?”)
Example: Learning to ask “Can I eat?”, “Could I eat?”, and “May I eat?”
The relevant grammar rule for asking these type of questions is as follows:
The infinitive of “eat” (which in English is “to eat”) is kan∙nȧ in Sinhala. Therefore…
|“Can I / Could I / May I eat?”||ma∙tȧ kan∙nȧ pu∙lu∙wan∙dhȧ?|
Et voila! That’s all for the “Can I?” Group.
But before we end Part 1 of this blog-post series, let’s look at some other similar examples that you can already start using.
Here are more infinitives of some common verbs:
- “to drink”: bon∙nȧ
- “to come”: én∙nȧ
- “to go”: yan∙nȧ
- “to help”: u∙dhauw kȧ∙ran∙nȧ
- “to ask”: a∙han∙nȧ
Using these infinitives, we can now construct the following sentences using the exact same guidelines as above:
“Can I / Could I / May I…
|…eat something?”||ma∙tȧ mo∙nȧ∙va∙ha∙ri kan∙nȧ pu∙lu∙wan∙dhȧ?|
|…drink some water?”||ma∙tȧ va∙thu∙rȧ pod∙dak bon∙nȧ pu∙lu∙wan∙dhȧ?|
|…come in?”||ma∙tȧ ae∙thu∙lȧ∙tȧ én∙nȧ pu∙lu∙wan∙dhȧ?|
|…go?||ma∙tȧ yan∙nȧ pu∙lu∙wan∙dhȧ?|
|…go with you?”||ma∙tȧ o∙yaath ék∙kȧ yan∙nȧ pu∙lu∙wan∙dhȧ?|
|…help you?”||ma∙tȧ o∙yaa∙tȧ u∙dhauw kȧ∙ran∙nȧ pu∙lu∙wan∙dhȧ?|
|…ask you a question?”||ma∙tȧ o∙yaa∙gén prash∙nȧ∙yak a∙han∙nȧ pu∙lu∙wan∙dhȧ?|
And that’s the end of Part 1.
If you’ve understood everything so far, take a short break and then go ahead to Part 2.
If not, leave your questions below and I’ll get back to you with an answer.