Egon 1

10. To Be or Not To Be - Egon and the NON(Inessive) Case

Egon (To Be)

  • Southern Basque (like Spanish) has two different verbs that can be translated as "to be"; Izan and Egon.

  • Izan, discussed earlier, is used for facts or qualities that are fairly permanent, fixed attributes of something.

  • For example:

    • Mutila naiz. I am a boy.

    • Hura handia da. He is big.

    • Ni Italiarra naiz. I am Italian.

  • Egon is used to express temporary states or locations. For example:

    • Mutila zikina dago. The boy is dirty.

    • Mikel Donostian dago. Mikel is in San Sebastian.

    • Euskal herrian dago. He/She is in Basque country.

    • Etxean nago. I am at home.

  • Northern Basque (in France) does not have this distinction, so "to be" is translated as izan in almost all contexts.

  • In Northern Basque, egon is used to mean "to stay" instead of "to be", so "Euskal herrian dago" would mean "I am staying in Basque Country" not "I am in Basque Country".

  • Note that both Egon and Izan are also used to describe feelings. Nekatuta nago. I am tired.(Emotions will be covered later in this course).

  • When using Egon (or Izan in Northern Basque) to show that a subject is in or at a location you need to use the Inessive case, which answers the question NON - where.

Inessive(NON) Case

  • The inessive NON case is only used with inanimate objects and is used to show the subject is in, on or upon something/someplace.

  • In this lesson you will be introduced to the single definite form of the NON - Inessive

  • The NON - Inessive case is used to show that the subject(s) is in/on/upon the ojbect(s).

  • Single definite

    • Ending: -(E)AN

    • Examples: etxeAN (in a house) haranAN (in a valley)

  • When adding suffixes, A+E = E, A+A=A, others are added, like exEEtan.

  • Egon can also be used to mean "There is" or "There are" (Hontza da/dago There is an owl), but normally to emphasis the existence of something, the affirmative particle "ba-" is used with the conjugated verbs and placed before the subject. - Badago hontza.

  • Note that the ba- particle is not used with negative sentences.

    • Txoria dago zuhaitzean. The bird is in the tree.

    • Badago txori bat zuhaitzean. There is a bird in the tree.

    • Ez dago txori zuhaitzean. There is not a bird in the tree.

Vocabulary Egon 1

  • Ni nago: I am
  • Zu zaude: You are
  • Hura dago: He/she/it is
  • Gu gaude: We are
  • Zuek zaudete: You (plural) are
  • Haiek daude: They are
  • zuhaitz: tree
  • non: where
  • kanpo: outside
  • barruan: inside

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