Egon 1

9. 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) haranEAN (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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