Affirmative and Negative Commands in Chamorro

There are many different types of commands in Chamorro. There are affirmative commands, negative commands, indirect commands and ta commands.

As with constructing declarative sentences in Chamorro, to give commands we must take into account the number of people involved and the existence and type of an object. The number of people involved refers to the number of people you are giving the command to, and an object’s type refers to the object being specific or non-specific.

Using UM Verbs

By itself, the infinitive form of the intransitive verb is used to address one or two people.

Chochu! Eat!
Baila! Dance!
Såga! Stay!

To address three or more people, we need to use the prefix fan. This prefix is essentially the same as the prefix man used to denote the plural when constructing regular sentences.

Using Transitive MAN Verbs

Because the transitive verb takes an object, using the root verb by itself assumes there’s an object.

Kånno’! Eat it!
Taitai! Read it!
Påtik! Kick it!

The actual object can also be mentioned, and because you are using a transitive verb, the object here is specific.

Kånno’ i na’-mu. Eat your food.
Taitai i lepblo-mu. Read your book.
Påtik i petta. Kick the door.

Now, if the object is non-specific or if there is no object, you must turn the transitive command intransitive by adding fan.

Fanaitai! Read!
Fanestudia! Study!
Fama’tinas hineksa’! Make rice!

The above examples address only 1 or 2 people. To address three or more, you need to add the prefix man.

Fanmanaitai! (All of you,) read!
Fanmanestudia! (All of you,) study!
Fanmama’tinas hineksa’! (All of you,) make rice!

Negative Commands

To order someone not to do something we use the word munga, which means “don’t”, followed by the action. The verb here, no matter the type, must be conjugated in the completed form.

munga + verb

Using UM Verbs

The form of the UM is exactly the same as when conjugating it for a regular

Munga chumochu. Don’t eat.
Munga mañochu. Don’t eat (, all of you!) (3+)
Munga kumuentos. Don’t talk.
Munga manguentos. Don’t talk (, all of you!) (3+)

Using MAN Verbs

How we use MAN verbs always depends on whether or not a specific object is involved.

With specific objects
Munga mataitai i lepblo-mu. Don’t read your book.
Munga matuge’ i na’an-mu. Don’t write your name.

Without specific objects
Munga manaitai. Don’t read.
Munga manaitai lepblo. Don’t read a book. OR, Don’t read books.
Munga mangge’. Don’t write.
Munga mangge’ kåtta. Don’t write a letter.


View more posts from this author