September 1, 2020
The Linking Particle na
The particle na is truly one of the most versatile particles in the Chamorro language. The following description below lists all the different ways in which na is used.
“Na” as a Noun Modifier
One of the most basic ways to use na is to connect an adjective with the noun it modifies.
Maolek na estudiante
A good student
Dånkolo na guma’
A big house
Agaga’ na kareta
A red car
“Na” as a General Modifier
Tres na sitbesa.
Guiya na taotao ti ya-ña masangåni.
He’s a person who doesn’t like to be told.
Guaha na taotao ti yan-ñiha tumåtes.
Some people do not like tomatoes.
“Na” as a Conjunction
The particle na is used in the same way as the subordinating conjunction “that” in English. In conversational English, the conjunction “that” is often omitted, but in Chamorro, it must always be used.
Kao un tungo’ na magraduha si Jennifer?
Did you know that Jennifer graduated?
Maolek na matto hao.
It’s good that you came.
Hagas ha’ hu tungo’ na guiya.
I always knew that it was him.
The particle na can also be used in sentences where we would use “rather” or “but” in English. For example, one might say “It’s not blue, but red in color.” That is, the second clause corrects the initial negative.
Ti matuhok yu’ na yayas ha’ yu’.
I’m not sleepy, but just tired.
Ti ha fa’tinas, na ha fåhan gi tenda.
He didn’t make, but rather he bought it at the store.
Ti asut na betde.
It’s not blue, but green.
“Na” to ask a Negative Rhetorical Question
These are questions where we anticipate an affirmative answer.
Na ti hågu fumåhan i pan?
But weren’t you the one who bought the bread?
Na ti si Peter hao sumangåni?
But wasn’t Peter the one who told you?