Tense & Aspect


Marker particles are used to indicate tenses and aspects. Usually, these follow the verb, but they may be moved for emphatic purposes.

Tense Aspect Particle Example Translation (approx)
present (ca) afón (ca) I drink/I am drinking
present habitual hron afón hron I (habitually) drink
present perfect afón gó I have drunk
present progressive
góca afón góca I have been drinking
past simple in afón in I drank
past progressive inca afón inca I was drinking
past habitual inhron afón inhron I used to drink
past perfect ingó afón ingó I had drunk
past progressive
ingóca afón ingóca I had been drinking
future simple na afón na I will drink
future progressive naca afón naca I will be drinking
future habitual nahron afón nahron I will (habitually) drink
future perfect nagó afón nagó I will have drunk
future progressive
nagóca afón nagóca I will have been drinking

The simple present and the present progressive have, over time, collapsed into one another, and the resulting expression has no separate marker. The original present progressive marker is sometimes used for emphatic purposes however (afón ca!: I am drinking! Stop nagging me!).