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Palauan Adjectives

The following is a brief discussion about Palauan adjectives. For a longer exploration, please refer to discussions of state verbs in the Joseph Handbooks. According to the official Lewis Joseph grammar book of Palauan, there are no Palauan parts of speech called adjectives. However, Palauan does, of course, have words used to describe other words. In English, we call these words adjectives. Examples of English adjectives are dangerous, beautiful, and hot.

Palauan Resulting State Verbs

In Palauan, words corresponding to English adjectives are called state verbs. There are several types of Palauan state verbs. The most common are resulting state verbs which occur as a result of a verb. Some examples:

Here is a list of seven random Palauan verbs and their resulting state verbs:

chelsuar, v.r.s.(face) slapped; slapped in the face.
chelsuar a chelsbad, chellebed a medal, mla mechesuar.
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rrech, v.r.s.moved; readied; set in order.
rrech a kldmokl; mla mudasu; mla merech a rolel a blengur; mlil a omerael a rrech; rechul.
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rrisu, v.r.s.washed or rinsed off.
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telacheb, v.r.s.wounded/pricked with spine of fish.
telacheb a mla metacheb; telacheb er a ngikel.
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telamk, v.r.s.(beard; bristles; etc.) shaved; (broom) made out of stripped coconut ribs.
telamk a mla metamk; telemikel; tuamk a chesemel; tomkii a bdelul; temkel.
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ulngamk, v.r.s.set right or straight.
ulngamk a mla mungamk; mla locha ungamk er ngii; ulngamk a omekedecheraol, ungemkel a rael.
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ultechakl, v.r.s.intimated; insinuated; stuck (on beach against dock, etc.) after floating ashore; staying in another house or village.
ultechakl a mla motechakl; diall a mla oberius el mei motechakl er a chelmoll; metecheklii otecheklel. Delengchokl me a lechub eng chad el mo ultuil er a ta er a delengchokl e leng chelitechetul a delengcheklel, el omid a ngamk e chui el klauchad.
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Palauan Anticipating State Verbs

Anticipating state verbs in Palauan are like resulting state verbs. However, instead of describing the state of something after a verb has modified it, these describe the state of something before a verb is anticipated to modify it. Here's seven random Anticipating State Verbs:

bechoel, v.a.s.is to be connected.
bechoel a kirel el obech el mo ta medal, omech er a taem, mechir a omerael diak el dob, mech a eru el baeb el mo tang; bechil a baeb.
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bedechekill, v.a.s.is to be thrown down (in fighting, etc.).
bedechekill a kirel el obedechakl, medecheklii a sechelil, medecheklii, klaibedechakl, bedecheklel.
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betekall, v.a.s.is to be shut or closed.
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dedesall, v.a.s.(place) is to be cleared.
dedesall a kirel el mo mededaes; dmedesii, blai a dedesall diak le chelimeluk, dmedaes.
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rekill, v.a.s.is to be picked up out of pot.
rekill a kirel el mengakr; ngeliokl a rekill; merakl, ngmakr a ngeliokl; mla mengakr.
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sechesall, v.a.s.is to be propped open.
sechesall a kirel el mesuches; suchesii, meluches, baiong a sechesall; smuches.
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telekill, v.a.s.(cord etc.) is to be knotted to record date.
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State Verbs with Related Nouns

In English, a common thing to do is to ask 'how XXXX is something,' where XXXX is an adjective. For example, 'how hot is that,' or 'how dangerous is that,' are common English expressions.

This is true in Palauan as well in a form like, 'ng uangarang a kleldelel,' which translates literally perhaps to something like, 'it is like what, its heat,' or figuratively as, 'how hot is it.' The word kleldelel is a possessed noun meaning 'its heat.' See the nouns page for a longer explanation of possessed nouns.

Many of these Palauan nouns have related state verbs which translate to, and are used as, English adjectives. Here is a list of seven random Palauan nouns along with their corresponding state verbs.

Palauan_NounEngish_NounPalauan_AdjEnglish_Adj
karmasuuscowfish.karmasuus
chedeadjellyfish; nettle.chedead not knowing where to go.
idokeldirtiness; filthiness.idokel dirty; filthy.
besokelringworm.besokelringworm.
ngelloklnodding; dozing (off).olengelloklslow-moving; sluggish.
chemaiongdragonfly.chemaiong prone to moving from one boyfriend or girlfriend to another.
cheludechwooden float for fish net; light weight wood used to make corks.cheludechwooden float for fish net; light weight wood used to make corks.

Reng Idioms as Adjectives

There are many Palauan expressions which use a state verb to describe the Palauan word reng which means spirit or heart. These are idioms which mean their literal and figurative meanings are not the same. Typically, but not always, the figurative meaning describes an emotion. An example is kesib a reng, which literally means a sweaty heart but figuratively it means to be angry. Here is a list of seven random examples of these reng idioms:

PalauanEnglish
mechas a rengulbe surprised at.
orreked er a rengulrestrain or control (oneself) (esp., from showing anger).
diak lodengelii a rengul(person) unaware of his limitations or overestimates his abilities or overextends himself with committments.
ngar er a bab a rengulconceited; disrespectful; proud; arrogant; haughty; snobbish.
milkolk a rengul(person is) stupid.
meringel a rengulfeel bad about (something wasted); (something wasted) arouse sympathy; (something valuable) wasted.
rengul a cheluch dregs of coconut oil.

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