Tense is the grammaticalisation of time reference. Hilinqwo is concerned with the three basic categories of "before now", i.e. the past; "now", i.e. the present; and "after now", i.e. the future.

The tenses have characteristic vowels: i indicates the present tense, a the past, and u the future.1

In all cases, one can replace the final t with s, m or n to make an adjective for the subject, direct object and indirect object respectively.

Indicative Active participle Passive participle Infinitive Subject Adjective Object Adjective
Present -it ("it does") -isit ("it is doing")
-isat ("it was doing")
-isut ("will be doing")
-istit ("it is done")
-istat ("it was done")
-istut ("it will be done")
-ir -is -im
Past -at ("it did") -asit ("it has done")
-asat ("it had done")
-asut ("it will have done")
-astit ("it has been done")
-astat ("it had been done")
-astut ("it will have been done")
-ar -as -am
Future -ut ("it will do") -usit ("it is going to do")
-usat ("it was going to do")
-usut ("it will be going to do")
-ustit ("it is going to be done")
-ustat ("it was going to be done")
-ustut ("it will be going to be done")
-ur -us -um


Some Hilinqwo elements indicate the mood or attitude of the speaker. Usually mood is expressed by using an express word, though there can be cases where the choice of one base over another indicates mood. For those groups that indicate mood, and their respective elements, see the Modal supergroup.

Realis Moods (REAL)

A realis mood is a mood which is used principally to indicate a situation that the speaker knows, understands, or claims to be absolutely true or false.

Mood English Example Hilinqwo Translation Indication or Expression
Indicative (IND)2 "This happens." Þos kerit. Factual statements and positive beliefs. All intentions that a particular language does not categorize as another mood are classified as indicative. This is the default mood for Hilinqwo speech.
Declarative (DEC) "This definitely happens." Verœ þos kerit. Truth without any qualification.
Energetic "This absolutely happens." Strong belief or emphasis by the speaker.

Irrealis Moods

An irrealis moods is any mood that is not a realis mode. That is, an irrealis mood is any more that expresses condition, uncertainy, possibility, wish or desire, fear, counterfactual reasonings, etc.

Note: Terms that are grouped together need disambiguation.

Mood English Example Hilinqwo Translation Indication or Expression
"If this happens… " Þos kerawt. Action is the condition on which something else depends.
Conditional "This would happen."
"This could happen."
"This may happen."3
Makœ Þos kerit. Speak of an event whose realization is dependent upon another condition, particularly, but not exclusively, in conditional sentences.
Potential "This probably happens."
"This has the ability to happen."
Þos kerabosit. In the opinion of the speaker, the action or occurrence is considered likely.
Exceptive4 "This happens unless …" The action is likely or certain to happen unless a certain condition is met.
Volitive (VOL)
"I want this to happen."
"I hope that this happens."
"I wish this would happen."
"I fear that this will happen."
Venosœ þos kerit. "I want …"
Sperosœ þos kerit. "I hope …"
Speaker's hopes, desires, wishes, or fears. Expectation is dependent on causes that are beyond the speaker's control.
Precative (PREC)
"Please happen."
"(Please) let this happen."
Æskœ þos kerit. "I ask that …"
Mendœ þos kerit. "I beg that …"
Plea, insistence, imploring, self-encouragement, wish, desire, intent, command, purpose or consequence.
Imperative "Happen!"
"It must happen."
Direct and unquestionable commands and prohibitions.5
Dubitative "I doubt that this happens." Speaker's doubt or uncertainty about the event denoted by the verb.
Hypothetical "This could happen [if…]" A counterfactual but possible event or situation.
Presumptive "[Even] if this happens … " Presupposition or hypothesis, regardless the fact denoted by the verb, as well as other more or less similar attitudes: doubt, curiosity, concern, condition, indifference, inevitability.
Permissive "I allow this to happen."
"I approve of this happening."
Licodœ þos kerit.
Venerodœ þos kerit.
Permission granted by the speaker.
Admirative (MIR) "This happens? No… " Surprise, but also doubt, irony, sarcasm, etc.
Inferential (INFER)
"I heard that this happens." See Evidentiality. Reports a nonwitnessed event without confirming it.
Interrogative "Does this happen?" Questions.


Aspect is a grammatical category that expresses how an action, event or state, denoted by a verb, relates to the flow of time.

A basic aspectual distinction is that between perfective and imperfective aspects. Perfective aspect is used in referring to an event conceived as bounded and unitary, without reference to any flow of time during it ("I helped him"). Imperfective aspect is used for situations conceived as existing continuously or repetitively as time flows ("I was helping him"; "I used to help people"). Further distinctions can be made, for example, to distinguish states and ongoing actions (continuous and progressive aspects) from repetitive actions (habitual aspect).

Certain aspectual distinctions express a relation in time between the event and the time of reference. This is the case with the perfect aspect, which indicates that an event occurred prior to (but has continuing relevance at) the time of reference: "I have eaten"; "I had eaten"; "I will have eaten".

Different languages make different grammatical aspectual distinctions; some do not make any. The marking of aspect is often conflated with the marking of tense and mood. Aspectual distinctions may be restricted to certain tenses: in Latin and the Romance languages, for example, the perfective–imperfective distinction is marked in the past tense, by the division between imperfects and preterites. Explicit consideration of aspect as a category first arose out of study of the Slavic languages; here verbs often occur in the language in pairs, with two related verbs being used respectively for imperfective and perfective meanings.

Note the distinction between aspect and tense. Tense indicates when the situation takes place, and thus the tense marker varies appropriately. Aspect should be independent of tense, but if an aspect cannot be independent of tense, then it should clarify the tense.

Aspect English Example Hilinqwo Translation Indication or Expression
Generic I help him. Eqos awksodit jirom. General truths.
Perfective I helped him. Eqos awksodat jirom. Event viewed in its entirety, without reference to its temporal structure during its occurrence.
Imperfective See specifics
- Continuous I help him.
I am helping him.
I continue to help him.
Eqos awksodisit jirom. Situation is ongoing and either evolving or unevolving.
- - Progressive I am helping him. Eqos awksodisit jirom. Situation is ongoing and evolving.
- - Stative I know French. Situation is ongoing but not evolving.
- Habitual I help him every day. Situation is repeated with some degree of regularity.
Momentane I helped him once.
Perfect I have arrived. Brings attention to the consequences of a situation in the past.
A conflation of aspect and tense.
- Recent Perfect I just helped him.
Prospective I am about to help him.
I will help him shortly.
Brings attention to the anticipation of a future situation.
A conflation of aspect and future tense.
Episodic I helped him xxx. (non-gnomic)
Continuative I am still helping him. Eqos staawksodisit jirom. Action or situation that is in progress.
Inceptive I started helping him. Beginning of a new action or dynamic situation.
I finished helping him. End of an action or dynamic situation.
- Completive I finished helping him; we finished the work. Normal or expected cessation.
- Abortive I finished helping him … Abnormal cessation.
The flowers started to bloom. Entrance into a new state or static situation.
Egressive The flowers finished blooming. Exit from a state or static situation.
Durative I helped him for a while. Situation that existed for a limited amount of time, then ceased.
Pausative I stopped helping him for a while. Momentary pause in a situation or action.
Resumptive I resumed helping him. Resumption of a situation or action that had paused.
Punctual I helped him xxx. Occurance at the expected time or condition.
Defective I almost helped him. Failure of a situation to commence.
Delimitative I helped him for an hour. Situation that occured over a delimited amount of time.
Frequentative Sparkler (vs "sparker") Pluskintoro Action or situation represented as the repeated execution of another singular action.
Protractive The argument went on and on. Persistent action or state, particularly with little or no indication of cessation.
Iterative I help him again and again. Eqos pluawksodit jirom.
Experiential I have helped him many times. Eqos awksodasit multet jirom. Repeated or multiple occurance in the past.


Intensive: Stronger, more forceful, or more concentrated action relative to the root on which the intensive is built.

Luknos qalukorat. The lamp glared.

Moderative: Kept or keeping within reasonable or proper degrees of strength, force or concentration.

Luknos xxxlukorat. The lamp shone.

Attenuative: Weaker, less forceful, or less concentrated action relative to the root on which the attenuative is built.

Luknos xxxlukorat. The lamp glimmered.


Intentional: Occurance with intent.

I helped him as I had promised.

Accidence: Occurance absence of intent.

I helped him even though I wasn't planning to.


In linguistics, a copula (or linking verb) is a word used to equate or associate the subject of a sentence with a predicate. A copula is sometimes (though not always) a verb or a verb-like part of speech. The term is generally used to refer to the main copular verb in the language: in the case of English, this is "to be". It can also be used to refer to all such verbs in the language: in that case, English copulas include "to be", "to become", "to get", "to feel", and "to seem". Other verbs have secondary uses as copulative verbs, as fall in "The zebra fell victim to the lion."6

Hilinqwo uses different base endings to designate objects and subjects, and there is an implied verb of being in the use of the base endings. Therefore there is no need for an explicit copula.

  • Homos kanom. People are dogs.
  • Kanos homon. Dogs are people.

[[Participles ]]

A participle is an adjective or complement to certain auxiliaries that refers to participation in the action or state of the verb; a verbal form used as an adjective. In Hilinqwo, a participle is formed by appending the suffix -is* (present) or -as* (past) to a base. The participle base can be used like any other base, modified with the appropriate ending to form a gerund, present adjective, past adjective, or adverb.