- The reportative ending on Cherokee verbs works like the past tense ending "v'i" and is often used in stories. It is a past tense form that carries the idea of "this is what I was told" or "this is what I heard". The ᎡᎢ "e'i" syllables are used in this suffix. In colloquial speech the final 'i' is usually dropped.
Examples: ᎤᏴᏣ ᎨᏎᎢ (uyvtsa gese'i) "it was cold, I was told." ᎤᏬᏂᏎᎢ (uwonise'i) "s/he spoke, so I heard."
- All Cherokee verbs that can take an object already have the object "it" understood in the meaning of the verb. Consider and compare the following verbs in the third person singular present tense:
ᎠᎪᏩᏘᎭ agowatiha = s/he, it sees it.
ᎤᏚᎵᎭ uduliha = s/he, it wants it.
ᎪᏪᎵᎠ gohweli'a = s/he, it is writing it.
ᎤᎭ uha = s/he, it has it (lump object).
ᎠᏗᎭ adiha = s/he, it is saying it.
ᎦᏬᏂᎭ gawoniha = s/he, it is speaking it.
ᎠᏕᎶᏆᎠ adelogwa'a = s/he, it is learning it.
ᎠᎩᎠ agia = s/he, it is eating it (lump object).
Thus the sentence:
"The boy is eating bread."
ᎠᏧᏣ ᎦᏚ ᎠᎩᎠ. atsutsa gadu agia.
Is literally "boy bread he-is-eating-it."
- Look at a basic Cherokee verb. It must contain these three things; (1) pronoun prefix (bound pronoun), (2) verb stem, and (3) tense suffix (time marker).
1. You are going - ᎮᎦ he-ga; h- = pronoun "you", -e- = verb stem, and -ga = tense suffix.
2. I am eating something lump - ᏥᎩᎠ tsi-gi-a; tsi- = pronoun "I", -gi- = verb stem, and -a = tense suffix.
Note: Sometimes the separation between the pronoun, verb stem, and tense suffix is not a clear cut between two Cherokee syllables thus is easier to see in phonetic form (see: ᎮᎦ you are going. h-e-ga.)
Gesdi ᎨᏍᏗ vs. Tla Ꮭ. These are regional differences between the Eastern and the Western Cherokee. The meaning and the usage are the same. If you prefer one over the other you only need to switch them accordingly.
I.e. ᎨᏍᏗ ᏱᏥᎪᏩᏘᎭ. gesdi yitsigow'tiha./Ꮭ ᏱᏥᎪᏩᏘᎭ. tla yitsigow'tiha. - "I don't see it."
Questions in Cherokee are formed by adding one of several question markers to the first word in a sentence. The most common question markers are: -s, -sgo, -tsu. Examples: ama-s tsaduli. (Do you want water?); tsalagi-sgo gawoni. (Does he speak Cherokee?); holga-tsu asgwani. (Do you understand Spanish?). More on Questions.