Quantities

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I've said that words like most and many are numbers in Lojban, which is pretty logical if you think about it. The following 'numbers' are particularly useful:

no  

none (we've already seen this as 'zero')

ro  

each / all

du'e  

too many

so'a  

almost all

so'e  

most

so'i  

many / a lot of

so'o  

several

so'u  

few

su'e  

at most

su'o  

at least

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Some examples:

  • no le ninmu cu nelci la bil.
    None of the women like Bill.

  • no lo ninmu cu nelci la bil.
    No women like Bill. 

    (because lo ninmu potentially includes all women that exist)

  • coi rodo
    Hi, everyone

  • mi nelci ro lo mlatu
    I like all cats.

  • mi na nelci ro lo gerku
    It's not true that I like all dogs.

    (This is not the same as "I don't like any dogs", which would be mi nelci no lo gerku. There are other ways of saying this, but we haven't got enough grammar under our belt yet.)

  • so'i lo merko cu nelci la nirvanas.
    Many Americans like Nirvana

    (The group, not the mystical state. Although on second thought...)

    Note: Yes, names are ambiguous in Lojban, because they're used Humpty-Dumpty style: they mean what the speaker means.

  • so'u lo jungo cu nelci la nirvanas.
    Few Chinese people like Nirvana.

  • su'e mu le muno prenu cu cmila
    No more than five out of the fifty people laugh(ed)

    (Let's say a comedian told a bad joke).

  • su'o pa lo prenu cu prami do
    At least one person loves you.

This last sentence is logically the same as lo prenu cu prami do, which means "there exists at least one person such that that person loves you," but it makes the meaning clearer and more emphatic. In fact, all articles in Lojban have such default numbers associated with them; lo by default means su'o pa lo ro "at least one out of all...".
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Vocabulary

batci  

x1 bites/pinches x2 on/at specific locus x3 with x4

cifnu  

x1 is an infant/baby [helpless through youth/incomplete development] of species x2

cinba  

x1 (agent) kisses/busses x2 at locus x3

citka  

x1 eats/ingests/consumes (transitive verb) x2

gerku  

x1 is a dog/canine/[bitch] of species/breed x2

melbi  

x1 is beautiful/pleasant to x2 in aspect x3 (ka) by aesthetic standard x4

mlatu  

x1 is a cat/[puss/pussy/kitten] [feline animal] of species/breed x2; (adjective:) x1 is feline

nanmu  

x1 is a man/men; x1 is a male humanoid person [not necessarily adult]

rectu  

x1 is a quantity of/contains meat/flesh from source/animal x2

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Exercise 3

Translate the following sentences.

  1. All babies are beautiful.

  2. The pack of three cats bite the dog.

  3. What a surprise! Mei Li loves two men. (use an attitudinal indicator)

  4. Most men love at least one woman.

  5. It is not true that all men love at least one woman.

  6. The group of four women kiss Ricky Martin.

  7. It's a shame that no-one likes Bill. (use an attitudinal indicator)

  8. Rosemary's baby bites two people (separately).

  9. One in three women like David Bowie.

  10. No more than 15% of Buddhists eat meat. ('Buddhist' is budjo, as you may remember from Lesson 3).

  11. Nine out of ten cats like 'Whiskas.' (use a cmene)