Adyghe grammar

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Adyghe is a polysynthetic language with an ergative verb-final clause structure and rich verb morphology.



In Adyghe, like all Northwest Caucasian languages, the verb is the most inflected part of speech. Verbs are typically head final and are conjugated for tense, person, number, etc.



The Adverbs can be formed from different speech elements by gaining suffix ~эу (-aw) or ~у (-u):

From verbs:
ГумэкIын - beware, МыгумэкIыхэу - unflappable,
Джэгун - Play, Джэгунэу - playing,
Щысын- sits, Щысэу - sitting.

For example:
Щысэу илъэгъогъ - He saw while sitting,
Мэджэгунэу мэчIагъ - He ran while playing.

From adjectives:
тэрэз - correct,
Тэрэзэу тхы! - write correctly,
рэхьат - calm,
рэхьатэу - calmly,
псынкIэ - quick,
псынкIэу - quickly.

From other speech elements:
ежь - itself (jaʑ),
Ежь-ежьырэу иIофыр къэгъэухыгъ – He (she) has finished his (her) work by himself (herself).

The following adverbs are not formed from another words:

Place adverbs[edit]

Such as:
мыдэ, модэ, моджэ here, мыдыджэ here, мэу here.

удэ, удыджэ, ауджэ - (there, there) different with comparative vicinity degree:
Удэ къэкIорэр тигъунэгъу - Here goes our neighbour (wda qakʷʼarar tiʁʷnaʁʷ).

Tense adverbs[edit]

непэ - today,
тыгъубсэ or тыгъуасэ - yesterday,
неущы - tomorrow, едэдэм or джыдэдэм - presently,
ыужым or иужым or икънэуыж - after,
етIубнэ or етIонэ – afterwards,
жьэу or пасэу – early,
лъэжъуагъэу - late.

Непэ ap къэкIощтэп - Today he will not come,
Тыгъуасэ тызытегущыIагъэм угу къэкIыжьа? – Do You remember, what we talked about yesterday?,
Неущы тыкIощт ауджэ - Tomorrow we will go there,
Пчэдыжьым жъэу сэкъэтэджыгъ – I got up early in the morning.

Number adverbs[edit]

макIэ or тIэкIу - few,
бэ - much, a lot,
бэрэ - often/long,
бэшIагъэу - long ago.

МакIэу Iо, бэу шIэ – Talk less, do a more,
Ащ бэрэ лъэхъугъ, ау къыгъотыжьыгъэп – I had been looking for him for a long time, but I did not find him,
Нахь бэрэ уIущхыпцыкIынэу сыфай - I want you to smile more often,
БэшIагъэу оу слъэгъугъэп - I have not seen you for a long time.

Clarification (нахь)[edit]

To clarify something to someone with a wrong assumption, the adverb нахь (-naħ) is added after the clarified word.

  • мэкӏуагъ /makʷʼaːʁ/ - he went → мэкӏуагъэ нахь /makʷʼaːʁa naːħ/ - actually he went.
  • сэкӏо /sakʷʼa/ - I am going →, сэкӏо нахь /saːkʷʼ naːħ/ - actually I am going.
  • тыкӀощт /təkʷʼaɕt/ - we will go → тыкӏощт нахь /təkʷʼaɕt naːħ/ - actually we will go.
  • мафэ /maːfa/ - day → мафэ нахь /maːfa naːħ/ - actually it's a day.
  • кӏалэ /t͡ʃʼaːɮa/ - boy → кӏалэ нахь /t͡ʃʼaːɮa naːħ/ - actually it's a boy.
  • дахэ /daːxa/ - pretty → дахэ нахь /daːxa naːħ/ - actually he/she/it is pretty.
  • кӏэхьы /t͡ʃʼaħə/ - long → кӏэхь нахь /t͡ʃʼaħa naːħ/ - actually he/she/it is long.
  • to clarify the listener(s) that it is day now
мафэ нахь джы
мафэ нахь джы
[maːfa naːħ d͡ʒə]
it's day now
"it's actually a day now"
  • to clarify the listener(s) that the boy can run
кӏалэр мэчъэшъущт нахь
кӏалэ-р мэчъэ-шъу-щт нахь
[t͡ʃʼaːɮar mat͡ʂaʃʷtə naːħ]
the boy (abs.) he is capable to run
"the boy actually can run"
  • to clarify the listener(s) that the girl is pretty
пшъашъэр дахэ нахь
пшъашъэ-р дахэ нахь
pʂaːʂar] daːxa naːħ]
girl (abs.) it's actually pretty
"that girl is actually pretty"


Personal pronouns[edit]

In Adyghe, personal pronouns are only expressed in first person, second person and reflexive second-person in singular and plural forms.

Case First-person Second-person Reflexive third-person
Cyrillic IPA Cyrillic IPA Cyrillic IPA
Singular Absolutive сэ sa о wa ежь jaʑ
Ergative сэ sa о wa ежь jaʑ
Instrumental сэркӏэ sart͡ʃʼa оркӏэ wart͡ʃʼa ежькӏэ jaʑt͡ʃʼa
Adverbial сэрэу saraw орэу waraw ежьрэу jaʑraw
Plural Absolutive тэ ta шъо ʃʷa ежьхэр jaʑxar
Ergative тэ ta шъо ʃʷa ежьхэмэ jaʑxama
Instrumental тэркӏэ tart͡ʃʼa шъоркӏэ ʃʷart͡ʃʼa ежьхэмкӏэ jaʑxamt͡ʃʼa
Adverbial тэрэу taraw шъорэу ʃʷaraw ежьхэрэу jaʑxaxaw
сэ о усэплъэы
[sa wa wəsapɬə]
I you I am looking at you
"I am looking at you."
мы ӏофыр сэркӏэ къины
[mə ʔʷafər sart͡ʃʼa qəjnə]
this work (abs.) for me hard
"this work is hard for me."
ежь сэ къысиӏуагъ
[jaʑ sa qəsəjʔʷaːʁ]
him/her I (s)he told me
"he told me himself."

Demonstrative pronouns[edit]

Demonstrative pronouns are мы "this", мо "that", а "that". There is a contradistinction between 'мы' and 'мо' on how far the referred object is. The pronoun 'а' is neutral on this matter. Third person pronouns are expressed as demonstrative pronouns.

Case Basic demonstratives
а мо мы
Cyrillic IPA Cyrillic IPA Cyrillic IPA
Singular Absolutive ар aːr мор mor мыр mər
Ergative ащ aːɕ мощ moɕ мыщ məɕ
Instrumental ащкӏэ aːɕt͡ʃʼa мощкӏэ moɕt͡ʃʼa мыщкӏэ məɕt͡ʃʼa
Adverbial арэу aːraw морэу moraw мырэу məraw
Plural Absolutive ахэр aːxar мохэр moxar мыхэр məxar
Ergative ахэмэ aːxama мохэмэ moxama мыхэмэ məxama
Instrumental ахэмкӏэ aːxamt͡ʃʼa мохэмкӏэ moxamt͡ʃʼa мыхэмкӏэ məxamt͡ʃʼa
Adverbial ахэрэу aːxaraw мохэрэу moxaraw мыхэрэу məxaraw
мор о уимашинэ
[mor wa wəjmaːʃina]
this (abs.) you your car
"That is your car."
ащ къысиӏуагъэр мыщ есӏотэжьыгъ
[aːɕ qəsəjʔʷaːʁar məɕ qəjnə]
that (erg.) the thing (s)he told me this (erg.) I told him back
"I told this person the things that person told me."
ахэмкӏэ мы джанэу мощ щыгъэр дахэ
[aːxamt͡ʃʼa d͡ʒaːnaw moɕ ɕəʁər daːxa]
for them (ins.) this shirt (adv.) that (erg.) the thing (s)he is wearing beautiful
"According to them, the shirt this person is wearing is beautiful."

The demonstrative pronouns джэ "that", дымы "this over here" and дымо "that over there" also exist in Circassian. There is a contradistinction between 'дымы' and 'дымо' on how far the referred object is. The pronoun 'джэ' is also neutral on this matter.

Case Other demonstratives
дымо дымы джэ
Cyrillic IPA Cyrillic IPA Cyrillic IPA
Singular Absolutive дымор dəmor дымыр dəmər джэр d͡ʒar
Ergative дымощ dəmoɕ дымыщ dəməɕ джэщ d͡ʒaɕ
Instrumental дымощкӏэ dəmoɕt͡ʃʼa дымыщкӏэ dəməɕt͡ʃʼa джэщкӏэ d͡ʒaɕt͡ʃʼa
Adverbial дыморэу dəmoraw дымырэу dəməraw джэрэу d͡ʒaraw
Plural Absolutive дымохэр dəmoxar дымыхэр dəməxar джэхэр d͡ʒaxar
Ergative дымохэмэ dəmoxama дымыхэмэ dəməxama джэхэмэ d͡ʒaxama
Instrumental дымохэмкӏэ dəmoxamt͡ʃʼa дымыхэмкӏэ dəməxamt͡ʃʼa джэхэмкӏэ d͡ʒaxamt͡ʃʼa
Adverbial дымохэрэу dəmoxaraw дымыхэрэу dəməxaraw джэхэрэу d͡ʒaxaraw
дымощ ицуакъэ ишъо олъэгъуа?
[dəmoɕ jət͡sʷaːqa jəʃʷa waɬaʁʷaː]
that over there (erg.) his shoe its color do you see it?
"Do you see the color of that person's shoe over there?"
джэхэмэ садэгущыӏагъ
[d͡ʒaxama saːdaɡʷəɕəʔaːʁ]
those (erg.) I spoke to them
"I spoke to them."
дымор кӏалэу къысэуагъэр
[dəmor t͡ʃʼaːɮaw qəsawaːʁar]
that over there (abs.) boy (adv.) the one that hit me
"That is the boy that hit me over there."

Interrogative pronoun[edit]

The interrogative pronoun is тэ "which".

Cyrillic IPA
Singular Absolutive тэр tar
Ergative тэщ taɕ
Instrumental тэщкӏэ taɕt͡ʃʼa
Adverbial тэрэу taraw
Plural Absolutive тэхэр taxar
Ergative тэхэмэ taxama
Instrumental тэхэмкӏэ taxamt͡ʃʼa
Adverbial тэхэрэу taxaraw

Possessive pronouns[edit]

Case First-person Second-person Third-person Reflexive third-person
Cyrillic IPA Cyrillic IPA Cyrillic IPA Cyrillic IPA
Singular Absolutive сэсый sasəj оуй wawəj ий jəj ежьый jaʑəj
Ergative сэсый sasəj оуй wawəj ий jəj ежьый jaʑəj
Instrumental сэсыемкӏэ sasəjamt͡ʃʼa оуемкӏэ wawəjamt͡ʃʼa иемкӏэ jəjamt͡ʃʼa ежьыемкӏэ jaʑəjamt͡ʃʼa
Adverbial сэсыеу sasəjaw оуеу wawəjaw иеу jəjaw ежьыеу jaʑəjaw
Plural Absolutive тэтый tatəj шъошъуй ʃʷaʃʷəj яй jaːj ежьыяй jaʑəjaːj
Ergative тэтый tatəj шъошъуй ʃʷaʃʷəj яй jaːj ежьыяй jaʑəjaːj
Instrumental тэтыемкӏэ tatəjamt͡ʃʼa шъошъуемкӏэ ʃʷaʃʷəjamt͡ʃʼa яемкӏэ jaːjamt͡ʃʼa ежьыяимкӏэ jaʑəjaːjəmt͡ʃʼa
Adverbial тэтыеу tatəjaw шъошъуеу ʃʷaʃʷəjaw яеу jaːjaw ежьыяеу jaʑəjaːjaw
мы джэгуалъэхэр сэсиех
[mə d͡ʒaɡʷaːɬaxar sasəjax]
this toys (abs.) they are mine
"these toys are mine."
дымо унэ плъэгъурэ сэсый
[dəmo wəna pɬaʁʷəra sasəj]
that over there house what one you're seeing mine
"That house you are seeing is mine."
мыр оуя ежья?
[mər wawəjaː jaʑjaː]
this (abs.) is it yours? is it his?
"Is this yours or his?"

The nouns in Adyghe are different by their accessory signs[clarification needed], which are broken down into the natural attribute and the property attribute. The natural attribute is for body parts and kin relationships (e.g. 'son', 'sister'). All other words belong to the property attribute.

  • Natural attributes are expressed with the following prefixes:
Prefix Meaning
Cyrillic IPA
Singular 1st person с- or сы- /s-/ or /sə-/ "my"
2nd person п- or у- /p-/ or /w-/ "your"
3rd person ы- /ə-/ "his"
Plural 1st person тэ- or т- /ta-/ or /t-/ "our"
2nd person шъо- or шъу- /ʃʷa-/ or /ʃʷə-/ "your"
3rd person a- /aː-/ "their"
ышынахьыкӏэ ицӏэ Аслъан
[əʃənaːħət͡ʃʼa jət͡sʼa aːsɬaːn]
his younger brother his name Aslan
"His younger brother's name is Aslan."
сэ слъакъо мэузы
[sa sɬaːqʷa mawzə]
I my leg it is hurting
"my leg hurts."
  • Property attributes are expressed by a different set of prefixes:
Prefix Meaning
Cyrillic IPA
Singular 1st person си- /səj-/ "my"
2nd person уи- /wəj-/ "your"
3rd person и- /jə-/ "his"
Plural 1st person ти- /təj-/ "our"
2nd person шъуи- /ʃʷəj-/ "your"
3rd person я- /jaː-/ "their"
сэ сицӏэ Аслъан
[sa əjt͡sʼa aːsɬaːn]
I my name Aslan
"My name is Aslan."
сэ сиунэ ишъо фыжьы
[sa səjwəna jəʃʷa fəʑə]
I my house its color white
"The color of my house is white."
яджанэхэр нахь дахэх уиджанэхэмэ
[jaːd͡ʒaːnaxar naːħ daːxax wəjd͡ʒaːnaxama]
their clothes (abs.) more beautiful (plural) your clothes (erg.)
"Their clothes are more beautiful than yours."

Indefinite pronoun[edit]

In Adyghe whole one - зыгорэ.[clarification needed] Serves for indication of all notions corresponding to English words "someone", "something", "someone", "something", "sometime", "somewhere", etc.

Changes either as noun – in number and in cases:

Case Singular form Plural form
Cyrillic IPA Cyrillic IPA
Absolutive зыгорэ zəɡʷara зыгорэхэр zəɡʷaraxar
Ergative зыгорэм zəɡʷaram зыгорэхэмэ zəɡʷaraxama
Instrumental зыгорэ(м)кӏэ zəɡʷara(m)t͡ʃʼa зыгорэхэ(м)кӏэ zəɡʷaraxa(m)t͡ʃʼa
Adverbial зыгорэу zəɡʷaraw зыгорэхэу zəɡʷaraxaw
зыгорэ пчъэм къытеуагъ
[zəɡʷara pt͡ʂam qətajwaːʁ]
someone (abs.) door (erg.) (s)he knocked it
"someone has knocked the door."
кӏалэ горэм бэнанэр ешхы
[t͡ʃʼaːɮa ɡʷaram banaːna jaʃxə]
some boy (erg.) the banana (abs.) he eats
"some boy is eating the banana"
пшъэшъэ дахэ горэм мыр къысиӏуагъ
[pʂaʂa daːxa ɡʷaram mər qəsiʔʷaːʁ]
girl some pretty (erg.) this he/she told me
"some pretty girl told me this"

That is it[edit]

Pronoun Cyrillic IPA Meaning
сэ сэры sarə it is me
о оры warə it is you
ежь ежьыр jaʑər it is him
тэ тэры tarə it is us
шъо шъоры ʃʷarə it is you (plural)
ежьхэ ежьхэр jaʑəxar it is them
Determiner Cyrillic IPA Meaning
а ары aːrə that one indeed
джэ джары d͡ʒaːrə exactly that one indeed
мо моры morə that one
дыо дыуары dəwaːrə that one over there
дымы дымары dəmaːrə this one over here
мы мары maːrə this one
тэ тары taːrə which one
сэры къэшъугъотын фае
[sarə qaʃʷəʁʷatən faːja]
it is me the one you must find
"the one you must find is me."
ары къысиIуагъэ
[aːrə qəsiʔʷaːʁa]
that is the thing he told me
"that is what he told me"
дыморы кIалэу сфэсIуагъэ
[dəmorə t͡ʃaːlaw səfasʔʷaːʁa]
that is over there boy (adv.) the thing i talked about
"here is the boy i talked about"


Adyghe has six demonstratives: а /ʔaː/, джэ /d͡ʒa/, мо /mo/, дымо /dəmo/, дымэ /dəma/ and мы /mə/.

а /ʔaː/

  1. that
    а ӏанэthat table
    а пшъашъэthat girl
    а кӏалэм еӏоthat boy is saying
  • The determiner 'а' /ʔaː/ refer to a referent that is far away and invisible to both the speaker and the listener(s). It is similar to the English language determiner that, but with the condition that the referent has to be invisible or far away.

мо /maw/ (у /wə/ in Shapsug and Bzhedug)

  1. that
    мо ӏанэthat table
    мо пшъашъэthat girl
    мо кӀалэм еӀоthat boy is saying
  • The determiner 'мо' refer to a referent that is visible and in a known distance from both the speaker and the listener(s) (both the speaker and the listener(s) can see the referent). It is similar to the English language determiner that, but with the condition that the referent has to be visible.

мы /mə/

  1. this
    мы ӏанэthis table
    мы пшъашъэthis girl
    мы кӀалэм еӀоthis boy is saying
    мы мэгъэthis year
  • The determiner 'мы' refer to a referent that is close to both the speaker and the listener(s). It is exactly like the English language determiner this.

дымо /dəmo/ (дыо /dəwa/ in Shapsug and Bzhedug)

  1. that (over there)
    дымо ӏанэthat table over there
    дымо пшъашъэthat girl over there
    дымо кӀалэм еӀоthat boy over there is saying
    дымо цӀыфэр улъэгъуа? — Do you see that person over there?
  • The determiner 'дымо' refer to a referent that is visible. This determiner is used when the speaker wants to emphasizes that the object is in his sight, so that the listener(s) will expect the referent to be the thing (s)he looks at. It is usually used to introduce a new referent, for example it can be used to refer to a stranger on the street or to refer to a certain object on the field that is visible. This determiner might be used while pointing one's finger at the people or objects in question.

дымы /dəmə/

  1. this (over here)
    дымы ӏанэthis table over here
    дымы пшъашъэthis girl over here
    дымы кӀалэм еӀоthis boy over here is saying
    дымы цӀыфэр улъэгъуа? — Do you see this person over here?
  • The determiner 'дымы' refer to a referent that is visible. This determiner is similar to the determiner дымо. This is used instead of дымо when the referent is very near. Like the determiner дымо, it might be used while pointing one's finger at the referent in question. Even without pointing fingers the listener(s) will expect the referent to be the thing the speaker looks at. It can be used to point on objects in a room for example.

джэ /d͡ʒa/ (гьэ /gʲa/ in Shapsug)

  1. that
    джэ ӏанэthat table
    джэ пшъашъэthat girl
    джэ кӏалэм еӏоthat boy is saying
  • The determiner 'джэ' refer to a referent which is usually invisible. This determiner is used when the referent in the conversation is clear to both the speaker and the listener(s). Someone would use this determiner in order to emphasizes that both he and the listener(s) have the same referent in mind.

тэ (ta)

  1. which
    тэ ӏанэ?which table?
    тэ пшъашъэ?which girl?
    тэ кӀалэм еӀо?which boy is saying?



Determiner Cyrillic IPA Meaning
а адэ aːda that place
джэ джэдэ d͡ʒada exactly that place
у удэ wəda that place
дыо дыодэ dəwada that place over there
дымы дымыдэ dəmərra this place over here
мы мыдэ məda this place
тэ тэдэ tada which place; where
мыдэ ушӏагъэ
[mədda wəʃʼaːʁa]
here you done
"look what you done here"
джэр удэ гъэтӏылъ
[ɡʲar wədda ʁatʼəɬ]
that there put it down
"put that down there"


Determiner Singular
Absolutive Ergative Meaning
Cyrillic IPA Cyrillic IPA
а адрэ aːdra адрэми aːdraməj that other one
джэ джэдрэ d͡ʒadra джэдрэми d͡ʒadraməj exactly that other one
у удрэ wədra удрэми wədraməj that other one
дыо дыодрэ dəwadra дыудрэми dəwədraməj that other one over there
дымы дымыдрэ dəmədra дымыдрэми dəmədraməj this other one over here
мы мыдрэ mədra мыдрэми mədraməj this other one
тэ тэдрэ tadra тэдрэми tadraməj which other one
Determiner Plural
Absolutive Ergative Meaning
Cyrillic IPA Cyrillic IPA
а адрэхэ aːdraxa адрэхэми aːdraxaməj those other ones
джэ джэдрэхэ d͡ʒadraxa джэдрэхэми d͡ʒadraxama exactly those other ones
у удрэхэ wədraxa удрэхэми wədraxaməj those other ones
дыо дыодрэхэ dəwadraхэ дыудрэхэми dəwədraxaməj those other ones over there
дымы дымыдрэхэ dəmədraxa дымыдрэхэми dəmədraxaməj these other ones over here
мы мыдрэхэ mədraxa мыдрэхэми mədraxaməj these other ones
тэ тэдрэхэ tadraxa тэдрэхэми tadraxaməj which other ones
мы уатэрэп къысфэпхьынэу сфэягъэ, адрэ уатэ рары
мы уатэ-рэп къы-с-фэ-п-хьы-нэу с-фай-агъэ, адрэ уатэ рары
[ma waːtarap qasfapħənaw səfajaːʁa aːdra waːta raːrə]
this not the hammer the thing you to bring me the thing i wanted the other thing hammer that is
"it's not this hammer I wanted you to bring me, it's the other hammer"
адрэ пакӏэм тыгъакIу
[aːdra paːkam tʁaːkʷʼ]
that other the way (erg.) let us go
"let us go to that other way"


Determiner Cyrillic IPA Meaning
а ау aːw to there
джэ джэу d͡ʒaw exactly to there
у оу waw to there
дыо дыоу dəwaw to there
дымы дымыу dəməw to here
мы мыу məw to here
тэ тэу taw to where
ау укIомэ къэбгъэзэщтэп
[aːw wkʷʼma qabʁazaɕtap]
over there if you go you will not manage to return
"if you go there you will not manage to return back"
мэу бэнанэр щышх
[wə banaːnar ɕəʃx]
over here the banana (abs.) eat it there
"eat the banana here"


Determiner Cyrillic IPA Meaning
а аущтэу aːɕtaw like that
джэ джэущтэу d͡ʒaɕtaw exactly like that
у ущтэу wəɕtaw like that
дыо дыущтэу dəwəɕtaw like that over there
дымы дымыщтэу dəmaɕtaw like this over here
мы мыущтэу məɕtaw like here
тэ тэущтэу taɕtaw like how; how
аущтэу умышI
[ʔaːɕtaw wnəʃʼ]
like that don't do
"don't do like that"
дыуыщтэу кIалэр макIо
[dəwəɕtaw t͡ʃaːlar mːkʷʼa]
like that over there boy (abs.) he is going
"the boy is going like that (over there)"


Determiner Cyrillic IPA Meaning
а ащгъум aːɕʁʷəm at that time; back then; then
джэ джэщгъум d͡ʒaɕʁʷəm at that moment
у ущгъум wəɕʁʷəm at that situation
дыо дыущгъум dəwəɕʁʷəm at that moment
дымы дымыщгъум dəmaɕʁʷəm at this moment
мы мыщгъум məɕʁʷəm at this moment
тэ тэщгъум taɕʁʷəm when; at what moment
ащгъум сыкӏэлэцӏыкӏугъагъ
[aːɕʁʷəm sət͡ʃʼaɮat͡sʼəkʷʼəʁaːʁ]
at that time I was a child
"I was a child back then."
кӏалэр къакӏоу плъэгъумэ, джэщгъум къытадж
[t͡ʃʼaːɮar qaːkʷʼaw pɬaʁʷma d͡ʒaɕʁʷəm qətaːd͡ʒ]
boy (abs.) while (s)he is coming if you see him at that moment call us
"At the moment you see the boy coming, call us."


The functions of adjectives are distinguished through word order and conjugation.

Qualitative adjectives[edit]

Qualitative adjectives are paired with nouns and always follow them, as in Romance languages. They can be suffixed for comparison and superlativeness.[how?]

  • Пшъашъэ дэх - beautiful girl [girl beautiful]
  • ЦIыф Iуш - wise man [person wise].

Quantitative adjectives[edit]

Adjectives can function as nouns in the quantitative form when suffixed for number with ~хэ. For example:

  • дахэ – beautiful, дахэхэ - beautiful (plural);
  • дэгъу - good, дэгъухэ - good (plural);
  • дэи - bad, дэихэ - bad (in plural form)

The relative adjectives are those that cannot have the comparative degrees. They are posited before the defined word:

ГъукIэ гъогур - railway [iron road],
Пхъэ Iанэ - wooden table.

In both events when we change the form and number of structure "none + quality adjective" or "relative adjectives + none" this leads to changing of the suffix of the last word in structure:

Пшъэшъэ дах - Beautiful girl,
Пшъэшъэ дахэхэр - beautiful girls,
ЦIыф Iуш - wise person,
ЦIыф Iушхэр - wise people,
ГъукIэ гъогур - railway,
ГъукIэ гъогухэр - railways.

Qualitative adjectives can have comparative and superlative degrees: The Comparative degree is formed by auxiliary word нахь / анбхь (more).

Ар ощ нахь лъагэ – he is higher than you,
Нахь ины хъугъэ – He became bigger [More big became],
Нахь лIэблан охъун фай - You must be braver.

For superlative degrees the structure зэкIэмэ анахь (more than all...) is used:

Ар зэкIэмэ анахь дахэ – She is the most beautiful,
Ар зэкIэмэ анахь лъагэ - It is the highest,
ЗэкIэми анахь дэгъу шхынкIэ ыгъэшхагъ – She feeds him with the tastiest meal,
Ар заужмэ анахь лъэшы – He is the strongest.

Adjective prefixes[edit]

Opinion (шӏо~)[edit]

To indicate an opinion of someone the prefix шӏо~ (ʃʷʼa~) is added to the adjective. This is used very rarely on nouns.


  • дахэ /daːxa/ - pretty → шӏодах /ʃʷʼadaːx/ - it's pretty for him.
  • дэхагъ /daxaːʁ/ - was pretty → шӏодэхагъ /ʃʷʼadaxaːʁ/ - it was pretty for him.
  • дэхэщт /daxat/ - will be pretty → шӏодэхэщт /ʃʷʼadaxat/ - it will be pretty for him.
  • ӏэшӏу /ʔaːʃʷʼə/ - tasty → cшӏоӏэшӀу /səʃʷʼaʔaːʃʷʼ/ - it is tasty for me.
  • дэгъу /daʁʷə/ - good → яшӏодэгъу /jaːʃʷʼadaʁʷ/ - it is good for them.
  • мафэ /maːfa/ - day → шӏомаф /ʃʷʼamaːfa/ - it is day for him.
  • плъыжьы /pɬəʑə/ - red → шӏоплъыжьы /ʃʷʼapɬəʑə/ - it is red for him.
пшъашъэм кӏалэр шӏодах
пшъашъэ-м кӏалэ-р шӏо-дах
[pʂaːʂam t͡ʃʼaːlar ʂʷadaːx]
the girl (erg.) the boy (abs.) it's pretty for him/her
"the boy is pretty for the girl."
кӏалэхэмэ яшъодахэп сиджанэ
кӏалэ-хэ-мэ я-шъо-дахэ-п си-джанэ
[t͡ʃaːlaxama jaːʃʷadaːxap sid͡ʒaːna]
the boys (erg.) it was not pretty for them my shirt
"my shirt was not beautiful for the boys."
мы бэнанэм иуасэ пшӏолъапӏа?
мы бэнанэ-эм и-уасэ п-шӏо-лъапӏэ-а?
[mə banaːnam jəwaːsa pʃʷaɬaːpʼaː]
this banana (erg.) its cost is it expensive for you?
"Is this banana expensive for you?"
мы мыер сышӏоӏашӏоп
мы мые -эр сы-шӏо-ӏашӏо-эп
[mə məjar səʃʷaʔaːʃʷap]
this apple (arg.) Is not tasty for me
"This apple is not tasty for me."
All different forms of шӏо~.

Adjective suffixes[edit]

Suffixes that can be added to nouns :

Suffix Meaning Example Notes
~кӏэ (~t͡ʃʼa) new унакӏэ (new house)
~жъы (~ʐə) old унэжъы (old house)
~шхо (~ʃxʷa) large унэшхо (large house) ~фо (~fˠo) in Shapsug and ~шко (~ʃkʷa) in Bzhedug
~цӏыкӏу (~t͡sʼəkʷʼ) small унэцӏыкӏу (small house)

Suffixes that can be added to adjectives :

Suffix Meaning Example Notes
~ӏо (~ʔʷa) slightly стырыӏо (slightly spicy)
~щэ (~ɕa) too much дыджыщэ (too much bitter)
~дэд (~dad) very дэгъудэд (very good)
~бз (~bz) totally дэгъуабз (totally good)
~шъыпкъ (~ʂəpq) truly, really дэгъушъыпкъ (really good)
~рашъу (~raːʃʷ) kind of дэгъурашъу (kind of good)
~кӏай (~t͡ʃʼaːj) pretty дэгъукӏай (pretty good) ~кӏьай (~kʲʼaːj) in Shapsug
~нчъэ (~nt͡ʂa) lacking акъылынчъэ (mindless)
Мы джанэр оркӏэ иныӏо
[mə d͡ʒaːnar wart͡ʃʼa jənəʔʷa]
this shirt for you slightly big
"This shirt is slightly big for you"
Мы джанэр кӏалэм фэшӏыкӏэ иныщэ
[mə d͡ʒaːnar t͡ʃʼaːɮam faʃʼət͡ʃʼa jənəɕa]
this shirt boy (erg.) for too large
"This shirt is too large for the boy"
Мы сурэтыр дэхэдэд
[mə səwratər daxadad]
this painting too beautiful'
"This painting is too beautiful"
сиӏоф къинышъыпкъ
[siʔof qinəʂəpq]
my work really hard
"My work is really hard"

Verb description (~эу)[edit]

The suffix ~эу is used to indicate how a certain action was done. It is used to associate a verb with an adjective, using the adjective to describe how the verb was done.

  • псынкӏэ /psənt͡ʃʼa/ - fast → псынкӏэу /psənt͡ʃʼaw/ - quickly; fastly.
  • дэгъу /daʁʷə/ - good → дэгъоу /daʁʷaw/ - excellently.
  • дахэ /daːxa/ - beautiful → дэхэу /daxaːʁa/ - beautifully.
кӏалэм шхыныр дэгъоу ышӏэгъ
кӏалэ-м шхын-ыр дэгъо-у ышӏэ-гъ
[t͡ʃʼaːɮam ʃxənər daʁʷaw əʃʼaʁ]
the boy (erg.) food (abs.) excellently (s)he done it
"The boy done the food excellently."
кӏалэр псынкӏэу мачъэ
кӏалэ-р псынкӏэ-у мачъэ
[t͡ʃʼaːɮar psənt͡ʃʼaw maːt͡ʂa]
the boy (abs.) quickly (s)he runs
"The boy runs quickly."
пшъашъэр дахэу матхэ
пшъашъэ-р дахэ-у матхэ
[pʂaːʂar daːxaw maːtxa]
the girl (abs.) beautifully (s)he writes
"The girl writes beautifully."

Measurement (~гъэ)[edit]

To indicate a measure of a certain adjective, the suffix ~гъэ (~ʁa) is added. Usually it is used for measurable adjectives like length, height, weight, size, strength and speed but it can be used on any adjective. By adding it the adjective comes a noun.

  • кӏэхьы /t͡ʃʼaħə/ - long → кӏэхьыгъэ /t͡ʃʼaħəʁa/ - length.
  • ӏэтыгъэ /ʔatəʁa/ - high → ӏэтыгъагъэ /ʔatəʁaːʁa/ - height.
  • псынкӏэ /psənt͡ʃʼa/ - fast → псынкӏагъэ /psənt͡ʃʼaːʁa/ - speed.
  • фабэ /faːba/ - hot → фэбагъэ /fabaːʁa/ - heat.
  • кӏуачӏэ /kʷʼaːt͡ʃʼa/ - strong → кӏочӏагъэ /kʷʼat͡ʃʼaːʁa/ - strength.
  • ӏужъу /ʔʷəʒʷə/ - wide → ӏужъугъэ /ʔʷəʒʷəʁa/ - width.
  • дахэ /daːxa/ - beautiful → дэхагъэ /daxaːʁa/ - beauty.
пхъэм иӏужъугъэ 65 сантиметр
[pχam jəʔʷəʒʷəʁa 65 saːntimetr]
the wood (erg.) its width 65 centimeters
"The wood's width is 65 centimeters"
кӏалэм кӏочӏагъэ хэлъ
[t͡ʃʼaːɮam kʷʼat͡ʃʼaːʁa xaɬ]
the boy (erg.) strength he is laying among / has in him
"The boy has strength in him."

State of the adjective (~гъакӏэ)[edit]

The suffix ~гъакӏэ (~ʁaːt͡ʃʼa) is appended to adjectives to form nouns meaning "the state of being the adjective". In the Shapsug dialect it has the suffix -гъакӏьэ (-ʁaːkʲʼa).

  • кӏэхьы /t͡ʃʼaħə/ - long → кӏэхьыгъакӏэ /t͡ʃʼaħəʁaːt͡ʃʼa/ - lengthiness; longness.
  • псынкӏэ /psənt͡ʃʼa/ - fast → псынкӏэгъакӏэ /psənt͡ʃʼaʁaːt͡ʃʼa/ - speediness.
  • кӏуачӏэ /kʷʼaːt͡ʃʼa/ - strong → кӏочӏэгъакӏэ /kʷʼat͡ʃʼaʁaːt͡ʃʼa/ - strongness.
  • дахэ /daːxa/ - pretty → дэхэгъакӏэ /daxaʁaːt͡ʃʼa/ - prettiness.
сэ мыӏэрысэм иӏэшӏугъакӏэ сыкъегъатхъэ
сэ мыӏэрыс-эм и-ӏэшӏу-гъакӏэ сы-къ-е-гъа-тхъэ
[sa məʔarəsəm jəʔaʃʷʼəʁaːt͡ʃʼa səqajʁaːtχa]
I apple (erg.) its testiness I enjoy it
"I enjoy the apple's testiness."
пшъашъэм ӏэшӏэхэу идэхэгъакӏэкӏэ сыкъигъэделагъ
пшъашъэ-м ӏэшӏэх-эу и-дэхэ-гъакӏэ-кӏэ сы-къ-и-гъэ-дел-агъ
[pʂaːʂam ʔaʃʼaxaw jədaxaʁaːt͡ʃʼat͡ʃʼa səqəjʁadajɮaːʁ]
the girl (erg.) easily using her prettiness (s)he fooled me
"The girl fooled me easily by using her prettiness."


  • Numbers from zero to ten are specific words
0 зиӀ [ziʔ]
1 зы About this sound [zə] 
2 тӀу About this sound [tʷʼə] 
3 щы About this sound [ɕə] 
4 плӀы About this sound [pɬʼə] 
5 тфы About this sound [tfə] 
6 хы About this sound [xə] 
7 блы About this sound [blə]  or About this sound [bɮə] 
8 и About this sound [jə] 
9 бгъу About this sound [bʁʷə] 
10 пшӀы About this sound [pʃʼə] 
  • Numbers from eleven to nineteen are built with the word for ten, followed by кIу ([kʷʼə]) and the unit digit:
11 пшӀыкӀуз About this sound [pʃʼəkʷʼəz] 
12 пшӀыкӀутIу About this sound [pʃʼəkʷʼətʷʼ] 
13 пшӀыкӀущ About this sound [pʃʼəkʷʼəɕ] 
14 пшӀыкӀуплI About this sound [pʃʼəkʷʼəpɬʼ] 
15 пшӀыкӀутф About this sound [pʃʼəkʷʼətf] 
16 пшӀыкӀух About this sound [pʃʼəkʷʼəx] 
17 пшӀыкӀубл About this sound [pʃʼəkʷʼəbl] 
18 пшӀыкӀуй About this sound [pʃʼəkʷʼəj] 
19 пшӀыкӀубгъу About this sound [pʃʼəkʷʼəbʁʷ] 
  • The tens follow a vigesimal system from forty up, with the exception of fifty:
20 тӀокӀы [tʷʼat͡ʃə] (20)
21 тӀокӀырэ зырэ [tʷʼat͡ʃəra zəra] (20 and 1)
22 тӀокӀырэ тIурэ [tʷʼat͡ʃəra tʷʼəra] (20 and 2)
23 тӀокӀырэ щырэ [tʷʼat͡ʃəra ɕəra] (20 and 3)
30 щэкӀы [ɕat͡ʃə] (30)
31 щэкӀырэ зырэ [ɕat͡ʃə zəra] (30 and 1)
32 щэкӀырэ тIурэ [ɕat͡ʃə tʷʼəra] (30 and 2)
40 тӀокӀитIу [tʷʼat͡ʃitʷʼ] (20 × 2)
41 тӀокӀитIурэ зырэ [tʷʼat͡ʃitʷʼəra zəra] (20 × 2 and 1)
42 тӀокӀитIурэ тIурэ [tʷʼat͡ʃitʷʼəra tʷʼəra] (20 × 2 and 2)
50 шъэныкъо [ʂanəqʷa] (half-hundred)
51 шъэныкъорэ зырэ [ʂanəqʷara zəra] (half-hundred and 1)
52 шъэныкъорэ тIурэ [ʂanəqʷara tʷʼəra] (half-hundred and 2)
60 тӀокӀищ [tʷʼat͡ʃiɕ] (20 × 3)
61 тӀокӀищырэ зырэ [tʷʼat͡ʃiɕəra zəra] (20 × 3 and 1)
62 тӀокӀищырэ тIурэ [tʷʼat͡ʃiɕəra tʷʼəra] (20 × 3 and 2)
70 тӀокӀищырэ пшIырэ [tʷʼat͡ʃiɕra pʃʼəra] (20 × 3 and 10)
71 тӀокӀищырэ пшIыкIузырэ [tʷʼat͡ʃiɕra pʃʼəkʷʼəzəra] (20 × 3 and 11)
72 тӀокӀищырэ пшӀыкӀутIурэ [tʷʼat͡ʃiɕra pʃʼəkʷʼətʷʼəra] (20 × 3 and 12)
80 тӀокӀиплӀ [tʷʼat͡ʃipɬʼ] (20 × 4)
81 тӀокӀиплӀырэ зырэ [tʷʼat͡ʃipɬʼəra zəra] (20 × 4 and 1)
82 тӀокӀиплӀырэ тIурэ [tʷʼat͡ʃipɬʼəra tʷʼəra] (20 × 4 and 2)
90 тӀокӀиплӀырэ пшIырэ [tʷʼat͡ʃipɬʼəra pʃʼəra] (20 × 4 and 10)
91 тӀокӀиплӀырэ пшIыкIузырэ [tʷʼat͡ʃipɬʼəra pʃʼəkʷʼəzəra] (20 × 4 and 11)
91 тӀокӀиплӀырэ пшӀыкӀутIурэ [tʷʼat͡ʃipɬʼəra pʃʼəkʷʼətʷʼəra] (20 × 4 and 12)
  • One hundred is шъэ (ʂa). The hundreds are formed by the hundred word root (шъ (ʂ)) followed by -и- (-i-) and the multiplier digit root.
100 шъэ (ʂa)
101 шъэрэ зырэ (ʂara zəra) (100 and 1)
110 шъэрэ пшӏырэ (ʂara pʃʼəra) (100 and 10)
200 шъитӀу (ʂitʷʼ) (100 × 2)
201 шъитӀурэ зырэ (ʂitʷʼəra zəra) (200 × 2 and 1)
300 шъищ (ʂiɕ) (100 × 3)
400 шъиплӀ (ʂipɬʼ) (100 × 4)
500 шъитф (ʂitf) (100 × 5)
600 шъих (ʂix) (100 × 6)
700 шъибл (ʂibl) (100 × 7)
800 шъий (ʂij) (100 × 8)
900 шъибгъу (ʂibʁʷ) (100 × 9)
  • One thousand is мин (min). The thousands are formed by the thousand word root (мин (məjn)) followed by -и- (-i-) and the multiplier digit root.
1000 мин (min)
1001 минрэ зырэ (minra zəra) (1000 and 1)
1010 минрэ пшӏырэ (minra pʃʼəra) (1000 and 10)
1100 минрэ шъэрэ (minra ʂara) (1000 and 100)
2000 минитӀу (minitʷʼ) (1000 × 2)
3000 минищ (miniɕ) (1000 × 3)
4000 миниплӀ (minipɬʼ) (1000 × 4)
5000 минитф (minitf) (1000 × 5)
6000 миних (minix) (1000 × 6)
7000 минибл (minibl) (1000 × 7)
8000 миний (minij) (1000 × 8)
9000 минибгъу (minibʁʷ) (1000 × 9)
10000 минипшӏ (minipʃʼ) (1000 × 10)
11000 минипшӀыкӀуз (minipʃʼəkʷʼəz) (1000 × 11)
12000 минипшӀыкӀутIу (minipʃʼəkʷʼətʷʼ) (1000 × 12)
20000 минитӀокӀы (minitʷʼat͡ʃə) (1000 × 20)
100000 минишъэ (miniʂa) (1000 × 100)
200000 минишъитӀу (miniʂitʷʼ) (1000 × 200)

When composed, the hundred word takes the -рэ (-ra) suffix, as well as the ten and the unit if any (e.g.:

шъэрэ зырэ (ʂara zəra) [101],
шъэрэ тIурэ (ʂara tʷʼəra) [102],
шъэрэ пшӀыкӀузырэ (pʃʼəkʷʼətʷʼəra) [111],
шъитӀурэ щэкӀырэ плIырэ (ʂitʷʼəra ɕat͡ʃəra pɬʼəra) [234]).

  • One thousand is мин (min). The other thousands are formed by concatenating the thousand word with -и- (-i-) and the multiplier digit root:

минитӀу (minitʷʼə) [2,000],
минищ (miniɕ) [3,000],
минищ шъэ (miniɕ ʂa) [3,100],
минищ шъитIу (miniɕ ʂitʷʼə) [3,200],
миниплӀ (minipɬʼ) [4,000],
миниплӀы шъэ (minipɬʼəra ʂa) [4,100],
минишъиплIтIу (miniʂipɬʼətʷʼ) [4,200],
минишъиплӀщ (miniʂipɬʼəɕ) [4,300],
минитфы шъэ (minitfə ʂa) [5,100],
минишъитфтIу (miniʂitfətʷʼ) [5,200]...

When there is a certain amount of the noun, the noun is followed by -и (-i) and the multiplier digit root.

for example:

Зы кӀалэ - One boy (zə t͡ʃaːla),
КӀалитӀу - two boys (t͡ʃaːlitʷʼ),
КӀалиплӏ - four boys (t͡ʃaːlipɬʼ),
КӀалишъэ - 100 boys (t͡ʃaːliʂa),
Зы мафэ - one day (zə maːfa),
МафитIу - two days (maːfitʷʼ),
Мафищы (мафищ) - three days (maːfiɕ).

Ordinal numbers[edit]

  • Except апэрэ/япэрэ - first (aːpara/jaːpara) are formed by prefix я- (jaː-) and suffix – нэрэ (- nara). For example:

ятIунэрэ - second (jaːtʷʼənara), ящынэрэ - third (jaːɕənara), яплIынэрэ - fourth (jaːpɬʼənara).

first - япэрэ [jːpara]
second - ятӀунэрэ [jaːtʷʼənara]
third - ящынэрэ [jaːɕənara]
fourth - яплӀынэрэ [jaːpɬʼənara]
firth - ятфынэрэ [jaːtfənara]
sixth - яхынэрэ [jaːxənara]
seventh - яблынэрэ [jaːblənara]
eighth - яинэрэ [jaːjənara]
ninth - ябгъунэрэ [jaːbʁʷənara]
tenth - япшӀынэрэ [jaːpʃʼənara]
eleventh - япшӀыкӏузынэрэ [jaːpʃʼəkʷʼəzənara]
twelfth - япшӀыкӏутӏунэрэ [jaːpʃʼəkʷʼətʷʼənara]
twenty th - ятӏокӏынэрэ [jaːtʷʼat͡ʃənara]
hundredth - яшъэнэрэ [jaːʂanara]

Япэрэ мафэ - First day (jaːpara maːfa),
ЯтIонэрэ мафэ - second day (jaːtʷʼənara maːfa),
ЯтIонэрэ цуакъо - second shoe (jaːpara t͡ʃʷaːqʷa),
Яхэнэрэ классым щегъэжьагъэу тутын сешъо~I have been smoking since the sixth class.

Discrete numbers[edit]

  • Are formed by changing the last vowel ~ы (~ə) of number to ~эрэ (~ara):

о плIэрэ къыосIогъах - I have told you four times already.

  • Number can also define measure of a share: Numbers "one" and "two" are formed by words псау (psaw) (whole, whole), ренэ (rena) (whole, whole about length of time), ныкъо (nəqʷa) (the half).

Fractional numbers[edit]

  • Fractional numerals are formed from cardinal numerals with the help of the -(а)нэ /aːna/ morpheme:

щы /ɕə/ "three" - щанэ /ɕaːna/ "third",
плӏы /pɬʼə/ "four" - плӏанэ /pɬʼaːna/ "fourth",
хы "six" - ханэ /xaːna/ "sixth" and so on.

In a sentence: Чӏыгоу къытатыгъэм изыщанэ картоф хэдгъэтӏысхьа́гъ "On one third of the allocated land we have planted potatoes", Хатэм изыщанэ помидор хэдгъэтIысхагъ- third part of vegetable garden we used for the tomatoes, Ахъщэ къыратыгъэм ыпӏланэ чыфэ ритыгъ – The quarter of the money he received, he lent.

half (1÷2) - ныкъо [nəqʷa]
one third (1÷3) - щанэ [ɕaːna]
two thirds (2÷3) - щанитӏу [ɕaːnitʷʼ] (1÷3 × 2)
one fourth (1÷4) - плӀанэ [pɬʼaːna]
two fourths (2÷4) - плӀанитӏу [pɬʼaːnitʷʼ] (1÷4 × 2)
three fourths (3÷4) - плӀанищ [pɬʼaːniɕ] (1÷4 × 3)
one fifth (1÷5) - тфанэ [tfaːna]
one sixth (1÷6) - ханэ [xaːna]
one seventh (1÷7) - бланэ [blaːna]
one eighth (1÷8) - янэ [jaːna]
one ninth (1÷9) - бгъуанэ [bʁʷaːna]
one tenth (1÷10) - пшӀанэ [pʃʼaːna]
one eleventh (1÷11) - пшӀыкӏузанэ [pʃʼəkʷʼəzaːna]
one twelfth (1÷12) - пшӀыкӏутӏуанэ [pʃʼəkʷʼətʷʼaːna]
one twentieth (1÷20) - тӏокӏанэ [tʷʼat͡ʃaːna]
one hundredth (1÷100) - шъанэ [ʂaːna]

Separative numbers[edit]

  • Separative numerals are formed by repetition of the appropriate cardinal numeral with the help of the morpheme -ры /-rə/:

зырыз /zərəz/ "by one",
тӏурытӏу /tʷʼərətʷʼ/ "by twos",
щырыщ /ɕərəɕ/ "by threes",
плӏырыплӏ /pɬʼərəplʼ/ "by fours",
тфырытф /tfərətf/ "by fives" and so on.

In a sentence: Еджакӏохэр экзаменым тӏурытӏоу чӏахьэщтыгъэх "Pupils entered the examination room by twos".

Approximate numbers[edit]

  • Approximate numerals are formed as a combination of three cardinal numerals where the main constructive numeral is, usually, the numeral зы "one". for example

зыхыбл /zəxəbl/ зы-хы-бл "about six or seven",
зытӏущ /zətʷʼəɕ/ зы-тӏу-щ "about two or three".

In a sentence: Непэ садэжь нэбгырэ зытIущ къыIухьагъ "About two or three people have approached me today".


Postposition serve similar functions to prepositions in English, but are placed after the noun.

  • These are the words:

ыпэ or ипэ (əpa/jəpa) – before first,
дэжь (ди) - to, beside,
чIэгъ - under, кIыб – behind for

Ыпэ узытеплъэрэм машинэ дэгъу - At first you thought the car was good,
Ар ыпэ къэчIэжьыгъэп - I did not remember him at first,
Чэтыур анэ чIэгъым чIэс – The cat sits under the table.

  • If the object is a personal pronoun, these words can merge with it and form an independent structure:

Садэжь - To me, beside me (saːdaʑ),
Сидэжь - near me (sidaʑ),
Тадэжь - To us,beside us (taːdaʑ),
Тидэжь - near us (tidaʑ).

Садэжь укъакIощта непэ? – Can you come to me today?,
Тадэжь къакIоба! – Come to us!.

  • Conjunction: ыкIы, ыджы – and, else (ət͡ʃə, əd͡ʒə), бу, шъхьбем - but (bu, ʂħbem), e/йэ - or (ja).

Лъэу/Сыд ыджы къыпIотэщт? - What else will You say?,
Ащ бэрэ лъэхъугъ, ау къыгъотыжьыгъэп – I was looking for him for a long time, but I did not find,
E улIэн, e улIын – Die or be a man! (Adyghe proverb).

  • The Particles affirmative and negative:

ары – yes (arə), хьау – no (ħaːaw).

ЗэхэшIыкIа? – Do you understand?;
Ары. ЗэхэшIыкIы - Yes, I understand;
Хьау, ЗэхэсэшIыкIэп - No, I don’t understand.

Sentence structure[edit]

  • Adyghe exhibits mostly free word order, though predicate finality is preferred.[why?]

Пчэдыжьым жьэу сыхьатыблым сыкъэтэджыгъ. - I got up at seven o’clock in the early morning.
Сэ тутынэр сешъонэу чIэсыдзыжьыгъ - I gave up smoking.


  • Questions are indicated by the suffix ~a /aː/, which, in verbs ending with /a/, lengthens the end vowel.
  • макӏо /maːkʷʼa/ "he is going" → макӏуа? /maːkʷʼaː/ "is he going?"
  • мэтхагъ /matxaːʁ/ "he wrote" → мэтхагъа? /matxaːʁaː/ "did he wrote?"
  • кӏалэр машхэ /t͡ʃʼaːɮar maːʃxa/ "the boy is eating" → кӏалэр машха? /t͡ʃʼaːɮar maːʃxaː/ "is the boy eating?"
  • шъокӏо /ʃʷakʷʼa/ "you (plural) are going → шъокӏуа? /ʃʷakʷʼaː/ "are you (plural) going?"
  • отхэ /watxa/ "you are writing" → отха? /watxaː/ "are you writing?"
  • машхэх /maːʃxax/ "they are eating" → машхэха? /maːʃxaxaː/ "are they eating?"
кӏалэр къэущыжьыгъа?
кӏалэ-р къэущыжь-агъ-а
[t͡ʃʼaːɮar qawɕəʑəʁaː]
the boy (arg.) did (s)he woke up?
"Did the boy woke up?"
дэгуха мы унэм исыхэр?
дэгу-х-а мы унэ-м ис-ыхэ-р
[daɡʷəxaː wənam jəsəxar]
are they deaf? this house the people that are in
"Are the people that are in this house deaf?"
  • If question is posited to word having Negative Suffix ~п (~p), it is converted to suffix ~ба (~baː)[clarification needed]. for example: пшӏэрэба? – Don’t you know?, Къыоэджэ, зэхэпхырэба? – They call You, don’t you hear

[that]?, укIожьырагъоба? - Don’t you want to go back?,
къакIорагъоба - isn't he want to come?,
ушхэрагъоба - don't you want to eat?

  • макӏуа? /maːkʷʼaː/ "is he going?" → макӏоба? /maːkʷʼabaː/ "isn't he going?"
  • ошӏа /waʃʼaː/ "do you know?" → пшӏэрэба? /pʃʼarabaː/ "don't you know?"
  • мэтхагъа /matxaːʁaː/ "did he wrote" → мэтхагъэба? /matxaːʁabaː/ "didn't he wrote?"
  • кӏалэр машха /t͡ʃʼaːɮar maːʃxaː/ "is the boy is eating?" → кӏалэр машхэба? /t͡ʃʼaːɮar maːʃxabaː/ "isn't the boy eating?"
  • шъокӏуа /ʃʷakʷʼaː/ "are you (plural) going? → шъокӏоба? /ʃʷakʷʼabaː/ "aren't you (plural) going?"
  • сыдаха /sədaːxaː/ "am I look beautiful" → сыдахэба /sədaːxabaː/ "doesn't I look beautiful"
кӏалэр къэущыжьыгъэба?
[t͡ʃʼaːɮar qawɕəʑʁabaː]
boy (abs.) isn't he woke up?
"Has not the boy woke up?"
кӏалэр тиунэ къакӏорэба?
[t͡ʃʼaːɮar tiwna qaːkʷarabaː]
boy (abs.) our house isn't he coming?
"Isn't the boy coming to my house?"
кӏалэр тиунэ къакӏоба?
[t͡ʃʼaːɮar tiwna qaːkʷabaː]
boy (abs.) our house he is coming to right?
"The boy is coming to my house right?"
  • If question is posited by auxiliary interrogative words, хэт (who), щыд or лъэу or сыд (what), тыдэ (where), тары (which), хьэ or щтэ or сыда (why), these word are positioned in the sentence in that place, where the word is supposed to be positioned, being answer to supplied question:
хэт къэкӏуагъэ?
[xat qakʷʼaːʁa]
who the person that came
"Who came?"
сыд кӏалэм ыцӏэ?
[səd t͡ʃʼaːɮam ət͡sʼa]
what the boy (erg.) his name
"What is the boy's name?"
непэ тыдэ ущыӏэщт?
[najpa təda wɕəʔaɕt]
today where you will be there
"Today where will you be?"



  • Аркадьев, П. М.; Ландер, Ю. А.; Летучий, А. Б.; Сумбатова, Н. Р.; Тестелец, Я. Г. Введение. Основные сведения об адыгейском языке в кн.: "Аспекты полисинтетизма: очерки по грамматике адыгейского языка" под ред.: П. М. Аркадьев, А. Б. Летучий, Н. Р. Сумбатова, Я. Г. Тестелец. Москва: РГГУ, 2009 (Arkadiev, P. M.; Lander, Yu. A.; Letuchiy, A. B.; Sumbatova, N. R.; Testelets, Ya. G.
  • Introduction. Basic information about Adyghe language in "Aspects of polysyntheticity: studies on Adyghe grammar" edited by: P. M. Arkadiev, A. B. Letuchiy, N. R. Sumbatova, Ya. G. Testelets. Moscow, RGGU, 2009) (in Russian) ISBN 978-5-7281-1075-0
  • Ranko Matasović, A Short Grammar of East Circassian (Kabardian): [1].

External links[edit]