Haitian Creole: Using "Se" with verb phrases

syntacha

New Member
English - American
Hi everyone,

I'm trying to figure out how to use "Se" with verb phrases. What is allowed/ not allowed/ more acceptable/ less acceptable?

For instance, I believe that it is possible to say "Se danse mwen vle danse ave'w" but could you say "Se danse avè'w mwen vle danse avè'w"?

How about

"Se vle mwen vle danse avè'w" (first verb)

"Se vle danse mwen vle danse avè'w" (both verbs)

"Se vle danse avè'w mwen vle danse avè'w" (whole phrase) ?

I don't think that verb phrases are impossible.

"Se renmen'w mwen renmen'w (ki fè'm cheri'w kon sa)."

and

"Se kouri vit Ann kouri vit (ki fè li gentan jwenn bus lan)."

seem acceptable. Am I correct in thinking so?

What about other verb phrases like:

"Se kite'l avè'w Mari kite'l avè'w."

"Se viv san ou mwen pa ka viv san ou."

And what exactly does the "Se..." part of the sentence contrast?

Could one say

"Se renmen mwen renmen danse avè'w. Se pa chante mwen renmen chante avè'w." (As opposed to a sentence which contrasts the initial verb with the initial verb, e.g. "Se renmen mwen renmen danse avè'w. Se pa rayi mwen rayi danse avè'w.")

or

Se danse mwen renmen danse avè'w. Se pa rayi mwen rayi danse avè'w.
(Compare with

Contrasting the second verb with a second verb: "Se danse mwen renmen danse avè'w. Se pa chante mwen renmen chante avè'w."

or Contrasting the second verb with the argument: "Se danse mwen renmen danse avè'w. Se pa avè'l mwen renmen danse."

or Contrasting the second verb with the whole verb phrase: "Se danse mwen renmen danse avè'w. Se pa rayi chante mwen rayi chante ave'w.")

Does anyone have any intuitions about these questions? Thanks in advance.
 
  • fausseamie

    New Member
    English - Canada
    I'm a beginner, but I do have a phrasebook with me that had a brief explanation of this. I'll type it but only put one example for each. The book is called Haitian Creole Phrasebook: Essential Expressions for Communicating in Haiti.

    The Verb "To Be"
    Perhaps the easiest verb to learn in Creole is "to be." Usually, it is simply not expressed: Mwen bouke.
    For emphasis, however, there are two additional forms meaning "to be." The first is with ye, which is used normally at the end of a question: Ki kote li ye?
    Another way to express "to be" is se, which is used only at the beginning of a sentence or clause: Se sou tab la.
    And for special emphasis, both se and ye are used in the same sentence: Se ameriken m ye.

    Hope this might help you with your questions, although it's not very specific..
     

    syntacha

    New Member
    English - American
    I appreciate that you took the time to respond and provide a place for reference. Thank you.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top