How to speak English…like Yoda

May the 4th be with you! Today is International Star Wars Day. You can celebrate by amusing and annoying your friends by speaking like the little green Jedi master.

First, here are some simple quotes that show Yoda’s interesting use of language:

  1. Powerful you have become.
  2. Patience you must have.
  3. A teacher Yoda is.

So what is Yoda doing with English grammar? He is simply moving the complement from the end of the clause to the start of the clause:

Normal English

You have become powerful
Subject Finite Predicator Complement

Yoda’s English

Powerful you have become
Complement Subject Finite Predicator

 

Normal English

You must have patience
Subject Finite Predicator Complement

Yoda’s English

Patience you must have
Complement Subject Finite Predicator

 

Normal English

Yoda is a teacher
Subject Finite Complement

Yoda’s English

A teacher Yoda is
Complement Subject Finite

 

Simple, right?

But there’s one more thing to remember when you talk like Yoda. The complement always takes the sentence stress – even if it (strangely) comes at the start:

you have become POWerful.

POWerful you have become.

you must have PAtience.

PAtience you must have.

yoda is a TEACHer.

a TEACHer yoda is.

 

So now you know how to speak like Yoda.

You can see some more great Yoda quotes here:

Only #10 and #9 follow the pattern I have shown you in this blog (master Yoda seems to be inconsistent with his style).

 

To learn more about this kind of grammar, this video you should watch.

 

 

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