Friday, July 13, 2012


pacific daily news

The periodic confusion between -a words (respeta) and -o/u words (respeto/respetu) can be cleared up with some understanding of the Spanish language, from which we borrow many words.

Respeta is the verb form.  It means "to respect."  "Respect the elderly" is correctly translated "Respeta i man åmko'."

The reason is because the Spanish infinitive is respetar, "to respect."  Chamorros always take the conjugation of the 3rd person singular to come up with the Chamorro verb form; in this case, respeta.

It's the same with "help" or ayuda, from ayudar.  "Help the elderly" is "Ayuda i man åmko'," not "Ayudu/ayudo i man åmko'."

Now the noun form (respect/help) is respeto/respetu or ayudo/ayudu.  "He has no respect" is "Tai respeto gue' na taotao."  "I need your help" is "Hu nesesita i ayudu-mo."

Basic Rule

-A is the verb
-O/U is the noun

(when it comes to Spanish loan words)


  1. Thank you for all the lessons you share about the language! They are helping me understand the language better!

  2. By the way, this particular noun/vowel rule was brought to my attention today by a fellow Chamorro who has been helping me learn the language. Your remarks here bring further light to this subject. Si yu'os ma'åse!