|Lojban For Beginners — velcli befi la lojban. bei loi co'a cilre|
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By this time, you may be wondering what has happened to all the tenses. After all, a large part of learning a language is learning tenses, and figuring out which one you ought to be using. English, for example, has about a dozen tenses (depending on what you count as a tense) and some languages have more. Use the wrong one and you're, well, wrong. In addition, there are a load of words and phrases like before, in a while, some time ago and so on.
Lojban deals with time quite differently. Like some other languages (e.g. Chinese), tense is not compulsory. All the bridi we've looked at so far have had no particular time attached to them, and this is perfectly acceptable; in fact it is normal. Saying mi klama ti de'i la padjed. is good Lojban, even if out of context we don't know if it means I'm coming here next Monday, or I came here last Monday. In most cases, sentences don't happen out of context, and the context is usually enough to tell us if we're talking about the past, present or future. Putting a past tense in just because the same sentence in English would be in the past tense can be rather malglico.