Do you want coffee or tea?

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  • .i ckafi najo tcati That means (something) is coffee or tea, but not both. Context, of course, indicates that the something is the drink under question!

It's almost an exact translation of 'coffee or tea', which is what the phrase gets quickly reduced to in usage. In the context of somebody serving drinks, it's perfectly clear.

It might be clear since there aren't many other possibilities, but it's not really accurate. If you want to use a form like that, ckafi je'i tcati is better, since at least it asks a question.

How about adding .aupei, to indicate that the bridi questions a desire of the listener, which sufficiently contextualizes the zo'es. I still don't like the najo, but it's better.

  • .i pau do djica tu'a loi ckafi je'i tcati

Possible answers are: naje (the second), jenai (the first), je (both), ja (or, not helpful), joi (mixed together, yum).

And to which i answer, "go'i".

  • .u'i you can do that to the English, too. I once took a math course from a teacher who had some rather oddly phrased questions ever since he gave a test which was all true/false - the directions said to mark whether each statement is true or false, and of course he got a paper with nothing but yes. Just try taking a test with directions that mean that but spend way to long making absolutely certain that they are unambiguous. - mi'e. .kreig.daniyl.

Other possible ways to ask:

  • .i do djica tu'a ma poi cmima loi ckafi ku ce loi tcati
  • .i do djica tu'a ma po'u loi ckafi .onai loi tcati
  • .i loi ckafi loi tcati zo'u do djica tu'a ma

Also all the "djica tu'a"'s can be replaced by something like "ctidji" or "pixydji".

(or pe'ipei) Do you think coffee or tea? (???)

And furthermore, you can go Klingon, bypassing the interrogative, and say:

  • .i ko cuxna fi loi ckafi kuce loi tcati

Methods involving set membership in some way (i.e. everything but methods involving ji) are known to be the only reliable method if you have more than two alternatives to choose from.

If you have more than one ji you can repeat all of the sumti with the correct logical connectives between them. You can also do this with only one ji, but it's not necessary. Could be wrong, but wasn't this proven not to work?

How so? You only run into problems in multiple connectives when you attempt to use things like o or onai - which are patently unhelpful in answering a question, anyway. -rab.spir

  • .e'u cuxna lo pamei (be le se pinxe bei) {or} (befi) le ckafi .e le tcati

Such a wonderful language, this Lojban, offering so many ways to say the same thing, and so much potential for endless discussion of said different phrasings for the simplest of ideas! Unambiguous does not mean canonical!