against
 
against
air
 
air, wind, breeze, gas, vapor
all
 
all, every
and
 
and, also, too
animal
 
animal
ass
 
end, rear, butt
back
 
backward, behind, before
bad
 
no, bad
beautiful
 
beautiful
believe
 
believe, think
between
 
between, medium, intermediate, vacillating, confused
big
 
big, highly, large
blue
 
blue, sad, sour, bitter
body
 
body, trunk, hull
box
 
box, cup, container, bowl, vase, tub
boy
 
boy, man, male
break
 
break, crack, canyon, cut, disparity, destroy, disrupt
bump
 
hill, bump, lump, mountain
can
 
can, possibility, ability
cause
 
cause, force, make, compel
child
 
child, descendant, offspring, baby
circle
 
circle, ball, round, cycle, loop, surround, around, with respect to
close
 
end, finish, close
cloth
 
cloth, clothing, fabric, covering
come
 
hello, arrive, come from
cool
 
cool, cold, agreeable, ok
count
 
count, number, amount
crazy
 
crazy, foolish, wild
dark
 
dark, black
different
 
different, difference, distance, interval
dirty
 
dirty, dirt, earth, scum
drive
 
drive, control
ear
 
ear, hear, know about
eat
 
eat, food, consume
eye
 
eye, look, see
face
 
front, face, facade, representative
feel
 
feel, touch
fire
 
fire, hot, angry
foot
 
foot, base, least
forward
 
forward, on behalf of, ahead
friend
 
friend, nice
fruit
 
fruit, reward, prize, award, goal, aim
get
 
get, take, receive, catch, find
girl
 
girl, woman, female
go
 
go, move, goodbye, become
good
 
good, yes
ground
 
ground, floor, land, foundation
group
 
group, set, class, team, collection
have
 
have, own
head
 
head, top, most
heart
 
heart, middle, center
hit
 
hit, strike, tap, poke
house
 
house, home, building, system
inside
 
inside, interior, within, member
it
 
she, he, it, her, his, its
knot
 
knot, hard, dense, difficult
know
 
know
leaf
 
leaf, sheet, paper, flake, petal
left
 
left, beside, with
life
 
life, energy, power, fuel, vigor
light
 
light, bright, white
 
like, love
limb
 
limb, stick
link
 
link, connect, relate, copulate
machine
 
machine, vehicle, car, console
make
 
create, produce, accomplish, bring about
mat
 
support, chair, bed, table
maybe
 
maybe, might, perhaps
me
 
me, I, my
mistake
 
mistake, screw up, incorrect, wrong, false
money
 
money
mouth
 
mouth, opening, hole
must
 
must, have to, need, should
name
 
name, word, term
nose
 
nose, smell, intuit
only
 
only, just, barely
open
 
open, start, begin
or
 
or
outside
 
outside, beyond
over
 
over, above, about
parent
 
parent, ancestor, predecessor
path
 
path, line, street, route, road
person
 
person
picture
 
picture, screen, diagram, representation
place
 
place, at
plant
 
plant, vegetable, vegetative
play
 
play, do
pocket
 
pocket, valley, fold, pit, depression
put
 
put, give, send, throw, lose
reason
 
reason, because, for
red
 
red, sweet, happy
right
 
right, beside, on behalf of
same
 
same, like, equal, mean, imply, also
skin
 
surface, covering, peel, shell, coating
sleep
 
sleep, rest, oblivious
small
 
small, little, less, slightly
some
 
some, part, portion
sound
 
sound, ruckus, tumult
space
 
space, room
stay
 
stay, continue, keep on
story
 
story, chain, thread, sequence, explanation, excuse
stuff
 
stuff, soft, goo, sand, easy
talk
 
talk, say, discuss, address
that
 
that, there, away, the other
that
 
that, there, away, the other
thing
 
thing, exist
this
 
here, this, the
time
 
time
tip
 
tip, finger, point, unit
tool
 
equipment
true
 
true, correct, honest
try
 
try, attempt
type
 
kind, type, sort, category
under
 
under, below, supporting
use
 
use, with
want
 
want, desire, lack
water
 
water, liquid
way
 
way, method, means
what
 
what
work
 
work, do
write
 
write, writing, article, book
yellow
 
yellow, scared, salty
you
 
you, your

dictionary

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This is the word for yes (click to listen):

good
 

Each Moss word is accompanied by an English token to help you recognize it as you're learning. As you can see, the word for 'yes' is the same as the word for 'good'. Since Moss has such a small vocabulary, each Moss word translates several basic English words.

There are three kinds of tones in Moss. The central line is the nucleus tone. It can be any pitch. All of the other tones in a word are measured off of the nucleus tone. The outside lines are satellite tones. They’re separated from the nucleus tone by a jump up or down – any amount larger than a step is a satellite tone.

maybe
 

Notes just above or below any of the lines are neighbor tones. They’re separated from either the nucleus tone or a satellite tone by a step – either whole steps or half steps.

and
 
or
 

Some words use a string of neighbor tones - two or more steps extending from the nucleus tone. Ledger lines are used when words have two or more steps in a row.

thing
 
person
 
life
 
time
 

Rhythm is also relative, just like pitch: filled in notes are short, and hollow notes are long, but the proportions are flexible, and you can pace yourself as fast or as slow as you want.

friend
 
same
 

The only other distinguishing features in words are breaks in sound between the notes, denoted by staccato marks.

good
 
bad
 

The relationship between words in the sentence is shown by whether the nucleus tone moves up, down or stays on the same level. The main words in a sentence step down in pitch.

me
want
eat
 
"I'm hungry."

Whenever a word stays at the same level, you know that it's modifying the previous word.

me
want
water
cool
 
"I want cold water."

English speakers who are used to adjectives and adverbs coming before the words they modify can get comfortable with this word order by thinking of a string of words on the same pitch level as a relative clause.

me
want
water
cool
 
"I want water which is cold."
person
get
eat
feel
bad
 
"The food-taking person feels bad." "The person who took the food feels bad."

The first word in an subordinate or adjunct phrase jumps up in pitch.

me
want
you
go
 
"I want you to leave."
me
eat
time
you
eat
 
"I'll eat when you eat."

Moss also has just two suffixes that go up, down, or stay put from to the last note of the word they're attached to (not necessarily the nucleus tone).

Yes/No questions are formed by adding a suffix (technically a clitic) at the end of the whole sentence.

you
cool
?
 
"Are you cold?"

'Not' is also a suffix. It's a single short note that repeats the last pitch of the word it's negating.

me
cool
not
 
"I'm not cold"
me
fire
not
 
"I'm not hot"

Moss is a rudimentary, non-standardized language. If you're not sure how to say something, and you haven't seen a similar example yet, you should just try something that you think will be clear, without worrying about whether it's right or wrong.