There are three copulas ("to be" words) in Trigedasleng.
Ste, the stative copula, is used with adjectives, and with verb phrases as a progressive auxiliary (see topic "Auxiliaries & Modals").
- em ste tofon "it is difficult"
- ai ste yuj "I am strong"
- emo ste gon choda op "they are fighting each other"
Laik is used with nouns and adverbial or prepositional phrases.
- em laik tofon "it is a difficult thing"
- ai laik ticha "I am a teacher"
- emo laik kom trigeda "they are from the forest"
Bilaik can also be used as a figurative or circumstantial copula with nouns, adjectives, and adverbial/prepositional phrases. (It's kind of like using air quotes.) Its use in certain contexts may indicate disdain.
- em bilaik tofon "it is 'difficult' (so to speak)" or "it's a 'difficult' thing"
- ai bilaik ticha "I'm a 'teacher' (I guess/for all intents and purposes)"
- emo nou bilaik gonakru "they aren't (real) warriors"
- du bilaik splita "he's an outcast" (du indicates disdain or contempt)