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)