KISWAHILI FOR BEGINNERS:RELATIVES

We have already discussed interrogative :nani?”who”?nini?”what”-a nani””whose?”-ipi?”which “?etc.

Let us look at the relatives , Consider these sentences:

a. The man you saw yesterday is my father.

b. The book which you gave me is very, very nice.

In the first sentence we Left out one word, namely,”whom”,The words “whom”in the first sentence and which in the second are called relative pronouns.

Swahili has two ways of expressing relative pronouns. It either attaches the relative particle to the verb,or it uses the word amba to which it attaches the relative particles. Here are some examples of each: a. with the M/WA class,ye (abbreviation of yeye)is used in the singular and a(abbreviation of wao)is used in the plural.

e.g mtu uliyemuona Jana ni baba angu ,”The man whom you saw yesterday is my father.”

Note that SWAHILI uses object prefixes together with the relative particles.

In the above sentence, the object prefix in “him, her “,(in -uliye-m-wona)has been used together with ye, you certainly remember that w has been added to make mw because the verb begins with a vowel,

i.e.ona,”see”.in the plural,this sentence would read:

Watu uliowaona Jana ni baba zangu,”The people you saw yesterday are my father’s,”

b.with the rest of the classes,the relatives are denoted as follows:

M/MI     Mti ulioanguka, the tree which fell.

Miti iliyooanguka,Tree which fell.

KI/VI.      Kitabu ulichonipa,The book you gave me.

Vitabu ulivyonipa,The books you gave me.

  1. Nyumba aliyojenga,The house he built

Nyumba alizojenga,The houses which he built

We will continue with our topic next time

 

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