For example: I gave him my book. These include agglutinativity, a rich array of noun classes, extensive inflection for person (both subject and object), tense, aspect and mood, and generally a subject–verb–object word order. Determiners in Swahili are capable of being used adjectivally (with a noun) or pronominally (standing in for an absent noun). It is also used as a complement to certain auxiliary verbs and conjunctions. In learner materials, all types of prefixes other than the subject prefixes are frequently, erroneously referred to as infixes. They occur in three types: There is one pronoun of each type for each noun class. The consecutive tense is mainly used with the past tense -li- in narrating a sequence of events whereby -li- is used for the first verb and -ka- for subsequent verbs. There is, strictly speaking, no negative form of the situational, however the negative subjunctive may occasionally be used for this purpose.. The equivalent is achieved with the negative subjunctive. These other parts of speech receive their own concordant prefixes (termed "concords" for short), generally matching in class with the noun, though the prefixes themselves are not always the same. ", "If I were a bird, I would defecate on your head. It is formed by prefixing the verbal concord with, Distal ("that, those"), referring to something far from both speaker and listener. Similarly, mwanamume "man" becomes wanaume "men" in plural, although the singular form mwanaume is also common. It corresponds to the English infinitive or gerund. * Although rarely used, the "indefinite present" adds a small complication to the presentation of Swahili grammar as the -a- marking the tense causes the subject concords to undergo reduction in the same manner as the prefixes of the genitive preposition -a. In general, a pronoun can be used instead of a noun. Swahili [swa] (ISO 639-2) grammar is typical for Bantu languages, bearing all the hallmarks of this language family. * The form sisi "it is not us" is not frequently used as it is identical to the pronoun sisi "we", "us". New verbs are readily created from simple verbs by attaching various suffixes (often called extensions) to the stem to get different shades of meaning by altering grammatical voice. These two nouns are formed from the word mwana "son, daughter", which is commonly used in compounds to essentially mean "person", followed by the words mke "wife" (plural: wake) and mume "husband" (plural: waume) respectively. Loan verbs usually form their applicative forms by removing their final vowel and replacing it with either -ia or -ea according to the same rules. When discussing Swahili noun classes, it is important to distinguish between (1) morphological noun classes as a quality of the noun themselves indicated by morphological features (generally prefixes), and (2) syntactic noun classes as an agreement (i.e. Here are a few basic points about how Swahili works: 1) There are no articles (a/an, the). ", "I told her not to go." Swahili nouns are grouped into noun classes based on the prefix they have, with each class having a prescribed number. For example, standard (mimi) ninajua "I know" often occurs as (mi) najua in spoken Swahili. Very frequently, however, the suffix -eni is appended to the verb to indicate that the second person plural is meant: ninawaoneni "I see you all." Because the stems of most of these verbs, once the infinitive prefix ku- is removed, are monosyllabic, these are frequently termed monosyllabic verbs, however this is problematic as the final -a of Bantu verbs is often not considered to be part of the root (meaning that roots of many of these verbs consists of only a single consonant or consonant cluster, such as -p- "give"). The anterior marker -sha- (or sometimes -kwisha-) is a relatively new TAM marker that derives diachronically from the verb kwisha "to finish, to run out". iweni), although this is rarely used and more frequently replaced by a regular imperative form kuwa (pl. ", "The men fought (each other) on the streets. In general, adverbs modify verbs and adjectives. Now let's learn how to ask questions (interrogative). The consecutive or narrative tense is formed with the TAM prefix -ka-. The subjunctive (sometimes referred to as an optative) expresses hypothetical situations, wishes and requests. Under a very strict prescriptive viewpoint, the classes should not be mixed, for instance nipo hapa "I am here" is regarded as correct but niko hapa "I am here" is regarded as incorrect. Many words which are present in English as adjectives have no corresponding adjective in Swahili and are expressed by means of inchoative verbs. In the present tense, relative forms of the copula are formed with the subject prefix, the stem -li- in the positive and -si- in the negative, and the suffixed relative marker for the required noun class.