Your Very First steps in Chichewa - The verb: to be Print

a) in identifications: ndi, combined with personal pronoun before or after.

Ine ndine (ndi + ine, joined together) Mavuto (I am Mavuto)
Kodi, inu ndani? (Who are you?)
Iye ndiye mlimi (He is a farmer)
Abambo Van den Bos ndi mDatchi (Mr. Van den Bos is a Dutchman)

Mind: the word ndi also means: and

Chimwemwe ndi Mavuto akusewera ku munda (Chimwemwe and Mavuto are playing in the garden)
Abambo ndi Mayi Van den Bos ndi aDatchi (Mr. and Mrs Van den Bos are Dutch)

b) in other cases : -li

present tense
ndili (I am)
uli (you are)
ali (he/she is)
tili (we are)
muli (you are)
ali (they are)

past tense (by infixing: 'na')
ndinali (I was)
unali (you were)
anali (he/she was)
tinali (we were)
munali (you were)
anali (they were)

prepositions: locatives
ku (precies op een plaats)
pa (vaagbegrensde plaats)
mu (in een plaats)

ndili ku nyumba (I am at home)
anali mu chipinda (he was in the room)
anayenda pa Ulaya (he travelled in Europe)
kodi, ali ku Holland tsopano? (are they in Holland now?)

Assignment: The following text is the Lord’s Prayer. Look at each word and try write down its meaning, and its grammatical definition.

Atate wathu wa Kumwamba,
dzina lanu liyeretsedwe.
Ufumu wanu udze,
kufunu kwanu kuchitidwe,
monga Kumwamba chomwecho pansi pano.
Mutipatse ife lero chakudya chathu chalero.
Ndipo mutikhululukire mangawa athu,
monga ifenso takhululukira amangawa athu.
Ndipo musatitengere kokatiyesa,
Koma mutipulumutse kwa woipayo.
Chifukwa wanu uli ufumu ndi mphamvu ndi ulemerero,
ku nthawi zonse.
Amen

 

< Back to the course index

 
Providing a tool for communication in Chichewa/ Chinyanja speaking Africa   Webmaster -  Copyright © 2017 Steven Paas