Unit 2

Greetings and Leave-Taking
Learning Objectives
At the end of this unit you will be able to: Demonstrate greetings and leave takings appropriate to age, gender, and time of day Demonstrate understanding of cultural aspects of greetings and leave-takings, including body language

-ጤና ይስጥልኝ

-ጤና ይስጥልኝ




Dialog 1

Greeting a Community Member. Lindsay, a female PCV, greets Ato* Kebede, her host family father, in the morning. Amharic Lindsay: Ato Kebede: Lindsay: English Lindsay: Ato Kebede: Lindsay: Ïndämïn addäru? ደህና EግዚAብሔር ይመስገን Dähna, ïgziabïher yïmmäsgän. Aደርሽ? Dähna adärš? ደህና EግዚAብሔር ይመስገን Dähna, ïgziabïher yïmmäsgän.
Eንደምን Aደሩ


Good morning. (Lit. How you spend the night?) Fine, God be thanked. Good morning. (Lit. Did you spend the night well?) Fine, God be thanked.

* ( Aቶ) Ato is an Amharic title meaning “Mister”.

Cultural Note
Greetings Greeting plays an undeniable role in speeding up your assimilation to the community. Even though the way Ethiopians greet each other might differ slightly from region to region or place to place, it is always an important part of public social interaction. Sometimes the greeting may extend to asking after families, cattle, sheep, crop yield, weather conditions, etc. It is also common, particularly in the countryside, to greet someone who you don’t know. While greeting and taking leave, bowing, shaking hands and removing hats are common. Kissing one another’s cheeks is also practiced, especially upon meeting after an extended period of time. Using both hands when shaking hands with elders and officials indicates respect (the left hand to support the right forearm OR put both hands on the elder’s hand). Young people in Ethiopia will typically greet each other by shaking hands and bumping shoulders. Raising the eyebrows is sometimes used to greet someone in a situation in which someone doesn’t want or is unable to talk, or in a situation in which the two people are very familiar with one another. Upon the entry or arrival of elders or officials, it is customary to stand and say, nor (signifying welcome and respect). The person arriving would respond, bGz@R bägzer (lit. “by God”). Not leaving a seat for respected or elder people shows disrespect. Also, putting hands in the pockets while talking with elders shows disrespect. Greetings can be replied to by saying XGz!xB/@R YmSgN ïgziabher yïmmäsgän. A person will be happy if you call her or him by name while greeting.


Useful Phrases for Greeting General greetings make use of the present-tense verb, “to be” (mçN mähon): Person Amharic Verb “to be” Example (…fine.) Pronoun I Xn@E ïne ነኝ näň (Xn@ïně) dHÂ nኝdähna näň. You (♂) You (♀) You (polite) He She He/She (polite) We You all (plural) They Person You (♂)
xNt xNcE

anta anči ïrswo

nH n>

näh näš näwot

(xNt antä) dHÂ


dähna näh?

XRSã Xs# Xú*

nãT nW

ïssu ïssua

näw nat/ näč

(xNcE anči) dHÂ n> dähna näš? (XRSã ïrswo) dHÂ nãT dähna näwot? (Xs# ïssu) dHÂ nW dähna näw? (Xú* ïssua) dHÂ

ÂT/nC ÂcW nN

dähna nat/näč?




(XúcW ïssaččäw) dHÂ naččäw? (X¾ ïñña) dähna nän.


ïñña ïnnantä

nän naččïhu naččäw

XÂNt Xns#

ÂCh# ÂcW


(Eናንተïnnantä) dHÂ ናችሁ naččïhu? (Eነሱ ïnnässu) ደህና ናቸውdähna naččäw? Fine / I am fine / We are fine dHÂ dähna. / dHÂ ነኝ dähna näň dähna / dHÂ ነኝ dähna näň. dHÂ dähna / dHÂ ነኝ dähna näň. dHÂ dähna / dHÂ nN dähna nän.

How are you? / Are you fine? XNdMN nH? dHÂ nH? ïndämïn näh? / dähna näh? You (♀) XNdMN n>? ïndämïn näš? / dHÂ n>? dähna näš? You (polite) XNdMN nãT? ïndämïn näwot? / dHÂ nãT?dähna näwot? You all (plural) XNdMN ÂCh#? ïndämïn naččïhu? / dHÂ ÂCh#?dähna naččïhu?

General Greetings (Sälamtawoč) -@Â YS_Lኝ T΄enayïst΄ïlïñ! . [formal, for all persons & all times] May God give you health. s§M nW Sälam näw? [informal, all persons & times] Is everything okay? (Lit. Is it peace?)

Grammar Point
As you read through the following charts, pay attention to how the suffix changes for each different person (in bold).


Time-Specific Greetings Generally, morning is from awakening until noon, afternoon is from lunch until approximately the end of the work day/sunset, and evening is after work is over until bedtime. Person You (♂) You (♀) You (polite) You all (plural)

t΄äwat/morning (ማደር/ madär)

/ ደህና/ Aደርክ? ïndämïn / dähna addärk? Eንደምን / ደህና/ Aደርሽ? ïndämïn / dähna addärš? Eንደምን / ደህና/ Aደሩ? ïndämïn / dähna addäru? Eንደምን / ደህና/ Aደራችሁ? ïndämïn / dähna

ከሰዓት በኋላ käsä’at bähuwala/afternoon (መዋል/mäwal) Eንደምን / ደህና/ ዋልክ? ïndämïn / dähna walk? Eንደምን / ደህና/ ዋልሽ? ïndämïn / dähna walš? Eንደምን / ደህና/ ዋሉ? ïndämïn / dähna walu? Eንደምን / ደህና/ ዋላችሁ? ïndämïn / dähna walaččïhu?


/mïšït/evening (ማምሸት/mamšät)

/ ደህና/ Aመሸህ? ïndämïn / dähna amššäh? Eንደምን / ደህና /Aመሸሽ? ïndämïn/ dähna amäšäš? Eንደምን / ደህና/ Aመሹ? ïndämïn/ dähna amäššu? Eንደምን / ደህና/ Aመሻችሁ? ïndämïn / dähna

Responses Ïgziabïher yïmmäsgän. Praise to God. Dähna. Fine. ደህና nN Dähna nän. We are fine. ደህና nW Dähna näw. He is fine. ደህና ÂT/nC Dähna nat/näč. She is fine. ደህና EግዚAብሔር ይመስገን፡፡ ደህና Aደርክ/ሽ/ሩ/ራችሁ? Dähna, ïgziabïher yïmmäsgän. Dähna addärk/addärš/addäru/addäraččïhu?
EግዚAብሔር ይመስገን ደህና

General Leave-Taking:Leaving for an Extended Period Person You (♂) You (♀) Take care (Lit. Be well.) dHÂ h#N Dähna hun.
dHÂ h#ß!

xNt xNcE

antä anči ïrswo ïnnantä

Dähna huňi. Dähna yïhunu.(hunu).

You (polite)


dHÂ Yh#n# dHÂ h#n#

You all (plural)


Dähna hunu.


Time-Specific Leave-Taking Person

t΄wat morning (መዋል mäwal) dähna wal dähna way(i) dähna

xNt xNcE

antä Anči Ïrswo ïnnantä

dHÂ êL dHÂ êY


dHÂ êl#/ Yêl#

dHÂ êl#

dähna walu

käsä’at bähuwala afternoon (ማምሸት/mamšät) dHÂ xM> dähna amš dHÂ xM¹! dähna amši dHÂ xM¹#/ ÃM¹# dähna amšu/ yamšu dHÂ xM¹# dähna amšu
ከሰዓት በኋላ


evening (ማደር/ madär) dähna ïdär dähna ïdäri

dHÂ XdR dHÂ Xd¶

dHÂ Xd„/ Yd„ dähna ïdäru / yïdäru dHÂ Xd„

dähna ïdäru

Responding to Greetings and Leave-Taking. How would you respond to the following greetings or leave-takings? 1. Eንደምን Aደርክ/ Aደርሽ? Ïndämïn addärk? / addärš? 2. dHÂ ÂCh#? Dähna naččïhu? 3. dHÂ XdR/ Xd¶ Dähna ïdär / ïdäri. 4. dHÂ h#N/ h#ß! Dähna hun / huňi.

Greetings and Leave-Taking Role-Plays. What would you say in each of the following situations? 1. You are meeting an elderly person of the community for the first time. 2. At a morning meeting, you are asked to the front of the room, and you must greet the entire gathered crowd. 3. You are speaking to a young, male shopkeeper in the afternoon. 4. You are saying goodbye to your LCF at the end of the day. 5. You are greeting a female counterpart who has come to visit your house in the afternoon. 6. You are going to bed and saying goodnight to your host family. 7. You take leave of a group of neighborhood children during the morning.


Grammar Point
Greetings and leave-takings in Amharic make use of three verbs: Amharic ማደር madär [adärä] መዋል mäwal [walä] ማምሸት mamšät [amäšä] English To spend the night To spend the day To spend the evening

Greetings Greetings are formed with the past-tense of these verbs (see Unit 10 for further details on past tense):
Eንደምን Aደርክ

Ïndämïn addärk? how did you (♂) spend the night? ደህና Dähna ዋልሽ? walš? well did you (♀) spend the day? Eንደምን Ïndämïn Aመሻችሁ? amäššaččïhu? how did you (plural) spend the evening? The past-tense conjugations of these verbs have been utilized in the greeting charts given above. Refer to these charts and notice the pattern of changing suffixes for each person. Leave-takings Leave-takings are formed with the imperative form of these verbs. ደህና Dähna Xd„ ïdäru. well spend the night (plural or polite)

Dähna êY way(i). well spend the day (♀)


Dähna xM> amš. well spend the evening (♂)

The imperative forms of these verbs have been utilized in the leave-taking charts given above. Refer to these charts and notice the pattern of changing suffixes for each person. Note: In Amharic sentences, the verb almost always comes last. Subject + (object/modifier/descriptor) + Verb (Xn@ ïne) dHÂ dähna ነኝnäň. (I) fine am (subject) (modifier) (verb)


Note: Since the verb indicates the subject, and is therefore redundant, the initial pronoun can often be dropped, unless we want to add emphasis or intend to indicate contrast with another person. (dHÂ ነኝ dähna näň or Xn@ dHÂ ነኝ ïne dähna näň →).

The Verb “to be” Given the Amharic pronoun, provide the correct form of the verb “to be”. 1. 2. 3. 4.
Xú* dHÂ X¾ dHÂ

Ïsswa dähna Ïñña dähna Ïnnässu dähna Anči dähna

? . ? ?

5. 6. 7. 8.

XRSã dHÂ Xn@ dHÂ

Ïrswo dähna

? . ? ?

Ïne dähna Antä dähna Ïnnantä dähna

Xns# dHÂ xNcE dHÂ

xNt dHÂ


Dialog 2
Meeting Friends on the Street Mark, a male PCV, sees his friends, Mekonen and Tigist, on the street, in the late afternoon. Amharic Mark: Friends: Mark: Friends: Mark: Friends: English Mark: Friends: Mark: Friends: Mark: Friends:
dHÂ ዋላችሁ?

Dähna walaččïhu? Dähna, ïgziabïher yïmmäsgän. Dähna Ïndämïn naččïhu? Dähna

dHÂ XGz!xB/@R YmSgNÝÝ dHÂ êLK?

Dähna walk?
dHÂ XNdMN ÂCh#? dHÂ ÂCh#?

naččïhu? Dähna nän. X¹! Òã dHÂ xM¹# Ïšši. Čaw, dähna amïšu. x»N dHÂ xM> Amen, dähna amš.

Good afternoon (to you both). Fine, praise God. Good afternoon. Fine. How are you (both)? Are you (both) fine? We are fine. Okay. Bye, good evening. Amen, good evening.

Greet the different members of your host family, both individually and as a group. Take leave of them, as appropriate, throughout the day. During next class, discuss the specific greetings and leave-takings that you used. How did they respond?


Glossary: dähna ïgzïabhär yïmäsgän t’ena yïstïlïň dähna nat dähna nän t’äwat käsäat mïšït sälam näw? madär mäwal mamsät
ደህና EግዚAwሔ` ይመስገን ጤና ይስጥMኝ ደህና ናƒ ደህና ነን ጠዋƒ ከሰAƒ ምሽƒ ሰላም ነው? ማደ` መዋM ማምሸƒ

fine God be thanked (praise to God) may God give you health she is fine we are fine morning afternoon evening is everything okay? to spend the night to spend the day to spend the evening

Practice Reading and Pronouncing Script
xÄ!S xbÆ x»¶μ xs§ ÷μ ÷§ ±S¬ XNj‰ >NT b@T Äï


Unit 3
Introducing Oneself
Learning objectives
By the end of this unit, you will be able to: Introduce yourself stating your nationality, occupation, and marital status Ask others for personal information: about place of origin, occupation, and marital status Use the verbs ‘to be called’ as in, what’s your name? (Lit. What do they call you?) Use possessives Pluralize nouns

Grammar Point
Conjugation of verb “to be called” mÆL mäbaal [tÆl täbaalä] Conjugation of verb “to be called” mÆL mäbaal [tÆl täbaalä] (present tense) (Note: We will look at the present tense conjugation in more detail in Unit 9.) Pronoun Näťäla/Singular Bïzu/Plural Xn@E ïne XƧlh# ïbaalallähu X¾ ïñña XNƧlN ïnïbaalallän xNt antä TƧlH tïbbaalalläh TƧ§Ch# XÂNt ïnnantä xNcE anči TÆÃl> tïbbaayalläš tïbaalallačhu XRSã ïrswo YƧl# yïbaalallu Xs# ïssu YƧL yïbaalal Xns# ïnnässu YƧl# yïbbaalallu Xú* ïsswa TƧlC tïbbaalalläč XúcW ïssačäw YƧl# yïbbaalallu

Words Denoting Nationality (z@GnT zegïnät) To form nationality adjectives we add - êE wi (male) or - êET plural form is - WÃN wïyan. Look at the following examples: Country Male Singular Female Singular x!T×ùÃêE x!T×ùÃêET Ethiopia/ ityop΄yawi ityop΄yawit x!T×ùà ïtyop΄ya x»¶μêE x»¶μêET x»¶μ Amerika Amerikawi Amerikawit k@NÃêE k@Nà Kenya k@NÃêET Kenyawit Kenyawi wit (female). The Plural





Grammar Point
Conjugation of ¥GÆT magbat [xgÆ agäba] to marry Affirmative Pronoun Xn@E ïne xNt antä xNcE anči XRSã ïrswo Xs# ïssu Xú* ïssua XúcW ïssačäw Negative Pronoun Xn@E ïne xNt antä xNcE anči XRSã ïrswo Xs# ïssu Xú* ïssua XúcW ïssačäw

Näťäla/Singular xGBÒlh# agïbičalähu xGBt¦L agïbïtähal xGBtšL agïbïtäšal xGBtêL agïbïtäwal xGBaL agïbïtoal xGB¬lC agïbïtalač xGBtêL agïbïtäwal Näťäla/Singular X§gÆh#M alagäbahum x§gÆHM alagäbahm x§gÆ>M alagäbašm x§gb#M alagäbum x§gÆM alagäbam x§gÆCM alagäbačïm x§gb#M alagäbum

Bïzu/Plural X¾ ïñña









Bïzu/Plural X¾ ïñña









Note: FcE fiči/divorce (tÍTÒlh# Täfatïčalähu. I am divorced.) The affirmative forms make use of what is called the “compound gerunditive” tense, which is literally translated like, “I have married,” “You have married,” “They have married,” etc. You can see this tense outlined in more detail in the Grammar Appendix, and also in the Grammar point in Unit 17. The negative forms make use of the negative past tense form, which is translated literally, “I did not marry,” “You did not marry,” “They did not marry,” etc. This form is discussed in detail in Unit 10. Briefly, though, the negative form of the past is marked by the prefix x§-al- and the suffix -M –m attached to the positive form of the past tense verb. Notice in the chart above how the verb stem “xgÆ agäba” changes within the al- and –m affixes. In the underlined bits, you should recognize the patterns that you have seen in greetings in the previous unit. Note: Prefixes are bits added at the beginning of a word, and suffixes at the end. The word “affix” is used for both prefixes and suffixes.


Introducing yourself
Look at the photos of the following celebrities (some of them are Ethiopians). Assume that they are introducing themselves to you in Amharic. Read their self-introductions given below: 1: Haile Gebreselassie (Ethiopian Long Distance Runner/ Ruač΄)
ሃይሌ ገ/ስላሴ Eባላለሁ፡ Iትዮጰያዊ ነኝ፣

Haile Gebreselassie ïbaalallähu. Ityop΄yawi näñ. ሯጭ ነኝ፡ Ruač näñ. Aግብቻለሁ፡ Agïbïčallähu. ባለቤቴ ወ/ሮ Aለም ትባባለች፡፡ Baläbete Woizero Alem tïbaalalläč. 2. Jennifer Lopez
ጄኒፈር ሎፔዝ Eባላለሁ

Jennifer Lopez ïbaalalähu. Aሜሪካዊት ነኝ፡ Amerikawit näñ. ዘፋኝ ነኝ፡Zäfañ näñ. Aግብቻለሁ፡Agïbïčallähu.
ባለቤቴ ማርክ Aንቶኒ ይባላል

Baläbete Marc Anthony yïbaalal. 3. Mary Smith Mary Smith ïbaalallähu. Amerikawit näñ. ሐኪም ነኝ Hakim näñ. Aላገባሁም፡ Alagäbahum.
ሜሪ ስሚዝ Eባላለሁ፡ Aሜሪካዊት ነኝ፡

Practice Reread the self-introductions and complete the information in the tables below. Some of the information has been filled in for you. Haile Gebreselassie



zegïnät/ nationality



የጋብቻ ሁኔታ

yägabïčča huneta /marital status ___________

_______________ Jennifer Lopez


ïtyop΄yawi _______________






የጋብቻ ሁኔታ

yägabïčča huneta zäfañ ___________

Jennifer Lopez



Mary Smith






የጋብቻ ሁኔታ

yägabičča huneta ___________




Cultural Note
Titles (¥:rG Ma’ïräg) The ordinary title for adult men in Amharic is AቶAto (equivalent to the English ‘Mr.’). The ordinary title for married women is ወይዘሮ Woyzäro and for unmarried women ወይዘሪት Woyzärit. There is no equivalent for Ms in Amharic. When in doubt, it is generally acceptable to ask the addressee which of the two titles ወይዘሮWoyzäro or ወይዘሪት Woyzärit to use. Inquiring About Marital Status Ethiopians will commonly ask you about your marital status. This, however, is not very common amongst Ethiopians themselves. If someone of the opposite sex asks your marital status, it may or may not mean that they are interested in having a relationship with you. Sometimes people are simply curious!

Grammar Point
The Possessive Adjective “My” (first method) To form the possessive for first person (my), add “-e” to the noun if it ends in a consonant or “-ye” if it ends in a vowel. Look at the following examples: sïm name → S» sïme my name xgR agär country → xgÊ agäre my country b@T bet house → b@t& bete my house S‰ sïra job/work → S‰ü sïraye my job/work z@GnT zegïnät nationality → z@Gnt& zegïnäte my nationality s§M¬ sälamta greeting → s§M¬ü sälamtaye my greeting

Pluralizing To pluralize, you add åC oč if the noun ends in a consonant, and ãCwoč if it ends in a vowel. The possessive marker goes on the end of the pluralized word. Singular Plural Plural Possessive LJ lïjj child LíC lïjjoč children Líc& lïjjoče my children Wš wïša dog WšãC Wïšawoč dogs Wšãc& wïšawoče my dogs DmT dïmmät cat DmèC dïmmätoč cats Dmèc& dïmmätoče my cats Note: Wšãc& wïšawoče may become Wëc& wïšoče for short. This is especially common for nouns ending in –a ( 4th order).




Grammar Point
The Possessive Adjectives (first method) Now that you have learned the suffix to indicate “my”, study the following chart of suffixes to indicate possession by each different person. Pronoun Xn@E ïne xNt anta xNcE anči XRSã ïrswo Xs# ïssu Xú* ïssua XúcW ïssačäw Näťäla/Singular Bïzu/Plural xgÊ agäre my country X¾ ïñña xgRH agärïh your (m.) country XÂNt ïnnantä xgR> agärïš your (f.) country xgRãT agärwot/wo xg„ agäru Xns# ïnnäsu xgRê agärwa xg‰cW agäraččäw agäraččïn

xg‰CN xg‰Ch#



To form the possesive for “your” ♂ and ♀, add ‘ïh’ for male and ‘ïš’ for female. Look at the following examples: SM sïm → SMH sïmïh (male) / SM> sïmïš (female) xgR agär → xgRH agärïh (male) / xgR> agärïš (female) b@T bet → b@TH betïh (male) / b@T> betïš (female) z@GnT zegïnät → z@GnTH zegïnätïh (male) / z@GnT> zegïnätïš (female) S‰ sïra → S‰H sïrah (male) / S‰> sïraš (female) Pluralizing possessives: b@èC betoč → WëC wïšoč → betočïh (male) / b@èC> betočïš (female) wïšočïh (male)/ WëC> wïšočïš (female)

b@èCH WëCH


In general, the pattern of possessive suffixes is as follows: Pronoun ïne antä xNcE anči XRSã ïrswo Xs# ïssu Xú* ïssua XúcW ïssačäw
Xn@E xNt

Näťäla/ Singular -e or –ye -ïh -ïš -wot/wo -u or -w -wa -aččäw

Bz# X¾

Bïzu/Plural ïñña ïnnantä -xCh# -aččïhu -xCh# -aččïhu -xcW -aččäw




Examples (mïsalewoč) 1. xgRH yT nW? Agärïh yät näw? What is the name of your country? (Lit. Where is your country?) 2. SM> ¥N nW? Sïmïš man näw? What is your name? (to a female person) 3. S‰H MNDN nW? Sïrah mïndïn näw? What is your job/occupation/profession? (to a male person)

You would like to elicit personal information from someone. Put your photo in the middle and write your questions as shown. You can add more questions to the chart.


Dialog 1
Read the dialog below. In the following situation, Hailu and Jeff have just met. What do they say to each other? Xn@ ¦Yl# XƧlh# xNtS? Ïne Hailu ïbaalallähu. Antäs? Hailu: Jeff: Xn@ ËF XƧlh# Ïne Jeff ïbaalallähu. xgRH yT nW Agärïh yät näw? Hailu: Jeff: xgÊ x»¶μ nW Agäre Amerika näw. Hailu: Xn@ xSt¥¶ ነኝ ïne astämari näñ. xNtS S‰H MND nW? Antäs, sïrah mïndïn näw? Jeff: Xn@ m/NÄ!S ነኝ Ïne mähandis näñ. Note: The suffix –s added to the end of a subject pronoun indicates “how about”, as in, “xNtS Antäs?” (“How about you (m.)?”).

Study the previous dialog and connect the sentences with gïn (but). Look at the example: Mœl@ Mïsale/example: ¦Yl# xSt¥¶ nW ËF GN m/NÄ!S nW Hailu astämari näw, Jeff gïn mähandis näw. 1. ሊያ ተማሪ ናት ሜሮን ግን Liya tämari nat Meron gïn . 2.
ያሬድ ዘፋኝ ነው Aቤል ግን

Yared zäfaň näw Abel gïn


Use the appropriate possessive form to indicate that the following items belong to you. 1. b@T bet 2. 3. 4. 5.
xSt¥¶ /k!M DmT ïRœ

astämari dïmmät

hakim borsa

Grammar Point
Negation of the Verb “to be” Sometimes you will need to tell people, for example, that you are NOT a doctor, that you are NOT from England, etc. You have previously seen the negative form of the verb ¥GÆT magbat [xgÆ agäba]. Now study the negative form of “to be”, which is slightly irregular.


Conjugation of verb to be ‘nbr näbärä’ (present tense negative) Näťäla/Singular Bïzu/Plural Affirmative Negative Affirmative xYdlh#M Xn@E ïne X¾ iñña ነኝ näñ nN nän aydälähum xYdlHM xNt antä nH näh aydälähïm XÂNt ÂCh# načïhu xYdl>M ïnnantä xNcE anči n> näš aydäläšïm xYdl#M XRSã ïrswo nãT näwot aydälum xYdlM Xs# ïssu nW näw aydäläm Xns# ïnnässu ÂcW načäw Xú* ïssua ÂT/nCnät(näč) xYdlCM aydäläčïm XúcW xYdl#M ÂcW näčäw ïssačäw aydälum






Although the past tense negative of “to be” is irregular, you can still see the changing pattern of person markers that you have observed in the past tense previously.

Answer the following questions in the negative. 1. /k!M nH/n>? Hakim näh? / näš? 2. XNGl!²êE/êET nH/n>? Ïngïlizawi /wit näh? / näš? 3. t¥¶ãC ÂCh#? Tämariwoč načïhu? 4. t$¶ST ÂCh#? Turist načïhu? 5. xÆTH/> ÂcW? Abbatïh/š načäw?

Now make a list of your other belongings. Then convert them into a possessive phrase by adding the appropriate affix. In case you were unable to find an Amharic equivalent for the items you listed, you can still add the possessive affix to them. Like ‘host father + e = host fathere! Make your list in the spaces given below: The first one has been done for you. A. m{/F mäs΄haf B. C. D.



Use appropriate possessive forms to indicate that the items listed belong to a person you are talking to (you). In some of your answers, you can use the polite form for variety. 1. b@T bet (♀) 2. 3. 4. 5.
xSt¥¶ /k!M šY Wš

astämari (♂)

hakim (♀)

šay (♂) wïša (♀)

Underline the term(s) that describe you. z@GnT Zegïnät: Amerikawi/Amerikawit/Ethipiawi/Etiopiawit/ S‰ Sïra: tämari/astämari/hakim/yäsälam guad ¥:rG Ma’ïräg: Ato/woyzäro/woyzärit

Complete the following questionnaire (about you). SM sïm
xgR S‰

agär sïra zegïnät yägabïčča huneta ______ ______


yUBÒ h#n@¬

Introduce yourself to the class. Use the models given at the beginning of the unit.

Identifying Oneself SM sïm name z@GnT zegïnät nationality ¥:rG ma’iräg title xD‰š adraša address kt¥ kätäma town/city mNdR mändär village xgR agär country

T΄iyak΄ewoyč / Questions yT nW? yet näw? Where is it? ¥N nW? man näw? Who is it? MNDN nW ?mïndïn näw? What is it?


Sïra / Occupations /k!M hakim physician [hð s΄ähafi secretary m/NÄ!S mähandis engineer yHG ÆlÑà yähïg balämuya lawyer yb@T Xmb@T yäbet ïmäbet housewife xSt¥¶ astämari teacher zÍኝ zäfañ singer gbÊ gäbäre farmer xStÂUJ astänagaj waiter or waitress -#rt¾ t΄urätäña retired ነጋዴ nägade merchant የሒሳብ ሰራተኛ yähisab säratäña accountant የጽዳት ሰራተኛ yäs’dat säratäña janitor

Complete the blank spaces with the profession/job of the person represented in each picture.



Rehearse the self-introduction that you wrote above for a talk in class and then: 1. Introduce yourself to someone in your training community whom you have not met before. 2. Tell him or her three different things about yourself. 3. Find out three different things about him or her by asking questions.

Practice Reading and Pronouncing Script
p&Ps! s#Q [g#R FQR s§M xF¶μ MGB b@T ¹¸Z


Unit 4
Introducing Others
Learning Objectives:
By the end of this unit you will be able to: Introduce your own family Formulate questions about family members: where they live, who they are called, and what their professions are Use the verb “to live” Use the verb “to have” (positive and negative forms) Use negative, singular and plural markers, and demonstrative adjectives Use demonstrative pronouns

Introducing One’s Family
Desta’s Family Tree / ydS¬
zR hrG

yäDesta yäzär haräg

A. B. C. D. E.

Ato Meshesha Woizäro Tiruayehu Ato Belete Woizäro Mulu Ato Nega

F. G. H. J. K.

Ato Gashaw Fantahun Mesfin Gete Woizäro Taytu

L. M. N. O. P.

Woizäro Tsehay Ato Abebe Ato Getahun Ato Mebratu Woïzäro Alem


YäDesta betäsäb: Desta→ LJ lïjj, Ato Gashaw → xÆT abbat, Woyzäro Taytu → XÂT ïnnat, Mesfin → wNDM wändïm
ydS¬ b@tsB

Grammar Point
The Possessive Forms (second method) The following tables review how to form the possessive forms for abbat and wïšša. You have learned these suffixes in the previous unit. Pronoun Xn@E ïne xNt antä xNcE anči XRSã ïrswo Xs# ïssu Xú* ïssua XúcW ïssačäw Pronoun Xn@E ïne xNt antä xNcE anči XRSã ïrswo Xs# ïssu Xú* ïssua XúcW ïssačäw
xÆT abbat ‘father’ Näťäla/Singular Bïzu/Plural xÆt& abate X¾ ïñña xƬCN abbataččïn xÆTH abbatïh XÂNt xƬCh# xÆT> abbatïš ïnnantä abbataččïhu xÆTãT abbatwot/wo xÆt$ abbatu Xns# xƬcW xÆTê abbatwa ïnnäsu abbataččäw xƬcW abbataččäw Wš wïšša ‘dog’ Näťäla/Singular Bïzu/Plural Wšü wïššaye X¾ ïñña WšH wïššah XÂNt Wš> wïššaš ïnnantä WšãT/ãwïššawot/wo WšW wïššaw Xns# ïnnäsu Wšê wïššawa WšcW wïššaččäw

WšCN WšCh#




Note the differences in both the first person singular and third person male, between when the noun ends in a consonant (-e, -u) and when it ends in a vowel (-ye, -w).) The above table shows one way of forming the possessive adjective. Now let’s look at another way of forming the possessive: First method Second method:
xÆt& XÂt LË xÆT xÆT

abbat → xÆt& abbate abbat → yn@ xÆT yäïne abbat

abbate = yäïne abbat ïnnate = yn@ XÂT yäïne ïnnat lijje = yn@ LJ yäïne lïjj


Now look at the possessive forms of ‘xÆT abbat’ for “I” and “we”. “my” “we” yXn@ xÆT yä ïne abbat (yn@ yäne abbat) yX¾ xÆT yä ïñña abbat (y¾ xÆT yäñña abbat) Generalization: To form the possessive in the second method y yä + noun (pronoun) = possessive phrase Examples: b@tsB betäsäb → ymSFN b@tsB yämäsfïn betäsäb (ys# b@tsB yässu betäsäb)

Translate the following phrases into Amharic using the second method for indicating possession. 1. their family 2. his family 3. her family 4. your (female) family 5. your (male) family 6. your (plural) family __________ __________ __________ ____ ____ ___

Note: Sometimes we use the yä + noun (pronoun) form to show contrast. Example: yn@ ïRœ TLQ nW Yäïne borsa tïlïk΄ (big) näw. yxNcE ïRœ TN> nW Yäanči borsa gïn tïnïš (small) näw.

Vowel Change When y yä is added to a noun (pronoun) that begins with a vowel, the sound may change. Look at this change in the following examples: 1. y yä + Xn@ ïne = yn@ yäne 2. y yä + xNt antä = ÃNt yantä 3. y yä + Xs# ïssu = ys# yässu 4. y yä + Xú* ïssua = yú* yässua 5. y yä + XúcW ïssačäw = yúcW yässačäw 6. y yä + x»¶μ Amerika = yx»¶μ yamerika Vowels are dropped according to the “hierarchy” of vowels, listed from “strongest” (always replaces) to “weakest” (is always replaced):
xa, x@e, x!i, å

o, x#u xä Xï

So for example, the “ä” sound in “yyä” may replace the beginning “ï” sound of pronouns like ïssu, ïssua, ïnnantä, etc. Similarly, if the noun or pronoun begins with an “a”, as in antä or anči, the a may replace the ä. The assimilation of vowels indicated above occurs in fluent speech. In slow speech or reading the vowels can be pronounced separately, i.e as in the written form.

Kinship Terms xÆT abbat father XÂT ïnnat mother baal husband ¸ST mist wife XNj‰ xÆT ïnjära abbat stepfather XNj‰ XÂT ïnjära ïnnat stepmother XHT ïhït sister wNDM wändïm brother s@T xÃT set ayat grandmother wND xÃT wänd ayat grandfather xKST akïst aunt (the sister of your mother or father) x¯T ag’got uncle (the brother of your mother or father) yx¯T / yxKST LJ yag’got or yakïst lïjj cousin

Fill in the blank spaces about Mesfin. Look at the family tree. Mœl@ Mïsale: xè UšW ydS¬ xÆT ÂcW Ato Gashaw YäDesta abbat načäw. 1. wYzé ÈYt$ ydS¬ Woyzäro Taytu YäDesta ÂcW načäw. 2. 3.
wYzé Ñl# ydS¬ ͬh#N ydS¬

Woyzäro Mulu YäDesta


nat. näw.

Fantahun YäDesta

Study the family tree and answer the following questions. 1. ydS¬ s@T xÃT ¥N YƧl# YäDesta set ayat man yïbbalalu? 2. 3. 4.
ydS¬ wND xÃT ¥N YƧl# ydS¬ x¯T ¥N YƧL?

YäDesta wänd ayat man yïbbalalu?

YäDesta aggot man yïbbalal? YäDesta akïst man tïbbalaläč?

ydS¬ xKST ¥N TƧlC?


Label the following pictures. The people shown in the pictures are all Mesfin’s family. Look at the family tree.




Ato Abebe




Woyzero Alem

Cultural Note
Patterns of Meeting People You may notice that introductions in Ethiopia are different than in America. It’s not uncommon to talk about a third party while they are present (example: “Does she speak Amharic? Is he an American?”), without introducing the third person or addressing him or her directly. The practice of introducing people to each other (“John, meet Mary. Mary, meet John”) is not often used. Generally, people will offer their own names to an unknown person, sometimes saying “XNtêwQ ïnntäwäwäk΄” (let’s introduce ourselves), rather than waiting for an introduction from someone else. Ethiopians are generally fairly private about disclosing information about themselves, especially because it can be interpreted as prideful to boast about oneself. You may find that Ethiopians are more direct than you are used to, however, in asking questions of foreigners. Questions that might seem personal (such as those about salary, marital status, price of your house rent, where you are going or even your weight) are not uncommon.


Change the following into the first method of possessive formation. Look at the example given. 1. yÁv!D XHT YäDavid ïhït → XHt$ ïhïtu 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
yÁv!D x¯T y»¶ XHT

YäDavid ag’got YäDavid ïnna YäMary agär YäDavid ïnna YäMary mäkina

YäMary ïhït Yäïnässu agär Yäïnässu mäkina

yÁv!D X y»¶ xgR yXns# xgR

yÁv!D X y»¶ mk! yXns# mk!Â

Grammar Point
Conjugation of the verb mñR mänor [ñr norä] “to live” (present tense) Pronoun Xn@E ïne xNt antä xNcE anči XRSã ïrswo Xs# ïssu Xú* ïssua XúcW ïssačäw Näťäla/Singular Xñ‰lh# ïnorallähu Tñ‰lH tïnoralläh Tñ¶Ãl> tïnoriyalläš Yñ‰l# yïnorallu Yñ‰L yïnoral Tñ‰lC tïnoralläč Yñ‰l# yïnorallu Bïzu/Plural X¾ ïñña









We will study the present tense conjugation in Unit 9. For now, start to notice the patterns of prefixes and suffixes that accompany each person.

Match the following expressions with appropriate completions from column B. A B 1. xÆt& xÄ!S xbÆ abate Addis Ababa a. Yñ‰l# yïnoralu b. XNñ‰lN ïnnïnoralän 2. ylÖ‰ XHT xÄ¥ yäLaura ïhït Adama c. Yñ‰L yïnoral 3. xSt¥¶ÃCN TXGST astämariačïn Tigist 4. XÂt& X xÆt& μl!æRn!à ïnnate ïnna abbate California _____ d. TƧlC tïbalalläč 5. X¾ XT×ùà ïñña Ethiopia e. Tñ‰lC tïnoraläč Note: You can use formal or informal terms when referring to one’s father or mother (or elder family member – depending on the family). When referring to someone’s else’s father or mother, however, you should always use formal terms.


Demonstratives Near Singular Plural YH yïh this(male or masculine objects) Xnz!H ïnnäzih these (both male & female) YHC yïhïč* this (feminine) Far Singular à ya that (male) ÃC yač* (feminine) Plural Xnz!à ïnnäziya those (both male & female)

* YHC yïhïč and ÃC yač can also show smallness or endearment, or they can be diminuitives that mark disrespect.


yïh bet


ya bet

Pluralize this item to these items and that item to those items:

this ball [μ*S kwas]

these balls

that paper [wrqT wäräk’ät]___________

those papers



Grammar Point
Expressing “to be” and “to have” The verb “xl allä”, means “to be” in regard to presence. For example:
ÄNx@L xl?

Daniel allä? ‰ÿL xlC? Rachel alläč? t¥¶ãC KFL WS_ xl# Tämariwoč kïfïl wïst’ allu. xÆt& Xb@T WS_ xl# Abbate ïbet wïst’ allu.

Is Daniel here? Is Rachel here? Students are in the class. My father is at home (polite).

Conjugation of the Verb allä (to be, to not be – in regard to presence) Affirmative and Negative Present Tense Näťäla/Singular Bïzu/Plural Affirmative Negative Affirmative Xn@E ïne X¾ iñña xlh# allahu ylh#M yällahum xlN allän antä anči XRSã ïrswo Xs# ïssu Xú* ïssua
xNt xNcE XúcW




alläh alläš xl# allu xl allä xlC alläč xl# allu
xlh xl>

yällähïm yälläšïm yl#M yällum ylM yälläm ylCM yälläčïm yl#M yällum
ylHM yl>M


ïnnantä ïnnäsu







Notice that the verb xl allä is irregular in the negative form, since it does not use the usual “al-” prefix. This verb has a different form of negative because the negative marker prefix “al-” and the verb aallä itself happen to be identical. So, we add “y yä” at the beginning (and the usual “-M-m” at the end). (This is not the possessive “yä-” marker!) Expressing “to have” makes use of the verb xl allä. To say, “I have it”, in Amharic, you must literally say, “It is to me.” To say, “I do not have it,” you must literally say, “It is not to me.” Look at the following examples: 1. xÆT xlኝ Abbat alläñ. I have a father. (Lit: A father is to me.) 2. wNDM ylኝM Wändïm yälläñïm. I have no brother. (Lit: A brother is not to me.) As you can see, to express the phrase “to me”, “to you”, etc., a set of affixes called the object pronouns are employed. These will be studied in detail in Units 10 and 12, however they are identical to the endings for the verb “to be” (nኝ näñ, ነህnäh, etc.) that you met in Unit 2.


Conjugation of the Verb alläw (to have, to not have) Affirmative and Negative Present Tense Näťäla/Singular Bïzu/Plural Affirmative Negative Affirmative X¾ ïñña ylኝM Xn@ ïne xlኝ alläñ xlN allän yälläñïm ylHM xNt anta xlH alläh yällähïm XÂNt x§Ch# yl>M ïnnantä allačïhu xNcE anči xl> alläš yälläšïm XRSã ïrswo xlãT alläwot ylãTM yälläwotïm ylWM Xs# ïssu xlW alläw Xns# ïnnäsu yälläwïm x§cW y§TM allačäw Xú* ïssua x§T allat yällatïm
XúcW x§cW y§cWM






ïssačäw Examples:


yällačäwïm I have a sister. Do you (m.) have a friend?

XHT xlኝ ጓደኛ Aለህ?

Ïhït alläñ. Gwadäña alläh?

When the thing that you own is plural, you must use the ïnnässu forms xl# allu and yl#M yällum, since you are literally saying, “They are to me,” and “They are not to me.” H#lT DmèC xl#ኝ Hulät dïmmätoč alluñ. I have two cats. Bz# Ùd®C xl#> Bïzu gwadäñoč alluš! You (f.) have many friends! îST LíC x§*cW Sost lïjjoč alluačäw. They have three children. LíC yl#ኝM Lïjjoč yällunïm. We don’t have children.

Indicate whether you have (xlኝ alläñ) or you don’t have (ylኝM yälläñïm) the following relations and items by adding the appropriate phrase. 1. 2. 3.


4. mk! mäkina 5. BR/ bïrr/money 6. BR/ bïrr/money

ïhït abbat

Now ask your LCF if he or she has the following things, and complete in the same way about your LCF. Ask your LCF using the second person, i.e.‘ you’, but write about your LCF in third person, i.e. as ‘he’ or ‘she’. 7. 8. 9.


ïhït abbat


10. ïRœ borsa 11. mk! mäkina 12. BR/ bïrr/money Make another list of your own about your LCF and complete in the same way. 1. 2. 3.

Compare and contrast your town, ( e.g. Assela), and Addis Ababa. First, study the examples: xÄ!S xbÆ Bz# ¬Ks! x§T Addis Ababa bïzu taxi allat. xs§ GN Bz# ¬Ks! y§TM Assela gïn bïzu taxi yällatïm. xÄ!S xbÆ ±S¬ b@T x§T Addis Ababa posta bet allat. xs§M ±S¬ b@T x§T Asselam posta bet allat. (Note: The suffix “-M-m” added to the noun Assella means “too, also”. Note also that towns and countries are normally considered feminine nouns.) Write your comparison and contrast bellow. Attempt to include as many points as possible. Have your LCF help! ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

Practice: In the space provided below make your own family tree and complete the
exercise that follows:


Now write about your relatives (family members and ancestors). Include relevant personal information such as who they are called, where they live, what their occupations are, and when appropriate their marital status. Use this description to prepare for a class talk in which you will use photos (if you have got some) to introduce your family members to the class. Write your description in the spaces given bellow. ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

ywND Ùd¾ yäwänd guadäñña boy friend ys@T Ùd¾ yäset guadäñña girl friend FQr¾ fïk΄räñña lover Xô¾ ïč΄oñña fiance(é) ÆL baal husband ¸ST mist wife Ælb@T baläbet* Ùd¾ guadäñña

spouse friend ¯rb@T goräbet neighbor ¹U šäga (old fashioned) beautiful WB/ Wb!T wub / wubit (feminine) beautiful öNí k΄onjo beautiful LBS lïbs clothing (clothes) Note: The word Ælb@T baläbet is not as formal as its English equivalent ‘spouse’is. Ælb@T Baläbet is just a fairly formal way of referring to someone’s husband or wife. ¸ST Mist and ÆL baal can sometimes be impolite (used in informal situations). It is safer to use Ælb@T baläbet all the time.

Talk to a member of your host family. Include the following information: a) his/her name b) his/her occupation c) who his /her parents are called and their occupations and d) his/her other relations Then talk about this person in class.

Practice Reading and Pronouncing Script
¸¶NÄ Å¥ xNbú W¦ ÷MpEWtR FRFR šY/b# x@C.xY.v! x@DS XDR

Unit 5
Basic Shopping
Learning Objectives
At the end of this unit you will be able to: Name items in the market and in shops Ask for, bargain and buy items from the market or shops Count up to 100 and use cardinals, ordinals and basic fractions Use basic question words, conjunctions, and definite articles

Dialog 1
In the following dialog a customer is buying a pencil. How does he/she ask the price? dMb¾ Dämbäña: XRúS xl Ïrsas allä? Æls#Q Baläsuk’: xã Awo. dMb¾ Dämbäña: êUW SNT nW Wagaw sïnt näw? Æls#Q Baläsuk’: ¦Mœ úNtEM Hamsa santim. dMb¾ Dämbäña: Y,W Yïhäw. Note: dMb¾ Dämbäña means customer and Æls#Q baaläsuk means store keeper. The opposite of xl allä (there is) is ylM yälläm (there is not…). Based on the dialog, what does SNT

sïnt näw mean?

Look at the following examples to help you. 1. :D»H Ïdïmeh (your age) SNT nW sïnt näw? 2. s›T SNT nW? Sä’at (the time) sïnt näw? 3. /!úB SNT nW? Hisab sïnt näw?

Grammar Point
The Definite Article Take a look at the –w in the word êUW waagaw in dialog above. Note: the word êU waaga is understood as shared knowledge to both speakers in its association with XRúS ïrsas. Consider the –w in the following dialog as well: Host mother: b#Â LS_> Bunna lïst΄ïš? X¹! Ïšši. Elizabeth: Host mother: b#ÂW XNÁT nW? Bunnaw ïndet näw? b#ÂW bÈM öNí nW Bunnaw bät΄am k΄onjo näw. Elizabeth:


We first mention the drink as bunna and in subsequent mentions it becomes bunnaw. The suffix shows definiteness. It shows that now the item has become shared knowledge, in other words, it has become known to both speaker and listener. Look at the following examples: muz - mz# muzu bïrtukan - BRt$μn# bïrtukanu xÂÂS ananas - xÂÂs#ananasu wYN woyïn - wYn# woyïnu ±M pom - ±Ñ pomu lÖ¸lomi - lÖ¸W lomiw ­­Ã papaya -­­ÃW papayaw ¥N¯ mango - ¥N¯W mangow

doctor - ìKt„ doctoru ♂ doctor – ìKt… doctorïwa ♀ the tall male doctor - r™Ñ ìKtR räžïmu doctor ♂ the tall female doctor - r™à ìKtR räžïmwa doctor ♀ the doctors / ìKtéC doctoroč - ìKtéc$ doctoroču (plural) the tall doctors - r™äc$ ìKtéC räžïmoču doctoroč
ìKtR ìKtR

You must have noticed that while some of the nouns (names) took the suffix –u, the others took –w. We can generalize this as follows: For masculine nouns (or plurals or noun modifiers), if the noun ends in a consonant, we add –u and if it ends in a vowel, we add –w. For feminine nouns we add -wa Also notice that if the definite noun is modified by an adjective, it is the adjective rather than the noun itself that takes the definite suffix –u or –w.

Reading (MNÆB Mïnïbab) YH œÑ nW Yïh samuna näw. Samunaw yätäsäraw ityop΄ïya wïst΄ näw. ytg²W kxÄ!S xbÆ nW Yätägäzaw kä Addis Ababa näw. bÈM öNí œÑ nW Bät΄am k΄onjo samuna näw.
œÑÂW yts‰W x!T×ùà WS_ nW

Yïh ïrsas näw. XRús# yts‰W x»¶μ nW Ïrsasu yätäsäraw Amerika näw. bÈM öNí XRúS nW Bät΄am k΄onjo ïrsas näw.

Yïh kïbrit näw. Kïbritu yätäsäraw Kenya näw. ytg²W k¯rb@T s#Q nW Yätyägäzaw kägoräbet suuk΄ näw. bÈM öNí KB¶T nW Bät΄am k΄onjo kïbrit näw.
YH kB¶T nW KB¶t$ yts‰W k@NÃ nW

Some words you may need to understand the reading text given above: 1. yts‰W yätäsäraw “is made”; other forms - mS‰T mäsrat (to work), |‰ sïra (work), \‰t¾ säratäña (worker), Ys‰L yïssäral (is made-passive) 2. WS_ wust΄ - in; e.g. ityop΄ïya wïst΄- in Ethiopia



yätyägäzaw “is bought”; other forms – mG²T mägzat (to buy), Xg²lh# ïgäzallähu ( I buy or I will buy), G² gïza (you ♂buy – imperative)

Read the text again and identify the definite article markers. Underline them. Note: The -w in final position of the phrases yts‰W yätäsäraw and ytg²W yätyägäzaw is not a definite article marker. The – w here shows “he” or it (see Grammar Appendix on Relative Clauses). Definite article markers are added to nouns, not to verbs.

Question Words ¥N man? MN mïn (MNDN mïndïn)? lMN lämïn? XNÁT ïndet? y¥N yäman? yT yät?
መቼ yTኛው

who? what? why? how? whose? where? When? Which

Examples (Mïsalewoč) 1. Ñz#N kyT g²>? Muuz käyät gäzaš? (♀) Where did you buy the bananas? 2. gbÃW yT nW? Gäbäyaw yät näw? Where is the market? 3. ¥N nW? Man näw? Who is it? 4. SM> ¥N nW? Sïmïš man näw? What’s your (♀) name? 5. S‰H MNDN nW ? Sïrah mïndïn näw? What’s your (♂) job? 6. YH MNDnW? Yïh mïndïn näw? What’s this? 7. YHC MNDN nC? Yïhč mïndïn näč? What’s this? 8. lMN xTb§M? Lämïn atbälam? Why don’t you (♂) eat? 9. lMN xTÅwTM? Lämïn atč’awätïm? Why don’t you (♂) talk? 10. XNj‰ XNÁT YUg‰L? Ïnjära ïndet yïgagäral? How is ïnjära made? 11. YH y¥N XRúS nW ? Yïh yäman ïrsas näw? Whose pencil is this? 12. YH y¥N b@T nW? Yïh yäman bet näw? Whose house is this?

Construct an appropriate question for the situations given bellow: 1. When you ask a child what his name is he may say “mSFN Mäsfïn”. Let’s say you would also like to know his father’s name. How do you say, “What’s your father’s name?” 2. Ask your host mother where you can buy a match. 3. Ask your friend why she or he came to Ethiopia. 4. Ask your LCF how šïro is made? 5. You see that someone has left a book on the desk. Ask the LCF whose book it is. 6. In the market you see a kind of cereal but you don’t know what it is called. Ask the merchant what the cereal is called.


Other shop items š¥ šama candle îFT soft tissue paper šY Q-L šay k̀ïtäl tea leaves Sμ*R sïkuar sugar =W č’äw salt tE¥tEM úLú timatim salsa tomato sauce m_rg!à mät΄rägiya broom mqS mäk΄äs scissors œÑ samuna soap yLBS œÑ yälïbs samuna laundry soap yg§ œÑ yägäla samuna body/face soap y_RS œÑ yät΄ïrs samuna toothpaste y:” ¥-b!à œÑ yä ïk΄a mat΄äbiya samuna kitchen soap zYT zäyt food oil ­S¬ pasta pasta Items in the market tE¥tEM timatim tomatoes ölÖ k΄olo roasted grains Äï ölÖ dabo k΄olo dry fried bread bits DNC dïnïč potatoes -@F t΄eff teff gBS gäbs barley SNÁ sïnde wheat bölÖ bäk΄olo maize >NB‰ šïnbïra chick pea Æq&§ bak΄ela beans xtR atär peas åÓlÖn! očoloni (lWZ läwz) peanuts ¥S¬-b!à mastat΄äbiya washing basin

Dialog 2
Bargaining (Waaga mäkärakär) g™ Gäži: Æls#Q œÑ xl? Baläsuk samuna allä? Æls#Q Baaläsuk: xã Awo. MN ›YnT? Mïn aynät? g™ Gäži: yLBS œÑ Yälïbs samuna. Æls#Q Baaläsuk: SNT LS_H? Sïnt lïst΄ïh? g™ Gäži: xNÇ SNT nW? Aandu sïnt näw? Æls#Q Baaläsuk: xMST BR Amist bïrr g™ Gäži: WD nW xYqNSM? Wudd näw. Ayk΄änïsm? Æls#Q Baaläsuk: X¹! bîST BR k¦Mœ WsD Ïšši läsost bïrr kähamsa wïsäd. g™ Gäži: X¹! x‰T S-ኝ Ïšši arrat sït΄äñ. Æls#Q Baaläsuk: Y,W Yïhäw. -Q§§ xS‰ x‰T BR nW T΄äk΄lala asra araat bïrr näw.

Vocabulary for Dialog 2: mqnS mäkänäs [qnS känäsä] to lower the price other forms: qN> kïnaš (discount), YqNs#Lኝ yïkänïsulïñ (lower the pric, politely), qNSLኝ känsïlïñ (lower the price to ♂), qN>Lኝ känšïlïñ (lower the price to a ♀) For example: 8- 6 = 2 sïmïnt s!qnS sik΄änäs sïdïst yïhonal huulät xYqNSM Ayk΄änïsïm? Is this your best price? (Lit. doesn’t it lower its price?). MN ›YnT Mïn aynät? Which type? WD wïdd expensive -Q§§ t΄äk΄lala total Another phrase used in bargaining is m=ršW SNT nW? Mäčäräšaw sïnt näw? When you say this you are asking the shop keeper to tell you his/her best/lowest price.

Cultural Note
Most of the prices in markets are flexible: you can bargain. Some merchants may try to charge higher prices if they know you are from another country. But commercial centers such as supermarkets and restaurants have fixed prices.

Numbers 10 -100 (K΄ut΄ïroč 10 -100) xSR asïr 10 xS‰ xND asïra and 11 Aርባ arba 40 xS‰ h#lT asïra hulät 12 ሃምሣ hamsa 50 ስልሣ sïlsa 60 … xS‰ z-ኝ asïra Zät΄äñ 19 ¦Ã haya 20 ሰባ säba 70 ¦Ã xND haya and 21 ሰማንያ sämanya 80 … ዘጠናzät΄äna 90 ¦Ã z-ኝ haya zät΄äñ 29 ሰላሣsälasa 30
መቶ mäto ሁለት መቶ

100 200

hulät mäto …
Aንድ ሺህ

and ši


Ordinal Numbers Look at the following examples and observe how cardinals are converted into their corresponding ordinal forms (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.). xND and → xNd¾ anddäña h#lT hulät → h#lt¾ hulättäña îST sost → îSt¾ sosttäña z-ኝ zät΄äñ → z-n¾ zät΄änäña ¦Mœ hamsa → ¦Mœ¾ hamsaña mè mäto → mè¾mätoña Can you derive a rule for the formation of ordinals?


Observation of the examples given above leads us to the following conclusions: If the cardinal form ends in a vowel, add –¾–ña If the cardinal form ends in a consonant other than ኝ ñ, add –¾ äña If the cardinal ends in -ኝ-ñ you change the -ኝ-ñ into an -n and add –¾-äña Note: the suffix at the end of the ordinal numbers is stressed. To help you prnounce it with a stress, we will, from now on, double the ñ. Thus xNd¾ anddäñña, h#lt¾ huulättäñña, etc. Fractions „B rub = ¼ s!î siso = 1/3 G¥> gïmaš = ½

Add the appropriate suffix to the following cardinal numbers to convert them into their ordinal forms: __________ 1. SMNT sïmïnt 2. 3. 4.
xRÆ xMST xS‰ z-ኝ xS‰ h#lT

arba amïst

____ __________ __________

asïra zät΄äñ asïra hulät


yxs§ ¥‰èN x¹Âðãች SM ዝርዝር

YäAssela Maraton Ašänafiwoč (winners) sïm zïrzïr (list) t‰ q$_R yxTl@t$ SM ygÆbT s›T yägäbabät sä’at Tära k΄ut΄r yäatletu sïm (finishing times) xbb ä§ 1 2:06:07 Abäbä Mola ¥„ mLμ 2 2:06:08 Maru Mälka b!qE§ ätE 3 2:06:10 Bikila Moti

Šïlïmat (prizes) wRQ work΄
>L¥T BR n¦S

bïrr nähas

Answer the following questions about the information in the table above. 1. xNd¾ ¥nW? Aanddäñña man näw? 2. h#lt¾ ¥nW? Hulättäñña man näw? 3. ¥„ mLμ SNt¾ çn? Maru mälka sïnïtäñña honä? 4. b!qE§ ätE MN t¹lm? Bikila moti mïn täšälämä?



Æl mè BR ñT

balä mäto bïrr not
Æl¦Mœ BR ñT

balä hamsa bïrr not

ÆlxSR (BR ñT

balä asïr bïrr not

balä amïst bïrr not


balä aand bïrr not





¦Mœ úNtEM (>LNG)

¦Ã xMST úNtEM (SÑn!)


hamsa santim (shilling)

haya amïst santim (sïmuni)

asïr santim

amïst santim

Note: Æl here means ‘of’ as in ‘a note of 5 birr’ (xRÆ notes).


arba baläsïr = 40 ten birr


Now study the following table and answer the questions below. t‰ q$_R yxNÇ k!lÖ êU bBR xTKLT Atïkïlt Tära k΄ut΄r Yäandu kilo waaga (bäbïr) 1 2 3 4

timatim DNC d΄ïnïč μéT karot >Nk#RT sïnkurt

t΄äk΄lala 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
xTKLT kyT mG²T Yš§L?

Addis Ababa---Assella 6 4 5 3 10 8 6 8 27 23

Atïkïlt käyät mägzat yïšalal? xTKLT WD nW wYS Rμ>? Addis Ababa Atïkïlt wïdd näw woys rïkaš? xs§ G¥> k!lÖ >Nk#RT SNT nW? Assela gïmaš kilo šïnkurt sïnt näw? xÄ!S xbÆ „B k!lÖ DNC SNT nW? Addis Ababa rub kilo d΄ïnïč sïnt näw? xs§ h#lT k!lÖ >Nk#RT XÂ îST k!lÖ μéT SNT nW? Assella hulät kilo šïnkurt inna sost kilo karot sïnt näw?

Supplementary Vocabulary: gïn but bäst΄äk΄är except for

ïnna and

k… bStqR


Study the following sentences and translate them into English. 1. xÄ!S xbÆ k >Nk#RT bStqR h#l#M xTKLT WD nW Addis Ababa kä šïnkurt bäst΄äk΄är hulum atïkïlt wïdd näw. 2. êLà xYb@KS k x!T×ùà bStqR l@§ ¦gR ylM Walia I bex kä Ityop΄ya bäst΄äk΄är lela agär yäläm. 3. kxNcE bStqR l@§ xLwDM Kä anči bäst΄äk΄är lela alïwädïm. 4. DNC xÄ!S xbÆ Yš§L >Nk#RT GN xs§ Yš§L D΄ïnïč Addis Ababa yïšalal, šïnkurt gïn Assela yïšalal. 5. Rï¾L GN xLb§M Rïboñal gïn alïbälam. Supplementary Vocabulary: l@§ lela other Rμ> rïkaš cheap h#l#M hulum all Note: When two words are connected by X ïnna in fluent speech, and the first word ends in a vowel, the ïnna is shortened to just - -na. Example: ¥Rs! X Áv!D Marcy ïnna David becomes ¥Rs! Áv!D Marcyna David.

Dialog 3
Elizabeth: Abebe: Šïnkurt yät yïšalal? xÄ!S xbÆ wYS xs§Addis Ababa woys Assela? xÄ!S xbÆ Yš§L Addis Ababa yïšalal. MKNÃt$M xÄ!S xbÆ Rμ> nW Mïkïnyatum Addis Ababa Rïkaš näw.
>Nk#RT yT Yš§L


Can you guess what MKNÃt$M mïkïnyatum means? The following examples may help you guess what MKNÃt$M mïkïnyatum means: 1. mt¾T XfLUlh# mätäñat ïfälïgalähu MKNÃt$M mïkïnyatum dkm" däkämäñ. 2. W¦ XfLUlh#Wuha ïfälïgalähu MKNÃt$M -¥" mïkïnyatum t΄ämañ. 3. MGB XfLUlh# MKNÃt$M ‰b" Mïgïb ïfälïgalähu mïkïnyatum rabäñ. Can you now make your own sentences with MKNÃM mïkïnyatum? Use the spaces provided. 1. __________________________________________________________________ 2. __________________________________________________________________ 3. __________________________________________________________________

Visit the local market and ask the prices of three different vegetables, bargain and buy them. Glossary: Dämbäňa Baläsuk’ Yätägäzaw Yätäsäraw ïrïsas Samuna Goräbet Kïbrit ÅUu— vKc<p ¾}ѳ¨< ¾}W^¨< `de dS<“ ÑA[u?ƒ ¡w]ƒ customer shope keeper is bought /magzat-to buy) is made /masrat-towork Pencil Soap neighbour match

Practice Reading and Pronouncing Script
ÆHR ÄR x!T×’Ã XGR μ*S XGz!xB/@R YmSgN xWèb#S ተራ መነሃሪያ wF t&n!S


Unit 6 Food and Drink

Learning Objectives
At the end of this unit you will be able to: Name common food items and ingredients Express tastes, and likes and dislikes for food and drink Express needs and wants for food and drink Order food in a restaurant and pay Ask for, and offer food and drink Pass items at a table

Naming foods and drinks and expressing likes and dislikes Make a list of Ethiopian foods and drinks you already know: I. Foods 1. 2. 3. 4. II. Drinks 1. 2. 3. 4. ______________ ______________ ______________ ______________ ______________ ______________ ______________ ______________


Look at the following menu of a restaurant. Which one of the dishes listed do you know?


Sälam Mïgïb Bet
Yämïgïb zïrzïr 1. qY w_ k΄äy wät΄ 2. xLÅ w_ aallïča wät΄ 3. ìé w_ doro wät΄ 4. MSR w_ mïsïr wät΄ 5. ìé ÍN¬ doro fanta 6. by›YnT bäyäayïnät 7. KTæ kïtfo 8. _BS t΄bs 9. MNcTxB> mïnčät abiš 10. tUb!ñ tägabino 11. ÇlT dulät 12. FRFR fïrfïr 13. XNq$§L _BS ïnk΄ulal t΄bs 14. aasa ym-_ ›YnèC Yämät΄t΄ aynätoč 1. xMï W¦ ambo wïha 2. y¥R -J yämar t΄äj 3. ywYN -J yäwoyn t΄äj 4. b!‰ birra 5. ለስላሳ soft drinks Tk#S ngR Tïkus nägär 1. wtT wätät 2. b#Â bunna 3. šY šay Waaga (bäbïr) 25.00 20.00 30.00 15.00 25.00 15.00 25.00 20.00 20.00 10.00 10.00 12.00 12.00 20.00 4.00 10.00 18.00 7.00 4.00 2.00 1.50 1.50
ሃያ Aምስት ብር ሃያ ብር ሰላሳ ብር Aስራ Aምስት ብር ሃያ Aምስት ብር Aስራ Aምስት ብር ሃያ Aምስት ብር ሃያ ብር ሃያ ብር Aስር ብር Aስር ብር Aስራ ሁለት Aስራ ሁለት Aራት ብር Aስር ብር Aስራ ስምንት ብር ሰባት ብር Aራት ብር ሁለት ብር Aንድ ብር ከሃምሳ Aንድ ብር ከሃምሳ


Yämïgïb zïrzïr Main Ingredients (waana waana gïbïat) 1. qY w_ k΄äy wät΄ sïga (meat), bärbäre (red pepper), k΄äy šïnkurt(onion), k΄ïmäm (spices) 2. xLÅ w_ aallïča wät΄ sïga, k΄äy šïnkurt, k΄ïmäm, k΄ariya (green pepper) näč΄ šïnkurt (garlic) 3. ìé w_ doro wät΄ yädoro sïga (chicken), k΄äy šïnkurt, k΄ïmäm, k΄ïbe (butter) 4. MSR w_ mïsïr wät΄ mïsïr (lentils), k΄äy šïnkurt, with or without bärbäre 5. ìé ÍN¬ doro fanta sïga, bärbäre, k΄äy šïnkurt, k΄ïmäm, k΄ïbe 6. by›Ynት bäyäayïnät yätäläyayä atïkïlt (various vegetables), mïsïr wät΄,šïro, k΄ariya, etc 7. KTæ kïtfo yä kïtfo sïga (finely chopped lean meat), k΄ïbe, k΄ïmäm 8. _BS t΄bs sïga, k΄ariya, Rosemary, k΄äy šïnkurt 9. MNcTxB> mïnčät abiš sïga, k΄äy šïnkurt, k΄ïmäm 10. tUb!ñ tägabino (šïro) šïro (slightly roasted and ground peas), k΄ïmäm, k΄äy šïnkurt, näč΄ šïnkurt 11. ÇlT dulät gubät (liver), č΄äguara (rumen), k΄ïbe, mit΄mit΄a (red chili), k΄ariya 12. FRFR fïrfïr ïnjära, timatim (tomatoes), k΄ariya 13. XNq$§L _BS ïnk΄ulal t΄bs ïnk΄ulal (eggs), k΄ariya, k΄äy šïnkurt 14. ›œ aasa fish K΄ïmämak΄ïmäm Spices qrÍ k΄äräfa cinnamon q$Nì bRbÊ k΄undo bärbäre black pepper ÷鶥 kororima cardamon ZNJBL zïnjïbïl ginger q$RNûD k΄urïnfud clove kÑN kämun cumin õSኝ t΄osïñ wild thyme n+ xZÑD näč’ azmud bishops weed DMብ§L dïmbïlal coriander _q$R xZÑD t’ik’ur azmud black cumin ÿL hel citrus seed If you don’t know any of these spices ask your host mother to show you.


Expressing Needs and Wants To Say You Want or Need Food or Drink XfLUlh# Ïfälïgallähu. I want. Xb§lh# Ïbälallähu. I eat. Yñ‰L Yïnoral? Have you got…? ‰bኝ (Rï¾L)Rabäñ. (Rïboñal.) I am hungry. -¥ኝ (ጠምቶኛል) T΄ämañ. (T΄ämtoñal.) I feel thirsty. ምሣ ደርሷል? Mïsa därsual? Is lunch ready? To Say That You Don’t Want or Need xLfLGM Alfälïgïm. I don’t want. xLb§M Albälam. I don’t eat. xL-ÈM Alt΄ät΄am. I don’t drink. xLwDM Alwädïm. I don’t like. b”ኝ Bäk΄a΄ñ. I have had enough. ጠገብኩ T΄ägäbku. I’m full. Offering Food TfLUlH Tïfälïgaläh? Do you want? ♂ TfLg!Ãl> Ïfälïgiyaläš? ♀ YfLUl# Yïfälïgalu? Polite/akïbïrot L=MRLH Lïč΄ämïrïlïh? Can I give you more? ♂ L=MRL> Lïč΄ämïrïlïš? ♀ L=mRLã Lïč΄ämïrïlïwo? Polite/akïbïrot LS_H Lïsït΄ïh? ♂ Do you want (me) to give you? LS_> Lïsït΄ïš? ♀ LS_ã Lïsït΄ïwo? Polite/akïbïrot §MÈH Lamït΄alïh? ♂ Can I get it for you? §MÈL> Lamït΄alïš? ♀ §MÈLã Lamït΄alïwo? Polite/akïbïrot


Answer the following questions 1. You are a vegetarian but someone invites you to have KTæ kïtïfo. What do you say to refuse politely? 2. Your host mother tells you to have more XNj‰ ïnjära. What do you say to tell her you’ve had enough? 3. It is lunch time and you are hungry. How do you ask if lunch is ready? 4. Your host sister asks you to have gNæ gänfo but you don’t like gNæ gänfo. What do you say? 5. You would like to share your chocolates with someone. How do you say, “Do you want to have some chocolates?”


Firafire Fruits BRt$μN bïrtukan oranges lÖ¸ lomi lemon or lime ­­Ã papaya papaya ÑZ muz banana xÂÂS ananas pineapple ¥N¯ mango mango ±M pom apple wYN woyïn grapes ÷K kok peach/apricot XNí¶ ïnjori berries



Atïkïlt Vegetables yabäša gommän kale-like leafy greens _QL ¯mN t΄ïkïl gommän frNJ ¯mN ‘färänj gommän cabbage öSÈ k΄ost΄a kale/spinach qY SR k΄äy sïr beet DNC dïnnïč potatoes Sμ*R DNC sïkwar dïnnïč sweet potato ”RÃ k΄ariya green pepper tE¥tEM timatim tomato μéT karot carrot
yhbš ¯mN

Dairy Products wtT wätät milk XR¯ ïrgo yogurt xYB ayb cheese XNq$§L ïnk΄ulal eggs

yw_ b@T XӋC

Yäwät΄ bet ïk΄awoč Utensils ¥Nk!à mankiya spoon ¹#μšukka fork BR+ö bïrč΄ïk΄o glass ¯DÙÄ úHN goguad sahïn bowl ZRG úHN zïrg sahïn plate b!§ê bilawa knife k#Æà kubaya mug

Passing Items at the Table When you pass an item you say “Y,W yïhäw” to mean “here you are” and ¥qbL mak΄äbäl to mean “to pass”.


Imperative forms of ¥qbL mak΄äbäl xqBlኝ ak΄äbïläñ ♂ pass to me xqBYኝ ak΄äbïyiñ ♀ ‘’ ‘’ Aቀብሉኝ ak΄äbïluñ (plural) ‘’ ‘’ ያቀብሉኝ yak΄äbïluñ (polite/akïbïrot) ‘’


A less formal way to say “here you are” is also: Eንካ ïnka ♂ Eንቺ/Eንኪ ïnči / ïnki ♀ Eንኩ ïnkačhu (plural)

Fill the following blank spaces with appropriate words. 1. 2. 3.

ïbakïh ïbakïš sahïn
¹#μ ÃqBl#ኝ


ak΄äbïläñ. .


šuka yak΄äbïluñ

Tastes Tastes are expressed in Amharic using the verb: “it is sweet,” “it is spicy,” etc. YÈFÈL yït΄afït΄al sweet adjective: ÈÍ+ t΄afač Ô_§L yak΄a t΄ïlal hot/spicy adjective: y¸Ã”_L yämiyak΄atïl Ym‰L yïmäral bitter adjective: m‰‰ märara Y÷m_ÈL yïkomä t΄ït΄al sour adjective: ÷MÈÈ komït΄at΄a =W bZèb¬L čäw bäzïtobätal too much salt

Match the words under column A with the sentences under column B. B A 1. lÖ¸ lomi 2. ”¶Ã k΄ariya 3. kr»§ kärämella 4. Sμ*R sïkuar 5. ¥R mar 6. bRbÊ bärbäre 7. b!‰ bira a. YÈFÈL yït΄afït΄al b. Ô_§L yak΄a t΄ïlal c. Ym‰L yïmäral d. Y÷m_ÈL yïkomä t΄ït΄al


Expressing Likes and Dislikes Make a list of American foods and drinks you like most. Write your preferences in the spaces provided below. 1. 2. 3. Guess what bÈM 1. 2. 3.
bÈM XwÄlh# bÈM XwÄlh# bÈM XwÄlh# XwÄlh#bät΄am

bät΄am ïwädallähu. bät΄am ïwädallähu. bät΄am ïwädallähu. .

ïwädallähumeans. It means alwädïm. alwädïm. alwädïm.

Fill in the blank spaces with foods or drinks (Ethiopian or American) that you don’t like.

What does xLwDM alwädïm mean? It means

Make a list of things you like and say (in Amharic) that you like them. Use the spaces provided. Write your answers in complete sentences. Things that I like/
yMwÄcW ngéC

yämïwädaččäw nägäroč __________________________ _______ _____ __

Grammar Point
Conjugation of mäwdäd [wädädä] present tense affirmative Näťäla/Singular Affirmative XwÄlh# Xn@ ïne ïwädalähu TwÄlH xNt antä tïwädaläh Tw©l> xNcE anči tïwäjaläš YwÄl# XRSã ïrswo yïwädalu YwÄL Xs# ïssu yïwädal TwÄlC Xú* ïssua tïwädaläč YwÄl# XúcW ïssačäw yïwädalu
n-§ Bz#Bïzu/Plural

xLwDM X¾










tïwädallačïhu atïwädum












Note: You can use the above forms to ask if someone likes something or someone (or not) by just changing the intonation to a (rising intonation) (question form). atwädïm? “Don’t you like?” (♂) xTwJM atwäjim? “Don’t you like?” (♀) or TwÄlH tïwädaläh? “Do you like?” (♂) Tw©l> tïwäjaläš? “Do you like?” (♀)

How do you say “I love you” in Amharic? A. XwD¦lh# Ïwädïhalähu. to ♂ B. XwDšlh# Ïwädïšalähu. to ♀ C. XwÄC“lh# Ïwädačïhualähu. ( to plural) Conjugation of “I like (love) (third person) Xwdêlh# Ïwädäwalähu. I like (love) him. XwĬ§h# Ïwädatalähu. I like (love) her. XwÄcêlh# Ïwädačäwalähu. I like (love) them. Note: You will see this construction again in Unit 12.

Complete the following sentences with a form of ‘mäwdäd’. Your answer can of course be in the negative or positive. 1. XGz!xB/@R x!T×ùÃN ïgziabïher Itïyop΄yan 2. 3. 4.
XÂNtN ïnnantän s!U‰

. . ? (to a ♀)

Sigara (cigarette)

BRt$μN Bïrtukan

Note: The –n suffix (Itïyop΄yan, ïnnaten) is used to indicate that the noun is the direct
object of the verb. See Unit 10 and Unit 12.

Other Verbs of Preference Study the following dialogs.

Dialog 2
Host mother: You: Host mother:
šY wYS b#Â šY X¹!

Šay woyïs bunna? Yšl¾L Šay yïšaläñal. Ïšši.


Dialog 3
Host mother: You: yïšaläñal.
qY w_ wYM xLÅ _„ nW qY w_

K΄äy wät΄ woyim aallïča t΄ru näw. Ô_l¾L K΄äy wät΄ yak΄ät΄ïlal. xLÅ Yšl¾L Aallïča

Note: In the dialogs above, we used wYS woyïs to ask someone’s preference but wYM woyïm is used when we state something. For example, ‘šY wYS b#Â S-ኝ šay woyïs bunna sït΄äň’ means “or”? (in a question) and wYM woyïm means ‘or’ (in an affirmative or negative statement). Guess the meaning of ‘Yšl¾L yïšaläñal’. It means ______________________.

Grammar Point
Different forms of tšl täšalä (inf. mšL mäšal) “to be better” Note: Yš§L ‘yïšalal’ means “it is better” and Yšl¾L yïšaläñal’ means “it is better for me” (you will see this construction in Unit 12). In the following table the negative forms have been left blank. Fill in the blank spaces with appropriate negative forms. n-§ Näťäla/Singular Bz# Bïzu/Plural Affirmative Negative Affirmative X¾ Yšl¾L YšlÂL Xn@ Ïne Ïñña yïšaläñal yïšalänal YšL¦L xNt antä Yš§C“L yïšalïhal XÂNt yïšaläčïhual YšLšL Ïnnantä xNcE anči yïšalïšal YšLã¬L XRSã ïrswo yïšalïwotal YšlêL Xs# ïssu yïšaläwal Yš§cêL Xns# ïnässu Yš§¬L yïšalačäwal Xú* ïssua yïšalatal
XúcW Yš§cêL




Dialog 4
At a Restaurant You: Clap your hand lightly/softly to attract the waiter’s attention. Waiter: MN L¬zZ Mïn lïtazäz? You: MGB MN x§Ch# Mïgïb mïn allačïhu? Waiter: xLÅ Aallïča, ìé w_ doro wät΄, ìé ÍN¬ doro fanta, by›nt$ bäyäayïnätu, KTæ kïtfo, _BS t΄ïbs, MNcT xB> mïnčät abïš…


You: Waiter: You: You: Waiter: You:

Mïnčät abiš amït΄alïñ. y¸-ÈS Yämi t΄ät΄as? xMï W¦ Ambo wuha … £úB SNT nW b!L xMÈLኝ Hisab sïnt näw? / Bill amt΄alïñ ሰላሳ ብር Sälasa (30) birr (You give the waiter a 50 birr note and ask for your change.) መልስ Mäls sït΄äñ.
MNcT xB> xMÈLኝ


Useful Vocabulary from this Dialog MN L¬zZ Mïn lïtazäz? What can I get for you? xMÈLኝ Amït΄alïñ (♂)/xMÀLኝ amïčilïñ (♀) Bring for me መልስ mäls change ስጠኝ sït΄äñ (♂)/ስጪኝ sïčiñ(♀) give me

Role Play In the class: set up a restaurant situation and take turns to role play.

Cultural Note
When you eat food from the same plate with somebody, eat from your side of the plate. It may be considered impolite to eat from the other person(s) side. When you eat with elders, wait for the elders to start before eating yourself. You don’t have to eat all the food served, you can eat as much as you can and return what remains. There is usually someone else who will eat it. Smelling food served to you can offend your host (you can explain to your host that in America it is a compliment to smell the food). When somebody serves you water for your hands, it is polite behavior to stand up to wash but your host usually asks you to sit down. You can then insist and wash standing up, or choose to wash sitting down depending on the age of the person who helps you to wash (relative to you). If the person seems to be younger than you, you may choose to sit down. But generally since standing up is a sign of respect for your hosts, it is the safer thing to do. While eating food on the same plate with somebody else, you may be offered ‘gursha’ (feeding with hands). If you don’t want the gursha, you can politely refuse to have it. It is not acceptable to lick your fingers at meals. Leaving a seat before the meal is over and while others are eating is considered inappropriate. If your food arrives before that of the other diners, you may begin eating without waiting. Usually the drinks arrive after the food (and are ordered after the food). Double-check every bill before you pay (compare against the menu price and check the addition IN the bill). Tipping is not necessary, and usually is just a birr or two, depending on the cost of the meal and the number of guests.


You can get change for a large bill by asking for ‘zïrzïr’ (for example, a 100 birr note can be changed to one 50 and five 10s). When handing over the money, eye contact is important, and use your left hand to support your right forearm.

Go to a restaurant with your LCF and order food and drink and ask for your change.

Practice Reading and Pronouncing Script
¯NdR DmT ²F -Í> hYQ JB gbà mRμè m{/F ¥R


Unit 7
Time Telling
Learning Objectives:
At the end of this unit you will be able to: Correctly ask and tell time Name days of the week Describe your daily routine Use prepositions and adverbs to describe when actions happen Correctly use the compound imperfect (present/future) tense

Dialog 1
Telling Time
xbbC SNT s›T nW?


Sïnt sä’at näw?
2 s›T k„B nW


2 sä’at kä rub( näw).
bSNT s›T wd TMHRT b@T TÿÄlH?



Bä sïnt sä’at wädä tïmïhïrt bet tïhedalläh? b 3 s›T xNcES Tÿ©l>? Bä 3 sä’at. Ančis tïhejalläsh?
xY b3 s›T S‰ xlBኝ


Ay, bä 3 sä’at sïrra alläbïň (‘I have to’).
X¹! dHÂ êY


ïši, dähna way.

Times: Between 5 after and 25 minutes after the hour, use the preposition k “kä”. From 35 to 55 minutes after the hour, time is expressed from the next hour, as in 10 until 8 pm. The preposition “l lä … g#ÄY gudday” is used.
2:05 2:10 2:15 (“quarter past”) 2:20 2:25 2:30 (“half past”)
H#lT s›T kxMST

Hulät (sä’at) kä amïst
H#lT kxSR

2:35 2:40
2:45 (“quarter til”)

lîsT s›T ¦Ã xMST g#ÄY

Lä sost sä’at haya amïst gudday.
lîsT ¦Ã g#ÄY

Hulät kä asïr
H#lT k„B

Lä sost haya gudday.
lîsT „B g#ÄY

Hulät kä rub
H#lT k¦Ã

Lä sost rub gudday.
lîsT xSR g#ÄY

Hulät kä haya
H#lT k¦Ã xMST

2:50 2:55 3:00

Lä sost asïr gudday.
lîsT xMST g#ÄY

Hulät kä haya amïst
H#lT tk#L

Lä sost amïst gudday.
îsT s›T

Hulät täkul

Sost sä’at.


Cultural Note
Time is expressed uniquely in Ethiopia. To distinguish “am” and “pm, Ethiopians add qualifiers such as “-êT t’ïwat” (morning), “ks›T b“§ käsä’at bähwala” (afternoon), “M>T mïšït” (evening), and “l@l!T lälit” (at night). Furthermore, the Ethiopian day starts at “k-êt$ 1 s›T kät’äwatu 1 sä’at” (7 am.). Therefore, “k-êt$ 2 s›T kät’äwatu 2 sä’at ” is 8 am, noon is “kqn# 6 s›T kä k’änu 6 sä’at”, 2 pm is “kqn# 8 s›T kä k’änu 8 sä’at”, 9 pm is “kM>t$ 3 s›T kä mïšïtu 3 sä’at”, and 4 am is “kl@l!t$ 10 s›T kä lelitu10 sä’at ”. When talking to colleagues or arranging an appointment, it is useful to establish whether the meeting is set for “hbš s›T habäša sä’at” (Ethiopian time) or “frNJ s›T färänj sä’at” (European time). f you are approaching a stranger to ask the time, it is polite to first say “YQR¬ yïk΄ïrta”. “YQR¬ SNT s›T nW ? Yïk΄ïrta, sïnt sä’at näw?” Ethiopians may conceptualize time differently than Americans. Keeping schedules, starting meetings at the appointed time, or adhering to deadlines are generally not as rigid as in America. Rather, prioritizing peoples needs and adjusting time to suit people is valued. To further explore this idea, see “Culture Matters” pg. 103.

sä’at näw? Tell the times shown in Amharic.
SNT s›T nW? Sïnt

Convert the following into Ethiopian times Example: 6 am -êT xS‰ h#lT s›T t’ïwat asra hulät sä’at 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 7am noon 1 pm 2 pm 11 pm 6. mid-night 7. 3 am 8. 11 am 9. 5 pm 10. 4 am


Routines Nouns yägïdgïda sä’at clock yXJ s›T (yäïj) sä’at watch g!z@ giize time s›T sä’at hour dqE” däk΄ik΄a minute skND säkänd se cond XGR μ*S ïgïr kwas foot ball mኝ¬ maññïta sleep g§ gäla body ðT fit face [g#R s΄ägur hair _RS t΄ïrs teeth gbà gäbäya- market S‰ sïra work TMHRT b@T tïmhïrït bet school’ SL- sïlt΄äna training’ ±S¬ b@T posta bet post office’ dBÄb@ däbdabe letter q$RS k΄urs breakfast’ Mú mïsa lunch X‰T ïrat dinner Sequence markers mjm¶Ã mäjämäriya first q_lÖ k΄ät΄ïlo next bm=rš bämäč΄äräša finally

Verb mat΄ïnat [at΄äna] “to study” mS‰T mäsïrat [särra] “towork” mÿD mähed [hedä] “to go” mÅwT mäč’č’awät [täč’č’awätä] “ to play” ¥NbB manïbäb [anäbäbä]-“ to read” mB§T mäblat [bälla] “ to eat” m¥R mämar [tämarä]-“ to learn” mmlS mämäläs [tämmälläsä]-“ to come back” mt¾T mätäñat [täñña] “ to go to sleep” m¬-B mätat΄äb [tat΄äbä] “to wash” mïr> mäborräš [borräšä] “ to brush” mé_ märot΄ [rot΄ä] “to run” mêßT mäwañät [waaññä] “to swim” ¥yT mayät [ayyä] “ to see” ¥W‰T mawïrat [awärra] “ to chat” mnúT mänäsat [tänässa] “to wake up” ¥F§T maflat [affäla] “to boil”

k....bðT kz!Ã

k.... bҤ

k ä… bäfit before k ä… bähuala after käziya next, then

Dialog 2
ïB -êT -êT MN Ts‰lH?


T΄äwat t΄äwat mïn tïsäralläh?
-êT -êT s#Q WS_ Xs‰lh#


T΄äwat t΄äwat suk΄ wïst΄ ïsärallähu.
ks›T b“§S?


Käs‘äat bähualas?
ks›T b“§ m{/F xnÆlh#


Kä säat bähïwala mäs΄haf anäballähu.


¥¬ t&l@V™N xÃlh#


Mata televižïn ayallähu.
b” ?


b” kz!Ã Xt¾lh#


Bäk΄a. Käziya ïtäññallähu.


Sequential Expressions of Time A Letter: Bob writes a letter to Girma about his daily activities as a PCT. Dear Girma, Everyday I wake up at 7 am. First, I wash my face and brush my teeth. Then I eat breakfast. From Monday to Friday, I go to school in the morning. After school I go home and eat lunch. In the afternoon, I study or play football. In the evening I watch tv and talk with my host family. At last, I eat dinner and go to bed at 10 pm. Your friend, Bob

Wud Girma,
H#Lg!z@ -êT -êT bxND s›T Xnúlh#ÝÝ mjm¶Ã ðt&N X¬-BÂÝ _Rs@N XïRšlh#Ý

Hulgize t΄ïwat t΄ïwat bä’and sä’at ïnäsallähu. Mäjämäriya, fiten ïtat΄äbïna t΄ïrsen ïborïšallähu. kz!Ã q$Rs@N Xb§lh# ÝÝ ks® XSk ›RB -êT -êT TMHRT b@T XÿÄlh#ÝÝ käziya k΄ursen ïbällallähu. käsäňo ïskä arb t΄ïwat t΄ïwat tïmïhïrt bet ïhedallähu.
kTMHRT t&l@V™N b@T b“§ ãY x-Âlh# wY XGR μ*S XÅw¬lh#Ý ¥¬ ¥¬

Kätïmïhïrt bet bähwala, wäy at΄änallähu wäy ïgïr kuas ïč΄awätallähu. Mata mata
xÃlh#ÝÝ kb@tsïc& URM xw‰lh# bm=ršM X‰t&N Xb§Â mኝ¬ዬ XÿÄlh#ÝÝ

televižïn ayallähu. käbetäsäboče garm awärallähu. bämäč΄äräšam, ïraten ïbälana
kM>t$ bx‰T s›T wd

kä mïšïtu bäaraat sä’at wädä mäňïtaye ïhedallähu.

Yäntäw Bob

Grammar Point
To express two sequential actions in the present, the first verb is shortened, as you may have noticed in the letter above: ‘ïtat΄äbïna t΄ïrsen ïborïšallähu,’ rather than X¬-Ælh# ‘ïtat΄äbalehu ïna ïborïšallähu.’ X‰t&N Xb§Â XÿÄlh# ‘ïraten ïbälana ïna….ïhedallähu’ rather than Xb§lh# X XÿÄlh# ‘ïbälalähu ïna… ïhedallähu’
X¬-BÂ _Rs@N XïRšlh# X‰t&N Xb§lh# XÂ

To shorten the first verb, simply remove the ending (based on allä) and add ‘ïna.’ Examples
XÿD XÂ XmÈlh#

Ïhed ïna amätalähu

I go and I bring We come and play

Ϊnmät΄a ïna ïnïč΄awätalän.


Yibäla ïna yimät΄al.

He eats and comes. She finishes and comes. You (pol.) drink and leave. You (fem.) go and bring.

Tïč΄ärïs ïna tïmät΄aläč
XRî Y--#Â YÿÄl#

Erso yït΄ät΄u ïna yïhedalu.
Tÿ©! TmÅl>

Tïheji ïna tamäčaläš.

Describe the action in each photo to your classmates. Days of the Week Fidel Phonetic ______ Saño ______ Maksaño ______ Ϊrob ______ Hamus ______ Arb ______ Kïdame ______ Ϊhud English Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday


Time Words -êT t’ïwat morning qN k΄än day ks›T b“§ käsäat bähuala afternoon M>T mïšït evening ll!T lälit night Xk#lll!T ïkulä lälit midnight Xk#l qN ïkulä k΄än mid-day G¥> gïmaš half tk#L täkul half past „B rub quarter bðT bäfit before bh#ê§ bähuala After b bä at XSk ïskä until by bä yä every byqn# bäyä k΄änu everyday bmjm¶Ã bämäjämärïya first q_lÖ k΄ä t΄ïlo next bm=rš bämäč’äräša finally Phrases Sïnt sä’at näw? What time is it? b SNT s›T Bä sïnt sä’at? At what time? _____ s›T x nW sä’at näw It is ___ o’clock k ___s›T XSk___s›T Ke ___ sä’at iska ___ sä’at. from _ o’clock until __ o’clock
SNT s›T nW

babzaňaw usually xNÄNÁ aand ande sometimes ²Ê zare today ng nägä tomorrow kng wÄ!à känägä wädiya day after tommorrow TÂNT tïnant yesterday kTÂNT wÄ!à kä tïnant wädiya day before yesterday b¸q_lW œMNT bämik΄ät΄ïläw samïnt next week ÆlfW œMNT baläfäw samïnt last week œMNT samïnt week s›T sä’at hour dqE” dä k΄i k΄a minute yS‰ qñC yäsïra k΄änoč working days QÄ» X X/#D k΄ïdame ïnna ïhud weekend QÄ» :lT …kïdame ïlät (On Saturday )

In the text below, Aster tells us what she did on the dates indicated. A) Match the pictures with the activities she recounts. B) She hasn’t told us everything. Use your own creativity and the remaining three pictures as prompts to complete the story for her. Write as if you did those activities.
²Ê hÑS nW QÄ» XÿÄlh# TÂNT nWÝÝ ÆlfW éB nbR ng ›RB μ*S b# nW kTÂNT wÄ!à ¥Ks® nbRÝÝ úMNT

“Zare hamus näw. Tïnantïna rob näbär. Nägä arb näw. Kätïnant wädia maksäňo näbär.
kngwÄ!à wd ­¶S ²Ê mrB úMNT XÅw¬lh#ÝÝ -Èh#ÝÝ b¸q_lW

Känägäwädia k΄ïdame näw. Zare märäb kuas ïč΄č΄awätallähu. Bämik΄ät΄ïläw samïnt wädä Paris ïhedallähu. Balä fäw samïnt bunna t΄ät΄ahu.”




¥Ks® Maksäñño



hÑS Hamus
















11 ²Ê Zare




wdxÄ!S xbÆ


wädä Addis Ababa 16






Grammar Point
The Present-Future (or Compound Imperfect) Tense In Amharic, unlike in English, there is no specific future tense (“I will…,” “You shall,” etc.). Only context and the use of adverbs can make it clear whether a sentence is in the present or the future tense. Example Zare bunna ït΄ät΄allähu. Today I drink coffee. ng b#Â X-Èlh# Nägä bunna ït΄ät΄allähu. I will drink coffee tomorrow. byqn# b#Â X-Èlh# Bäyäk΄änu bunna ït΄ät΄allähu. I drink coffee everyday.
²Ê b# X-Èlh#


The present-future tense is also called the “Compound Imperfect” tense, because, even though it is expressed with one verb, it is actually composed of two parts: a root or stem verb, and the affixes, the person marker prefixes and the suffix, which is derived from the verb allä, “to be.” The persons of the compound imperfect are shown by the combination of a prefix and a suffix. Person ïne xNt antä xNcE anči XRSã ïrso Xs# ïssu Xú* ïssua XúcW ïssačäw X¾ ïñña XÂNt ïnnantä Xns# ïnnäsu

Prefix ï- X T- tï T- tïY- yïY- yïT- tïY- yïXN- ïnT- tïY- yï-


Example memt’at [met’a], to come -xlh# -allähu XmÈlh# ïmät΄allähu -xlH -alläh TmÈlH timät΄alläh -xl> -alläš* TmÀÃl> tïmäč΄alläsh -xl# -allu YmÈl# yïmä t΄alu -xL -al YmÈL yïmät΄al -xlC -alläeč TmÈlC tïmät΄aläč -xl# -allu YmÈl# yïmät΄alu -xlN -allän XNmÈlN ïnmät΄allän -x§Ch#-allačïhu TmȧCh# tïmät΄alačihu -xl#-alu YmÈl# yïmät΄alu

* In the second-person feminine, the final consonant of the verb root “palatalizes,” following a pattern. - T΄ becomes = č΄, d d become j j, t t becomes c č, s s becomes ¹ š, z z becomes ¢ ž, [ s΄ becomes = č΄, n n become ß ň, and l becomes y y. See table in grammar appendix. Note: For ‘¥- ma’ verbs whose stem begins with “a” (eg. ¥NbB manbäb [xnbb anäbäbä], ¥wQ mawäk [xwq awokä], ¥yT mayät [xy ayä]; read, know, see) the “a” vowel supercedes the “i” sound. Singular Xn@ ïne xNt antä xNcE anči XRSã ïrso Xs# ïssu Xú* ïssua XúcW ïssačäw

awïk΄allähu ¬W”lH tawïk΄alläh ¬WqEÃl> tawïk΄ialläš ÃW”l# yawïk΄allu ÃW”L yawïk΄al ¬W”lC tawïk΄alläč ÃW”l# yawïk΄allu

Plural X¾ ïñña

XÂW”lN ¬W”§Ch#

ïnawk΄alän tawk΄alačïhu






Common Verbs Infinitive Third Person Masculine Meaning mÿD mähed [ÿd hedä] mG²Tmägzat [g² gäza] mñR mänor [ñr norä] mMÈT mämt΄at [mÈ mät΄a] mflG mäfäläg [flg fälägä] mWdD mäwïdäd [wdd wädädä] mWsD mäwïsäd [wsd wäsädä] mÆL mäbal [tÆl täbälä] to go to buy to live to come to want to like to take to be called

Practice Fill in the blanks with affirmative forms of compound imperfect verbs.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Xn@ ²Ê wd±S¬ b@T

Ϊne zare wädä posta bet ______________


mähed [ÿd

-êT X¾ q$RS

Tïwat ïñña k’urs ___________

mäblat [b§ bäla]

¥Ks® ¥Ks® Xú* ¥¬ ¥¬ Xns# šY

Maksäño Maksäño ïssua ________ Kä Säño ïskä Arb ïssu ________

märot΄ [é- rot΄ä] mäsrat [s‰ sära] mätäňat [t¾ täňňa]

Mata mata ïnnäsu šay _______ m-ÈT mät΄ät΄at [-È t΄t΄a]

ks® XSk ›RB Xs# XúcW b SNT s›T xNcE kgbà MN

Ϊssačäw bä sïnt sä’at __________ ?


Anči kä gäbäya mïn ________? mG²T mägzat [g² gäza]

Grammar Point
Negative Present-Future Tense To form the negative of compound imperfect verbs, again a combination of prefixes and suffixes attached to the verb root/stem indicates the person. Example mämït΄at Person Prefix Suffix (mät΄a), not come Xn@ ïne xL - al-M-m xLmÈM alïmät΄am xNt antä xT-at-M -m xTmÈM atïmät΄am xNcE anči xY- at-M -_im* xTmÀM atïmäč΄im XRSã ïrswo xT- ay-M -um xYm-#M ayïmät΄um Xs# ïssu xY- ay-M -m xYmÈM ayïmät΄am Xú* ïssua xT- at-M -m xTmÈM atïmät΄am XúcW ïssačäw xY- ay-M -um xYm-#Mayïmät΄um X¾ ïñña xN- an-M -m xNmÈM anïmät΄am XÂNt ïnnantä xT- at-M -um xTm-#M atïmät΄um Xns# ïnnäsu xY- ay-M -um xYm-#M ayïmät΄um


* The final consonant of the second person feminine follows the same pattern as in the positive construction, with a palatalized consonant (that is, -+M -č΄im, -JM -jim, -CM -čim, ->M -šim, -™M -žim, -"M -ňim, or -YM -yim).

Fill in the blanks using verbs in the negative compound imperfect:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Xn@ ²Ê wd±S¬ b@T

Ϊne zare wädä posta bet ______________


mähed [ÿd

-êT X¾ q$RS

Täwat ïñña kurïs ___________

mäblat [b§ bäla]

¥Ks® ¥Ks® Xú* ¥¬ ¥¬ Xns# šY

Maksäño Maksäño ïssua ________ Kä Säño ïskä Arb ïssu ________

märot΄ [é- rot΄ä] mäsrat [s‰ sära] mätäňat [t¾ täňňa]

Mata mata ïnnäsu šay _______ m-ÈT mät΄ät΄at [-È t΄t΄a]

ks® XSk ›RB Xs# XúcW b SNT s›T xNcE kgbà MN

Ϊssačäw bä sïnt sä’at __________ ?


Anči kä gäbäya mïn ________? mG²T mägzat [g² gäza]

Fill in the blank verb table using the verb mG²T megzat [g² geza] “to buy”. Use script or phonetics. Person



ïne antä anči ïrswo

xNt xNcE


XRSã Xs# Xú*

ïssu ïssua ïssačäw

XúcW X¾

ïñña ïnnantä

XÂNt Xns#



An Interview: Interview a member of your host family. Ask what he or she does everyday and what time. Are there activities that only happen on a certain day? For the next class, be prepared to tell about what you discover using sequential references of time.

mäs’haf suk’ k’urs tïmhïrtbet ïrat (rat) ïgïr kuas
mጽሃፍ ሱቅ ቁRS TMህRT ቤT X‰T XግR S

book shop break fast school dinner foot ball

Practice Reading and Pronouncing Script
Practice reading Amharic script with your host family. SNT s›T nW? Sïnt säat näw? s® s® TMhRT b@T XÿÄlh# Säñño Säñño tïimïhïert bet ïhedallähu. îST k!lÖ BRt$μN Xg²lh# Sost kilo bïrtukan ïgäzallähu. dBÄb@ lXÂt& X{Ílh# Däbdabe lä ïnate ïs΄ïfallähu. ÌNÌ X¥‰lh# K΄uank΄ua ïmarallähu. ¥R¬ xSÂq m÷NN hYl@ gBr S§s@ Åw¬ xlMihY μúh#N ƉK åÆ¥ TXGST sÂYT _„n> Ä!ÆÆ


Unit 8 Amharic Verbs
Learning Objective:
By the end of this unit you shall be able to: - be familiar with Amharic root verb characteristics, - describe the different forms that common verbs take with the different personal pronouns, - distinguish between active and passive as well as transitive and intransitive verbs, - make use of common verb forms to express ideas and actions in Amharic, Characteristics of active verbs ግስ (gïs) expresses action takes the end position, includes subject, number, gender, object, preposision, tense, A single verb can be a complete sentence on the context;
ድርጊት ገላጭ


aläk’äsku sentence gäzahu contextual,

Exercise 1: Circle the verb (gïs) from the following words sänäf k’äy mïgïb hagär läk’so t’äračäw k’onjo t’ät’ač bälu awärah sädäbäň gäzu tämarä joro hedačïhu tänagärä dabo šät’ä bälahu afälan mät’an šay bïrtukan ïrdata

Exercise 2: Take out the affixes of the selected verbs from the above words 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Verb _________________ _________________ _________________ _________________ _________________ _________________ _________________ _________________ affix _________________ _________________ _________________ _________________ _________________ _________________ _________________ _________________


Root Verbs - All Amharic root verbs are of the 6th character ( i.e. ል, ር, ስ, etc) - Root verbs become meaningful only when they take vowels; Examples: bl gz hd bäla gäza head

Exercise 3: Take out the root verb that doesn’t have a meaning by itself 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. tänäsa abät’ärä tat’äbä safä anäbäbä

Types of Verbs A) Verb to be ( Be-verbs) am are ነሽ are ነው is ናት is
ነኝ ነህ

are are ናቸው are
ነን ናችሁ

was were ነበርሽ were ነበር was ነበረች was
ነበርኩ ነበርክ

ነበረን ነበሩ


were were were

Note: in the present tense form the sounds next to “n” refer to pronouns indicated ( i.e. ኝ in ነኝ, ህ in ነህ, ሽ in ነሽ indicate who is being referred to by the verb to be form). But in past tenses the sounds refer to ……. Exercise 4: Fill in the blank with the correct verb ‘to be’ 1. 2. 3. 4. ïne ahun mämïhr ____________. Kähulät amät bäfit gïn tamari ____________. ïne set _________________ Gäbre gïn wand ____________. ïnantä Americawiyan ________ guadäňačïhu gïn Gärmänawit __________. ïswa tïnant Nazret nägade _________ zändïro gïn zäfaň ______. to possess – The root verb of ‘have’ is ‘al’. The sounds next to “al” shows the pronoun indicated to

Verb “to have”

i) present tense form I have alläňallän ( plural) You have alläh (male) You have alläš ( female)

you have you have He has She has

allačïhu ( you plural) alläwot ( you polite) alläw allat

each other respectively;

ii) the past form: Had I näbäräň , näbärän (plural) You näbäräh ( male) näbäräš (female) näbäračïhu ( plural) näbäräwot ( polite) He näbäräw She näbärat They näbäračäw ( plural) Exercise 5: Rewrite the following sentences in a meaningful way 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

The root verb of ‘had’ is “näbär”. The same pattern as the above one.

bädïro gïze yäïtyopïa nïgusoč bïzu märet alläw. __________________________ ïnantä zare t’ïru sïmet allä. ________________________________ wändïme k’onjo č’ama allat._______________________________ Dawit bälïjïnätu tïlïk’ kwas näbärat. _____________________________ zämädoče bahun säat k’onjo bet näbäračäw. ________________________________ 6. yä zare amät ïhïte mäkina näbäräš. ____________________________________ 7. anči zare bïzu gïze näfit bärat. ___________________________________________ 8. lïjoču karat amät bäfit wolajoč näbäračïhu. ______________________________ c) to be available I You allähu, allän alläh ( male) alläš (female) allačïhu (plural) allu (polite) allä alläč allu ( plural)

He She They

The root verb of ‘had’ is “näbär”. The same pattern as the above one.

Exercise 6: Match the pronoun under “ሀ“ with verb to be available under “ለ “ “ሀ“ 1 Henok A alläš

“ለ “

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Ato Belay (pol) Hellen ïna Hanna Suzan Anči Anči ïna Janet antä ïne Nati ïna ïne


alläh allä alläč allu allähu allu allän allačïhu

D) Action Verbs Verbs that express action are called yä dïrgit ( active verbs). Example: Mäblat ïne ( I) bälahu ïňa (we) bällan (plural) anta( you (m)) bälah anči (you (f)) bälaš ïnnantä (you pol) bälačïhu Infinitives that end in ‘t’, ïrswo ( you pol) bällu takes “ h” sound for “I ïssu (he) bäla and you” ( male). ïsua (she) bälač ïnnäsu (they) bällu ïsaččäw bällu Mähed ïne ( I) ïňa (we) anta ( you (m)) anči (you (f)) ïnnantä (you pol) ïrswo ( you pol) ïssu (he) ïsua (she) ïnnäsu (they) ïsaččäw hedku hedïn (plural) hedk hedš The ‘k’ sound in I and hedačïhu ‘you’ ( male) can be hedu changed into ‘h’ sound. hedä hedäč hedu bällu

Most root verbs that end with the 4th character take ‘ma’ at the beginning and ‘t’ at the end of the infinitive. Example: t’äba mät’bat gäza mägzat šäna mäšnat In all cases, note that all infinitives begin with “ma” or “mä”. Example: amarä mamar asäbä masäb agäzä magäz


As in this example, if the root verb begins with a vowel, the initial sound becomes “ma”. Here are more examples: ayä mayät at’fa mat’fat awäk’ä maw äk’ Exercise: Derive stems that agree with pronouns from the list of infinitives given below. mäšät’ mäst’ät maflat mastäňat mäwaňat mägbat asäb ätäňat manbäb mägzat mawrat Some root verbs of two consonants that end with the first character take ‘m’ at the beginning and ‘t’ at the end to form an infinitive. Example: sät’ä mäst’ät šäňä mäšäňät Waňä mäwaňät k’ärä mäk’rät Exercise 7: Use the following infinitive as a resource to make a meaningful sentence: mätäňat mäs’af mätat’äb mayät mäsam mäsak’ märot’ mäsmat ïne ____________________________________ ïssu ____________________________________ ïnäsu ____________________________________ ïňňna ____________________________________ ančči ____________________________________ ïssua ____________________________________ ïssačäw ____________________________________

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Transitive and Intransitive Verbs: A transitive verb ( täšagari gïs) transfers an action performed by the subject to the object. wäsädä sät’ä säbärä nägärä s’afä gäza t’ät’a čämärä.

An intransitive verb is a verb that lacks an object for it doesn’t transfer an action. Example: motä aräfädä t’äffa alläk’äsä däkämä zänäbä


täňa Active Voice/Passive voice



Active statement is a statement with a transitive verb that passes action performed by the subject to the receiver of the action (object). Example: Abäbä mïsa bälla. Mïsa (bä Abäbä ) täbälla. Peter bär käfätä Bär (bä Peter) täkäfätä. A passive voice from A past active statement is formed by prefixing ‘tä’ to the verb. ïne mïsa ïbällalähu. mïsa yïbällal. (yï is stressed) anta gänäzäb tïsät’alläh gänzäb yïsät’al. ( sä is stressed) anči mäs’ïhafoč yïgäzalu. ( gä is stressed) Present and future tense statement retain the verbs by stressed the initial sound of the root verb when changed into passive. But, in the 3rd person singular as in “ïssu mïsa yïbälal” the verb doesn’t change its form when chaged to passive, for “yï” and “al” affixes are passive markers. But it is stressed. The objects and the verbs must agree in number when passive voice is used. Exercise 8: Change the following active statements into passive statements. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Abebe muz bälla. Aster däbdabewun s’afäč. ïnnäsu film ayu. lïjoču wït’et wäsädu lïbïs gäza. mäkina nädač. šay yafälal. sït’ota lälïjoču yïsät’al. ( Please read more in David Appleyard, pp 239-251)