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Beja Pedagogical Grammar

Klaus and Charlotte Wedekind and Abuzeinab Musa, Aswan 2004 - Asmara 2005

Introduction About this Grammar


Primarily, this book is for students who want to know Beja. In addition, it contains useful information for linguists who want to know about Beja.

Therefore, the language data are plentiful, but language related terms like vowel, noun, gender etc. are sparse and limited to the basic concepts. The non-linguist may safely ignore them - trusting that these linguistic terms will gradually become selfevident as more and more data are encountered in the course of the study. Language related terms are defined and exemplified in the phonology and the morphology sections in the beginning of the book; but except for the section on pronunciation, all linguistic explanations can be skipped.

Linguists will note that the theoretical orientation is functional. Van Valin's Role and Reference Grammar serves as the underlying theory. Consequently, no deep structures and no verb phrases are recognized; but the different types of verbs and auxiliaries, the different states of affairs, and the layered structures of NPs and clauses are considered important. Throughout the book an effort is made to also provide illustrations of the information structure of Beja sentences.

The progression is learner-oriented: The book proceeds from small, unstructured items to more and more complex structures:

The initial section on Language Basics offers simple, holistic items for immediate, unanalyzed basic communication - including contact noises, conversation fillers, greetings, addresses and automatic responses.

The next section, on Nouns and Phrases, deals with nominal words and noun phrases - starts with NPs which consist of only one item (noun, name, pronoun), and progresses to richer NPs with adjectives, genitives, or numbers. At the end of this section, there are short nominal clauses which allow the speaker to define or describe things, but which do not include any verbs yet.

The third section is on Verbs and Clauses. It starts with clauses which consist of only one verb, and progresses to clauses which also have objects, adverbs, auxiliaries or subordinate clauses - i.e. complex sentences.

In every section there are grammatical notes, tables, examples, paradigms, and conversations. The language learner can afford to ignore the notes and tables. But the numerous examples, paradigms and conversations should be studied seriously. They have been selected in such a way that - as far as possible - they always represent complete and natural pieces of language. This is true for every section of the book, even at the early stages when there isn't much substance yet to communicate about. Functional communication goes beyond predicating and informing.


The conversations always include more than what has been introduced in the preceding sections. In this way the book does not appeal to the analytical understanding alone. It also challenges the intuitive, naive use of the language in its communicative complexity. An analytical approach is possible, because all conversations and texts are accompanied by interlinear translations with morphemeby-morpheme glosses.

The paradigms and examples are arranged with the Beja words first and the English glosses last. This arrangement should encourage an approach which focuses on the direct use of Beja rather than detours via glosses.

The annex consists of verb lists.


Abbreviations are listed below. Those in brackets are used only in the interlinear texts, usually in combinations such as ARTSGF, 'Article Singular Feminine' or NEGIMPFPL3PF 'Negative Imperfect Plural Third Person Prefix'.

The minus sign '-' indicates morpheme boundaries such as y'-i 'come-FUT' (come, Future marker). The plus sign '+' seperates the grammatical category from the meaning of a word, such as oodoor 'ADV+when' (Adverb of the meaning 'when'). The dot sign '.' seperates words in the translation which equal one single Beja word, such as jabanaat 'coffee.pot'. Further note that, apart from the glossing, singular has only been noted in rare cases, where it might lead to confusion. Thus ambigue terms such as 'you' are usually only marked, if they are plural and/or either specifically masculine or feminine.
1 (13) 2 3 (+) (-) (ADV) AR (ART) C (CAS) (CON) e.o. F (FAR) (FUT) first person first or third person second person third person adds lexical meaning separates parts (morphemes) of a word adverb Arabic article consonant case connector, conjunction each other feminine far demonstrative future


genitive consonants h and hamzah identity verb, copula imperfect / present tense / aspect imperative intransitive literal translation masculine near demonstrative negative noun phrase object object past / habitual tense / aspect perfect / past tense / aspect permissive tense / aspect prefix plural possessive person person, tense, aspect, and mood marker merged into one participle relative (as in relative clauses or relative verbs) repetitive (action) subject somebody (transitive verb) plural something (transitive verb) subordinate verb subject tempus, aspect and mood markers merged into one verb vowel vocative with each other relative which, who

(ZERO) / < , (comma seperation) . (dot seperation)

zero morpheme alternative translation derived from alternative translation seperates words in a translation, which equal one single Beja morpheme

A Note to the Language Learner


If the language learner has no particular interest in linguistic aspects of Beja, he or she is advised to start with the Section Sounds and skip the next sections so as to continue with Section Basic Communication. The linguistic information contained in the Section Morphophonology and Morphology can be consulted later, as questions may arise about the Arabic loan words, dialect differences, sound changes or the shape of Beja words. 1. A language assistant should be consulted. Where no language assistant is available, the audio data must be used more intensively, but they are no substitute for a mother tongue speaker of the language. The assistant's ear is needed to control and correct the learner's pronunciation - especially during the early stages of the language acquisition. In any case the phonology section on pronunciation must be studied first, so that the data can be read adequately. The other linguistic notes can be skipped, because the data are self-explanatory. With the language assistant, all dialect differences should be checked out, and the systematic differences should be noted. When reading the book, the focus should always be on the Beja data, i.e. the left hand side of the page. An attempt should be made to always understand the Beja data directly - even before glancing at the glosses. All conversations should be practiced in dialogue form. All exercises should be adapted to the actual context, so that they refer to things and events which are more relevant and intuitively more natural than the items supplied in the book. The paradigms should be modified and extended creatively, e.g. by substituting different paradigms (present instead of past), by substituting different dialogue roles ('I' instead of 'you'), or by substituting different contexts (e.g., 'here' instead of 'there'). Verb paradigms are presented rather late. But some of the verbs marked as 'frequent' should be selected to be memorized at an early stage. There are Beja radio programs, Beja internet sites, and - more important - Beja music cassettes available to enrich the language learning program.


3. 4.




References / further reading


It is recommended to consult the existing grammars, especially those of Almkvist (the most meticulous) and Hudson (the most concise). The transcriptions in the grammar sketches by Hudson and Morin are based on the same phonological principles as the present grammar.
Almkvist, Herman N. 1881

Die Bischari-Sprache in Nord-Ost Afrika (vol. 1). Upsala: Knigliche Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften Almkvist, Herman N. 1885 Bischari-deutsches und deutsch-bischarisches Wrterbuch (vol. 2). Upsala: Knigliche Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften Hudson, Richard A. 1976 'Beja'. In M. L. Bender (ed.) The Non-Semitic Languages of Ethiopia, 97-132. Carbondale Morin, Didier 1995 Des paroles douces comme la soie. Paris: Peeters Reinisch, Leo 1893 Die Bedauyesprache in Nordostafrika. Wien: Hlder Reinisch, Leo 1895 Wrterbuch der Bedauyesprache. Wien: Hlder Roper, E. (M.) 1928 Tu Bedawi: An Elementary Handbook for the Use of Sudan Government Officials. Hertford: Stephen Austin Van Valin, Robert D. and Randy J. La Polla 1997 Syntax. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Voigt, Rainer (M.) 1987 'Einige berlegungen zum 'Aspektsystem' des Bedauye'. In: H. Jungraithmayr and W. W. Mller (eds.), Proceedings of the 4th International Hamito-Semitic Congress (Marburg, 20 - 22 September, 1983). Amsterdam: Benjamins Wedekind, Klaus 2007 'An Update on Beja'. In: Rainer Voigt (ed.), Akten des 7. internationalen Semitohamitistenkongresses Berlin 2004, pp. 165-183. Aachen: Shaker Zaborski, Andrzej 1999 'Selected Beja Bibliography', Provisional version presented at the first Conference on the Beja Language, August 1999, Cairo

Language Basics About the Language


Beja (Bidhaawyeet, Tu-Bdhaawi) is a member of the Afro-Asiatic family of languages which includes, among others, the Cushitic and the Semitic languages.

Beja holds a special position within the Afro-Asiatic languages, since it is the only Cushitic language classified as North Cushitic. Other Cushitic languages - including languages like Afar, Blin, Oromo and Somali - are spoken far to the south of the Beja area. Semitic languages - including Arabic, Tigre and Tigrigna - are neighboring languages north and south of the Beja area.

Cushitic languages as well as the Semitic languages of East Africa typically have the order Subject-Object-Verb (SOV), and are head final. Beja also prefers to have important items last, such as the verbs, the postpositions, or the affixes.


But not always: As far as the clause is concerned, the verb is the last element, as in Ali tak imaasiw 'Ali man heard'. As far as the noun phrase is concerned, the noun comes last, as in dis tak 'small man'. And as far as adverbial phrases and affixes are concerned, the adverbial element and the suffix comes last, as in Aliiyi gwad, 'Ali with', takii-da 'man-for'. But as far as the verb is concerned, Semitic languages typically attach the subject pronoun before the verb, while in Cushitic languages typically it comes last. One major challenge for the language learner is that Beja has both kinds of verbs, e.g.: Ee-ta 'came-she', and ti-bi 'she-went' (where -ta and tistand for 'she.PAST/PERFECT'). In this book, the verb will therefore receive special attention.

Beja speakers number about 1 million - but ethnic Beja people may be as many as 2 or 3 million. They live in Southern Egypt, Eastern Sudan and Northern Eritrea. Most of them live in the Sudan, with Port Sudan, Suakin and Kasala as major centers. The Atman dialect - one of the major Beja varieties which is mainly spoken in the Sudan serves as the basis for this book.

There are several grammars of the Beja language. By size and by year of publication - starting with the shortest and the most recent grammar - they are the following: Morin 1995 (French), Hudson 1976 (English), Roper 1928 (English), Reinisch 1893 (German), and Almkvist 1881 (German). In addition, there are various linguistic articles about the language, most of them by Zaborski and Voigt, for which Zaborski 1999 gives a bibliography.

Phonology Sounds

The following section needs to be studied first, if a correct pronunciation of the Beja examples is desired.

The transcription which is used throughout this book is systematically phonological, and very close to the orthography of Beja which was established in Eritrea. The main difference between the Beja orthography and the transcription used in this book is the use of bold vowel letters. They indicate the pitch-accent.

There also is an Arabic transliteration of the Beja data. Among the various Arabic transliterations which were in use, this particular one has been promoted in the internet for several years. It distinguishes uu and ii from oo and ee, but its disadvantage is that it uses diacritics to do so. Recently, however, its main website (sakanab) stopped supporting it.

Since there still are Beja individuals who occasionally use Arabic letters for their language (cf. the bejaculture website), the Arabic transliteration - although defunct has not been deleted from this book.

The following table is an alphabetical list of the orthographic symbols and their pronunciation (i.e. the IPA values). Some of the sound files are arranged in a different order, such as the files for dh, gh, and kh.

Table 1: Transcriptions and Pronunciation

Latin Grapheme: ' (hamzah) a / aa b d deh = d+h dh ee f g gh gw h i / ii j k kh keh = k+h kw l m n oo r s she = s+h sh t teh = t+h th u / uu w Pronunciation (IPA): a / a b d dh e f h I / i j k x kh k l m n o r s sh t th u / u w Arabic Grapheme: Examples: m'at \ Ama / aamaa! baas daat dehay tubdhaawi een faas gaal ghurfa gwad haaf / ibari / iibiri Jaar! kaam khalaas baruuke-han kwaat laaw maan naat oon raat saab sehaal shaat taan Tehaa! Thathaa! / Uraa! / uuraaw waak Gloss: women Ride / devour! burial container people the beja these axe one room (AR) with belly has / had Shoo! camel finally (AR) you-then sister burning shaving something this question skinning sharpness meat these (F) Touch! Sit down! Bury! / the other cutting ! / / ! ! / !



Suprasegmentals Pitch Accent


Every Beja word will have at least one syllable which is louder and which has a higher pitch than the other(s). The louder syllable is said to carry the pitch-accent (or accent for short). In this book the accent is transcribed with bold letters.

Example: pitch-accent on the first syllable / on the second syllable.

Transcription: Pronunciation (IPA) : Example: a/a a/a ani / ana hadhaab / hadhab ani / Anaa Gloss: I / Hello you! Example: ! / /

hadhaab / hadhaab lions / lion

Length of Vowels and Length of Consonants (Gemination)


Examples: Short and long vowels and consonants.

Transcription: Pronunciation (IPA) : Example: a / aa s / ss a / a s / s Asa / assaa! Gloss: Example: ! / ! / Ama / aamaa! Ride / devour! Arise / do!

Examples: Vowel Length


Here follow examples of long and short vowels in words which are not related to each other.
saab / sab, sabt cloud / Saturday saas / sas saar / sar kaan / Kana! haab / haba yaam / yam fiir / Fira sort / incite (causative of hasi) stomach content / artery whine / Know! red soil / stoop belly / water face / Sew! / / / ! / / / /

Integrating Foreign Sounds and Words


It will be noticed that some words - including common greetings - are borrowed from Arabic. However, sounds which do not fit the Beja sound system will generally be rejected, yet, depending on the speaker, certain Arabic sounds will be preserved or integrated as table 2 shows.

As far as loan words are concerned, they will be re-shaped to be acceptable to the Beja language. The shape of loan words is predictable from the typical Beja patterns which will be presented in table 3 further below.

Table 2: Foreign Sounds

Sound: becomes t becomes h is j or becomes g becomes d is z or becomes d Example: talaata Marhaba! taajir / gineeh(i) Addanaa (adaan) mooz / tarabeeda asiir Gadabaa Tawwaraa dehuur, zhuur w'asiir / asiir funduk, fundug alaykwum Gloss: Tuesday Hello! / / , / , ,

is kh or becomes k or h Ookhartuum / hamiist

Al Khartoum / Thursday / trader / Guinee Call to prayer! banana / table juice Be angry! Develop! noon the juice / juice

becomes s becomes d becomes t becomes z or d becomes ' or zero is gh or becomes g becomes k or g is k or becomes kw

sharigh, sharig (oomha) east hotel on you (PL) (AR)

Syllable and Word Patterns


As far as the places of consonants (C) and vowels (V) in syllables are concerned, Beja words allow for exactly 18 syllable patterns in the word initial syllable, and 12 patterns in all other syllables.

The most frequent pattern is CV, i.e. a syllable which consists of a consonant followed by a short vowel. But syllables can also be closed with one or two consonants, where the second consonant can only be t. So far this gives 3 patterns, namely: CV as in na 'thing', CVC as in tak 'man', and CVCt as in lamt 'soup'. Less frequent are syllables with long vowels1, which will be written as VV. This gives 3 additional syllables patterns: CVV as in tuu 'the', CVVC as in been 'that', and CVVCt as in diint 'thorn'.
<36> <35>

Only word initial syllables can start with a vowel (or more exactly, with a suppressed hamzah), which gives the following additional patterns: V as in 'I (1.SG)', VC as in ar 'boys', VCt as in awt 'honey', VV as in aa.bu 'who (M)', VVC as in aab 'who', and VVCt as in aabt 'who (F)'.

As a specialty of the Beja phonology there also are syllables in which the initial consonant is followed either by h or by hamzah, abbreviated as H 2: CHV as in t'a 'now', CHVV as in m'aa 'come!', CHVCt as in mhay 'three' and as in lhayt 'tomorrow', and CHVVCt as in n'aayt 'goat'. This last set of syllable patterns actually causes one of the systematic differences between northern and southern Beja dialects: What is pronounced as C'V in the North may be pronounced as CV' or as two syllables CV.'V in the South, e.g. s'a, sa', sa.'a 'sit! (M)'.

Table 3: Examples of Syllable and Word Patterns

Examples for Word Initial Syllables (Note that dots indicate syllable boundaries): he went one who holds five and Who is he? Who are you (M)? Who (F) and? you (M OBJ) she started even Saturday your (M) father she deceived a tree (F) (genus 'Terminalia') and Punish (M) him! even the sea tomorrow and Come (PL)! even medicine licking and <38> Examples for Word Medial Syllables: Seize (M)! CV CVCt CVV CVVC CVVCt CHV CHVC CHVCt CHVV CHVVC! a.lan.doo.yaa! aa.girt.wa! ba.rook.wa a.miirt.wa tin.d' ar.b'aat.wa ! ! ! Chase, send away (M)! CVC marriageable girl and Go (PL)! you (M) and queen and you (M) let lick you (PL) let lick eight (F) and you (M) ride Thursday and the heat and V (never alone) VC VCt VV VVC VVCt CV (never alone) CVC CVCt CVV CVVC CVVCt CHV CHVC CHVCt CHVV CHVVC CHVVCt ab.kaab ayt.wa Aa.bu? Aab.wa? Aabt.wa? ba.rook yak.ta sabt.han soob.ta daaft.wa! bhar.han lhayt.wa M'! mheel.han lhuust.wa ? ? ? ! !

CHVVCt im.b'uuyt.wa

<39> Examples for Word Final Syllables:

Seize (M)! young man (marriage age)

CV CVC CVV CVVC CVVCt CHV CHVC CHVCt CHVV CHVVC! aa.gir aa.girt gii.gaa! ma.laal da.gwaayt oon.d'a oo.bhar haa.m'aa! ar.b'aat

! ! ! ?

young woman (marriage age) CVCt Go (M)! desert queen now the sea (OBJ) eight (F) Bring (M)! Thursday Who (F) gets up?

CHVVCt teet.b'iirt?

Dialect Variations

The Atman variety of Beja - which serves as the basis for this book - is one of the major Beja dialects. It is spoken by large numbers of people in parts of Port Sudan and in Suakin. Other Beja dialects differ from it in systematic ways, and the differences are limited to certain sounds, certain conditions, and certain groups of words. To the Beja speakers themselves these differences do not present any communication problems - but they may cause some surprises to outsiders. The ways in which the other dialects may differ from the dialect of this book are the following: 1. Instead of pronouns with a word final h, pronouns with a word final s may be used (in the North or West); e.g. barooh > baroos 'him', bareeh > barees 'them'. Instead of initial b, the consonant m may be used (in various areas or by individuals); e.g. badhamt > madhamt 'mat', Bariyam > Mariyam 'Mary'. Instead of short a or u, unstressed, very short i may be used (in various areas); e.g. naatu > naat(i) 'thing-is'. Instead of short i or u, the short vowel a may be used (in the North or South); e.g. ani > ana 'I', hinin > hanin 'we', or iru > ura 'yesterday', kiiki > kiika 'It is not'. Instead of short u, the short vowel i may be used in certain verbs (in Bishaari or Beni Amir areas); e.g. usha > isha 'leave!' or kaabaru > kaabari 'I don't have'. Instead of articles with short i or u, the form with long oo, ee may be used (in the North); e.g. tutakat > tootakat 'the-woman (OBJ)'. Instead of demonstratives which assimilate to the article, like oot-tu- 'this-the', the basic forms of the demonstratives may be used (in Bishaari or Beni Amir areas); e.g. oot-tu'oor > toon tu'oor 'this the-girl (OBJ)'. Instead of shortening or deleting vowels before h and hamzah, the full vowels may be used (in particular in the North), e.g. ka'areeyan > kaa'areeyan 'I don't like (it)', or kahariw > kaahariw 'I don't want'.

2. 3. 4.

5. 6. 7.



Instead of h or hamzah which follows a consonant and precedes a vowel, the h or hamzah may follow the vowel (Bishaari, Beni Amir); e.g. kal'a > kala' 'bell'.

10. Instead of indicating the plural by shifting the stress towards the beginning of the word, the same stress/accent pattern may be used for singular and plural nouns (in Bishaari), e.g. hadhaab / hadhaab > hadhaab / hadhaab 'lion (SG) / lions (PL)'. 11. Instead of Arabic loan words, Tigre loan words may be used (in particular in the South); e.g. gaamuus (Arabic) > agaba (Tigre) 'buffalo'. 12. Instead of Arabic loan words, original Beja words may be used (in Bishaari, or rural areas); e.g. faas > m'ooma 'axe'.

These differences may cause some surprises at first. But since in a particular dialect the same difference will appear again and again, it will be helpful to keep these correspondences in mind. Table 4 below summarizes the main types of correspondences.

Table 4: Types of Dialect Correspondences

Correspondence: This book: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 h b tu bu i u tu tt ah C'a Elsewhere: >s >m > ti bi >a >i > too >nt > aah > Ca' > no Plural stress shift > Tigre > Beja Example: This book: barooh badhamt naatu; hineetu hinin kaabaru; usha! tutakat oottu'oor kahariw kal'a hadhaab gaamuus faas Elsewhere: > baroos > madhamt > naati; haneeti > hanin > kaabari; isha! > tootakat > toon tuu'oor > kaahariw > kala' > hadhaab > agaba > m'ooma, ma'ooma him, them mat thing-is, our-is we I don't have; leave! the-woman (OBJ) this the-girl (OBJ) I don't want bell lions (PL) buffalo axe Gloss:

10 Plural stress shift 11 Arabic loan 12 Arabic loan


This section on the Beja morphophonology describes the interactions of the phonology (sounds) with the morphology (words).

Certain Beja phonemes only change if they occur in a particular class of morphemes, such as articles, or demonstratives. E.g., the n often assimilates to t before t. But this

change does not happen with every n in the language. It only affects the n in demonstratives, where uun-tuu-naa changes to uut-tuu-naa 'this-the-thing'.

The sounds in these morphemes will only change if they are attached to each other very closely. The following examples represent all types of changes that have been observed where affixes and roots come together. On the left hand side of the arrow (>), the basic, unchanged form of the affixes and the roots are given. On the right hand side, the result of the change is shown.

Accent Rules

Briefly, the main rules concerning pitch-accent (accent for short) are as follows: 1. Every morpheme or word root has its inherent accent. The accent is part of the root - in the same way as the meaning, the gender, or the consonants and vowels are parts of it. If a word consists of several morphemes, (only) the last accent will be articulated. Plurals will shift the accent toward the beginning of the word by one syllable (This rule does not apply in the Bishaari dialect).

2. 3.

The word gwhara 'thief', which has the inherent accent on the first a, may illustrate how these rules apply:
1 thief (SG) 2 thief (SGMOBJ) gwhara gwharaab

3 thieves (PLMOBJ) gwharaab

Sound Changes Adding and Deleting Sounds


In this section about the addition and deletion of sounds, it is possible to argue in two ways: Either (1) the starting point is a dictionary where certain forms have no vowels, such as t- s- dwl '', or (2) the starting point is a dictionary with vowels, such as ti- si- dawil. In the first case, there must be rules which add certain vowels in the appropriate places, and in the second case, there must be rules which delete certain vowels in the appropriate places. The result should be the same. The rules here below allow for both perspectives.

Inserting word initial i


If two consonants (other than h or hamzah) are in word initial position, they will be split up by the short vowel i.
t-diya > tidiya you (M) said t-s-dawila > tisdawila cause to approach

Inserting word medial i


If three consonants (other than h or hamzah) follow each other anywhere, they will be split up by the short vowel i.
k-t-diya > kitdiya you (M) don't say t-s-dawila > tisdawila cause to be close

Deleting word medial i


If i has no stress and no CC neighbors, it may be deleted.

a-dilib > adlib I traded hariw-aab > harwaab being wanted / having wanted

Deleting word medial a


If the sound a in the verb suffixes -a 'you (M SUBJ)' or -na 'you (PL SUBJ)' is followed by other verb suffixes, the a may be deleted (This rule does not apply in all dialects).
tikatiya-eek > tikatiyeek if you (M) are tikatiina-eek > tikatiineek if you (PL) are

Shortening of Sounds

The rules about shortening do not apply in all dialects.

Shortening initial VV

The long vowels aa, ee, ii, oo, uu in unstressed definite articles will be shortened to i or u, in particular aa, ee, ii > i; and oo, uu > u.
aa-bissa > ibissa tuu-takat > tutakat the cats (M) the woman

tee-tarabeedaa-ya > titarabeedaaya the tables

Shortening final VV

The long vowels ee or oo in word final position will be shortened as follows: ee > i, oo > u
deet-oo > deetu my mother i-bhal-ee > ibhali my words

Shortening VV before h or hamzah


The long vowels aa, ii, or uu, when followed by h or by hamzah will be shortened as follows: aa > a, ii > i, uu > u
ii-hiriw > ihiriw I had wanted

baa-'abiik-a > ba'abiika Don't seize!

Assimilating and Dissimilating Sounds


With certain affixes, there is either assimilation or dissimilation, i.e. the sounds either merge into each other, or they become more different from one another.

Assimilating nasals before plosives


If m or n are followed by a dental or labial consonant, they will assimilate to the consonant:
ada-n-liib > adalliib I trade a-n-b'iir > amb'iir I wake up

Assimilating t and k before h or hamzah


If t or k are followed by h or hamzah, they will be softened to d or g.

ee-t-'iim > eed'iim I ride oon-t-'aab > oond'aab this the-time, now

Assimilating s to sh before dh or th

If s is attached to a root with dh or th or sh, it becomes sh.

i-si-shalik > ishiishalik he caused to be small i-si-dhhan > ishidhhan he caused to live

Assimilating t and k near dentals


If the verb prefix t- '(2 SUBJ)' is followed by d or r or s of the verb, it will assimilate to the next sound. But before -k, the k- itself will become t.
kit-di > kiddi she doesn't say kit-kan > kittan she doesn't know

Assimilating i to u near w

If i or u precede gw, kw or w, the spelling will be i. The spelling will represent the underlying phoneme, which is i. The pronunciation however is close to u, since the difference between i and u neutralized.

But it could as well be u, since the difference between them is neutralized: Both sound like u: kwi [kwu], gwi [gwu].
kwibira > [kwubira] Go down! kwihi > [kwuhi] the egg

Assimilating a to oo near w

If a short a precedes gw or kw, the spelling will be a, but the sound appears to be [oo], and the [w] may disappear: kwa > [kwoo], [koo].
kwatiib > [kwootiib, kootiib] good

Dissimilating i before h or hamzah


If a person prefix i is followed by h or hamzah, it may be changed to y- or yii-'ibik indi > y'ibik, yi'ibik indi he will hold (Future) i-hariw > yihariw, yhariw he wanted

Dissimilating i or u before h or hamzah


If articles with i or u are followed by h or hamzah, they may be changed to y(i) or w(u).
i-'ar > y'ar, y'ar the children uu-haash > whaash, wuhaash the land

More Examples: Vowel Length and Neutralization


As was shown above, under certain conditions the contrast short vowel / long vowel will be neutralized (see shortening above). In previous descriptions of Beja, it has always been noted that final vowels tend to be short, but that the same vowels may be long when they are in word medial position. The following lines start from an example noted by Roper (1928).

From the last lines of the table it is obvious that this kind of neutralization sometimes results in the disappearance of differences like subject vs. object. A similar neutralization affects the differences between subject and object articles, as will be shown later.

Table 5: Shortening and Neutralization of Case

riba ribaa-b oo-rba ree ree-t too-ri oo baab-oo-wwa... hill (underlying form) - hill-OBJ (citation form) - ART-hill (definite form) source (underlying form) - source-F (citation form) - ART-source (definite form) POSSSG1 (underlying form) ... - - father-POSSSG1-and (word medial)...

baab-u baab-oo-wwa...

- father-POSSSG1 (word final) ... - - father-POSSSG1OBJ-and...

baab-uu-wwa... ... - - father-POSSSG1SUBJ-and... Baab-u rhiya. Baab-u rhiya. - father-POSSSG1SUBJ saw (sth.) -( someone) father-POSSSG1OBJ saw


This section is about the Beja morphology, i.e. the internal shape of words, and it deals with classes and patterns of roots and affixes.

Morpheme Types: Roots and Affixes Roots


Every word has a root, and the root will be considered the main part of a word. In this book, 11 classes of roots are recognized: 2 large classes and 9 small classes.

There are 2 large open classes, namely nouns and verbs, and they have hundreds and thousands of members. Examples are tak 'man' (Noun), yakaa 'Start!' (Verb).

There are 9 small closed classes, including pronouns, postpositions and others, and they have only a few dozen members each. Examples are ani '1SGSUBJ' (Pronoun), amsi 'ADV+today' (Adverb).


In addition to the roots, Beja has two kinds of affixes: 1. 2.


Prefixes which are attached in front of roots, where there are two slots for the different kinds of prefixes. Suffixes which are attached at the end of roots, where there are five or six slots for the different kinds of suffixes.

Note that infixes or vowel melodies could have been posited for verb pairs such as aktib 'I wrote' which is related to akantiib 'I write'. In this instance the infix would have been something like -an- indicating 'Present Tense'.

But it is preferable to view these differences as different forms of the verb root. Actually, this is common practice for languages of the Afro-Asiatic family of which Beja is a member.


There are about 90 prefixes altogether. They are written with a hyphen at the right hand side. Examples are uu- 'the', as in the word uu-(tak) 'the-(man)', or i- 'he', as in the word i- (ktib) 'he- (wrote)'.


There are about 130 suffixes altogether. They are written with a hyphen at the left hand side. Examples are -ooh ' -his' as in the word (tak)-ooh '(man) -his', or -ta ' she', as in the word (rhi)-ta '(saw) -she'.

Word Classes

In this presentation of Beja, 11 word classes will be recognized. The terms noun, verb etc. will be used in their traditional sense, and they will be defined more closely in the tables and examples below.

The 11 word classes are the following: 1. Adjectives like adaroob 'red': This class includes participles like 'living' and ordinal numbers or fractions like 'third, a third'. Adjectives behave largely like Nouns. Adverbs like amsi 'today': This class includes interrogative adverbs like 'when', and nouns of specialized adverbial functions like 'this-time, now'. Adverbs largely behave like Nouns. Conjunctions like hana 'or': This class includes a few Arabic loan words. Demonstratives like been 'that': This class includes far and near and interrogative demonstratives like 'which?'. Interjections like anaa 'hello': This class also includes a few Arabic loan words which are commonly used by Beja people. Names like Adaroob 'Adaru': This class includes names for persons, times and places. Names are either feminine (F) or masculine (M) Nouns like tak 'man': Nouns are either feminine (F) or masculine (M), some are only used in the plural (PL), some are derived from verbs. Numbers like ay 'five': This class includes only cardinal numbers. The ordinal numbers and fractions like 'third' are adjectives. Pronouns like batooh 'she': This class includes interrogative pronouns like 'who?'. Pronouns are either feminine (F) or masculine (M), singular (SG) or plural (PL)


3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

10. Postpositions like har'i 'after': This class includes specialized nouns of limited distribution like 'front-of'. Postpositions largely behave like Nouns. 11. Verbs like yakaa 'start, stand up!': This class includes 'strong' and 'weak' verbs, and 'auxiliary verbs'.

Word Classes and their Affixes


The Beja word classes differ from each other by the inflections which they take or which they pass on to other elements in the clause. The inflection takes the form of

different kinds of affixes, such as yakan 'I started', yaktaa 'you (M) started', yaktaayi 'you (F) started', etc.

Verbs take affixes for tense-aspect and mood, as well as person, gender and number. Each verb governs one, two or three noun phrases such as subject, first object or second object, to which it assigns the respective cases - (either 'subject' case or 'object' case).

Nouns, pronouns, and names are inflected for the cases which they take from the verb. They are also inflected for number (Singular or plural), and they inherently have a certain gender (Masculine or feminine) which they pass on to other words in the phrase. They take demonstrative prefixes and article prefixes, as well as possessive suffixes.

Adjectives, demonstratives, and numbers are inflected for gender, number, and case, which they take from the head noun of the phrase.

Adverbs and postpositions only take case and possessive suffixes.


Conjunctions and interjections are not inflected at all. They do not take any prefixes or suffixes.

The table (below) summarizes the different word classes and their inflections.

Table 6: Word Classes and Affixes

Word Class: Remarks: Takes Affixes for: Person / Tense / Aspect Takes Affixes for: Gender Takes Affixes for: Number Takes Affixes for: *

Verbs (with 1 or 2 or 3 Noun Phrases) e.g. yak- 'start' Nouns (M or F) e.g. tak 'man' Pronouns (M or F) e.g. batooh 'she' Names (M or F) e.g. Adaroob Adjectives e.g. adaru 'red' Demonstratives e.g. been 'that' Numbers e.g. mhay 'three'

Verbal Participles behave like Adjectives, Verbal Nouns of Action behave like Nouns take Demonstrative and Article prefixes, and Possessive suffixes take Demonstrative and Article prefixes, and Possessive suffixes take Demonstrative and Article Prefixes, and Possessive suffixes *** -








Number *** Number Number Number


Gender Gender Gender

Case Case Case

Adverbs e.g. amsi 'today' Postpositions e.g. har'i 'after' Conjunctions e.g. hana 'or' Interjections e.g. wooh 'hello'

take Possessive suffixes take Possessive suffixes -

Case Case -

Notes on Affixes

(*) Verbs do not take case affixes, but they assign subject or object case to other words in the sentence.

(**) Nouns, pronouns and names do not take gender affixes, but they assign their own gender to other words in the sentence.

(***) Only names of nations or peoples can be inflected for number, as in Aa-Fuun 'ART-Fung.people (PL)', and only nicknames take demonstratives and articles, as in Uun-uu-Reer 'NEAR-ART-Ooreer' (Name).

Nominal Affixes: Gender, Number, Case Gender


Beja has 2 genders: masculine and feminine.


Gender not only refers to the natural gender which assigns masculine gender to tak 'man', and feminine gender to takat 'woman' - but every noun is either (M) or (F).

The feminine gender is used especially to refer to abstract notions like tu-daayiinaay 'the goodness', or to items of comparatively smaller size, like tu-aka 'the (small) palm nut fruit (F)' as opposed to w-aka 'the (large) palm nut tree (M)'

The masculine gender is frequent in nouns which indicate actions or their result, like u-kituum 'the arriving/arrival'.


Beja has 2 numbers: singular and plural.


The plural number is used not only to distinguish the plural pronouns such as 'you (PL)' from 'you (SG)', but also to distinguish liquids and collectives from countable nouns.

Thus, all liquids and terms for species are plurals such as yam 'water(s), (PL)' or batehi 'melon(s) (PL)'.


Beja has 3 cases: nominative, genitive, and accusative. 1. 2. 3.


The nominative or subject case answers questions like 'Who did it?' The genitive or possessive case answers questions like 'Whose?' The accusative or object case answers not only the question 'Whom?', but also questions like 'Who is it?', 'To where?', 'To whom?', or 'For whom?'

The different forms of cases will be exemplified in the subsequent sections on articles, demonstratives and nouns.

Verbal Affixes: Person, Tense / Aspect / Mood Person / Number


The Beja verbal system distinguishes a minimum of 8 combinations of person, number and gender. Therefore, most paradigms will consist of 8 different persons which require 8 different affixes.

These 8 persons will be encountered in many tables. Briefly, they can be listed as follows: (1) 'I', (2) 'you (SGM)' and (3) 'you (SGF)', (4) 'he', and (5) 'she', (6) 'we', (7) 'you (PL)', and (8) 'they'. Thus, gender is distinguished only for the second and third persons singular (2-5) in the verbal inflexion. But in participles and adjectives, gender is distinguished for all of the 12 possible combinations, including the first persons singular and plural ('I' and 'we') and the second and third person plural ('You (PL)' and 'They').

Tense / Aspect / Mood (TAM)


The Beja tenses include paradigms for past, present, and future. But the past and present tenses can also be regarded as perfect and imperfect aspects. The Beja moods include a mixture of paradigms like imperatives, optatives and others. The abbreviation TAM will be used to refer to these mergers of tenses, aspects, and moods.

Different TAM paradigms may use the same person affixes but different verb stems. The same Beja verb may have up to 7 different stems, each of them representing different TAMs. For instance, stem (1) is used for the perfect and imperative, stem (2) for negative forms, stem (3) for imperfect plural etc. The full paradigms will be given in the Section Verbs and Clauses.

For every strong verb of high frequency, these 7 different TAM stems are listed in the appendix.3 Weak verbs use the same stem throughout all 7 TAMs.

At this point, only the main distinction should be kept in mind: The distinction between past / perfect paradigms like a-di 'I said, I have said' and present / imperfect paradigms like a-ndi 'I say, I am saying'.

Roots and their Places for Affixes


The affixes of nouns and verbs are different, and each affix has its proper place. Theoretically, verbs or nouns would allow for as many as 7 or 8 affixes following each other - but normally there will just be 1 or 2.

Table 7: The Pattern of Noun Affixes


In the pattern for the inflection of nouns there are 2 places for the prefixes and 6 for the suffixes.

Examples for Noun Affixes

oot-tu-suuraat-iib NEAR-ART-picture-ADV in this picture u-bashar-ii-yoo-da ART-body-CAS-POSS-ADV for my body

Table 8: The Pattern of Verb Affixes


In the pattern for the inflection of Verbs there are 2 places for prefixes and 5 for suffixes. Occasionally, SUFF1 und SUFF2 may change their places.

The suffixes for person, number, tense, aspect and mood often merge into one single affix.

Examples for Verb Affixes

You (F) left us (PTA-leave-PTA-OBJ). Ti-ush-i-hoon. or when they started (start-PTA-ADV-CON) yak-iyaan-hoob-han

Affixes which Change the Word Class of a Root


The language has a number of derivational mechanisms, as the next table shows. Verbs can be derived into Nouns, adjectives into nouns, etc. The mechanisms include both affixation and change of patterns.

Affixation, for instance, derives tam 'eat' into > tam-ti 'eating'.

Change of CV patterns, for instance, derives winin (CiCiC) 'be angry' into > wnuun 'anger' (CCuuC).

The table gives an overview of frequent derivation patterns. The original word class is given in the first column, the derived word class in the second. These derivational affixes, however, cannot be used by non-Beja speakers to create new words at will. Therefore, the table (below) only explains derivations - it is not a pattern for producing them.

Table 9: Derivation Patterns

Derivation Affix or CV pattern: Verb A > Verb B: -s sVerb > Noun: -ti -aab CCuuC tamtamwinineat eat be angry Verb, Weak Verb, Weak Verb, Strong tam-ti tam-aab wnuun the eating eaten (M) anger Noun Participle Noun tamabikeat hold Verb, Weak Verb, Strong tam-ss-'abiklet eat, feed let hold Derived Verb Derived Verb Root: Gloss: Original Word Class: Derivation: Derived Gloss: Derived Word Class:

Noun, Number > Adjective: -iiya -iiya aawiit morning Noun Number aawiitiiyaayt mal-iiya early second Adjective Adjective

maloo- two

Basic Communication

The purposes of communication vary between asking for attention (vocatives), expressing feelings (interjections), making requests (commands), or - most of the time - exchanging information (questions and statements).

To exchange information, people refer to things in the world, and they talk about them. To refer to things, people use noun phrases (NPs) with nouns, names, or pronouns - and to say something about them (to predicate), they use verbs and clauses. Beja nouns and NPs are relatively simple. Beja verbs and clauses are more complex. The first sections are mainly about NPs. Verbs will be introduced later.

Addressing People

To begin with, here are some Beja vocatives and interjections. There is no need to analyze all words at this point. The analysis of these forms will be introduced step by step.


To get the attention of someone, any of the following interjections can be used. The name may be added after the interjection.

The interjections of this first group do not take any affixes. They are always the same, whether addressed to males or females, to one person or many.

Wooh Ali! Hello, Ali! !

Wooh Haliima! Hello Halima! Anaa Ali! Anaa Haliima! Yaa Ali! Yaa Haliima! Wooh Adaru! Wooh Aasha! Please Ali! Please Halima! Hello Ali! Hello Halima! Hello Adaru! Hello Aasha!

! ! ! ! ! ! !


To call or address someone by his / her name, the vocative is used. The vocative endings are -ay or -yi, and they may be attached to the names in two different forms. The ending is -ay if the word ends in a consonant like tak, takat; 'man, woman' and it is -yi if the word ends in a vowel, like Adaru-, Adaroo- 'Adaru (Name)4'. Note that the Beja vocative itself is not a case ending, but the vocative endings -ay / -yi can only be attached to words in the nominative case.)

Interjections and Vocatives

Anaa sanu! Anaa kwaatu! Anaa duuruuyi! Please my brother! (To anyone of the same age) Please my sister! (To anyone of the same age) Please my uncle! (To any older person) ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Anaa diraatuuyi! Please my aunt! (To any older woman) Sanuunay! Kwaatuunay! Duuruunay! Diraatuunay! Yaa takay! Yaa takatay! Yaa w'ooruuyi! Yaa t'ootuuyi! Yaa Adarooyi!

My brother! (To any of same age) My sister! (Rare, to any of same age) My uncle! (To any older person) My aunt! (To any older person)

Hello Sir! Hello Madam! Hello my boy! Hello my girl! Hello Adaru!

Interjections and Names


The following interjection has different endings for different kinds of people, and it can be used even when their names are not known. Actually, yihaa / yhaa is a verb form, and its literal meaning is 'give!'

It should be noted again that Beja distinguishes two genders, Masculine (M) and Feminine (F), as well as Singular (SG) and Plural (PL)


The verb endings typically are -a for Masculine, -i for Feminine, and -na for Plural.
Yihaa! Yihaayi! Yihaana! Ali yihaa! Haliima yihayi! / yihee! Hello you (M) (LIT give (M))! Hello you (F)! Hello you (PL)! Ali hello you (M)! Alima hello you (F)! ! ! /! ! ! ! /!

Aliiwwa Haliimaawwa, yihaana! Ali and Halima, hello you (PL)! ! ,

Responses Filler particles

Baabiya!... Hindeeh... Gay... ...bak kiiki? ...winneet!... ...khalaas!... ...malyaab?... ...yaaneeh... ...areeh... ...ahaa... ...baruukehan / batuukehan? <121> I wish it were so!... Please!... (Introducing a request in the Atman dialect) Well, and then (Introducing a new topic in the Gash dialect) isn't it so? very much!... totally! (AR) and then?... well, in other words (AR) well, also (hesitation) aha, I see and what about you (M) / (F)? ! ... ... ... ? ...! ... ...! ... ...? ... ...... ...... ...... / ... ?

Note that statements and yes/no questions only differ in their intonation. There is no difference in the word order. The suffix -han? 'yes/no' can be used to underline a question:
Example Bak kiki. Gloss Intonational Pattern It is not so. The last stressed syllable is lower, i.e. falling intonation. The last stressed syllable is higher, i.e. rising intonation.

Bak kiki? Isn't it so?

Naan tidiya? / Naan tidii? / Naan tidiina? Afhamaab kaaki. / Afhamaat kaaki. Afhamaab kinki. / Afhamaat kinki. What did you (M) / (F) / (PL) say? I (M) / (F) didn't understand. We (M) / (F) didn't understand. /? /? ? /. . /. .

Shaawi diya! / Shaawi diyi! / Shaawi diina! Ibhali gwidaaba. Bhaliib abari. Gaal bhali (gaat kalima) abari. Malu bhaliiya / gwida bhaliiya. Ani ibhaliiyi faayisan. Weena hooy kitehay.

Say (M) / (F) / (PL) it again! The language (the words) are many. I have something to say (LIT a word). I have a word (one word AR). They are two words / they are many words. That was all I have to say (LIT I have completed my words) That's all (LIT another thing (F) there isn't for it).

/! /! ! . . ) ( . / . .

Conversation Responses: Positive

Awooh! Aaywaa! Waa! Daayiitu. Daayiib saktaa / daayiib saktaayi / daayiib saktaana. Haalooku / haalooku / haalooknaayu? Baruuk tihiyisa / batuuk tihiyisi / baraakna tihiyisna. Ahamidehook / ahamidehook / ahamidhookna. Hamuud baanaawa! Umdhhanook / Umdhhanook / Umdhhanookna. Midhhan baanaawa! Yes! Yes! Wow! OK, fine! (LIT It is good) Well done! (M) / (F) / (PL) How are you, what is the matter? (M) / (F) / (PL) You were better (M) / (F) / (PL) (returning a compliment). Thank you (M) / (F) / (PL). Reply (Welcome, LIT 'May you (M) not lack thanks!') Thank you for listening (M) / (F) / (PL)! (concludes a narrative, LIT 'Being alive') Reply (LIT 'Don't fail being alive!') ! ! ! . / . / / / ? / / . / / . ! / / . !

Conversation Responses: Negative

Laa laa! Aywalla! Wooy! Waay! Wooy kwidhaa / wooy kwidhii / wooy kwidhaana! Habaahoon! Iss, Eess! No no! Oh dear! (surprise) Oh! (requesting help) Oh no! (rejection) Oh no, get lost (disgust) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Oh no! (disgust) Shoo! Go away! (to goats) ! ! ! ! / / ! ! ! /

Jar, jaar!

Shoo! Go away! (to dogs)

Greetings: Invariable

The following greetings are the same for any time or person.
Marhabaa! Yaa marhabaa! Eetaaneena! Tisniyeena! Hello! You there, hello! Welcome! (to someone arriving) Greetings at home! (when arriving) ! ! ! ! ! !

Assalaam alaykwum! Greetings! (AR) Alaykwum assalaam! Same to you! (AR)


Here are a few requests or commands which are used frequently. All of them use verbs. Some of them have the endings -aa / -ii / -aana, others have the endings -a / -i / -na. Note that later on these different endings will be used to distinguish weak verbs from strong verbs.
Ma'aa / ma'ii, ma'ayi / ma'aana! Haam'aa / haam'ii / haam'aana! Ma'aaheeb / ma'iiheeb / ma'aanaheeb! Ma'aahoon / ma'iihoon / ma'aanahoon! Thathaa / thathii / thathaana! Ba'ashshigaa / bi'ashshigii / ba'ashshigaana! Sa'a! / sa'i! / sa'ana! Hagita / hagiti / hagitna! Hooy baashinhaya / hooy biishinhayi / hooy baashinhana! Come! (M) / (F) / (PL) Bring (it)! (M) / (F) / (PL) Come to me! (M) / (F) / (PL) Come to us! Join us! (M) / (F) / (PL) Sit! (M) / (F) / (PL) Don't hurry! (M) / (F) / (PL) ! / / ! / / ! / / ! / / ! / / / / !

Sit down! (M) / (F) / (PL) Wait! (M) / (F) / (PL) Don't worry about it! (M) / (F) / (PL)

! /! /! ! / / / / !

Offering and Taking

Miriya! / miriyi! / miriina! Baanaawa! / biinaawi! / baanaawna! Daayi na ahaa! / ahayi! / aheena! Nafir na ahaa! / ahayi! / aheena! Accept it! (M) / (F) / (PL) Reply (Thanks May you not lack! (M) / (F) / (PL)) / / ! /! /! ! /! /! ! /! /!

Take (M) / (F) / (PL) something good! (e.g. food) Take (M) / (F) / (PL) something tasty!

(e.g. food) Hamiina bahaaya! / bihaayi! / bahaayna! Reply (LIT don't take (M) / (F) / (PL) something bitter!)

! /! /! !

Vocatives and Requests


The vocative may introduce requests such as in the examples below. Note that the object ('water') precedes the verb.
Anaa sanu, yam gw'asaaheeb! Anaa kwaatu, yam gw'asiiheeb! Oh my brother, give me water to drink! O my sister, give me water to drink! ! , , ! ! ,

Anaa kwati, yam gw'asaanaheeb! O my sisters, give me water to drink!

Greetings Questions and Responses


Note again that yes / no questions have the same grammatical structures as the corresponding answers or statements. The only difference is the rising intonation for questions (here marked by the acute accent), as against the falling intonation for statement,(here marked by a grave accent).
Daayiitu? Is it OK? (yes/no question) ? Daayiitu. It is OK. (positive answer) .

Greetings: Meeting others (Questions)


Many Beja Greetings have the forms of questions and answers.

Kwatiib naataa / naataayi / naataana? Kwatiib naayan / naayan / naana. Kwatiib mhataa / mhataayi / mhataana? Kwatiib mhan / mhan / mhana. Did you (M) / (F) / (PL) sleep well? I (M) / I (F) / we slept well. / / ? . / / / / ? / / . / / ? . / /

Did you (M) / (F) / (PL) spend the morning fine? I (M) / I (F) / We spent the morning fine.

Kwatiib t'aayima / t'aayimi / t'aayimna? Kwatiib a'aayim / a'aayim / ni'aayim. Kwatiib tihawida / tihawidi / tihawidna? Kwatiib ahawid / ahawid /

Did you (M) / (F) / (PL) spend the day fine? I (M) / I (F) / we spent the day fine.

Did you (M) / (F) / (PL) spend the evening well? I (M) / I (F) / we spent the evening

/ / ? / /



Greetings: Leaving (Wishes/Commands)

Kwatiib naayaa / naayii / naayaana! Asigaab! Kwatiib mhaa / mhii / mhaana! Asigaab! Kwatiib aayima / aayimi / aayimna! Asigaab! Kwatiib hawida / hawidi / hawidna! Asigaab. Sleep well (M) / (F) / (PL)! Reply. ! / / ! / ! / ! ! / / ! / / ! .

Spend the morning well (M) / (F) / (PL)! Reply.

Spend the day well (M) / (F) / (PL)! Reply.

Spend the evening well (M) / (F) / (PL)! Reply.

Nouns and Phrases Nominal Predicates


Predicates in Beja are the last part of a sentence. Nominal predicates are used to identify or describe things, and they employ nominal words like nouns or adjectives, as in 'Ali is a teacher' or 'Ali is strong'.

Greeting People How are you?


In the next set of greetings, adjectives like 'fine, happy', etc. are used to ask about someone's well-being. Beja adjectives behave very much like nouns. Therefore 'I am happy' might also be translated as 'I am a happy (one).'

These nominal predicates have different endings, depending on the number, gender, and person of the subject: The -u is typical for Singular and the -a for Plural. Likewise, the -t is typical for Feminine and the -b for Masculine gender - as the table shows. Note that the -b will only be attached if the word ends in a vowel, as in daayii -b-u 'good-he-is'. If the word already ends in a consonant, the -b will not be attached. This is true for the entire noun system.

Table 10: First and Second Person

SG: (akraa-) -(b)u / -tu I (M) / (F) (I'm fine) / (akraa-) -(b)wa / -tuwi You (M) / (F) (you are fine) /

PL: (akraa-) -(b)a (akraa-) -(b)aana We (are fine) You (PL) (you are fine)

How are you (M)? (Addressed to, and answered by, a male)
Akraawa? Akraabu. Dabaaywa? Dabaayu. Kwatiibwa? Kwatiibu. Libaabiiwa? Libaabiibu. Aafiimaabu. <130> Are you (M) strong? I am strong. Are you (M) OK? I am OK. Are you (M) well? I am well. Are you (M) happy? I am happy. ? . ? . ? . ? . ? .

Aafiimaawa? Are you (M) healthy? I am healthy.

Note that several of these greetings may be used in a row.

How are you (F)? (Addressed to, and answered by, a female)
Akraatuwi? Akraatu. Dabaaytuwi? Dabaaytu. Kwatiituwi? Kwatiitu. Libaabiituwi? Libaabiitu. Aafiimaatu. Are you (F) strong? I (F) am strong. Are you (F) OK? I (F) am OK. Are you well? I (F) am well. Are you (F) happy? I (F) am happy. ? . ? . ? . ? . .

Aafiimaatuwi? Are you (F) healthy? ? I am healthy.

How are you (PL)? (Addressed to, and answered by several people)
Akraabaana? Akraaba. Dabaayaana? Dabaaya. Kwatiibaana? Kwatiiba. Are you (PL) strong? We are strong. Are you (PL) OK? We are OK. Are you (PL M) well? We are well. ? . ? . ? .

Libaabiibaana? Libaabiiba. Aafiimaaba.

Are you (PL) happy? We are happy.

? . .

Aafiimaabaana? Are you (PL) healthy? ? We are healthy.

Conversation 1: 'A Visitor' (Examples of Interjections and Greetings)


A: the host, B: the visitor

#1 A: Aabwa? A: Who are you (M)? #2 B: Ani Aliibu. B: I am Ali. #3 A: Anaa sanu! Yaa marhaba, yaa marhaba. A: My brother! Hello, hello. #4 Eetaaneena! Welcome (LIT you (PL) come)! #5 B: Tisniyeena! B: Good to await me (LIT you (PL) await)! #6 A: Suur baya! Ma'aahoon! A: Go ahead! Come to us! #7 Shuumaa! Come in! #8 B: Daayiitu. B: Good. #9 A: Sa'a! A: Sit down! sa'-a sit-IMPVM daayiit-u good-IDSG13F shuum-aa enter-IMPVM suur bay-a ma'-aa-hoon before go-IMPVM come-IMPVM-OBJPL1 ti-sni-yee-na PERFSG2MPF-stay-PERFSG2M-WH-thing ee-taan-ee-na come-PERFPL2-WH-thing anaa san-u yaa marhaba yaa marhaba hey brother-POSSSG1 hello hello hello hello ani aliib-u SG1 Ali-IDSG13M aab-wa whoOBJM-IDSG2M

#10 Oon'oomhiin sa'a! Sit down here! #11 B: Daayiitu. B: Good. #12 A: Dabaaywa? A: Are you (M) OK? #13 B: Dabaayu. B: I am OK. #14 Batuukehan dabaaytuwi? What about you, are you (F) OK? #15 A: Ani daayiitu. Baruuk libaabiiwa? A: I am fine (F). Are you (M) happy? #16 B: Gwirhaab kaabaru, B: I don't have any trouble, #17 batuukehan libaabiituwi? are you (F) also happy? #18 A: Ani daayiit iha. A: I am fine (good). #19 Naan gw'ata? What do you want to drink? #20 Shaahiib gw'atahan, hana jabanaat5? Do you want to drink some tea, or coffee? #21 shaahiib gw'-ata-han hana jabanaat tea drink-SUBM-also or coffee.pot naan gw'-ata what drink-SUBM ani daayiit iha SG1 good PERFSG1PF-be batuuk-ehan libaabiit-uwi SG2F-also happy-IDSG2F gwirhaab kaa-baru problem NEGIMPFSG1PF-have A: ani daayiit-u baruuk libaabii-wa SG1 good-IDSG13F SG2M happy-IDSG2M batuuk-ehan dabaayt-uwi SG2F-also well-IDSG2F dabaay-u well-IDSG13M dabaay-wa well-IDSG2M daayiit-u good-IDSG13F oon-'oo-mhiin sa'-a NEARSGMOBJPF-ARTSGMOBJ-place sit-IMPVM

B: Naat gw'i kaadi. B: I won't drink anything. #22 Dawil door buun gw'aabu. I just drank coffee. #23 Laakiin, anaa kwaatu, yam gw'asiiheeb! But, my sister, give (F) me (some) water! #24 A: Daayiitu. Yihaa! A: Fine. Take (M)! #25 B: Ahamidehook. Uusheek keeya? B: Thank you. Where is Oosheek? #26 A: Ushanhooh abaayu. A: He has gone (went) to his work. #27 B: Naadoor eeyiini? B: When does he (usually) come? #28 A: Nabhoob eeyiini. A: He comes in the afternoon. #29 Haalooku? What is the (your) matter? #30 B: Dibiloot halaagaay hooy abari. B: I have a little request for him. #31 A: Hagita! Dawil door y'i indi. A: Wait! He will come soon. #32

naat gw'-i kaa-di thing drink-FUTSG NEGIMPFSG1PF-say dawil door buun gw'-aab-u closeness time coffee drink-PTCPPAST-IDSG13M laakiin anaa kwaat-u yam gw'as-ii-heeb but hey sister-POSSSG1 water let.drink-IMPVF-OBJSG1

daayiit-u yiha-a good-IDSG13F take-IMPVM a-hamid-ehook uusheek kee-ya PERFSG1PF-praise-OBJSG2 Oosheek be.wherePERFSG3M A: u-shanh-ooh abaay-u ARTSGM-work-POSSSG3 go-PTCPPAST-IDSG13M naadoor ee-yiini what.time come-IMPFSG3M nabhoob ee-yiini afternoon come-IMPFSG3M haal-ook-u condition-POSSSG2-IDSG13M dibiloot halaagaay hooy a-bari small business for PERFSG1PF-have hagit-a dawil door y'-i i-ndi wait-IMPVM closeness time come-FUTSG IMPFSG3MPF-say

B: Oond'aab, ani shawaay kaaki. B: (Right) now, I am not free. #33 Ashshigani. I'm in a hurry. #34 Laakiin weer door y'i andi. But (some) other time I will come. #35 A: Ba'ashshigaa! Hooy baashinhaya! A: Don't (M) hurry! Don't worry about it! #36 Sooyi andi. I will inform him. #37 B: Daayiitu. B: That is good. #38 L'aab aayimi! Have (F) a good (LIT cool) day! #39 A: Asigaab! L'aab aayima! A: The same to you! Have (M) a good day!

oond'aab ani shawaay kaa-ki this.time SG1 free NEGIMPFSG1PF-be ashshig-ani hurry-IMPFSG1 laakiin weer door y'-i a-ndi but other time come-FUTSG IMPFSG1PF-say ba-'ashshig-aa hooy baa-shinha-ya NEGIMPVMPF-hurry-NEGIMPVM at NEGIMPVMPFworry-NEGIMPVM sooy-i a-ndi tell-FUTSG IMPFSG1PF-say daayiit-u good-IDSG13F

l'-aab aayim-i asigaab l'-aab aayim-a peaceful

<132> ! ? . ! ! ! ! , ! ! ! . ? . . , ? ? . ? , . . ? . , , . . ? ! . ! ? . . ? . , . . ? ! . ! . ! . !! . !

Who is it? Copula


To identify people or things, words like 'Who?' and 'What' are used together with a copula like the English word 'is'. The answers will be identification clauses where names, nouns, or pronouns are used, such as 'It is Ali.' 'It is me' or 'We are guests.'

The endings which identify things have already been introduced with the adjectives (above). They are not only used for adjectives, but for all nominals (nouns, pronouns,

names, adjectives, numerals). Two genders (M / (F) are distinguished, and two numbers (SG / (PL).

When people or things are named or listed or identified, Beja uses the Object case. This is common in Cushitic languages, but strange for Indo-European languages. So the identifying suffixes -(b)u, -(t)u, -(b)wa, -tuwi etc. (see the table above) can only be attached to words which are in the Object case.

There is an additional condition here: The Object case requires that a word ends in a consonant. So if a masculine name or noun doesn't already end in a consonant, the consonant -b must be attached. Therefore a person called Ali- will identify himself as Alii-b-u 'I am Ali'.

The same condition applies with feminine words: The Object case requires a consonant at the end of the word. But to a feminine name and noun - whether it already ends in a consonant or not - the consonant -t must always be attached. Therefore a person called Haliima or Zaynab will identify herself as Haliimaab-t-u, or Zaynab-t-u 'I am Halima', 'I am Zaynab'.

Interrogative Pronouns

Beja has question pronouns for as many as 10 or 12 persons, from 'I' to 'they'. But in real life, only some of them are used frequently: Aabu, aabtu? 'Who is it (M) / (F)?' and Aaba, aabta? 'Who are they (M) / (F)?'

Table 11: Interrogative Pronouns

Aabu? Aabtu? Aabtuwi? Aabu? Aabtu? Aaba? Aabaana? Aaba? Aabta? Who am I (M)? Who am I (F)? ? ? ? , ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Aabuwa?, aabwa?, aawwa? Who are you (M)? Who are you (F)? Who (LIT whom (M)) is he? Who (LIT whom (F)) is she? Who are we? Who are you (PL M)? Who (LIT whom) are they (M)? Who (LIT whom) are they (F)?

Interrogative Pronouns and Names

Aabu? / Aliibu. Aabtu? / Zaynabtu. Aaba? / Aliiwwa Hasanwaaya. Aabta? / Zaynabwa Haliimaabwaata.6 Who is it (M)? / It is Ali. Who is it (F)? / It is Zaynab. Who are they (M)? / They are Ali and Hassan. Who are they (F)? / They are Zaynab and Halima. . /? . /? . /? /? *.

It is me / you
Aabu? / aabtu? Aneebtu. Barooku. Batooktu. Baroohu. Batoohtu. Aaba? / aabta? Hinina, hinina. Bareeknaaya. Bateeknaata. Bareeh(naay)a. Bateeh(naa)ta. Who (LIT whom) is it? (M) / (F) ? / ? . . . . . . ? /? . . . . . Aneebu, aneebu. It is me (M OBJ). It is me (F OBJ). It is you (M OBJ). It is you (F OBJ). It is him. It is her.

Who (LIT whom) are they? (M) / (F) It is us. It is you (PL M OBJ). It is you (PL F OBJ). It is them (M OBJ). It is them (F OBJ).

Identifying Things

Many nominal predicates have the form of equations like A = B, where the second part is a noun, as in 'Ali is a teacher'.

What is it?

To identify things or to ask about things - like 'What is it?' - the numbers (SG) and (PL) need to be distinguished:

Interrogative Pronouns
Naa naatu? What (thing) is it? (SG) Naa naata? What (things) are they? (PL) ? ?

Identifying Days 1
Amsi naa b'eeyu? Amsi hattu, hadtu. Amsi litneentu. Amsi talataatu. Amsi arb'aatu. Amsi jim'aatu, jum'aatu. Amsi sabtu, subtu What day is it today? ? . ; . . . , . ,

Today it is Sunday (LIT first day). Today is Monday. Today is Tuesday. Today is Wednesday.

Amsi khamiistu, hamiistu Today is Thursday. Today is Friday. Today is Saturday.

Identifying Days 2
Iru bitkaayt naa b'eeyu? Iru bitkaayt jim'aatu. Iru naa b'eeyu? Iru sabtu. Amsi naa b'eeyu? Amsi hattu. Lhayt naa b'eeyu? Lhayt litneentu. Lhayt baakaayt talataatu. What day was the day before yesterday? The day before yesterday was Friday. What day was yesterday? Yesterday was Saturday. What day is it today? Today is Sunday. What day is it tomorrow? Tomorrow is Monday. ? . ? . ? . ? . ? .

Lhayt baakaayt naa b'eeyu? What day is it after tomorrow? The day after tomorrow is Tuesday.

Plural Formation of Nouns Plural of Nouns 1


Beja has various ways of forming the plural of a noun. The most common ones will be presented first.

The first, straightforward way is to attach the plural suffix -a (it is -ya after vowels).

gaw / gawa galam / galama house / houses pen / pens / / /

kwursi / kwursiiya chair / chairs <143>

Note that in Beja, word final vowels typically are short (or shortened), like a in gawa 'houses', or i in kwursi 'chair'. But when a suffix syllable is attached, these vowels will be long, like ii in kwursii-ya 'chairs'.

(Uunbaruuh) naa naatu? / Gawu. Naa naata? / Gawaaba. Naa naatu? / Galamu. Naa naata? / Galamaaba. Naa naatu? / Kwursiibu. Naa naata? / Kwursiiyaaba. (This), What (thing) is it? / It is a house (M). What (things) are they? / They are houses (PL M). What (thing) is it? / It is a pen (M). What (things) are they? / They are pens (PL M). What (thing) is it? / It is a chair (M). What (things) are they? / They are chairs (PL M). . ? . ? . ? . ? . ? ? .


Like other final vowels, the plural -a, will also be long when a suffix follows - as in gaw-a / gaw-aa-ba, 'houses / they are houses', kwursii-ya / kwursii-yaa-ba 'chairs / they are chairs'.

Plural of Nouns 2

Another way of forming the plural is to shorten the last vowel of the noun.
kaam / kam kaamt / kamt, kamit n'aayt / n'ayt hataay / hatay (Uunbatuuh) naa naatu? / Kaamu. Naa naata? / Kama. Naa naatu? / Kaamtu. Naa naata? / Kamta, kamitta. Naa naatu? / N'aaytu. Naa naata? / N'ayta. Naa naatu? / Hataayu. Naa naata? / Hataya. camel / camels she-camel / she-camels goat / goats horse / horses / / / / / ? ( ) . . / ? . / ? , / ? . . / ? . / ? . / ? . / ?

(This,) What (thing) is it? / It is a camel. What (things) are they? / They are camels (PL M). What (thing) is it? / It is a camel (F). What (things) are they? / They are camels (PL F). What (thing) is it? / It is a goat (F). What (things) are they? / They are goats (PL F). What (thing) is it? / It is a horse (M). What (things) are they? / They are horses (PL M).

Plural of Nouns 3

A third way of expressing the plural is to front-shift the pitch-accent, as the next examples show. All of these nouns are given in the object case.
bissaab / bissaab bissaat / bissaat b'ashoob / b'ashoob b'ashoot / b'ashoot hadhaab / hadhaab hadhaat / hadhaat biileeb / biileeb hadhiib / hadhiib cat (SG M) / (PL) cat (SG F) / (PL) / / , / , / / / / / /

eer'iib, eer'iib / iireeb, iireeb eagle (SG M) / (PL) fox (SG M) / (PL) fox (SG F) / (PL) lion (SG M) / (PL) lioness (SG F) / (PL)

bag (SG) / (PL) bread (SG) / (PL)

dheefaab / dheefaab ayeeb / ayeeb ribaab / ribaab akaat / akaat gwibeeb / gwibeeb aweeb / aweeb gwharaab / gwharaab hindiib / hindiib

door (SG) / (PL) hand (SG) / (PL) mountain (SG) / (PL) palm tree fruit (SG) / (PL) shield (SG) / (PL) stone (SG) / (PL) thief (SG) / (PL) tree, wood (SG) / (PL)

/ / / / / / / /

Plural of Nouns 4

There are words which do not use any affixes to form the plural - especially those words whose last vowel is already -a, and some loan words.
riba / riba hill (M) / hills / tarabeedaat / tarabeedaat table (F) / tables / <148>

The context - or something else - will take care of these (apparent) ambiguities.
Ribaabu / ribaaba. It is a hill (M) / They are hills. . / Tarabeedaatu / tarabeedaata. It is a table (F) / They are tables. . /

Table 12: Summary of Plural Formations

Plural Formation: Example (SG): 1. Suffix -a house / pen gaw / galam kaam / hataay bissaab / ayeeb riba / tarabeezaat tak / takat / gawa / galama / kam / hatay / bissaab / ayeeb / riba / tarabeezaat / da / M'at - yam / Fiir / / / / / / Example (PL):

2. Shortening of the last syllable camel / horse

3. Front-Shifting of the Pitch-Accent cat / hand 4. Zero Marking hill / table 5. Different root man / woman

6. No singular (or rarely used) water / face -

Frequent Plural Nouns: People


The plural form of a noun is not predictable. Therefore it should always be considered an important property of the noun. Some of the most frequent irregular plurals, such

as 'men', 'women', 'boys' and 'girls' have already been given in the previous sections. Here is a summary of important unpredictable plurals.
tak / da oor / ar oot / arit man (SG) / (PL) / / / takat / m'a woman (SG) / (PL) / boy (SG) / (PL) girl (SG) / (PL)

More Examples of Plural Forms Plural Forms of Things

raat / rat faas / fas kaar / kar yaay / yay leaf (SG) / (PL) axe (SG) / (PL) hill (SG) / (PL) rope (SG) / (PL) / / / /

/ siyaam / siyam grass (SG) / (PL)

Plural Forms: Animals 1

yaas / yas yaast / yast kaam / kam n'aayt / n'ayt dog (SG M) / (PL) bitch (SG F) / (PL) camel (SG M) / (PL) goat (SG F) / (PL) / / / / /

hataay / hatay horse (SG M) / (PL)

Plural Forms: Animals 2

argin / arginaab sh'aab / sh'aab sh'aat / sh'aat meek / mak meekt / makt sheep (SG M) / (PL) ox (SG M) / (PL) cow (SG F) / (PL) donkey (SG M) / (PL) donkey (SG F) / (PL) / / / / / , / / / / /

anoot / anoot, anut ewe (SG F) / (PL) bissaab / bissaab bissaat / bissaat hadhaat / hadhaat cat (SG M) / (PL) cat (SG F) / (PL)

hadhaab / hadhaab lion (SG M) / (PL) lioness (SG F) / (PL)

Plural Forms: Body Parts 1

ayeeb / ayeeb ginuuf / ginif hand (SG) / (PL) nose (SG) / (PL) / /

ragad / ragadaab foot (SG) / (PL) tiikas / tiikasaab gw'aj / gw'aj angwiil / angwil liiliit / liiliit heel (SG) / (PL) eye (SG) / (PL) ear (SG) / (PL) pupil of the eye (SG) / (PL)

/ / / / /

Plural Forms: Body Parts 2

tiibalaayt / tiibalayt finger (SG F) / (PL) tiibalaay / tiibalay kwireet / kwireet girma / girmaab gin'a / gin'aab yaf / yafaab haaf / haf thumb (SG M) / (PL) tooth (SG) / (PL) head (SG) / (PL) heart (SG) / (PL) mouth (SG) / (PL) stomach (SG) / (PL) / / / / / / /

Plural Forms: Nouns without Singular


Nouns which are only used in the plural include body parts, liquids and mass nouns.
fiir hamoot y am sikwkwart face (PL M) hair (PL F) water (and other liquids) (PL M)

sugar (and other mass nouns) (PL F)

mhallagaab money (PL M)

Identifying People

The interrogative pronoun for identifying things is naa (naatu)? 'What?' The interrogative pronouns for identifying persons are Aaw, aab? 'Who, whom?' And as responses to these questions, Beja has a rich set of person suffixes and personal pronouns.

Person Suffixes

The answers to the question aabu 'Who is it?' use the same copula suffixes as for adjectives. Some of them (marked with *) have already been introduced in the context of greetings. Below follows the full list with all person suffixes (table 13). This should be compared with table 11.

Table 13: Person Suffixes

SG: -bu / -(y)u -tu *I (M) am *I (F) am

-buwa / -wa -tuwi -bu / -(y)u -tu PL: -ba / -(y)a -ta -taana -ba / -(y)a -ta

*you (M) are *you (F) are he is she is

we (M) are we (F) are

-baana / -(y)aana you (PL M) are you (PL F) are they (M) are they (F) are

Subject Pronouns

Beja pronouns take case. The two cases subject case (responding to the question 'who?') and object case (responding to the question 'whom?') have already been introduced above. Beja has different interrogative pronouns for these two: The pronoun which asks for the subject case - like 'Who' in 'Who came?' - is different from the pronoun which asks for the object case - like 'Whom' in 'Who (M) did he see?'

Interrogative Pronouns
Aaw? Aab? Aaw eeya? / Baruuh eeya. Who? Whom ? ? ? . / ?

Who came? / He came.

/ ? Aab rhiya? / Barooh rhiya. Whom did he see? / Him he saw. . <154>

Here follows the full set of subject and object case independent pronouns. They are used for subjects (who) and objects (whom) respectively. Their vowels differ:

The subject case typically uses the vowels -uu (SG) and -aa (PL). The object case typically uses the vowels -oo (SG) and -ee (PL).

Table 14: Subject / Object Personal Pronouns

SG: ani / aneeb baruuk / barook batuuk / batook baruuh / barooh batuuh / batooh PL: I / me you (M SUBJ) / (M OBJ) you (F SUBJ) / (F OBJ) he / him she / her / / / / /

hinin / hinin. bataakna / bateekna. baraah / bareeh. bataah / bateeh.

we / us

/ / / /

baraakna / bareekna. you (PL M SUBJ / (PL M OBJ) / you (PL F SUBJ) / (PL F OBJ) they / them (M) they / them (F)

Subject Pronouns

The first part of the following sentences also involves subject pronouns. Note that the plural forms are distinguished by pitch-accent.

Subject Pronouns and Identities

Aaw gawkinaabu? SG: Ani gawkinaabu / gawkinaatu. Baruuk gawkinaawa. Batuuk gawkinaatuwi. Baruuh gawkinaabu. Batuuh gawkinaatu. PL: Hinin gawkinaaba / gawkinaata. We (M) / (F) are (the owner) of the house. Baraakna gawkinaabaana. Bataakna gawkinaataana. Baraah gawkinaaba. Bataah gawkinaata. You (PL M) are (the owner) of the house. You (PL F) are (the owner) of the house. They (M) are (the owner) of the house. They (F) are (the owner) of the house. / . . . . . I (M) / (F) am (the owner) of the house. You (M) are (the owner) of the house. You (F) are (the owner) of the house. He is (the owner) of the house. She is (the owner) of the house. / . . . . . Who is (the owner) of the house? ?

Subject Pronouns with Verbs


To introduce the subject pronouns, a few common verbs will be used, such as 'to come, to start' etc. but is not necessary to study the verb endings at this point. The full verb system will be introduced later.

If subject pronouns like baruuh 'he' are found in sentences which also have a verb like eeyaa 'he-came', then the focus is on the pronoun. Therefore a sentence like baruuh eeya 'he came' really means 'It is he who came, not someone else.'

Verb 'to come'

Aaw eeya?* SG: Ani y'an. Baruuk eetaa. I came. You (M) came. Who came? * ?

Batuuk eetaayi. Baruuh eeya.* Batuuh eeta. PL: Hinin eena. Bataakna eetaana. Baraah eeyaan.* Bataah eeyaan.* <159>

You (F) came. He came. She came.

* . * .

We came.

Baraakna eetaana. You (PL) came. You (PL) came.

They (M) came. * . They (F) came.

* Instead of eeya, eeyaan, full forms such as eeyiya, eeyiyaan may also be used.

Verb 'to start, get up'

Aaw yakiya? SG: (Ani) yakan. (Baruuk) yaktaa. (Batuuk) yaktaayi. (Baruuh) yakiya. (Batuuh) yakta. PL: (Hinin) yakna. (Bataakna) yaktaana. (Baraah) yakiyaan. (Bataah) yakiyaan. We started. ) . ( .) ( ) ( . ) ( . (Baraakna) yaktaana. You (PL M) started. .) ( You (PL F) started. They (M) started. They (F) started. I started You (M) started. You (F) started. He started. She started. )( . .( ) .) ( ( . ) .) ( Who started? ?

Verb 'to see'

Aaw rhiya? SG: (Ani) rhan. (Baruuk) rhitaa. (Batuuk) rhitaayi. (Baruuh) rhiya. (Batuuh) rhita. PL: (Hinin) rhina. We saw. ( ) . I saw (it). You (M) saw. You (F) saw. He saw. She saw. . ) ( ( . ) ) ( . ( . ) ) ( . Who saw (it)? ?

) ( (Baraakna) rhitaana. You (PL M) saw. . (Bataakna) rhitaana. (Baraah) rhiyaan. (Bataah) rhiyaan. You (PL F) saw. They (M) saw. They (F) saw. ) ( . ) ( . ) ( .

Definiteness Indefinite / Definite


Indefinite Beja nouns are nouns without a definite article. So the word tak could be translated as 'man' or 'a man' - but not as 'man in general'.

Definite or general Beja nouns are nouns with a definite article. So the word oo-tak could be translated as 'the man, man in general'. (Note that the object case is used when a noun is just mentioned or listed, such as here above.)

Indefinite Nouns

There are only few occasions where indefinite nouns will be used, and the main use is to identify or introduce someone or something, as in the following examples.
SG: tak / Taku. oor / Ooru. oot / Ootu. PL: da / Daaba. m'a / M'ata. ar / Ara. arit / Aritta. men / They are men. women / They are women. boys / They are boys. girls / They are girls. . / . / . / / . man / It is a man. . / / . . / . / takat / Takattu. woman / It is a woman. boy / It is a boy. girl / It is a girl.

Definite Nouns

Most of the time, nouns are used in their definite form, i.e. with an article. This is true even for general statements such as 'water will run its course' or 'advice is a good thing':
Aayam oodham sakeen. [The] waters follow [the] course. Uumkir daayi naatu. <164> [The] advice is a good thing. . .

The definite article and the plural form should be considered part of a noun. To take an example: It is not enough to consider tak 'man' as one lexical item, and da 'men' as another lexical item. Instead, one should consider ootak, eenda 'the man / the men' as belonging together. Thus, for a language learner it is not recommended to

just remember the indefinite forms such as tak, da- 'man, men (INDEF)' - but the following forms should be stored in memory:
ootak / eenda w'oor / y'ar tu'oor / ti'arit <165> man / men (DEF) / / / / tutakat / teem'a woman / women (DEF) boy / boys (DEF) girl / girls (DEF)

It is not correct to use an indefinite noun if the item is already in everybody's mind. There actually are only few occasions where indefinite nouns can be used. Examples such as those below might be found at the beginning of a conversation, or when a new turn is introduced in a story - but hardly anywhere else.

Indefinite NPs Indefinite Nouns

Hataay eeya. Hataay rhan. Hatay rhan. Kaam eeya. Kam eeyaan. Kaam rhan. Kam rhan. Kaamt eeta. Kaamt rhan. Kamit rhan. Tak eeya. Da eeyaan. Tak rhan. Daab rhan. A horse (M) came. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hatay eeyaan. Some horses (M) came. I saw a horse (M). I saw some horses (M).

A camel (M) came. Some camels (M) came. I saw a camel (M). I saw some camels (M).

A camel (F) came.

Kamit eeyaan. Some camels (F) came. I saw a camel (F). I saw some camels (F).

A man came. Some men came. I saw a man. I saw some men.

Definite NPs

As has been said above, nouns usually come with a definite article. The definite article would even be used in general statements such as W-hataay daayi naatu 'A horse (LIT the-horse) is a good thing'.


The following sentences introduce different forms of the definite article.

Nouns with Definite Article

Uukaam eeya. Ookaam rhan. Tuukaam eeta. Tookaam rhan. Aakam eeyaan. Eekam rhan. Teekam rhan. Uutak eeya. Ootak rhan. Aanda eeyaan. Eenda rhan. Whataay eeya. Whataay rhan. Yhatay eeyaan. Yhatay rhan. The camel (M) came. I saw the camel (M). The camel (F) came. I saw the camel (F) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The camels (M) came. I saw the camels (M).

Taakam eeyaan. The camels (F) came. I saw the camels (F)

The man came. I saw the man. The men came. I saw the men.

The horse came (M). I saw the horse (M). The horses came (M). I saw the horses (M).

Definite Article

The definite article has different forms. They are conditioned by four properties of the noun: 1. 2. 3. 4. The initial consonant of the noun - this can be either a Glottal consonant (h or hamzah) or non-Glottal. The gender of the noun - this can be either masculine or feminine. The number of the noun - this can be either singular or plural. And the case of the noun - and this can be either subject or object case.


Note that Beja words which start with a vowel behave as if they start with a hidden hamzah [']. This hamzah will appear as soon as a syllable is attached in front of it (prefixed).

Table 15: Definite Article

Monosyllabic words7 which do not start with h or hamzah take the following articles: uu-, oo- / tuu-, tooSG M / SG F - ,- / - ,-

aa-, ee- / taa-, teeExamples (SG): uu-kaam / uu-nfis / uusmuuh oo-kaam / oo-nfis / oosmooh tuu-kaam / tuu-ndi / tuudrim too-kaam / too-ndi / toodrim Examples (PL): aa-kam / aa-nda ee-kam / ee-nda taa-kam / taa-m'a tee-kam / tee-m'a


- ,- / - ,- - / - - / - / - - / - / - / - - / - / -

camel (M SUBJ) / appetite(SUBJ) / his name(SUBJ) camel (M OBJ) / appetite (OBJ) / his name (OBJ) camel (F SUBJ) / mother (SUBJ)/ cattle (SUBJ) camel (F OBJ) / mother (OBJ)/ cattle (OBJ)

camels (M SUBJ) / men (SUBJ) camels (M OBJ) / men (OBJ) camels (F SUBJ) / women (SUBJ) camels (F OBJ) / women (OBJ)

- / - - / - - / - - / -

Both monosyllabic words and other words which start with h or hamzah take the following articles: w(u)-, w(u)- / t(u)-, t(u)y(i)-, y(i)- / t(i)-, t(i)Examples (SG): w(u)-'oor / w-hiss / whalak w(u)-'oor / w-hiss / whalak t(u)-'oor / tu-haasim / tuhumni t(u)-'oor / tu-haasim / tuhumni Examples (PL): y(i)-'ar / y-hissa y(i)-'ar / y-hissa t(i)-'ar / ti-haasma (haasimi) t(i)-'ar / ti-haasma the boys (SUBJ) / voices (SUBJ) the boys (OBJ) / voices (OBJ) the girls (SUBJ) / spiders (F SUBJ) the girls (OBJ) / spiders (F OBJ) - / - () - / - () - / - () ) ( - / - () the boy (SUBJ) / voice (SUBJ) / dress (SUBJ) the boy (OBJ) / voice (OBJ) / dress (OBJ) the girl (SUBJ) / spider (F SUBJ)/ afternoon (SUBJ) the girl (OBJ) / spider (F OBJ) / afternoon (OBJ) - / - () - / - / - () - / - / - () / - / / - () SG M / SG F PL M / PL F

Words with more than one syllable which do not start with h or hamzah take the following articles: u-, u- / tu-, tu-8 i-, i- / ti-, tiExamples (SG): SG M / SG F PL M / PL F

u-bissa / u-ganaay / usakana u-bissa / u-ganaay / usakana tu-bissa / tu-ganaay / tujabana tu-bissa / tu-ganaay / tujabana Examples (PL): i-bissa / i-nisrika i-bissa / i-nisrika ti-bissa / ti-nisrika ti-bissa / ti-nisrika

cat (M SUBJ) / gazelle (M SUBJ) / news (SUBJ) cat (M OBJ) / gazelle (M OBJ) / news (OBJ) cat (F SUBJ) / gazelle (F SUBJ) / coffee pot (SUBJ) cat (F OBJ) / gazelle (F OBJ) / coffee pot (OBJ)

- - / - / - - / - / - / - / - - / - / - - / - - / - - / - - / -

cats (M SUBJ) / children (M SUBJ) cats (M OBJ) / children (M OBJ) cats (F SUBJ) / children (F SUBJ) cats (F OBJ) / children (F OBJ)

Interrogatives and Demonstratives


Here are more examples for definite articles. The examples will be given in the form of questions like 'Where is...?'.

Interrogative Demonstratives / Local Verbs

Keeya? Keeta? Where / which one (M) is it? Where / which one (F) is it? ? ?

Keeyaan? Where / which ones are they? ?

Where is 1
Examples (M): Uukaam / uutak keeya? Aakam / aanda keeyaan? Uumeek keeya? Aamak keeyaan? Examples (F): Tuukaam / tutakat keeta? Tuumeek keeta? Taamak keeyaan? Tuun'aay keeta? Taan'ay keeyaan? Where is the camel (F) / woman? ? ? ? ? ? ? Where is the camel (M) / man? Where are the camels (M) / men? Where is the donkey (M)? Where are the donkeys (M)? ? ? ? ?

Taakam / taam'a keeyaan? Where are the camels (F) / women? Where is the donkey (F)? Where are the donkeys (F)? Where is the goat (F)? Where are the goats (F)?

Where is 2
Examples (SG):

Uugaw keeya? Ugalam keeya? Umaktab keeya? Utambiil keeya? Ukwursi keeya? Tumastara keeta? Examples (PL): Igawa keeyaan? Igalama keeyaan? Imaktaba keeyaan? Itambil keeyaan? Timastara keeyaan?

Where is the house? Where is the pencil? Where is the office? Where is the car? Where is the chair? Where is the ruler?

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Where are the houses? Where are the pencils? Where are the offices? Where are the cars?

Ikwursiiya keeyaan? Where are the chairs? Where are the rulers?


The answer to the question 'Which?' or 'Where' usually requires demonstratives or deictics. These are special pronouns which point to the particular item in question.

In Beja, only those items can be pointed to which are considered definite. Therefore, demonstratives can only be attached to pronouns, since they are considered definite (e.g. uun-baruuh 'this-he'), or to names (e.g. uun-Ali 'this Ali'), or to nouns which have a definite article (uun-uu-tak 'this-the-man').

Beja has two different sets of demonstratives: One for items nearby, which includes uun 'this', aan 'these', and another set for items far away, which includes been 'that', baliin 'those'.

The near demonstrative pronouns 'this / these' have different forms, depending on number and gender: uun / aan 'these (SG M / PL M)', or tuun / taan 'these (SG F / PL F)'. In addition, the object case will require the usual object vowels: oon / een (SG M / PL M), or toon / teen (SG F / PL F)

Many speakers will change tuun- / toon- into > tuut- / toot- or even into > uut- / oot-, especially when the t- F follows, as in tuut tikati 'this she-is', or uut- tu- takat 'thisthe-woman'.

Table 16: Demonstratives Near and Far

NEAR SUBJ: Uun / tuun Aan / taan NEAR OBJ: Oon / toon This (M) / (F) / This (M) / (F) These (M) / (F) / /

Een / teen FAR SUBJ: Been / beet

These (M) / (F)

/ / / /

That (M) / (F)

Baliin / baliit Those (M) / (F) FAR OBJ: Been / Beet That (M) / (F)

Baliin / baliit Those (M) / (F) /

Demonstratives Referring To Near Objects This (M)

Keeya? Uun ikati. Keeyaan? Aan ikatiin. Keeta? Tuut (tuun) tikati. Keeyaan? Taan ikatiin. Uukaam keeya? Uun ikati. Aakam keeyaan? Aan ikatiin. Tuun'aay keeta? Tuut tikati. Taan'ay keeyaan? Taan ikatiin. Where is he? He is here (LIT Which one is it? It is this one). Where are they (M)? They (M) are here. Where is she? She is here. Where are they (F)? They (F) are here. . / ? / ? . ( )/ ? . / ? . / ? . / ? . / ? . / ? .

Where is the camel (M)? It (M) is here. Where are the camels (M)? They (M) are here. Where is the goat (F)? It (F) is here. Where are the goats (F)? They (F) are here.

This (F)
Tughurfaatu keeta? Tuut tikati. Tus'aatu keeta? Tuut tikati. Tis'aati keeyaan? Taan ikatiin. Tutarabeedaatu keeta? Tuut tikati. Titarabeedaati keeyaan? Taan ikatiin. Tukwubbaaytu keeta? Tuut tikati. Tikwubbayti keeyaan? Taan ikatiin. Where is my room? It is here. Where is my watch? It is here. Where are my watches? They are here. Where is my table? It is here. Where are my tables? They are here. Where is my cup (mug)? It is here. Where are my cups (mugs)? They are here. / ? . / ? . / ? . / ? . / ? . / ? . / ? .

Tigidh'aati keeyaan? Taan ikatiin.

Where are my sandals (shoes)? They are here.

/ ? .

Demonstratives with Pronouns


Pronouns often have demonstrative prefixes. In some Beja areas this is the preferred form for all pronouns.
uunbaruuh / oonbarooh this (M SUBJ) / (M OBJ) uunbatuuh / oonbatooh aanbaraah / eenbareeh aanbataah / eenbateeh this (F SUBJ) / (F OBJ) these (M SUBJ) / (M OBJ)) these (F SUBJ) / (F OBJ) / / / /

Demonstratives Referring To Far Objects


The far demonstratives 'that, those' have the same forms for all cases and numbers distinguishing only (M) and (F) gender: been / beet 'that, those (M) / (F)'.

Some speakers use special forms for the plural: baliin / baliit 'those (PL M) / (PL F)'.
Beenbaruuh / beenbarooh. Beenbatuuh / beenbatooh. Beenbareeh / baliinbaraah, baliinbareeh. Beenbateeh / baliitbataah, baliitbateeh (baliin bataah / baliin bateeh). That (M SUBJ) / (M OBJ) That (F SUBJ) / (F OBJ) Those (M SUBJ / M OBJ) Those (F SUBJ / F OBJ) . / . / . , / ) , / .( /

Demonstratives with Pronouns, Referring To Near Objects


In some dialects and with some speakers, the demonstratives will not be attached and assimilated to the articles. They will be used as separate words, as shown in the parentheses here below.
(Uun baruuh) Uunbaruuh aabu? (Uun baruuh) Uunbaruuh Aliibu. (Tuun batuuh) Uunbatuuh aabtu? (Tuun batuuh) Uunbatuuh Zaynabtu. (Aan baraah) Aanbaraah aaba? (Aan baraah) Aanbaraah Aliiwwa Hasanwaaya. (Taan bataah) Aanbataah aabta? (Taan bataah) Aanbataah Zaynabwa Haliimaabwaata. Who is this (M)? This is Ali. Who is this (F)? This is Zaynab. ? ) ( . ) ( ? () . () ? ) ( ) ( . ? ) ( ) ( .

Who are these (M)? These are Ali and Hassan. Who are these (F)? These are Zaynab and Halima.

Demonstratives with Pronouns, Referring To Far Objects

Beenbaruuh aabu? Beenbaruuh Abuuzaynabu. Beenbatuuh aabtu? Beenbatuuh Zaynabtu. (Baliinbaraah) Beenbaraah aaba? (Baliinbaraah) Beenbaraah Aliiwwa Hasanwaaya. (Baliitbataah) Beenbataah aabta? (Baliitbataah) Beenbataah Zaynabwa Haliimaabwaata, Haliimaawwaata. Who is that (M)? That is Abuzaynab. Who is that (F)? That is Zaynab. ? . ? . ? ( ) . ( ) ? ( ) , ( ) . .

Who are those (M)? Those are Ali and Hassan. Who are those (F)? Those are Zaynab and Halima.

Demonstratives with Nouns

Uun'uutak aabu? Aliibu. Haliimaabtu. Who is this man? He is Ali. ? . .

Uuttutakat aabtu? Who is this woman? ? She is Halima.

Demonstratives and Nouns (SG)

Uunbaruuh naa naatu? Uunbaruuh galamu. Uunbatuuh naa naatu? Uunbatuuh mastaraatu. Beenbaruuh gawu. Beenbatuuh naa naatu? Beenbatuuh n'aaytu. What is this (M)? This is a pen. What is this (F)? This is a ruler. ? . ? . ? . ? .

Beenbaruuh naa naatu? What is that (M)? This is a house. What is that (F)? That is a goat (F).

Demonstratives and Nouns (PL)

Aanbaraah naa naata? Aanbaraah gawaaba. Aanbataah naa naata? Aanbataah tarabeezaata. Baliinbaraah naa naata? Baliitbataah naa naata? Baliitbataah mastaraata. What are these (M)? These are houses. What are these (F)? These are tables. What are those (M)? ? . ? . ? . ? .

Baliinbaraah kwursiiyaaba. Those are chairs. What are those (F)? Those are rulers.

Demonstrative Objects with Verbs

/ ? Aab rhita? / Naan rhita? Whom did you (M) see? / What did you (M) see? ? Oonbarooh rhan. Oonbatooh rhan. Eenbareeh rhan. Eenbateeh rhan. Beenbarooh rhan. Beenbatooh rhan. Beenbareeh rhan. Beenbateeh rhan. I saw this (M). I saw this (F). I saw these (M). I saw these (F). I saw that (M). I saw that (F). I saw those (M). I saw those (F). . . . . . . . .

Demonstratives and 'to call'

Oonbarooh aab eeyadna? Oonbarooh Abuuzaynab eeyadna. Oonbatooh aab eeyadna? Oonbatooh Zaynab eeyadna. Oon'ootak aab eeyadna? Oon'ootak Abuuzaynab eeyadna. Oottutakat aab eeyadna? Oottutakat (toon tutakat, toottutakat) Zaynab eeyadna. What (whom) do they call him? They call him Abuzaynab. What do they call her? They call her Zaynab. What do they call this man? They call him Abuzaynab. What do they call this woman? They call her Zaynab. ? . ? . ? . ? , ) ( .

Describing Things: Noun Phrases (NPs)


Noun phrases are about things in the world. To name the qualities of these things or to describe them, adjectives and other attributes can be put next to the noun.

Adjectives and Participles


Descriptions answer the questions such as 'What is X like?' To describe things, as in 'X is red', the adjective must follow the noun, and a copula (comparable to the English word 'is') must be attached at the end.

The copula has already been introduced with the greetings, since it is common in forms like ani dabaay-u - baruuk dabaay-wa? 'I am fine - are you fine?' The copula in Beja is a suffix which has different forms, depending on the number and the gender of the noun. As has been presented earlier, the most frequent forms of the copula are -u / -tu 'is (SG M) / (SG F)', and -a / -ta 'are (PL M) / (PL F)'. In such sentences the adjective must be in the object case.


The answer to 'what is... like?' is a description in which an adjective may be used. To the adjective a copula is attached. The copula has different forms, depending on whether the adjective ends in: 1. 2. 3. A glottal consonant (this includes h and hamzah) any other consonant or a vowel.
? ? , . / . / . / . /

Adjectives of Colors
Naan tan'i? Hadaltu / hadalu. Eeraatu / eeraabu. Adarootu / adaroobu. Sootaaytu / sootaayu. What is he, she like? Uuttuuna, naan tan'i? This thing, what is it like? She / he is black She / he is white. She / he is red. She / he is blue-green.

Adjectives ending in C

The pattern for attaching suffixes is most easily observed in adjectives which end in a simple consonant (i.e. a consonant other than h or hamzah.)
Ani hadalu. Ani hadaltu. Baruuk hadalwa. Batuuk hadaltuwi. Baruuh hadalu. Batuuh hadaltu. Hinin hadalaaba. Hinin hadalaata. Bataakna hadalaataana. Baraah hadalaaba. Bataah hadalaata. I (M) am black. I (F) am black. You (M) are black. You (F) are black. He is black. She is black. We (M) are black. We (F) are black. . . . . . . . . . . .

Baraakna hadalaabaana. You (PL M) are black. . You (PL F) are black. They (M) are black. They (F) are black.

Adjectives ending in aa
Ani eeraabu. Ani eeraatu. Baruuk eeraawwa. Batuuk eeraatuwi. Baruuh eeraabu. I (M) am white. I (F) am white. You (M) are white. You (F) are white. He is white. . . . . .

Batuuh eeraatu. Hinin eeraaba. Hinin eeraata. Bataakna eeraataana. Baraah eeraaba. Bataah eeraata.

She is white. We (M) are white. We (F) are white.

. . . . . . .

Baraakna eeraabaana. You (PL M) are white. You (PL F) are white. They (M) are white. They (F) are white.

Adjectives ending in ii
Ani dhhaniibu. Ani dhhaniitu. Baruuk dhhaniiwa. Batuuk dhhaniituwi. Baruuh dhhaniibu. Batuuh dhhaniitu. Hinin dhhaniiba. Hinin dhhaniita. Bataakna dhhaniitaana. Baraah dhhaniiba. Bataah dhhaniita. I (M) am alive, well. I (F) am alive, well. You (M) are alive, well. You (F) are alive, well. He is alive, well. She is alive, well. We (M) are alive, well. We (F) are alive, well. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Baraakna dhhaniibaana. You (PL M) are alive, well. You (PL F) are alive, well. They (M) are alive, well. They (F) are alive, well.

Adjectives ending in oo
Ani adaroobu. Ani adarootu. Baruuk adaroowwa. Batuuk adarootuwi. Baruuh adaroobu. Batuuh adarootu. Hinin adarooyaaba. Hinin adarooyaata. Bataakna adarooyaataana. Baraah adarooyaaba. Bataah adarooyaata. I (M) am red. I (F) am red. You (M) are red. You (F) are red. He is red. She is red. We (M) are red. We (F) are red. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Baraakna adarooyaabaana. You (PL M) are red. You (PL F) are red. They (M) are red. They (F) are red.

Adjectives ending in h 1

(See alternative forms below)

Ani shabhayu. Ani shabhatu. Baruuk shabhawa. Batuuk shabhatuwi. Baruuh shabhayu. Batuuh shabhatu. Hinin shabhaya. Hinin shabhata. Bataakna shabhataana. Baraah shabhaya. Bataah shabhata. I (M) am gentle, average. I (F) am gentle, average. You (M) are gentle, average. You (F) are gentle, average. He is gentle, average. She is gentle, average. We (M) are gentle, average. We (F) are gentle, average. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Baraakna shabhayaana. You (PL M) are gentle, average. You (PL F) are gentle, average. They (M) are gentle, average. They (F) are gentle, average.

Adjectives ending in h 2
Ani shabahu. Ani shabahtu. Baruuk shabahwa. Batuuk shabahtuwi. Baruuh shabahu. Batuuh shabahtu. Hinin shabaha. Hinin shabahta. Baraakna shabahaana. Baraah shabaha. Bataah shabahta. I (M) am gentle, average. I (F) am gentle, average. You (M) are gentle, average. You (F) are gentle, average. He is gentle, average. She is gentle, average. We (M) are gentle, average. We (F) are gentle, average. You (PL M) are gentle, average. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Bataakna shabahtaana. You (PL F) are gentle, average. They (M) are gentle, average. They (F) are gentle, average.

Adjectives ending in hamzah (glottal stop) 1


(See alternative forms below)

Ani nab'ayu. Ani nab'atu. Baruuk nab'awa. Batuuk nab'atuwi. Baruuh nab'ayu. I (M) am warm. I (F) am warm. You (M) are warm. You (F) are warm. He is warm. . . . . .

Batuuh nab'atu. Hinin nab'aya. Hinin nab'ata. Bataakna nab'ataana. Baraah nab'aya. Bataah nab'ata.

She is warm. We (M) are warm. We (F) are warm.

. . . . . . .

Baraakna nab'ayaana. You (PL M) are warm. You (PL F) are warm. They (M) are warm. They (F) are warm.

Adjectives ending in hamzah (glottal stop) 2

Ani naba'u. Ani naba'tu. Baruuk naba'wa. Batuuk naba'tuwi. Baruuh naba'u. Batuuh naba'tu. Hinin naba'a. Hinin nab'ata. Baraakna nab'aana. Baraah naba'a. Bataah nab'ata. I (M) am warm. I (F) am warm. You (M) are warm. You (F) are warm. He is warm. She is warm. We (M) are warm. We (F) are warm. You (PL M) are warm. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Bataakna nab'taana. You (PL F) are warm. They (M) are warm. They (F) are warm.


Participles are derived from verbs, but at this point they can be treated as if they were adjectives: Literally, hargwaab 'hungry' for instance means '(the one who) hungers, hungered'; but it has the positions, endings and functions of an adjective: 'hungry'.

It will be seen that transitive verbs (like to see) and intransitive verbs (like to come) differ slightly in the form and meaning of their participles:

Participles of transitive verbs have the endings -aab / -aat 'the one who (actively)...ed (M) / (F)' as in abkaab / abkaat 'the one who (actively) held (M) / (F)', and these endings are attached after the last root consonant.

Participles of intransitive verbs, however, take the last root consonant -aaC / -aaCt 'the one who (is / was)... -ed (M) / (F)' as in fayaaku / fayaaktu 'the one who (is / was) loaded (M) / (F)'.

Participles of transitive verbs, ending in aa 1

Ani, ani9 n'uraabu. Ani n'uraatu. I (M) am cured. I (F) am cured. . , . ,

Baruuk n'uraawwa. Batuuk n'uraatuwi. Baruuh n'uraabu. Batuuh n'uraatu. Hinin n'uraaba. Hinin n'uraata. Bataakna n'uraataana. Baraah n'uraaba. Bataah n'uraata.

You (M) are cured. You (F) are cured. He is cured. She is cured. We (M) are cured. We (F) are cured.

. . . . . . . . . .

Baraakna n'uraabaana. You (PL M) are cured. You (PL F) are cured. They (M) are cured. They (F) are cured.

Participles of transitive verbs, ending in aa 2

Ani hargwaabu. Ani hargwaatu. Baruuk hargwaawa. Batuuk hargwaatuwi. Baruuh hargwaabu. Batuuh hargwaatu. Hinin hargwaaba. Hinin hargwata. Bataakna hargwataana. Baraah hargwaba. Bataah hargwata. <191> I (M) am hungry. I (F) am hungry. You (M) are hungry. You (F) are hungry. He is hungry. She is hungry. We (M) are hungry. We (F) are hungry. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Baraakna hargwabaana. You (PL M) are hungry. You (PL F) are hungry. They (M) are hungry. They (F) are hungry.

Participles of intransitive verbs, however (see below), take the last root consonant aaC / -aaCt 'the one who (is / was)... -ed (M) / (F)' as in fayaaku / fayaaktu 'the one who (is / was) loaded (M) / (F)'.

Participles of intransitive verbs, ending in C 1

Ani fayaaku. Ani fayaaktu. Baruuk fayaakwa. Batuuk fayaaktuwi. Baruuh fayaaku. Batuuh fayaaktu. Hinin fayaka. Hinin fayakta. I (M) am loaded, responsible. I (F) am loaded, responsible. You (M) are loaded, responsible. You (F) are loaded, responsible. He is loaded, responsible. She is loaded, responsible. We (M) are loaded, responsible. We (F) are loaded, responsible. . . . . . . . .

Baraakna fayakaana. Baraah fayaka. Bataah fayakta.

You (PL M) are loaded, responsible.

. . . .

Bataakna fayaktaana. You (PL F) are loaded, responsible. They (M) are loaded, responsible. They (F) are loaded, responsible.

Participles of intransitive verbs, ending in C 2

Ani hasaaru. Ani hasaartu. Baruuk hasaarwa. Batuuk hasaartuwi. Baruuh hasaaru. Batuuh hasaartu. Hinin hasara. Hinin hasarta. Baraakna hasaraana. Baraah hasara. Bataah hasarta. I (M) am sorry, sad. I (F) am sorry, sad. You (M) are sorry, sad. You (F) are sorry, sad. He is sorry, sad. She is sorry, sad. We (M) are sorry, sad. We (F) are sorry, sad. You (PL M) are sorry, sad. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Bataakna hasartaana. You (PL F) are sorry, sad. They (M) are sorry, sad. They (F) are sorry, sad.

Adjectives: More Examples Adjectives in Questions and Answers 1

Baruuk gabaawa? Ani gabaabu. Batuuk gabaatuwi? Ani gabaatu. Baruuh gabaabu? Baruuh gabaabu. Batuuh gabaatu? Batuuh gabaatu. Baraakna gabaabaana? Hinin gabaaba. Baraah gabaaba? Baraah gabaaba. Bataah gabaata? Bataah gabaata. Are you (M) satisfied, full? I am satisfied, full. Are you (F) satisfied, full? I am satisfied, full. Is he satisfied, full? He is satisfied, full. Is she satisfied, full? She is satisfied, full. Are you (Pl) satisfied, full? We are satisfied, full. Are they (M) satisfied, full? They (M) are satisfied, full. Are they (F) satisfied, full? They are satisfied, full. ? . ? . ? . ? . ? . . ? . ?

Adjectives in Questions and Answers 2

Baruuk yiweewa? Ani yiweebu. Batuuk yiweetuwi? Ani yiweetu. Are you (M) thirsty? I am thirsty. Are you (F) thirsty? I am thirsty. . ? ? .

Baruuh yiweebu? Baruuh yiweebu. Batuuh yiweetu? Batuuh yiweetu. Baraakna yiweebaana? Hinin yiweeba. Baraah yiweeba? Baraah yiweeba. Bataah yiweeta? Bataah yiweeta.

Is he thirsty? He is thirsty. Is she thirsty? She is thirsty. Are you (PL M) thirsty? We are thirsty. Are they (M) thirsty? They (M) are thirsty. Are they (F) thirsty? They (F) are thirsty.

. ? . ? ? . . ? . ?

Color Adjectives (SG) / (PL)

SG: Uun'uush'a hamishu. Uun'uumeek hamishu. Aan'aamak hadalaaba. Aan'aash'a hamishaaba. PL: Aan'aamak eeraawwa hamshaawwaaya. Aan'aamak hamishaawwa eeraawwaaya. Aan'aash'a eeraawwa hamishaawwaaya. Aan'aash'a hamishaawwa eeraawwaaya. These donkeys (M) are white and brown. These donkeys (M) are brown and white. These oxen (M) are white and brown. These oxen (M) are brown and white. . . . . This ox (M) is brown. This donkey (M) is brown. These donkeys (M) are black. These oxen (M) are brown. . . . .

Color Adjectives (SG / PL)


Adjectives take the same articles as nouns, and in this regard may be treated as nouns, like in 'red / the red one' etc. Note that the short vowels in brackets can be left out. This is always the case where i or u are followed by h or hamza, but it will not be indicated in all paradigms.
w(u)hadal / y(i)hadala. t(u)hadal / t(i)hadala. w(u)'eera / y(i)'eera. t(u)'eera / t(i)'eera. t(u)'adaru / t(i)'adarooya. black (DEF) (M) / (PL M) . / black (DEF) (F) / (PL F) white (DEF) (M) / (PL M) white (DEF) (F) / (PL F) . / . / . / . / . /

w(u)'adaru / y(i)'adarooya. red (DEF) (M) / (SG F) red (DEF) (F) / (PL F)

Adjectives: Opposites and Negation


Many adjectives and participles have obvious opposites as far as the meaning is concerned.

Opposites: Human Qualities

Eegriimu / adhamiibu. He is old / young. Akraabu / nhawiibu. Daawriibu / nifriibu. Aafiimaabu / lhaabu. Winu / dibiloobu. Fagaru / afrayu. Saraaraabu / disu. He is strong / weak. He is beautiful / ugly. He is healthy / sick. He is big / small. He is good / bad. He is long / short. / . . / . / . / / . . / / .

Opposites and Negation: Human Qualities


For some adjectives, the negative word kiiki 'it is not' is used to express the opposite or negative meaning.
Ashshigaabu / ashshigaab kiiki. He is fast / not fast. Libaabiibu / libaabiib kiiki. <195> He is happy / not happy. / . / .

In the table below, the most frequent words for expressing negation have been marked A full presentation of negation will be given in the Section Verbs and Clauses. Note that the Bishaari dialect frequently uses final a instead of i, as in kaaka, kiika, kitta etc., as has been indicated in the phonological introduction.

Table 17 Adjectives and Negative Verbs

Ashshigaab kaaki. Ashshigaab kittaa. Ashshigaat kittaayi. Ashshigaab kiiki. Ashshigaat kitti. Ashshigaab kinki. Ashshigaab kiikeen. I am not in a hurry (frequent). You (M) are not in a hurry. You (F) are not in a hurry. He is not in a hurry / fast (frequent). She is not in a hurry / fast (frequent). We are not in a hurry. * . . . * . * . . .

Ashshigaab kitteena. You (PL) are not in a hurry.

* They are not in a hurry / fast (frequent). .

Opposites: Human Qualities

Baruuh deeyaraabu / ani deeyaraab kaaki. Baruuh nariitiibu / ani akraabu, nariitiib kaaki. Baruuh lhaabu / ani aafiimaabu, lhaab kaaki. Baruuh yiweebu / ani l'oobu. Baruuh hargwaabu / ani gabaabu. He is tired / I am not tired. He is tired / I am strong, not tired. He is sick / I am healthy, not sick. He is thirsty / I am not thirsty. He is hungry / I am not hungry (full). . / , / . , / . . / . /

Baruuh eegriimu / ani adhamiibu.

He is old / I am young.

/ .

Opposites: Other Qualities

Uunbaruuh aliyaabu / beenbaruuh rhasaabu. Uunbaruuh daayiibu / beenbaruuh amaagu. Uunbaruuh gaayiibu / beenbaruuh sh'iyaabu. Uunbaruuh nhasu / beenbaruuh yiwaashiibu. Uunbaruuh winu / beenbaruuh dibiloobu. This (M) is expensive / that (M) is cheap. This (M) is good / that (M) is bad. This (M) is new / that (M) is old. This (M) is clean / that (M) is dirty. This (M) is big / that (M) is small. / . / . / . / . / .

Opposites: Qualities of Things

Sh'iyaabu / gaayiibu. Sagiibu / dawilu. Aliyaabu / rhasaabu. Ataabu / faadiibu. Nafiru / hamiibu. Nhasu / yiwaashiibu. Naba'u, nab'ayu / l'aabu. Gwidaabu / shaliku. It (M) is old / new (speaking of things). It is far / close. . / . / . , / . / / . . / / . . , / . /

Daayiibu / afrayu, amaagu. It is good / bad. It is expensive / cheap. It is full / empty. It is sweet / bitter. It is clean / dirty. It is hot / cool. It is much / little.

Special Plural Adjectives: Reduplication


A few adjectives are reduplicated to express plural. The first syllable is repeated according to the pattern CVC > CaCVC, in win- > wawin- 'big / big (PL)', and likewise in dis- > dadis- 'small / small (PL)'.

Reduplicated Adjectives: 'big'

SG: Ani winu. Ani wintu. Baruuk winwa. Batuuk wintuwi. Baruuh winu. Batuuh wintu. PL: Hinin wawina. We (M) are tall, big. . I (M) am tall, big. I (F) am tall, big. You (M) are tall, big. You (F) are tall, big. He is tall, big. She is tall, big. . . . . . .

Hinin wawinta. Baraakna wawinaana. Baraah wawina. Bataah wawinta.

We (F) are tall, big. You (PL M) are tall, big.

. . . . .

Bataakna wawintaana. You (PL F) are tall, big. They (M) are tall, big. They (F) are tall, big.

Reduplicated Adjectives: 'small'

SG: Ani disu. Ani distu. Baruuk diswa. Batuuk distuwi. Baruuh disu. Batuuh distu. PL: Hinin dadisa. Hinin dadista. Baraakna dadisaana. Baraah dadisa. Bataah dadista. We (M) are small. We (F) are small. You (PL M) are small. . . . . . . I (M) am small. I (F) am small. You (M) are small. You (F) are small. He is small. She is small. . . . . . .

Bataakna dadistaana. You (PL F) are small. They (M) are small. They (F) are small.

NPs with Adjectives as Attributes


Adjectives not only function as predicates, as in 'the goat is black' - adjectives may also function as attributes, as in 'the black goat...'

Attributes in Indefinite NPs as Subject


If the noun is indefinite, the adjective precedes the noun, such as 'a brown ox, a small man' etc. Here follow various examples of indefinite NPs with attributes: masculine / feminine, subject / object, singular / plural. (The verbs 'to come', 'to see' are used, but the structure of these verbs may be ignored at this point.)

Attributes in Indefinite NPs (M)

Hamish sh'a eeya. Dibilu tak eeya. Hamish sh'a rhan. A brown ox came. A small man came. I saw a brown ox. . . .

) Dibilu (dis) tak rhan. I saw a small / short / little man. . (

Attributes in Indefinite NPs (F)

Hadalt n'aay eeta. Hamisht sh'a eeta. Hadalt n'aay rhan. A black goat (F) came. A brown cow (F) came. I saw a black goat (F). . . . .

Hamisht sh'a rhan. I saw a brown cow.

Attributes in Indefinite NPs

Eera tak eeya. Eera tak rhan. Eeraat takat eeta. A white man came. I saw a white man. A white woman came. . . . .

Eeraat takat rhan. I saw a white woman.

Attributes in Definite NPs


If the noun is definite, the adjective follows the noun, and both take the definite article, which may be glossed as 'The goat the black (one)'.

Indefinite noun phrases (above) are not as common as definite noun phrases (below).

Since this section of the Beja grammar is considered more complicated than other sections, a large number of examples have been provided here in order to cover all possible combinations of gender, number, case, and initial consonant. The different forms of the article should be noticed.

NPs as Subject and Object (M / F)

Uutak w'eera eeya. Ootak w'eera rhan. Tutakat tu'eera eeta. The white man came. I saw the white man. The white woman came. . . . .

Tutakat tu'eera rhan. I saw the white woman.

NPs as Subject and Object (SG F)

Tuun'aay tuhadal eeta. Tuush'a tuhamish eeta. Tubissa tu'eera eeta. Toon'aay tuhadal rhan. Tubissa tu'eera rhan. The black goat (F) came. The brown cow came. The white cat (F) came. I saw the black goat (F). . . . . . .

Toosh'a tuhamish rhan. I saw the brown cow. I saw the white cat (F).

NPs as Subject and Object (PL F)

Taan'ay tihadala eeyaan. Taakam ti'eera gw'iyaan. The black goats (F) came. The white camels (F) drank. . .

Taakam tihadala kwidhiyaan. The small camels (F) got lost. . Taakam ti'eera eeyaan. Teen'ay tihadala rhan. Teesh'a tihamisha rhan. Tibissa ti'eera rhan. The white camels (F) came. I saw the black goats (F). I saw the brown cows. I saw the white cats (F). . . . .

NPs as Subject and Object (SG M)

Uush'a whamish eeya. Uutak udibilu eeya. Ubissa w'eera eefi. Oosh'a whamish rhan. Ookaam w'eera anaw. Ootak udibilu rhan. The brown ox came. . . . . . . . Uukaam w'eera kwidhiya. The white camel (M) got lost. The small man came. The white cat (M) is there. I saw the brown ox. I missed the white camel (M). I saw the small man.

NPs as Subject and Object (PL M)

Aash'a yhamisha, yhamsha eeyaan. Ibissa y'eera eefeen. Aakam yhadala eeyaan. Aakam idibiloowa (yhiiwa) gw'iyaan. Aanda idibiloowa eeyaan. Eesh'a yhamisha rhan. Eekam y'eera gw'asan. Eenda idibiloowa rhan. Ibissa y'eera rhan. The brown oxen came. The white cats (M) are there. The black camels (M) came. The small camels (M) (the foals) drank. The small men came. I saw the brown oxen. I gave the white camels (M) to drink. I saw the small men. I saw the white cats (M). . , . . ) ( . . . . . .

NPs as Subject (SG and PL)

Uutak w'eera eeya. Aanda y'eera eeyaan. Tutakat tu'eera eeta. Taam'a ti'eera eeyaan. Uutak w'adaru eeya. Aanda y'adaroowa, y'adarooya, y'adaru eeyaan. Tutakat tu'adaru eeta. Taam'a ti'adaroowa, ti'adarooya eeyaan. The white man came. The white men came. The white woman came. The white women came. The red man came. The red men came. The red woman came. The red women came. . . . . . , , . . . ,

NPs as Object (SG and PL)

Ootak udibilu rhan. Eenda idibiloowa, idibilooya rhan. Tutakat tudibilu rhan. Ootak w'eera rhan. Tutakat tu'eera rhan. Eenda y'eera rhan. Teem'a ti'eera rhan. I saw the small man. I saw the small men. I saw the small woman. . , . . . . . .

, Teem'a tidibiloowa, tidibilooya rhan. I saw the small women. . I saw the white man. I saw the white woman. I saw the white men. I saw the white women.

NPs with Genitives as Attributes


Another way of expanding a noun phrase is to add a genitive attribute which typically indicates the possessor, as in 'Ali's son'. This phrase has two parts: 1. The first part is the owner or possessor such as 'Ali's'. This always has a genitive case suffix which consists of the vowels -ii for Genitive (SG) and -ee for Genitive (PL), but in word final position, both of them become -i, so that the distinction between SG and PL is lost. The second part is the item owned or possessum, such as 'son'. This is the main part of the phrase, and it takes the case which is required by the total clause.



For (F) possessors, a -t is suffixed which indicates the gender of the possessor. It really is part of the noun which expresses the possessor, and so it will precede the genitive suffix.

For (F) items possessum, a -t is suffixed which indicates the gender of the possessum. It is attached after the genitive which precedes the possessum. This -t can be viewed as the definite article of the possessum.

Table 18: Genitive Suffixes

The Possessor is (M): Word Medial: -ii... -ee... -iit... -eet... -i -i -iit -eet The possessum is (M). The possessum is (PL M). The possessum is (F). The possessum is (PL F).

Word Final: The possessum is (M). The possessum is (PL M). The possessum is (F). The possessum is (SG F).

The Possessor is (F): Word Medial: -tii... -tee... -tiit... The possessum is (M). The possessum is (PL M). The possessum is (F).

-teet... The possessum is (PL F). Word Final: -ti -ti -tiit -teet The possessum is (M). The possessum is (PL M). The possessum is (F). The possessum is (SG F).

Genitive Attributes: Interrogative Pronouns


The question word which asks for the possessor is the interrogative pronoun 'Whose (is it)?'. Beja uses four different forms of 'Whose', depending on gender and number of the item possessed.

Table 19: 'Whose' Interrogative Pronouns

Aayi? Aayu? (<Aayii-yu) Aaya? (<Aayii-ya) Aayta? (<Aayii-ta) Whose? ? ( - ? )> ( - ? )> ( - ? )> ( - ? )>

Whose (SG M) is he?

Aaytu? (<Aayii-tu) Whose (SG F) is she? Whose (PL M) are they? Whose (PL F) are they?

Genitive Attributes in Indefinite NPs


It is unusual for an indefinite noun such "a horse" to be connected with a possessor such as "boy's". Therefore the following examples are somewhat strange - even though they are perfectly grammatical.
Aayi hataay eeya? SG -i / (PL) -i Oori hataay eeya. M'ati hatay eeyaan. Aliiyi hataay rhan. Whose horse came? Genitive (SG) / (PL): A boy's horse came. Women's horses came. . . . . ?

Daayi hatay eeyaan. People's horses came. I saw a horse of Ali's.

Genitive Attributes in Definite NPs


Definite noun phrases with genitives are the norm, and they are very frequent. There are many different combinations of case, number, and gender. They will be found in the examples below, in the following order: (1) Masculine possessor, masculine possessum, (2) Masculine possessor, feminine possessum, (3) Feminine possessor, masculine possessum, (4) Feminine possessor, feminine possessum.

NPs with Genitives as Subject (M) possessor / (M) possessum

-i Utaki hataay eeya. Utaki yaas eeya. w'oori hataay eeya. w'oori yaas eeya. -i Indaayi hatay eeyaan. Indaayi yas eeyaan. Y'ari hatay eeyaan. Genitive (SG): The man's horse (M) came. The man's dog (M) came. The boy's horse (M) came. The boy's dog (M) came. Genitive (PL): The men's horses (PL M) came. The men's dogs (PL M) came. The boys' horses (PL M) came. . . . . . . .

Y'ari kitab kwidhiyaan. The boys' books (PL M) got lost. .

(M) possessor / (F) possessum

-iit / -eet Utakiit yaas eeta. Utakiit hataay eeta. W'ooriit hataay eeta. W'ooriit yaas tiyiya. Indaayeet hatay eeyaan. Indaayeet yas eeyaan. Y'areet hatay eeyaan. Genitive (SG) / (PL): The man's dog (F) came. The man's horse (F) came. The boy's horse (F) came. The boy's dog (F) died. The men's horses (F) came. The men's dogs (F) came. The boys' horses (F) came. . . . . . . . .

Y'areet tarabeeza, tarabeeda10 kat'amiyaan. The boys' tables (F) broke.

(F) possessor / (M) possessum

-ti / -ti Tutakatti yaas eeya. Tutakatti hataay eeya. Tu'ooti hataay eeya. Tu'ooti yaas iyiya. Tim'ati hatay eeyaan. Genitive (SG) / (PL): The woman's dog (M) came. The woman's horse (M) came. The girl's horse (M) came. The girl's dog (M) died. The women's horses (M) came. . . . . .

Tim'ati yas eeyaan. Ti'arti hatay eeyaan.

The women's dogs (M) came. The girls' horses (M) came.

. . .

Ti'arti kitab kwidhiyaan. The girls' books (M)got lost.

(F) possessor / (F) possessum

-tiit / -teet Tutakattiit yaas eeta. Tutakattiit hataay eeta. Tu'ootiit hataay eeta. Tu'ootiit yaas tiyiya. Tim'ateet hatay eeyaan. Tim'ateet yas eeyaan. Ti'arteet hatay eeyaan. Genitive (SG ) / (PL ): The woman's dog (F) came. The woman's horse (F) came. The girl's horse (F) came. The girl's dog (F) died. The women's horses (F) came. The women's dogs (F) came. The girls' horses (F) came. . . . . . . . .

Ti'arteet tarabeeza kat'amiyaan. The girls' tables (F) broke.

More NPs with Genitives in the Subject

Aayi hataay eeya? -i / -i W'oori hataay eeya. Tim'ati hatay eeyaan. Whose horse (M) came? Genitive (SG) / (PL): The boy's horse (M) came. The women's horses (M) came. . . . ?

Indaayi hatay eeyaan. The people's horses (M) came.

NPs with Genitives as Object (M) possessor / (F) possessum

-i / -i Utaki hataay amiru. Ugawi baab kat'an. Igawaayi bab kat'an. Tu'ooti yaas amiru. Tu'ootiit hataay amiru. Genitive (SG) / (PL): I found the man's horse (M). I broke the door (M) of the houses. I broke the doors (M) of the houses. I found the girl's dog (M). . . . . . .

Tutakatiit hataay amiru. I found the woman's horse (F). I found the girl's horse (F).

Genitives in Kinship Terms (SG) / (PL)


More examples of genitives in Kinship terms are given below. The verb structure may be ignored for the time being.
Duuri oor / duuri ar abari. Diraati oor / diraati ar abari. I have an uncle's son / sons. I have an aunt's son / sons. . / / .

Oori oor / ari ar abari. Ootti oor / arti ar abari. Duuriit oor / duureet arit abari. Diraatiit oor / diraateet ar abari. Ooriit oor / areet ar abari. Ootiit oor / arteet ar abari.

I have a son's son / sons. I have a daughter's son / sons.

. / . / / . / . . / . /

I have an uncle's daughter / daughters. I have an aunt's daughter / daughters. I have a son's daughter / daughters. I have a daughter's daughter / daughters.

Win dhiwa abari.

I have a large family.

Modified Genitive Attributes


Usually the genitive or possessor is a simple name or noun, as in 'Ali's brother', or 'boy's brother' (see the examples here below).

But it does happen that the possessor itself is modified by an adjective, e.g. 'big boy's brother'. If this is the case, the possessor must be followed by a form of the word naayi 'thing-of'.

Table 20: Modified Genitive Suffixes

naayi naati naatiit, naateet (M) Possessor, (SG M) or (PL M) item (F) Possessor, (SG M) or (PL M) item , ,

naayiit, naayeet (M) Possessor, (SG F) or (PL F) item (F) Possessor, (SG F) or (PL F) item

Modified Genitives (rare)

W'oor-i san disu. W'oor oowin naayi san disu. Tu'oot-i san disu. Tu'oor tuwinti naati san disu. W'oor oodis naayiit kwa wintu. Tu'oor toodis naaytiit kwa wintu. W'oor oowin naayi sana dadisa. Tu'oor toowin naati sana dadisa. The boy's brother is small. The tall boy's brother is small. The girl's brother is small. The tall girl's brother is small. . - . . - . . . . .

The small boy's sister is tall. The small girl's sister is tall.

The tall boy's brothers are small. The tall girl's brothers are small.

W'oor oodis naayiit kwa wawinta.

The small boy's sisters are tall.

. .

Tu'oor toodis naaytiit kwa wawinta. The small girl's sisters are tall.

More Examples of Modified Genitives (rare)

Aliiyi dhiwa Aliib eeyadni naayi dhiwa... baladi saalhi tak balad gaal naayi saalhi tak udari sikwkwart oodar oongaal naayi sikwkwart ooriit gabiila Ali's relative the relative of someone called Ali...

a devout man of a country a devout man of one country

sugar from the side sugar from the one side

a son's tribe

Hummadiin Iisa Oori naayiit gabiila Hummadiin Isa son's tribe

Conversation 2: 'In a Restaurant' (Examples of Genitives)


A: the host, B: the guest, C: the waiter, D: the restaurant owner

#1 A: Yhaa! Amsi gwadu mhasaa! A: Hey you (M), today have lunch together with me! #2 B: Yaa salaam, winneet daayiitu! B: Oh dear, it is really good! #3 Ugawiiyook? In your (M) house? #4 A: Laa laa laa, A: No no no, #5 Amsi tutakattu kitihayi. Today my wife is not there. #6 Dibiloot halaagaaytiib indhiwaayeeh dibiloot halaagaayt-iib indhiwaa-yeeh ab-aayt-u amsi tu-takatt-u kiti-hay-i today ARTSGF-woman-POSSSG1 NEGIMPFSG3FPF-be-NEGIMPFSG3F laa laa laa no no no u-gaw-ii-yook ARTSGM-house-CASGEN-POSSSG2 yaa salaam winneet daayiit-u hello greet-PTCPPAST very good-IDSG13F yiha-a amsi gwad-u mhas-aa take-IMPVM today with-POSSSG1 have.lunchIMPVM

abaaytu. To take care of some business she has gone to her family. #7 B: Aflaa, naamhiinaan mhasnay? B: Then, which place do we eat lunch? #8 A: Usuugiib! A: In the market! #9 B: Naamhiinaan nimmarari? B: Where shall we meet? #10 A: Ujaam'iib nimmarari! A: Let us meet at the mosque. #11 B: Daayiitu. Naadoor? B: Good. When? #12 A: Toos'a gaat, baabaadhiina! A: At one o'clock. Don't forget! #13 B: Kak eebdhiin! B: How can I forget! #14 Bariiyook gwad tumhasay To eat together with you (M) #15 nafirka na teefi? is there anything nicer than that? #16 A: Baruuk tihiyisa! A: You (M) are better! (Idiom signifying praise or compliment) #17 Yakaa! Daayiit matbakh tikteena? yak-aa daayiit matbakh ti-kteen-a baruuk t-ihiyis-a SG2M PASTSG2MPF-be.better-PASTSG2M nafir-ka na t-eefi sweet-than thing IMPFSG3FPF-be bariiyook gwad tu-mhasay POSSSG2M with ARTSGF-lunch kak ZERO-eebdhiin how IMPFSG1PF-forget too-s'a gaat baa-baadhiin-a ARTSGFOBJ-hour one NEGIMPVMPF-forgetNEGIMPVM daayiit-u naadoor good-IDSG13F what.time u-jaam'-iib ni-mmarari ARTSGM-mosque-ADV+at IMPFPL1PF-gather naamhiinaan ni-mmarari IMPFPL1PF-gather u-suug-iib ARTSGM-market-ADV+at aflaa naamhiinaan mhas-nay so.then have.lunch-IMPFPL1 small business-ADV+at family-POSSSG3 goPTCPPAST-IDSG3

A: Let us go (LIT arise)! Do you know a good restaurant? #18 B: Yaa takay, ani amnaabu. B: Oh man, I am a guest. #19 Oon'ubaldiib, In this place, #20 usuugooh daayiib kaakan. I don't know the market well. #21 A: Aflaa, bak ikatiyeek, yakaa! A: So then, if you don't know, come (get up)! #22 Daayi matbakh akteen. I know a good restaurant. #23 B: Sagiibu? B: Is it far? #24 A: Winneet sagiib kiiki. A: It is not very far. #25 A: Shuumaa! A: Go (M) in! #26 B: Daayiitu. B: Good. #27 A: S'a! Naan tami tindiya? A: Sit (M) down! What will you (M) eat? #28 B: Baraah naan ibariin?

arise-IMPVM good kitchen IMPFSG2MPF-knowIMPFSG2M yaa tak-ay ani amnaab-u hello man-VOCAT SG1 guest-IDSG13M oon-'u-bald-iib NEARSGMOBJPF-ARTSGM-land-ADV+at u-suug-ooh daayiib kaa-kan ARTSGM-market-POSSSG3 good NEGIMPFSG1PF-know aflaa bak i-kati-yeek yak-aa so.then so IMPFSG3MPF-be-ADV+if arise-IMPVM

daayi matbakh a-kteen good kitchen IMPFSG1PF-know

sagiib-u far-IDSG13M winneet sagiib ki-aki very far NEGIMPFSG3MPF-be shuum-aa enter-IMPVM daayiit-u good-IDSG13F

s'-a naan tam-i ti-ndi-ya sit-IMPVM what eat-FUTSG IMPFSG2MPF-sayIMPFSG2M baraah naan i-bari-in

B: What do they (M) have? #29 A: Hindeeh, hagita, raatni! A: Please, wait (M), let us ask. #30 Ooray yhaa! Naan tibariina? Hello waiter (M)! What do you (PL) have? #31 C: Shaatwa, bataatiswa, C: We have meat, potatoes, #32 waykaatwa, faasuliyaawwa nibari. occra and white beans. #33 A: Naan tami tindiya? A: What will you (M) eat? #34 B: Shaat. B: Meat. #35 A: Maloot sha hiyahoon! A: Give us two (portions of) meat. #36 C: Winneet daayiitu! C: Very good! #37 Weena tihariwna? Do you (M) want anything else? #38 A: Awwal toosha haam'aa! A: First bring the meat! #39 Malyaab niishbibay. Then let us see. #40

PL3M what PERFPL3PF-have-PERFPL3 hindeeh hagit-a raat-ni please wait-IMPVM ask-FUTPL

oor-ay yha-a naan ti-bari-ina boy-hey take-IMPVM what PERFPL2PF-havePERFPL2 shaat-wa bataatis-wa meat-and potato-and waykaat-wa faasuli-yaa-wwa ni-bari occra-and white.beans-PL-and PERFPL1PF-have naan tam-i ti-ndi-ya what eat-FUTSG IMPFSG2MPF-say-IMPFSG2M shaat meat maloot sha hi-ya-hoon two meat give-IMPVM-OBJPL1 winneet daayiit-u very good-IDSG13F weena ti-hariw-na other.thing IMPFPL2PF-want-IMPFPL2 awwal too-sha haam'-aa first ARTSGFOBJ-meat bring-IMPVM malyaab n-iishbib secondly look-FUTPL

B: Tushaatuukna na shaatu? B: What kind of meat is your meat? #41 C: Tushaatoon, arginaayeet shaatu, C: Our meat is mutton meat, #42 sh'ayeet shaatu, n'ayteet shaatu. beef meat, goat meat. #43 B: Arginaayeet sha tikatiyeek, B: If there is mutton meat, #44 hiyahoon. Give us [that]. #45 A: Naanhooy shaliktu? A: Why is it so little? #46 C: Y'argina winneet aliyaaba. C: The sheep are very expensive. #47 B: Hooy baashinhaya! B: Don't (M) worry! #48 Kassuuh gaalu. It's all the same. #49 A: Tushaatuukna winneet daayiitu. A: Your (PL) meat really is good. #50 Hummaday! Neeshwi? Hummad, hey, shall we order anything in addition (LIT do we add)? #51 B: Ani winneet gaban.

tu-shaat-uukna na shaat-u ARTSGF-meat-POSSPL2 thing meat-IDSG13F tu-shaat-uun argin-aa-yeet shaat-u ARTSGF-meat-POSSPL1 sheep-PL-CASGEN sh'a-yeet shaat-u n'ayt-eet shaat-u cow-CASGEN meat-IDSG13F goat-CASGEN meat-IDSG13F argin-aa-yeet sha ti-kati-yeek sheep-PL-CASGEN meat IMPFSG3FPF-be-ADV+if hi-ya-hoon give-IMPVM-OBJPL1 naanhooy shalikt-u why little-IDSG13F

y-'argin-a winneet ali-yaab-a ARTPLM-sheep-PL very be.dear-PTCPPASTIDPL13M

hooy baa-shinha-ya at NEGIMPVMPF-worry-NEGIMPVM kass-uuh gaal-u all-POSSSG3 one-IDSG13M tu-shaat-uukna winneet daayiit-u ARTSGF-meat-POSSPL2 very good-IDSG13F hummad-ay n-eeshwi Hummad-VOCAT IMPFPL1PF-add

ani winneet gab-an

B: I was (became) really full (had enough). #52 Baruuk iishwa tindiyeek, shaawa! If you (M) will have more (LIT add), then have more (LIT add)! #53 A: Naan eeshwi? A: What do I order in addition (LIT add)? #54 Ani winneet ataabu. I am really satisfied. #55 Naan gw'ata? What did (do) you (M) drink? #56 B: Naan ibariin? B: What do they have? #57 A: Naan tibariina? A: What do you (PL) have? #58 C: Shaahiib nibari, buun nibari. C: We have tea, we have coffee. #59 B: Buun tibariina? B: You (Pl) have coffee? #60 C: Awooh, nibari. C: Yes, we have. #61 B: Aflaa, wint jabana mheeliit haam'aahoon! B: Then, bring us a big pot of coffee with ginger! #62 C: Daayiitu!

SG1 very be.full-PERFSG1

baruuk iishwa-ZERO ti-ndi-yeek shaaw-a SG2M add-FUTSG IMPFSG3FPF-say-ADV+if addIMPVM naan ZERO-eeshwi what IMPFSG1PF-add ani winneet ataab-u SG1 very filled-IDSG13M naan gw'-ata what drink-SUBM

naan i-bari-in what PERFPL3PF-have-PERFPL3 naan ti-bari-ina what PERFPL2PF-have-PERFPL2 shaahiib ni-bari buun ni-bari tea PERFPL1PF-have coffee PERFPL1PF-have buun ti-bari-ina coffee PERFPL2PF-have-PERFPL2

awooh ni-bari yes PERFPL1PF-have aflaa wint jabana mheel-iit haam'-aa-hoon so.then big coffee.pot ginger-CASGEN bringIMPVM-OBJPL1 daayiit-u

C: Good! #63 B: Tujabanaatuukna winneet daayiitu. B: Your (PL) coffee is very good. #64 A: (Matbakhi ankwana gwad:) A: (To the restaurant owner:) #65 Whissaab naakaaba? How much is the bill? #66 D: Naan tibariina? D: What did you (PL) have? #67 A: Maloot shaawwa, A: We had two [portions of] meat, #68 Wint jabanaawwa nibari. and one big coffee. #69 D: Kassu whissaab D: All the bill #70 mhaytamuntwa aytwa Nakfaata / Gineehiwaata. is thirty-five Nakfa / Guinees11. #71 A: Abika! A: Take! #72 Uunbatuuh aytamunt waragaatu. This is fifty notes. #73 D: Aanbataah tamna ayta. D: These (items) are fifteen (Nakfas,

good-IDSG13F tu-jabanaat-uukna winneet daayiit-u ARTSGF-coffee.pot-POSSPL2 very goodIDSG13F matbakh-i ankwana gwad kitchen-CASGEN owner with w-hissaab naakaab-a ARTSGM-calculation how.many-IDPL13M naan ti-bari-ina what PERFPL2PF-have-PERFPL2 maloot shaa-wwa two meat-and wint jabanaa-wwa ni-bari big coffee.pot-and PERFPL1PF-have kass-u w-hissaab all-POSSSG1 ARTSGM-calculation mhaytamunt-wa ayt-wa nakfaat-a gineehi-waata thirty-and five-and nakfa-IDPL13F guinee-andIDPL13F abik-a take-IMPVM

uun-batuuh aytamunt waragaat-u NEARSGFSUBJPF-SG3F fifty paper-IDSG13M aan-bataah tamna ayt-a NEARPLFSUBJPF-PL2F ten five-IDPL13F

Guinees). #74 Ahammiidehookna! I thank you (PL)! #75 Hamuud baanaawa! Uumhiin mhiinooknaayu. May you not lack thanks (LIT praise)! The place is yours (PL). #76 A: Winneet nikteen. A: We know (it) much (well). #77 Baruukehan fagar takwa! And you (M) are a nice man. #78 B: Tumhasay winneet daayiitu. B: The lunch is very good. tu-mhasay winneet daayiit-u ARTSGF-lunch very good-IDSG13F baruuk-ehan fagar tak-wa SG2M-also brave man-IDSG2M winneet ni-kteen very IMPFPL1PF-know hamuud baa-naaw-a uu-mhiin mhiin-ooknaa-yu praise NEGIMPVMPF-lack-NEGIMPVM ARTSGMSUBJ-place place-POSSPL2-IDSG13M a-hammiid-ehookna IMPFSG1PF-praise-OBJPL2

<212> . , ? ! , . ? , ! ! ? ! ! , ? . ! ? ! . ! , , . , . , ? ! ! , ? ! ? , ? ? ! . ! . ! , . , , ! ! ? ! . ? ? . ? , , , . . . ! , ?! . ! . . ? ? ? . ? , . , ? . , ( : . ! , ! ? ? ) . ! . ! . . ! . . ! .

Genitive: Possessive Pronominal Suffixes


In the following sections, possessive suffixes will be introduced, starting with the most frequent one: 'my', like 'My father (LIT father-my)'.

The suffix 'my' has different forms, depending on three items: (1) number of possessums, (2) case, and (3) position of the suffix - which can be word final or nonfinal. But the gender of the possessor does not matter.

To illustrate the possessive pronouns, some vocatives will be given with their possessive suffixes, such as Usanuuyi! 'Oh my brother!'. It has already been noted that all vocatives require a noun in the subject case. So the examples are in the

subject case of the possessive suffix, which is -uu 'my' followed by the vocative suffix -yi.

Vocatives with Possessive Suffix 'my'

Baabuuyi! Usanuuyi! Tutakatuuyi! Oh my father! Oh my brother! ! ! !

Tukwaatuuyi! Oh my dear sister! ! Oh my dear wife!

Kinship Terms with Possessive Suffix 'my'


Possessive affixes are especially important in Kinship terms: Since relatives always are related to someone else, these terms are used with the possessive suffix . In these constructions, the possessive suffix cannot be dropped. They are obligatory.. In addition, these terms are normally used with a definite article - with one exception: Kinship terms referring to generations older than the speaker, such as father, mother, uncle and aunt, can be used without the definite article. For the other relationship terms, such as brother, sister, son etc., the definite article has to be used.

A large number of illustrations - including kinship terms and a repetition of the demonstratives - are included here below.

Kinship Terms

Here is a system of Beja kinship terms, where different forms of the genitive suffix -ii 'of' are used, along with different forms of the possessive pronoun -u / -i 'my (SG) / my (PL)'.

Kinship Terms (M)

Baruuh naat ayaay hook ibari? What relation does he have to you? ? Answer: Baruuh ahoobiiyu hoobaayu. Baruuh ahoobooyu. Baruuh baabooyu. Baruuh duurooyu. Baruuh hamooyu. Baruuh m'aliiyooyu. Hinin tiitaaba. Baruuh sanooyu. Baruuh takooyu. Baruuh oorooyu. Baruuh duuriiyu ooru. Baruuh ooriiyu ooru. He is my grandfather's grandfather. He is my grandfather. He is my father. He is my father's brother. He is my father-in-law. He is my brother-in-law. We (M) are twins. He is my brother. He is my husband. He is my son. He is my father's brother's son. He is my son's son. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Baruuh ootiiyu ooru.

He is my daughter's son.

Kinship Terms (F)

Batuuh naat ayaay hook tibari? Answer: Batuuh ahootiitu hootu, ahootu. She is my grandmother's grandmother. Batuuh ahootootu. Batuuh deetootu. Batuuh diraatootu. Batuuh m'aliitootu. Hinin tiitaata. Batuuh kwaatootu. Batuuh takattootu. Batuuh ootootu. Batuuh diraatiitu ootu. Batuuh ooriitu ootu. Batuuh ootiitu ootu. She is my grandmother. She is my mother. She is my father's sister. She is my sister-in-law. We (F) are twins. She is my sister. She is my wife. She is my daughter. She is my mother's sister's daughter. She is my son's daughter. She is my daughter's daughter. . . . . . . . . . . . . What relation does she have to you? ?

Possessive Suffix 'my'

Uun'uutak aabu? Araawooyu. Uuttutakat aabtu? Araawtootu. Aan'aanda aaba? Araweeya. Taattaam'a aabta? Arawteeta. Indhiwaayaak aaba? Ootoowwa ooroowwaaya. Who is this man? He is my (M) friend. Who is this woman? She is my (F) friend. Who are these men? They are my (M) friends. Who are these women? They are my (F) friends. ? . ? . ? . ? . ? .

Who are your relatives? They are my daughter and my son.

Deetoowwa baaboowwaaya. They are my mother and my father. .

Possessive Suffix and Kinship terms

Uunbaruuh aabu? Uunbaruuh baabooyu. Uunbaruuh duurooyu. Uunbaruuh sanooyu. Who is this (M)? He is my father. He is my uncle. He is my brother. ? . . .

Uunbaruuh takooyu.

He is my husband.

. . , ? . . . . . ,

Uunbaruuh oorooyu, w'oorooyu. He is my son. Uunbatuuh aabtu? Uunbatuuh deetootu. Uunbatuuh diraatootu. Uunbatuuh kwaatootu. Uunbatuuh takatootu. Uunbatuuh ootootu, tu'ootootu.

Who is this (F)? She is my mother. She is my aunt. She is my sister. She is my wife. She is my daughter.

Kinship Terms referring to Generations older than the speaker: Without Article
Baabu keeya? / uun ikati. Baabi keeyaan? / aan ikatiin. Deetu keeta? / tuut tikati. Where is my father? / He is here. Where are my fathers, elders? / They are here. Where is my mother? / She is here. . / ? / ? . / ? . . / ? / ? . / ? . / ? .

Duuru keeya? / uun ikati. Duuri keeyaan? / aan ikatiin. Diraatu keeta? / tuut tikati. Diraati keeyaan? / taan ikatiin.

Where is my uncle? / He is here. Where are my uncles? / They are here. Where is my aunt? / She is here. Where are my aunts? / They are here.

Kinship terms referring to other generations: With Article

Tutakattu keeta? / tuut tikati. Utaku keeya? / uun ikati. Tu'ootu keeta? / tuut tikati. Ti'arti keeyaan? / taan ikatiin. W'ooru keeya? / uun ikati. Y'ari keeyaan? / aan ikatiin. Where is my wife? / She is here. / ? . / ? . . / ? / ? . / ? . . / ? / ? . Tim'ati keeyaan? / taan ikatiin. Where are my wives? / They are here. Where is my husband? / He is here.

Where is my daughter? / They are here. Where are my daughters / They are here. Where is my son? / He is here. Where are my sons? / They are here.

Possession of Goods : Items (M) With Article

Ukaamu keeya? / uun ikati. Ikami keeyaan? / aan ikatiin. Where is my camel? / It is here. Where are my camels? / They are here. . / ? / ? .

Umeeku keeya? / uun ikati. Imaki keeyaan? / aan ikatiin. Ugawu keeya? / uun ikati. Igawaayi keeyaan? / aan ikatiin. Ugalamu keeya? / uun ikati. Igalamaayi keeyaan? / aan ikatiin.

Where is my donkey? / It is here. Where are my donkeys? / They are here. Where is my house? / It is here. Where are my houses? / They are here. Where is my pencil? / It is here. Where are my pencils? / They are here.

. / ? / ? . . / ? / ? . . / ? / ? .

Possession of Goods: Items (F) With Article

Tun'aaytu keeta? / tuut tikati. Tin'ayti keeyaan? / taan ikatiin. Tumeektu keeta? / tuut tikati. Timakti keeyaan? / taan ikatiin. Tumastaraatu keeta? / tuut tikati. Timastaraati keeyaan? / taan ikatiin. Where is my goat? / It is here. Where are my goats? / They are here. Where is my donkey? / It is here. Where are my donkeys? / They are here. Where is my ruler? / It is here. Where are my rulers? / They are here. / ? . / ? . / ? . / ? . / ? . / ? .

Possessive Suffixes

The possessive suffixes for all persons are given in the table below. The four different vowels are those of the different cases and numbers (SUBJ / OBJ SG), (SUBJ / OBJ PL).

The suffixes are used with -y only when they follow a vowel. There is no -y when they follow a consonant.

The forms for the first person ('of me') have already been given above. If no suffix follows, only -(y)u / -(y)i can be used, rather than -(y)oo / -(y)ee.

The possessive suffixes for all third persons - i.e. 'of him / of her / of them' - are the same.

Table 21: Possessive Suffixes

Possessum is (SG): Kaamuuk eeya / kaamook rhan. -(y)uu / -(y)oo [-(y)u / -(y)u] Your camel (M) came. / I saw your camel (M). my (SUBJ / OBJ) [my (SUBJ / OBJ) (in word final position)] / .

-(y)uuk / -(y)ook -(y)uuh / -(y)ooh -(y)uun / -(y)oon -(y)uukna / -(y)ookna -(y)uuh / -(y)ooh Possessums are (PL): Kamaak eeyaan / kameek rhan. -(y)ii / -(y)ee [-(y)i / -(y)i] -(y)aak / -(y)eek -(y)aah / -(y)eeh -(y)aan / -(y)een -(y)aakna / -(y)eekna -(y)aah / -(y)eeh

your (SUBJ / OBJ) his or her (SUBJ / OBJ) our (SUBJ / OBJ) your (PL (SUBJ) / PL OBJ) their (SUBJ / OBJ)

Your camels (M) came / I saw your camels (M). my (SUBJ / OBJ) [my (SUBJ / OBJ) (in word final position)] your (SUBJ / OBJ) his or her (SUBJ / OBJ) our (SUBJ / OBJ) your (PL SUBJ / OBJ) their (SUBJ / OBJ)

/ .

Kinship Terms (SG) / (PL)

Diraatu rhita? / diraatook rhaab kaaki. Diraati rhita? / diraateek rhaab kaaki. Deetu rhita? / deetook rhaab kaaki. Deeti rhita? / deeteek rhaab kaaki. Tu'ootu rhita? / tu'ootook rhaab kaaki. Ti'arti rhita? / ti'arteek rhaab kaaki. Tutakattu rhita? / tutakattook rhaab kaaki. Tim'ati rhita? / tim'ateek rhaab kaaki. Did you see my aunt? I didn't see your aunt. Did you see my aunts? I didn't see your aunts. Did you see my mother? I didn't see your mother. Did you see my mothers? I didn't see your mothers. Did you see my daughter? I didn't see your daughters. Did you see my daughters? I didn't see your daughters. Did you see my wife? I didn't see your wife. Did you see my wives? I didn't see your wives. / ? . / ? . / ? . / ? . / ? . / ? . / ? . / ? .

Kinship Terms as Subject


In the next examples, the possessive suffix 'your (SG)' is first introduced with subject nouns such as baabuuk 'your father (SUBJ)' and then with object nouns such as baabook 'your father (OBJ)'. The case suffix vowels -uu / -oo are those typically used for the subject / object cases respectively. As has been said earlier, the definite articles are not used when referring to generations older than the speaker. The verb structure can be ignored for the time being.

Without Definite Article: Baabuuk naan tan'i? Deetuuk naan tan'i? With Definite Article: Usanuuk naan tan'i? W'ooruuk naan tan'i? Tu'ootuuk naan tan'i? Without Definite Article: Baabuuk aab tan'i? Deetuuk aab tan'i? With Definite Article: Usanuuk aab tan'i? Tukwaatuuk aab tan'i? W'ooruuk aab tan'i? Tu'ootuuk aab tan'i? Whom does your brother resemble? Whom does your sister resemble? Whom does your son resemble? Whom does your daughter resemble? ? ? ? ? Whom does your father resemble? Whom does your mother resemble? ? ? What is your brother like? ? ? ? ? What is your father like? What is your mother like? ? ?

Tukwaatuuk naan tan'i? What is your sister like? What is your son like? What is your daughter like?

Kinship Terms as Object

Without Definite Article: Ani baabook kaakan. Ani deetook kaakan. Ani duurook kaakan. Ani diraatook kaakan. Ani ahoobook kaakan. Ani ahootook kaakan. With Definite Article: Ani usanook kaakan. Ani utakook kaakan. Ani tutakattook kaakan. Ani w'oorook kaakan. Ani tu'ootook kaakan. I don't know your brother. . . . . . . Ani tukwaatook kaakan. I don't know your sister. I don't know your husband. I don't know your wife. I don't know your son. I don't know your daughter. I don't know your father. I don't know your mother. I don't know your uncle. I don't know your aunt. I don't know your grandfather. I don't know your grandmother. . . . . . .

Conversation 3: 'Visit of a Relative' (Examples of Kinship Terms)


D: the daughter, U: the uncle, M: the mother

#1 D: Aabwa, oobaab inth'i? D: Who are you (M), knocking at the door? #2 U: Ani Abrhiimu. U: I am Abraham. #3 D: Eetaaneena, eetaaneena! D: Welcome, Welcome! #4 Rhinaneetookna! Good to see you (PL)! #5 U: Tisniyeena! U: Hello (you at home)! #6 Rhanayt rhaat baanaawna! Don't fail to be seen! #7 Deetuuk teefee? Is your mother there? #8 D: Awooh, teefi. D: Yes, she is there. #9 Suur baya! Shuumaa! Go (M) ahead! Come in! #10 U: Baabuuk naat abaayu? U: Where has your father gone? #11 D: Baabu ushanhooh abaayu. D: My father has gone to his work. #12 baab-u u-shanh-ooh abaay-u father-POSSSG1 ARTSGM-work-POSSSG3 goPTCPPAST-IDSG13M baab-uuk naat abaay-u father-POSSSG2 thing go-PTCPPAST-IDSG13M suur bay-a shuum-aa before go-IMPVM enter-IMPVM awooh t-eefi yes IMPFSG3FPF-be deet-uuk t-eefee mother-POSSSG2 IMPFSG3FPF-be rhanayt baa-naaw-na seeing NEGIMPVPLPF-lack-NEGIMPVPL ti-sni-yee-na PERFSG2MPF-stay-PERFSG2M-WH-Thing rhi-na-neet-ookna see-PERFPL1-WH-POSSPL2 ee-taan-ee-na come-PERFPL2-WH-Thing ani abrhiim-u SG1 Abraham-IDSG13M aab-wa oob-aab i-nth'i whoOBJM-IDSG2M track-PTCPPAST IMPFSG3MPFknock

Deetuuyi, deetuuyi! Mother, mother! #13 Duuru Abrhiim eeya. My uncle Abraham has come. #14 M: Yaa eeyaaneena! Keeya, keeya? M: Oh, welcome! Where is he, where is he? #15 D: Ushafatiib eefi. D: He is in the men's house. #16 M: "Suur baya!" diyi! Uugaw gawuuhu. M: Tell him "Go ahead!"! The house is his house. #17 D: Duuruuyi! Deetu waliiktinihook. D: My uncle! My mother calls you. #18 U: Daayiitu. Y'i andi. U: OK. I will come. #19 M: Libaabiibaana? M: Are you (PL) happy? #20 U: Gwirhaab kinbaru. U: We don't have a problem. #21 Baraak kak tihayna, tiheena? How are you (PL)? #22 M: Hininhan gwirhaab kinbaru. M: We also don't have problems.

deet-uu-yi deet-uu-yi mother-POSSSG1-VOCAT mother-POSSSG1CASVOCAT duur-u abrhiim ee-ya uncle-POSSSG1 Abraham come-PERFSG3M

yaa ee-taan-ee-na keey-a kee-ya hello come-PERFSG3M-WH-Thing be.wherePERFSG3M be.where-PERFSG3M

u-shafat-iib ZERO-eefi ARTSGM-men' IMPFSG3MPF-be suur bay-a diy-i uu-gaw gaw-uuh-u before go-IMPVM say-IMPVF ARTSGMSUBJ-house house-POSSSG3-IDSG13M duur-uu-yi deet-u waliik-tini-hook uncle-POSSSG1-VOCAT mother-POSSSG1 callIMPFSG3F-OBJSG2 daayiit-u y'-i a-ndi good-IDSG13F come-FUTSG IMPFSG1PF-say

libaabiib-aana happy-IDPL2M gwirhaab kin-baru problem NEGIMPFPL1PF-have baraak kak ti-hay-na PL2M how PERFPL2PF-be-PERFPL2 hinin-han gwirhaab kin-baru PL1-also problem NEGIMPFPL1PF-have

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Possessive Suffixes (SG)

You / I: Oosmook aab eeyadna? Oosmu Oosheek eeyadna. Oosmook aab eeyadna? Oosmu Zaynab eeyadna. He / she: Oosmooh aab eeyadna? Oosmuuh Ali eeyadna. Oosmooh aab eeyadna? What is his name? His name is Ali. What is her name? ? . ? . What is your (M) name? My name is Oosheek. What is your (F) name? My name is Zaynab. ? . ? .

Oosmuuh Haliimaab eeyadna. Her name is Halima.

Possessive Suffixes (PL)

Ismaayeekna aab eeyadna? Ismaayeen Zaynabwa Aminaabwa, Aminaawwa eeyadna. Ismaahina aab eeyadna? Ismaahina Zaynabwa Aminaabwa eeyadna. How (LIT what names) do they call you (M)? Our names they call them Zaynab and Amina. How (LIT what names) do they call them? Their (F) names are Zaynab and Amina. ? / . ? .

Possessive Suffixes with 'Self'


To express 'self', as in 'myself, yourself' etc, possessive suffixes will be used.


The possessive suffixes can be attached to different word stems, all of which express 'self'. The stems are the following: kina 'owner', abi 'self', garu 'body', or nifis 'soul'. The most common of these is kina 'owner'.
ani ukinaayu I myself (SUBJ) ani abiiyu ugarooyu unifsu abiiyeeb I myself (SUBJ) myself (OBJ) myself (OBJ) myself (OBJ)


Pronouns like 'myself, yourself' etc. will be expressed with possessive suffixes, such as 'self-my, self-your' etc. The verb 'to see' will be used to illustrate this in the examples below (The verb 'to see' has already been introduced above).

In all phrases such as 'I myself' (LIT 'I self-my'), the noun kina 'owner' has the definite article. The reason is that words with possessive suffixes are considered definite and tend to have a definite article.

The sentences below require a subject in the subject case. First 'SG' will be exemplified, then 'PL'. So the item possessed (kina- 'owner') has as suffix the vowels -uu and -aa, which are typical for the subject case.

It should be no surprise that no possessive suffixes are attached to 'his', or 'her', or their'. It has already been noted that the third person suffixes usually are ZERO in many instances.

Paradigm kina- 'owner' (SUBJ)

Aaw rhiya? Answer (SG): Ani uknaayu rhan. Baruuk uknaayuuk rhitaa. Batuuk tuknaatuuk rhitaayi. Baruuh uukna rhiya. Batuuh tuukna rhita. Answer (PL): Hinin iknaayaan rhina. Baraakna iknaayaakna rhitaana. Baraah aakna rhiyaan. Bataah taakna rhiyaan. We ourselves saw (it). You (PL M) yourselves saw (it). . . . . . I myself saw (it). You (M) yourself saw (it). You (F) yourself saw (it). He himself saw (it). She herself saw (it). . . . . . Who saw (it)? ?

Bataakna tiknaataakna rhitaana. You (PL F) yourselves saw (it). They (M) themselves saw (it). They (F) themselves saw (it).

Paradigm abii- 'self (SUBJ)'


In the case of ab- 'self', there is a possessive suffix even for 'his', 'her', and 'their'.
Aaw rhiya? Answer (SG): Ani abiiyi rhan. Baruuk abiiyeek rhitaa. Batuuk abiiyeek rhitaayi. Baruuh abiiyeeh rhiya. Batuuh abiiyeeh rhita. I myself (SUBJ) saw (it). You (M) yourself saw (it). You (F) yourself saw (it). He himself saw (it). She herself saw (it). . . . . . Who saw (it)? ?

Answer (PL): Hinin abiiyaan rhina. Bataakna abiiyaakna rhitaana. Baraah abiiyaah rhiyaan. Bataah abiiyaah rhiyaan. We ourselves saw (it). . . . . Baraakna abiiyaakna rhitaana. You (PL M) yourselves saw (it). . You (PL F) yourselves saw (it). They (M) themselves saw (it). They (F) themselves saw (it).

Paradigm abii- 'self (OBJ)'


The possessive suffixes are different for the object case. Here the words 'myself, yourself' etc. are the objects of the sentences. In the following paradigm, the gloss 'self' should be understood as placing emphasis on the particular pronoun.

Note that the possessive suffixes of abii- 'self' are echoed in the verb suffixes, e.g. heeb, -hook etc. such as, for instance, the suffix of abii-yeeb 'self-mine' is echoed in the suffix of the verb rhiya-heeb 'saw-me'. These object suffixes will be discussed later, in the context of the verb system.
Aab rhiya? Answer (SG): Aneeb abiiyeeb rhiyaheeb. Barook abiiyeek rhiyahook. Batook abiiyeek rhiyahook. Barooh abiiyeeh rhiya. Batooh abiiyeeh rhiya. Answer (PL): Hinin abiiyeen rhiyahoon. Bateekna abiiyeekna rhiyahookna. Bareeh abiiyeeh rhiya. Bateeh abiiyeeh rhiya. He saw us (ourselves). . . . . Bareekna abiiyeekna rhiyahookna. He saw you (PL M) (yourselves). . He saw you (PL F) (yourselves). He saw them (M) (themselves). He saw them (F) (themselves). He saw me (myself). He saw you (M) (yourself). He saw you (F) (yourself). He1 saw him2 (himself2). He saw her (herself). . . . . . Whom did he see? ?

Possessive Suffixes (SUBJ)


Here are more examples for the different case and number forms of the possessive suffixes. In this list, there are third person suffixes.

Note that the plural term 'families' is used by a husband to refer to his own wife.
Indhiwaayi antooy kihayna. Indhiwaayaak antooy kihayna. Indhiwaayaah antooy kihayna. My families (SUBJ) (i.e. my wife) are not here. Your families (SUBJ) are not here. His / her families (SUBJ) are not here. . . .

Indhiwaayaan antooy kihayna. Indhiwaayaakna antooy kihayna. Indhiwaahina antooy kihayna.

Our families (SUBJ) are not here. Your (PL) families (SUBJ) are not here. Their families (SUBJ) are not here.

. . .

Possessive Suffixes (OBJ)

Indhiwaayi antooy haam'aa! Indhiwaayeek antooy haam'aa! Indhiwaayeeh antooy haam'aa! Indhiwaayeen antooy haam'aa! Indhiwaayeekna antooy haam'aa! Indhiwaahina antooy haam'aa! Bring my family (OBJ) (i.e. my wife) them (i.e. her) here! Bring (M) your family (OBJ) here! Bring (M) his / her family (OBJ) here! Bring (M) our family (OBJ) here! Bring (M) your (PL) family (OBJ) here! Bring (M) their family (OBJ) here! ! ! ! ! ! !

Independent Possessive Pronouns


Beja has a rich set of independent possessive pronouns, with several forms for 'mine', 'yours', 'his' etc. The following table gives a preliminary overview. The possessive pronouns have different forms for singular and plural, for masculine and feminine. The pronouns are given in the form of complete sentences, such as aniibu 'he is mine' aniitu 'she is mine' etc.

Note that the pronoun which precedes the copula -u / -a 'is / are' must always be in the object form (object case). For the purpose of understanding these complex pronouns, a morpheme-by-morpheme gloss may be helpful. For instance, aniibu 'it is mine' can be glossed as follows:
an -ii -b -u SG1 -of -MOBJ -IDSG13M <239>

And bateeyeeknaata can be glossed as follows:

bat -ee -eeknaa -t PL2 -a personF -of -FOBJ -IDPL13M

Table 22: Possessive Pronouns

He (it) (M) is ... : aniibu bariiyooku batiiyooku mine yours (M) yours (F) They (it) (M) are ... : aniiba bariiyeeka batiiyeeka mine yours (M) yours (F)

bariiyoohu batiiyoohu hineebu bareeyooknaayu* bateeyooknaayu* bareehoonaayu* bateehoonaayu* She (it) (F) is ... : aniitu bariitooktu batiitooktu bariihtootu batiihtootu hineetu bareeteeknaatu* bateeteeknaatu* bateetehoonaatu* <240>

his hers our yours (PL M) yours (PL F) theirs (M) theirs (F)

bariiyeeha batiiyeeha hineeba * bareeyeeknaaya* * bateeyeeknaaya* * bareehoonaaya* * bateehoonaaya* They (F) are ... : aniita bariiteekta batiiteekta bariihteeta batiihteeta hineeta * bareeteeknaata* * bateeteeknaata* * bateeteheenaata*

his hers our yours (PL M) yours (PL F) theirs (M) theirs (F)

* * * * * * * *

mine yours (M) yours (F) his hers our yours (PL M) yours (PL F)

mine yours (M) yours (F) his hers our yours (PL M) yours (PL F)

bareetehoonaatu* theirs (M) theirs (F)

* bareeteheenaata* theirs (M) theirs (F)

* For the pronouns marked with an asterisk there are alternative forms with -ii instead of -ee.

Possessive Pronouns: First (SG)


In the following examples, the possessive pronoun for the first person, i.e. 'mine', will be presented.
Uun'uugaw aayu? Uun'uugaw aniibu. Uun'uugalam aayu? Uun'uugalam aniibu. Whose is this house? This house is mine. ? . ? . ? , . , ? , . ,

Whose is this pencil? This pencil is mine.

Uuttutarabeeda, tuuttutarabeeza aaytu? Whose is this table? Uuttutarabeeda, tuuttutarabeeza aniitu. Uuttu'oor, tuuttu'oor aaytu? Uuttu'oor, tuuttu'oor aniitu. This table is mine.

Whose is this girl? This girl is mine.

Possessive Pronouns: First and second person (SG / PL)


The full set of possessive pronouns will be presented below, proceeding from (SG) to (PL) items possessed, and from (M) to (F) - including all persons as possessors (mine, yours, etc.) for each set.
Uunbaruuh aayu? Uunbaruuh bariiyooku. Uunbatuuh aaytu? Whose is this (M)? This (M) is yours (M). Whose is this (F)? ? . ? . ? . ? .

Uunbatuuh batiitooktu. This (F) is yours (F). Aanbaraah aaya? Aanbaraah bariiyeeka. Aanbataah aayta? Aanbataah batiiteekta.

Whose are these (M)? These (M) are yours (M). Whose are these (F)? These (F) are yours (F).

Possessive Pronouns: First and second person (M / F)

Uunbaruuh aayu? Uunbaruuh aniibu. Uunbaruuh bariiyooku. Uunbaruuh batiiyooku. Uunbatuuh aaytu? Uunbatuuh aniitu. Uunbatuuh batiitooktu. Whose is this (M)? This (M) is mine. This (M) is yours (M). This (M) is yours (F). ? . . . ? . . .

Whose is this (F)? This (F) is mine.

Uunbatuuh bariitooktu. This (F) is yours (M). This (F) is yours (F).

Possessive Pronouns: First and second person (PL M / F)

Aanbaraah aaya? Aanbaraah aniiba. Aanbaraah bariiyeeka. Aanbaraah batiiyeeka. Aanbataah aayta? Aanbataah aniita. Aanbataah batiiteekta. Whose are these (M)? These (M) are mine. These (M) are yours (M). These (M) are yours (F). ? . . . ? . . .

Whose are these (F)? These (F) are mine.

Aanbataah bariiteekta. These (F) are yours (M). These (F) are yours (F).

Possessive Pronouns: Singular Masculine Item Possessed

Uun'uukaam aayu? Whose is this camel (M)? ?

Aniibu. Bariiyooku. Batiiyooku. Bariiyoohu, bariiyoosu. Batiiyoohu, batiiyoosu. Uun'uukaam Hasaniibu? Hineebu. Bareeyooknaayu, bariiyooknaayu. Bateeyooknaayu, batiiyooknaayu. Bareehoonaayu, bariihoonaayu. Bateehoonaayu, batiihoonaayu.

It (M) is mine. It (M) is yours (M). It (M) is yours (F). It (M) is his, It (M) is his (in Gash Barka dialect). It (M) is hers.

. . . . , . , ? . , . , . . , . ,

Is this camel (M) Hassan's? It (M) is ours. It (M) is yours (PL M). It (M) is yours (PL F). It (M) is theirs (M). It (M) is theirs (F).

Possessive Pronouns: Plural Masculine Item Possessed

Aan'aakam aaya? Aniiba. Bariiyeeka. Batiiyeeka. Bariiyeeha. Batiiyeeha. Whose are these camels (M)? They (M) are mine. They (M) are yours (M). They (M) are yours (F). They (M) are his. They (M) are hers. ? . . . . . ? . . . . .

Aan'aakam Aliiba? Are these camels (M) Ali's? Hineeba. Bareeyeeknaaya. Bateeyeeknaaya. Bareeheenaaya. Bateeheenaaya. They (M) are ours. They (M) are yours (PL M). They (M) are yours (PL F). They (M) are theirs (M). They (M) are theirs (F).

Possessive Pronouns: Singular Feminine Item Possessed

Uuttuukaam aaytu, aayiitu? Aniitu. Bariitooktu. Batiitooktu. Bariihtootu, bariitoostu. Batiihtootu, batiitoostu. Whose is this camel (F)? It (F) is mine. It (F) is yours (M). It (F) is yours (F). It (F) is his. It (F) is hers. ? , . . . . , . ,

Uuttuukaam, tuuttuukaam Zaynabiitu? Is this camel (F) Zaynab's? Hineetu? / hineetu. Bareetooknaatu. Bateetooknaatu. Bareehtoonaatu. Bateehtoonaatu. Is it (F) ours? / It (F) is ours. It (F) is yours (PL M). It (F) is yours (PL F). It (F) is theirs (M). It (F) is theirs (F).

? , / ? . . . . .

Possessive Pronouns: Plural Feminine Item Possessed

Aattaakam aayta, aayiita? Aniita. Bariiteekta. Batiiteekta. Bariihteeta, bariiteesta. Batiihteeta, batiiteesta. Whose are these camels (F)? They (F) are mine. They (F) are yours (M). They (F) are yours (F). They (F) are his. They (F) are hers. ? , . . . . , . ,

Aattaakam Zaynabiitwa Aliitwaata? Are the camels (F) Zaynab's and Ali's? ? Hineeta. Bareeteeknaata. Bateeteeknaata. Bareehteenaata. Bateehteenaata. They (F) are ours. They (F) are yours (PL M). They (F) are yours (PL F). They (F) are theirs (M). They (F) are theirs (F). . . . . .

Conversation 4: 'Are You Married?' (Examples of Possessives)


#1-26 male responses, #27-35 female responses

#1 Baruuk d'uuraawa? Are you (M) married? #2 Ani d'uuraabu. I am married. #3 Ar tibariya? Do you have children? #4 Awooh, ar abari. awooh ar a-bari ar ti-bari-ya children PERFSG2MPF-have-PERFSG2M ani d'uuraab-u SG1 married-IDSG13M baruuk d'uuraa-wa SG2M married-IDSG2M

Yes, I have children. #5 Naaka ar tibariya? How many children do you (M) have? #6 Malu ar abari. I have two children. #7 Ismaahina aab eeyadna? What are their names? #8 Ismaahina Oomarwa Zaynabwa eeyadna. Their names are Omar and Zaynab. #9 Gwadook eefeen? Are they with you? #10 Gwadu kihayna. They are not with me. #11 Naamhiin eefeen? Where are they? #12 Iritriiya / Masireeb eefeen. They are in Eritrea / Egypt. #13 Naan daayeen? What are they doing? #14 Tuungaal agriitni, uuraaw shagaamiini. The one learns (LIT reads), the other works. #15

yes children PERFSG1PF-have naaka ar ti-bari-ya how.many children PERFSG2MPF-have-PERFSG2M

malu ar a-bari two children PERFSG1PF-have i-sm-aa-hina aab eeyad-na ARTPLM-name-PL-POSSPL3 whoOBJM IMPFPL3PF-sayIMPFPL3 i-sm-aa-hina oomar-wa zaynab-wa eeyad-na ARTPLM-name-PL-POSSPL3 Omar-and Zaynab-and IMPFPL3PF-say-IMPFPL3 gwad-ook eefee-n with-POSSSG2 IMPFPL3PF-be-IMPFPL3 gwad-u ki-hay-na with-POSSSG1 NEGIMPFPL3PF-be-NEGIMPFPL3 naamhiin eefee-n IMPFPL3PF-be-IMPFPL3 iritriiya masir-eeb ZERO-eefee-n Eritrea Egypt-ADV+at IMPFPL3PF-be-IMPFPL3 naan daa-yeen what do-IMPFPL3 tuu-ngaal agrii-tni uu-raaw shagaam-iini ARTSGFSUBJ-one read-IMPFSG3F ARTSGMSUBJ-other work-IMPFSG3M

W'ooruuk d'uraabu? Is your boy married? #16 Awooh, d'uraabu. Yes, he is married. #17 Ar ibari? Does he have children? #18 Malu ar ibari. He has two children. #19 Gaal dibiloobu, uuraaw winu. One is small, the other is big. #20 Batuuk ad'uuraatuwi? Are you (F) married? #21 Ani ad'uuraatu. I am married. #22 Ar tibarii / tibariyi? Do you have children? #23 Awooh, abari. Yes, I have. #24 Naaka ar tibarii? How many children do you (F) have? #25 Gaal oorwa gaat oorwa abari. I have one boy and one girl. #26 Ismaahina aab eeyadna? What are their names?

w-'oor-uuk d'ur-aab-u ARTSGM-boy-POSSSG2 marry-PTCPPAST-IDSG13M awooh d'ur-aab-u yes marry-PTCPPAST-IDSG13M ar i-bari children PERFSG3MPF-have malu ar i-bari two children PERFSG3MPF-have gaal dibiloob-u uu-raaw win-u one small-IDSG13M ARTSGMSUBJ-other big-IDSG13M batuuk ad'uuraat-uwi SG2F married-IDSG2F ani ad'uuraat-u SG1 married-IDSG13F ar ti-bari-yi children PERFSG2FPF-have-PERFSG2F awooh a-bari yes PERFSG1PF-have naaka ti-bari-i how.many children PERFSG2FPF-have-PERFSG2F

gaal oor-wa gaat oor-wa a-bari one boy-and oneF child-and PERFSG1PF-have i-sm-aa-hina aab eeyad-na ARTPLM-name-PL-POSSPL3 whoOBJM IMPFPL3PF-say-

IMPFPL3 #27 Ismaahina Aliiwwa Haliimaawwa eeyadna. Their names are Ali and Halima. #28 Gwadook eefeen? Are they with you? #29 Gwadu eefeen. They are with me. #30 Naan daayeen? What do they do? #31 Agriiyeen. They learn (LIT read). #32 Baraah dibiloowaaba. They are small. #33 Kashagaamiyaan. They don't work. #34 Batuukehan, naan shaga shagaamtinii? And you (F), what work do you (F) do? #35 Ani maktabiib shagaamani. I work in an office. ani maktab-iib shagaam-ani SG1 office-ADV+at work-IMPFSG1 batuuk-ehan naan shaga shagaam-tinii SG2F-also what work work-IMPFSG2F ka-shagaam-iyaan NEGIMPFPL3PF-work-NEGIMPFPL3 baraah dibiloowaab-a PL2M small-IDPL13M agrii-yeen read-IMPFPL3 naan daa-yeen what do-IMPFPL3 gwad-u eefee-n with-POSSSG1 IMPFPL3PF-be-IMPFPL3 gwad-ook eefee-n with-POSSSG2 IMPFPL3PF-be-IMPFPL3 i-sm-aa-hina alii-wwa haliimaab-wa eeyad-na ARTPLM-name-PL-POSSPL3 Ali-and Halima-and IMPFPL3PF-say-IMPFPL3

<244> ? . ? . ? , ? . ? . ? . , ? . , ? . / ? . . ? . , ? . . , ? . . . ? . ? , ? . . . ?

Quantity: Numerals and Plurals


Nouns are not only characterized by expressions of quality and ownership, but also by their quantity - such as 'one (big boy), two (big boys), half (a month)' etc. Apart from the plural formation, exact quantity is also expressed by numerals such as 'one', or 'two'.

Since numerals always refer to the entire noun phrase, their place is at the beginning or the end of the phrase.

Interrogatives 'How much / many?'


The interrogatives which ask for quantities vary with the gender, number and case of the quantified.

Table 23: Interrogative Numerals

Naaka ... ? Naakaab ... ? Naakaat ... ? Naakaatu? Naakaaba? Naakaata? Naaka doora? How many? How many (M)? How many (F)? ?... ?... ?... ? ? ? ? ?

How much is it (F)? (i.e. what is the cost?) How much are they (M)? How much are they (F)?

How many times?

Naaka naayeeh? How much of (the things)? / For how much?

Interrogative Numerals 1

Here follow some common examples of sentences with the questions 'how much, how many?'
Tuus'a naakaatu? Ibirtukaani kiilu naakaaba? Tumadrasaatiiyookna ti'arit naakaata? How much (i.e. what) is the time? How much is (are) a kilo (of) oranges? How many are the girls of your (PL) school? ? ? ?

Interrogative Numerals 2

If the question includes the noun (e.g. how many men?), the question word has its position at the beginning of the NP.
Naaka nda eeyaan? Naaka ingadna? Naaka doora jarrabiya? Naaka naayeeh nidlib How many men came? How many remained? How often, how many times did he try? For how much (LIT how-many things-of) did we ? ? ?

niyha? Naakaab hooy harriiwa? Naaka sana tibariya? Naakaat massi tibariya?

buy (it)? How much do you want for it? How many brothers do (M) you have? How many years do you have (have you lived)?

? ? ? ?


The numerals are different for gender and case. When the numerals are used in the subject case, the gender / object suffix -b will not be expressed, and the final vowels of numerals like maloo- / asaramaa- 'two / seven' will be reduced phonologically: malu / asarama (aa>a, ee>i, oo>u). The smaller numbers behave like adjectives, and the larger ones like nouns.

Table 24: Numerals

Naakaaba? / naakaata? How many are they? (M) / (F) Number 1: gaal / gaat uungaal tuungaal, tuungaat gaalib / gaalit <251> Numbers 1-10: gaal / gaat maloob / maloot mhay / mhayt fadhig / fadhigt ay / ayt asagwir / asagwitt asaramaab / asaramaat asumhay / asumhayt tamin / tamint <252> Numbers 11-20: tamnagwir / tamnagwitt tamnamaloob / tamnamaloot tamna mhay / tamna mhayt tamna fadhig / tamna fadhigt tamna ay / tamna ayt eleven (M) / (F) twelve (M) / (F) thirteen (M) / (F) fourteen (M) / (F) fifteen (M) / (F) / / / / / one (M) / (F) two (M) / (F) three (M) / (F) four (M) / (F) five (M) / (F) six (M) / (F) seven (M) / (F) eight (M) / (F) / / / / / / / / / / one (M) / (F) the only one (M), one of two (M) the only one (F), one of two (F) some (M) / (F) / , / ? / ?

ashshadhig / ashshadhigt nine (M) / (F) ten (M) / (F)

tamna asagwir / tamna asagwitt tamna asaramaab / tamna asaramaat tamna asumhay / tamna asumhayt tagwuugw / tagwuugwt <253> Numbers 30-100, 200, 1.000, 1.000.000: mhay tamun / mhay tamunt fadhig tamun / fadhig tamunt ay tamun / ay tamunt asagwir tamun / asagwir tamunt asarama tamun / asarama tamunt asumhay tamun / asumhay tamunt sheeb malu shi alif milyoon

sixteen (M) / (F) seventeen (M) / (F) eighteen (M) / (F)

/ / / / /

tamna ashshadhig / tamna ashshadhigt nineteen (M) / (F) twenty (M) / (F)

thirty (M) / (F) forty (M) / (F) fifty (M) / (F) sixty (M) / (F) seventy (M) / (F) eighty (M) / (F)

/ / / / / / /

ashshadhig tamun / ashshadhig tamunt ninety (M) / (F) hundred (M) two hundred (M) thousand (M) million (M)

Conversation 5: 'Radio News' (Examples of Numerals)


Radio speaker
#1 Tumnazzama, ootrig umhayaaywa ootrig w'ayaaywa, The organization, in the third month and the fifth month, #2 oosh'ab y'iweeniit tushamaamtiib in line with the support with which they supported the people #3 alifwa asagwirt tamun meetrik toon shirnaaywa (they distributed) thousand and sixty metric tons sorghum and #4 sheebwa mhay tamuun meetrik toon sikwkwartwa sheeb-wa mhay tamuun meetrik toon sikwkwart-wa alif-wa asagwitt tamun meetrik toon shirnaaywa thousand-and six ten metric tons sorghum-and oo-sh'ab i-sham-neet tu-shamaamt-iib ARTSGMOBJ-people PERFPL3PF-help-PERFPL3WH ARTSGF-help-ADV+at tu-mnazzama oo-trig u-mhayaay-wa oo-trig w'ayaay ARTSGF-office ARTSGMOBJ-month ARTSGMthird-and ARTSGMOBJ-month ARTSGM-fifth

hundred and thirty metric tons sugar #5 masi gadi asriifiyaaneet toona which they distributed to them #6 tumnazzamaati maktabii eeyaan ihabaar isookinnahoon. they made known this news which was issued from the office of the organization.

hundred-and three tens metric tons sugar-and masi gad-i asriif-iyaan-eet too-na yet stand-SUB distribute-PERFPL3-WH ARTSGFOBJ-thing tu-mnazzamaat-i maktab-ii ee-yaan y-habaar isookin-na ARTSGF-office-CASGEN office-ADV+off comePERFPL3 ARTPLM-news PERFPL3PF-let.knowPERFPL3

<255> , , .

Numerals and People Numerals with plurals of 'man' / 'woman'

Naaka nda? gaal tak / (n)gaat takat12 malu (n)da / maloot m'a (m'at)13 mhay (n)da / mhayt m'a fadhig (n)da / fadhigt m'a ay (n)da / ayt m'at asagwir da / asagwitt m'a asarama da / asaramaat m'a asumhay da / asumhayt m'a ashshadhig da / ashshadhigt m'a tamin da / tamint m'a tamnagwir da / tamnagwitt m'a How many men (people)? ? )( / ( ) / )( / )( / )( / )( / / / / / / /

one man / woman two men / women three men / women four men / women five men / women six men / women seven men / women eight men / women nine men / women ten men / women eleven men / women

tamnamalu da / tamnamaloot m'a twelve men / women

What Time? Full Hours

Tuus'a naakaatu? What is the time? ?

Tuus'a gaatu. Tuus'a malootu. Tuus'a mhaytu. Tuus'a fadhigtu. Tuus'a aytu. Tuus'a asagwittu. Tuus'a asaramaatu. Tuus'a ashshadhigtu. Tuus'a tamintu. Tuus'a tamnagwittu. Tuus'a tamnamalootu. Naadoor? Toos'a tamnagwitt ma'aahoon! Toos'a gaat, baabaadhiina! Toos'a mhayt th'ana!

The time is 1:00. The time is 2:00. The time is 3:00. The time is 4:00. The time is 5:00. The time is 6:00. The time is 7:00.

. . . . . . . . / . . . . ? ! , ! !

Tuus'a asimhaytu / asumhaytu. The time is 8:00. The time is 9:00. The time is 10:00. The time is 11:00. The time is 12:00. When (LIT What time)? Come (SG) to us at eleven! At one, don't (SG) forget! Phone (PL) at three!

Hours and Minutes

The following two are used frequently: Tuus'a gaatwa tarabwa. Tuus'a malootwa tarabwa. The following are used less frequently: Tuus'a gaatwa aytwaata, aytwaatu. Tuus'a gaatwa rib'uwwaata. Tuus'a gaatwa tagwgwitwaata. Tuus'a gaatwa tagwgwa aytwaata. Tuus'a gaatwa tarabwaatu. Tuus'a maloot tagwgwa ayt anootu. Tuus'a maloot tagwuugwt anootu. Tuus'a maloot rib'u anootu. Tuus'a maloot tamint anootu. Tuus'a maloot ayt anootu. The time is 1:05. . , , . . . . . . . . . . The time is half past one. The time is half past two. . .

Tuus'a gaatwa tamintwaata, tamintwaatu. The time is 1:10. The time is 1:15. The time is 1:20. The time is 1:25. The time is 1:30. The time is 25 to 2:00. The time is 20 to 2:00. The time is 15 to 2:00. The time is 10 to 2:00. The time is 5 to 2:00.


For numerals which express fractions, Arabic loan words or adjectival derivations may be used.

timmiima / Timmiimaabu. complete, full, whole / It is complete. tarab tilit rub'u, ribu'u / Rub'oohu. khumus / Khumusu. sudus / Sudusu. tumun / Tumunu. half third quarter / It is a quarter. fifth / It is a fifth. sixth / It is a sixth. tenth / It is a tenth.

. / . / , . / . / . /

Numerals: Ordinal

Ordinal numerals are adjectives. Some are also used as adverbs. The term malyaab 'second', for instance, also serves as an adverb meaning 'after that, secondly, again'.
awwal / w'awwal / uutak udabaayi / Baruuh suuriya. maliiya / umaliiya / tumaliiya mhaya / umhaya / tumhaya aakhar / w'aakhar / tu'aakhar / tu'aakhariinaa awwalhoob / w'awwaliiya malyaab / umaliiya mhaya / umhaya fadhiga / ufadhiga ayiiya / w'ayiiya w'agiiya / w'aakhariib / tu'aakhariit first / the first (M) / the first man / He was first. second / the second (M) / the second (F) third / the third (M) / the third (F) last / the last (M) / the last (F) / / / . / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

firstly / the first (M) then / the second (M) third / the third (M) fourth / the fourth (M) fifth / the fifth (M) finally / last (M)

Conversation 6: 'At the Fruit Market' (Examples of Numerals)


C: customer, T: trader
#1 Ti-Nafir Naati Suugiib. On the Fruit Market #2 C: Salaam alaykwum! C: Greetings! #3 T: Alaykwum assalaam! T: Greetings! alaykwum assalaam greeting (AR) salaam alaykwum greeting (AR) ti nafir naat-i suug-iib ARTPLFREL sweet thing-CASGEN market-ADV+at

#4 C: Libaabi mhataana? C: Did you spend the morning, night well? #5 T: Daayiib mhana. T: We did spend the morning, night well. #6 T: Baraak(-na) kak mhataana? T: How did you spend the morning, night ? #7 C: Gwirhaab kinbaru. C: We don't have any problems. #8 Amsi usuuguukna kak tan'i? How is your market today? #9 T: Shabahu. Naan harriiwi? T: It is OK. What do you (F) look for? #10 C: Ani ti-aharriiw-i birtukaanwa moozwaaya. C: What I need is oranges and bananas. #11 T: Eenbareeh kasseeh nibari. T: We have all of these. #12 C: Ibirtukaani kiilu naakaaba? C: How much is a kilo oranges? #13 Umoozhan naan katimu? And how much are the bananas (LIT reach up to what)? u-mooz-han naan katim-u ARTSGM-banana-also what reach-IDSG13M i-birtukaan-i kiilu naakaab-a ARTPLM-orange-CASGEN kilo how.many-IDPL13M een-bareeh kass-eeh ni-bari NEARPLMOBJPF-PLMOBJ all-POSSSG3 PERFPL1PFhave ani ti a-harriiw i birtukaan-wa mooz-waa-ya SG1 ARTPLFREL IMPFSG1PF-want ARTPLMREL orange-and banana-CON+and-IDPL13M shabah-u naan ZERO-harriiw-i moderate-IDSG13M what IMPFSG2FPF-wantIMPFSG2F amsi u-suug-uukna kak ZERO-tan'i today ARTSGM-market-POSSPL2 how IMPFSG3MPFbe.similar gwirhaab kin-baru problem NEGIMPFPL1PF-have baraak baraakna kak mha-taana PL2M PL2M how spend.morning-PERFPL2 daayiib mha-na good spend.morning-PERFPL1 libaabi mha-taana happy spend.morning-PERFPL2

#14 T: Ibirtukaani kiilu tamin Gineehiita / Nakfaata. T: Of oranges, one kilo is ten Guinees / Nakfas. #15 Umoozhan ayt Gineehi / Nakfa kantiim. And the bananas are (LIT reach) five Guinees / Nakfas. #16 C: Yaa takay! C: Oh man! #17 Usuuguukna amsi winneet aliyaabu! Your wares (LIT the market) are really expensive today! #18 Naat hooy dhibata? Will you not reduce this? #19 T: Anaa kwaatu! T: You sister! #20 Naat hooy baadhibayu. There is nothing I can reduce. #21 Laakiin, batiiyook jillaayi, But, for your (F) sake, #22 ubirtukaani kiilu ashshadhigt kwaasat. let me say then the kilo oranges is nine (Guinees). #23 Umoozhan, fadhigtwa tarabt kwaasat. And the bananas, let me say it is u-mooz-han fadhigt-wa tarabt kwaas-at ARTSGM-banana-also four-and half create-SUB u-birtukaan-i kiilu ashshadhigt kwaas-at ARTSGM-orange-CASGEN kilo nine create-SUB laakiin batiiyook jillaa-yi but POSSSG2F reason-CASGEN naat hooy baa-dhib-ay-u thing at NEGSUBSG1PF-reduce-NEGSUBM-IDSG13M anaa kwaat-u hey sister-POSSSG1 naat hooy dhib-ata thing at reduce-SUBM u-suug-uukna amsi winneet aliyaab-u ARTSGM-market-POSSPL2 today very expensiveIDSG13M yaa tak-ay hello man-VOCAT u-mooz-han ayt gineehi nakfa ZERO-kantiim ARTSGM-banana-also five Guinee Nakfa IMPFSG3MPF-arrive i-birtukaan-i kiilu tamin gineehiit-a nakfaat-a ARTPLM-orange-CASGEN kilo ten Guinee-IDPL13F Nakfa-IDPL13F

four and half #24 C: Bak ikatiyeek, daayiib sakta! C: If that is so, you did well! #25 Aflaa, mhay kiilu birtukaaniiwwa Well then, (give me) three kilo oranges #26 malu kiilu muuziiwwa hiyaheeb! and give me two kilo bananas! #27 T: Abiki! T: Take (F)! #28 C: Miriya! C: Thanks (M) (LIT find it)! #29 T: Biishinhayi! T: Don't worry (F) (LIT don't bother)! #30 C: Kassa hiddaab naakaab ikatiin? C: How much is all this together? #31 T: Hindeeh hagtiin! Shibbatay! T: Please wait (F)! Let me see! #32 Ubirtukaan tagwgwa asaramaata. The oranges are twenty-seven. #33 Oomooz ashshadhigta. The bananas are nine. #34 Kasta hiddaab mhay tamun(t)wa asagwitt jineehiiwwaata. All together (these) are thirty-six Guinees. kast-a hiddaab mhay tamunt-wa asagwitt jineehiiwwaat-a all-PL together three tens-and six guinee-and-IDPL13F oo-mooz ashshadhigt-a ARTSGMOBJ-banana nine-IDPL13F u-birtukaan tagwgwa asaramaat-a ARTSGM-orange twenty seven-IDPL13F hindeeh hagit-ii-n shibb-atay please wait-IMPVF-CON+please look-PERMSG1 kassa hiddaab naakaab i-kati-in all together how.many IMPFPL3PF-be-IMPFPL3 bii-shinha-yi NEGIMPVFPF-worry-NEGIMPVF miri-ya find-IMPVM abik-i take-IMPVF malu kiilu muuz-ii-wwa hi-ya-heeb two kilo banana-CASGEN-and give-IMPVM-OBJSG1 aflaa mhay kiilu birtukaan-ii-wwa so.then three kilo orange-CASGEN-and bak i-kati-yeek daayiib sak-ta so IMPFSG3MPF-be-ADV+if good do-PERFSG3F

#35 C: Aanbataah ay tamun jineehiita. C: Here are fifty Guinees. #36 T: Aflaa, batook ti-eebiituuk tamna fadhigt jineehiita. T: Well then, you (F) what you get is fourteen Guinees. #37 T: Ahamidehook! T: I thank you! #38 C: Hamuud biinaawi! C: Please (LIT may you (F) not lack praise)! #39 T: L'aab aaymi! T: Spend (F) the day well (LIT cool)! #40 C: L'aab aayma! C: Spend (M) the day well! T: Asigaab! T: Fine! (the idiomatic reply, LIT peaceful) C: Umdhhanookna! C: May you live! l'-aab aaym-a asigaab peaceful u-mdhhan-ookna ARTSGM-living-POSSPL2 l'-aab aaym-i hamuud bii-naaw-i praise NEGIMPVFPF-lack-NEGIMPVF a-hamid-ehook PERFSG1PF-praise-OBJSG2 aflaa batook ti eebi-i-t-uuk tamna fadhigt jineehiit-a so.then SG2FOBJ ARTPLFREL IMPFSG2FPF-goIMPFSG2F-WH-POSSSG2 ten four guinee-IDPL13F aan-bataah ay tamun jineehiit-a NEARPLFSUBJPF-PL2F five ten guinee-IDPL13F

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Indefinite Numeral

Words like eeneenaaka 'any' and naat 'something' refer to indefinite quantities, and they are only used in questions and negations. They will be exemplified together with singular and plural forms of nouns.

Indefinite Numeral: 'Any' 1

Gwirhaab eeneenaaka tibariya? Kaam / kam eeneenaaka tibariya? Mhallagaab eeneenaaka tibariya? Kwat / kwaat eeneenaaka tibariya? Sanaab / san eeneenaaka tibariya? Do you have any problems? Do you (M) have any camel (M) / camels (M)? Do you have any money? Do you have any sisters / sister? Do you have any brothers / brother? ? ? / ? / ? / ?

Indefinite Numeral: 'Any' 2

Mhallagaab eeneenaaka kaabaru. M'ariit eeneenaaka tamaab kaaki. Buun eeneenaaka gw'aab kaaki. Naat eeneenaaka kaabaru. Naat ad'a kaadi. Amsi shanha eeneenaaka daayaab, d'iyaab kaaki. I don't have any money. I didn't eat any food. I haven't had any coffee. I don't have anything. I won't, don't want to do anything. I haven't done any work yesterday. . . . . . , .

Plural Formation Object 1

Kaam / kam tibariya? Jabanaat / jabanaat tibariya? Kwubbaayt / kwubbayt tibariya? Kwoobaat / kwoobaat tibariya? Hadhiib / hadhiib tibariya? Do you (M) have a camel (SG) / (PL)? Do you (M) have a coffee pot (SG) / (PL)? Do you (M) have a cup (SG) / (PL)? Do you (M) have a bowl (SG) / (PL)? Do you (M) have bread (SG) / (PL)? ? / ? / / ? / ? ? /

Plural Formation of Kinship Terms 1


Some of the most frequently used kinship terms have unpredictable forms. Note especially tak / da 'man / men', and takat / m'a 'woman/women'.
Sanaab / san abari. Kwaat / kwat (kwaat) abari. Duuraab / duuraab abari. Diraat / diraat abari. Oor / ar abari. Oot / arit abari. I have a brother / brothers. I have a sister / sisters. I have an uncle / uncles. I have an aunt / aunts. I have a son / sons. I have a daughter / daughters. . / ) / ( . . / / . . / . /

Ahooba (hooba) / hoobaab abari. Ahoot (hoot) / hoot abari.

I have a grandfather / grandfathers. I have a grandmother / grandmothers.

. / ( ) . / ( )

Plural Formation of Kinship Terms 2

Naaka sana tibariya? Gaal san / malu sana abari. Gaat kwa / maloot kwa abari. Gaal duura / malu duura abari. Gaal oor / malu ar abari. Gaat oor / maloot arit abari. Gaal hoob / malu hooba abari. Gaat ahu / maloot hu abari. How many brothers do (M) you have? ? . / . / . / . / . / . / . / . /

I have one / two brother(s). I have one / two sister(s). I have one / two uncle(s).

Gaat duura / maloot dira abari. I have one / two aunt(s). I have one / two son(s). I have one / two daughter(s). I have one / two grandfather(s). I have one / two grandmother(s).

Conversation 7: 'At the Grain Shop' (Examples of Numerals and Plurals)


C: customer, T: trader
#1 Uharrooyi Suugiib. At the Grain Shop #2 C: Salaam alaykwum! C: Greetings! #3 T: Alaykwum assalaam! T: Greetings! #4 C: Libaabi mhataana? C: Did you (PL) spend the day well? #5 T: Daayiib mhana. T: We spent the day well. #6 Baraak kak mhataana? baraak kak mha-taana daayiib mha-na good spend.morning-PERFPL1 libaabi mha-taana happy spend.morning-PERFPL2 alaykwum assalaam greeting (AR) salaam alaykwum greeting (AR) u-harroo-yi suug-iib ARTSGM-grain-CASGEN market-ADV+at

How did you (PL) spend the day? #7 C: Gwirhaab kinbaru. C: We do not have any problem. #8 Biltuub tibariya? Do you (M) have (any) sorghum? #9 T: Awooh, abari. T: Yes, I have. #10 C: Hindeeh rhisaanheeb! C: Please show me (some)! #11 T: Ahi, ahayi! Shibibi! T: Take (F) (some)! Look (F) (at it)! #12 C: Gaayiibuhan sh'iyaabu? C: Is it fresh or old? #13 T: Awooh, gaayiibu. T: Yes it is fresh. #14 Kak sh'iya biltu giigisnay? How could we sell old millet? #15 Laakiin batuuk, gaayiib hana sh'iyaab ikatiyeet toona, But you (F), whether it is fresh or old, #16 kak teekani? how do you know (that)? #17 C: D'amsiit ashanbiib. C: I taste and I look.

PL2M how spend.morning-PERFPL2 gwirhaab kin-baru problem NEGIMPFPL1PF-have

biltuub ti-bari-ya sorghum PERFSG2MPF-have-PERFSG2M awooh a-bari yes PERFSG1PF-have hindeeh rhis-aa-n-heeb please show-IMPVM-please-OBJSG1 ah-i shibib-i take-IMPVF look-IMPVF

gaayiib-u-han sh'i-yaab-u new-IDSG13M-also be.old-PTCPPAST-IDSG13M awooh gaayiib-u yes new-IDSG13M kak sh'iya biltu giigis-nay how old millet let.go-IMPFPL1 laakiin batuuk gaayiib hana sh'i-yaab i-kati-yeet too-na but SG2F new or be.old-PTCPPAST IMPFSG3MPFbe-WH ARTSGFOBJ-thing kak t-eekan-i how IMPFSG2FPF-know-IMPFSG2F d'ams-ii-t a-shanbiib taste-PERMSG3M-and IMPFSG1PF-look

#18 Nanfiireek (nafir ikatiyeek), If it is tasty, #19 Gaayiib ikatiyeet toona eekani. I know that it is fresh. #20 Hammiyeek (hamiib ikatiyeek), If it is bitter, #21 sh'iyaab ikatiyeet toona eekani. I know that it is old. #22 T: Yaa takatay! T: Oh you woman! #23 Batuuk dir'aatkinaatuwi? Are you (F) from a farm (LIT a farmer woman)? #24 C: Awooh, dir'aatkinaatu. C: Yes I am from a farm (LIT a farmer woman). #25 Aneeb ushat heeb, If you leave me out, #26 Ahootiitu tu'ahu dir'aatkinaatu. My grandmother's grandmother was from a farm (LIT a farmer woman). #27 "Whindi ugadamiihooda dhibiini" eeyadna. "The tree falls on its roots" they say. w-hindi u-gadam-ii-hoo-da dhib-iini eeyad-na ARTSGM-tree ARTSGM-root-CASGEN-POSSSG3ADVGEN+for fall-IMPFSG3M IMPFPL3PF-sayahoot-iit-u tu-'ahu dir'aatkinaat-u grandmother-CASGEN-POSSSG1 ARTSGFgrandmother farmer-IDSG13F aneeb ush-at heeb OBJSG1 leave-SUB OBJSG1 awooh dir'aatkinaat-u yes farmer-IDSG13F batuuk dir'aatkinaat-uwi SG2F farmer-IDSG2F yaa takat-ay hello woman-VOCAT sh'i-yaab i-kati-yeet too-na ZERO-eekani old-PTCPPAST IMPFSG3MPF-be-WH ARTSGFOBJthing IMPFSG1PF-know ZERO-hammi-yeek hamiib i-kati-yeek IMPFSG3MPF-bitter-ADV+if bitter IMPFSG3MPF-beADV+if gaayiib i-kati-yeet too-na ZERO-eekani new IMPFSG3MPF-be-WH ARTSGFOBJ-thing IMPFSG1PF-know nanfiir-eek nafir i-kati-yeek be.sweet-IMPFSG2M-ADV+if sweet IMPFSG3MPFbe-ADV+if

IMPFPL3 #28 T: Sidkiituwi. T: You are right. #29 C: Turoob'iyaay toongaal naakaaba? C: How much are they, one quarter (of them)? #30 T: Tagwgwa ayt Gineehiita / Nakfaata. T: They cost (LIT are) twenty-five Guinees / Nakfa. #31 C: Naan tidiya?! C: What do you (M) say?! #32 T: "Tagwgwa ayt Gineeheeta / Nakfaata" adi. T: I said "They are twenty-five Guinees / Nakfa". #33 C: Bak tidiyeek, s'aliyaab kittaa? C: If you say so, haven't you (M) made (it) more expensive? #34 T: S'aliyaab akatiyeet toona kahiisan. T: I do not think that I am making it more expensive. #35 C: Aflaa, maloot roob'iyaay hiyaheeb! C: Well then, give me two quarters (containers)! #36 T: Tumhalaatook / ubiileeyook haaksi! T: Open your bag / basket! #37 tu-mhalaat-ook u-biilee-yook haaks-ii ARTSGF-bag-POSSSG2 ARTSGM-containerPOSSSG2 open-IMPVF aflaa maloot roob'iyaay hi-ya-heeb so.then two quarter give-IMPVM-OBJSG1 s'ali-yaab a-kati-yeet too-na ka-hiis-an make.expensive-PTCPPAST IMPFSG1PF-be-WH ARTSGFOBJ-thing NEGIMPFSG1PF-thinkNEGIMPFSG1 bak ti-di-y-eek s'ali-yaab kit-ta-a so PERFSG2MPF-say-PERFSG2M-ADV+if make.expensive-PTCPPAST NEGIMPFSG2MPF-beNEGIMPFSG2M tagwgwa ayt gineeheet-a nakfaat-a a-di twenty five Guinee-IDPL13F Nakfa-IDPL13F PERFSG1PF-say naan ti-di-ya what PERFSG2MPF-say-PERFSG2M tagwgwa ayt gineehiit-a nakfaat-a twenty five Guinee-IDPL13F Nakfa-IDPL13F tu-roob'iyaay too-ngaal naakaab-a ARTSGF-quarter ARTSGFOBJ-one how.manyIDPL13M sidkiit-uwi true-IDSG2F

C: Ubiltooyiiyookna daayiib sinhasaabaana? C: Is your sorghum well cleaned? #38 Awi eeneenaaka hooy kihayna? Are there no stones in it? #39 T: Sinhasaab nikatiyeet toona hiisnay. T: I think we cleaned them well. #40 Laakiin batuuk ugawiiyook hana tutahoonaatiib But you, in your house or in the mill, #41 daayiib sinhasi! clean them well! #42 Rayhamtinii kaatuwi. To be satisfied yourself (F). #43 C: Daayiitu. C: OK. #44 Whissaabuuk naakaaba? How much is (LIT are) the bill? #45 T: Ay tamunt Nakfaata / Gineehiita. T: (They are) fifty Nakfa / Guinees. #46 C: Abika! C: Take (M)! #47 T: Miriyi! T: Thank you (F)!

u-biltoo-yii-yookna daayiib sinhas-aab-aana ARTSGM-sorghum-CASGEN-POSSPL2 good cleanPTCPPAST-IDPL2M awi eeneenaaka hooy ki-hay-na stone any at NEGIMPFPL3PF-be-NEGIMPFPL3 sinhas-aab ni-kati-yeet too-na hiis-nay clean-PTCPPAST IMPFPL1PF-be-WH ARTSGFOBJthing think-IMPFPL1 laakiin batuuk u-gaw-ii-yook hana tu-tahoonaatiib but SG2F ARTSGM-house-CASGEN-POSSSG2 or ARTSGF-mill-ADV+at daayiib sinhas-i good clean-IMPVF rayham-tinii kaat-uwi satisfy-IMPFSG2F more.than-IDSG2F daayiit-u good-IDSG13F

w-hissaab-uuk naakaab-a ARTSGM-calculation-POSSSG2 how.manyIDPL13M ay tamunt nakfaat-a gineehiit-a five ten Nakfa-IDPL13F Guinee-IDPL13F abik-a take-IMPVM miri-yi find-IMPVF

#48 C: Baashinhaya! C: Don't (M) mention (it)! #49 T: L'aab, libaabi aaymi! T: Spend (F) the day well! #50 C: L'aab, libaabi aayma! (Umdhhanookna). C: Spend (M) the day well! (This was my talk / I have completed my speech). l'-aab libaabi aaym-a u-mdhhan-ookna happy ARTSGM-living-POSSPL2 l'-aab libaabi aaym-i happy baa-shinha-ya NEGIMPVMPF-worry-NEGIMPVM

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Circumstances: Postpositional Phrases (PPs)


To talk about the ways and circumstances in which something happens such as the place, time, or manner Beja uses adverbials. To ask about the ways and circumstances of an event, Beja uses the following adverbial question words or adverbial interrogatives.

Table 25: Adverbial Interrogatives

Local: Naamhiin? Naat? Naat mari? Naa haddiit? Temporal: Naahoob? Naadoor? Naamha? Other: Kak? Naanhooy? How? Why? ? ? When, which moment? When, which time? When, which day? ? ? ? Where (LIT which place)? ? ? ? ? ? Naamhiinaanii? Where from? To what (place)? Toward what (place)? Up to what (Up to where)?

Naanaatii? Naa naatii? Naa haddiit?

Why (LIT what from)? With what? To what extent (LIT up to where)?

? ? ?

Adverbial Expressions

Beja expresses information about adverbials or circumstances in different ways: with adverbial suffixes, postpositional phrases, genitive phrases or adverbs.

Postpositional Phrases

The next section is about postpositional phrases. Since Beja is a language where the head of a construction always comes last (a so-called head final language) it does not use prepositions but postpositions. So rather than saying 'with father', 'until Monday' etc., in Beja one would say 'father with', 'Monday until' and such.

The relation between the noun (e.g. father) and the postposition (e.g. with) is often a genitive relation. So 'father-with' could be translated as 'father's nearness', or 'monday-until' as 'monday's limit'.

In the examples below, the adverbs are important - the verbal structures may be ignored for the time being.

Table 26: Adverbial Postpositions

har'i haddiib, haddiit gwad dabaay mari whii kehii geeb baakaay / baakaayt behind up to with , , , , /

jillaayi, jilla, gillaayi, gilla because of in front of, before towards under on beside except (M) / (F)

Adverbial Postpositions: Local


Note that the postpositions can also be analyzed as nouns which take possessive suffixes. So in addition to saying bariiyook dabaay 'after you (lit. 'of you back)', one could also say dabaayook 'after you, behind you, your back'.
Ufasli har'i eefi. Ufasli dabaay eefi. He is behind the classroom. He is in front of the classroom. . . !

Aneeb mari gwishasha! Move towards me!

Aneeb mari gwishisha! Aneeb mari rififa!

Push it toward me! Move towards me!

! !

Adverbial Postpositions: Temporal

Tuuyiin dhibtini (hoob) whaddiit hagita! S'aati tarabi dabaay oon'oomhiin iifi. Tumhasayti har'i buun gw'aana! Udiraari har'i buun gw'aana! Uftuuri har'i buun gw'aana! Udarsi har'i buun gw'aana! Tumhasayti dabaay, buun gw'aana! Udiraari dabaay, buun gw'aana! Uftuuri dabaay, buun gw'aana! Udarsi dabaay, buun gw'aana! Wait (M) until the sun sets! Half an hour ago, he was here. After lunch, drink (PL) coffee! After dinner, drink (PL) coffee! After breakfast, drink (PL) coffee! After the lesson, drink (PL) coffee! Before lunch, drink (PL) coffee! Before dinner, drink (PL) coffee! Before breakfast, drink (PL) coffee! Before lesson, drink (PL) coffee! ) ( ! . ! ! ! ! ! , ! , ! , ! ,

Adverbial Postpositions Comitative

Baruuk naanaati gwad hadhiib tamtaa? Ani hadhiib aati gwad taman. Ani hadhiib fuuli gwad taman. Ani hadhiib waykaati gwad taman. Baraakna naanaati gwad hadhiib tamtaana? Hinin hadhiib aati gwad tamna. Hinin hadhiib fuuli gwad tamna. Hinin hadhiib waykaati gwad tamna. With what did you (M) eat bread? I ate bread with milk. I ate bread with beans. I ate bread with occra. With what did you (PL) eat bread? We ate bread with milk. We ate bread with beans. We ate bread with occra. ? . . . ? . . .

Adverbial Postpositions: Causal

W'afrayook jillaayi itehisir tindiya? Batiiyook jillaayi, ubirtukaani kiilu ashshadhigt kwaasat. Will you (M) be sorry because of, about your badness? For your (M / F) sake, let me say (LIT make) the kilo of oranges is 9 (pound). ? , .

Conversation 8: 'Drinking Coffee' (Examples of Adverbs)


U: uncle, M: mother, D: daughter

#1 U: Amsi ugirmu lhiiniheeb. U: Today I have a headache (LIT my head hurts me). #2 M: Haalooku? M: What is the matter with you (SG)? #3 U: Ani naat hooy kaakan (usabbooh kaakan). U: I don't know anything about it (the reason). #4 Laakiin tu-sh'aniyeetiib wanaaneeka buun nigraabu. But from what I remember I miss coffee ever since this morning. #5 M: Buun ikatiyeek, shalik naatu. M: If it is coffee, that is a small problem (LIT thing). #6 Nafisa (tu'oor) yhayi! Nafisa, hey you (F)! #7 Ukaanuun sidawiliheeb! Bring the brazier to me! #8 Ubuuniit iddaahan dehooyu shawawi! Also gather the coffee pots (LIT coffee things) for me! #9 D: Daayiitu. Taan ikatiinay, abiki! D: OK. Here they are, so take (them)! #10 M: Tukaloonaay keeta? M: Where is the roasting pan? tu-kaloonaay kee-ta ARTSGF-pan be.where-PERFSG3F daayiit-u taan i-kati-in-ay abik-i good-IDSG13F NEARPLFSUBJ IMPFPL3PF-beIMPFPL3-CON+because take-IMPVF u-buun-iit iddaa-han dehoo-yu shawaw-i ARTSGM-coffee-CASGEN things-also to.-POSSSG1 assemble-IMPVF u-kaanuun sidawil-i-heeb ARTSGM-brazier bring-IMPVF-OBJSG1 nafisa tu-'oor yha-yi Nafisa ARTSGF-girl take-IMPVF buun i-kati-yeek shalik naat-u coffee IMPFSG3MPF-be-ADV+if little thing-IDSG13F laakiin tu sh'-ani-yeet-iib wanaanee-ka buun nigraab-u but ARTSGFREL remember-IMPFSG1-WH-ADV+at before.morning-ADV+since coffee thirsty.not.for.water-POSSSG1 ani naat hooy kaa-kan u-sabb-ooh kaa-kan SG1 thing at NEGIMPFSG1PF-know ARTSGMreason-POSSSG3 NEGIMPFSG1PF-know haal-ook-u condition-POSSSG2-IDSG13M amsi u-girm-u lh-iini-heeb today ARTSGM-head-POSSSG1 be.acheIMPFSG3M-OBJSG1

#11 D: Ani rhaat kaaki. Naat teefi? D: I have not seen it. Where is it? #12 M: Hindeeh, imoori whii harwiin! M: Please, look under the bed (string bed). #13 Usanuuk wana haay hawaayiyaay. Because this morning your brother has been playing with it. #14 D: Aaywaa, amiru. D: Yes, I found it. #15 M: Aflaa, anaa tu'ootu, tumisrafa (tuhabbaabi) hiyiheeb! M: So then my daughter, give me the fan. #16 D: Daayiitu, anaa deetu. D: Yes, mother (LIT fine, my mother). #17 M: Udawilu s'iit, oobuun dehooyu kalooyii! M: Sit near me, and roast the coffee for me! #18 Kalooyi b'atniyeek, kwiti! When you have done the roasting, pound it! #19 M & D: Asigaab. M & D: Peaceful. #20 D: Aflaa, weena naan daayani? D: Well then, what else shall I do? aflaa weena naan daa-yani so.then other.thing what do-IMPFSG1 asigaab peaceful kaloo-yi b'at-ni-yeek kwit-i roast-CASGEN lean-PASTPL1-ADV+if push-IMPVF u-dawil-u s'-iit oo-buun dehooy-u kaloo-yii ARTSGM-closeness-POSSSG1 sit-PTCPADVPAST ARTSGMOBJ-coffee to.-POSSSG1 roast-IMPVF daayiit-u anaa deet-u good-IDSG13F hey mother-POSSSG1 aflaa anaa tu-'oot-u tu-misrafa tu-habbaabi hi-yiheeb so.then hey ARTSGF-girl-POSSSG1 ARTSGF-fan ARTSGF-fan give-IMPVF-OBJSG1 aaywaa a-miru yes PERFSG1PF-find u-san-uuk wana haay hawaa-yiya-ay ARTSGM-brother-POSSSG2 before.morning play-PERFSG3M-CON+because hindeeh i-moor-i wh-ii hariw-ii-n please ARTPLM-bed.of.palm.leaves-CASGEN under-ADV+off want-IMPVF-CON+please ani rh-aat kaa-ki naat t-eefi SG1 see-PTCPPAST NEGIMPFSG1PF-be IMPFSG3FPF-be

#21 M: Yaa tu'ootuuyi! Buun gw'astiyuun, imraadeek marri! M: You my daughter! If you make (for) us coffee, you find what you desire! #22 Duuruuk wanaaneeka buun gw'aab kiiki. Your uncle has not had (drunk) coffee since (the) morning. #23 Bak t'iiteeb, ugirmuuh lhiini. Therefore (LIT this being so), his head aches (him). #24 D: Awooh, buun gw'asanihookna. D: Yes, I will let you have (LIT drink) some coffee. #25 Bareekna buun baagw'asayuukna, aab gw'asani? If I don't serve you (PL), then whom do I serve? #26 M: Daayiib tidi. M: You (F) said that well. #27 Hininhan bak s'ayaamniyay. We also were expecting that (LIT thus). #28 D: Naakaab gw'ani teeyadna? D: How many (cups) do you drink? #29 M: Mhay fijjaan mheenhoon. M: Three cups are enough for us. #30 D: Abika, duuruuyi! D: Take, my uncle! abik-a duur-uu-yi take-IMPVM uncle-POSSSG1-VOCAT mhay fijjaan mh-een-hoon three cup suffice-IMPFPL3-OBJPL1 naakaab gw'a-ni t-eeyad-na how.many drink-FUTPL IMPFPL2PF-say-IMPFPL2 hinin-han bak s'ayaam-ni-yay we-also so expect-PASTPL1-CON+because daayiib ti-di good PERFSG3FPF-say bareekna buun baa-gw'as-ay-uukna aab gw'as-ani PL2MOBJ coffee NEGSUBSG1PF-let.drinkNEGSUBM-OBJPL2 whoOBJM let.drink-IMPFSG1 awooh buun gw'as-ani-hookna yes coffee let.drink-IMPFSG1-OBJPL2 bak t'i-it-eeb u-girm-uuh lh-iini so be.similar-PASTSG3F-ADV+at ARTSGM-headPOSSSG3 ache-IMPFSG3M duur-uuk wanaan-ee-ka buun gw'-aab kii-ki uncle-POSSSG2 before.morning-ADV+since coffee drink-PTCPPAST NEGIMPFSG3MPF-be yaa tu-'oot-uu-yi buun gw'as-ti-yuun i-mraad-eek ZERO-marri hello ARTSGF-girl-POSSSG1-VOCAT coffee let.drink-PERMSG3F-OBJPL1 ARTPLM-wishPOSSSG2 IMPFSG3FPF-find

#31 A: Nafir na ahayi! A: Take something good (LIT a sweet thing)! #32 D: Hami na bahaaya! D: Don't take something bitter! #33 Tusikwkwartuuh kak tan'i? What about the sugar (LIT how is its sugar)? #34 U: Winneet daayiitu. U: Really fine. #35 D: Dehook afandhihan, hana kaafdhi? D: Shall I stir it (LIT do I stir it) for you, or not? #36 U: Biifadhii! U: Don't (F) stir! #37 Uuwilif tisikwkwarteeb kihay. The addiction is not to the sugar. #38 Uwaalfi oobuun sikwkwart anuuhan gw'iini. The addict drinks the coffee even without sugar. #39 D: Sidkiiwa. D: You (M) are right. #40 A: Ahamidehookna. A: I thank you (PL). #41 Aliya hamuud tageegaab. aliya hamuud tageegaab a-hamid-ehookna PERFSG1PF-praise-OBJPL2 sidkii-wa true-IDSG2M u-waalfi oo-buun sikwkwart anuu-han gw'-iini ARTSGM-addicted ARTSGMOBJ-coffee sugar without-also drink-IMPFSG3M uu-lif ti-sikwkwart-eeb ki-hay ARTSGMSUBJ-thousand ARTPLF-sugar-ADV+at NEGIMPFSG3MPF-be bii-fadhi-i NEGIMPVFPF-mix-NEGIMPVF dehook a-fandhi-han kaa-fdhi to.SG2M IMPFSG1PF-mix-also NEGIMPFSG1PF-mix winneet daayiit-u very good-IDSG13F tu-sikwkwart-uuh kak ZERO-tan'i ARTSGF-sugar-POSSSG3 how IMPFSG3MPFbe.similar hami na ba-haa-ya bitter thing NEGIMPVMPF-take-NEGIMPVM nafir na aha-yi sweet thing take-IMPVF

I really thank you (LIT I give you elevated praise). #42 M: Hamuud baanaawa. M: May you (F) not lack thanks. #43 Anaa sanu, usikkaayi hasamtiyoonhoob, My brother, when you pass by our house on your way, #44 dehoon tara, make a detour to see us, #45 eerheek areenayay. because we do enjoy seeing you. #46 U: Anihan bareeyeekna (bateeyeekna) eerhi winneet minniimani. U: I also hope very much to see you (PL). #47 Allaa tankwiikweek, fajir fajir dehookna tartiit, If Allah wishes, I will make a detour to you every morning, and #48 dabaay salaamihookna andi. I will greet you. #49 M: Hinin tuduuniyaatiib oonbatoohtu, bariisook nhariweet. M: What we really would like from you (LIT would like in the world from you), it is this. #50

expensive praise high

hamuud baa-naaw-a praise NEGIMPVMPF-lack-NEGIMPVM anaa san-u u-sikkaay-i hasam-ti-yoon-hoob hey brother-POSSSG1 ARTSGM-way-CASGEN dehoon tar-a to.PL1 make.detour-IMPVM ee-rh-eek aree-nay-ay ARTPLMOBJ-seeing-POSSSG2 like-IMPFPL1CON+because ani-han bareeyeekna ee-rhi winneet minniim-ani SG1-also of.PL2 ARTPLMOBJ-seeing very wishIMPFSG1

allaa ZERO-tankwiikw-eek fajir fajir dehookna tartiit Allah IMPFSG3MPF-create-ADV+if morning morning to.PL2 make.detour-PTCPADVPAST dabaay salaam-i-hookna a-ndi well greet-FUT-OBJPL2 IMPFSG1PF-say hinin tu-duuniyaat-iib oon-batooht-u bariisook nhariw-eet SG1 ARTSGF-world-ADV+at NEARSGFOBJPFSG3FOBJ-IDSG13F off.SG2M PERFPL1PF-wantWH

U: L'aab aayimna / hawidna / naayaana! l'-aab aayim-na hawid-na naa-yaana U: Good afternoon / evening / sleep (PL) well! spend.evening-IMPVPL pass.night-IMPVPL

#51 M: Asigaab. M: Peaceful. asigaab peaceful

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Adverbs Names of Places and Times Adverbs: Local 1


Names of Places may be used to answer questions like 'where?' Here the place is treated as the object of the verb (Note the -b suffix attached to the place nouns).
?Baruuh naat eefi Karaneeb eefi. Bar'uuteeb eefi. Bayruuteeb eefi. Tasanaayeeb eefi. Masireeb eefi. Soodaaneeb eefi. Ukhartuumiib eefi. ?Where is he ? . . . . . . . .

He is in Keren. He is in Port Sudan. He is in Beirut. He is in Teseney.

Agwoordaateeb eefi. He is in Aqordat. He is in Egypt. He is in Sudan. He is in (the) Khartoum.

Adverbs: Local 2
?Baruuk naat teebiya Ani Masir eebi. Ani Oosook eebi. Ani Misawaab eebi. Ani ugawu eebi. ?Where do you (M) go ? . . . . ?

I go to Egypt. I go to Suakin. I go to Massawa. I go to my house.

?Baruuk naat iiba tindiya? Where will you (M) go

Ani Masir iiba andi. Ani Oosook iiba andi. Ani Misawaab iiba andi. Ani ugawu iiba andi.

I will go to Egypt. I will go to Suakin. I will go to Massawa. I will go to my house.

. . . .

Conversation 9: 'At the Market' (Examples of Adverbs)


A: wife, B: husband
#1 A: Oosheek, oosuug iiba tindiya? A: Oosheek, do you go to the market? #2 Oosuug teebiyeek, anaa taku, If you go, my dear, #3 hadhiib gwadook haam'aa! bring bread with you! #4 Sikwkwart gwadook haam'aa! Bring sugar with you! #5 B: Oond'a gwida shanha abari. B: Now I have much work. #6 Amsi ani shawaay kaaki. Today I don't have time (LIT I am not free). #7 A: Shawaay kittaa? A: You don't have time (LIT are not free)? #8 Shawaay bitkaayeek, hooy baashinhaya! If you don't have time (LIT are not free), don't worry! shawaay bit-ka-ay-eek hooy baa-shinha-ya free NEGSUBSG2MPF-be-NEGSUBM-ADV+if at NEGIMPVMPF-worry-NEGIMPVM shawaay kit-ta-a free NEGIMPFSG2MPF-be-NEGIMPFSG2M amsi ani shawaay kaa-ki today SG1 free NEGIMPFSG1PF-be oond'a gwida shanha a-bari this.time plenty work PERFSG1PF-have sikwkwart gwad-ook haam'-aa sugar with-POSSSG2 bring-IMPVM hadhiib gwad-ook haam'-aa bread with-POSSSG2 bring-IMPVM oo-suug t-eebi-yeek anaa tak-u ARTSGMOBJ-market IMPFSG3FPF-go-ADV+if hey manIDSG13M oosheek oo-suug iiba ti-ndi-ya Oosheek ARTSGMOBJ-market go-FUTSG IMPFSG2MPF-say-IMPFSG2M

<274> ! . . ! , , ? , ! , ?

Adverbs: Local 3

Names of Places serve to answer the question 'Where?'.

Baruuk, naamhiinaan faraaywa? Ani Masireeb faraayu. Ani Bar'uuteeb faraayu. Ani Bayruuteeb faraayu. Ani Tasanaayeeb faraayu. Ani Agwoordaateeb faraayu. You (M), where were you (M) born? I (M) was born in Egypt. I (M) was born in Port Sudan. I (M) was born in Beirut. I (M) was born in Teseney. I (M) was born in Aqordat. , ? . . . . . , ? .

Batuuk, naamhiinaan faraaytuwi? You (F), where were you (F) born? Ani Masireeb faraaytu. I (F) was born in Egypt.

Conversation 10: 'Learning Beja' (Examples of Adverbs)


Beja speakers and Beja learners

#1 Baruuk Tubdhaawi tikteena? Do you (M) know Beja? #2 Ani shalikna hooy akteen. I know a little (LIT a little of it). #3 Batuuk Tubdhaawi tikteeni? Do you (F) know Beja? #4 Ani shalikna hooy akteen. A little. #5 Baraakna Tubdhaawi tikteenna? Do you (PL M) know Beja? #6 Hinin shalikna hooy nikteen. We know a little. hinin shalik-na hooy ni-kteen PL1 little-thing at IMPFPL1PF-know baraakna tu-bdhaawi ti-kteen-na PL2M ARTSGF-Beja IMPFPL2PF-know-IMPFPL2 ani shalik-na hooy a-kteen SG1 little-thing at IMPFSG1PF-know batuuk tu-bdhaawi ti-kteen-i SG2F ARTSGF-Beja IMPFSG2FPF-know-IMPFSG2F ani shalik-na hooy a-kteen SG1 little-thing at IMPFSG1PF-know baruuk tu-bdhaawi ti-kteen-a SG2M ARTSGF-Beja IMPFSG2MPF-know-IMPFSG2M

#7 Uudehay Tubdhaawi ikteenna? Do the people know Beja? #8 Baraah shalikna hooy ikteenna. They (M) know a little. #9 Uudehay kassa Tubdhaawi ikteenna? Do all people know Beja? #10 Baraah shalikna hooy ikteenna. They know a little. baraah shalik-na hooy i-kteen-na PL2M little-thing at IMPFPL3PF-know-IMPFPL3 uu-dehay kassa tu-bdhaawi i-kteen-na ARTSGMSUBJ-people all ARTSGF-Beja IMPFPL3PF-knowIMPFPL3 baraah shalik-na hooy i-kteen-na PL2M little-thing at IMPFPL3PF-know-IMPFPL3 uu-dehay tu-bdhaawi i-kteen-na ARTSGMSUBJ-people ARTSGF-Beja IMPFPL3PF-knowIMPFPL3

<277> ? . ? . ? . . ? . ?

Adverbs: Temporal 1

Adverbs or names of days and hours are used in response to questions about time.
Naadoor? Naadoor batuuk Karan tibayi? Amsi Karan abi. Iru Karan abi. Iru bitkaayit Karan abi. Naadoor Soodaan iiba tindiyi? Oond'a Soodaan iiba andi. Amsi Soodaan iiba andi. Lhayt Soodaan iiba andi. When (LIT what time)? ? ? . . . ? . . . .

When did you (F) go to Keren? I went to Keren today. I went to Keren yesterday. I went to Keren before yesterday. When will you (F) go to Sudan? I will go to Sudan now. I will go to Sudan today. I will go to Sudan tomorrow.

Lhayt baakaayt Soodaan iiba andi. I will go to Sudan after tomorrow.

Adverbs: Temporal 2

Names of times of the day serve to answer the question 'When?'.

Naadoor? When (LIT what time)? ?

Baruuk naadoor fantiira? Ani aawiit afantiir. Baruuk naadoor mhastiniya? Ani nabhoob mhasani. Baruuk naadoor tiddariira? Ani akwhiit addariir. Baruuk aawiit naan tamtiniya? Ani aawiit afantiir. Ani nabhoob mhasani. Baruuk akwhiit naan tamtiniya? Ani akwhiit addariir.

When do you (M) eat breakfast? I eat breakfast in the morning, forenoon. When do you eat lunch? I eat lunch at noon. When do you (M) eat supper? I eat supper (M) in the (late) afternoon. What do you eat in the morning? In the morning I eat breakfast.

? . ? . ? . ? . ? . ? .

Baruuk nabhoob naan tamtiniya? What do you eat at noon? I eat lunch at noon. What do you eat in the (late) afternoon? I eat supper in the (late) afternoon.

Adverbs: Temporal 3

The genitive of Place names may serve to answer the question 'From where?', and the names of times of the day serve to answer the question 'When?'.
Naadoor Karanii eeta? When did you (F) come from Keren? Afa Karanii y'an. Wana Karanii y'an. Aawiit Karanii y'an. Nabhoob Karanii y'an. Humniit Karanii y'an. I came from Keren last night. I came from Keren in the early morning, forenoon. I came from Keren in the morning. I came from Keren at noon. I came from Keren in the (late) afternoon. ? . . . . .

Adverbs: Temporal 4
Naadoor giigtaa? When did you (M) go away? Afa giigan. Wana giigan. Aawiit giigan. Nabhoob giigan. Humniit giigan. I went away last night. I went away in the early morning, forenoon. I went away in the morning. I went away at noon. I went away in the (late) afternoon. ? . . . . .

Adverbs: Temporal 5

Repetition of temporal expressions indicates repeated actions.

Naaka doora? Yiint yiint. How often, how many times? ? .

Every day.

Fajir fajir. Sabt sabt.

Every morning. Every Saturday.

. . !

Abadan abadan abadan! Never never!

Adverbs: Temporal 6
Humniit humniit naan daatiniya? Nabhoob nabhoob naan daatiniya? Akwhiit akwhiit naan daatiniya? Nagaar nagaar (jirabt jirabt) naan daatiniya? Ani sab sab kwuuraat hawaayani. What do you (M) do every (late) afternoon? What do you (M) do every noon? What do you (M) do every evening? What do you (M) do every other (second) day? Every Saturday I play football. ? ? ? ? .

Adverbs: Times of the day


Here follows a list of temporal expressions, from early to late in the day.
wakt / wakit amas afa oomha tuyiinti mifir'i fajir aawiit udehuri dabaay tu'aawi / aawiit nabhoob udehuuri har'i humniit akwhiit hawaad tuyiin talaw whawaad whawaadi tarab amasing'a time / times (of the day) last night, dusk last night / / /

wana / kuruumt early (this) morning / dawn the morning, the dawn the sun's rising morning (AR) forenoon before (the) noon the forenoon (9-12) / forenoon midday after (the) noon (AR) the late afternoon, afternoon evening night sunrise (the sun's rising) the night midnight midnight

Adverb: Other Temporal Expressions

amrooh abadan bub'u nagaar diima, daa'iman naafti oond'a, oond'aab shaawi suuri tooyiin umriiyook yooyt ever never (AR) every day every second day always (AR) , , , ,

dehoob, gaal dehoob, firngis suddenly afterwards, in return now again, additionally before, earlier today ever in your life every day

Conversation 11: 'Farewell' (Examples of Manner Adverbs)


Farewell greetings and responses

#1 L'aab aayima! Bye, good afternoon (LIT spend the day cool)! #2 Baruukehan l'aab aayima! You too! #3 Shiboob aayima! Spend the day fine! #4 Baruukehan shiboob aayima! You too! #5 Daayiib aayima! Spend the day good (well)! #6 Baruukehan daayiib aayima! baruuk-ehan daayiib aayim-a daayiib aayim-a good baruuk-ehan shiboob aayim-a SG2M-also good shiboob aayim-a fine baruuk-ehan l'-aab aayim-a SG2M-also spend.dayIMPVM l'-aab aayim-a

You too! #7 Kwatiib aayima! Spend the day well! #8 Baruukehan kwatiib aayima! You too! #9 L'aab aayimi! Bye, good afternoon (LIT spend the day cool)! #10 Batuukehan l'aab aayimi! You too! #11 Shiboob aayimi! Spend the day fine! #12 Batuukehan shiboob aayimi! You too. #13 Daayiib aayimi! Spend the day good (well)! #14 Batuukehan daayiib aayimi! You too! #15 Kwatiib aayimi! Spend the day well! #16 Batuukehan kwatiib aayimi! You too! #17 L'aab aayimna! Bye, good afternoon (LIT spend the day cool)!

SG2M-also good kwatiib aayim-a fine

baruuk-ehan kwatiib aayim-a SG2M-also fine l'-aab aayim-i

batuuk-ehan l'-aab aayim-i SG2F-also spend.dayIMPVF

shiboob aayim-i good batuuk-ehan shiboob aayim-i SG2F-also good daayiib aayim-i good batuuk-ehan daayiib aayim-i SG2F-also good

kwatiib aayim-i fine batuuk-ehan kwatiib aayim-i SG2F-also fine l'-aab aayim-na

#18 Baraaknahan l'aab aayimna! You too! #19 Shiboob aayimna! Spend the day fine! #20 Baraaknahan shiboob aayimna! You too! #21 Daayiib aayimna! Spend the day good (well)! #22 Baraaknahan daayiib aayimna! You too! #23 Kwatiib aayimna! Spend the day well! #24 Baraaknahan kwatiib aayimna! You too! baraakna-han kwatiib aayim-na PL2M-also fine kwatiib aayim-na fine baraakna-han daayiib aayim-na PL2M-also good daayiib aayim-na good baraakna-han shiboob aayim-na PL2M-also good shiboob aayim-na good baraakna-han l'-aab aayim-na PL2M-also spend.dayIMPVPL

<284> ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Adverb Suffixes

To express relations of time and space, adverbial suffixes may be attached to NPs.

Table 27: Adverbial Suffixes

Local Suffixes: -s -ii -da -iib from -say, -sii away from off from to at

Temporal Suffixes: -iib -ka -da -ka within, at as from

Benefactive Suffixes: to (someone)

Manner Suffixes: more than, total

Local and Related Suffixes Local Suffixes: -ZERO


With certain verbs, no adverbial affix is required to express a location.

Baruuh Asmara ihee? Iha! Is he in Asmara? He is! ! ? Asmara iha, eefi. Saawaa iha. Suuriya iha. Liibiya iha. Almaaniya iha. <287> He is in Asmara. He is in Sawa. He is in Syria. He is in Libya. He is in Germany. . , . . . .

Note that with this verb, there is a difference between the question (interrogative form) and the answer (affirmative form): ihee 'Is he?' / iha 'He is.'

Local Suffixes: -s

Several adverbial suffixes are used to express concepts of Place, such as source, direction etc.
Tunariitiisook b'ara! Bariisooh imkwas. Wake up from your sleepiness! ! . . . / ! ! ! ! ! Tilhanayteesooh in'ur. He is cured from his sickness. He revenged him (LIT of him).

<289> Ani ugawiisu y'an, y'aabu. I came from my house. Ugawiisooh giigaa! Ugawiisu fir'a! Ugalamiisu baakatiiba! Ufijjaaniisu baagw'aa! Ukwursiyiisook yakaa! Leave (M), go away from (M) his house! Get out of my house! Don't write with my pen (LIT off my pen)! Don't drink from my cup! Arise from your chair (stand up)!

Local Suffixes: -say

Antooysay fir'a! Get out of there! !

Beentooysay fir'a!

Get out of (lit. from) there!

! .

Urbaayi kehiisay ikwbar He descended from the hill.

Local Suffixes: -ii

Baruuk naamhiinaanii eeta, y'aawa? Ani Asmaraayii y'aabu. Ani Iritriiyaayii y'aabu. Ani Ukhartuumii y'aabu. Ani Soodaanii y'aabu. Ani Oosookii y'aabu. Naamhiinaanii idif? Naamhiinaanii ifir'a? Naamhiinaanii isgi? Naamhiinaanii y'agar? Oon'umhiinaanii difa! Been'umhiinaanii igwshish. Been'umhiinaanii irfif, ifir'a. Usoogii naan ha'anihook? Agwoordaatii y'agar. Karanii idgi. Urabi ukaamii ikwbir. Tun'eetii tiftik. Whindiiyii tikwaa! From which place did you (M) come? I came from Asmara. I came from Eritrea. I came from (the) Khartoum. I came from Sudan. I came from Suakin. , ? . . . . . ? ? ? ? ! . , . ? . . . . !

From where did he go away? From where did he leave? From where is it far? From where did he return? Go (M) away from this place! He moved it from that place. He moved it from that place. What do I bring for you (M) from the market? He returned from Aqordat. He returned from Keren. He unloaded the camel. She took it off (from) the fire. Get (M) down from, off the tree!

Local Suffixes: -ii

Aayii id'ur? Aayii igwhar? Aayii tiyihaya? Aayii timaasiwa? Aniiyi iskw'a. Naanaatii in'ur? From who (of which group) did he marry? From whom did he steal (it)? From whom did you (M) take (it)? From whom did you hear (it)? ? ? ? ? ? . ?

Oon'usakana aayii timaasiwa? From whom did you (M) get the news? He felt shy in my presence (LIT of me). From what is he cured?

Local Suffixes: -da

Naamhiinaaniida imilha? Naamhiinaaniida is'am? Ugwharaayiida ifir'a. Bariihooda tidgi. Soodaaneeda iibaabaa! Asmaraayiida agara! Asmaraayiida digaya! Asmaraayiida libasa! Yameeda iyiwi, iyiwa. Aayiida, aab hangiit. To where did he lead? To where did he (let) ride? He went out to the thief. She gave it back to him. Travel (M) to, toward Sudan! Return to Asmara! Return to Asmara! Travel to Asmara at night! (NB 'travel at night' is one single verb) He was thirsty for water. For whom is he waiting? ? ? . . ! ! ! ! , . .

Local Suffixes: -iib

Tuyiintiib ingida tindiya? Ufasliib baaniinaa! Ushanhiib aayima! Aaw umaktabiib kihay? Ani umaktabiib kahay. Baruuk umaktabiib kitehaya. Batuuk umaktabiib kitehayi. Baruuh umaktabiib kihay. Batuuh umaktabiib kitehay. Hinin umaktabiib kinhay. Baraah umaktabiib kihayna. Baruuh ugawiib ihay, ihee? Ugawiib kihay. Umaktabiib kihay. Udukwkwaaniib kihay. Usuugiib kihay. Do you (M) want to stand (M) in the sun? Don't (M) hum in class! Spend the day, stay at your work! ? ! ! ? . . . . . . . . ? , . . . .

Who is not in the office?

I am not in the office. You (M) are not in the office. You (F) are not in the office. He is not in the office. She is not in the office. We are not in the office.

Baraakna umaktabiib kitehayna. You (PL) are not in the office. They are not in the office.

Is he in the house?

He is not in the house. He is not in the office. He is not in the shop. He is not in the market.

Tumadiinaatiib kihay. Whaashiib kihay.

He is not in the town. He is not in the country.

. .

Adverbial Suffixes for Nationalities 1


The tribal or national affiliations are expressed by an adverbial suffix.

Baruuk naa naayiiwa? Baruuk naa gwadiibwa? Baruuk naat gabiilaatiiwa? Ani Abaabdaayiibu. Ani Atmaanaayiibu. Ani Bishaariibu. Ani Handhiwaayiibu. Ani Nuuraayiibu. Whose are you (M)? What is your (M) tribe (LIT side)? What is your (M) tribe (From which tribe are you (M))? ? ? ? . . . . .

I am (of) Abaabda. I am Atman. I am Bishaari. I am Hadendowa. I am Nuurayi.

Adverbial Suffixes for Nationalities 2

Baraakna naa naayiibaana? Hinin / Baraah Iritriiba. Hinin / Baraah Amriikiiba. Hinin / Baraah Ingiliiziiba. Whose are you (PL M)? We / They (M) are Eritreans. ? . / . / / . / .

Hinin / Baraah Soodaaniiba. We / They (M) are Sudanese. We / They (M) are Americans. We / They (M) are British.

Conversation 12: 'Living in a Different Country' (Examples of Adverbial Suffixes)


Host and visitor

#1 Baruuk naayiiwa? Of what tribe (LIT whose) are you (M)? #2 Baruuk naat takwa? From which nationality, group (LIT thing) are you (M)? #3 Ani Nuuraayiibu. I am from (LIT of) the Nuura group. ani nuuraayiib-u SG1 Nuuraayi-IDSG13M baruuk naat tak-wa SG2M thing man-IDSG2M baruuk naa-yii-wa SG2M thing-CASGEN-IDSG2M

#4 Nuuraayiib tikatiyeek, asgaab takwa. nuuraayiib ti-kati-yeek asgaab tak-wa If you (M) are from Nuura, you are a peaceful man. #5 Baruuk oon'oomhiin naaka tirga tibariya? How many years have you (M) (lived) in this place? #6 Ani oon'oomhiin asimhayt massi abari. I have (lived) in this place three years. #7 Batuuk naayiituwi? Whose are you (F)? #8 Batuuk naat takattuwi? From which nationality, group (LIT thing) are you (F)? #9 Ani Almaaniitu. I am (F) German (LIT of German). #10 Almaaniit tikatiyeek, asgaat takattuwi. If you (F) are German (LIT of German), you are a peaceful woman. #11 Batuuk oon'oomhiin naakaat massi tibarii? How many years have you (F) (lived) in this place? #12 Ani oon'oomhiin malu tirga abari. I have (lived) here two months. ani oon-'oo-mhiin malu tirg-a a-bari SG1 NEARSGMOBJPF-ARTSGMOBJ-place two monthPL PERFSG1PF-have batuuk oon-'oo-mhiin naakaat massi ti-bari-i SG2F NEARSGMOBJPF-ARTSGMOBJ-place how.many year PERFSG2FPF-have-PERFSG2F almaaniit ti-kat-i-yeek asgaat takatt-uwi German IMPFSG3FPF-be-ADV+if peaceful womanIDSG2F ani almaaniit-u SG1 German-IDSG13F batuuk naat takatt-uwi SG2F thing woman-IDSG2F batuuk naa-yiit-uwi SG2F thing-CASGEN-IDSG2F ani oon-'oo-mhiin asimhayt massi a-bari SG1 NEARSGMOBJPF-ARTSGMOBJ-place eight year PERFSG1PF-have baruuk oon-'oo-mhiin naaka tirg-a ti-bari-ya SG2M NEARSGMOBJPF-ARTSGMOBJ-place how.many month-PL PERFSG2MPF-have-PERFSG2M Nuuraayi IMPFSG3FPF-be-ADV+if peaceful manIDSG2M

<292> , . ? . . ? ?

, . ? ? . . ?

Suffix Expressing Reason: -ii

Hargwiitii / yiweetii ayiya (ayiyayi). I died from hunger / thirst. Hargwiitii tiyiyaa. Hargwiitii tiyiyaayi. Hargwiitii iyiya. Hargwiitii tiyiya. Hargwiitii niyiya. Hargwiitii tiyiyaana. Hargwiitii iyiyaan. You (M) died from hunger. You (F) died from hunger. He died from hunger. She died from hunger. We died from hunger. You (PL) died from hunger. They died from hunger. . / . . . . . . .

Suffix Expressing Benefactive: -da

Naantaayiida ifiyak? Naantaayiida imilha? Tutakatiida gideha! Tutakatiida kwibara! Aniida talafoon iith'a tindiya? Aniida jawaab iiktib tindiya? Aayiida y'agag, idigi? Aayiida y'ush? Aayiida ifiyak? Aayiida imhi? Aayiida tiyihaya? Aayiida imilha? Aliida bak diya! Bariihooda diya! Aniida baashinhaya! Aniida ibi. Aniida iwnan. Aniida yam shaawa! Baabiiyookda gada! Baabiiyookda shibooba! Ikajareeda ifdhadh. Bariihooda baashinhaya, baashinaaha! Where (LIT where to) did he carry? Where did he lead? Descend for the woman's sake! Go down for the woman's sake! Will you (M) telephone (to, for) me? Will you (M) write (to, for) me a letter? For whom did he return? For whom did he leave it? For whom did he load? For whom did it, he remain? For whom did you (M) take it? To whom did he lead? Tell (to, for) Ali so! Tell him! Don't worry about, for me! He went for me (representing me). He was angry with (LIT toward) me. Add water for me! Stand up for your father! Be good to your father! He confessed to the police. Don't worry about him! ? ? ! ! ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ! ! ! . . ! ! ! . , !

Bariihooda bahasaaya! Bariihooda ifdhadh.

Don't be angry because of him! He confessed to him.

! .

Temporal Suffixes Temporal Suffix: -iib

gaal samuuniib within one week gaal tirgiib gaat s'aatiib amseeneeb within one month gaat masseetiib within one year within one hour within this day

Temporal Suffix: -ka

Tuhattiika batook rhaayook kaaki. Iru bitkaayteeka batook rhaayook kaaki. Irooneeka batook rhaayook kaaki. Irooneeka ushanhu abaay kaaki. Nabhoobeeka ugirmu lhiiniheeb. Wanaaneeka naan tamta? Wanaaneeka buun nigraabu. I haven't seen you (F) since Sunday I haven't seen you (F) since before yesterday. I haven't seen you (F) since yesterday. I didn't go to the work since yesterday. My head aches (me) since midday. What did you eat since this morning? I am craving for coffee since this morning. . . . . . ? .

Amseeneeka ushanhu iiba kaadi. Lhayteeka ushanhu iiba kaadi. Lhayt baakaayeeka ushanhu iiba kaadi. Tulitneentiika ushanhu iiba kaadi.

As from today I won't go to my work. As from tomorrow I won't go to my work. As from after tomorrow I won't go to my work. As from Monday I won't go to my work.

. . . .

Temporal Suffix: -ka 2

Doorka doorka, door doorka malaal eebi. Sanaatka dhhani hagitna, siniina! From time to time I have diarrhea. Always (LIT all the time) stay well! , . , !

Manner Suffixes: Comparative


The comparative uses the same form as the temporal phrase with 'since'. The same suffix -ka 'than, more than' is used in both instances. However, the item against

which something is compared will take the genitive case suffix -ii/-ee '(SG/PL)' as well as -ka 'than'.

Comparative Suffix: -ka 1

Ali bariisookka hanyiis. Ali is better than him. . Amsi irooneeka hanyiis. Today is better than yesterday. .

Comparative Suffix: -ka 2


If two items are compared, the suffix -ka 'than' will be attached to both words: First the item against which the comparison is made, and second the attribute (i.e. the adjective) which is being compared.
Ani bariisookka winkaabu. Ani batiisookka diskaatu. Baruuk aniika fagarkaawwa. Batuuk aniika afhamaakaatuwi. Baruuh batiisoohka winkaabu. Batuuh bariisoohka diskaatu. Hinin bareesooknaaka fagaraakaaba. Hinin bateesooknaaka afhamaakaaba. Baraakna hineeka wawinkaabaana. Bataakna hineeka dadiskaataana. Baraah bateesoohka fagaraakaaba. Bataah bareesoohka afhamaakaata. <295> I (M) am bigger than you (M). I (F) am smaller than you (F). You (M) are more brave than me. You (F) are more clever than me. He is taller than she. She is smaller than him. . . . . . . . . . . . .

We are more brave than you (PL M). We are more clever than you (PL F). You (PL M) are taller than us. You (PL F) are smaller than us. They (M) are more brave than her. They (F) are cleverer than him.

The item against which the comparison is made may be left implicit, as in the following paradigms.

Comparative Paradigm 1
Ani winkaabu. Ani diskaatu. Baruuk fagarkaawa. Batuuk afhamaakaatuwi. Baruuh winkaabu. Batuuh diskaatu. Hinin fagaraakaaba. Hinin afhamaakaata. I (M) am taller. I (F) am smaller. You (M) are more courageous. You (F) are more clever. He is taller. She is smaller. . . . . . . . .

We are more courageous (M). We are more clever (F).

Baraakna wawinkaabaana. You (PL M) are taller. Bataakna dadiskaataana. Baraah fagaraakaaba. Bataah afhamaakaata. You (PL F) are smaller. They (M) are more courageous. They (F) are more clever.

. . . .

Comparative Paradigm 2
Baruuh aniika winkaabu. Baruuh bariisookka winkaabu. Baruuh batiisookka winkaabu. Baruuh bariisoohka winkaabu. Baruuh batiisoohka winkaabu. Baruuh hineeka winkaabu. Baruuh bareesooknaaka winkaabu. Baruuh bateesooknaaka winkaabu. Baruuh bateehsoonaaka winkaabu. He is taller than me. He is taller than you (M). He is taller than you (F). He is taller than him. He is taller than her. . . . . . . . . . .

He is taller than us. He is taller than you (PL M). He is taller than you (PL F).

Baruuh bareehsoonaaka winkaabu. He is taller than them (M). He is taller than them (F).

Comparative Paradigm 3
Ani bariisoohka winkaabu. Ani bariisoohka winkaatu. Baruuk bariisoohka winkaawwa. Batuuk bariisoohka winkaatuwi. Baruuh bariisoohka winkaabu. Batuuh bariisoohka winkaatu. Hinin bariisoohka wawinkaaba. Bataakna bariisoohka wawinkaataana. Baraah bariisoohka wawinkaaba. Bataah bariisoohka wawinkaata. I (M) am taller than him. I (F) am taller than him. You (M) are taller than him. You (F) are taller than him. He is taller than him. She is taller than him. . . . . . . . . . .

We are taller than him.

Baraakna bariisoohka wawinkaabaana. You (PL M) are taller than him. . You (PL F) are taller than him. They (M) are taller than him. They (F) are taller than him.

Manner Suffixes: Superlative


The superlative uses the same suffix -ka 'more, more than'. A definite article marks the superlative, and a genitive marks the item to which it is superior.

Superlative 1 (M) 'of all'

Ali kasseeyoon oowin-kaabu. Ali is the tallest of us all. . -

Ali kasseeyookna oowin-kaabu. Ali is the tallest of you (PL M) all. . - Ali kasseehoona oowin-kaabu. Ali is the tallest of them (M) all. . -

Superlative 2 (F) 'of all'

Zaynab kasseeyoon toowin-kaatu. Zaynab kasseehoona toowin-kaatu. Zaynab is the tallest of us all. . . . Zaynab kasseeyookna toowin-kaatu. Zaynab is the tallest of you (PL) all. Zaynab is the tallest of them (M) all.

Superlative 3 'of all'

Batuuk kasseeyoon toowin-kaatuwi. Batuuk kasseetookna toowinkaatuwi. Batuuk kasseetehoona toowinkaatuwi. You (F) are the tallest of us all. You (F) are the tallest of you (PL F) all. You (F) are the tallest of them (F) all. . . .

Superlative 4 'of them'

Ani kasseeyookna ufagar-kaabu Ani kasseehoona w'afhamaa-kaabu Baruuk kasseeyoon oowin-kaawwa Batuuk kasseeyookna toodiskaatuwi. Baruuh kasseehoona oowin-kaabu. Baruuh kasseehoona whamraakaabu. Baruuh kasseehoona w'eegrimkaabu I (M) am the bravest of you (PL M) all. I (M) am the cleverest of them (M) all. You (M) are the biggest of us all. You (F) are the smallest of you all. He is the biggest of them all. He is the poorest, bitterest of them all. He is the oldest of them all . . . .

Batuuh kasseehoona tu'akaraa-kaatu She is the strongest of them all.

Superlative 5 'of them'

Bateeyookna Zaynab tudaawriikaatu. Bareehoona Ali udaawriikaabu. Bateehoona Aasha tufagarkaatu. Y'areeb Ali ufagarkaabu. Ti'arteeb Aasha tufagarkaatu. Tim'ateeb Zaynab tudaawriikaatu. Kasseehoona Haamid w'akaraakaabu. Kasseeyookna ani udaawriikaatu. Zaynab is the nicest of you (PL F OBJ). Ali is the nicest of them (M). Aasha is the bravest of them (F). Ali is the bravest of the boys. Aasha is the bravest of the girls. Zaynab is the nicest of the women. Hammad is the strongest of them all. I (F) am the nicest of you all. . . . . . . . .

Ilaamdi kasseeyooh Ali ufagarkaabu. Ilaamdiiyeeb Ali ufagarkaabu.

Ali is the bravest of all the students. Ali is the bravest of the students.

. .

Adverbs with Possessive Suffixes


Adverbs refer to the circumstances in which things happen, such as the place or the time of the event.

Table 28: Adverbs

kehii har'i hooy hiiy suuri geeb mari whii gwad <298> above after, behind from, among in, inside in front, before near, beside, close by

dehooy to, for toward under, underneath with, together

In expressions like 'near you', the adverb may refer to a person. In such cases, the person to which the place or time refers has the form of a possessive suffix, such as in the example geeb-ook 'nearness-yours', meaning 'near you'.

Adverb 'for' 1
dehu, dehooyu to me, for me dehook dehooh dehoon dehookna dehaay to, for you to, for him, her to, for us to, for you (PL) to, for them ,

Adverb 'for' 2
Dehook amad. Dehu timada. Dehu timadi. Dehu imad. Dehu timad. Dehoon timadna. I made it (LIT was) easy ( easy) for you (M). You (M) made it (LIT were) easy for me. You (F) made it (LIT were) easy for me. He made it (LIT was) easy for me. She made it (LIT was) easy for me. . . . . . . .

Dehookna nimad. We made it (LIT were) easy to, for you (PL). You (PL) made it (LIT were) easy to, for us.

Dehoon imadna.

They made it (LIT were) easy to, for us.

Adverb 'for, to'

Dehooyu agira! Bring (M) (it) back to me! ! ! Dehoon agirna! Bring (PL) (it) back to us!

Adverb 'near, beside'

geebu geebook geeboon near me near you near us

geebookna near you (PL)

Adverb '(together) with'

gwadu gwadook gwadoon with me with you with us

gwadookna with you (PL)

Adverb '(together) with' 1

Gwadoon aayima! Stay, spend the day with us! Gwadoon daayaa! Gwadoon mhiya! Stay (LIT put) with us! Remain with us! ! ! !

Adverb '(together) with' 2

Aaw gwadoon eefi? Ani gwadookna eefi. Baruuk gwadoon teefaya. Batuuk gwadoon teefayi. Baruuh gwadoon eefi. Batuuh gwadoon teefi. Hinin gwadookna neefi. Baraah gwadoon eefeen. Who is with us? I am with you (PL). You (M) are with us. You (F) are with us. He is with us. She is with us. We are with you (M). ? . . . . . . .

Baraakna gwadoon teefeena. You (PL M) are with us. . They (M) are with us.

Adverb 'in, above, under'

hiiyu hiiyook hiiyoon hiiyookna in me in you in us in you (PL)

kehiiyu kehiiyook kehiiyoon

above me above you above, on us

kehiiyookna above, on you (PL) whiiyu whiiyook whiiyoon whiiyookna under me under you under us under you (PL)

Adverb 'from, among'

hooyu hook hooy hoon hookna from me from you from him, her from, among us from, among you (PL) , ,

hooy, hoona, bareehsoona from, among them

Adverb 'among'
Hoon ihee?14 Hoon tihee? Hoon iheen? Hookna ihee? Hookna tihee? Hookna iheen? Hooy ihee? Hooy tihee? Hooy iheen? Hookna ihayhoob, dehooyu fir'ana! Oon'ootak hissaabook hooy d'iya! <299> Is he among us? Is she among us? Are they among us? Is he among you (PL)? Is she among you (PL)? Are they among you (PL)? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? , ! !

Is he among them? Is she among them? Are they among them? When he is among you (PL), send (PL) him out to me! Be careful about this man (LIT This man, put your mind on him)!

Adverb 'with (him, her, it, them)'

Haay giigaa! Go away with it, him! !

Oosuug haay ibi. Ub'ani haay is'a. Ub'ani haay insi. Tirig gaal haay kitihagiti? <300>

He went to the market with it, him. The vulture sat down with it, him. The vulture ascended up with it, him.

. . . .

Usanuuk haay hawaayiya. Your brother played with it, him.

Won't you (F) stay one month with it, him? ?

The adverb haay 'with' never changes. But when it is used, a third person is always implicit. Therefore haay 'with' must be translated either as 'with it', or 'with him', 'with her', or 'with them' - depending on the context.

Adverb 'toward'
maru marook mari maroon marookna toward me toward you toward him, her toward us toward you (PL) ,

marooh, bareeh mari toward them

Adverb 'behind, after'

har'u har'ook har'i, bariiyooh har'i har'oon har'ookna behind, after me behind you behind him, her behind us behind you (PL) , ,

har'i, bareehoona har'i behind them

Adverb 'in front, before'

suuru suurook suur suuroon suurookna suurhoona Suuru sakaa! in front of, before me before you before him, her before us before you (PL) before them ! !

Walk (M) before me!

Suuroon sakaa! Walk (M) before us!

Conversation 13: 'Back from a Journey' (Examples of Local Adverbs)


A: host, B: traveler
#1 A: Yakaana! Shaahiib hiddaab gw'aniiyay! A: Get up (PL)! Let us have tea together! #2 Ugawi jiwaay winneet l'aabu, In the room (house) it is very cold, #3 barraab nitfir'a! let us go out ! #4 B: Daayiitu, tuyiintiib nitfir'a! B: Good, let us go out in the sun! #5 A: Naadoor eetaana? A: When did you (PL) come? #6 B: Iru eena. B: We came yesterday. #7 A: Tu'iibaab kak tid'i? A: How was the journey? #8 B: Yaa takay! Hamiitu. B: Oh man! It was difficult (LIT bitter). #9 A: Tu'iibaab kak tan'i? A: What kind of journey was it? #10 B: Winneet hamiitu. winneet hamiit-u tu-'iibaab kak ZERO-tan'i ARTSGF-journey how IMPFSG3MPF-be.similar yaa tak-ay hamiit-u hello man-VOCAT bitter-IDSG13M tu-'iibaab kak ti-d'i ARTSGF-journey how PERFSG3FPF-put iru ee-na yesterday come-PERFPL1 naadoor ee-taana what.time come-PERFPL2 daayiit-u tu-yiint-iib ni-tfir'a good-IDSG13F ARTSGF-sun-ADV+at IMPFPL1PF-exit barraab ni-tfir'a outside IMPFPL1PF-exit u-gaw-i jiwaay winneet l'-aab-u ARTSGM-house-CASGEN inside very yak-aana shaahiib hiddaab gw'a-niiyay arise-IMPVPL tea together drink-PERMPL1

B: It was (LIT is) very difficult (LIT bitter). #11 A: Afa naat naataana? A: Where did you spend the last night? #12 B: Fundukiib, fundugiib naana. B: We slept in a hotel. #13 A: Daayi funduk, fundug timiruuna? A: Have you found a good hotel? #14 B: Whaaliiyoon haddiib nimiru. B: We found one according to our ability. #15 A: Aliyaabuhan rhasaabu? A: Is it expensive or cheap? #16 B: Yaa takay, winneet rhasaabu. B: Oh man, it is really cheap. #17 A: Oon'umhiinaani sagiibuhan dawilu? A: Is it far from here or near? #18 B: Winneet sagiib kiiki. B: It is not very far.

very bitter-IDSG13F

afa naat naa-taana last.night pass.night-PERFPL2

funduk-iib naa-na hotel-ADV+at pass.night-PERFPL1 daayi funduk ti-miru-una good hotel PERFPL2PF-find-PERFPL2

w-haali-i-yoon hadd-iib ni-miru ARTSGM-condition-CASGEN-POSSPL1 until-ADV+at PERFPL1PF-find

aliyaab-u-han rhasaab-u expensive-IDSG13M-also yaa tak-ay winneet rhasaab-u hello man-VOCAT very oon-'u-mhiinaan-i sagiib-u-han dawil-u NEARSGMOBJPF-ARTSGM-place-CASGEN far-IDSG13Malso closeness-IDSG13M winneet sagiib kii-ki very far NEGIMPFSG3MPF-be

<302> ! , ! ? . . ! ! ? ! , ? , ? . ? ? . . . ? .

Verbs and Clauses Verbal Predicates


In the previous sections (especially Nominal Predicates), nominal predicates were discussed. They are used to identify or describe things, and they employ adjectives or nouns.

In the following sections verbal predicates will be discussed. They are used to talk about events, and they employ verbs.

Weak and Strong Verbs


A Beja dictionary of verbs would have two kinds of verbs - about 50% each: The first kind uses suffixes to express the subject, as in geed-an 'threw-SG1'. The other uses prefixes to express the subject, as in a-gid 'SG1-threw'.

The verbs which take suffixes are called weak verbs (or class 1 verbs), and they are considered more simple. They will be introduced first. The others are called strong verbs (or class 2 verbs), and they will be introduced later.

Weak Verbs: Subject Suffixes


There are only two basic paradigms for Beja tenses or aspects: (1) past, perfect and (2) present, imperfect. Most of the time, these two will simply be called past and present.

Verb Paradigms

The focus will now be on the past and present tense of weak verbs in their positive (affirmative) forms. A full discussion of negative verb forms will follow later, but for the sake of completeness, the tables will include the negative forms even at this stage. Two important things should be noted for all paradigms: 1. 2. The past positive and present negative use the same verb stem. The only difference is the negative prefix ka- 'not'. In the plural of participles, the pitch-accent shifts towards the beginning of the word.

Verbs Ending in Consonants


The subject suffixes of weak verbs are most easily recognized in verbs which end in consonants, such as yak- 'to start' or tam- 'to eat' (see below). For this reason, a verb stem which ends in a consonant will serve as the main paradigm for weak verbs.

The Paradigm of 'to arise, start'

IMPV: yakaa! yakii! yakaana! IMPV: Start (M)! Start (F)! Start (PL)! NEG IMPV: ! baayakaa! biiyakii! ! ! baayakaana! NEG IMPV: Don't start (M)! Don't start (F)! Don't start (PL)! ! ! !

PTCP: yakaab PAST: yakan yaktaa yaktaayi yakiya yakta yakna yaktaana yakiyaan PRES: yakani yaktiniya yaktinii yakiini yaktini yaknay yakteena yakeen FUT: yaki andi PAST CONT: yaki yaktiya yaktiyi

PTCP: started (M) PAST: I started. You (M) started. You (F) started. He started. She started. We started. You (PL) started. They started. PRES: I start. You (M) start. You (F) start. He starts. She starts. We start. You (PL) start. They start. FUT: I will start. PAST CONT: I was starting. You (M) were starting. You (F) were starting.

NEG PTCP: baayakay NEG PAST: yakaab kaaki yakaab kittaa yakaat kittaayi yakaab kiiki yakaat kitti yakaab kinki yakaab kitteena yakaab kiikeen NEG PRES: kayakan kayaktaa kayaktaayi kayakiya kayakta kayakna kayaktaana kayakiyaan NEG FUT: yaki kaadi NEG PAST CONT: yakaab kaaki yakaab kittaa yakaat kittaayi

NEG PTCP: not started NEG PAST: I didn't start. You (M) didn't start. You (F) didn't start. He didn't start. She didn't start. We didn't start. You (PL) didn't start. They didn't start. NEG PRES: I don't start. You (M) don't start. You (F) don't start. He doesn't start. She doesn't start. We don't start. You (PL) don't start. They don't start. NEG FUT: I won't start. NEG PAST: I didn't start. You (M) didn't start. You (F) didn't start.

yaki yakti yakni yaktiina yakiin Noun of Action: u-yakti <310>

He was starting. She was starting. We were starting. You (PL) were starting. They were starting. Noun of Action: the starting

yakaab kiiki yakaat kitti yakaab kinki yakaab kitteena yakaab kiikeen

He didn't start. She didn't start. We didn't start. You (PL) didn't start. They didn't start.

Here are some of the most frequent weak verbs. All weak verbs have the same basic pattern as yak- 'to start'.

List of the most frequent Weak Verbs

M'aa! Yakaa! Rhaa! Giigaa! Sooyaa! Daayaa! <311> Come (very frequent)! Start, arise (very frequent)! See (very frequent)! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Areeyaa! Like, love (very frequent)! Go away, leave (frequent)! Tell, inform (frequent)! Do (frequent)!

If a weak verb ends in a consonant, the suffix forms are exactly the same as for yakin the paradigm above. If however the verb ends in a vowel or a glottal stop (h or hamzah), some minor adjustments of sounds need to be made. They will be presented further below.

Past Tense of 'to eat'

Taman. Tamtaa. Tamtaayi. Tamiya. Tamta. Tamna. Tamiyaan. I ate. You (M) ate. You (F) ate. He ate. She ate. We ate. . . . . . . . .

Tamtaana. You (PL) ate. They ate.

Negative Present Tense of 'to eat'

Kataman. I don't eat. .

Katamtaa. Katamtaayi. Katamiya. Katamta. Katamna. Katamiyaan.

You (M) don't eat. You (F) don't eat. He doesn't eat. She doesn't eat. We don't eat.

. . . . . . .

Katamtaana. You (PL) don't eat. They don't eat.

Present Tense of 'to eat'

Tamani. Tamtiniya. Tamtinii. Tamiini. Tamnay. Tamteena. Tameen. I eat, am eating. You (M) eat, are eating. You (F) eat, are eating. He eats, is eating. . . . . , . . .

Tamtini, tamtini. She eats, is eating. We eat, are eating. You (PL) eat, are eating. They eat, are eating.

Verbs Ending in Vowels 1


The verb 'to come' starts with a glottal stop (hamzah) and ends in a vowel. Therefore some of its forms differ from those of other weak verbs, such as the first person singular y'an, y'ani and the third person plural y'een. Actually, this is the only weak verb which appears to be irregular, in particular because its imperative m'aa! is derived from an entirely different root15.

Past Tense of 'to come'

Y'an. Eetaa. Eetaayi. Eeya, eeyiya. Eeta. Eena. Eetaana. I came You (M) came. You (F) came. He came. She came. We came. You (PL) came. . . . . , . . . . ,

Eeyaan, eeyiyaan. They came.

Negative Present Tense of 'to come'


The verb initial glottal stop (hamzah) appears, when the negative prefix is attached. Compare eetaa and ka'eetaa.
Kay'an. I don't come. .

Ka'eetaa. Ka'eetaayi. Ka'eeya. Ka'eeta. Ka'eena. Ka'eeyaan.

You (M) don't come. You (F) don't come. He doesn't come. She doesn't come. We don't come.

. . . . . . .

Ka'eetaana. You (PL) don't come. They don't come.

Present Tense of 'to come'

Y'ani. Eetiniya. Eetinii, eetnii. Eetni. Eenay. Eeteena. Y'een. I come / am coming. You (M) come, are coming. You (F) come, are coming. . . . , . . . . .

Eeyiini, aayiini. He comes, is coming. She comes, is coming. We come, are coming. You (PL) come, are coming. They come, are coming.

Verbs Ending in Glottal Sounds Past Tense of 'to drink'


For verbs which end in glottal sounds (h or hamzah), the vowel a is inserted between the stem and the suffix - unless the subject suffix starts with a vowel. For instance, compare gw'-an and gw'-a-taa.
Gw'an. Gw'ataa. Gw'ataayi. Gw'iya. Gw'ata. Gw'ana. Gw'iyaan. I drank. You (M) drank. You (F) drank. He drank. She drank. We drank. . . . . . . . .

Gw'ataana. You (PL) drank. They drank.

Present Tense of 'to drink'

Gw'ani. Gw'atnii. Gw'iini. I drink. . . . . Gw'atiniya. You (M) drink. You (F) drink. He drinks.

Gw'atni. Gw'anay. Gw'ateena. Gw'een.

She drinks. We drink. You (PL) drink. They drink.

. . . .

Past Tense of 'to see'

Rhan. Rhitaa. Rhitaayi. Rhiya. Rhita. Rhina. Rhiyaan. I saw (sth.). You (M) saw. You (F) saw. He saw. She saw. We saw. . . . . . . . .

Rhitaana. You (PL) saw. They saw.

Present Tense of 'to see'

Rhani. Rhitiniya. Rhitnii. Rhiini. Rhitni. Rhinay. Rheen. I see (sth.). You (M) see. You (F) see. He sees She sees. We see. . . . . . . . .

Rhateena. You (PL) see. They see.

Verbs Ending in Vowels 2 Past Tense of 'to read'


For verbs which end in vowels, -y is inserted if a suffix starts with a vowel.
Agriiyani. Agriitniya. Agriiyiini. Agriitni. Agriinay. Agriiteena. Agriiyeen. I read, study. You (M) read, study. . . . , . . . . .

Agriitnii, agriitniyi. You (F) read, study. He reads, studies. She reads, studies. We read, study. You (PL) read, study. They read, study.

Negative Present Tense of 'to read'

Ka'agriiyan. Ka'agriitaa. Ka'agriitaayi. Ka'agriiya. Ka'agriita. Ka'agriina. Ka'agriiyaan. I don't read, study. You (M) don't read, study. You (F) don't read, study. He doesn't read, study. She doesn't read, study. We don't read, study. . . . . . . . .

Ka'agriitaana. You (PL) don't read, study. They don't read, study.

Verbs Ending in Vowels 3 Present Tense of 'to like'

Areeyani. Areetniya. Areetnii. Areeyiini. Areetni. Areenay. Areeyeen. I like. You (M) like. You (F) like. He likes. She likes. We like. . . . . . . . .

Areeteena. You (PL) like. They like.

Negative Present Tense of 'to like'


The transitive verb aree- 'to like' - before a direct object - starts and ends with a vowel - so the usual adjustments need to be made.
Ka'areeyan. Ka'areetaa. Ka'areetaayi. Ka'areeya, ka'areeyiya. Ka'areeta. Ka'areena. Ka'areetaana. I don't like. You (M) don't like. You (F) don't like. He doesn't like. She doesn't like. We don't like. You (PL) don't like. . . . . , . . . . ,

Ka'areeyaan, ka'areeyiyaan. They don't like. <317>

As an auxiliary, introducing a sentencial complement, a shorter form of aree is used.

Negative Present Tense of 'to like' (short form)

Karan. Kareetaa. I don't like (to do sth.). You (M) don't like (to do sth.). . .

Kareetaayi. Kareeya. Kareeta. Kareena. Kareeyaan.

You (F) don't like (to do sth.). He doesn't like (to do sth.). She doesn't like (to do sth.). We don't like (to do sth.).

. . . . . .

Kareetaana. You (PL) don't like (to do sth.). They don't like (to do sth.).

Past and Present Tense Verb Forms


Since the past and present forms of the third person are quite different from each other, it is suggested to study these with a list of verbs such as here below.
Afirhiya / afirhiini. Afreeyiya / afreeyiini. Anf'iya / anf'iini. Assiya / assiini. Bireetiya / bireetiini. Daasiya / daasiini. Daayiya / daayiini. Hasamiya / hasamiini. Hawsooya, hawsooyiya / hawsooyiini. Hiisiya / hiisiini, hiisiyiini. Jarrabiya / jarrabiini. Kwinhiya / kwinhiini. Lingwuuyiya / lingwuuyiini. Mitiyaayiya / mitiyaayiini. Neewiya / neewiini. Nuuniya / nuuniini. Rafoofiya / rafoofiini. Saffagiya / saffagiini. Tawwariya / tawwariini. He rejoiced / He rejoices. He was bad / He is bad. He was fit / He is fit. He covered / He covers. It rained / It rains. He put / He puts. He did / He does. He passed / He passes. He dreamt / He dreams. He thought / He thinks. He tried / He tries. He sounded, shouted / He sounds, shouts. He sent / He sends. He described / He describes. He insulted / He insults. He sent, handed / He sends, hands. He beat / He beats. He clapped hands / He claps hands. He developed / He develops. / . . / . / . / . / / . . / . / / , . / . . / / . / . / . . / . / . / . / . /


From the imperatives it is easy to recognize whether a verb is weak or strong. Here follows another list of the imperatives of weak verbs. The most frequent ones are marked and should be studied first.

Imperatives: Weak Verbs by Frequencies

Adgiraa / adgirii / adgiraana! Afasaa / afasii / afasaana! Afhamaa / afhamii / afhamaana! Afooyaa / afooyii / afooyaana! Agriiyaa / agriiyii / agriiyaana! Areeyaa / areeyii / areeyaana! Asbiraa / asbirii / asbiraana! Assaa / assii / assaana! B'aa! / B'ii / b'aana! Badooyaa / badooyii / badooyaana! Bhaliiyaa / bhaliiyii / bhaliiyaana! Daayaa / daayii / daayaana! Dhaabaa / Dhaabii / dhaabaana! Dhibaa / dhibii / dhibaana! Diiraa / Diirii / diiraana! Diwaa / diwii / diwaana! Faayisaa / faayisii / faayisaana! Fagaramaa / fagaramii / fagaramaana! Fartakaa / fartakii / fartakaana! Fiinaa / fiinii / fiinaana! Giigaa / giigii / giigaana! Gw'aa / gw'ii / gw'aana! Gw'asaa / gw'asii / gw'asaana! Gwuugamaa / gwuugamii / gwuugamaana! Ha'aa / ha'ii / haam'aana! Hadiidaa / hadiidii / hadiidaana! Hawaayaa / hawaayii / hawaayaana! Hiisaa / hiisii / hiisaana! Hireeraa / hireerii / hireeraana! Hukwumaa / hukwumii / hukwumaana! Be able (M) / (F) / (PL)! (frequent) Explain, make known (M) / (F) / (PL)! Understand (M) / (F) / (PL)! Forgive (M) / (F) / (PL)! Read (M) / (F) / (PL)! Want, like (M) / (F) / (PL)! (frequent) Be patient (M) / (F) / (PL)! Cover (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Lie down (M) / (F) / (PL)! Begin (M) / (F) / (PL)! Speak, Talk (M) / (F) / (PL)! Do (M) / (F) / (PL)! (frequent) Run (M) / (F) / (PL)! Fall (M) / (F) / (PL)! Stare (M) / (F) / (PL)! Sleep (M) / (F) / (PL)! Finish something (M) / (F) / (PL)! Have courage (M) / (F) / (PL)! Disperse (M) / (F) / (PL)! Rest (M) / (F) / (PL)! Leave, go away (M) / (F) / (PL)! (frequent) Drink (M) / (F) / (PL)! (frequent) Give to drink (M) / (F) / (PL)! Look (quickly) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Bring (M) / (F) / (PL)! (very frequent) Talk (M) / (F) / (PL)! Play (M) / (F) / (PL)! Think (M) / (F) / (PL)! Walk (M) / (F) / (PL)! Rule, govern, decide (M) / (F) / (PL)! / / ! / ! / ! / / ! / / ! / / ! / / ! / / ! / / ! / / ! ! / / ! / / ! / / ! / / / / ! / / ! / / ! / ! / ! / / / ! / ! / / / ! / ! / / / ! / / / ! ! / / / / ! ! / / / / ! / / ! / / !

Iibaabaa / iibaabii / iibaabaana! Jarrabaa / jarrabii / jarrabaana! Kafaa / kafii / kafaana! Kwaramaa / Kwaramii / kwaramaana! Lakkataa / lakkatii / lakkataana! Lhaa / lhii / lhaana! M'aa / m'ii / m'aana! Mhasaa / mhasii / mhasaana! Neewaa / neewii / neewaana! Niinaa / niinii / niinaana! Oobaa / oobii / oobaana! Raataa, araataa / raatii / raataana! Rayhamaa / rayhamii / rayhamaana! Reewaa / reewii / reewaana! Rhisaa / rhisii / rhisaana! Sakaa / sakii / sakaana! Salaamaa / salaamii / salaamaana! Shagaamaa / shagaamii / shagaamaana! Shakiidhaa / shakiidhii / shakiidhaana! Shuumaa / shuumii / shuumaana! Soomaayaa / soomaayii / soomaayaana! Sooyaa / sooyii / sooyaana! Tamaa / tamii / tamaana! Tatehaa / Tatehii / tatehaana! Tehaa! / Tehii / tehaana! Thathaa / thathii / thathaana! Tikwaa / tikwii / tikwaana! Waawaa! Waawii / waawaana!

Travel (M) / (F) / (PL)! Try (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Sing / dance (M) / (F) / (PL)! Bow down (M) / (F) / (PL)! Collect (M) / (F) / (PL)! Be angry, be ill (M) / (F) / (PL)! Come (M) / (F) / (PL)! (very frequent) Eat lunch (M) / (F) / (PL)! Insult, blaspheme (M) / (F) / (PL)! Hum, sing (M) / (F) / (PL)! Track (M) / (F) / (PL)! Ask (M) / (F) / (PL)! (frequent) Be relaxed, comforted (M) / (F) / (PL)! Climb, stop (M) / (F) / (PL)! Show (M) / (F) / (PL)! Work, do (M) / (F) / (PL)! (frequent) Greet (M) / (F) / (PL)! Work (M) / (F) / (PL)! Scratch (REP) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Enter (M) / (F) / (PL)! Tell a secret (M) / (F) / (PL)! Inform, tell (M) / (F) / (PL)! (frequent) Eat (M) / (F) / (PL)! Touch (REP) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Touch once (M) / (F) / (PL)! Have a seat (M) / (F) / (PL)! Descend (M) / (F) / (PL)! Cry, weep (M) / (F) / (PL)!

! / / ! / / / ! / / / ! ! / / / ! / ! / / ! / / ! / / ! / / ! / / ! / / , / / ! ! / / / / ! ! / / / / ! / / ! / / ! / ! / / / ! ! / / / ! / / ! / / ! ! / ! / / / / ! ! / !

Conversation 14: 'Doctor and Patient' (Examples of the Present Tense)


D: doctor, P: patient
#1 D: Oosmook aab eeyadna? D: What is your name? #2 P: Uusmu Aliib eeyadna. P: They call me Ali. #3 D: Naakaat massi tibariya? D: How old are you? #4 P: Oon'ani timasseeti daayiib kaakan. P: Myself, I don't know the years well. #5 Laakiin Haayli Sillaassi oon'umhiinaan eeyanhoob, faraayu. But I was born when Haile Selassie was here. #6 D: Naanaatii gwirhamtiniya / gwiryamtiniya? D: From what do you suffer? #7 P: Uun'ani haafiit lhanayteeh gwiryamani. P: I suffer from stomach trouble. #8 D: Naakaat tiina tibariya eettilhanayteek gwiryamtaaneeka? D: How many days is it (do you have) since you suffer from this your sickness? #9 naakaat tiin-a ti-bariy-a eet-ti-lhanayt-eek gwirhamtaan-ee-ka how.many sun-PL PERFSG2MPF-have-PERFSG2M NEARPLFOBJPF-ARTPLF-sickness-POSSSG2 sufferPERFPL2-W H-than uun-'ani haaf-iit lhanayt-eeh gwirham-ani NEARSGMSUBJPF-SG1 belly-CASGEN sicknessPOSSSG3 suffer-IMPFSG1 naanaat-ii gwirham-tiniya what.thing-ADV+off suffer-IMPFSG2M laakiin haayli sillaassi oon-'u-mhiinaan ee-ya-nhoob far-aay-u but Haile Selassie NEARSGMOBJPF-ARTSGM-place come-PERFSG3M-ADV+when born-PTCPPASTIDSG13M oon-'ani ti-masseet-i daayiib kaa-kan NEARSGMOBJPF-SG1 ARTPLF-year-CASGEN good NEGIMPFSG1PF-know naakaat massi ti-bari-ya how.many year PERFSG2MPF-have-PERFSG2M uu-sm-u aliib ZERO-eeyad-na ARTSGMSUBJ-name-POSSSG1 Ali IMPFPL3PF-sayIMPFPL3 oo-sm-ook aab ZERO-eeyad-na ARTSGMOBJ-name-POSSSG2 whoOBJM IMPFPL3PF-say-IMPFPL3

P: Uun amsi nagaaru / asaramaatu, hiisani. P: Now today (LIT this today) it is the second day / a week, I think. #10 D: Huutamtiniya? D: Do you vomit? #11 P: Kahuutaman. P: I don't vomit. #12 D: Malaal teebiya? D: Do you have diarrhea? #13 P: Doorka doorka malaal eebi. P: From time to time I have diarrhea. #14 D: Wanaaneeka naan tamta? D: Since this morning, what did you eat? #15 P: Tum'ariitiib win nifis kaabaru. P: I have no great appetite for any meal. #16 D: Suuri dabaab hakiim rhamaawa? D: Before this, have you been seen by a doctor? #17 P: Kaaki. P: I haven't. #18 D: Aflaa, uyafook haaksa! D: Well, open your mouth. #19 P: Daayiitu. P: O.K.

uun amsi nagaar-u asaramaat-u hiis-ani NEARSGMSUBJ today sevenIDSG13F think-IMPFSG1 huutam-tiniya vomit-IMPFSG2M ka-huutam-an NEGIMPFSG1PF-vomit-NEGIMPFSG1

malaal t-eebi-ya diarrhea IMPFSG2MPF-go-IMPFSG2M door-ka door-ka malaal ZERO-eebi time-than time-than diarrhea IMPFSG1PF-go wanaanee-ka naan tam-ta before.morning-ADV+since what eat-PERFSG3F

tu-m'ariit-iib win nifis kaa-baru ARTSGF-food-ADV+at big appetite NEGIMPFSG1PFhave suuri dabaab hakiim rham-aa-wa ahead additionally doctor be.seen-PTCPPASTIDSG2M kaa-ki NEGIMPFSG1PF-be aflaa u-yaf-ook haaks-a so.then ARTSGM-mouth-POSSSG2 open-FUTSG daayiit-u good-IDSG13F

#20 D: Naat hooy kalawta / kitihaayi. D: Nothing can be seen here / nothing is there. #21 Oon'oomhiin b'a! Lie down here! #22 P: Daayiitu. P: O.K. #23 D: Naat kitbaruwa. D: You don't have anything. #24 Laakiin mheel gaal dehook iiktib andi. But I will prescribe (LIT write) a medicine for you. #25 Oon'oomheel faayistiihoob, shaawi gaabalaaheeb! When you have finished this medicine, visit me again! #26 P: Allaa tankwiikweek. L'aab naayaa! P: If God allows. Good bye! #27 D: Asigaab, l'aab naayaa! D: The same to you, good bye! <321> asigaab l'-aab naa-yaa peaceful pass.night-IMPVM allaa ZERO-tankwiikw-eek l'-aab naa-yaa God IMPFSG3MPF-create-ADV+if pass.night-IMPVM oon-'oo-mheel faayis-tii-hoob shaawi gaabal-aaheeb NEARSGMOBJPF-ARTSGMOBJ-spice finish.something-PASTSG3F-ADV+when additionally visit-IMPVM-OBJSG1 laakiin mheel gaal dehook ii-ktib a-ndi but spice one toSG2M FUTSG-write IMPFSG1PF-say naat kit-baru-wa thing NEGIMPFSG2MPF-have-NEGIMPFSG2M daayiit-u good-IDSG13F oon-'oo-mhiin b'-a NEARSGMOBJPF-ARTSGMOBJ-place lie.downIMPVM naat hooy ka-law-ta kit-iha thing at NEGIMPFSG3FPF-appear-NEGIMPFSG3F NEGIMPFSG3FPF-be

. . , ? . ? ? . ? . , / ? . ! , . ? . ? . ? . / . , . . ! . ! . ! ! ,

Strong Verbs: Subject Prefixes


The so-called strong verbs or class 2 verbs are typical of Semitic verbs. They have subject prefixes like a-, t-, i-. Although these verbs are considered to be difficult and full of irregularities, it will be seen that the apparent exceptions are manageable. The most frequent verbs will be tackled first, starting with the verb 'to say'.

Person Affixes

The past tense forms of the strong verb 'I said' etc. are already familiar from the present tense forms of the weak verb 'I start' (see Verbs Ending in Consonants above). The reason is that the suffixes of 'to start' are the same as the paradigm of 'to say': Compare the suffixes of yak- 'to start' and the paradigm of 'to say' in Table 29 below.

Actually, there are two paradigms of 'I said, you said' etc., namely -ni and -di. Presently, for most Beja dialects the second paradigm is the most common one, while the other one has only survived with certain speakers and in certain forms.

Table 29: Past Paradigm of 'to say'

1 Yakani. Yaktinii. Yakiini. Yaktini. Yaknay. Yakteena. Yakeen. <325> 2/3 Ani / adi. Tinii / tidii. Ini / idi. Tini / tidi. Nini / nidi. Een / idiin. 1 I start. You (M) start. You (F) start. He starts. She starts. We start. 2/3 I said. . . You (M) said. . You (F) said. He said. . . She said. . We said. . You (PL) said. . They said. . / / . / . . / . / . / / . / .

Yaktiniya. Tiniya / tidiya.

Teena / tidiina. You (PL) start. They start.

The verb stem and the person affixes can be extracted from Table 29, as shown in Table 30. Other tenses use exactly the same person affixes, but with different verb stems.

Table 30: Subject Prefixes of Strong Verbs

Affixes: ati- -a ti- -i itiniti- -na I (PAST / PERF) you (M PAST) you (F PAST) he (PAST) she (PAST) we (PAST) you (PL PAST) 'say': - Adi. -- Tidiya. -- Tidii. - Idi. - Tidi. - Nidi. -/- - Idiin. I said. You (M) said. You (F) said. He said. She said. We said. . . . . . . . .

-- Tidiina. You (PL) said. They said.

i- -n / -na they (PAST)

Patterns of Strong Verbs and the Basic Stem


The basic stem of a strong verb may have up to 7 different shapes. All of these shapes can largely be predicted from the imperative form of a verb - or more exactly: from the CV pattern of the imperative, after the imperative suffix -a is deleted. Therefore it is useful to always identify the imperative and the way in which consonants (C) and vowels (V) follow each other in the imperative.

To give an example: The imperative of the verb 'to write' is kitiba, so its basic Form is kitib-, and its CV pattern is CiCiC.

For most verbs, the other tense, aspect forms can be predicted from this CV pattern: Verbs of the same CV pattern generally behave in the same way. Even the difference between verbs of the patterns CiCiC and CiC can largely be ignored. So kitiba 'write' and tiba 'fill' have the patterns CiCiC- and CiC-, and all verbs of this pattern behave in the same way.

Here are two more examples of identifying the basic stem and its CV pattern: For the verb diya 'say (M)!' the stem would be diy- 'to say', and the CV pattern would be Ciy-. For the verb d'iya 'do (M)!' the stem would be d'iy- 'to do', and the CV pattern would be C'iy-.

The Basic Stem and the Other Stems


The (SG M) form of the imperative is usually quoted as the most neutral, most basic form of a verb, and the imperative without the '(M)' suffix -a is usually quoted as the basic stem of the verb.

So the verb 'to say' is diya (literally: 'say (M)'!), and the stem is diy. For 'to say', the imperative stem and the imperative forms therefore are as follows:

Basic Stem (Number 1)

-diyDiya! Diyi! Basic Stem of 'to say' Say (M)! Say (F)! ! ! >) ! (-

Diina! (< diy-na) Say (PL)!

Basic Stem (Number 1) and Past, Perfect


The tense, aspect which is used most frequently - especially in narratives (stories), is the past, perfect. Here is the complete past, perfect paradigm of diya 'to say' again. This paradigm is already familiar from the suffixes of the weak verbs (see yak 'to arise' or tam 'to eat', above).
Past, Perfect Paradigm of 'to say' Adi. Tidiya. I said. You (M) said. . .

Tidii. Idi. Tidi. Nidi. Idiin.

You (F) said. He said. She said. We said.

. . . . . .

Tidiina. You (PL) said. They said.

Basic Stem (Number 1) and Negative Present


The negative present tense uses the same forms as the past tense, but with ki- 'not' as a prefix. Because of this prefix, some minor adjustments need to be made: As usual, the t- will be adjusted (assimilated) to the next consonant, and the suffix for 'they' will be -n after vowels, but -na after consonants. And before a, the ki- will change to ka-.

To identify all of these phonological changes, compare the tables above and below.
-diyKaadi. Kiddiya. Kiddiyi. Kiidi. Kiddi. Kindi. Kiidiin. Basic Stem of 'to say' I don't say. You (M) don't say. You (F) don't say. He doesn't say. She doesn't say. We don't say. . . . . . . . .

Kiddiina. You (PL) don't say. They don't say.

Basic Stem (Number 1) and Participle


The participle is the verb form which behaves like an adjective. It is formed by attaching -a, -aab, -aat to the basic stem.
-diydiyaat Basic Stem of 'to say' diyaab having said (M) having said (F)

Negative Imperative Stem (Number 2)


The negative imperative stem differs from the basic stem because the last syllable is lengthened. For the verb diy- 'to say' there is only one syllable, and it is lengthened to diiy-.
-diiyBaadiiya! Stem of 'to say (NEG IMPV)' Don't say (M)! !


Don't say (F)!

! !

Baadiina! Don't say (PL)!

Present Singular and Plural Stems (Number 3 and 4)


For the present tense, strong verbs even use two stems - one for present singular and one for present plural. In the case of 'to say', the two stems are ndi (SG), and eeyad (PL).
-ndiAndi. Tindiya. Tindii. indi. Tindi. -eeyadNeeyad. Eeyadna. Stem of 'to say (PRES SG)' I say. You (M) say. You (F) say. He says. She says. . . . . .

Stem of 'to say (PRES PL)' We say. . . .

Teeyadna. You (PL) say. They say.

Future Positive and Negative Stem (Number 5)


The present tense of 'to say' also serves as an auxiliary to express the future ('I will' etc.) as well as the intentional ('I want to') for all verbs. So the paradigms of 'I will say' / 'I won't say' are as follows.
-iyaadIyaad andi / Iyaad kaadi. Iyaad tindiya / Iyaad kiddiya. Iyaad tindii / Iyaad kiddiyi. Iyaad indi / Iyaad kiidi. Iyaad tindi / Iyaad kiddi. Niyaad neeyad / Niyaad kindi. Iyaad eeyadna / Iyaad kiidiin. Stem of 'to say (FUT)' I will say / won't say. You (M) will say / won't say. You (F) will say / won't say. He will say / won't say. She will say / won't say. We will say / won't say. . / / . / . / . / . / . / . / .

Iyaad teeyadna / Iyaad kiddiina. You (PL) will say / won't say They will say / won't say.

Past Continuous Stem (Number 6)


The past continuous forms express ongoing or habitual events in the past, as well as non-real events, especially in conditional sentences like 'I would have said, if ...' (It has also been called pluperfect). The stem of this paradigm is -iiyid-.

-iiyidIiyid. Tiiyida. Tiiyidi. Iiyid. Tiiyid. Niiyid. Iiyidna.

Stem of 'to say (PAST CONT)' I was saying, would say. You (M) were saying, would say. You (F) were saying, would say. He was saying, would say. She was saying, would say. We were saying, would say. . . . . . . . .

Tiiyidna. You (PL) were saying, would say. They were saying, would say.

Noun of Action Stem (Number 7)

-yaadStem of Action Noun - oo-miyaad the saying

More Verb Forms


The above verb stems provide all tense, aspect forms of the Beja verb system. There are only two kinds of extensions which can be added to these verb forms: 1. 2. Auxiliary verbs such as the verb indicating future - e.g. y'i andi 'I will come (LIT To-come I-say)' (See section Tense and Aspect below). Adverbial suffixes such as the suffix indicating conditional - e.g. andi 'I say, mean' > andiyeek 'If I say' (See section Clause Sub-Ordination below).

The Main Paradigms


The verb which serves as the first example for strong verbs is diya 'to say'. This verb has a very high frequency both in everyday language and in narratives. The table below gives a complete overview of the forms of this verb. The overview of other verb families will be presented according to the same pattern. The positive forms will always be given on the left hand side, and the negative forms on the right.

The table below includes the different stems of the verb, together with the paradigms that are based on it.

It should be noted again that there are seven different stems, numbered from 1 to 7. Roughly speaking, the stems which are used most frequently are stems 1 to 4. It will be seen that the basic stem (number 1), serves as the basis for most of the paradigms. The numbers referring to the seven stems are noted in the following paradigms for each conjugational pattern. Further reference to these seven stems can be found in the annex.

The pattern Ci(y)- of diya

1 di(y) 1 Basic Stem IMPV: 2 dii(y) () 2. Negative Stem NEG IMPV: ( )

Diya! Diyi! Diina! 1 diyaab 1 Adi. Tidiya. Tidii. Idi. Tidi. Nidi. Tidiina. Idiin. 3 Andi. Tindiya. Tindii. Indi. Tindi. 4 Neeyad. Teeyadna. Eeyadna. 5 Iyaad andi. 6 Iiyid. Tiiyida. Tiiyidi. Iiyid. Tiiyid. Niiyid.

Say (M)! Say (F)! Say (PL)! PTCP/SUB: saying PAST: I said. You (M) said. You (F) said. He said. She said. We said. You (PL) said. They said. PRES SG: I say. You (M) say. You (F) say. He says. She says. PRES PL: We say. You (PL) say. They say. FUT: I will say. PAST CONT: I was saying. You (M) were saying. You (F) were saying. He was saying. She was saying. We were saying.

Baadiiya! ! Biidiiyi! ! Baadiina! ! 2 baadi 1 . Diyaab kaaki. Diyaab kittaa. . Diyaat kittaayi. . . Diyaab kiiki. . Diyaat kitti. . Diyaab kinki. Diyaab . kitteena. Diyaab kiikeen. . 1 . Kaadi. Kiddiya. . Kiddii. . . Kiidi. . Kiddi. 1 . Kindi. . Kiddiina. . Kiidiin. 5 . Iyaad kaadi. 1 . Diyaab kaaki. . Diyaab kittaa. . Diyaat kittaayi. . Diyaab kiiki. . Diyaat kitti. . Diyaab kinki.

Don't say (M)! Don't say (F)! Don't say (PL)! NEG PTCP: not saying NEG PAST: I didn't say. You (M) didn't say. You (F) didn't say. He didn't say. She didn't say. We didn't say. You (PL) didn't say. They didn't say. NEG PRES: I don't say. You (M) don't say. You (F) don't say. He doesn't say. She doesn't say. NEG PRES PL: We don't say. You (PL) don't say. They don't say. NEG FUT: I won't say. NEG PAST CONT: I didn't say. You (M) didn't say. You (F) didn't say. He didn't say. She didn't say. We didn't say.

! ! ! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Tiiyidna. Iiyidna. 7 oo-myaad <344>

You (PL) were saying. They were saying. Noun of Action: the saying

. Diyaab kitteena. . Diyaab kiikeen. -

You (PL) didn't say. They didn't say.

. .

There are no other verbs of exactly the same pattern as diy- 'to say'. The closest similarity is with the pattern of d'iy- 'to do, to put'.

The Pattern CHiy- of d'iya

1 d'i(y) D'iya! D'iyi! D'iina! 1 d'iyaab 1 Ad'i. Tid'iya. Tid'ii. Id'i. Tid'i. Nid'i. Tid'iina. Id'iin. 3 Adan'i / and'i. Dan'iya. Dan'ii. Dan'i. Dan'i. 1 Basic Stem IMPV: Do (M) ! Do (F)! Do (PL)! PTCP / SUB: having done PAST: I did. You (M) did. You (F) did. He did. She did. We did. You (PL) did. They did. PRES SG: I do. You (M) do. You (F) do. He does. She does. ! Baad'aayaay! ! Biid'iiyi! ! Baad'iina! 2 baad'iiyay 1 . D'iyaab kaaki. . D'iyaab kittaa. . D'iyaat kittaayi. . D'iyaab kiiki. . D'iyaat kitti. . D'iyaab kinki. . D'iyaab kitteena. . D'iyaab kiikeen. 1 . / Kaad'i. . Kitd'iya. . Kitd'ii. . Kiid'i. . Kidd'i. ( ) 2 d'ii(y) 2 Negative Stem NEG IMPV: Don't do (M) ! Don't do (F)! Don't do (PL)! NEG PTCP: not doing NEG PAST: I didn't say. You (M) didn't say. You (F) didn't say. He didn't say. She didn't say. We didn't say. You (PL) didn't say. They didn't say. NEG PRES: I don't do. You (M) don't do. You (F) did. He did. She did. ! ! ! . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( )

4 Nid'i / need'i. Tid'ina. Id'iin. 5 Iid'a, ad'a andi. 6 Iid'i. Tiid'iya. Tiid'ii. Iid'i. Tiid'i. Niid'i. Tiid'iina. Iid'iin. 7 oo-d'uuy <345>

PRES PL: We do. You (PL) do. They do. FUT: I will do. PAST CONT: I was doing. You (M) were doing. You (F) were doing. He was doing. She was doing. We were doing. You (PL) were doing. They were doing. Noun of Action: the doing

1 . / Kind'i. . Kidd'iina. . Kiid'iin. , Iid'a kaadi. . 1 . D'iyaab kaaki. . D'iyaab kittaa. . D'iyaat kittaayi. . D'iyaab kiiki. . D'iyaat kitti. . D'iyaab kinki. . D'iyaab kitteena. . D'iyaab kiikeen. - We did. You (PL) did. They did. NEG FUT: I will not do. NEG PAST Cont.: I didn't say. You (M) didn't say. You (F) didn't say. He didn't say. She didn't say. We didn't say. You (PL) didn't say. They didn't say.

. . . . . . . . . . . .

There are more verbs of the same pattern. The list is not long, but one or two of these verbs are quite common. It should be noted that the patterns of diya 'to say' and d'iya 'to do' are similar to each other especially if the hamzah is disregarded.

Verbs like d'iya

n'iya d'iya t'iya s'iya be down, go down (infrequent) be jealous (infrequent)

mhiya be left, remain (less frequent) be similar (very frequent) be sure of, rely on (infrequent)

The Pattern CiC- of riba

1 ri b 1 Basic Stem IMPV: 2 riib 2 Negative Stem NEG IMPV:

Riba! Ribi! Ribna! 1 ribaab 1 Arib. Tiriba. Tiribi. Irib. Tirib. Nirib. Tiribna. Iribna. 3 Arriib. Tirriiba. Tirriibi. Irriib. Tirriib. 4 Neerib. Teeribna. Eeribna. 5 Iirib andi. 6 Iirib.

Refuse (M)! Refuse (F)! Refuse (PL)! PTCP/SUB: having refused (M) PAST: I refused. You (M) refused. You (F) refused. He refused. She refused. We refused. You (PL) refused. They refused. PRES SG: I refuse. You (M) refuse. You (F) refuse. He refuses. She refuses. PRES PL: We refuse. You (PL) refuse. They refuse. FUT: I will refuse. PAST CONT: I was refusing.

! Baariiba! ! Biiriibi! ! Baariibna! 2 baariib 1 . Ribaab kaaki. . Ribaab kittaa.

Don't refuse (M)! Don't refuse (F)! Don't refuse (PL)! NEG PTCP: not refusing NEG PAST: I didn't refuse. You (M) didn't refuse.

! ! ! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. Ribaat kittaayi. You (F) didn't refuse. . Ribaab kiiki. . Ribaat kitti. . Ribaab kinki. . Ribaab kitteena. He didn't refuse. She didn't refuse. We didn't refuse. You (PL) didn't refuse.

. Ribaab kiikeen. They didn't refuse. 1 . Kaarib. . Kitriba. . Kitribi. . Kiirib. . Kitrib. 1 . Kinrib. . Kitribna. . Kiiribna. Iirib kaadi. . . Ribaab kaaki. NEG PRES: I don't refuse. You (M) don't refuse. You (F) don't refuse. He doesn't refuse She doesn't refuse. NEG PRES PL: We don't refuse. You (PL) don't refuse. They don't refuse. NEG FUT: I won't refuse. NEG PAST CONT: I didn't refuse.

Tiiriba. Tiiribi. Iirib. Tiirib. Niirib. Tiiribna. Iiribna. 7 oo-raab <346>

You (M) were refusing. You (F) were refusing. He was refusing. She was refusing. We were refusing. You (PL) were refusing. They were refusing. Noun of Action: the refusing

. Ribaab kittaa.

You (M) didn't refuse.

. . . . . . .

. Ribaat kittaayi. You (F) didn't refuse. . Ribaab kiiki. . Ribaat kitti. . Ribaab kinki. . Ribaab kitteena. He didn't refuse. She didn't refuse. We didn't refuse. You (PL) didn't refuse.

. Ribaab kiikeen. They didn't refuse. -

There are more verbs of the same pattern CiC-.

Verbs like riba Frequent verbs

riba sima gida tiba difa dira refuse (very frequent, verb of negation) give a name throw fill go away kill

kwina have in mind

Less frequent verbs

bira dina disa fifa fika fisha kwila kwita liga liwa snatch guess be small pour threaten warm up (sth.) knock, hammer push lift, comb burn (sth.)

mida mina mira shiba sida wika wina

test shave prepare (sth.) sharpen weave

sikwa pull, sip once cut, scratch grow up

The Pattern CiCiC- of shibiba

1 shibib 1 Basic Stem IMPV: Shibiba! Shibibi! Shibibna! 1 shibbaab 1 Ashbib. Tishbiba. Tishbibi. Ishbib. Tishbib. Nishbib. Tishbibna. Ishbibna. 3 Ashanbiib. Shanbiiba. Shanbiibi. Look (M)! Look (F)! Look (PL)! PTCP/SUB having looked (M) PAST: I looked. You (M) looked. You (F) looked. He looked. She looked. We looked. You (PL) looked. They looked. PRES SG: I look. You (M) look. You (F) look. Baashabiiba! ! Biishabiibi! ! Baashabiibna! ! 2 baashabiib 1 . Shibbaab kaaki. . Shibbaab kittaa. . Shibbaat kittaayi. . Shibbaab kiiki. . Shibbaat kitti. . Shibbaab kinki. . Shibbaab kitteena. . Shibbaab kiikeen. 1 . Kaashbib. . Kitshibiba / kishshbiba. . Kitshbibi. 2 shabiib 2 Negative Stem NEG IMPV: Don't look (M)! Don't look (F)! Don't look (PL)! NEG PTCP: not looking NEG PAST: I didn't look. You (M) didn't look. You (F) didn't look. He didn't look. She didn't look. We didn't look. You (PL) didn't look. They didn't look. NEG PRES: I don't look. You (M) don't look. You (F) looked. ! ! ! . . . . . . . . . . .

Shanbiib. Shanbiib. 4 Nishabib. Tishabibna. Ishabibna. 5 Iishbib andi. 6 Iishbib. Tiishbiba. Tiishbibi. Iishbib. Tiishbib. Niishbib. Tiishbibna. Iishbibna. 7 oo-shbuub <347>

He looks. She looks. PRES PL: We look. You (PL) look. They look. FUT: I will look. PAST CONT: I was looking. You (M) were looking. You (F) were looking. He was looking. She was looking. We were looking. You (PL) were looking. They were looking. Noun of Action: the looking

. Kiishbib. . Kitshbib. 1 . Kinshbib. . Kitshibibna. . Kiishbibna. 5 Iishbib kaadi. . 1 . Shibbaab kaaki. . Shibbaab kittaa. . Shibbaat kittaayi. . Shibbaab kiiki. . Shibbaat kitti. . Shibbaab kinki. . Shibbaab kitteena. . Shibbaab kiikeen. -

He looked. She looked.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

We looked. You (PL) looked. They looked. NEG FUT: I won't look. NEG PAST CONT: I didn't look. You (M) didn't look. You (F) didn't look. He didn't look. She didn't look. We didn't look. You (PL) didn't look. They didn't look.

There are more verbs of the same pattern. Note that the verbs of this pattern are transitive, even where the English gloss may not show this - such as kitima 'arrive at, reach'.

Verbs like shibiba Frequent Verbs

kitima bisira arrive at, reach decide

shibiba look (very frequent) fidiga Open, untie

bitika rigiga diliba kitiba

separate, be between stretch, drive trade write

Less Frequent Verbs

fitita firika tiriba fitira fitika kirira gwishisha tikwikwa shikidha comb (less frequent) dig (less frequent) divide (less frequent) eat breakfast (less frequent) lift (less frequent) make a dam, veil (less frequent) move (sth.) (less frequent)

prepare, produce (less frequent) scratch (less frequent)

shigwidha wash (less frequent)

Infrequent Verbs
fidina mikira simima ridida diwila girima nikwisa nifira shilika finika bidila tilisa giriba misisa kiliba dibila libiba shifiga hate, avoid advise anoint, smear be blunt be close, approach be honored be lacking be sweet become less bite change cheat conquer die a natural death fence in gather, collect gird one's loins hasten

limida silifa gwimida kwibira ginifa fitina gwisira nigila widida siliba khidima likika kirima dirira shitita

learn, make used lend, loan lengthen cause to descend let kneel let quarrel, disturb lie, tell lies open, untie

shidhidha peel persist rob serve (AR) squander subtract give supper, let eat tear

The Pattern CiCiy- of miriya

1 miri(y) 1 Basic Stem IMPV: Miriya! Miriyi! Miriina! 1 miriyaab 1 Amiru. Timiruwa. Timiruwi. Imiru. Timiru. Nimiru. Find (M)! Find (F)! Find (PL)! PTCP / SUB: having found (M) PAST: I found. You (M) found. You (F) found. He found. She found. We found. Baamariiya! ! Biimariiyi! ! Baamariina! ! 2 bamaari 1 Mir(i)yaab . kaaki. Miryaab kittaa. . Miryaat . kittaayi. Miryaab kiiki. . Miryaat kitti. . Miryaab kinki. . 2 marii(y) () 2 Negative Stem NEG IMPV: Don't find (M)! Don't find (F)! Don't find (PL)! NEG PTCP: not finding NEG PAST: I didn't find. You (M) didn't find. You (F) didn't find. He didn't find. She didn't find. We didn't find. ! ! ! . . . . . . ( )

Timiruuna. Imiruun. 3 Amarri. Marriya. Marrii. Marri. Marri. 4 Nimeer. Timeerna. Imeerna. 5 Imaar andi. 6 Imiir. Timiira. Timiiri. Imiir. Timiir. Nimiir. Timiirna. Imiirna. 7 oo-mraay, oomruuy

You (PL) found. They found. PRES SG: I find. You (M) find. You (F) find. He finds. She finds. PRES PL: We find. You (PL) find. They find. FUT: I will find. PAST CONT: I was finding. You (M) were finding. You (F) were finding. He was finding. She was finding. We were finding. You (PL) were finding. They were finding. Noun of Action: the finding

Miryaab . kitteena. Miryaab . kiikeen. 1 . Kaamiru. . Kitmiriya. . Kitmiruwi / iyi. . Kiimiru / -i. . Kitmiru. 1 . Kinmiru. . Kitmiruuna. . Kiimiruun. 5 . Imaar kaadi. 1 Miriyaab kaaki. . Miriyaab kittaa. . Miriyaat . kittaayi. Miriyaab kiiki. . Miriyaat kitti. . Miriyaab kinki. . Miriyaab . kitteena. Miriyaab . kiikeen. -

You (PL) didn't find. They didn't find. NEG PRES: I don't find. You (M) don't find. You (F) don't find. He doesn't find She doesn't find NEG PRES PL: We don't find You (PL) don't find They don't find NEG FUT: I won't find. NEG PAST CONT: I didn't find. You (M) didn't find. You (F) didn't find. He didn't find. She didn't find. We didn't find. You (PL) didn't find. They didn't find.

. . . . -/ . .-/ . . . . . . . . . . . . .


There are more verbs of the same pattern. These verbs are also transitive.

Verbs like miriya Frequent Verbs

rikwiya sigiya tikwiya miriya firiya digiya sikwiya siniya be afraid be far cook

dhigwiya count once find (very frequent) give birth return (sth.) run after wait, stay

Infrequent Verbs
hamiya nikwiyi aliya nifiya humiya shifiya sikw'iya nisiya kwiriya ribiya fidhiya kwisiya adiya kiriya hagiya dhimiya dibiya be bitter, blame be pregnant become dear blow cover (less frequent) drink milk feel shy go west graze load mix pay debts (less frequent) prick rent

kwimiya roast bake spend hot season stink take care

The Pattern HaCiC- of hariwa

1 hariw Hariwa! Hariwi! Hariwna! 1 harwaab 1 Ahariw. Tihariwa. Tihariwi. Ihariw. Tihariw. Nihariw. Tihariwna. Ihariwna. 3 Aharriiw. Harriiwa. Harriiwi. Harriiw. Harriiw. 4 Nihariw. 1 Basic Stem IMPV: Look (M) for (sth.)! Look (F) for (sth.)! Look (PL) for (sth.)! PTCP / SUB: having looked for (M) (sth.) PAST: I looked for (sth.). You (M) looked for (sth.). You (F) looked for (sth.). He looked for (sth.). She looked for (sth.). We looked for (sth.). You (PL) looked for (sth.). They looked for (sth.). PRES SG: I look for (sth.). You (M) look for (sth.). You (F) look for (sth.). He looks for (sth.). She looks for (sth.). PRES PL: We look for (sth.). ! Bahariiwa! ! Bihariiwi! ! Bahariiwna! 2 bahariiw 1 . Harwaab kaaki. . Harwaab kittaa. . Harwaat kittaayi. . Harwaab kiiki. . Harwaat kitti. . Harwaab kinki. . Harwaab kitteena. . Harwaab kiikeen. 1 . Kahariw. . Kitehariwa. . Kithariwi. . Kihariw. . Kithariw. 1 . Kinhariw. 2 hariiw 2 Negative Stem NEG IMPV: Don't look (M) for (sth.)! Don't look (F) for (sth.)! Don't look (PL) for (sth.)! NEG PTCP: not looking for (sth.) NEG PAST: I didn't look for (sth.). You (M) didn't look for (sth.). You (F) didn't look for (sth.). He didn't look for (sth.). She didn't look for (sth.). We didn't look for (sth.). You (PL) didn't look for (sth.). They didn't look for (sth.). NEG PRES: I don't look for (sth.). You (M) don't look for (sth.). You (F) don't look for (sth.). He doesn't look for (sth.). She doesn't look for (sth.). NEG PRES PL: We don't look for ! ! ! . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(sth.). Tihariwna. Ihariwna. 5 Ihiriw andi. 6 Ihiriw. Tihiriwa. Tihiriwi. Ihiriw. Tihiriw. Nihiriw. Tihiriwna. Ihiriwna. 7 w-haruuw <349> You (PL) look for (sth.). They look for (sth.). FUT: I will look for (sth.). PAST CONT: I was looking for (sth.). You (M) were looking for (sth.). You (F) were looking for (sth.). He was looking for (sth.). She was looking for (sth.). We were looking for (sth.). You (PL) were looking for (sth.). They were looking for (sth.). Noun of Action: the looking for (sth.) . Kithariwna. . Kihariwna. 5 Ihiriw kaadi. . Harwaab . kaaki. Harwaab . kittaa. Harwaat . kittaayi. Harwaab kiiki. . Harwaat kitti. . Harwaab kinki. . Harwaab . kitteena. Harwaab . kiikeen. - You (PL) don't look for (sth.). They don't look for (sth.). NEG FUT: I won't look for (sth.). NEG PAST CONT: I didn't look for (sth.). You (M) didn't look for (sth.). You (F) didn't look for (sth.). He didn't look for (sth.). She didn't look for (sth.). We didn't look for (sth.). You (PL) didn't look for (sth.). They didn't look for (sth.). . . . . . . . . . . .

There are more verbs of the same pattern.

Verbs like hariwa Frequent Verbs

hayisa be better hakwira close, tie adhidha hobble, divide abika agira hawida hamida hasiba hold, seize return (sth.) spend evening thank, praise think

hariwa hagita

try to find (very frequent) wait

Less Frequent Verbs

ariwa asiga hamira hasira akira haliga agwira atima adima hakifa hatita aliga hakisa adila hayisha ashisha hagila awila ayikwa hayida harida afidha align oneself, fit in be peaceful be poor, be meager be sorry be strong bend bend (sth.) close, seal converse embrace erase feed limp make peace (AR) make pottery meet, receive miss, leave, fail move westward

adhidha peel once (e.g. a banana) pick sew once slaughter sneeze

The Pattern CaC- of nawa

1 naw 1 Basic Stem IMPV: Nawa! Nawi! Nawna! 1 nawaab Fail (M)! Fail (F)! Fail (PL)! PTCP / SUB: having failed ! Baanaawa! ! Biinaawi! ! Baanaawna! 2 banaaway 2 naaw 2 Negative Stem NEG IMPV: Don't fail (M)! Don't fail (F)! Don't fail (PL)! NEG PTCP: not having ! ! !

(M) 1 Anaw. Tinawa. Tinawi. Inaw. Tinaw. Ninaw. Tinawna. Inawna. 3 Eetniiw / eenawi. Teetniiwa. Teetniiwi. Eetniiw. Teetniiwi. 4 Neetniiw / neenawi. Teetniiwna. Eetniiwna. 5 Iitnaw / iinaw andi. 6 Iitnaw / iitniw / iinawi. Tiitnawa / tiitniwa. PAST: I failed. You (M) failed. You (F) failed. He failed. She failed. We failed. You (PL) failed. They failed. PRES SG: I fail. You (M) fail. You (F) fail. He fails. She fails. PRES PL: We fail. You (PL) fail. They fail. FUT: I will fail. PAST CONT: I was failing. You (M) were failing. 1 . Nawaab kaaki. . Nawaab kittaa. . Nawaat kittaayi. . Nawaab kiiki. . Nawaat kitti. . Nawaab kinki. . Nawaab kitteena. . Nawaab kiikeen. 1 . / Kaanaw. . Kitnawa. . Kitnawi. . Kiinaw. . Kitnaw. 1 / Kinnaw. . . Kitnawna. . Kiinawna. 5 / Iitnaw kaadi. . 1 . / Nawaab kaaki. . Nawaab kittaa.

failed NEG PAST: I didn't fail. You (M) didn't fail. You (F) didn't fail. He didn't fail. She didn't fail. We didn't fail. You (PL) didn't fail. They didn't fail. NEG PRES: I don't fail. You (M) don't fail. You (F) don't fail. He doesn't fail. She doesn't fail. NEG PRES PL: We don't fail. You (PL) don't fail. They don't fail. NEG FUT: I won't fail. NEG PAST CONT: I didn't fail. You (M) didn't fail. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Tiitnawi. Iitnaw. Tiitnaw. Niitnaw / niinawi. Tiitniwna. Iitniwna. 7 oo-naaw <350>

You (F) were failing. He was failing. She was failing. We were failing. You (PL) were failing. They were failing. Noun of Action: the failing

. Nawaat kittaayi. . Nawaab kiiki. . Nawaat kitti. . / Nawaab kinki. . Nawaab kitteena. . Nawaab kiikeen. -

You (F) didn't fail. He didn't fail. She didn't fail. We didn't fail. You (PL) didn't fail. They didn't fail.

. . . . . .

There are more verbs of the same pattern.

Verbs like nawa


Note that verbs of this pattern are intransitive.

rama maga rhasa nhasa kata taba kasha nakwa nhawa lawa laga gwala mara tara nawa gama shaba ama shata accompany (frequent) be bad (frequent) be cheap (infrequent) be clean (infrequent) be clear, be light (infrequent) be filled (infrequent) be mean (infrequent) be smooth, be lazy (infrequent) be thin (infrequent) burn (INTR) (infrequent) dance (infrequent) exceed (infrequent) get ready (frequent) make a detour, avoid (sth.) (infrequent) miss (frequent) not know, ignore (frequent) put on shoes (INTR) (infrequent) ride (infrequent) slip, glide, fall (infrequent)

shagwa start quarrel (infrequent)

gafa b'asa gw'ada bisa bifa fisha wina <352>

stumble (infrequent) turn sides (infrequent) watch, guard oneself (infrequent) bury, hide (AR) (infrequent) swim (infrequent) warm up (INTR) (infrequent) grow up (infrequent)

Except for the present singular which has -n- (rather than -t-), the following verbs have the same pattern.

Verbs similar to nawa

dhhana lhasa kehana gwhama gwhara b'ara gw'ada become alive (infrequent) , sh'isha (Gash dial.), sh'usha cough (infrequent) lick (infrequent) love (infrequent) sip (infrequent) steal (infrequent) wake up, get up oneself (frequent) watch, guard (infrequent)

The Pattern Cay- of baya

1 ba(y) Baya! Bayi! Beena! 1 bayaab, abaay 1 Abi. Tibaya. Tibayi. Ibi. 1 Basic Stem IMPV: Go to (M)! Go to (F)! Go to (PL)! PTCP / SUB: having gone to (M) PAST: I went to. You (M) went to. You (F) went to. He went to. ! Baabaaya! ! Biibaayi! ! Baabeena! 2 , baabaay 1 . Bayaab kaaki. . Bayaab kittaa. . Bayaat kittaayi. . Bayaab kiiki. ( ) 2 baa(y) 2 Negative Stem NEG IMPV: Don't go to (M) ! Don't go to (F)! Don't go to (PL) ! NEG PTCP: not having gone to (M) NEG PAST: I didn't go to. You (M) didn't go to. You (F) didn't go to. He didn't go to. ! ! ! . . . . ( )

Tibi. Nibi. Tibeena. Ibeen. 3 Eebi. Teebiya. Teebi. Eebi. Teebi. 4 Neebi. Teebiina. Eebiin. 5 Iiba andi. 6 Iibi. Tiibiya. Tiibiyi. Iibi. Tiibi. Niibi. Tiibiina. Iibiin. 7 i-miibi / i-

She went to. We went to. You (PL) went to. They went to. PRES SG: I go to. You (M) go to. You (F) go to. He goes to. She goes to. PRES PL: We go to. You (PL) go to. They go to. FUT: I will go to. PAST CONT: I was going to. You (M) were going to. You (F) were going to. He was going to. She was going to. We were going to. You (PL) were going to. They were going to. Noun of Action: the going (to)

. Bayaat kitti. . Bayaab kinki. . Bayaab kitteena. . Bayaab kiikeen. 1 . Kaabi. . Kitbaya. . Kitbayi. . Kiibi. . Kitbi. 1 . Kinbi. . Kitbeena. . Kiibeen. 5 . Iiba kaadi. 1 . Bayaab kaaki. . Bayaab kittaa. . Bayaat kittaayi. . Bayaab kiiki. . Bayaat kitti. . Bayaab kinki. . Bayaab kitteena. . Bayaab kiikeen. - - /

She didn't go to. We didn't go to. You (PL) didn't go to. They didn't go to. NEG PRES: I don't go to. You (M) don't go to. You (F) don't go to. He doesn't go to. She doesn't go to. NEG PRES PL: We don't go to. You (PL) don't go to. They don't go to. NEG FUT: I won't go. NEG PAST CONT: I didn't go to. You (M) didn't go to. You (F) didn't go to. He didn't go to. She didn't go to. We didn't go to. You (PL) didn't go to. They didn't go to.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

mabay <353>

So the pattern of baya 'to go to' is similar to that of nawa, except that there is no -t- in the present tense.

The very frequent verb faya 'to be' is not used in the past, perfect or the negative paradigms. Otherwise it follows the pattern of baya.

The very frequent verb kana 'to know' has two senses; when used in the sense 'to get to know', it uses the same paradigm as baya. (For the other sense, see the special paradigm of kana.)

There are more verbs of the same pattern, except for different root vowels.

Verbs like baya

faya shoofa be (very frequent) be light, easy (infrequent)

baash'a, b'aasha come among (infrequent) weera gwooya foora kwara sara kana sala do, make (less frequent) fail (infrequent) flee, escape (infrequent) harvest, pick (infrequent) keep awake (infrequent) know (infrequent) sharpen (infrequent)

The Pattern CiCaC- of fiyaka

1 fiyak 1 Basic Stem IMPV: Fiyaka! Fiyaki! Fiyakna! 1 fayaak 1 Afiyak. Tifiyaka. Carry (M)! Carry (F)! Carry (PL)! PTCP / SUB: having carried (M) PAST: I carried. You (M) carried. Baafiyaaka! ! Biifiyaaki! ! Baafiyaakna! ! 2 baafiyaak 1 Fayaak kaaki. . Fayaak kittaa. . 2 fiyaak 2 Negative Stem NEG IMPV: Don't carry (M)! Don't carry (F)! Don't carry (PL)! NEG PTCP: not carrying NEG PAST: I didn't carry You (M) didn't carry ! ! ! . .

Tifiyaki. Ifiyak. Tifiyak. Nifiyak. Tifiyakna. Ifiyakna. 3 Atfayiik. Titfayiika. Titfayiiki. Itfayiik. Titfayiik. 4 Nitfayiik. Titfayiikna. Itfayiikna. 5 Itfiyak andi. 6 Itfiyik. Titfiyika. Titfiyiki. Itfiyik. Titfiyik.

You (F) carried. He carried. She carried. We carried. You (PL) carried. They carried. PRES SG: I carry. You (M) carry. You (F) carry. He carries. She carries. PRES PL: We carry. You (PL) carry. They carry. FUT: I will carry. PAST CONT: I was carrying. You (M) were carrying. You (F) were carrying. He was carrying. She was carrying.

Fayaakt . kittaayi. Fayaak kiiki. . Fayaakt kitti. . Fayaak kinki. . Fayaak . kitteena. Fayaak . kiikeen. 1 . Kaafiyak. . Kitfiyaka. . Kitfiyaki. . Kiifiyak. . Kitfiyak. 1 . Kinfiyak. . Kitfiyakna. . Kiifiyakna. 5 Itfiyak kaadi. . 1 Fayaak kaaki. . Fayaak kittaa. . Fayaakt . kittaayi. Fayaak kiiki. . Fayaakt kitti. .

You (F) didn't carry He didn't carry She didn't carry We didn't carry You (PL) didn't carry They didn't carry NEG PRES: I don't carry. You (M) don't carry. You (F) don't carry. He doesn't carry. She doesn't carry. NEG PRES PL: We don't carry. You (PL) don't carry. They don't carry. NEG FUT: I won't carry. NEG PAST CONT: I didn't carry. You (M) didn't carry. You (F) didn't carry. He didn't carry. She didn't carry.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Nitfiyik. Titfiyikna. Itfiyikna. 7 tu-mifyeek, tumifiyeek <357>

We were carrying. You (PL) were carrying. They were carrying. Noun of Action: the carrying

Fayaak kinki. . Fayaak . kitteena. Fayaak . kiikeen. -

We didn't carry. You (PL) didn't carry. They didn't carry.

. . .

There are more verbs of the same pattern. Note that these verbs are intransitive or passive.

Verbs like fiyaka

winana shilaka bishakwa haragwa gwimada sirara bishakwa nikasha kitaba silafa fiyaka sikata fidhadha digwagwa sibara libaba gilada kwibara shifaga tilala ginafa gwishasha rigasa shikwana dirara be angry (infrequent) be few (infrequent) be hot, diligent (infrequent) (see below) be hungry (frequent) be long (infrequent) be long (infrequent) be ripe, cooked (infrequent) be short (infrequent) be written, be registered (infrequent) borrow (infrequent) carry, take care of, be loaded (frequent) choke (INTR) (infrequent) confess (infrequent) crouch (less frequent) flee (infrequent) gird one's loins (infrequent) give a promise (infrequent) go down (infrequent) hasten (infrequent) jump (infrequent) kneel (INTR) (infrequent) move (INTR) (infrequent) play (infrequent) smell pleasant (infrequent) sup, eat supper (infrequent)


travel by night (infrequent)

shigwadha wash oneself (infrequent) <358>

There are verbs which follow the pattern of fiyaka 'carry', except that they start with h or hamzah. So the prefixes have to be adjusted in the same way as with hariwa 'want'.

There are more verbs of the same pattern.

Verbs similar to fiyaka

harara adara hasara agara agaga be empty (infrequent) be red (infrequent)

agwara bend oneself (infrequent) lose (infrequent) return (INTR) (infrequent) sit, squat (infrequent)

The Pattern CiCHa- of fir'a

1 fir'(a) 1 Basic Stem IMPV: Fir'a, fira'a! Go out (M)! Fir'i, fira'i! Fir'ana! 1 fir'aab 1 Afir'a. Tifir'aya. Tifir'ayi. Ifir'a. Tifir'a. Nifir'a. Tifir'ana. Ifir'ana. 3 Atfar'i. Go out (F)! Go out (PL)! PTCP / SUB having gone out (M) PAST: I went out. You (M) went out. You (F) went out. He went out. She went out. We went out. You (PL) went out. They went out. PRES SG: I go out. Baafira'a! ! Biifira'i! ! Baafir'ana! ! 2 baafar'a 1 Far'a kaaki. . Far'a kittaa. . Far'at . kittaayi. Far'a kiiki. . Far'at kitti. . Far'a kinki. . Far'a . kitteena. Far'a kiikeen. . 1 . Kaafir'a. 2 far'(a) ( ) 2 Negative Stem NEG IMPV: Don't go out (M)! Don't go out (F)! Don't go out (PL)! NEG PTCP: not going out NEG PAST: I didn't go out. You (M) didn't go out. You (F) didn't go out. He didn't go out. She didn't go out. We didn't go out. You (PL) didn't go out. They didn't go out. NEG PRES: I don't go out. ! ! ! . . . . . . . . . ( )

Titfari'a. Titfari'i. Itfar'i. Titfar'i. 4 Nitfar'i. Titfar'ina. Itfar'ina. 5 Itfir'a andi. 1 Itfir'a. Titfir'a. Titfir'i. Itfir'i. Titfir'i. Nitfir'a. Titfir'ana. Itfir'ana. 7 tumifir'ooy <360>

You (M) go out. You (F) go out. He goes out. She goes out. PRES PL: We go out. You (PL) go out. They go out. FUT: I will go out. PAST CONT: I was going out. You (M) were going out. You (F) were going out. He was going out. She was going out. We were going out. You (PL) were going out. They were going out. Noun of Action: the going out

. Kitfira'a. . Kitfira'i. . Kiifir'a. . Kitfir'a. 1 . Kinfir'a. . Kitfir'ana. . Kiifir'ana. 5 Itfir'a kaadi. . 1 Far'a kaaki. . Far'a kittaa. . Far'at . kittaayi. Far'a kiiki. . Far'at kitti. . Far'a kinki. . Far'a . kitteena. Far'a kiikeen. . -

You (M) don't go out. You (F) don't go out. He doesn't go out. She doesn't go out. NEG PRES PL: We don't go out. You (PL) don't go out. They don't go out. NEG FUT: I won't go out. NEG PAST CONT: I didn't go out. You (M) didn't go out. You (F) didn't go out. He didn't go out. She didn't go out. We didn't go out. You (PL) didn't go out. They didn't go out.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

There are more verbs of the same pattern.

Verbs like fir'a

niseha, nisaha advise (AR) (infrequent) tilha dilha yidh'a bideha kit'a nif'a be awkward (infrequent) be strong, healthy (infrequent) be wet (infrequent) bear witness (infrequent) break (frequent) dust, brush (infrequent) ,

sikw'a fir'a, fira'a ginha milha fiteha kwit'a kwibha nib'a <361>

feel shy (infrequent) get out (sth.) (very frequent) get news, receive (infrequent) lead (infrequent) open (AR) (infrequent) swallow (infrequent) swim (infrequent) warm (infrequent)

Note that the pronunciation of these verbs differs in different dialect areas: E.g. in the Gash area, the a would be pronounced after the glottal stop or 'h', and in the Atman area, the pronunciation is as written here above i.e. with the a before the glottal stop or 'h'.

Conversation 15: 'Taking Care of Cattle' (Examples of the Present Tense)


A: the teacher, B: the pupils

#1 A: Tumadrasa hankwiirhoob, A: When the school is closed, #2 naan daatiniya? What do you (M) do? #3 B: Reewu eeshkwi. B: I look after my cattle. #4 A: Reewook teeshkwiya? A: Do you (M) look after your cattle? #5 Baruuk shaakwanaawwa? Are you (M) a herdsman? #6 B: Ani shaakwanaabu. B: I am a herdsman. #7 A: Tumadrasa hankwiirhoob, tu-madrasa ZERO-hankwiir-hoob ani shaakwanaab-u SG1 cowherd-IDSG13M baruuk shaakwanaa-wa SG2M cowherd-IDSG2M reew-ook t-eeshkwi-ya cattle-POSSSG2 IMPFSG2MPF-look.afterIMPFSG2M reew-u ZERO-eeshkwi cattle-POSSSG1 IMPFSG3MPF-look.after naan daa-tiniya what do-IMPFSG2M tu-madrasa ZERO-hankwiir-hoob ARTSGF-school IMPFSG3MPF-tie-ADV+when

A: When the school is closed, #8 naan daateena? What do you (PL) do? #9 B: Reewoon neeshkwi. B: We look after our cattle. #10 A: Reewookna teeshkwiina? A: Do you (PL) look after your (PL) cattle? #11 Baraakna shaakwanaabaana? Are you (PL) herdsmen? #12 B: Hinin shaakwanaaba. B: We are herdsmen.

ARTSGF-school IMPFSG3MPF-tie-ADV+when naan daa-teena what do-IMPFPL2

reew-oon n-eeshkwi cattle-POSSPL1 IMPFPL1PF-look.after reew-ookna t-eeshkwi-ina cattle-POSSPL2 IMPFPL2PF-look.after-IMPFPL2

baraakna shaakwanaab-aana PL2M cowherd-IDPL2M hinin shaakwanaab-a PL1 cowherd-IDPL13M

<363> . ? ? , . ? , ? . ? ? .

Special Strong Verbs


Some very frequent verbs have forms which differ considerably from the CiCiC pattern (e.g. they have only one syllable, or they start or end with h or hamzah etc.)

'To Become': Negative Paradigm


The strong verb kaya 'to be, become' is already familiar from the negation of adjectives. The negative prefix is ki-.
Ashshigaab kaaki. Ashshigaab kittaa. Ashshigaat kittaayi. Ashshigaab kiiki. Ashshigaat kitti. Ashshigaab kinki. Ashshigaab kiikeen. I am not in a hurry, fast. You (M) are not in a hurry, fast. You (F) are not in a hurry, fast. He is not in a hurry, fast. She is not in a hurry, fast. We are not in a hurry, fast. . . . . . . . .

Ashshigaab kitteena. You (PL) are not in a hurry, fast. They are not in a hurry, fast.

'To Become': Positive Paradigm


The positive past forms of the same verb look different, because they have t+k where the negative forms have t+t.
Handhiwaayiib / Handiiwaab aki. I became a Hadendowa16. (M) Handhiwaayiib tikaya. Handhiwaayiit tikayi. Handhiwaayiib iki. Handhiwaayiit tiki. Handhiwaayiib niki. Handhiwaayiib tikeena. Handhiwaayiib ikeen. You (M) became a Hadendowa (M). You (F) became a Hadendowa (F). He became a Hadendowa (M). She became a Hadendowa (F). We became Hadendowa (M). You (PL) became Hadendowa (M). They (M) became Hadendowa (M). . . . . . . . .

'To Be, to Have': Pluperfect, Perfect used as Past, Present


Some paradigms which at first sight appear to be quite irregular are those of three very frequent verbs: faya 'to be, become', bariya 'to have' and hiya 'to give'.

Actually, the forms can be considered regular if one realizes that for the verb faya 'to be, become', the form iifi 'I had become (Pluperfect)' can be understood as 'Then I was (PAST)', and eefi 'I have become (PAST)' can be understood as 'Now I am (PRES)'.

The same is true for the verb 'to have', where iibiri 'I had got' (pluperfect) can be understood as 'Then I had' (PAST), and abari 'I have got' (PAST) can be understood as 'Now I have' (PRES).

'To Be' 1
Past meaning (< Pluperfect in form): Iifi. Tiifiya. Tiifii. Iifi. Tiifi. Niifi. I was < I had become. You (M) were < had become. You (F) were < had become. He was < had become. She was < had become. We were (M) < had become. . Eefi. Present meaning (< Perfect in form): I am < I have become. . . . . . . . . Teefaaya. You (M) are < have . become. Teefaayi. . . Eefi. . Teefi. . Neefi. You (F) are < have become. He is < have become. She is < have become. We are (M) < have become.

Tiifiina. You (PL) were < had become. Iifiin. They were had become.

Teefeena. You (PL) are < have . become. Eefeen. . They are< have become.

'To Give, To Be' 2

Past meaning (< Pluperfect in form): Ahi / Iihi. Tihiya. Tihii. Ihi. Tihi. Nihi. Tihiina. Ihiin. <370> I gave (I had given). You (M) gave. You (F) gave. He gave. She gave. We gave. You (PL) gave. They gave. / Iha. . Tihaya. . Tihayi. . . Iha. . Tiha. . Niha. Tihayna / . tiheena. Ihayna / . iheen. Present meaning (< Perfect in form): I am (I have become). You (M) are. You (F) are. He is. She is. We are. You (PL) are. They are. . . . . . . . \ .

The vowels in the first syllable really should be the long ii which is typical for Pluperfect or Past CONT and which is found in other verbs. The reason for having a short i is the rule of shortening before h, as explained in the phonology section.

'To Have'
Past meaning (< Pluperfect in form): Iibiri. Tiibiriya. Tiibirii. Iibiri. Tiibiri. Niibiri. Iibiriin. I had You (M) had. You (F) had. He had. She had. We had. . Abari. . Tibariya. . Tibarii. . Ibari. . Tibari. . Nibari. . Ibariin. Present meaning (< Perfect in form): I have. You (M) have. You (F) have. He has. She has. We have. . . . . . . . .

Tiibiriina. You (PL) had. They had.

. Tibariina. You (PL) have. They have.

Typical Transitive Verb Patterns


The imperatives of the most frequent verbs have been listed below. From the pattern of the imperative, all other forms can be derived.

The most frequent pattern of Beja verbs is the pattern CiCiC- and related to this are the patterns CaCiC-, CiCiy-, and CiC-. It should be noted that all of these verbs have the vowel i in the final syllable. This is typical for transitive verbs - i.e. verbs for which an object is understood (even if it is not expressed).

Pattern CiCiCMikira / mikiri / mikirna! Advise (him) (M) / (F) / (PL)! / / !

Bidila / bidili / bidilna! Fitita / fititi / fititna! Bitika / bitiki / bitikna! Fitira / fitiri / fitirna! Fidiga / fidigi / fidigna! Tikwikwa / tikwikwi / tikwikwna! Kitima / kitimi / kitimna! Shibiba / shibibi / shibibna! Diliba / dilibi / dilibna! Shigwidha / shigwidhi / shigwidhna! Kitiba / kitibi / kitibna!

Change (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Comb (hair) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Divide (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Have breakfast (M) / (F) / (PL)! Open, separate, divorce (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Prepare, produce (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Reach (sth.), arrive at (M) / (F) / (PL)! See (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Trade (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Wash (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Write (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)!

/ / ! / / ! ! / / / / ! / / ! / / ! / / ! / / ! / / ! / / ! / / !

Pattern HaCiCHayisa / hayisi / hayisna! Hakwira / hakwiri / hakwirna! Hasiba / hasibi / hasibna! Adhidha / adhidhi / adhidhna! Hariwa / hariwi / hariwna! Hamida / hamidi / hamidna! Agira / agiri / agirna! Hawida / hawidi / hawidna! Hasira / hasiri / hasirna, hasarna! Abika / abiki / abikna! Hagita / hagiti / hagitna! Be better (M) / (F) / (PL) (frequent)! Close (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL) (frequent)! Count, think about (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL) (frequent)! Divide, hobble (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL) (frequent)! Look for (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL) (frequent)! Praise, thank (sb.) (M) / (F) / (PL) (frequent)! Return (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL) (frequent)! Spend the evening (M) / (F) / (PL) (frequent)! Be sorry (about it) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Seize (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Wait, await (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! ! / / / / ! ! / / / / ! ! / / ! / / / / ! ! / / , / / ! ! / / ! / /

Pattern CiCiySiniya / siniyi / siniina! Tikwiya / tikwiyi / tikwiina! Rikwiya / rikwiyi / rikwiina! Miriya / miriyi / miriina! Await (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Cook, prepare (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! / / ! / / ! / / ! / / ! / / !

Dhigwiya / dhigwiyi / dhigwiina! Count (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Fear (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Find, get (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)!

Sikwiya / sikwiyi / sikwiina!

Run after (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)!

/ / !

Pattern CiCTiba / tibi / tibna! Difa / difi / difna! Sima / simi / simna! Mira / miri / mirna! Riba / ribi / ribna! Gida / gidi / gidna! Fill (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Leave, go away (M) / (F) / (PL)! ! / / / / ! ! / / , / / ! / / ! ! / / / / !

Isha, Usha / ushi / ushna! Leave, let (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Name, mention (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Prepare (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Refuse (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Throw (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)!

Typical Intransitive Verb Patterns Patterns CiCaC- and CaC<373>

The pattern of intransitive or reflexive verbs is characterized by a in the final syllable such as CiCaC-, HaCaC-, or CaC-. A large number of verbs can have either i or a in the final syllable, and they can be viewed as derived from each other:

Verbs of the pattern CiCiC are transitive, but verbs of the pattern CiCaC are intransitive or reflexive. Compare dirir- 'to feed supper (someone else)' and dirar- 'to (have) supper (oneself)', or agir- 'to return (something)' and agar- 'to return (oneself)'.

The same is true for the patterns CiC and CaC: The first is transitive, the second intransitive. Compare mir- 'to prepare (something)' and mar- 'to prepare (oneself)'. Here follow some intransitive or reflexive verbs which have this a in the final syllable of the verb stem. The verbs are given in the imperative forms.

Pattern CiCaCFiyaka / fiyaki / fiyakna! Load, carry (yourself) (M) / (F) / (PL) (frequent)! / / ! ! / / / / ! Winana / winani / winanna! Be angry (yourself) (M) / (F) / (PL) (frequent)! Dirara / dirari / dirarna! Have dinner, supper (yourself) (M) / (F) / (PL)!

Pattern CaCRama / rami / ramna! Maga / magi / magna! Nawa / nawi / nawna! Mara / mari / marna! Accompany (M) / (F) / (PL)! Be bad (M) / (F) / (PL)! Miss, lack (M) / (F) / (PL)! ! / / ! / / ! / / ! / /

Gama / gami / gamna! Not know (M) / (F) / (PL)!

Prepare oneself (M) / (F) / (PL)! ! / /

Intensive, Repeated, or Multiple Object Verbs Pattern CaaCiC<376>

Another group of verbs is characterized by a long aa in the first syllable, such as verbs of the pattern CaaCiC-. This aa typically indicates frequent action or repeated action or action performed on many objects.

Certain verbs can be used both with the short a or the long aa. One example for this is alima 'to draw a line' / aalima 'to draw lines'. Similarly the following verbs are considered repetitive: faayida 'to laugh', maasiwa 'to hear', and aayima 'spend time'.
Faayida / faayidi / faayidna! Aalima / aalimi / aalimna! Aayima / aayimi / aayimna! Laugh (about sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! ! / / / / ! ! / / ! / / Maasiwa / maasiwi / maasiwna! Hear (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Draw lines (M) / (F) / (PL)! Spend time, day (M) / (F) / (PL)!

Special Verbs of High Frequency


Some of the most frequent verbs, such as 'to be, to have', represent infrequent patterns. The main reasons are that these verbs are short (diradicals), or that they start with h- or hamzah, that they have -a- as a stem vowel, or that they end with -y.

Some verbal forms are not used for pragmatic reasons, i.e. nobody would say such a thing. Thus a verb like faya 'to be', is mainly used in the present and the CONT past (also called pluperfect). The imperative is one such form, which is not used for pragmatic reasons. The following table lists the most important ones of these special verbs.

Verbs of High Frequency - with Infrequent Patterns

- / - / - (Ihi) - / - / - (Iifi) D'iya / d'iyi / d'iina! Hiya / hiyi / hiina! Baya / bayi / beena! Kana / kani / kanna! Diya / diyi / diina! Aha / ahayi / aheena! Be (not used in the IMPV) Be (not used in the IMPV) ( )-/-/ ( )-/-/ ! / / , ! / / / / ! ! / / / / ! / / ! ! / /

Aka, kaya / aki / akeena! Become (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Do, put (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Give (sth.) (to sb.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Go to (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Know (M) / (F) / (PL)! Say, mean (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Take (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)!

Weak and Strong Verbs: Object Suffixes


There are Beja verbs which by their nature cannot have any object, e.g. Eeya 'He came', and there are others which always have an object - even if it is not expressed by any noun or name or pronoun, e.g. Rhiya 'He saw (sth.)'.


There also are a few verbs which always imply or express two objects, like 'give to, send to, think of as', etc. e.g. Aneeb aab hiisiya? 'Whom did he think me (to be)?', and there are others which require an adverb, e.g. Ugin'ook hooy d'iya! 'Put your mind on it!'.

These required objects or adverbs are part of the meaning of the verbs. It would be misleading not to include them in the definition.

So the verb 'ba-ya' may superficially have the meaning 'to go' - but the verb includes more: (1) the one who goes - which is always expressed as a subject, and secondly (2) the place - which is expressed or understood as the object, e.g. Oosook ibi 'He went to Suakin'.

So the verb 'ka-ya' may superficially have the meaning 'to be' - but the verb includes more: (1) the one who is -which is always expressed as a subject, and (2) the thing he, she is - which is expressed or understood as the object, e.g. 'Oobana iki 'he became a tracker.'

Verbs with One Object


Superficially it seems that there is no object in sentences such as Gw'an 'I drank' or Aharriiw 'I want' as in these sentences there is no word or affix which expresses an object. In actual fact, however, the object is understood, and the reason is that these verbs are inherently transitive. The following section is about verbs which have one object.

Ani gw'an. Baruuk naan gw'ata? Batuuk naan gw'ati? Ani aat gw'an. Ani buun gw'an. Ani yam gw'an. Ani asiir gw'an. Ani shaahiib gw'an. I drank (something). . ? ? ? . . . . .

What would you (M) like to drink? What would you (F) like to drink?

Baraakna naan gw'atna? What would you (PL) like to drink? (infrequent) I drank milk. I drank coffee. I drank water. I drank juice. I drank tea.

Kaam a'am. Hataay a'am. Tambiil a'am. Baabuur a'am. I rode a camel. I rode a horse. I rode a car. I rode a steamer. . . . . .

Ootoobis a'am. I rode a bus.

Aharriiw. Hadhiib aharriiw. Sheetariit aharriiw. Gamhiib aharriiw. Biltuub aharriiw. Mheel aharriiw. I want (something). . . . . . . .

I want some bread.

Eeshariif hana biltuub aharriiw. I want some maize. I want some white sorghum. I want some wheat. I want some millet. I want some spice.

Object Suffixes

The object is expressed by suffixes both in the weak and in the strong verbs. The third person object is not expressed and may seem to be missing - but it is always understood.

Table 31: Object Suffixes

-heeb -hook -hoon me you him, her us -

-hookna you (PL) them

Weak verb and Object suffix

Aab rhiya? Aneeb rhiyaheeb. Barook rhiyahook. Batook rhiyahook. Barooh rhiya. Batooh rhiya. Hinin rhiyahoon. Bateekna rhiyahookna. Bareeh rhiya. Bateeh rhiya. Whom did he see? ? . . . . . . . . .

He saw me. He saw you (M). He saw you (F). He saw him. He saw her. He saw us.

Bareekna rhiyahookna. He saw you (M PL). . He saw you (F PL). He saw them (M). He saw them (F).

Strong verb and Object suffix

Baruuh aab ikteen? (Baruuh) aneeb ikteenheeb. (Baruuh) barook ikteenhook. (Baruuh) batook ikteenhook. (Baruuh) barooh ikteen. (Baruuh) batooh ikteen. (Baruuh) hinin ikteenhoon. (Baruuh) bateekna ikteenhookna. (Baruuh) bareeh ikteen. (Baruuh) bateeh ikteen. Whom does he know? ? .( ) .( ) .( ) .( ) .( ) ( . ) .( ) .( ) .( ) .( )

He knows me. He knows you (M.) He knows you (F). He knows him. He knows her. He knows us.

(Baruuh) bareekna ikteenhookna. He knows you (M PL). He knows you (F PL). He knows them (M). He knows them (F).

Weak Verbs with their Objects


In the following table, the imperative form of the verb is give before the colon.
Afooyaa: Baabook / deetook afooyaa! Agriiyaa: Tiwaseeteek agriiyaa! Raataa: Gwida bhali ba'araataaheeb! Bhaliiyaa: Sakanaayook bhaliiyaa! Faayisaa: Ooktaab / ushanhook faayisaa! Gw'aa: Ubuunook / w'asiirook gw'aa! Reewaa: Oon'oorba reewaa! Rhisaa: Uktaabook / tuwaragaatook rhisaaheeb! Gwuugamaa: Tootrig gwuugamaa! Forgive (M) your father / mother! Read (M) your advice! Don't (M) ask me many words! Tell (M) your message! Finish (M) the book / your work! Drink (M) your coffee / juice! Climb (M) on this hill! Show (M) me your book / paper. Look at the moon! ! / : ! : ! : ! : ! / : / : ! ! : / : ! ! :

Strong Verbs with their Objects, sorted alphabetically


The following verbs are transitive. So the object is always understood, even if there is no noun, pronoun or object suffix to express it. Below, each verb is given with a noun that is commonly or typically associated with this particular verb. Again, the imperative form of the verb is given before the colon.
Abika: Aab t'abika? Abika: Beenw'oor abika! Whom did you seize? Hold, grab that boy! ? : ! :

Abika: Oon'ugalam abika! Adhidha: Ookaam adhidha! Adhidha: Oomooz adhidha! Agira: Baliit teekam agira! Agwira: Ubilbil agwira! Agwira: Oottoondi agwira! Aha: Daayi na aha! Ama: Kaam ama! Ama: Whataay ama!

Take (M) this pen! Hobble the camel! Divide, peel the banana. Return those camels! Bend the stick! Bend this metal! Take something good! Ride a camel! Ride the horse!

! : : ! : ! : ! ! : ! : ! : ! : ! : : ! ! : ! : : ! ! : : ! : ! ! : ! : ) : ( ! / : ! / ! : : ! : ! : ! ! / : : / ! ! : ! : : ! /

Amfaraada: Aneeb amfaraadaheeb! Talk to me! Amfaraada: Usanook amfaraada! Amakaara: Baabook ammakaara! Amakakaarna: Taktak ammakakaarna! Amararaayna: Taktak ammararaayna! Amookaana: Oon'ootak amookaana! Amookakaanna: Taktak amookakaanna! Amooraama: Baabook amooraama! Amooraraamna: Amooraraamna! Amooth'a: (Hinin) amooth'ahoon / baamoothi'ahoon! Amooth'ath'ana: Taktak amooth'ath'ana / baamooth'ath'ina! Amtaraama: Baabook amtaraama! Ashisha: Baabook ashisha! Ashisha: Y'amna ashisha! Atood'aara: Tutakat titood'aar! Awaya: Oobaaba / baabook awaya! Baadhina: Uktaabook baadhina / Baabaadhiina! Baya: Oosuug baya! Bidila: Imhallaga bidila! Birira: Tubadham / tumadham Talk to your brother! Consult your father! Consult (PL) each other! Meet (PL) each other! Get to know this man! Get to know (PL) each other! Follow, go with your father! Go with each other! Quarrel with us / Don't quarrel with us! Quarrel (PL) with each other / Don't quarrel (PL) with each other! Respect your father! Receive, meet your father! Meet, receive the guests! Be married to the woman. Help the father / your father! Forget your book / Don't forget your book! Go to the market! Change the money! Unroll the (sitting) mat.

birira! Biriya: Mhallagaab biriya! Bitika: Imhallaga bitika! Bitika: Oomooz bitika! D'iya: Tarabeeza d'iya! D'ura: Aab id'ur? D'ura: Takat d'ura! Dhibiba: Tubadham dhibiba! Dhigwiya: Imhallagaayeek dhigwiya! Dibila: W'issi dibila! Dibiya: Imhallagaayeek dibiya! Digiya: Imhallagaayeen digiya! Diliba: Teekam diliba! Diliba: Wharru diliba! Dira: Tak dira / baadiira, baadariiya! Dirara: Diraar dirara! Diriga: N'eet diriga! Dirira: Y'amna dirira! Diwila: Aneeb diwilaheeb! Diya: Gaana diya! Faayida: Aneeb faayida / baafaayiida! Fidhadha: Oosdik fidhadha! Fidiga: Oobaab fidiga! Fidina: Aneeb fidinaheeb / baafadiinaheeb! Fidina: Been'ootak fidina / baafadiina! Fifa: Eeyam fifa! Fika: Aneeb fikaheeb / baafiikaheeb! Fikika: Tubatehiiyaay fikika! Finika: Tu'anbarooytook finika / baafaniika! Fir'a: Ooyaas fir'a! Firika: Toori firika! Have some money! Divide the money! Cut apart, divide the banana! Make a table. Whom did he marry? Marry a woman! Uncoil, unwrap the mat! Count your money! Collect the sand! Take care of your money! Return, give back our money! Trade, sell the camels (F)! Trade the millet! Kill someone / Don't kill someone! Eat dinner! Light a fire! Serve the guests supper! Come (M) close to me! Say something! Laugh at me / Don't laugh at me! Confess the truth! Open the door! Avoid me / Don't avoid me! Avoid that man / Don't avoid that man! Pour the water out! Threaten me / Don't threaten me! Slice the melon! Bite your lip / Don't bite your lip! Get the dog out! Dig the well! ! : ! : ! : ! : ? : : ! : ! ! : ! : ! : ! : : ! ! : / : , ! : ! : ! : ! : ! : ! / ! : ! : ! : ! : / ! : / ! ! : : / ! : ! / : ! : ! : !

Fiteha: Tihamooteek fitehi! Fitika: Ootam fitika! Fitira: Fatuur fitira! Fitita: Tihamooteek fititi! Fitita: Yhadhi fitita! Fiyaka: Wharru fiyaka! Foora: Foora! Utambiil ifoor, uumeek. Gama: Tudaayiinaay gama / baagaama! Gida: W'awi gida! Gwhama: Oobuun gwhama! / igwham. Gwhara: Imhallaga baagwhiira. Gwhara: Imhallaga gwhara! / igwhar. Gwishisha: Utambiil gwishisha! / igwshish. Hagila: Oogaw hagila / bahagiila! Hagita: Aneeb hagitaheeb! Hagwina: Y'ayeek hagwina / bahagwiina! Hakwira: Toon'aay hakwira! Hamida: Allaayook hamida! Hamiya: Barooh hamiya / bahamiiya! Harida: Toon'aay harida! Hariwa: Ikameeh hariwa! Hariwa: Mhallagaayeek hariwa! Hasiba: Teekam hasiba! Hayida: Ujil'ik hayidi! Hayida: Whalakooh hayida! / ihayid. Hiya: Mhallagaab (w'oorook) hiya! Humiya: Baabook humiya! Kana: Been'ootak kana!

Open, let down (F) your hair. Lift the food (from the fire). Eat breakfast! Comb (F) your hair! Turn the breads into crumbs (LIT comb it)! Carry (load yourself) the millet. Flee! The donkey fled, escaped the car. Ignore goodness / Don't ignore goodness! Throw the stone! Sip! / He sipped the coffee. Don't steal the money!. Steal! / He stole the money. Push! / He pushed the car. Miss the house / Don't miss the house! Wait for me! Scratch your hands / Don't scratch your hands! Tie the goat! Thank, praise your God! Blame, be bitter, serious about him / Don't blame, be bitter, serious about him! Slaughter the goat! Seek his camels! Find your (M) money (PL)! Count the camels! Sew (F) the rag, old cloth! Sew! / He sewed his clothes (LIT cloth). Give (M) money (PL) (to your son)! Cover your father! Know that man!

! : : ! : ! ! : ! : ! : , ! : . / : ! : ! / ! : . . : / ! : . : ! . / / : ! ! : ! : ! : ! : / : ! ! : ! : ! : : ! : ! / ! : . ( ) : ! ! : ! :

Kaya: Daktoor kaya / aka! Kiliba: Teekam kiliba! Kirima: Eeyam kirima! Kirira: Ookwaan kirira! Kit'a: Tubatehiiyaay kit'a! Kitiba: Jawaab kitiba! Kitiba: Kitaab kitiba! Kitima: Oosuug kitima! Kwibara: Urbaayi kwibara (gideha, tikwa)! Kwibira: Wharru kwibira! Kwila: Oobaab kwila! Kwina: Gaana kwina! Kwishiba: W'oorook kwishiba! Kwisiya: Aliib kwisiya! Kwisiya: Imhallagaayi kwisiya! Kwisiya: Uyafook kwisiya! Lhasa: Tisikwkwar lhasa / baalhiisa! Lhasa: Tukwooba, tukwibbaay lhasa! Libaba: Whalakook libaba! Liga: Tihamooteek liga! Limida: Tuktaaba limida! Liwa: Tuwaraga liwa! Liwa: Uwarag liwa! Maasiwa: Ibhaliyi maasiwa! Mikira: Been'ootak mikira! Mikira: W'oorook mikira! Mikwasa: Ubooyook mikwasa! Milha: Whamashaay milha! Mina: Tihamooteek mina! Mira: Tumhasay mira! Miriya: Eekam miriya! Miriya: Yam / shaahiib miriya! N'ura: Tilhanayteesook n'ura!

Become a doctor! Fence the camels (F) in! Take away the water! Build a dam for the flood! Cut the melon! Write a letter! Write a book! Arrive at the market! Go down from the hill (go down, descend)! Take the millet down! Knock / hammer at the door! Have one thing in mind! Circumcise your son! Pay Ali your debts! Pay (me) back my money! Pay back your debts! Lick the sugar / Don't lick the sugar! Lick the pot! Gird your cloth, loins! Lift, comb your hair! Get used to the writing! Burn the paper (F)! Burn the paper (M)! Hear the word! Advise, counsel that man! Advise your (SG) son! Avenge your blood! Lead the blind man! Shave (M) your hair! Prepare the lunch! Find the camels (M)! Find, get (M) some water / tea! Get better from the cold!

! / : : ! : ! : ! : ! ! : : ! ! : : !( ,) ! : : ! : ! : ! : ! : ! : ! : / ! / : ! ! : ! : : ! ! : ! : ! : : ! : ! : ! ! : ! : ! : : ! / : ! ! :

Naakiba: Ookaam naakiba! Nawa: Oogaw nawa / ugawoon baanaawa! Nigila: Usanduuk nigila! Rama: Y'amna rama! Riba: Imhallaga riba / baariiba! Ribiya: Ookaam ribiya! Rififa: Ubarmiil rififa! / irfif. Rigiga: Tutibalaaytook asa rigiga! Rikwiya: Aneeb rikwiyaheeb / baarakwiiyaheeb! S'abika: Beenw'oor s'abikaheeb! S'ama: Tambiil (barooh) s'ama! Shaakwa: Reew shaakwa! Shaawa: Yam shaawa! Shawawiya: Y'ar shawawiya / baashawawiiya! Shawawiya: Y'ar shawawiya! Shibashikwa: Ootam shibashikwa! Shibiba: Been'eenda shibiba! Shibiba: Tootrig shibiba! Shidhidha: Oomooz shidhidha! Shigwidha: Y'ayeek shigwidha! / y'ayeeh ishgwidh. Shigwidha: Yhalakaayeek shigwidha! Shiishalika: Oobuun shiishalika! Shikidha: Y'ayeek shikidha, shakiidha! / baashakiidha! Shitita: Yhalakaayeek shitita! / baashatiita! Sidabila: Y'ar sidabila! Sigiya: Ugwharaayi sigiya!

Go after, overtake the camel! Miss the house / Don't miss our house! Open, untie the box! Accompany the guests! Refuse the money / Don't refuse the money! Load the camel! Pull! / He pulled the container. Stretch, raise your finger! Be afraid of me / Don't be afraid of me! Catch that boy for me! Let (him) ride a car! Look after cattle. Add water! Incite the boys against each other / Don't incite the boys against each other! Gather the boys! Get the food ready, cause to be ready! Glance at those men! Look at, watch the moon! Peel the banana! Wash your hands! / He washed his hands. Wash your clothes! Reduce the coffee ! Scratch your hands / Don't scratch your hands! Tear your clothes (apart) / Don't tear your clothes (apart)! Gather the children! Distance (yourself), be far from the

: ! / : ! ! : ! : ! / : : ! : / ! . : ! : ! / : ! ( ) : ! : ! ! : / : ! ! : : ! : ! : ! : ! : / ! . : ! : ! : ! / ! / : ! : ! ! :

thief! Siisaga: Ooyaas siisaga! Sikwa: Ooluul sikwa! Sikwiya: Ugwhara sikwiya! Sima: W'oorook sima! Sinaakira: Barooh sinaakira! Sinaakira: Ibhaliiyi sinaakira! Sinaakira: Uraadiyu sinaakira! Sinhada: Oon'ootam sinhada! Sinhasa: Tukwooba sinhasa! Siniya: W'oor siniya! T'iya: Baabook t'iya! Tara: Ugawoon tara! / itar. Tara: W'awi tara! / itar. Tha'a, th'a: Oobaab tha'a! Tha'a, th'a: Talafoon tha'a! / ith'a. Thab'a / thaba'a: Ookaam thaba'a! Thiwiya: Ooluul thiwiya! Tiba: Tukaroora tiba! Tifira: Oor tifiri / tifri. Tikwikwa: Tarabeezaat tikwikwa! Tikwiya: Ootam tikwiyi! Tikwiya: Toosha, toolam tikwiya! Tilisa: Unisrik tilisa / baataliisa! Tilisa: Unisrik tilisa! / iitlis. Tiriba: Imhallaga tiriba! Uba: Umii'at uba! Usha: Oogaw usha! Wika: W'ayook wika / baawiika! Let the dog be far (Chase it away)! Pull (M) the string! Run after the thief! Name your son! Listen to him! Listen to my words! Listen to the radio! Finish that porridge! Clean the bowl! Wait for the boy! Be similar to your father (Imitate him)! Avoid! / He avoided our house. Dodge! / He dodged the stone. Beat, knock at the door! Ring the phone! / The telephone rang. Beat the camel much (REP)! Squeeze the rope! Fill the bottle! She gave birth to a boy. Produce a table! Cook (F) the porridge! Cook (M) the meat, broth! Don't cheat the child! Cheat! / He cheated the child. Divide the money! Follow the trace! Leave the house! Cut, scratch your hand / Don't cut, scratch your hand! : ! : ! ! : : ! : ! ! : : ! : ! : ! : ! ! : . / ! : . / ! : ! : , / ! : , . ! : / ! : : ! : / . : ! : ! , : ! / ! : ! / ! : . ! : : ! ! : /! : ! ! / ! :

Yaaya: Baabook yaaya / baayaaya! Blame your father / Don't blame your father!

Yiya: Ashshigeet yaay baayaaya! / iyiya.

Don't die a sudden (hurried) death! / He died.

! : . /

Weak and Strong Verbs with Object Suffixes 1 (M)

Raataaheeb! / raatanihook. Afooyaaheeb! / afooyanihook. Tamsaaheeb! / tamsanihook. Gw'asaaheeb! / gw'asanihook. Salaamaaheeb! / salaamanihook. Rhisaaheeb! / rhisanihook. Sooyaaheeb! / sooyanihook. Afhamaaheeb! / afhamanihook. Hiyaheeb! / aniiwhook. Ushaheeb! / an'iishhook. Shibibaheeb! / ashanbiibhook. Ask (M) me! / I ask you (M). Excuse (M) me! / I excuse you (M). Feed (M) me! / I feed you (M). Give me something to drink (M)! / I give you (M) something to drink. Greet (M) me! / I greet you (M). Show (M) me! / I show you (M). Tell (M) (inform) me! / I inform you (M). Understand (M) me! / I understand you (M). . / ! / ! . / ! . / ! . / ! . / ! . / ! . / ! . . / ! / ! . / ! .

Give (M) me! / I give you (M). Leave (M) me! / I leave you (M). See (look at) (M) me! / I look at you (M).

Weak and Strong Verbs with Object Suffixes 2 (F)

Raatiiheeb! / raatanihook. Afooyiiheeb! / afooyanihook. Tamsiiheeb! / tamsanihook. Gw'asiiheeb! / gw'asanihook. Salaamiiheeb! / salaamanihook. Rhisiiheeb! / rhisanihook. Sooyiiheeb! / sooyanihook. Afhamiiheeb! / afhamanihook. Ask (F) me! / I ask you (F). Excuse (F) me! / I excuse you (F). Feed (F) me! / I feed you (F). Give to drink (F) me! / I give you (F) something to drink. Greet (F) me! / I greet you (F). Show (F) me! / I show you (F). Tell / inform (F) me! / I inform you (F). Understand (F) me! / I understand you (F). . / ! . / ! / ! . / ! . / ! . / ! . / ! . / ! .

Ushiheeb! / an'iishhook. Hiyiheeb! / aniiwhook. Shibibiheeb! / ashanbiibhook.

Leave (F) me! / I leave you (F). Give (F) me! / I give you (F). See (look at) (F) me! / I see you (F).

. / ! . / ! / ! .

Weak and Strong Verbs with Object Suffixes 3 (PL)

Raataanahoon! / raatnayhookna. Afooyaanahoon! / afoonayhookna. Tamsaanahoon! / tamsnayhookna. Gw'asaanahoon! / gw'asnayhookna. Salaamaanahoon! / salaamnayhookna. Rhisaanahoon! / rhisnayhookna. Sooyaanahoon! / soonayhookna. Afhamaanahoon! / afhamnayhookna. Hiinahoon! / neeyaawhookna. Ushnahoon! / nee'ushhookna. Shibibnahoon! / nishabibhookna. Ask (PL) us! / we ask you (PL). Excuse (PL) us! / we excuse you (PL). Feed (PL) us! / we feed you (PL). Give (PL) us something to drink ! / we give you (PL) something to drink. Greet (PL) us! / we greet you (PL). Show (PL) us! / we show you (PL). Tell / inform (PL) us! / we inform you (PL). Understand (PL) us! / we understand you (PL). / ! . / ! . / ! . / ! . / ! . / ! . / ! . / ! . / ! . / ! . / ! .

Give (PL) us! / we give you (PL). Leave (PL) us! / we leave you (PL). See look at (PL) us! / we look at you (PL).

Verbs Frequently Used with Object Suffixes 'Thank'

Ahammiidehook. Ahammiidehook. Nhamidehook. Nhamidehook. Nhamidehookna. I thank, praise you (M). I thank, praise you (F). . . . . . .

Ahammiidehookna. I thank, praise you (PL). We thank, praise you (M). We thank, praise you (F). We thank, praise you (PL).

W'ayu ashangwiidh. Y'ayi ashangwiidh. Tihamooti ashangwiidh. Yhalakaayi ashangwiidh. I wash my hand. I wash my hands. I wash my hair (PL). . . . . .

Isahaanaayi ashangwiidh. I wash my dishes. I wash my clothes.

Verbs with Two Objects


A few verbs always have two objects. Even if not expressed, both are understood.

Verbs with Two Object Nouns

(Oomeek) urabi fiyika! (Oomeek) wharru fiyika! (Aneeb) mhallagaab hiyaheeb! (Oonbarooh) oorooh ikwaas. (W'oorook) tuktaaba silamiida! (W'oorook) wharru sidabila! (W'oorook) dehaay sim soosima! (Barooh) meek s'ama! (Y'amna) diraar dirira! (W'oorook) tugraaya silamida! (W'oorook) tuktaaba sookina! (Oomeek) harroob ribiya! (Unadaay) oorook kwaasa! (Aneeb) imhallagaayi kwisiyaheeb! (W'oorook) tumidrasa sitooba! Load the luggage on the donkey, load the donkey with the luggage. Load the donkey with the millet! ! )( ! )( !)( () ! ( . ) )( ! ! )( )( ! !) ( () ! )( ! )( ! ! () )( ! )( ! )( !

(Aneeb) yam gw'asaaheeb! Give (M) me (something) to drink! Give me some money! He made (created) him his child! Learn, get your son used to writing! Let your son collect the millet! Let your boy be given a good name! Let him climb a donkey! Let the guests have supper! Let your son learn how to read (LIT the reading)! Let your son know how to write (LIT cause your son to know the writing)! Load the donkey with millet! Make (create as) the orphan your child! Repay me my money! Take your boy to (the) school!

'To Give' with Two Objects

(Aneeb) w'ayook hiyaheeb! Give (M) me your hand! )( !

W'ayook hiyahoon! W'ayook hiyiheeb! W'ayook hiyihoon! Y'ayeekna hiinaheeb! Y'ayeekna hiinahoon!

Give (M) us your hand! Give (F) me your hand! Give (F) us your hand! Give (PL) me your (PL) hands! Give (PL) us your (PL) hands!

! ! ! ! !

'To Say' with Two Objects 1

(Barook) aab eeyadnahook? Aneeb Sayid eeyadnaheeb. Batook aab eeyadnahook? Barooh aab eeyadna? Barooh Aliib eeyadna. Batooh aab eeyadna? Batooh Haliimaab eeyadna. What do they call you (M)? They call me Said. What do they call you (F)? ? ) ( . ? . ? . ? .

Aneeb Zaynab eeyadnaheeb. They call me Zaynab. What do they call him? They call him Ali. What do they call her? They call her Halima.

'To Say' with Two Objects 2

(Bareekna) aab eeyadnahookna? Hinin Aliiwwa Abuuzaynabwa eeyadnahoon. Bateekna aab eeyadnahookna? Hinin Haliimaabwa Zaynabwa, Zaynawwa eeyadnahoon. Bareeh aab eeyadna? Bareeh Abduwwa Oosheekwa eeyadna. Bateeh aab eeyadna? Bateeh Haliimaabwa Zaynabwa eeyadnahoon. What do they call you (M PL)? They call us Ali and Abuzaynab. What do they call you (F PL)? They call us Halima and Zaynab. What do they call them (M)? They call them Abu and Oosheek. What do they call them (F)? They call us Halima and Zaynab. ? ) ( . ? , . ? . ? .

'To Return' with Object and Adverb

Uktaabook dehook adgi. Iktabookna dehookna adgi. I returned (gave back) your (M) book to (for) you (M). I returned your (PL) books to you (PL). . .

Full Paradigm with Two Objects


Here is the full paradigm of a verb with all subject and object pronoun suffixes - both positive and negative (further below).

'I gave to ...'

Aab tihiya? Barook ahihook. Batook ahihook. Barooh ahi. Batooh ahi. Bateekna ahihookna. Bareeh ahi. Bateeh ahi. Whom did you (M) give (it to)? ? . . . . . . . .

I gave (it to) you (M). I gave (it to) you (F). I gave (it to) him. I gave (it to) her.

Bareekna ahihookna. I gave (it to) you (M PL). I gave (it to) you (F PL). I gave (it to) them (M). I gave (it to) them (F).

'You (M) gave to ...'

Aneeb tihiyaheeb. You (M) gave (it to) me. Barooh tihiya. Batooh tihiya. Hinin tihiyahoon. Bareeh tihiya. Bateeh tihiya. You (M) gave (it to) him. You (M) gave (it to) her. You (M) gave (it to) us. You (M) gave (it to) them (M). You (M) gave (it to) them (F). . . . . . .

'You (F) gave to ...'

Aneeb tihiyiheeb. You (F) gave (it to) me. Barooh tihiyi. Batooh tihiyi. Hinin tihiyihoon. Bareeh tihiyi. Bateeh tihiyi. You (F) gave (it to) him. You (F) gave (it to) her. You (F) gave (it to) us. You (F) gave (it to) them (M). You (F) gave (it to) them (F). . . . . . .

'He gave to ...'

Aneeb ihiheeb. Barook ihihook. Batook ihihook. Barooh ihi. Batooh ihi. He gave (it to) me. He gave (it to) you (M). He gave (it to) you (F). He gave (it to) him. He gave (it to) her. . . . . .

Hinin ihihoon. Bateekna ihihookna. Bareeh ihi. Bateeh ihi.

He gave (it to) us.

. . . .

Bareekna ihihookna. He gave (it to) you (M PL). . He gave (it to) you (F PL). He gave (it to) them (M). He gave (it to) them (F).

'She gave to ...'

Aneeb tihiheeb. Barook tihihook. Batook tihihook. Barooh tihi. Batooh tihi. Hinin tihihoon. Bateekna tihihookna. Bareeh tihi. Bateeh tihi. She gave (it to) me. She gave (it to) you (M). She gave (it to) you (F). She gave (it to) him. She gave (it to) her. She gave (it to) us. . . . . . . . . .

Bareekna tihihookna. She gave (it to) you (M PL). . She gave (it to) you (F PL). She gave (it to) them (M). She gave (it to) them (F).

'We gave to ...'

Barook nihihook. Batook nihihook. Barooh nihi. Batooh nihi. We gave (it to) you (M). We gave (it to) you (F). We gave (it to) him. We gave (it to) her. . . . . . . .

Bareekna nihihookna. We gave (it to) you (M PL). . Bateekna nihihookna. We gave (it to) you (M PL). Bareeh nihi. Bateeh nihi. We gave (it to) them (M). We gave (it to) them (F).

'You (PL) gave to ...'

Aneeb tihiinaheeb. You (PL) gave (it to) me. Barooh tihiina. Batooh tihiina. Hinin tihiinahoon. Bareeh tihiina. Bateeh tihiina. You (PL) gave (it to) him. You (PL) gave (it to) her. You (PL) gave (it to) us. You (PL) gave (it to) them (M). You (PL) gave (it to) them (F). . . . . . .

'They gave to ...'

Aneeb ihiinheeb. They gave (it to) me. .

Barook ihiinhook. Batook ihiinhook. Barooh ihiin. Batooh ihiin. Hinin ihiinhoon. Bateekna ihiinhookna. Bareeh ihiin. Bateeh ihiin.

They gave (it to) you (M). They gave (it to) you (F). They gave (it to) him. They gave (it to) her. They gave (it to) us.

. . . . . . . .

Bareekna ihiinhookna. They gave (it to) you (M PL). . They gave (it to) you (F PL). They gave (it to) them (M). They gave (it to) them (F).

Derivations and Synonyms


Basic verb stems can be changed to derived verbs like yak-aa 'start' > yak-s-aa 'let start'. The main Beja derivations are causative (cause the action) and passive (suffer the action). Other derivations include reflexive verbs (the action is directed to the one who acts), and repetitive verbs (the action is repeated).

Weak verbs attach the derivation after the root, strong verbs attach the same morpheme before the root.

Weak Verbs Grouped by Derivations


The verbs below are grouped by derivations such as causative, intensive or passive.

Causatives Causative Verbs

Afhasiya / afisiya. He let know, explained. Agriisiya. Allamsiya. Faayisiya. Giigsiya. Rhisiya. He let read, taught. He let get used to, taught. He let be completed, finished. He let go, sold. He let see, showed. / . . . . . .

Causative Verbs With Two Objects


The -s marking causative forms usually expresses that another person is caused to perform an action. Therefore the causative verbs tend to have two objects, even though the objects may not be expressed as nouns or independent pronouns or suffixed pronouns.

Example 'Give (LIT cause) to Drink'

(Aneeb) yam gw'asaaheeb! Give (M) me (not someone else) to drink!f !)(

Yam gw'asaaheeb! Barooh / batooh / bateeh / yam gw'asaa! Yam gw'asaa! Yam gw'asiiheeb! Yam gw'asaanaheeb! Yam gw'asaahoon! Yam gw'asiihoon! Yam gw'asaanahoon! Teekam yam gw'asaa! Teekam yam gw'asii! Teekam yam gw'asaana!

Give (M) me to drink! Give (M) him / her / them (not someone else) to drink! Give (M) (him / her / them) to drink! Give (F) me to drink! Give (PL) me to drink! Give (M) us to drink! Give (F) us to drink! Give (PL) us to drink! Give (M) the camels (F) water to drink! Give (F) the camels (F) water to drink! Give (PL) the camels (F) water to drink!

! / / / ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Social Verbs

The mutual or social action is expressed by the use of two affixes together: The -m 'passive' plus the -s 'causative'. The noun or adverb taktak 'each other' may serve as dummy object. Note that although some of the commands with a social or passive meaning - such as 'be entertained!' - may not have any function in normal everyday life, the imperative forms in -aa have been used here for the sake of consistency.

Examples: Social Verbs

Hatirsamaa! Ayaysamaa! Hijiksamaa! Assassamaa! Araasamaa! Araaweesamaa! Neeweesamaa! Rhisamaa! Shamaasamaa (shamsamaa)! Bhaliisamaa! (Taktak) afhamsamaa! Tamsamaa! Hawaasamaa! Nuunsamaa! Hadiidsamaa! Afhamsamaa! Argue with (sb.)! Be a relative with (sb.)! Be entertained, talk! Be sure (LIT established)! Be friendly! Be friends, share! Be insulted! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ) !( ! !( ) ! ! ) ( ! ! ! ! !

Waasisamaa (wawaasisamaa)! Be removed! Be seen! Bicker with (sb.)! Converse with (sb.)! Discuss with (sb.), explain! Eat with each other! Entertain, play with (sb.)! Exchange! Let talk, cause to talk! Let understand, explain!

Salaamsamaa! Hadiidsamaa! Ajjabsamaa! Naffasamaa! Suursamaa! Amaansamaa! Hireersamaa!

Cause to greet! Let talk! Let someone be surprised! Pretend to be happy! Run a race with someone! Trust each other! Walk about!

! ! ! ! ! ! !

Passives Examples: Past

Agriimiya. Allamamiya. Eegriimamiya. Faayamiya. Gw'amiya. Tamamiya. Rhamiya. Rhamta. It was read. It was taught. It was getting old. It was completed. . . . . . . . . .

Hukwumamiya. It was ruled, decided. It (M) was consumed, drunk. It (M) was eaten. He was seen. She was seen.

Examples with Subjects

Batuuk utalafooniib titeharriiwi. You (F) are wanted at the phone. . Uumooz tamamiya. Uumooz tamamiini. Uuttubaskaawi tamamtini. Uun'ushaahi gw'amiini. The banana was eaten. The banana is (being) eaten. This biscuit is (being) eaten. This tea is (being) consumed. . . . .

'Be Rented': Past, Present

Uun'uugaw ajjaramiya. Tuuttughurfa ajjaramta. Ajjaramiyaan. Ajjaramtini. This house (M) was rented. It (F) was rented. . . . . .

Tuuttughurfa ajjaramtini. It (F) is being rented. They were rented out. It (F) is being rented out.

'Be Consumed': Past / Present

Gw'amiya. Gw'amta. It (M) was consumed / drunk. It (F) was consumed / drunk. . . .

Gw'amiyaan. They are consumed / drunk.

Gw'amiini. Gw'amtini. Gw'ameen.

It (M) is consumed / drunk. It (F) is consumed / drunk. They are consumed / drunk.

. . .

'Be Consumed': Active / Passive

Active: Aakam yhindi tamiyaana / tameen. The camels ate the trees. Baraah rhiyaanhookna. Passive: Yhindi tamamiyaan. Baraakna rhamteena. Ushaahi gw'amiya. Tujabana gw'amta. The trees were eaten. You are seen. The tea was consumed (REP). The coffee (-pot) was consumed. . . . . They saw you (PL). . / .

Repeated Action

Some verbs express that the action is repeated over time, or over many objects. The form of these verbs is reduplicated, i.e., one syllable is repeated.

Reduplicated Weak Verbs

haggagaa lablabaa assassamaa ayaysamaa hanhan'aa witwitaa gargaraa kilkilsaa hamhamaa haddadaa affirm, confirm babble, talk be established be a relative with bray

haggagsamaa inquire, investigate (AR) grin, smile gurgle let move easily bellow, neigh threaten

Strong Verbs Grouped by Derivations


The verbs below are grouped by derivations such as causative, passive etc. Strong verbs take prefixes.

Causatives Example: 'Let be cheap'

Rhasaabu. It / he is cheap. .

Unifsooh isrhas.

He made himself cheap / cheapened himself.

. !

Unifsook baasirhiisa! Don't make yourself (M) cheap!

Causative, Imperatives
Oobuun shiishalika! W'ooriiyook oor soosima! Let the coffee be less! ! ! Tugraaya w'oorook sookina! Let your son know the reading! ! Let your son's son be named!

Causative Verbs with Objects

Oobaab (barooh) sehakwira! Ibhaliiyi sinaakira! Ootam shibashikwa! Wharru (barooh) sidabila! Oon'ootam isnhad. Oogaw sinhasa! Ooyaas siisaga! Let (him) tie, cause him to, lock the door. Listen to my words! Let the porridge, meal get ready, cooked! Let (him) collect the millet! ! ( ) ! ! ( ) ! ( ) ! . ! !

Tugraaya (w'oorook) silamida! Let (your son) learn reading! He finished this porridge. Let the house, the pot be cleaned! Let the dog be far, cause (M) him to be far!

Passives 'Be Worn': Past, Present

Active: Akwi. Passive: Itookwkwaay. Titookwkwaay. Itookwkwi. Titookwkwi. Itookwkwin. It (M) was worn. It (F) was worn. . . . . . I wore. .

Itookwkwaayna. They were worn. . It (M) is worn. It (F) is worn. They are worn.

'Be Married': Past Paradigm

IMPV: Atood'aari! PAST: Atood'aar. Titood'aari. Titood'aar. Nitood'aar. I (F) got married. You (F) got married. She got married. We got married. . . . . Get (F) married! !

Titood'aarna. Itood'aarna / Tikwaati kastaa itood'aarna.

You (F PL) got married. They (F) / All my sisters got married.

. / .

'Be Married': Present Paradigm

PRES: Atood'iir. Titood'iiri. Titood'iir. Nitood'iir. Titood'iirna. Itood'iirna. Various: Ituud'iir andi. Biitood'aari! Kaatood'aar. I (F) will get married. Don't (F) get married! I (F) don't get married. . ! . . I (F) get married. You (F) get married. She gets married. We (F) get married. You (F PL) get married. They (F) get married. . . . . . .

Ad'uraat kaaki. I (F) am not married.

Examples: Past, Present

Ugwhara it'abaak. Ugwhara it'abiik. Tidlab. Atookkaan / atookkiin. Nitookkiin. Iru bitkaay kat'aatu. Aamoor kat'a. The thief was caught. The thief is caught. It (F) was sold. . . . . / < . / . . .

Titdalliib > dd / tiddalliib. It (F) is being sold. I was / am known. We are known. The day before yesterday it (F) was broken. The bed is broken.

Social, Mutual Action Social Verbs with Object

Baabook ammakkaara! Baabook amooraama! Ammararaayna! Ammakakaarna! Amookakaanna! Amooraraamna! Consult with your father! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Been'ootak amookkaana! Know that man! Accompany your father! Meet with each other! Consult each other! Know each other! Accompany each other!

Baabook amtaraama! Sanook amfaraada!

Respect your father! Talk to your brother!

! !

Paradigm: 'Tolerate'
Amtariim. Timtariima. Timtariimi. Imtariim. Timtariim. PAST: Amtarraam. Timtarraami. Imtarraam. Timtarraam. I respected, tolerated. . . . . . I respect, tolerate. You (M) respect. You (F) respect. He respects. She respects. . . . . .

Timtarraama. You (M) respected. You (F) respected. He respected. She respected.

Repeated or Circular Motion Reduplicated Verbs


There are many strong verbs in which the third consonant echoes the second.

In weak verbs this would always express repeated action. In strong verbs, this is not always the case, but for about half of these verbs, it does express repeated or circular motion.
Transitive: adhidha adhidha birira dhibiba dinina fikika fitita hakika hakwikwa hasisa hatita kirira kisisa peel, e.g. bananas hobble, tie ropes around camel's front legs unroll coil crow, shout (REP) slice comb, lift comb scrape, grind rub, stroke erase veil roll

kwibiba kwidhidha kwilila libiba lidida liwiwa midida shidhidha shimima shitita sififa silila simima tibiba tikwikwa tirira widida yisisa Intransitive:

cut make round surround gird someone else's loins tie together go around (sth.) shave, clean peel wrap tear splice cut in strips smear construct prepare, produce spin persist wipe, rub

kwidhadha be round kwilala libaba be surrounded gird one's loins

Weak and Strong Verbs Grouped by Synonyms


Here below, verbs of all grammatical classes are grouped by their meaning only: Verbs of similar meanings (near synonyms) are listed in the same group, such as all verbs of moving, all verbs of preparing food, etc.

Oogaw kwinishaa! Tukwoosha kwinishaa! Tutarabeeza mhaga! Tusabuura sinhasa! Sweep (M) the house! Sweep, clear (M) the rubbish! Wipe (M) the table. ! ! ! !

Whalakook nif'a (nifa'a)! Dust, shake (M) your (SG) clothes (LIT cloth)! !( ) Clean the blackboard (AR)!

Baabook humiya! Naanhooy ifiireek kitihumiyi? Cover your father! Why don't you (F) cover your face? ! ?

Naanhooy ifiireekna kitihumiina? Why don't you (PL) cover your face? Ifiireek humiyi! Ifiireekna humiina! Naanhooy ifiireek hummiyi? Naanhooy ifiireekna tiheemna? Tu'ulba / ti'ilba assaa! Tukwooba / tikwooba assaa! Usanduuk / isandik assaa! Tu'ulba / ti'ilba assii! Usanduuk / isandik assii! Cover (F) your face (with cloth etc.)! Cover (PL) your face (with cloth etc.)! Why do you (F) cover your face? Why do you (PL) cover your face? Cover (M) the tin / tins (with a lid)! Cover (M) the pot / pots! Cover (M) the box / boxes! Cover (F) the tin / tins! Cover (F) the box / boxes!

? ! ! ? ? ! / / ! ! / ! / ! /

'Doing / Working'
Naan saktiniya / saktinii / sakteena? Naan daatiniya / daatnii / daateena? Naan daatiya / daatii / daatiina? Naan daataa / daataayi / daataana? Iru shanha eeneenaaka daayaab kaaki. Ushanhoon daaniiyay! Hindeeh, ti-har'oon tihay daaniiyay! Naat iiwra kaadi. Mhallagaayeek naan tiwariya? Tudaayiina tiweerihoob, naafti toomaag jazaayihook. Naan dan'iya? Tulitneen haddiit naat ad'a kaadi. Tuwaraga naan d'iya tindiya? Oon'umsajal naan d'iya tindiya? Een'imhallaga naan d'iya tindiya? What are you (M) / (F) / (PL) doing (said when (sth.) happens)? What are you (M) / (F) / (PL) doing (asking information)? What were you (M) / (F) / (PL) doing? What did you (M) / (F) / (PL) do? Yesterday I did not do any work. Let us do our work! Please, let us do what (F) remains (LIT is left for us)! I will do nothing (with it). What do you do with your money? When you do good to someone, he may reward you badly. What are you doing (M)? Till Monday I won't do, don't want to do, anything. What are you going to do with the paper? What are you going to do with this recorder? What are you going to do with this money (PL)? / / ? / / ? ? / / ? / / . ! - , ! . ? , . ? . ? ? ?

Oon'uwarag hiddaab dibila / Gather (M) this paper (M) /

likwita! W'issi oon'oomhiin baaradiima! W'andhu oon'oomhiin baalakwiita! Ooreew shawawiya!

together! Don't heap up the sand here! Don't pick up the dung here! Drive, bring together the cattle!

! ! ! !

'Getting, Having'
Miriyaab kaaki. Imaar andi. Biriyaab kaaki. I didn't find, get. I will find. I did not have. . . . .

Uunbaruuh aniibu. This one (M) is mine.

'Going, Leaving'
Usikkaayook saka! Oon'umhiinaani giigaa! Oon'umhiinaani difa! Oon'oomhiinaan usha! Oosuug baya! Baabook kitima! Go your way! Go away from here! Go away, leave from here! Leave, go out from this place! Go to the market. Go to, reach your father! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Asmaraab mari iibaaba! Travel toward, up to Asmara.

'Helping, Supporting'
Baabook a'awi. Y'araweek ansiraa! Ootak unhawiib (whireer ba'adgiray) saanada! I helped your (SG) father. Support, help (M) your (M) friends! Help (M) the weak, disabled man (who cannot walk). . ! ) ! (

'Knocking, Hammering'
Oobaab kwila! Oobaab tha'a! Talafoon dehooyu tha'a! Utalafoon ith'a. W'adi thiba! Usanduuk kadhawshaa! Tutarabeeza kwila! Ookaam daayiib shakwiitaa! Knock, hammer at the door! Knock, beat at the door! Phone (to, for) me! The phone rang. Make the skin container wet (so it won't crack)! Shake the box! Knock, hammer at the table (to produce or repair it)! Beat the camel well (sufficiently)! ! ! ! . ! ! ! !

'Looking, Seeing'
Hindeeh, been'ootak shibbaan! Naan rhitiniya? Tutil'iitii gwuugamaa! Naanhooy bak shanniinaheeb? Bak baadiiraana! Please, look at that man. What do you see? Glance through the hole! Why do you stare at me like that? , ! ? ! ? ! !

Ushanhook ugin'ook hooy d'iya! Put your mind at, into your work! Don't (PL) stare like that!

'Measuring, Counting'
Giisaa / giisii / giisaana! Ab'araa / ab'arii / ab'araana! Mhuudha / mhuudhi / mhuudhna! Gwilaha / gwilahi / gwilhana! Shilika / shiliki / shilikna! Ani giisan / abbaran. Eekam dhigwiya! Measure estimate (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Measure (sth.) (M) / (F) / (PL)! Measure by mhuuda (M) / (F) / (PL)! Measure by ulna18 (M) / (F) / (PL)! Reduce (sth.), make (sth.) small (M) / (F) / (PL)! I estimated / I measured. Count the camels!

/ ! / ! / / / / ! ! / / / / ! . / !

'Moving Down'
Whindi whii tikwaa! Usuugiit gidehooy daayiitu. Tutakattiida kwibara! Descend from the tree! Descending to the market is good. Come down to the woman, for the woman's sake! ! . !

'Needing, Wanting'
Baruuh gwida shanha harwaabu. Uun'ushanha ugin'u hooy d'uuw harwaabu. Uun'utak awiyaayt harwaabu. Uun'unadaay halakaab harwaabu. Tuuttujabana mheel harwaatu. Uun'uutak uulha mheel harwaabu. Ani daktoor akatiyeena minniimani. Naan harriiwa? Aab harriiwa? It, he needs a lot of work. This work needs my attention (LIT putting my heart, mind on it). This man needs help. This orphan (M) needs clothes. This coffee needs ginger. This sick man needs medicine. I wish (LIT the thing) to become a doctor. What do you (M) want? Whom do you (M) want? . . . . . . . ? ?

Hasirhook abari. Miraadehook abari. Naan areetniya? Naanaatiida shinhaawa? Naan gw'ata? / Naat gw'i kaadi. Naan tamata? / Naat tami kaadi. Naan rhata? / Naat rhi kaadi. Naan miriyata? / Naat imaar kaadi.

I have a need for you. I long for you (LIT have a desire for you). What do you (M) love? What do you (M) desire?

. . ? ? / ? . / ? . / ? . / ? .

What would you like to drink? / I won't drink anything. What would you like to eat? / I won't eat anything. What would you like to see? / I won't see anything. What would you like to find? / I won't find anything.

'Preparing Food'
Ushaahi sinaba'a / shoofisha! M'aana, jabanaat d'itiit gin'a diwniiyay! Ti'a gishiya! Ootam tikwiya. Toosha / toolam shibashikwa! Tudiifu / ubiltu / toosha gwira! Tudiifu / toosha / ugwaraar kwimiya! Warm up the tea! Come, let us make 'jabana' and chat! Boil the milk (or any liquid)! Cook the porridge (food). Cook, get ready the meat / the meal! Roast the grain / durrah porridge / the meat! Grill the grain / the meat / the colon! / ! , ! ! . / ! ! / / / / !

'Putting, Placing'
Oon'oomhiin d'iya! Oon'oomhiin daasaa! Put it here! Put19 it here! ! ! !

Been'oomhiin daasaa! Put it there!

'Reminding, Forgetting'
Sh'asaa / sh'asii / sh'asaana! Baabook sh'astiniyaheeb / sh'astaheeb. Ibhaliiyaak baabook sh'aseenheeb / sh'asiyaanheeb. Whireeruuk baabook sh'asiiniheeb. Tiliiliitaak baabook sh'aseenheeb. Simaayaat nibari. Baabaadhiina! Remind (M) / (F) / (PL)! You remind / reminded me of your (M) father. Your language reminds / reminded me of your (M) father. Your walking (M) reminds me of your father. Your eyes remind me of your father. We have a naming ceremony20. Don't / ! / / . . / . . . !

(M) forget! Sh'asaaheeb / sh'asaanaheeb! Sh'asaayu bitkaayeek, iibdhan iiyid / abaadhin. Remind (M) me! / Remind (PL) me! If you hadn't reminded me, I would have forgotten / I would forget. ! / , / .

'Sending, Taking To'

Oon'ujawaab lhayt haddiit diigwataa! W'oorook lingwuuyaa! W'oorook tumadrasa sitooba! Asmaraab soobaya! Send this letter till tomorrow! Send your son! Take your son to school! Take him (make him go) to Asmara. ! ! ! !

'Separating, Cutting'
Whadhi kit'a (kita'a)! Fartaka! Tuwaraga shirima! Break off the bread! Disperse! ) !( ! !

/ Oomooz shadhiidha / shidhidha! Peel the banana (REP) / peel once! ! Rip the paper (M) apart!

'Speaking, Talking'
Baabook sooyaa! Bak bahadiidaa! Amaag naati bhaliyeeb baabhaliiyaa! Eegriimkaayuuk tak hadiidiinihoob, baruuk naafti bahadiidaa! Wharaayr'i ba'amfariida! Baalablabaana! Hindeeh, hijkaana! Hijikt hadiidaana! Gaana diina! Sakanaab tibariyeek, sakanaayaahoon! Tell, inform (M) your father! Don't (M) talk like that! Don't (M) speak words of bad things! When a man older than you (M) speaks, don't (M) talk back (LIT talk again)! Don't (M) talk to the liar! Don't (M) babble, talk much! Please talk (PL)! Make (PL) some conversation, say something! Say (PL) something! If you (M) have any news, tell us! ! ! ! , ! ! ! ! , ! ! , ! !

Gin'a diwniiyay! Ugin'adu daayiibu Let us chat. Chatting is fun.

'Suffering, Being Sick'

Lhaab aki. Malaal abi. Huutaman. I became sick. I had diarrhea. I vomited. . . . .

Gwirhaayan. I suffered.

'Teaching, Learning'
Wooh Mudarris21! Y'ar allamsaa / agriisaa! Wooh Ustaaz! Y'ar ireesaa! Wooh Ukwooja! Y'ar sookina! Wooh Agriisana! Y'ar agriisaa! Oh teacher! Teach the boys / let the boys read ! Oh teacher! Teach (LIT make read) the children (M)! Oh teacher! Teach (inform) the children (M)! Oh teacher! Teach (let read) the children (M)! / ! ! ! ! ! ! !!


Negation in nominal predicates uses the verb kaya 'to become' with the prefix k- 'not'.

Negation in verbal predicates uses the prefix k- 'not' with all verbs. In imperative and subordinate verbs, the prefix is ba- 'don't!' or 'not to'. Negative auxiliary verbs like 'to fail to, refuse to, not like to' are also used to express negation.

Negation in Nominal Predicates (Repetition) Paradigm 'Not to be' 1

Baruuk haraayr'iiwa? Haraayr'iib kaaki. Haraayr'iib kittaa. Haraayr'iit kittaayi. Haraayr'iib kiiki. Haraayr'iit kitti. Haraayr'iib kinki. Haraayr'iib / haraayr'iit kiikeen. Are you a liar? ? . . . . . . . / . /

I am not a liar. You (M) are not a liar. You (F) are not a liar. He is not a liar. She is not a liar. We are not liars.

Haraayr'iib / haraayr'iit kitteena. You (M PL) / (F PL) are not liars. They (M) / (F) are not liars.

'Not to be (SG)'
Baruuk sidkiiwa? Ani sidkiibu, haraayr'iib / gwisireeb kaaki! Sidkiiwa, haraayr'iib / gwisireeb kittaa. Sidkiituwi, haraayr'iit / gwisireet kittaayi. Sidkiibu, haraayr'iib kiiki. Sidkiitu, haraayr'iit kitti. You (M), are you (M) serious, true? I, I am serious, I am not a liar / liar! You (M) are serious, not a liar / liar. You (F) are serious, not a liar / liar. He is serious, not a liar / liar. She is serious, not a liar / liar. ? / , ! / . , / , . . , . ,

'Not to be (PL)'
Hinin sidkiiba, haraayr'iib kinki. Baraakna sidkiibaana, haraayr'iib kitteena. Bataakna sidkiitaana, haraayr'iit kitteena. Baraah sidkiiba, haraayr'iib kiikeen. Bataah sidkiita, haraayr'iit kiikeen. We are serious, true, we are not liars. You (M PL) are serious, true, not liars / liars. You (F PL) are serious, true, not liars / liars. They (M) are serious, true, not liars / liars. They (F) are serious, true, not liars / liars. , . , . , . , . , .

'Not to be (M)'
Baruuk hargwaawa? Ani hargwaab kaaki. Baruuk gabaawa? Ani gabaab kaaki. Baruuk naritiiwa? Ani naritiib kaaki. Baruuk deeyaraawa? Baruuk lhaawa? Ani lhaab kaaki. Are you (M) hungry? I (M) am not hungry. Are you (M) satisfied, full? I (M) am not satisfied, full. Are you (M) tired? I (M) am not tired. Are you (M) tired? ? . ? . ? . ? . ? .

Ani deeyaraab kaaki. I (M) am not tired. Are you (M) sick? I am not sick.

'Not to be (F)'
Batuuk hargwiitiituwi? Are you (F) hungry? Ani hargwiitiit kaaki. Batuuk gabaatuwi? Ani gabaatu. Batuuk naritiituwi? Ani naritiit kaaki. Batuuk deeyaraatuwi? Ani deeyaraat kaaki. Batuuk lhaatuwi? Ani lhaat kaaki. I (F) am not hungry. Are you (F) satisfied, full? I (F) am satisfied, full. Are you (F) tired? I (F) am not tired. Are you (F) tired? I (F) am not tired22. Are you (F) sick? I (F) am not sick. ? . ? . ? . ? . ? .

Negation in Verbal Predicates


The object suffixes in negative paradigms are somewhat complicated - except for the third person 'it, him', where they are ZERO - as in the following examples.

Negation with Object Suffixes 1

Aaw kanaab kiiki? Ani kanaab / kanaat kaaki. Baruuk kanaab kittaa. Batuuk kanaat kittaayi. Baruuh kanaab kiiki. Batuuh kanaat kitti. Hinin kanaab kinki. Baraakna kanaab / bataakna kanaat kitteena. Baraah kanaab / baraah kanaat kiikeen. Who has not known (it, him)? ? / . . . . . . / . / .

I (M) / I (F) haven't known (it, him). You (M) haven't known (it, him). You (F) haven't known (it, him). He hasn't known (it, him). She hasn't known (it, him). We (M) haven't known (it, him). You (M PL) / (F PL) haven't known (it, him). They (M) / (F) haven't known (it, him).

Negation with Object Suffixes 2

Baruuk tikteenaheeb? Awooh, akteenhook. Batuuk tikteeniheeb? Awooh, akteenhook / Laa laa, kaakanhook. Baraakna tikteennahoon? Awooh, nikteenhookna. Bataakna tikteennahoon? Awooh, nikteenhookna / Laa laa, kinkanhookna. Do you (M) know me? Yes, I know you. Do you (F) know me? Yes, I know you (M) / No, I don't know you (M). Do you (M PL) know us? Yes, we know you. Do you (F PL) know us? Yes, we know you (PL) / No, we don't know you (PL). ? . , ? , / , . ? . , ? , / , .

Negation with Object Suffixes 3


Object suffixes of negative verbs - especially their variations with (SG) and (PL) subjects - deserve special attention. A full paradigm is given of the various combinations.
Rhaayook kaaki. Rhaayookna kaaki. Rhaayhoona kaaki. Rhaatook kaaki. (Barooh) rhaat kaaki. Rhaatookna kaaki. Rhaatehoona kaaki. I (M) did not see, haven't seen you. . .) ( . . . .) ( . . (Barooh) rhaab kaaki. I (M) did not see (him). I (M) did not see you (PL). I (M) did not see them. I (F) did not see you. I (F) did not see (him). I (F) did not see you (PL). I (F) did not see them.

Negation with Object Suffixes 4

Rhaayu kittaa. Rhaayoon kittaa. Rhaatu kittaayi. Rhaatoon kittaayi. Rhaatehoona kittaayi. (Barooh) rhaab kiiki. (Barooh) rhaat kitti. You (M) did not see me. You (M) did not see us. . . ) ( . . . . ) ( . ) ( .

(Bareeh) rhaab kittaa. You (M) did not see them. You (F) did not see me. You (F) did not see us. You (F) did not see them. He did not see (him). She did not see (him).

Negation with Object Suffixes 5

Rhaayook kaaki. Rhaatook kaaki. Rhaayeek kinki. Maasiwaayook kaaki. Maasiwaatook kaaki. Maasiwaayeek kinki. Rhaayookna kaaki. Rhaatookna kaaki. Rhaayeekna kinki. Maasiwaatookna kaaki. Maasiwaayeekna kinki. I (M) have not seen you (M). I (F) have not seen you (M). We have not seen you (M). I (M) haven't heard you (M). I (F) have not heard you (M). We have not heard you (M). . . . . . . . . . . . .

I (M) haven't seen you (PL). I (F) have not seen you (PL). We have not seen you (PL).

Maasiwaayookna kaaki. I (M) haven't heard you (PL). I (F) have not heard you (PL). We have not heard you (PL).

Negation with Object Suffixes 6

Rhaayeek kinki. Rhaayeekna kinki. Rhaayhina kinki. Rhaayi kitteena. Rhaayeen kitteena. Rhaayhina kitteena. Rhaati kitteena. Rhaateen kitteena. Rhaab kiikeen. Rhaat kiikeen. We have not seen you. We have not seen you (PL). We have not seen them. You (M PL) have not seen me. You (M PL) have not seen us. You (M PL) have not seen them. You (F PL) have not seen me. You (F PL) have not seen us. . . . . . . . . . . .

Rhaatehina kitteena. You (F PL) have not seen them. They (M) have not seen (him). They (F) have not seen (him).

Negation with Object Suffixes 7

W'ayook hiyaheeb! Hiyaab / hiyaayu kittaa. Hiyaab kiiki. Hiyaat kitti. Hiyaab kinki. Hiyaat kinki. Hiyaab kitteena. Hiyaat kitteena. Hiyaab kiikeen. Hiyaat kiikeen. Give (M) me your hand! ! / . / . . . . . . . . .

You (M) did not give / give me.

Hiyaat / hiyaatu kittaayi. You (F) did not give / give me. He did not give. She did not give. We (M) did not give. We (F) did not give. You (M PL) did not give. You (F PL) did not give. They (M) did not give. They (F) did not give.

Full Paradigm: Negation with Object Suffixes


The object pronouns of negative verbs deserve careful attention, especially the (SG) / (PL) forms of the object suffixes.

'Give to me'
Aneeb hiyaayu kittaa. Aneeb hiyaatu kittaayi. Aneeb hiyaayu kiiki. Aneeb hiyaatu kitti. Aneeb hiyaati kitteena. Aneeb hiyaayi kiikeen. Aneeb hiyaati kiikeen. You (M) didn't give (it to) me. You (F) didn't give (it to) me. He didn't give (it to) me. She didn't give (it to) me. . . . . . . . .

Aneeb hiyaayi kitteena. You (M PL) didn't give (it to) me. You (F PL) didn't give (it to) me. They (M) didn't give (it to) me. They (F) didn't give (it to) me.

'Give to you (M)'

Barook hiyaayook kaaki. Barook hiyaayook kiiki. Barook hiyaatook kitti. Barook hiyaayeek kinki. Barook hiyaateek kiikeen. I didn't give (it to) you (M). He didn't give (it to) you (M). She didn't give (it to) you (M). We didn't give (it to) you (M). . . . . .

Barook hiyaayeek kiikeen. They (M) didn't give (it to) you (M). . They (F) didn't give (it to) you (M).

'Give to you (F)'

Batook hiyaayook kaaki. I didn't give (it to) you (F). .

Batook hiyaayook kiiki. Batook hiyaatook kitti. Batook hiyaayeek kinki. Batook hiyaateek kiikeen.

He didn't give (it to) you (F). She didn't give (it to) you (F). We didn't give (it to) you (F).

. . . .

Batook hiyaayeek kiikeen. They (M) didn't give (it to) you (F). . They (F) didn't give (it to) you (F).

'Give to him'
Barooh hiyaab kaaki. Barooh hiyaab kittaa. Barooh hiyaat kittaayi. Barooh hiyaab kiiki. Barooh hiyaat kitti. Barooh hiyaab kinki. Barooh hiyaat kitteena. Barooh hiyaab kiikeen. Barooh hiyaat kiikeen. I didn't give (it to) him. You (M) didn't give (it to) him. You (F) didn't give (it to) him. He didn't give (it to) him. She didn't give (it to) him. We didn't give (it to) (him). . . . . . . . . . .

Barooh hiyaab kitteena. You (M PL) didn't give (it to) him. You (F PL) didn't give (it to) him. They (M) didn't give (it to) him. They (F) didn't give (it to) him.

'Give to her'
Batooh hiyaab kaaki. Batooh hiyaab kittaa. Batooh hiyaat kittaayi. Batooh hiyaab kiiki. Batooh hiyaat kitti. Batooh hiyaab kinki. Batooh hiyaat kitteena. Batooh hiyaab kiikeen. Batooh hiyaat kiikeen. I didn't give (it to) her. You (M) didn't give (it to) her. You (F) didn't give (it to) her. He didn't give (it to) her. She didn't give (it to) her. We didn't give (it to) her. . . . . . . . . . .

Batooh hiyaab kitteena. You (M PL) didn't give (it to) her. You (F PL) didn't give (it to) her. They (M) didn't give (it to) her. They (F) didn't give (it to) her.

'Give to us'
Hinin hiyaayoon kittaa. Hinin hiyaatoon kittaayi. Hinin hiyaayoon kiiki. Hinin hiyaatoon kitti. Hinin hiyaateen kitteena. You (M) didn't give (it to) us. You (F) didn't give (it to) us. He didn't give (it to) us. She didn't give (it to) us. . . . . . .

Hinin hiyaayeen kitteena. You (M PL) didn't give (it to) us. You (F PL) didn't give (it to) us.

Hinin hiyaayeen kiikeen. Hinin hiyaateen kiikeen.

They (M) didn't give (it to) us. They (F) didn't give (it to) us.

. .

'Give to you (M PL)'

Bareekna hiyaayookna kaaki. Bareekna hiyaayookna kiiki. Bareekna hiyaatookna kitti. Bareekna hiyaayeekna kinki. Bareekna hiyaateekna kiikeen. I didn't give (it to) you (M PL). He didn't give (it to) you (M PL). She didn't give (it to) you (M PL). We didn't give (it to) you (M PL). . . . . .

Bareekna hiyaayeekna kiikeen. They (M) didn't give (it to) you (M PL). . They (F) didn't give (it to) you (F PL).

'Give to you (F PL)'

Bateekna hiyaayookna kaaki. Bateekna hiyaayookna kiiki. Bateekna hiyaatookna kitti. Bateekna hiyaayeekna kinki. Bateekna hiyaateekna kiikeen. I didn't give (it to) you (F PL). He didn't give (it to) you (F PL). She didn't give (it to) you (F PL). We didn't give (it to) you (F PL). . . . . .

Bateekna hiyaayeekna kiikeen. They (M) didn't give (it to) you (F PL). . They (F) didn't give (it to) you (F PL).

'Give to them (M)'

Bareeh hiyaab kaaki. Bareeh hiyaab kittaa. Bareeh hiyaat kittaayi. Bareeh hiyaab kiiki. Bareeh hiyaat kitti. Bareeh hiyaab kinki. Bareeh hiyaat kitteena. Bareeh hiyaab kiikeen. Bareeh hiyaat kiikeen. I didn't give (it to) them (M). You (M) didn't give (it to) them (M). You (F) didn't give (it to) them (M). He didn't give (it to) them (M). She didn't give (it to) them (M). We didn't give (it to) them (M). . . . . . . . . . .

Bareeh hiyaab kitteena. You (M PL) didn't give (it to) them (M). You (F PL) didn't give (it to) them (M). They (M) didn't give (it to) them (M). They (F) didn't give (it to) them (M).

'Give to them (F)'

Bateeh hiyaab kaaki. Bateeh hiyaab kittaa. Bateeh hiyaat kittaayi. Bateeh hiyaab kiiki. Bateeh hiyaat kitti. Bateeh hiyaab kinki. I didn't give (it to) them (F). You (M) didn't give (it to) them (F). You (F) didn't give (it to) them (F). He didn't give (it to) them (F). She didn't give (it to) them (F). We didn't give (it to) them (F). . . . . . .

Bateeh hiyaab kitteena. You (M PL) didn't give (it to) them (F). Bateeh hiyaat kitteena. Bateeh hiyaab kiikeen. Bateeh hiyaat kiikeen. You (F PL) didn't give (it to) them (F). They (M) didn't give (it to) them (F). They (F) didn't give (it to) them (F).

. . . .

Negation with Auxiliary Verbs


Auxiliary verbs like naw-, rib-, gwooy- 'fail, refuse, miss' are used to express negation.
Dilbat kareetaa? Y'adil igwooy. Ahariw anaw. Siniyaayu kiiki. Siniyaayi kiikeen. Siniitu irib. Rhat arib. Oosdik usootiyu irib. Oosdik umiyaay irib. Don't you want to buy (trade-to don't-like)? He failed to reconcile (reconciled failed). I missed, failed to find (I wanted failed). He doesn't wait for me. They don't wait for me. He didn't wait for me. I didn't see (see-to I refused). ? . . . . .

He refused to tell the truth (the informing-me). . He refused to take, taking the truth.

Oosdik umiyaaw irib. He refused to give, giving the truth.

Conversation 16 'At School' (Examples of Negation)


S: students, T: teacher
#1 S: Usheekay, tuhissa na naatu? S: Oosheek, what is the lesson? #2 S: Ani kaakan, laakiin hissaab hiisani. S: I don't know, but I think it is maths. #3 S: Aflaa, ukwooja haaloohu, aakharamiyaneek? S: So then, what happened to the teacher, that (LIT if, since) he is late? #4 S: Hooss akeena! Ukwoojaayuun eeya / eeyiya. S: Be quiet! Our teacher has come. hooss akee-na u-kwoojaa-yuun ee-ya voice be-IMPVPL ARTSGM-teacher-POSSPL1 aflaa u-kwooja haal-ooh-u aakharam-iya-neek so.then ARTSGM-teacher condition-POSSSG3IDSG13M be.late-PERFSG3M-ADV+if ani kaa-kan laakiin hissaab hiis-ani SG1 NEGIMPFSG1PF-know but calculation thinkIMPFSG1 usheek-ay tu-hissa na naat-u Oosheek-VOCAT ARTSGF-calculation thing thing-IDSG13F

come-PERFSG3M #5 T: Asna gadna! T: Stand (PL) up. #6 Kak mhataana? How did you spend the morning? #7 S: Kwatiib mhana. Baruuk kak mhataa? S: We spent the morning well. How did you spend the morning? #8 T: Ani daayiib mhan. S'ana! T: I spent the morning well. Sit (PL) down! #9 Iru naan agriina? What did we learn (LIT read) yesterday? #10 Sh'ateena? Do you (PL) remember? #11 Aaw sh'iini? Who remembers? #12 S: Ani sh'ani. S: I remember. #13 T: Ali, asa gada! T: Ali, stand (M) up! #14 Hindeeh agriiyaan! Please read-please. #15 S: "Kaam, meek, oor." S: "Camel, donkey, boy" #16 kaam meek oor camel donkey boy hindeeh agrii-yaa-n please read-IMPVM-CON+please ali as-a gad-a Ali go.up-IMPVM stand-IMPVM ani sh'-ani SG1 remember-IMPFSG1 aaw sh'-iini who remember-IMPFSG3M sh'a-teena remember-IMPFPL2 iru naan agrii-na yesterday what read-PERFPL1 ani daayiib mh-an s'a-na I good spend.morning-PERFSG1 sit-IMPVPL kwatiib mha-na baruuk kak mha-taa fine spend.morning-PERFPL1 SG2M how spend.morning-PERFSG2M kak mha-taana how spend.morning-PERFPL2 as-na gad-na go.up-IMPVPL stand-IMPVPL

T: Araway! Ali daayiib eefee? T: Hey friends! Is Ali correct? #17 S: Wooh23 ukwoojaayi, wooh ukwoojaayi! S: You, teacher, you teacher! #18 Ali daayiib kihay. Ali was not right. #19 T: Daayiitu, hindeeh baruuk agriiyaan! T: Good, please you (M) read-please! #20 S: "Kam, mak, ar." S: "Camels, donkeys, children (M) #21 T: Aha! Oond'aab, kak iha? T: Aha! Now, how was it? #22 S: Daayiib iha. S: It was good. #23 T: Kassaakna afhamtaana? Laakiin Ali ibaadhin. T: You (PL) all have understood? But Ali forgot. #24 S: Awooh, daayiib afhamna. S: Yes, we understood well (good). #25 T: Aflaa, baabaadhiinna! T: Then don't (PL) forget! #26 Aaw tusabuura isnhis? Who cleans the blackboard(s)? #27

araw-ay ali daayiib ZERO-eefee friendPL-VOCAT Ali good IMPFSG3-be wooh u-kwoojaa-yi wooh u-kwoojaa-yi hey ARTSGM-teacher-VOCAT hey ARTSGMteacher-VOCAT

ali daayiib ki-hay Ali good NEGIMPFSG3MPF-be daayiit-u hindeeh baruuk agrii-yaa-n good-IDSG13F please SG2M read-IMPVMCON+please kam mak ar camelPL donkeyPL childrenM ah-a oond'aab kak i-ha take-IMPVM this.time how PERFSG13PF-be daayiib i-ha good PERFSG13PF-be

kass-aakna afham-taana laakiin ali i-baadhin all-POSSPL2 understand-PERFPL2 but Ali PERFSG3MPF-forget awooh daayiib afham-na yes good understand-PERFPL1 aflaa baa-baadhiin-na so.then NEGIMPVPLPF-forget-NEGIMPVPL

aaw tu-sabuura isnhis who ARTSGF-blackboard make.clean-FUTSG

S: Wooh kwooja! Ani isnhis andi. S: You, teacher! I will clean it. #28 T: Ahammiidehook. T: Thank you. #29 S: Hamuud baanaawa! S: Welcome (May thanks not lack)! #30 T: Amsi shalik na niyaay neeyad. T: Today we will take something small (LIT a little thing). #31 Hummaday, hindeeh agriiyaan! Hummad, please read! #32 S: "Arit, kamit, yast." S: "Girls, she-camels, bitches." #33 T: Daayiib sakta! Fagar oorwa! T: You (M) did well, you are a good boy. #34 Ugin'u tikteena? You (M) know (sth.) by heart? #35 Kitibna! Write (PL)! #36 S: A b c. S: A b c. #37 T: Baruuk, asa gada! Fir'a! T: You, stand (M) up! get out! #38

wooh kwooja ani isnhis a-ndi hey teacher SG1 make.clean.FUTSG IMPFSG1PF-say a-hammiid-ehook IMPFSG1PF-praise-OBJSG2

hamuud baa-naaw-a praise NEGIMPVMPF-lack-NEGIMPVM amsi shalik na ni-yaay n-eeyad today little thing take-FUTPL IMPFPL1PF-say

hummad-ay hindeeh agrii-yaa-n Hummad-VOCAT please read-IMPVMCON+please arit kamit yast girlPL camelPLF dogPLF daayiib sak-ta fagar oor-wa good do-PERFSG3F brave boy-IDSG2M u-gin'-u ti-kteen-a ARTSGM-heart-IDSG13M IMPFSG2MPF-knowIMPFSG2M kitib-na write-IMPVPL abc abc

baruuk as-a gad-a fir'-a SG2M go.up-IMPVM stand-IMPVM exit-IMPVM

Naanhooy kitkitiba? Why don't you (M) write? #39 S: Ukarraasu abaadhin. S: I forgot my exercise book. #40 T: Naanhooy ukarraasook tibaadhina? T: Why did you (M) forget your exercise book? #41 Amsi afooyihook andi. Today I will forgive you. #42 Laakiin shaawi (dabaab) baabaadhiina! But don't (M) forget again! #43 Ibhali teemsiiwa? Timaasiwa? Do you (M) hear my words? #44 S: Eemsiiw. S: I hear (I heard). #45 T: Umhiinook baya! T: Go (M) to your place! #46 Faayamtaana? Afhamtaana? Have you (PL) finished? Have you understood? #47 Hindeeh, hiddaab daayiib agriini! Please, let's read very well together! #48 S: A b c. S: A b c.

naanhooy kit-kitib-a why NEGIMPFSG2MPF-write-NEGIMPFSG2M u-karraas-u a-baadhin PERFSG1PFforget

naanhooy u-karraas-ook ti-baadhin-a why PERFSG2MPF-forget-PERFSG2M

amsi afoo-yi-hook a-ndi today forgive-FUT-OBJSG2 IMPFSG1PF-say laakiin shaawi dabaab baa-baadhiin-a but again additionally NEGIMPVMPF-forgetNEGIMPVM i-bhali t-eemsiiw-a ti-maasiw-a ARTPLM-word IMPFSG2MPF-hear-IMPFSG2M PERFSG2MPF-hear-PERFSG2M

ZERO-eemsiiw IMPFSG1PF-hear u-mhiin-ook bay-a ARTSGM-place-POSSSG2 go-IMPVM faayam-taana afham-taana complete-PERFPL2 understand-PERFPL2

hindeeh hiddaab daayiib agrii-ni please together good read-FUTPL abc abc

#49 T: Weena kitihay. Oon'umhiinaan ningadi! T: There is nothing else. Let us stop here! weena kiti-hay oon-'u-mhiinaan ni-ngadi other.thing NEGIMPFSG3FPF-be NEARSGMOBJPF-ARTSGM-place IMPFPL1PFstand l'-aab aayim-na l'-aab naa-yaana be.coolPTCPPAST pass.night-IMPVPL asigaab peaceful

#50 L'aab aayimna! (L'aab naayaana!) Good afternoon! (Good evening!) #51 S: Asigaab. S: Reply.

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Tense and Aspect Overview of Tenses and Aspects


Beja verbs use the Perfect Aspect if at the particular time, the event is over, and Imperfect if it is still going on. But the two aspects are not entirely neutral as far as tenses like Past / Present are concerned: The Present Tense is usually expressed by the imperfect aspect. The Past Tense is usually expressed by the perfect aspect.


The Future Tense employs the special Future stem of the verb, which must be followed by the present tense of the verb diy- 'to say/mean'. So 'I will go' translates as 'I mean to go-FUT'. The future stem typically has a suffix -i (in weak verbs) or prefix i- (in strong verbs). This is used for all persons except 'we', where -n/n- must be added.

Table 32: The Main Tenses, Aspects

Weak Verbs: PAST: Yakan / yakna. PRES: Yakani / yaknay. I start / we start. . / I started / we started. . /

FUT: Yaki andi / yakni neeyad. Strong Verbs: PAST: Adi / nidi. PRES: Andi / neeyad. FUT: Iyaad andi / niyaad neeyad. I will say. . / I say / we say. . / I said / we said. . / I will start / we will start. . /

Tense Examples: Past, Present, Future

Iru naan daatiya? Buun iitiikw. Iru naan daata? Buun atkwi. Buun atankwi. Buun itaakw andi. Iru naan daayi? Buun iitiikw. Iru naan daayiya? Buun itkwi. Oond'aab naan daayiini? Buun tankwi. Lhayt naan daayi indi? Buun itaakw indi. What were you (M) doing yesterday? I was boiling coffee. What did you (M) do yesterday? I boiled coffee. ? . ? . ? . ? . ? . ? . ? . ? .

Oond'aab naan daatiniya? What are you (M) doing now? I am boiling coffee. Lhayt naan daayi tindiya? What will you (M) do tomorrow? I will boil coffee. What was he doing yesterday? He was boiling coffee. What did he do yesterday? He boiled coffee. What does he do now? He boils coffee. What will he do tomorrow? He will boil coffee.

Additional Tense / Aspect Forms (Aktionsarten)


In addition to the two tense / aspects present / imperfect and past / perfect, there are some more specific tense / aspect forms. They are also called Aktionsarten (Kinds of events). One very obvious form to express repeated events is the repetition, especially the repetition of the present participle. The present participle always has the suffix -eeh.

Present Participle
Tameeh tameeh gaban. Gwa'eeh gwa'eeh l'oob aki. Eating, eating I became satisfied (full). . . Drinking, drinking I became satisfied (full). .

Diweeh diweeh hawsooyan. Sleeping, sleeping I dreamt.

Verbs and Auxiliaries


Auxiliary verbs are used to differentiate various other kinds of events and how they are related to the course of time. The table below lists the most frequent auxiliaries. The English glosses attempt to express the timing of these events.

Table 33: Auxiliary Verbs

diya haya gada siniya sa'a d'iya to mean to do (FUT), 'say' to do at once, 'take' to be about to do, 'stand' to be doing, 'wait' to continue to do, 'sit' to do completely, 'put' ,

ba'aa, b'aa to stop to do, 'lie down'


The course of an action or event, such as 'begin to do, finish doing, go on with', is often clarified by an auxiliary verb. Here are examples.
Udirtiyiida ingad. He was ready to kill (LIT for-killing he-stood). Iid'a andi. Ad'a andi. Bak akaayeeh isni. S'ayaamay is'a. I will do (LIT do-FUT I say). I want to do (lit doing I-say). Being so he waited, i.e. he kept on waiting (LIT so being hewaited). He still expected it (LIT expecting he-sat). . . . . .

Immediate Action: 'to take'


Immediate Action is expressed by a combination with the verb aha 'to take' and refers to changes which take place immediately, like diwan ayiha 'I slept at once'.
Kwidha aha! Lawa aha! Gw'an ayiha. Taman ayiha. Diwan ayiha. Get lost (M) (at once, strongly)! Get burnt (M) (at once, strongly)! I drank at once. I ate at once. I slept at once.

! ! . . .

Yakiyaay iyihayit. He started immediately (LIT arose took). Adlib ayiha. I bought (LIT traded took).

Complete Action: 'to put'


Complete Action is expressed by a combination with the verb d'iya 'to put' and refers to events which come to an end: Taman ad'i 'I drank completely'.

Taman ad'i. Aaman ad'i. Gw'an ad'i.

I ate it completely. I ate it (gulped it up) completely. I drank completely.

. . . .

Faayisan ad'i. I finished completely.


Stative is expressed by participles and refers to ideas of status, or being, such as 'being born in Egypt' (so the person has the status of being Egyptian).

Stative: 'to be, become'

Ani Handhiwaayiib aki. Baruuk Handhiwaayiib tikaya. Batuuk Handhiwaayiit tikayi. Baruuh Handhiwaayiib iki. Batuuh Handhiwaayiit tiki. Hinin Handhiwaayiib niki. Baraah Handhiwaayiib ikeen. I became a Hadendowa. You (M) became a Hadendowa. You (F) became a Hadendowa. He became a Hadendowa. She became a Hadendowa. We (M) became Hadendowa. . . . . . . . .

Baraakna Handhiwaayiib tikeena. You (M PL) became Hadendowa. They (M) became Hadendowa.

Stative: 'to be there'

Bashal iha. Adas iha. Tamaatiim iha. Bataatis iha. Gar'a iha. Batehiiyayt iheen. / Batehiiyaayt tiha. Baskaawiit iheen. There are onions. There are lentils. There are tomatoes. There are potatoes. There are pumpkins. There are melons / there is a melon. There are biscuits. . . . . . / . . .

Future and Intention


Some tenses are expressed by the combination of two verbs. Future is expressed by a particular verb form with i- / -i plus 'to say', which is used as an auxiliary. The future tense (characterized by the affix 'i') and the intentional tense, aspect (characterized by the affix 'a') can be compared in the following examples.
Intention: Tama andi. D'iya andi. Tama tindiya. I want to eat. I want to do it. You (M) want to Future: . Tami andi. . Id'a andi. Tami . I will eat. I will do it. You (M) will . . .

eat. D'iya (daaya) tindiya. Tama indi. D'iya (daaya) indi. You (M) want to do it. He wants to eat. He wants to do it.

tindiya. ( )Id'a tindiya. . . Tami indi. ( )Id'a indi. .

eat. You (M) will do it. He will eat. He will do it. . . .

Future: 'to mean, to say'


The Future of strong verbs uses the prefixes ni- or nii- for the first person plural and i- or ii- for the other persons. The choice between the long and short form depends on the verb and the dialect. The form must be looked up in the dictionary.

Future Strong Paradigm: 'to ride'

Kaam iid'am andi. Kaam iid'am tindiya. Kaam iid'am tindiyi. Kaam iid'am indi. Kaam iid'am tindi. Kam niid'am neeyad. Kam iid'am eeyadna. I will ride a camel. You (M) will ride a camel. You (F) will ride a camel. He will ride a camel. She will ride a camel. We will ride a camel. . . . . . . . .

Kam iid'am teeyadna. You (PL) will ride a camel. They will ride a camel.

Future: 'to become'

Had'aab / had'aat iikta andi. I (M) / (F) will become an elder, leader. Had'aab iikta tindiya. Had'aat iikta tindiyi. Had'aab iikta indi. Had'aat iikta tindi. Had'aab niikta neeyad. Had'aab iikta teeyadna. Had'aab iikta eeyadna. You (M) will become an elder, leader. You (F) will become an elder, leader (F). He will become an elder, leader. She will become an elder, leader (F). We will become elders, leaders. You (PL) will become elders, leaders. They will become elders, leaders. . / . . . . . . .

Future Weak Paradigm: 'to drink'

Aaw gw'i indi? Ani gw'i andi. Baruuk gw'i tindiya. Batuuk gw'i tindiyi. Who will drink? ? . . .

I will drink. You (M) will drink. You (F) will drink.

Baruuh gw'i indi. Batuuh gw'i tindi. Hinin gw'ani neeyad. Bataakna gw'ani teeyadna. Baraah gw'i eeyadna. Bataah gw'i eeyadna.

He will drink. She will drink. We will drink.

. . . . . .

Baraakna gw'ani teeyadna. You (M PL) will drink. . You (F PL) will drink. They (M) will drink. They (F) will drink.

Future Negative
Aaw tami kiidi? Ani tami kaadi. Baruuk tami kiddiya. Batuuk tami kiddiyi. Baruuh tami kiidi. Batuuh tami kiddi. Hinin tamni kindi. Bataakna tami / tamni kiddiina. Baraah tami / tamni kiidiin. Bataah tami / tamni kiidiin. Who will not eat? ? . . . . . . / . / . / .

I will not eat. You (M) will not eat. You (F) will not eat. He will not eat. She will not eat. We will not eat.

/ Baraakna tami / tamni kiddiina. You (M PL) will not eat. . You (F PL) will not eat. They (M) will not eat. They (F) will not eat.

Future Strong Verbs: CiCiC (SG)

Iidbil tindiya? / iidbil andi. Iifdig tindiya? / iifdig andi. Iiftir tindiya? / iiftir andi. Iiftit tindiya? / iiftit andi. Iiktib tindiya? / iiktib andi. Iimkir tindiya (immikir tindiya)? / iimkir andi (immikir andi). Iishbib tindiya? / iishbib andi. Iishgwidh tindiya? / iishgwidh andi. Will you collect it? / I will collect it.25 Will you (M) untie it, divorce her? / I will untie it, divorce her. Will you (M) eat breakfast? / I will eat breakfast. Will you (M) comb (sth.)? / I will comb (sth.). Will you (M) write (sth.)? / I will write (sth.). Will you (M) advise (sth.)? / I will advise (sth.). Will you (M) look (at it)? / I will look (at it). Will you (M) wash (sth.)? / I will wash (sth.). . / ? / ? . . / ? . / ? . / ? ? ) / (? ). (. . / ? / ? .

Future Strong Verbs: CiC, HaCiC (SG)

Iidif tindiya? / iidif andi. Y'ish, y'ush tindiya? / y'ush andi. Y'ibik, tindiya? / y'ibik andi. Yhigit tindiya? / yhigit andi. Itehisir tindiya? / Itehisir andi. Will you (M) go away? / I will go away. Will you (M) give up (LIT leave, let) (sth.)? / I will give up (LIT leave, let) (sth.). Will you (M) seize? / I will seize (sth.). Will you (M) wait? / I will wait. Will you be sorry? / I will be sorry. / ? . / ? , . , / ? . / ? . / ? .

Future Strong Verbs: CiCiy, Ciy etc. (Sg)

Isaan tindiya? / isaan andi. Idhaagw tindiya? / idhaagw andi. Imaar tindiya? / imaar andi. Iyaad tindiya? / iyaad andi. Iyaaw tindiya? / iyaaw andi. Iyaay (ayaay) tindiya? / iyaay andi. Will you (M) wait? / I will wait. Will you (M) count (sth.)? / I will count (sth.). Will you (M) find (sth.)? / I will find (sth.). Will you (M) say (sth.)? / I will say (sth.). Will you (M) give (sth.)? / I will give (sth.). Will you (M) take (sth.)? / I will take (sth.). . / ? . / ? . / ? . / ? . / ? )( / ? .

Future Strong Verbs: CaaCiC etc. (SG)

Iifyad tindiya? / iifyad andi. Iimsaw tindiya? / iimsaw andi. Iishiwaawa tindiya? / iishiwaawa andi. Iid'a tindiya? / Iid'a andi. Isnhid tindiya? / isnhid andi. Ingida tindiya? / ingida andi. Iikana tindiya? / iikana andi. Iiba tindiya? / iiba andi. Will you (M) laugh? / I will laugh. Will you (M) hear (sth.)? / I will hear (sth.). Will you (M) gather (sth.)? / I will gather (sth.). Will you (M) do (sth.)? / I will do (sth.). Will you (M) finish (sth.)? / I will finish (sth.). Will you (M) stand? / I will stand. Will you (M) know (sth.)? / I will know (sth.). Will you (M) go (somewhere)? / I will go (somewhere)26. / ? . / ? . / ? . / ? . / ? . / ? . / ? . . / ?

Future Strong Verbs: CiCiC (PL)

Iidbil teeyadna? / niidbil neeyad. Iifdig teeyadna? / niifdig neeyad. Iiftir teeyadna? / niiftir neeyad. Iiftit teeyadna? / niiftit neeyad. Iiktib teeyadna? / niiktib neeyad. Iimkir (immikir) teeyadna? / niimkir (nimmikir) neeyad. Iishbib teeyadna? / niishbib neeyad. Iishgwidh teeyadna? / niishgwidh neeyad. Will you (PL) collect (sth.)? / We will collect (sth.). Will you (PL) untie (sth.)? / We will untie (sth.). Will you (PL) eat breakfast? / We will eat breakfast. Will you (PL) comb (sth.)? / We will comb (sth.). Will you (PL) write (sth.)? / We will write (sth.). Will you (PL) advise (sth.)? / We will advise (sth.). Will you (PL) look? / We will look. Will you (PL) wash (sth.)? / We will wash (sth.). . / ? / ? . . / ? . / ? / ? . / ? ( ) ) . ( / ? . / ? .

Future Strong Verbs: CiC, HaCiC (PL)

Iidif teeyadna? / niidif neeyad. Y'ish, y'ush teeyadna? / ni'ush neeyad. Y'bik teeyadna? / ni'ibik neeyad. Ihigit teeyadna? / nihigit neeyad. Itehisir teeyadna? / nitehisir neeyad. Will you (PL) go away? / We will go away. Will you (PL) give up (LIT leave, let) (sth.)? / We will give up (LIT leave, let) (sth.). Will you (PL) seize (sth.)? / We will seize (sth.). Will you (PL) wait? / We will wait. Will you (PL) be sorry? / We will be sorry. / ? . / ? , . / ? , . / ? . / ? .

Future Strong Verbs: CiCiy, Ciy etc. (PL)

Isaan teeyadna? / nisaan neeyad. Idhaagw teeyadna? / nidhaagw neeyad. Imaar (iimar) teeyadna? / nimaar (niimar) neeyad. Iyaad teeyadna? / niyaad neeyad. Iyaaw teeyadna? / niyaaw neeyad. Iyaay (ayaay) teeyadna? / niyaay neeyad. Will you (PL) wait? / We will wait. Will you (PL) count? / We will count. Will you (PL) find (sth.)? / We will find (sth.). Will you (PL) say (sth.)? / We will say (sth.). Will you (PL) give (sth.)? / We will give (sth.). Will you (PL) take (sth.)? / We will take (sth.). . / ? . / ? / ? ) ( . ) ( . / ? . / ? / ? ( ) .

Future Strong Verbs: CaaCiC etc. (PL)

Iifyad teeyadna? / niifyad neeyad. Iimsaw teeyadna? / niimsaw neeyad. Iishwaawa teeyadna? / niishwaawa neeyad. Ad'a teeyadna? / niid'a neeyad. Isnhad teeyadna? / nisnhid neeyad. Iingida teeyadna? / niingida neeyad. Iikan teeyadna? / niikan neeyad. Iiba teeyadna? / niiba neeyad. Will you (PL) laugh? / We will laugh. Will you (PL) hear (sth.)? / We will hear (sth.). Will you (PL) gather (sth.)? / We will gather (sth.). Will you (PL) do (sth.)? / We will do (sth.). Will you (PL) finish (sth.)? / We will finish (sth.). Will you (PL) stand? / We will stand. Will you (PL) know (sth.)? / We will know (sth.). Will you (PL) go? / We will go. / ? . / ? . / ? . . / ? / ? . / ? . / ? . . / ?

Future Strong Verb: 'to know'

Aaw Tubdhaawi iikan indi? Ani Tubdhaawi iikan andi. Baruuk Tubdhaawi iikan tindiya. Batuuk Tubdhaawi iikan tindiyi. Baruuh Tubdhaawi iikan indi. Batuuh Tubdhaawi iikan tindi. Hinin Tubdhaawi niikan neeyad. Who will know Beja? I will know Beja. You (M) will know Beja. You (F) will know Beja. He will know Beja. She will know Beja. We will know Beja. ? . . . . . .

Baraakna Tubdhaawi iikan teeyadna. You (PL) will know Beja. . Baraah Tubdhaawi iikan eeyadna. They will know Beja. .

Future Strong Verb: 'to eat'

Ani iiftir andi. Hinin niiftir neeyad. Ani mhasi andi. Hinin mhasni neeyad. Ani iddirir andi. I will have breakfast. We will have breakfast. I will have lunch. We will have lunch. I will have supper. . . . . . .

Hinin niddirir neeyad. We will have supper.

Future Strong Verb: 'to give'

Hiyaheeb! Iyaawhook andi. Hiyiheeb! Give (M) it to me! I will give it to you. Give (F) it to me! ! . !

Iyaaw andi. Hiinaheeb! Niyaawhook neeyad. Hiyaheeb! Iyaawhook andi. Hiyiheeb! Iyaawhook andi. Hiinahoon!

I will give it (to him). Give (PL) it to me! We will give it to you. Give (M) it to me! I will give it to you (M). Give (F) it to me! I will give it to you (M). Give (PL) it to us!

. ! . ! . ! . ! .

Niyaawhookna neeyad. We will give it to you (PL).

Future Strong Verb: 'to know'

Gaat masseetiib Tubdhaawi kastooh iikan andi? Gaat masseetiib iikan tindiya? Gaat masseetiib iikan tindiyi? Gaat masseetiib iikan indi? Gaat masseetiib iikan tindi? Gaat masseetiib niikan neeyad? Gaat masseetiib iikan teeyadna? Gaat masseetiib iikan eeyadna? Will I know all of Beja in one year? Will you (M) know it in one year? Will you (F) know it in one year? Will he know it in one year? Will she know it in one year? Will we know it in one year? Will you (PL) know it in one year? Will they know it in one year? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Future Strong Verb: 'to become'

Ustaaz iikta andi. Ustaaz iikta tindiya. Ustaaz iikta tindii. Ustaaz iikta indi. Ustaaz iikta tindi. Ustaz niikta neeyad. Ustaz iikta eeyadna. I will become, be a teacher. You (M) will become, be a teacher. You (F) will become, be a teacher. He will become, be a teacher. She will become, be a teacher. We will become, be teachers. . . . . . . . .

Ustaz iikta teeyadna. You (PL) will become, be teachers. They will become, be teachers.

Future Negative: 'to become'

Ustaaz iikta kaadi. I won't become, be a teacher. . . Ustaaz iikta kiddiya. You (M) won't become, be a teacher.

Ustaaz iikta kiddii. Ustaaz iikta kiidi. Ustaaz iikta kiddi. Ustaz niikta kindi. Ustaz iikta kiddiina. Ustaz iikta kiidiin.

You (F) won't become, be a teacher. He won't become, be a teacher. She won't become, be a teacher. We won't become, be teachers. You (PL) won't become, be teachers. They won't become, be teachers.

. . . . . .


Intention is expressed by a verb suffix -a plus 'to say'. Thus the adequate translation of tama andi would be 'I want to eat', while tami andi expresses the future 'I shall eat'.

Intention: Future Weak Verbs

Naat tama andi. Naat gw'a andi. Naat tama neeyad. Naat gw'a neeyad. Naat tami andi. Naat gw'i andi. Naat tamni neeyad. I want to eat something. I want to drink something. We want to eat something. We want to drink something. I will eat something. I will drink something. We will eat something. . . . . . . . .

Naat gw'ani neeyad. We will drink something.

Intention: Future Strong Verb 'to say'

Naat d'iya / daaya andi. I want to do something. Naat diya andi. Naat d'iya neeyad. Naat diya neeyad. Naat iid'a andi. Naat iyaad andi. Naat niid'a neeyad. Naat niyaad neeyad. I want to say something. We want to do something. We want to say something. I will do something. I will say something. We will do something. We will say something. . / . . . . . . .

Future Strong Verbs with Object

Naan iyaad tindiya? Bataatis (dilbi) ayaay tindiya? Wharru iidbil tindiya? Imhallagaayeek idhaagw tindiya? Uwaragoon imar tindiya? What will you (M) say? Will you (M) (buy and) take potatoes? Will you (M) collect the millet? Will you (M) count your money? Will you (M) find our paper? ? ( ) ? ? ? ?

Tukwooba isnhis tindiya? Kasseeh eenda iishwiwa tindiya? Baliin eektab iyaawheeb tindiya? Uktaabook iyaawheeb tindiya? Umaktabook iiba tindiya? Umsajal / ushariit iimsaw tindiya? Baliin eenda iishbib tindiya? Oobaab iifdig tindiya? Tikwuura y'ibik tindiya? Isaanhoon tindiya? Yhalakaayeek iishgwidh tindiya?

Will you (M) clean the pot? Will you (M) gather all the men? Will you (M) give me those books? Will you (M) give me your book? Will you (M) go to your (M) office? Will you (M) hear the recorder / the cassettes? Will you (M) look at those people? Will you (M) open the door? Will you (M) take the balls? Will you (M) wait for us? Will you (M) wash your clothes?

? ? ? ? ? / ? ? ? ? ? ?

Past Continuous (Pluperfect)


Continuous Past is expressed by verbs with 'ii-' and refers to habitual, repeated actions of the (more distant) past, like iiyid 'he was saying, he used to say'.

Past Continuous: Strong Verb

Iishbib. Tiishbiba. Tiishbibi. Iishbib. Tiishbib. Niishbib. Iishbibna. I was looking, I used to look. You (M) were looking. You (F) were looking. He was looking. She was looking. We were looking. . . . . . . . .

Tiishbibna. You (PL) were looking. They were looking.

Past Continuous: Weak Verb

Naan gw'i? Naan gw'atiya? Naan gw'i? Naan gw'ani? Naan gw'atiina? Naan gw'iin? What was I drinking? What were you (M) drinking? ? ? ? / ? ? ? ?

Naan gw'atiyi / gw'atii? What were you (F) drinking? What was he drinking? What were we drinking? What were you (PL) drinking? What were they drinking?

Naan daayi? Naan daatiya? Naan daatiyi? Naan daayi?

What was I doing? What were you (M) doing? What were you (F) doing? What was he doing?

? ? ? ?

Conversation 17 'A Visitor' (Examples of the Past Continuous)


A: host, B: visitor
#1 (Gaal door, tak araawiiyooh halaagaayt iibiri.) (Some time, a man needed to meet his friend.) #2 (W'araawiiyooh gawiida eeya. Oobaab ith'a.). (He came to his friend's house. He knocks at the door.) #3 A: Aabwa, oobaab inth'i? A: Who are you (M), knocking at the door? #4 B: Ani, Aliibu. B: I, I am Ali. #5 A: Yaa marhaba, yaa marhaba. A: Hello, hello. #6 Eetaaneena! Welcome (LIT you coming)! #7 B: Tisniyeena! B: Good to await me (LIT you sitting). #8 A: Suur baya! A: Go (ahead)! #9 suur bay-a before go-IMPVM ti-sni-yee-na PERFSG2MPF-stay-W H-thing ee-taan-ee-na come-PERFPL2-W H-Thing yaa marhaba yaa marhaba helloSG2M hello helloSG2M hello ani aliib-u SG1 Ali-IDSG13M aab-wa oob-aab i-nth'i whoOBJM-IDSG2M track-PTCPPAST IMPFSG3MPFknock w-'araaw-ii-yooh gaw-ii-da eey-a oob-aab i-th'a ARTSGM-friend-CASGEN-POSSSG3 house-CASGENADVGEN+for come-PERFSG3M track-PTCPPAST PERFSG3MPF-knock gaal door tak araaw-ii-yooh halaagaayt ZERO-iibiri one time man friend-CASGEN-POSSSG3 business PASTSG1PF-have

Shuumaa! Come in! #10 B: Daayiitu. B: Good. #11 A: Oon'oomhiin s'a! A: Sit down here! #12 B: Daayiitu. B: Good. #13 A: Dabaaywa? A: Are you well #14 B: Dabaayu. B: I am well. #15 Batuuk kak tihayi? How are you (F)? #16 A: Ani daayiitu. Libaabiiwa? A: I am good (well). Are you (M) happy? #17 B: Gwirhaab kaabaru. B: I don't have any trouble. #18 Batuuk kak tihayi? How are you (F)? #19 A: Ani daayiit iha. A: I am good (fine). #20 Naan gw'ata? What would you (M) like to drink?

shuum-aa enter-IMPVM daayiit-u good-IDSG13F oon-'oo-mhiin s'-a NEARSGMOBJPF-ARTSGMOBJ-place sit-IMPVM daayiit-u good-IDSG13F dabaay-wa well-IDSG2M dabaay-u well-IDSG13M batuuk kak ti-hay-i SG2F how PERFSG2FPF-be-PERFSG2F ani daayiit-u libaabii-wa SG1 good-IDSG13F happy-IDSG2M

gwirhaab kaa-baru problem NEGIMPFSG1PF-have batuuk kak ti-hay-i SG2F how PERFSG2FPF-be-PERFSG2F

ani daayiit i-ha SG1 good PERFSG13PF-be naan gw'-ata what drink-SUBM

#21 Shaahiib gw'atahan, hana jabanaat? Do you want to drink some tea, or coffee? #22 B: Naat gw'i kaadi. B: I won't drink anything. #23 Dawil door buun gw'aabu. I just drank coffee. #24 Uusheek keeya? Where is Oosheek? #25 A: Ushanhooh abaayu. A: He has gone (went) to his work. #26 B: Naadoor eeyiini? B: When does he (usually) come? #27 A: Nabhoob eeyiini. A: He comes (in) the afternoon. #28 Haalooku? How are you (LIT what is your condition)? #29 B: Dibiloot halaagaay hooy abari. B: I have a little request (affair, obligation, business) for him. #30 A: Hangiiteek, y'i indi. A: If you wait, he will come. #31 B: Oond'aab, ani shawaay kaaki. B: (Right) now, I am not free. oond'aab ani shawaay kaa-ki this.time SG1 free NEGIMPFSG1PF-be ZERO-hangiit-ZERO-eek y'-i i-ndi IMPFSG2MPF-wait-IMPFSG2M-ADV+if come-FUTSG IMPFSG3MPF-say dibiloot halaagaay hooy a-bari small business at PERFSG1PF-have haal-ook-u condition-POSSSG2-IDSG13M nabhoob ee-yiini afternoon come-IMPFSG3M naadoor ee-yiini when come-IMPFSG3M u-shanh-ooh abaay-u ARTSGM-work-POSSSG3 go-PTCPPAST-IDSG13M uusheek kee-ya Oosheek be.where-PERFSG3M dawil door buun gw'-aab-u closeness time coffee drink-PTCPPAST-IDSG13M naat gw'-i kaa-di thing drink-FUTSG NEGIMPFSG1PF-say shaahiib gw'-ata-han hana jabanaat tea drink-SUBM-also or coffee.pot

#32 Ashshigani. I'm in a hurry. #33 Laakiin weer door y'i andi. But (some) other time I will come. #34 Uusheek ayiiniyeek, If Oosheek comes, #35 "Ali ihiriwhook" diyi! Tell him "Ali wanted you"! #36 A: Daayiitu, sooyi andi. A: Good, I will tell (him). #37 B: Anaa kwaatu, biibaadhiini! B: Dear sister, don't forget! #38 A: Kak eebdhiin?! A: How (will) I forget?! #39 B: L'aab aayimi! B: Bye, good afternoon! #40 A: Asigaab! A: Same to you. #41 Kwidhi bahaaya! Don't get lost! #42 B: Daayiitu. Kwidhi ayaay kaadi! B: Good. I won't get completely lost. #43 A: Usheekay! usheek-ay daayiit-u kwidh-i ayaay kaa-di good-IDSG13F get.lost-FUTSG take.FUTSG NEGIMPFSG1PF-say kwidh-i ba-haa-ya get.lost-FUTSG NEGIMPVMPF-be-NEGIMPVM asigaab peaceful l'-aab aayim-i kak ZERO-eebdhiin how IMPFSG1PF-forget anaa kwaat-u bii-baadhiin-i hey sister-POSSSG1 NEGIMPVFPF-forget-NEGIMPVF daayiit-u sooy-i a-ndi good-IDSG13F tell-FUTSG IMPFSG1PF-say ali i-hiriw-hook di-yi Ali PERFSG3MPF-want-OBJSG2 say-IMPVF uusheek a-yiini-yeek Oosheek come-IMPFSG3M-ADV+if laakiin weer door y'-i a-ndi but other time come-FUTSG IMPFSG1PF-say ashshig-ani hurry-IMPFSG1

A: Oh Oosheek! #44 Ali ihiriwhook. Ali was looking for you (M). #45 Oon'umhiinaan eeyaayit, ihariw inawhook. He came here and needed (LIT wanted) you and did not find you (failed to). #46 "Hagita! Y'i indi" adiyeek, When I said, "Wait! He will come", #47 "Shawaay kaaki, ashshigani" idiheeb, "I am busy (LIT I am not free), I am in a hurry" he told me, #48 "Laakiin weer door y'i andi." idi. "But I will come some other time." he said. #49 "Uusheek ayiiniyeek, Ali halaagaaytehook ibari, diyi!" idi. (He said) "If Oosheek comes, tell him I need him (LIT had need of him)." he said. #50 A: Ahaa! Sidkiibu. A: Oh! He is right. #51 Ani abaadhin. I forgot. #52 Amsi wajab gwad iibiri! I had an appointment with (him) today.

Oosheek-VOCAT ali i-hiriw-hook Ali PERFSG3MPF-want-OBJSG2

oon-'u-mhiinaan ee-yaa-yit i-hariw i-naw-hook NEARSGMOBJPF-ARTSGM-place come-PERFSG3MCON+then PERFSG3MPF-want PERFSG3MPF-lackOBJSG2 hagit-a y'-i i-ndi a-di-yeek wait-IMPVM come-FUTSG IMPFSG3MPF-say PERFSG1PF-say-ADV+if shawaay kaa-ki ashshig-ani i-di-heeb, free NEGIMPFSG1PF-be hurry-IMPFSG1 PERFSG3MPF-say-OBJSG1

laakiin weer door y'-i a-ndi i-di but other time come-FUTSG IMPFSG1PF-say PERFSG3MPF-say

uusheek a-yiini-yeek ali halaagaayt-ehook i-bari diy-i i-di Oosheek come-IMPFSG3M-ADV+if Ali businessPOSSSG2 PERFSG3MPF-have say-IMPVF PERFSG3MPF-say ahaa sidkiib-u oh true-IDSG13M ani a-baadhin SG1 PERFSG1PF-forget amsi wajab gwad ii-biri today appointment with PASTSG1PF-have

<422> ? , (. . ) (. ! , ) , . ! ! . , . ? ? . ? . ? . ! . !

? . . . ? , ? . . . , . , . ? . ? ! ! !? ! , . , ! ' ' , . ! ! . , ' ,! ' ' . , ! . . ! ' . ' ! , , ' . ' . . . ' !

Repeated, Intensive Action Repeated Action Weak and Strong Verb

Aweeb angiid. Aweeb geedani. Oogwib andiir. Igwiba eedri. Mooz ashandhiidh. Mooz shadhiidhani. Aweeb gida andi. Aweeb geeda andi. Gwib dira andi. Gwibaab daara andi. Mooz shidhidha andi. I throw a stone. I throw (REP) stones. I kill the rat. I kill (REP) the rats. I peel a banana. I peel (REP) bananas. . . . . . . . . . . . .

I want to throw a stone. I want to throw (REP) stones. I want to kill the rat. I want to kill (REP) the rats. I want to peel a banana.

Mooz shadhiidha andi. I want to peel (REP) bananas.

Auxiliaries: 'to put, to take'


The verbs aha 'to take' and d'iya 'to put' are used as auxiliaries. Together with the verb diliba which has the general meaning 'to trade', these two auxiliaries convey the meanings 'to buy' (trade and take) and 'to sell' (trade and put).

Auxiliary: 'to take' Past: 'to buy'

Adlib ayiha. Tidlib tiyihaya. Tidlib tiyihayi. Idlib iyiha. Tidlib tiyiha. Nidlib niyiha. Idlibna iyiheen. I bought. You (M) bought. You (F) bought. He bought. She bought. We bought. . . . . . . . .

Tidlib tiyiheena. You (PL) bought. They bought.

Past Perfect: 'to buy'

Dilba ahaabu. Dilba ahaatuwi. Dilba ahaabu. Dilba ahaatu. Dilba ahaaba. Dilba ahaaba. I have bought. You (F) have bought. He has bought. She has bought. We have bought. . . . . . . .

Dilba ahaabaana. You (PL M) have bought. They (M) have bought.

Past Negative: 'to buy'

Dilba ahaab kaaki. Dilba ahaat kaaki. Dilba ahaab kittaa. Dilba ahaat kittaayi. Dilba ahaab kiiki. Dilba ahaat kitti. Dilba ahaab kinki. Dilba ahaab kiikeen. I (M) didn't buy. I (F) didn't buy. You (M) didn't buy. You (F) didn't buy. He didn't buy. She didn't buy. We (M) didn't buy. . . . . . . . .

Dilba ahaab kitteena. You (PL) didn't buy

They (M) didn't buy. .

Present: 'to buy'

Dilbi aniin. Dilbi tiniina. Dilbi tiniini. Dilbi iniin. Dilbi tiniin. Dilbi neeyay. Dilbi eeyayna. I buy. You (M) buy. You (F) buy. He buys. She buys. We buy. . . . . . . . .

Dilbi teeyayna. You (PL) buy. They buy.

Present Negative: 'to buy'

Dilbi ka'ayiha / kaayiha. Dilbi kit'iyihaya / kitiyihaya. Dilbi kit'iyihayi / kitiyihayi. Dilbi ki'iyiha / kiiyiha. Dilbi kit'iyiha / kitiyiha. Dilbi kin'iyiha / kiniyiha. I don't buy. You (M) don't buy. You (F) don't buy. He doesn't buy. She doesn't buy. We don't buy. . / / . / . / . / . / .

Dilbi kit'iyiheena / kitiyiheena. You (PL) don't buy. Dilbi ki'iyiheen / kiiyiheen. They don't buy.

/ . / .

Future: 'to buy'

Dilbi ayaay tindiya? Dilbi ayaay tindiyi? Dilbi ayaay indi? Dilbi ayaay tindi? Dilbi niyaay neeyad? Dilbi ayaay eeyadna? Will you (M) buy? Will you (F) buy? Will he buy? Will she buy? Will we buy? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Dilbi ayaay teeyadna? Will you (PL) buy? Will they buy?

Future Negative: 'to buy'

Dilbi ayaay kaadi. Dilbi ayaay kiddiya. Dilbi ayaay kiddiyi. Dilbi ayaay kiidi. Dilbi ayaay kiddi. Dilbi niyaay kindi. Dilbi ayaay kiidiin. I won't buy. You (M) won't buy. You (F) won't buy. He won't buy. She won't buy. We won't buy. . . . . . . . .

Dilbi ayaay kiddiina. You (PL) won't buy They won't buy.

Past: 'to buy'

Aat adlib ayiha. Aat tidlib tiyihaya. Aat tidlib tiyihayi. Aat idlib iyiha. Aat tidlib tiyiha. Aat nidlib(ni) niyiha. Aat idlib(ni) iyiheen. I bought (some) milk. You (M) bought (some) milk. You (F) bought (some) milk. He bought (some) milk. She bought (some) milk. We bought (some) milk. . . . . . . )( . )(

Aat tidlib(ni) tiyiheena. You (PL) bought (some) milk. . )( They bought (some) milk.

Present: 'to buy'

Aat dilbi aniin. Aat dilbi tiniina. Aat dilbi tiniini. Aat dilbi iniin. Aat dilbi tiniin. I buy (some) milk. You (M) buy (some) milk. You (F) buy (some) milk. He buys (some) milk. She buys (some) milk. . . . . .

Aat dilbi neeyay. Aat dilbi eeyayna.

We buy (some) milk.

. . .

Aat dilbi teeyayna. You (PL) buy (some) milk. They buy (some) milk.

Future: 'to buy'

Aat dilbi iyaay / ayaay andi. Aat dilbi iyaay / ayaay tindiya. Aat dilbi iyaay / ayaay tindiyi. Aat dilbi iyaay / ayaay indi. Aat dilbi iyaay / ayaay tindi. Aat dilbi niyaay neeyad. Aat dilbi niyaay / ayaay eeyadna. I will buy (some) milk. You (M) will buy (some) milk. You (F) will buy (some) milk. He will buy (some) milk. She will buy (some) milk. We will buy (some) milk. . / / . / . . / . / . . / . /

Aat dilbi niyaay / ayaay teeyadna. You (PL) will buy (some) milk. They will buy (some) milk.

Auxiliary: 'to put' Past: 'to sell'

Aat adlib ad'i. Aat tidlib tid'iya. Aat tidlib tid'iyi. Aat idlib id'i. Aat tidlib tid'i. Aat nidlib nid'i. Aat idlib(ni) id'iin. I sold (some) milk. You (M) sold (some) milk. You (F) sold (some) milk. He sold (some) milk. She sold (some) milk. We sold (some) milk. . . . . . . . )(

Aat tidlib(ni) tid'iina. You (PL) sold (some) milk. . )( They sold (some) milk.

Present: 'to sell'

Aat dilbi adan'i. Aat dilbi dan'iyi. Aat dilbi dan'i. Aat dilbi dan'i. Aat dilbi nid'i. Aat dilbi tid'ina. Aat dilbi id'iin. I sell (some) milk. . . . . . . . . Aat dilbi dan'iya. You (M) sell (some) milk. You (F) sell (some) milk. He sells (some) milk. She sells (some) milk. We sell (some) milk. You (PL) sell (some) milk. They sell (some) milk.

Future: 'to sell'

Aat dilbi ad'a / iid'a andi. I want to / will sell (some) milk. / .

Aat dilbi ad'a / iid'a tindiya. Aat dilbi ad'a / iid'a tindiyi. Aat dilbi ad'a / iid'a indi. Aat dilbi ad'a / iid'a tindi. Aat dilbi niid'a neeyad. Aat dilbi ad'a / iid'a teeyadna. Aat dilbi ad'a / iid'a eeyadna.

You (M) want to / will sell (some) milk. You (F) want to / will sell (some) milk. He wants to / will sell (some) milk. She wants to / will sell (some) milk. We want to / will sell (some) milk. You (PL) want to / will, want to sell (some) milk. They want to / will sell (some) milk.

/ . / . / . / . . / . / .

Conversation 18 'Selling a Camel' (Examples of Verb Pairs)


A: wife, B: husband
#1 (Takwa takatuuhwa kaami mhallagaayeeb imooth'ath'ana.) (A man and his wife are arguing about the money for a camel.) #2 A: Baruuk iru ukaamook tidliba. A: Yesterday you (M) sold your came (M)l. #3 Imhallagaayeek kak tiweera? How did you (M) do (spend) your money? #4 Imhallagaayeek aab tihiya? Whom did you (M) give your money? #5 B: Imhallagaayii tak hiyaab kaaki. B: I didn't give (M) my money to anyone. #6 Aan ikatiin. Here it is (LIT they are). aan i-kati-in NEARPLMSUBJ IMPFPL3PF-be-IMPFPL3 i-mhallagaa-yii tak hiyaab kaa-ki ARTPLM-money-ADV+off man give-PTCPPAST NEGIMPFSG1PF-be i-mhallagaa-yeek aab ti-hi-ya ARTPLM-money-POSSSG2 whoOBJM PERFSG2MPFgive-PERFSG2M i-mhallagaa-yeek kak ti-weer-a ARTPLM-money-POSSSG2 how PERFSG2MPF-doPERFSG2M baruuk iru u-kaam-ook ti-dlib-a SG2M yesterday ARTSGM-camel-POSSSG2 PERFSG2MPF-trade-PERFSG2M tak-wa takat-uuh-wa kaam-i mhallagaa-yeeb imooth'ath'-ana man-and woman-POSSSG3-and camel-CASGEN money-ADV+at PERFPL3PF-quarrel-PERFPL3

#7 A: Gaaliib hiyaheeb! A: Give me some! #8 B: Naanhooy aniiwhook? B: Why do I give it to you? #9 A: Halak dilbi ayaay andi. A: I will buy a dress (toga). #10 B: Dawil door halak dilbi ahaat kittaayi? B: A short time ago, did you not buy a dress? #11 A: Laakiin uunbaruuh ishtat iyiha. A: But it is torn. #12 Uun ikati, shibiba! Here it is, look (M)! #13 B: Batuuk naat takattuwi? B: What kind of a woman are you (F)? #14 Tirig tirig halak dilbi tiniini? Do you (F) buy a dress every month? #15 Aneeb aab hiistiniiheeb? What do you (F) think of me? (Who do you (F) think I am?). #16 A: Baalhaa, baalhaa! A'ush. A: Don't be angry, don't be angry, I have given up (LIT I left it). #17 baa-lh-aa baa-lh-aa a-'ush NEGIMPVMPF-be.ache-NEGIMPVM NEGIMPVMPFbe.ache-NEGIMPVM PERFSG1PF-leave aneeb aab hiis-tinii-heeb OBJSG1 whoOBJM think-IMPFSG2F-OBJSG1 tirig tirig halak dilbi ti-niin-i month month cloth trading IMPFSG2FPF-takeIMPFSG2F batuuk naat takatt-uwi SG2F thing woman-IDSG2F uun i-kati shibib-a NEARSGMSUBJ IMPFSG3MPF-be look-IMPVM laakiin uun-baruuh i-shtat i-yiha but NEARSGMSUBJPF-SG3M PERFSG3MPF-tear PERFSG3MPF-take dawil door halak dilbi ah-aat kit-ta-ayi closeness time cloth trading take-PTCPPAST NEGIMPFSG2FPF-be-NEGIMPFSG2F halak dilbi ayaay a-ndi cloth buying take.FUTSG IMPFSG1PF-say naanhooy a-niiw-hook why IMPFSG1PF-give-OBJSG2 gaal-iib hi-ya-heeb one-CASGEN give-IMPVM-OBJSG1

Shaawi araatihook kaadi. I won't ask (F) you again. #18 B: Laa laa laa! Bihasaayi! B: Oh no no no, don't be upset! #19 Halak dilbi tiniinhoob, When you buy a dress, #20 tirig gaal haay kitihagiti? doesn't it last (even) one month? #21 Ubasharook naan hooy tiha? What is the matter with (in) your body? #22 N'eet hooy tihay? Is there a fire (inside)? #23 Kak halak gaal tirgiib ishtatit, How did the dress get torn in one month? #24 Dehay tirig ushit, masseet kaamlaat haay ihagitna, Not just a month, a whole year people use #25 gaal halak! one dress!

shaawi araat-i-hook kaa-di again ask-FUTSG-OBJSG2 NEGIMPFSG1PF-say laa laa laa bi-hasaa-yi no no no NEGIMPVFPF-be.angry-NEGIMPVF halak dilbi ti-niin-hoob cloth trading IMPFSG3FPF-take-ADV+when tirig gaal haay kiti-hagit-i month one with NEGIMPFSG2FPF-wait-NEGIMPFSG2F u-bashar-ook naan hooy t-iha ARTSGM-body-POSSSG2 what at PERFSG3FPF-be

n'eet hooy ti-hay fire at PERFSG3FPF-be

kak halak gaal tirg-iib i-shtat-it how cloth one month-ADV+at PERFSG3MPF-tearCON+then

dehay tirig ush-i-t masseet kaaml-aat haay i-hagit-na people month leave-IMPVF-CON+then year whole-PL with IMPFPL3PF-wait-IMPFPL3 gaal halak one cloth

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Nominalized Verbs

Verbs can be changed into nouns of action, such as 'To arrive' > 'Arrival'. The verbs of different patterns will produce different shapes of nouns. The table (below) gives an overview. Only the most productive patterns have been presented.

Note that (1) weak verbs all have the same pattern: The noun is masculine, and consists of the verb-stem plus -ti.

Note that (2) strong verbs have different patterns: Some strong verbs are changed to masculine nouns, others - especially derived verbs such as causative verbs etc. - are changed to feminine nouns.

Table 34: The Main Nominalization Patterns: Weak Verbs

Examples: Nominalization: Pattern and Gender: (M) yak-aa > oo-yak-ti start > the starting stem > oo-Stem-ti

Table 35: The Main Nominalization Patterns: Strong Verbs

Examples: Nominalization: Pattern and Gender: (M) kitim-a bis-a kan-a > oo-ktuum > oo-baas > tu-kanaan arrive bury > the arrival > the burial CiCiC > oo-CCuuC CiC > oo-CaaC (F) know > the knowledge CaC > tu-CaCaaC > the informing other patterns sookin-a > tu-sooknooy inform

More Examples: Nominalized Verbs

Weak Verbs: (M) yakaa / uyakti waawaa / uwaawti Strong Verbs: (M) kitima / ooktuum winina / oownuun bitika / oobtuuk dibila / oodbuul dhigwiya / oodhgwuuy fitira / ooftuur (M) arrive / the arrival be angry / the anger divide / the dividing collect (things) / the collecting of the things count / the counting have breakfast / the breakfast / / / / / / start / the starting weep / the weeping / /

bisa / oobaas miga, maga / oomaag hiya / oomyaaw aha / oomyaay sikwiya / ooskwuuy (F) kana / tukanaan gama / tugamaam faya / tufayaay

hide / the hiding be bad / the being bad give / the giving take / the taking follow, run after / the following, running after (I)

/ / , / / / / / / , / / / / / / /

know / the knowing, knowledge fail / the failing be / the being, the existence

kaya / tukayaay, tukatooy be / the being, the existence (F) atoomaana / tutoomnooy sookina / tusooknooy sikwiya / tooskwuuy at'abaaka / tut'abkwooy gwhara / toogwhar fiyaka / tumifiyeek shave / the being shaved inform, let know / the informing, letting know follow (run after) / the following, running after (II) get caught / the being caught steal / the stealing load / the loading

Greetings and Nominalized Verbs (Cognate objects)


The verb and the noun which is derived from the same verb are occasionally used together, especially in greetings such as the following.
Rayhamaat naay naayaana! Rayhamaat tiina / aaymaam aayimna! Rayhamaat aymim aayimna! Rayhamaat hawid hawidna! Sleep a peaceful sleep! Spend peaceful days / a peaceful afternoon! Spend a peaceful day! Spend a peaceful night! ! / ! ! !

'Can' and Nominalized Verbs 1

Ani whireer adgirani. Baruuk whireer adgirtiniya. Batuuk whireer adgirtinii. Baruuh whireer adgiriini. Batuuh whireer adgirtini. Hinin whireer adgirnay. Baraah / bataah whireer adgireen. I can walk. You (M) can walk. You (F) can walk. He can walk. She can walk. We can walk. . . . . . . / .

/ Baraakna / bataakna whireer adgirteena. You (M PL) / (F PL) can walk. . They (M) / (F) can walk.

'Can' and Nominalized Verbs 2

Ani whireer adgiri kaadi. Baruuk whireer adgiri kiddiya. Batuuk whireer adgiri kiddiyi. Baruuh whireer adgiri kiidi. Batuuh whireer adgiri kiddi. Hinin whireer adgirni kindi. Baraakna / bataakna whireer adgiri kiddiina. Baraah / bataah whireer adgiri kiidiin. I won't be able to walk. You (M) won't be able to walk. You (F) won't be able to walk. He won't be able to walk. She won't be able to walk. We won't be able to walk. You (M PL) / you (F PL) won't be able to walk. They (M) / they (F) won't be able to walk. . . . . . . / . / .

Nominalization and Verb Patterns Pattern: CiCiC > CCuuC (fitira > ooftuur)

In the examples here below, an epenthetic i may be inserted between the first two consonants. Thus, CCuuC may be pronounced as CiCuuC. But after a prefix, only CCuuC will be used.
Ooftuur haam'aa! usuugi ktuum urabayi dbuul Toownuun ka'adgiran. Ubaabi ngwuul daayiib tikteena. Bring the breakfast! the reaching of the market the collecting of luggage I can't stand anger. You know well how to open the door (LIT the opening of the door). ! . .

Pattern: CiC > CaaC (bisa > oobaas)

W-halaki baas tikteena? Oon'urabayi baas tikteena? Uumaag yakiya. Ti-hamooti maan tikteena? W-awaayi gaad whamashaayiida finaayi tarabu / harawaayu. Een'imhallaga kasseeh naan kwaasa tindiya? Uumaag yakiinihoob, hinin dhabeen dehay kinki. U-yiwaashi faaf ubaabiiyoon dabaay maagnaayti harawaayu. W-araawiiyook faak daayiib kiiki. Do you know how to hide the clothes (LIT the burying of cloth)? Do you know how to hide the things? The war (LIT bad thing) broke out. Do you know how to shave hair? Throwing a stone at a blind person is seeking trouble (LIT half a war). What will you do, create with all this money? When the war (LIT bad thing) arises, we are not people who run away. Pouring of dirt in front of our elders, fathers is seeking trouble (LIT badness). Threatening, inciting your friend is not ? - ? . ? - - . / ? , . - . -

good. U-baabi kwaal hanyiis. Ti-hamooteeyook laag hanyiis. Tu-gimaamaati laaw daayiibu. U-nifsiiyook maar umtihaani dabaay hanyiis. Oonaaw / uunaaw amaag naatu. W-adaayi saab akraa-naatu. W-haafiiyook taab daayi na kitti. Knocking (at) the door is better. Combing your hair (s) is better. Burning rubbish is good. Preparation, preparing yourself before an exam is better. Avoiding (people) is a bad thing. Skinning (off) your skin is a hard, strong thing. Filling your belly is not a good thing.

. - . - . - . - . . / . - - - .

Pattern: CaC > CaCaaC (kana > kanaan)

Tudaayiinaaytiit gamaam daayii-na kitti. Udehayiit kanaan dim'araabu. Yi-araaweetook ramaam gwidaa-na anf'atnihook. Imhallagaayeetook shawawiyooy (dibuul) daayiitu. Ishawaweetook taraar daayi na kitti; aflaa ishawaweek baataara! Ugawiib tufayaaytuuk y'amna areestini. Uulbaab daayi naatu. Uufraay / ufiraay t'aliim anuu ka'anf'iya. Ignoring, denial of good deeds is not a good thing. Knowing people is useful. Accompanying your friends will benefit you in many ways. Gathering your money (that you keep your money together) is good. Avoiding of your neighbors is not good; So don't avoid your neighbors! Your (M) presence (being) at home makes the guest happy. Happiness is a good thing. Having children without education does not profit anyone. - . . - - . ) . ( !; . . / .

Pattern: ...Ciy > ...Cooy (mhiya > mhiyooy)

Udehayiida tuushnhooy daayi na kitti. Usuugiit gidehooy daayiitu. Y'araweesook tumhiyooy daayi na kitti. The need of (dependence on) people is not a good thing. Going down to the market is good. Staying, remaining away from your friends is not a good thing. . . .

Other Patterns
Gwidat ugawiisook tumifir'ooy daayi na kitti. Ti-araaweetook hamuuy daayi na kitti. Maagnaaytiit weerooy To be absent too often (LIT frequency of absence) is not a good thing. Blaming your friend is not a good thing. Doing bad things (LIT an act of badness) . - .

araaw kitehihook. Yi-araaweet shawawyooy daayi na kitti. Ugwharaayit naakbooy adaatnihook. Ushanhiib tu'amaraariyooy atookkina naatu. Whara baatiwaaya! Tubaskaawi digwigwa, ootam sinhada. Usuugi miibi ka'adgiran. Usuugiib ba'aayiima! Whibti amaagu.

doesn't give you a friend. Inciting friends is not good. Running after the thief harms you. Meeting at one's work is a common (known) thing. Don't deny that you have lied (LIT the lie). Break the biscuits (LIT divide the biscuit), finish the meal. I can't stand leaving, going to the market. Don't stay long (spend the afternoon) at the market. Falling is bad.

. - . . . ! , / . ! . .

Conversation 19 'Visiting an Official' (Examples of Nominalization)


H: host, V: visitor
#1 H: Oon'umhiinaan w'aayookna daayi hinin winneet afirhaaba. H: We are very happy about your coming here. oon-'u-mhiinaan w-'aay-ookna daayi hinin winneet afirh-aab-a NEARSGMOBJPF-ARTSGM-place ARTSGM-arrival-POSSPL2 good PL1 very rejoice-PTCPPAST-IDPL13M hinin-han oon-'u-mhiinaan-i PL1-also NEARSGMOBJPF-ARTSGMplace-CASGEN bareeyookna rhiti-i-da winneet afirhaab-a CASEGENPL2M seeing-CASGENADVGEN+for very rejoice-PTCPPASTIDPL13M barook oo-sm-ook aab ZERO-eeyad-na SG2MOBJ ARTSGMOBJ-name-POSSSG2 whoOBJM IMPFPL3PF-say-IMPFPL3 aneeb Ali ZERO-eeyad-na-heeb SG1 Ali IMPFPL3PF-say-IMPFPL3-OBJSG1

#2 V: Hininhan oon'umhiinaani V: We also (for us to come) here #3 bareeyookna rhitiida winneet afirhaaba. in order to see you, we are very happy.

#4 H: Barook oosmook aab eeyadna? H: What is your name? #5 V: Aneeb Ali eeyadnaheeb. V: They call me Ali.

#6 H: Uunbatuuh naat ayaayhook tibari? H: What relationship do you have to her? uun-batuuh naat ayaay-hook ti-bari NEARSGFSUBJPF-SG3F thing relationship-POSSSG2 PERFSG3FPFhave uun-batuuh takatt-oot-u NEARSGFSUBJPF-SG3F womanPOSSSG1-IDSG13F oo-sm-ooh aab eeyad-na ARTSGMOBJ-name-POSSSG3 whoOBJM ZERO-IMPFPL3PF-say-IMPFPL3-OBJSG1 oo-sm-ooh Zaynab ZERO-eeyad-na ARTSGMOBJ-name-POSSSG3 Zaynab IMPFPL3PF-say-IMPFPL3-OBJSG1 baruuk naa tak-wa baraakna naan daayaana SG2M what man-IDSG2M PL2M what man-IDPL13M

#7 V: Uunbatuuh takattootu. V: She is my wife. #8 H: Oosmooh aab eeyadna? H: What is she called (LIT her or his name, what do they say?) ? #9 V: Oosmooh Zaynab eeyadna. V: Her name is Zaynab. #10 H: Baruuk naa takwa? / Baraakna naan daayaana? H: What kind of person are you (M) (LIT you (M) what man are you (M)?) / What is your (Pl) nationality? (LIT you (PL) what people are you?) #11 V: Hinin Iritriiba. V: We are Eritreans. #12 H: Naan daateena? H: What do you (PL) do? #13 V: Hinin mhallaan Ut'aliimiit Wazaraatiib shagaamnay. V: We both (of us) work in the Ministry of Education. #14 H: Ut'aliimiit Wazaraatiib naan daateena? H: What do you do (LIT work) in the Ministry of Education? #15 V: Kitab nikatib. Oodehay iktabeet kitaaba kitab ni-katib oo-dehay i-ktab-eet u-t'aliim-iit wazaraat-iib naan daa-teena ARTSGM-education-CASGEN ministryADV+at what do-IMPFPL2 hinin mhall-aan u-t'aliim-iit wazaraat-iib shagaam-nay PL1 both-POSSPL1 ARTSGM-educationCASGEN ministry-ADV+at work-IMPFPL1 naan daa-teena what do-IMPFPL2 hinin iritriib-a PL1 Eritrean-IDPL13M

allamnay. V: We write books. We teach people the writing of books. #16 H: Naakaat tiina Soodaaneeb tibariina? H: How many days have you been in Sudan? #17 V: Asaramaat tiinaa nibari. V: We had seven days. #18 H: Suuri dabaab Soodaan rhaabaana? H: Did you see the Sudan before? #19 V: Laa laa laa, kinki. V: No no no, we haven't. #20 H: Aflaa, Kassalaab baakaay, H: So then, apart from Kasala #21 mhiinaan weer rhitaana? have you seen any other place? #22 V: Suuri dabaab, Kassalaab baakaay, V: Before, apart from Kasala, #23 mhiinaan weer rhaab kinki. we haven't seen any other place. #24 Laakiin Bar'uuti miibi s'ayaamnay. But we expect to go to Port Sudan. #25

kitaaba allam-nay book IMPFPL1PF-write ARTSGMOBJpeople ARTPLM-book-CASGEN writing teach-IMPFPL1 naakaat tiin-a soodaan-eeb ti-bari-ina how.many sun-PL Sudan-ADV+at PERFPL2PF-have-PERFPL2 asaramaat tiin-aa ni-bari seven sun-PL PERFPL1PF-have suuri dabaab soodaan rh-aab-aana earlier additionally Sudan seePTCPPAST-IDPL2M laa laa laa kin-ki no no no NEGIMPFPL1PF-be aflaa kassalaa-b baa-ka-ay so.then Kasala-OBJ NEGPTCPPF-beNEGPTCPM mhiinaan weer rhi-taana place other see-PERFPL2

suuri dabaab kassalaab baa-ka-ay ahead additionally Kasala-OBJ NEGPTCPPF-be-NEGPTCPM mhiinaan weer rh-aab kin-ki place other see-PTCPPAST NEGIMPFPL1PF-be laakiin bar'uut-i miibi s'ayaam-nay but Port.Sudan-CASGEN going expectIMPFPL1

H: Naanaatii Bar'uut baya teeyadna? H: Why do you want to go to Port Sudan? #26 V: Oobhar rha neeyad, V: We want to see the Sea, #27 tubdhaawiyeeti dehay gaabalaat, meet (LIT visit) the Beja people; #28 Bidhaawiyeeti hadiidsama neeyad; We want to talk Beja; #29 oosookehan rha neeyad. we want to see Suakin as well. #30 H: Daayiitu. H: OK (LIT It (F) is good).

naanaat-ii bar'uut bay-a t-eeyad-na what.thing-ADV+off Port.Sudan goFUTSG IMPFPL2PF-say-IMPFPL2 oo-bhar rh-a n-eeyad ARTSGMOBJ-sea see-FUTSG IMPFPL1PF-say tu-bdhaawiyeet-i dehay gaabal-aat ARTSGF-Beja-CASGEN people visitPTCPPAST bidhaawiyeet-i hadiidsam-a n-eeyad Beja-CASGEN IMPFPL1PFsay oosook-ehan rh-a n-eeyad Suakin-also see-FUTSG IMPFPL1PF-say daayiit-u good-IDSG13F

<432> . . ? . ? ? . ? / ? . . ? . ? . . ? . , ? , , , , . ? ; , ; ? . . . .

Mood and Illocutionary Force


The mood or the illocutionary force gives a clause or a talk its particular purpose. It makes a clause a statement, a question, a wish, a command, etc.


The modalities or moods and the illocutionary force stand for varying degrees of permission, obligation, willingness etc. In English these are mainly expressed by auxiliaries ('should, may, might, will, would' etc.).

Imperatives and Jussives


To request that something should be done, the imperative is used for the second person, as in '(You) do it!', and the jussive for the first or third person, as in 'Let us, let them do it'. Here below are requests addressed to the second person:

Imperative: Positive, Negative

Diyaheeb! Diyiheeb! Tell (M) me! Tell (F) me! ! ! / ! ! ! !

Diinaheeb / diyinaheeb! Tell (PL) me! Baadiiyaheeb! Biidiiyiheeb! Baadiinaheeb!

Don't (M) tell me! Don't (F) tell me! Don't (PL) tell me!

Imperative with Please


To soften the command, in the Atman dialect the word hindeeh 'please', can be used before the verb, but it requires that the verb takes the suffix -n, which also may be translated as 'please'. (The form hindeeh 'please' is not used in other dialects, but the -n is.)
Hindeeh tamaan! Hindeeh tamiin! Please eat (M)! Please eat (F)! ! !

Hindeeh tamaanan! Please eat (PL)! !


The first and third person uses the suffix at or -atay to express the jussive. The same suffix can also be used in the second person, but it is more common to use the imperative instead.

Table 36: Imperative, Jussive Paradigm 1

Araatatay, araatat! Araataa! / Naan araatata? Araatii! / Naan araatati? Ba'araatiiyay / (ba'araatii)! Ba'araattiyay / (ba'araatti)! Araatniiyay / (araatnii)! Ba'araatiinay / (ba'araatiin)! Let me ask! Ask (M)! / What would you (M) like to ask? Ask (F)! / What would you (F) like to ask? Let him ask! Let her ask! Let us ask! !( )/ ? / ! ? / ! !( ) / !( ) / !( ) / !( ) /

Araataana! / Naan araatatna? Ask (PL)! / What would you (PL) like to ask? ? / ! Let them ask!

Table 37: Imperative, Jussive Paradigm 2

Gw'atay, gw'ata! Let me drink! Gw'ataa! Naan gw'ata? Gw'atii! Naan gw'ati? Drink (M)! What would you (M) like to drink? Drink (F)! What would you (F) like to drink? ! / ! ? ! ?

Bagw'iyay! Bagw'atiyay! Gw'aniiyay! Gw'aana! Naan gw'atna? Bagw'iinay!

Let him drink! Let her drink! Let us drink! Drink (PL)! What would you (PL) like to drink? Let them drink!

! ! ! ! ? !

Jussive: first Person Jussive: 'let me', Weak Verbs

With Adverb: Awwal fiinatay! Awwal gw'atay! With Object: Ootam tamatay! Ushanhu faayisatay! Naat rhiseetookay! Naat sooyeetookay! Gaana araateetookay! Let me eat the porridge! Let me finish my work! Let me show you (M) something! Let me tell, inform you (M) (about) something! Let me ask you (SG) one thing! ! ! ! ! ! ! Let me rest first! Let me drink first! ! !

Gaana araateetooknaay! Let me ask you (PL) one thing!

Jussive: 'let me', Strong Verbs

Hindeeh difatay! Hindeeh ahatay! Waraga harwatay! Waraga miryatay! Ujawaab kitbatay! Ujawaab shibbatay! Oond'aab hiyatookay! Oond'aab awaytookay! Hindeeh hagittookay! Hindeeh sinitookay! Hindeeh sinitooknaay! Let me leave, please! Let me take (sth.), please! Let me look for some paper, please! Let me find some paper, please! Let me write the letter! Let me see the letter! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Now let me give (it to) you (M)! Now let me help you (M)! Please let me await you (M)! Please let me await you (M)!

Hindeeh hagittooknaay! Please let me await you (PL)! Please let me await you (PL)!

Jussive: 'let us', Weak Verbs

With Adverb:

Awwal fiinniiyay! Awwal tamniiyay! Awwal gw'aniiyay! With Object: Ushanhoon faayisniiyay! Naat rhiseetook eenayay! Gaana sooyeetook eenayay!

Let us rest first! Let us eat first! Let us drink first!

! ! ! ! ! ! !

Let us finish our work! Let us show you (M) something! Let us tell, inform you (M) (about) one thing!

Gaana araateetook eenayay! Let us ask you one thing!

Jussive: 'let us', Strong Verbs

With 'please': Hindeeh niidifay! Hindeeh nihiriway! Hindeeh nimaaray! With Object: Jawaab niktibay! Hindeeh niit'iwhookay! Hindeeh hagittook eenayay! Hindeeh sinitook eenayay! Let us write a letter! Let us help you! Let us wait for you! Let us wait, stay for you! ! ! ! ! Please let us go, leave! ! ! ! Hindeeh ahat eenayay / niiyaayay! Please let us have / take it! ! / Please let us look for it! Please let us find it!

Jussive: second Person


The forms in -at have been called future or jussive, but these do not really capture the sense of these forms. The general term subordinate seems to be more adequate. This is obvious from the use of these forms in questions such as gw'ata 'would you like to drink?'

Jussive: 'would you', Weak Verbs

Naan gw'ata? What would you (M) like to drink? ? ? Naan tamata? What would you (M) like to eat?

Jussive: 'would you', Strong Verbs

Naan miriyata? What would you (M) like to find? Naan hiyata? Naat kitmata? What would you (M) like to give? ? ?

Where do you like to get to (reach)? ?

Jussive: third Person Jussive: 'let him', Weak Verbs

Without Object:

Hindeeh, awwal bafiiniiyay! Please let him rest first! Awwal batamiiyay! Awwal bagw'iiyay! With Object: Ushanhooh bafaayisiiyay! Naat barhisiihookay! Gaana basooyiihookay! Gaana ba'araatiihookay! Let him finish his work! Let him show you (M) something! Let him tell, inform you (M) one thing! Let him ask you (M) one thing! Let him eat first! Let him drink first!

, ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Jussive: 'let him', Strong Verbs

With 'please': Hindeeh ba'idifay! Hindeeh ba'iyaayay! Hindeeh ba'ihiriway! Hindeeh ba'imiray! With Object: Jawaab ba'iiktibay! Hindeeh ba'iit'iwhookay! Hindeeh ba'isaanhookay! Let him write a letter! Please let him help you! ! ! ! ! Please let him go, leave! Let him have, take it! Let him look for it! Let him find it! ! ! ! !

Hindeeh ba'ihigitehookay! Let him wait for you! Let him wait, stay for you!

Jussive: 'let them', Weak Verbs

Ba'araatiin (ba'araatiinay)! Let them ask, may they ask! Batamiin (batamiinay)! Bagw'iin (bagw'iinay)! <439> Let them eat, may they eat! Let them drink, may they drink! !( ) ) !( !( )

Here follow the forms of the jussive with full paradigms. (For second persons it is more common to use the imperative.) Additional paradigms are given further below. It should be noted that with strong verbs, the form which gives the first person is derived from the stem no. 1, and the others are derived from stem no. 5.

Table 38: Imperative, Jussive Paradigm 3

Gw'at (gw'atay)! Gw'aa! / Naan gw'ata? Gw'ii! / Naan gw'ati? Bagw'iiyay! Bagw'atiyay! Gw'aniiyay! Let me drink! Drink (M)! / What would you (M) like to drink? Drink (F)! / What would you (F) like to drink? Let him drink! Let her drink! Let us drink! !( ) ? / ! ? / ! ! ! ! ? / !

Gw'aana! / Naan gw'atna? Eat (PL)! / What would you (PL) like to drink?


Let them drink!

Weak Verbs
Ba'araatiin(ay)! Let them ask, may they ask! Batamiin(ay)! Bagw'iin(ay)! Let them eat, may they eat! Let them drink, may they drink! !( ) !( ) !( )

Strong Verbs
Diyat(ay)! Ba'iyaad(ay)! Batiyaad(ay)! Niyaad(ay)! Ba'iyaadna(ay)! D'iyat(ay)! Ba'id'ay(ay)! Nid'ay(ay)! Ba'id'ana(ay)! Ribat(ay)! Ba'iirib(ay)! Niirib(ay)! Ba'iiribna(ay)! Shibbat(ay)! Ba'iishbib(ay)! Niishbib(ay)! Ba'iishbibna(ay)! Miriyat(ay)! Ba'imaar(ay)! Nimaar(ay)! Ba'imaarna(ay)! Hariwat(ay)! Ba'ihiriw(ay)! Nihiriw(ay)! Let me say (sth.)! Let him say (sth.)! Let her say (sth.)! Let us say (sth.)! Let them say (sth.)! !( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) !( )

Let me do (sth.)! Let him do (sth.)! Let us do (sth.)! Let them do (sth.)!

Let me refuse (sth.)! Let him refuse (sth.)! Let us refuse (sth.)! Let them refuse (sth.)!

Let me look (at sth.)! Let him look (at sth.)! Let us look (at sth.)! Let them look (at sth.)!

Let me find (sth.)! Let him find (sth.)! Let us find (sth.)! Let them find (sth.)!

Let me look for (sth.)! Let him look for (sth.)! Let us look for (sth.)!

Ba'ihiriwna(ay)! Nawat(ay)! Ba'iitnaw(ay) / ba'iinaw(ay)! Niitnaw(ay) / niiwaw(ay)!

Let them look for (sth.)!

!( ) !( ) !( )/ ( ) !( )/ ( ) !( )/ ( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) !( ) ) !( !( )

Let me fail (sth.)! Let him fail (sth.)! Let us fail (sth.)!

Ba'iitnawna(ay) / ba'iinawa(ay)! Let them fail (sth.)! Bayat(ay)! Ba'iibaay(ay)! Niibaay(ay)! Ba'iibaayna(ay)! Fiyakat(ay)! Ba'itfiyak(ay)! Nitfiyak(ay)! Ba'itfiyakna(ay)! Fir'at(ay)! Ba'itfir'ay(ay)! Nitfir'a (nitfir'ayay)! Ba'itfir'ayna (ay)!

Let me go (there)! Let him go (there)! Let us go (there)! Let them go (there)!

Let me carry (sth.)! Let him carry (sth.)! Let us carry (sth.)! Let them carry (sth.)!

Let me get (sth.)out! Let him get (sth.)out! Let us get (sth.)out! Let them get (sth.)out!

More Examples: Baadiif(ay)! Oosuug niibaay! Let me not go away! Let us go to the market! !( ) !

Table 39: 'want to' Paradigm

Ani yam dehookna ha'aat karan. Naanhooy yam dehoon ha'aat kareetaa? Naanhooy yam dehoon ha'aat kareetaayi? Naanhooy yam dehoon ha'aat kareeyiya? Naanhooy yam dehoon ha'aat kareetaa? Naanhooy yam dehoon ha'aat I don't want to bring (for) you (PL) water. Why don't you (M) want to bring us water? Why don't you (F) want to bring us water? Why doesn't he want to bring us water? Why doesn't she want to bring us water? Why don't you (PL) want to bring us . ? ? ? ?

kareetaana? Naanhooy yam dehoon ha'aat kareeyiyaan?

water? Why don't they want to bring us water?

. ?

Strong Verbs
Ramtooya? Ramtooyi? Ramtoona? Awooh, ramtook. Laa laa, ramtook karan. Do you (M) want to accompany me? Do you (F) want to accompany me? Do you (PL) want to accompany me? Yes, let me accompany you (SG). No no, I don't want to accompany you (SG). ? ? ? . , . ,

Laa laa, ramtook kareena. No no, we don't want to accompany you (SG). . ,

Weak Verbs
Gw'aseetooya! Gw'aseetooyi! Gw'aseetoona! Awooh, gw'aseetook. Laa laa, gw'aseetook karan. Laa laa, gw'aseetook kareena. Please give (M) me to drink! Please give (F) me to drink! Please give (PL) me to drink! Yes, let me give you (SG) to drink. No no, I don't want to give you (SG) to drink. No no, we don't want to give you (SG) to drink. ! ! ! . , . , , .


Evidentials show why the speaker considers his, her information reliable - or why not. In Beja, the evidentials are verbs - some of them with special evidential forms - and they are attached at the end of what one says like a seal.

Thus in Beja traditional narratives, every paragraph will be followed by the verb een 'they said', which marks the talk as traditional folklore. Literally, this verb should mean 'they said' - but it is used in the sense 'that is what people say (and I did not make it up myself)'. If someone really wants to say 'they said', then a different form of the same verb must be used, namely idiin 'they said'.

Other verbs provide various other kinds of evidence: hiisani 'I think so', kahiisan 'I don't think so', toona (winneet) akteen 'I know this matter (for sure)', or tan'i 'It seems'.

Verbs as Evidentials Evidential: 'say'

Malik iifi, een. Takat tiifi, een. There (once) was a king, they say. There was a woman, they say. . , . , ' . ,'

'Gw'ajiibu' idi, een. 'It is one-eyed' he said, they say.

Evidential: 'announce'
Yhabaar isookinna. Hargwiitiiwwa alhashi inhadneet eefiineet toona yhabaar yhadab been'i eeyaan isookin. They announced the news. That some had remained from hunger and drought, a group which came from there announced the news (LIT the thing). . .

Evidential: 'think'
Tuhissa naa naatu? Ani kaakan, laakiin hissaab, hiisani. Amsi nagaarooh, hiisani. Uunbaruuh mumkin ugawi kwalaal hiisiyaan. What is the lesson? I don't know, but it is maths, I think. Today it is the second day (LIT its second day), I think. Maybe they thought it to be the fence of the house. ,? . , , . .

Evidential: 'don't think'

Nafir ikatiyeet toona kahiisan. Gaayiib ikatiyeet toona kahiisan. Hamiib ikatiyeet toona kahiisan. Aliyaab ikatiyeet toona kahiisan. I don't think it is tasty. I don't think it is fresh. . . . . .

Sh'iyaab ikatiyeet toona kahiisan. I don't think it is old. I don't think it is bitter, sour. I don't think it is expensive.

Evidential: 'know'
Amaag na yaksaawa, aaw ikteen? You bring something bad, who knows? ? , Nafir ikatiyeet toona akteen. Gaayiib ikatiyeet toona akteen. Sh'iyaab ikatiyeet toona akteen. Hamiib ikatiyeet toona akteen. Alyaab ikatiyeet toona akteen. I know that it is tasty. I know that it is fresh. I know that it is old. I know that it is bitter, sour. I know that it is expensive. . . . . .

Evidential: 'seem'
Tu'angwa tubaraar tan'i. It seems (like) a mat spread out. Ubaaba it'i. He was (LIT it seemed to be) like the father. . .

Adverbs as Evidentials

Adverbial forms of evidentials are borrowed from Arabic: mumkin 'possibly, maybe', laazim 'necessarily'.

Mumkin baruuk beentooy kitehaya. Mumkin amaag na yaksaawa. Maybe you are not there. Maybe you cause (LIT raise up) . .

something bad. Batuuh mumkin oorba oowin naayiit tikati. Maybe she is from the high mountain. .

Laazim gaana ibari! Shikamti ukinaayiida laazim mhallagaab farri'a! He certainly has something! You (M) certainly pay some money (even) for the scent itself! ! !

Conversation 20: 'The Threefold Gift' (Examples of Evidentials)

#1 Tak iifi een. There was a man, they say. #2 Suurkinaayiihooda eeyaayit, He came to the leader, and #3 suurkinaayiihooda yakiyaayit, he started to go to (LIT he started to) the leader, and #4 "Oonbarooh naat isuugim andi." "I will puzzle him with something." #5 diyiit, he said, and #6 dehaay yakiini een. he goes to him (LIT he starts to him), they say. #7 Dehaay yakiyaayit, He went to him (LIT started to him), and #8 ibayit, went to him, and #9 i-bay-it Dehaay yak-iyaa-yit toward arise-PERFSG3M-CON+then dehaay yak-iini ZERO-ee-n toward arise-IMPFSG3M PERFPL3PF-sayPERFPL3 diy-i-it say-PTCPPAST-CON+then Oon-barooh naat i-suugim a-ndi NEARSGMOBJPF-PL3MSGMOBJ thing PERFSG3MPF-bother IMPFSG1PF-say suurkinaa-yii-hoo-da yak-iyaa-yit leader-CASGEN-POSSSG3-ADVGEN+for arisePERFSG3M-CON+then Suurkinaa-yii-hoo-da ee-yaa-yit leader-CASGEN-POSSSG3-ADVGEN+for comePERFSG3M-CON+then Tak ZERO-iifi ZERO-ee-n man PASTSG3MPF-be PERFPL3PF-say-PERFPL3

isiganifnit, they let (his camel) kneel, and #10 daayiib dabaaysalaamiyaaneet tumidda they welcomed him well, at that time (he said) #11 "Uun'ani mhayt naateeh harawaay "I here, since I am in need of three things #12 dehook yakaabu." I have come to you." #13 idi een. he said, they say. #14 "Dehook tiilaleeyaabu." "I am in need of them from you." #15 idi een. he said, they say. #16 "Ari diwaabayit, "My children, since they are hungry (LIT sleep, an idiom for staying hungry), #17 dangeet dehaay ananyiyeet a milking animal, to milk for them #18 hook aharriiw. I want from you." #19 idi een. he said, they say. #20 "Sinkaayiidaaywa aranbiyeenaatiida

i-siganif-n-it PERFPL3PF-let.kneel-PERFPL3-CON+then daayiib dabaaysalaam-iyaan-eet tu-midda good greet-PERFPL3-W H ARTSGF-time

Uun-'ani mhayt naat-eeh harawaay NEARSGMSUBJPF-SG1 three thing-POSSSG3 need

dehook yak-aab-u toSG2M arise-PTCPPAST-IDSG13M i-di ZERO-ee-n PERFSG3MPF-say PERFPL3PF-say-PERFPL3 Dehook tiilaleeyaab-u toSG2M needy-IDSG13M i-di ZERO-ee-n PERFSG3MPF-say PERFPL3PF-say-PERFPL3

Ar-i diw-aab-a-yit children-CASGEN sleep-PTCPPAST-IDPL13MCON+then dangeet dehaay a-nanyi-yeet milking.animal to hook a-harriiw SG2 IMPFSG1PF-want i-di ZERO-ee-n PERFSG3MPF-say PERFPL3PF-say-PERFPL3 Sinkaa-yii-daay-wa a-ranbi-yee-naat-ii-da

"For shouldering and loading also

animal.of.burden-CASGEN-ADVGEN+forCON+and IMPFSG1PF-load-WH-Thing-CASGENADVGEN+for

#21 hook aharriiw. I want something from you. #22 Weenaatiida harawaay y'aabu." And needing another thing, I have come." #23 idi een. he said, they say. #24 "Miyaay, areeh, hook hariweeh "A gift, then, (it is) that I want from you #25 y'aabu." I have come." #26 idi een. he said, they say. #27 Usuurkina mirbeet iibiriyayt, Since the leader had a milking camel #28 "Tuhuumaat haam'aana!" "Bring (PL) the milking animal!" #29 idi een. he said, they say. #30 "Uunbatuuh huumaatuyit, "This is a milking camel, thus ... #31 Uun-batuuh huumaat-u-yit NEARSGFSUBJPF-SG3F milking.camel-IDSG13FCON+then i-di ZERO-ee-n PERFSG3MPF-say PERFPL3PF-say-PERFPL3 Tu-huumaat haam'-aana ARTSGF-milking.camel bring-IMPVPL U-suurkina mirbeet ZERO-iibiri-yayt ARTSGM-leader riding.camel PASTSG3MPFhave-ADV+because i-di ZERO-ee-n PERFSG3MPF-say PERFPL3PF-say-PERFPL3 y'-aab-u come-PTCPPAST-IDSG13M Miyaay areeh hook hariw-eeh gift well.then from.SG2 want-PTCPPRES i-di ZERO-ee-n PERFSG3MPF-say PERFPL3PF-say-PERFPL3 Weenaat-ii-da harawaay y'-aab-u other.thing-CASGEN-ADVGEN+for need comePTCPPAST-IDSG13M hook a-harriiw SG2 IMPFSG1PF-want

y'areek niiya hiya!" milk it for your children and give them!" #32 idi een. he said, they say. #33 "Malyaab laamaatuyit, "Also, it is a docile animal, #34 ribiya!" load it!" #35 idi een. he said, they say. #36 "Malyaab miyaay kwasat aha!" "Also, consider it a gift and take it!" #37 idi een. he said, they say.

y-'ar-eek niiy-a hi-ya ARTPLM-children-POSSSG2 give-IMPVM i-di ZERO-ee-n PERFSG3MPF-say PERFPL3PF-say-PERFPL3

Malyaab laam-aat-u-yit secondly docile.animal-IDSG13F-CON+then ribi-ya load-IMPVM i-di ZERO-ee-n PERFSG3MPF-say PERFPL3PF-say-PERFPL3 Malyaab miyaay kwas-at ah-a secondly gift create-SUB take-IMPVM


<444> . , , , , , , . , . . . . . , , . . . . , ' ! ' . ! , . ! , . . ' ! .

Clause Co-Ordination

Coordinate clauses can be chained together in various ways. The simplest way is to just let one statement follow the other. Usually this implies that one event just follows the other.

The table below displays the main kinds of coordination. They will be illustrated in different paradigms or conversations further below.

Table 40: Forms of Coordination

Tamiya, gw'iya. Statement 1, Statement 2 He ate, he drank . ,

-t Tamaat gw'ata! -han hana

Imperative 1 'and' Imperative 2 Eat (M) and drink (M)!

! ? -/ . , .

Question 1 'or' Question 2

Tamtaahan hana gw'ataa? Did you (M) eat or did you (M) drink? -it / -yit Tamiyaayit gw'iya. laakiin Tamiini, laakiin kagw'iya.

Statement 1 'then' Statement 2 He ate and then he drank.

Statement 1 'but' Statement 2 He eats, but he doesn't drink.

Imperative Plus Imperative Coordinated


Imperatives can be chained together by -t ... -t 'and then ... and then'. This can be viewed as co-ordination or co-sub-ordination (see below). Unlike chains with -wa ... wa 'and ... and', the last imperative does not take the -t suffix. (A reminder seems in order here: The imperative suffixes of weak verbs are long -aa -ii -aana, but those of strong verbs are short -a -i -na).
Gw'aat tamaa! M'aat kitiba! Tamaat diwaa! Difat shuumaa! Maasiwat hadiidaa! Agriiyaat kitiba! Hasayat thawaa! Udawilu s'iit oobuun dehooyu kalooyii! Anaa tu'ootu! Tihamooteek shigwidhiit daayiib fititi! Yhalaka shigwidhiit balamsii! Wharru shigwidhiot tuyiintiib balamsii / biriri! Lhayt haddiit hagitnat talafoon th'ana, toos'a mhayt! Drink (M) and eat (M)! Come (M) and write (M)! Eat (M) and sleep (M)! Go (M) and enter (M)! Listen (M) and talk (M)! Read (M) and write (M)! Be angry (M) and explode (M)! Sit (F) near me and roast (F) the coffee for me! My girl! After having washed your hair, comb it nicely! After you (F) have washed the clothes, dry them! After you (F) wash the millet dry / spread (F) it in the sun! Wait (PL) till tomorrow and phone (PL) at three! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ?? o ! / ! ,

Conditions implied in Co-Ordination


Conditions need not always be expressed as such, because they may be obvious from the contents of the clauses.

Toos'a maloot tikayi, b'ara! Amsi iibaabnay, mara! Ani miskiintu, mhallagaab hiyaheeb!

It (F) is 2 o'clock, wake (M) up! Today we travel, be (M) ready! I (F) am poor, give (M) me money!

! , ! , , !

Clause Co-Sub-Ordination

Clauses may be coordinated with each other by the suffix -it 'then'. But the final clause of such a chain closes the paragraph, and it cannot have the suffix -it 'then'. The final clause must be considered the main clause of the paragraph, and it tends to convey some conclusive meaning.

Pattern of Co-Subordination
-t -t idi. W'ayi y'abkit, hireersamiyayit, "Oon'umii'at shibiba!" idi. Ubarkina gwida hissaab ihasibit, w'aakhariib yakiyaayit, "Ani weena araatihook andi." idi. X-then, Y-then, ... he -ed. , , . !" " , , "" .

He took (him) by the hand - and then he walked with him - and then "Look at this trace!" he said.

The desert man thought much - and then finally he stood up - and then "I will ask you something else." he said.

Conversation 21: 'At School' (Examples of Coordinated Clauses)

#1 Naaka talaba tibariina? How many students do you (PL) have? #2 Igwidaaka, arahan, arita / aritta? The ones who are more, are they boys or girls? #3 Tumadrasaatiiyookna ti'arit naakaata? In your (PL) school, how many are the girls? #4 Y'ar naakaab ikatiin? The boys, how many are they? y-'ar naakaab i-kati-in ARTPLM-children how.manyM IMPFPL3PF-betu-madrasaat-ii-yookna t-'arit naakaat-a ARTSGF-school-CASGEN-POSSPL2 ARTPLF-girl how.manyF-IDPL13F i-gwidaa-ka ar-a-han arit-a ARTPLM-much-than boy-IDPL13M-also girl-IDPL13F naaka talaba ti-bari-ina how.many student PERFPL2PF-have-PERFPL2

IMPFPL3 #5 Y'ar gwuudeenhan, hana ti'arit? Are there more boys or girls? (LIT Are the boys many, or the girls?) #6 Yhadaariib ti'aritehina ka'agriisiyaan, sidiikuhan haraabu? The Hidaarab27, their girls don't study, correct (LIT is it right or wrong)? #7 Bareehoonaada, tuktaaba hankwiirhan, hana tugraaya? For them (M), is the writing difficult or the reading? #8 Bariiyooknaada, tuktaaba hankwiirhan, hana tugraaya? For you (PL), is the writing difficult or the reading? bariiyooknaa-da tu-ktaaba ZERO-hankwiir-han hana tu-graaya PossPL2-ADVGEN+for ARTSGF-writing IMPFSG3FPF-tie-also or ARTSGF-reading bareehoonaa-da tu-ktaaba ZERO-hankwiir-han hana tu-graaya POSSPL3M-ADVGEN+for ARTSGF-writing IMPFSG3MPF-tie-also or ARTSGF-reading yi-hadaariib t-'arit-ehina ka-'agriis-iyaan sidiik-uhan haraab-u ARTPLM-Hidaarab ARTPLF-girl-POSSPL3 NEGIMPFPL3PF-teach-NEGIMPFPL3 true-IDSG13Malso wrong-IDSG13M y-'ar gwuud-een-han hana t-'arit ARTPLM-children be.many-IMPFPL3-also or ARTPLF-girl

<450> , ? ? , , ? ? ? , ? ? ? , , , ,

Clause Sub-Ordination

In the previous sections it was shown how nouns, adjectives, adverbs etc. have their different places in a clause. In the following sections it will be shown how subordinate clauses may take the places of nouns, adjectives, adverbs, etc.

So the subject noun may be replaced by a subordinate clause, e.g.: 'The runner arrives at sunrise.' > '[Who runs] arrives at sunrise.'

Or the temporal adverb may be replaced by a subordinate clause, e.g.: 'The runner arrives at sunrise.' > 'The runner arrives [when the sun rises].'

In this example, 'The runner arrives' is the main clause, and '[when the sun rises]' is the subordinate clause. The subordinate clauses have been put in brackets in order to distinguish them from the main clauses.

Relative Clauses

The most frequent kind of subordinate clauses is the relative clause. A relative clause modifies a noun just like adjectives would. This can be illustrated by a comparison of the following examples. 'A [racing] camel.' (adjective). 'A camel [which races].' (relative clause)


The difference between these two is that the relative clause uses a relative verb instead of an adjective. In the examples below, the parts inside the brackets, such as '[which races]' are relative clauses, and the parts outside the brackets are main clauses. The relative verb (e.g. 'races') may modify subject or object nouns28. So there are several possibilities which can be combined, and each of them has its own grammatical structure:

The relative verb may modify object nouns or subject nouns. These nouns may be the object or the subject of the main clause (O, S) or, on the other hand, they may be the object or subject of the relative clause ([O], [S]). Thus the verb may refer to objects and subjects in different ways - The following combinations are possible: [O]O: The relative verb refers to the object of the main clause which also is the object of the relative clause [O]S or S[O]: The relative verb refers to the subject of the main clause which is the object of the relative clause. [S]O or O[S]: The relative verb refers to the object of the main clause which is the subject of the relative clause. [S]S: The relative verb refers to the subject of the main clause which also is the subject of the relative clause.


In addition, there are the following options: The relative verb may precede or follow the noun, and the noun may be definite or indefinite. In actual fact, the verb usually precedes the noun, and the noun usually is definite. Not all of these patterns are frequent. The more common patterns will be listed first.

The Frequent Patterns


Object of the relative clause [O]O, [O]S

[Areeyani-yeeb] ookaam rhani. [Which I like] the camel I see. [O]O . [ - ] [Areeyani-yeeb] uukaam ayiini. [Which I like] the camel comes. [O]S .[ - ] <460>

Subject of the relative clause [S]S, [S]O

[Dhaabiini - ] kaam eeyiini. [Dhaabiini - ] kaam rhani. Uukaam [u-dhaabiini - ] ayiini. [Which races] a camel comes. [S]S [Which races] a camel I see. [S]O The camel [which races] comes. S[S] .[ -] . [ -] .[ - - ] . [ - - ]

Ookaam [u-dhaabiini-iib] rhani. The camel [which races] I see. O[S]

The Infrequent Patterns


(1b) S[O], and the verb follows its noun

Uukaam [w-areeyani-yi] ayiini. <462> The camel [which I like] comes. S[O] (infrequent) [- - ] .

(2b) O[S], and the verb follows its noun

Ookaam [u-dhaabiinii-b] rhani. <463> I see the camel [which races]. O[S] (infrequent) [- - ] .

Complications like these only arise if (a) the verb follows the noun to which it refers and at the same time (b) the noun has different functions in both clauses. Since this is the case in about 2% to 3% of the occurrences, it may therefore be ignored at this point.

Comparison with Adjective or Genitive Attributes


The relative verbs may be compared with adjectives or genitives, since all of them are used to modify nouns. The comparison shows that the use of the -b suffix and the definite articles are the same, but the suffix -ee '(REL)' is not used.
Object: [Dis] tak rhani. Oo-tak [oodis] rhani. Subject: [Dis] tak ayiini. [Utaki] hataay ayiini. Uu-tak [uudis] ayiini. [A small] man came. [The man's] horse came. The man [the-small] came. ] .[ . [] ]- .[ [A small] man I saw. ] . [ . -[ -] ]- . [ [Alii-b] w-hataay rhani. [Ali's] horse I saw. The man [the-small] I saw.

Rules for Relative Verbs which Precede the Noun


The two rules here below refer to verbs which precede the noun that they modify.

Verbs preceding Relative Objects [O] take -eeb/-eet


In most cases (33%) the relative verb refers to an Object in the relative clauses, i.e. O[O] or S[O]. In these cases, the suffixes are -eeb for '(M)' and -eet for '(F)'.

An English illustration for the O[O] construction would be: 'Whom we like-eeb the leader, we follow (him)', and: 'Whom we like-eeb the leader, comes' for the S[O] construction.

In many cases (30%) the relative verb refers to an Object in the relative clauses which is the noun na 'thing (F)' with or without the definite article. In these case, the suffixes are -eet toona 'the thing (F) which' (definite) or -ee-na 'something (F) which' (indefinite).


An English illustration for the O[O] construction would be: 'Which we like-eet toona (the thing), we follow (it)', and: 'Which we like-eet toona (the thing), (it) comes' for the S[O] construction.

Verbs preceding Relative Subjects [S] take -ZERO/-t


In many cases (15%) the relative verb refers to the Subjects of relative clauses, i.e. S[S] or O[S]. In these cases there are no suffixes, i.e. the suffixes are ZERO, except for the usual feminine suffix -t '(F)'.

An English illustration for the S[S] construction would be: 'Who comes-ZERO the leader, he stays', and: 'Who comes-ZERO the leader, we like (him)' for the O[S] construction. In the case of a feminine subject, an English illustration for the S[S] construction would be: 'Who comes-t the girl, (she) stays', and: 'Who comes-t the girl, we like (her)' for the S[O] construction.

Rules for Relative Verbs which follow the Noun (Infrequent)


The two rules given below refer to verbs which follow the noun that they modify.

Verbs following Relative Subjects O[S] take -i/-eet


In very few cases (2.0%) the relative verb follows the noun which is the Object of the main clause but the Subject of the relative clause, i.e. O[S]. In these cases the suffixes are -i for '(M)' and -eet for '(F)'.

In the case of a masculine subject, an English illustration for the O[S] construction would be: 'The leader who comes-i, we like (him)', and: 'The girl who comes-eet, we like (her)' in the case of a feminine subject.

Verbs following Relative Objects S[O] take -b/-t


In very few cases (0.5%) the relative verb follows a noun which is the Subject of the main clause but the Object of the relative clause, i.e. S[O]. In these cases the suffixes are -b for '(M)' and -t for '(F)'.

In the case of a masculine object, an English illustration for the S[O] construction would be: 'The leader whom we like-b, comes', and: 'The girl whom we like-t, comes' in the case of a feminine object.

Table 41: Relative Verb Suffixes

Rules: Gender: Affix: (M) (F) (F) (F) -eeb Noun -eet Noun -eet toona -ee-na Frequency: Comments: Frequent 3.

The Verb refers to the S[O] or O[O] noun which follows it.
Often the Verb refers to the (F) noun na 'thing' which follows it.


Noun -ee (ee > i/_#) Noun -eet -ZERO Noun -t Noun Noun -b Noun -t



The Verb refers to the S[O] noun which precedes it.

(F) (M) (F) (M) (F)



The Verb refers to the S[S] or O[S] noun which follows it. The Verb refers to the O[S] noun which precedes it.



<477> Examples where the relative verb refers to the object of the main clause: 1. [Areeyan-eeb] oo-kaam rhan. [Areeyan-eet] too-kaam rhan. [Areeyan-eet] too-na rhan. [Areeyan-ee] -na rhan. Too-kaam [t-areeyan-eet] rhan. 3. [Dhaabiini-] kaam rhan. [Dhaabtini-t] kaam rhan. 4. [Which I like] the camel (M) I saw. [Which I like] the camel (F) I saw. [What I like] the thing (F) I saw. [What I like] a thing I saw. . -[ - ] . -[ - ] . -[ - ] . - [- ] . [ - - ] . [ - - ] . [ -] . [ -] -

2. Oo-kaam [w-areeyan-eeb] rhan. The camel (M) [which I like] I saw. The camel (F) [which I like] I saw. [Which runs] a camel (M) I saw. [Which runs] a camel (F) I saw. Infrequent

<478> Examples where the relative verb refers to the subject of the main clause: 1. [Areeyani-yeeb] uu-kaam eeyiini. [Areeyani-yeet] tuu-kaam eetini. [Areeyani-yeet] tuu-na eetini. [Areeyani-yee] -na eetini. 2. Uukaam [w-areeyan-i] eeyiini. Tuukaam [t-areeyan-eet] eetini. 3. [Dhaabiini-] kaam eeyiini. [Dhaabtini-t] kaamt eetini. 4. The camel (M) [which I like] comes. The camel (F) [which I like] comes. [Which runs] a camel (M) comes. [Which runs] a camel (F) comes. Infrequent [Which I like] the camel (M) comes. [Which I like] the camel (F) comes. [What I like] the thing (F) comes. [What I like] a thing comes. . -[ - ] . -[ - ] . -[ - ] . - [- ] .[ - - ] [- - ] . .[ -] .[ -] -

Relative Verb refers to O[O] Verb follows Noun

Oo-tak [u-salaaman-eeb] rhitaa? Tu-takat [tu-salaaman-eet] The man [whom I greeted] did you (M) see him? The woman [whom we greeted] did [ - ? - ]- - [- ] -

rhitaa? Baraah tu-jaziira ['B' eeyadn-eet] ibeen. Oon-oobuun [tuhoorma tiigideeb] areenay. Tu'oor [unajjaari itkwikw-eet] imiru.

you (M) see her? They went to the island [called 'B']. We love the coffee [made by a respected lady]. He found the girl [which the carpenter had made].

? - - ' ]' .[ ] - - .[ - ] [ .

Verb precedes Noun (infrequent)

[Iru duuran-eeb] ootak, oosmooh aab eeyadna? [Salaaman-eeb] uu-tak winu. [Whom I visited yesterday] the man, what do they call his name? The man [whom I greeted] is tall. ,[ - ] ? . -[ - ]

Relative Verb refers to S[S] Noun understood

[U-gw'iini-] barooh kiiki. [Tu-gw'atnii-t] batooh kitti. [Tu-dehaay tiki-] hadiidiyaan. [Tu-tiki-] akan. It is not he [who is drinking]. It is not she [who is drinking]. They told (them) [what happened to, with (sth.)]. I knew [what happened]. [ - -] . [ - - . ] [- - ] . .[ -- ]

Verb follows Noun (infrequent)

Uu-tak [w-eeyiya-] winu. The man [who (M) came] is tall. . [- - ] - - Tu-takat [tu-eetaa-t] wintu. The woman [who (F) came] is tall. . ] [ --

Verb follows Indefinite Noun

[Mar mhiin eefi-] malik beena! [Uhadhaayiida yaki-] takka whadha aameeh id'i. [Iist'a-] tak rhiya. [Isgw'ad-] mhay da imiru. [Naat ikteen-] tak hiisiinihook. [Bahadiiday-] tak eefi. [Bahadiiday-t] takat teefi. Go to a king [which is in such-andsuch a place]. This lion swallowed any man [who stood up against him]. He saw a man [sitting]. He found three men [who watched]. He thinks you (are) a man [who knows something]. There is a man [who doesn't talk]. There is a woman [who doesn't talk]. [- ] ! [ - ] . [ -] . . [-] [ -] . .[ - ] [ - ] .

Relative Verb refers to 'thing' The Noun is implied


In the following examples, the verb refers to a noun which is not made explicit. In the first example, for instance, the noun implied by the verb "I did" could have been made explicit by adding "the thing (I did)".
[Tu-daayan-i] itwi. [Tu-nimeer-i] whaaloon kahasamta. [Tu-bit'areeya-yi] dawilkaatooktu / dawiltooktu. [What I did] he denied. [What we get] is not enough for our condition. [What you don't love] is closest to you. .[ - - ] . ] [ -- / ] [-- .

Verb precedes the Definite Noun 'thing'

[Ragad gaal naayi iitir-eet] toona imii'atii nikan. Been'uginuufi [hamshukiini-yeet] toona rhitiniya? [Kak rhisi-yeet] toona igam. Laakiin [mhayt s'aati dabaay iiktiyeet] toona kak tikana? Naatka w'aakhariib [ishbuub tindiyeet] toona kana! [Suur sakiyaan-eet] toona oond'aabhan sakiya. Umii'at [umhiinooh bihasamayeet] toona akteen. Uutak [tamnagwir ihiriw-eet] toona ikan. Areeh, uudehay kassa uun'ulhana [ti'aateeyooh yam hooy iid'i-yeet] toona iiktiinna. Gaat [tuliiliitiiyu shuumti-yeet / shuumi tidiy-eet] toona arikwi. Umalik [ini-yeet] toona kastooh sooyiya-heeb. W'oor tutakat yhindi [tun'eetiib tid'i-yeet] toona rhiya. Baruuk [sidkiib tikati-yeet] toona akan. Y'araah winneet areeyiin-eet] toona ikan. [Amas hook tu-marri-yeet] toona [That it was limping on one leg] we knew from the traces. Do you see [that it is breathing through (LIT from) the nose]? He didn't know [how to show it]. But [that it was 3 hours ago], how do you know that? You can be sure (LIT know the thing) [that everything will be OK at last]! [What he had done before] he did now. I know [that the shadow does not pass this place] The man understood [that he (the boy) wanted eleven]. So then, all the people knew the thing [that the milkman put water in his milk]. I was afraid [one would go into my eye.] He told me [all the emperor had said]. The boy saw [that the women put wood in the fire]. I realize [that you are right]. He knew [that his children loved him very much]. [What happens to you at midnight] [ - ] . [- ] ? ] .[ - ] [ - ? ] ![ - [ - ] . ] [- . ] [ - . , [-] . / - ] [ - . [ - ] .- ] [ - . ] [- . [ - . [- - ]

oomha haay mhasaa! [Uudehay eeyadn-eet] toona biimaasiiwi! [Imirn-eet] tuu-na kamhata.

do not bother about it (LIT let it rest) till the morning dawns! Don't listen to (the thing) [what the people say]! [The thing they got] is not enough.

! [ - ] ! ] . -[ -

Verb precedes the Indefinite Noun 'thing'

[Bak t'iit-ee] -na baad'iina! [Saki-yee] -na igam [Tak t'iit-ee] -na tisiikw. [Tunariitu giigistini] -na amiru. Don't do a thing [which is similar to that]! He didn't know [what to do]. [Something like a man] followed. I found [something which drives away my sleep]. -[-] ! -[- ] -[-] . -[ ] .

Complications: S[O], Verb follows Noun


If the verb refers to the object of the relative clause and this noun is the subject of the main clause, the suffixes are -i for '(M)' and -eet for '(F)'.

S [O], Verb follows Noun

Uu-tak [ani adir-i] ashooyooyu. Uu-tak [u-salaamiyaan-i] sanooyu. Tu-oor [tu-rhina-neet] daawriitu. Tu-takat [baraakna salaamtaan-eet] naamhiinaanii eeta? The man [whom I killed] is my enemy. The man [whom they greeted] is my brother. The girl [which (F) we saw] is pretty. The woman [whom you (PL) greeted] from where did she come? ] - [- . [- - ]- . - [- ] - . - - ] [ ?

Complications: O[S], Verb follows Noun


If the verb follows a noun which is the object of the main clause but subject of the relative clause, the gender-marking suffixes -b for '(M)' and -t '(F)' get attached to the object.

O [S], Verb follows Noun

Oo-tak [w-eeyaa-b] rhita? You (M) saw the man [who came]? [ -- ] - ? Too-na [tu-tisb'ar-t] agam. I didn't know the thing [which woke him up]. .[ -- ] -

Further Examples of Relative Clauses Relative Verb refers to O[O] O [O], Verb precedes Noun
[ - [Salaaman-eeb] ootak rhitaa. [Whom I greeted] the man, you (M) saw him . ]

O [O], Verb precedes Noun

Hummadiin [timmi areey-i] kaam iibiri. [Tushibuub bitimheelay-eeb] ootak, whaafu, gay giigiimaanaabu! Hummad Diin had a camel [which he liked very much]. [From the man whom your goodness does not cure], stay away from him, my soul! [ - ] . ] [- , , !

O [O], Verb follows Noun 1

Ootak [u-salaaman-eeb] rhitaa. Ootak [w-ani rhan-eeb] rhitaa. Ootak [ooktaab ahi-yeeb] timfaraada. Eenda [i-salaaman-eeb] rhitaa. Eenda [yi-hinin nidirir-eeb] rhitaa. Tutakat [tu-salaamnaan-eet] rhitaa. The man [whom I greeted] you (M) saw him. The man [whom I saw] you (M) saw him. The man [whom I gave the book] you (M) talked to (him). The men [whom I greeted] you saw them. The men [whom we served-dinner] you saw them. The woman [whom we greeted] you (M) saw her. [- - ] . [- - ] . [- ] . [- - ] . - ] [- . [- ] - .

O [O], Verb follows Noun 2

Oomhiin [w-iibi-yeeb] agam. Oon'utakook [u-rhitini-yeeb] daayiib abiki! Y'awi [usikkaayi geediya-n-eeb] ihariw. Ugariimi [baruuk harriiw-eeb] kiiki, w'Allaayi hook eeshwiyeebu. Ani tujaziira [B. idiin-eet] daayiiwwa libaabi haash hiisan. Kastooh tutluustu [tu-aktiin-eet] rhisan. I did not recognize the place [I had gone to]. Hold on to your husband [whom you see]. He looked for the stones [which he had thrown on the way]. The enemy [whom you would select (LIT whom you want)] is not the one God gives you. I had thought the island [which was called B.] was a peaceful and happy one. I showed all the funny tricks [I could think of]. [- - ] . - ] [- ! ] -- . [ [- ] , . . ] - [ . - ] [ - .

O [O], Verb follows Temporal Noun

titamna-fadhig tiina [tihasamiyaan-t] ootrig [w-hasamiyaa-b] whawil [w-hasamiyaa-b] the 14 days [which have passed] (i.e. last week) the month (OBJ) [which has passed] (i.e. last month) the year (OBJ) [which has passed] (i.e. last year) (AR) - - [- - ] [- - ]

tumassi [tu-hasamtaa-t] maloot asarama titamna-fadhig tiina ti-y'een-t ootrig [w-ayiinii-b] whawil [w-ayiinii-b] tumassi [tu-eetini-t]

the year (OBJ) [which has passed] (i.e. last year) the week (OBJ) [which comes] (i.e. next week) the month (OBJ) [which comes] (i.e. next month) the year (OBJ) [which comes] (i.e. next year) (AR) the year (OBJ) [which comes] (i.e. next year)

[- ] - - -- [- - ] [- - ] [- - ]

S [O], Verb precedes Noun

[Salaaman-eeb] uutak winu. [Iru baraah salaamiyaan-eeb / duuriyaan-eeb] uutak sanooyu. [Iru salaaman-eeb] uutak winu. [Iru duuran-eeb] ootak, oosmooh aab eeyadna? [Whom (M) I greeted] the man is tall. [Whom (M) they visited yesterday] the man is my brother. [Whom (M) I visited yesterday] the man is tall. [Whom (M) I visited yesterday] the man, what do they call his name? (More elegant phrasing than above) . [ - ] - ] / [ - / . [- ] / . [- / ] ? ,

Relative Verb Refers to S[S] S [S], The noun is implied: Paradigm Weak Verb

(Concerning this paradigm, see the explanatory note under Relative Verb refers to 'thing', above)
[U-geediya-] aneeb kiiki. [U-geediya-] barook kiiki. [U-geediya-] barooh kiiki. [I-geediyaan-] hinin kiikeen. [I-geediyaan-] bareekna kiikeen. [I-geediyaan-] bareeh kiikeen. It is not I (M) [who threw (REP)]. It is not you (M) [who threw (REP)]. It is not he [who threw (REP)]. It is not us [who threw (REP)]. It is not you (PL) [who threw (REP)]. It is not them (M) [who threw (REP)]. [ - -] . [ - -] . [ - -] . [- -] . -] / [ - . [ - -] .

S [S], The noun is implied: Paradigm Strong Verb

[W-igid-] aneeb kiiki. [W-igid-] barook kiiki. [W-igid-] barooh kiiki. [Yi-igid-] hinin kiikeen. It is not I [who threw (sth.)]. It is not you (M) [who threw (sth.)]. It is not he [who threw (sth.)]. It is not us [who threw (sth.)]. -] [ - . -] [ - . -] [ - . -] [- . -] [ - .

[Yi-igid-] bareekna kiikeen. It is not you (PL) [who threw (sth.)].

[Yi-igid-] bareeh kiikeen.

It is not them (M) [who threw (sth.)].

-] [ - .

S [S], Verb follows Indefinite Noun

Mhay da [kitaab agriiyiin] iifiin. Balad gaal naayi saalhi tak [Allaayooh iriikw] iifi. Jaa'ir malik [Allaayooh baarakwi] iifi. There were three men [who were reading a book]. In one country there was a man, a devout man, [who feared God]. There was a bad king [who does not fear his God]. ] [ . ] .[ [ ] .

S [S], Verb follows Definite Noun

Uu-tak [w-eeya, eeyiya] winu. Uu-tak [w-hadha idir] aneebu. Uu-tak [hadhaab idir] aneebu. Tu-takat [tu-eetaa-t] wintu. Tu-takat [w-hadha tidir-t] aneebtu. Tu-takat [hadhaab tidir-t] aneebtu. Tu-takat [bariiyooh oo-meek tigwhar-t] afraytu. Aa-nda [yi-eeyaan] wawina. Aa-nda [yi-hinin nidir-i] ashooyeena. The man [who (M) came] is tall. The man [who (M) killed the lion] is me. The man [who (M) killed a lion] is me. The woman [who (F) came] is tall. The woman [who (F) killed the lion] is me. The woman [who (F) killed a lion] is me. The woman [who (F) stole his donkey] is a bad one. The men [who (PL) came] are tall. The men [whom (PL) we killed] are our enemies. . [ / - ] - . - ] - [ . ] - [ - . ] [ -- - [- - ] . - [- ] . - - ] . [ - .[ - ]- - ]- [- .

S [S], Verb precedes Indefinite Noun

[Bahadiiday-] tak eefi. [Bahadiiday-t] takat teefi. [Bahadiiday-] da eefeen. [Naat baadii-(yay)] tak eefi. [Naat baadii-(yay)t] takat teefi. [Naat baadiin-(ay)] da eefeen. There is a man [who doesn't talk]. There is a woman [who doesn't talk]. There are people [who don't talk]. There is a man [who doesn't say anything]. There is a woman [who doesn't say anything]. There are people [who don't say anything]. .[ - ] [ - . ] .[ - ] ] .) ([ - ] ) ( [ - . ] .)([ -

S [S], Verb precedes Indefinite Noun

[W'ayiisooh baa-tam-ay] tak, kagabiya. Tu'ootu [bak t'iiti] tak kahadiidsamta. A man [who doesn't eat with his own hand] is not satisfied. My daughter doesn't talk with [such a man]. ,[ --] . ] [ .

[Oottu'ootu bhaliisamiini] tak kihay. [Ayiini] hadhaayiika, [sanni-t] b'ashu hanyiis.

There is nobody [who makes my daughter talk]. Better than a lion [which comes is a fox which waits].

[ ] . [- [] ] , .

O [S], Verb precedes Indefinite Noun

[Naat baa-sakay] b'adhadha yakisiya. Uun'uuleema [oon'ubharii tikwi] tak-ka kwidhi id'i! [Mar mhiin eefi] malik beena! [Oon'urabeeyooh dehaay isgw'ad] mhay da imiru. [Uun'whadhaayiida yak-i] tak-ka whadha aameeh id'i. [Naat ikteen] tak hiisiini-hook. [Iist'a] tak rhiya. [Tunariitu giigistini] na oond'aab amiru. He took the swords [which could do nothing]. This crocodile would let disappear any man [who moved at the sea]! Go to a king [who is in such and such a place]! [For watching these goods], he found three men. Each man [who approached this lion], the lion would eat it. He assumes you are a man [who knows something] . He saw a man [sitting there],. Now I found something [which makes my tiredness go away]. [ -] . [ ] - ! , ! [ ] [ ] . -[ - ] . ] [ - . ][ . [ ] .

Complications: S[O], Verb follows Definite Noun


Note that examples such as those given below are considered not elegant, if not awkward. The reason is that the verb follows - rather than precedes - the noun which it modifies.

S [O], Verb follows Noun

Uutak [u-salaaman-i] winu. Uutak [ani w-adir-i] ashooyooyu. Uutak [w-iru ani salaaman-i] winu. Uutak [u-salaamiyaan-i] sanooyu. Uutak [iru duuran-i], oosmooh aab eeyadna? Aanda [i-salaaman-i] wawina. Tutakat [tu-ani adir-eet] ashootootu. Tutakat [tu-salaamnaan-eet] wintu. Tu'oor [tu-rhinaan-eet] daawriitu. The man [whom (M) I greeted] is tall. The man [whom (M) I killed] is my enemy. The man [whom (M) I greeted yesterday] is tall. The man [whom (M) they greeted] is my brother. The man [whom I visited yesterday] what do they call him (his name)? The men [whom I greeted] are tall. The woman [whom (F) I killed] is my enemy. The woman [whom (F) we greeted] is tall. The girl [which (F) we saw] is pretty. . [- - ] - ] [- . [- - ] . [- - ] . ,[- ] ? .[ - - ] - [- ] . [- ] - . - [- ]

. Tutakat [baraakna salaamtaaneet] naamhiinaanii eeta?29 Taam'a [ti-baraakna tidirn-eet] shingiraat m'ata. Uun'uukaam [baruuk 'missaabu' tindi-yi] dhhaniibu. Ootak [iru lingwuumna-ni] ba'iid'ur. Uunbatuuh [tu-tiibiri-yi] kastehootu. The woman [whom (F) you (PL) greeted] from where did she come? The women (F) [whom you (PL) killed] are bad women. The camel [which you say is dead] is alive. The man [whom we sent yesterday] should marry her. [What you had] this is all. - ] [ ? - ] - [ . ' ' ] . [ - [- ] . [- - ] .

Complications: O[S], Verb follows Definite Noun O [S], Verb follows Noun
Ootak [umsajaliib hadiidiyaa-b] rhan. Ootak [w-eeyaa-b ] rhita? Uusuug [u-duurna-yi ] sagiibuhan, sagiib kiiki? Naanhooy ootak [hineeda weeyiinee-b] geedteena? Naanhooy ootak [hineeda ayiinii-b / eeyiinii-b] geedteena? Tutakat [ti-eetaa-t] rhita. Tutakat [ti-eetaa-t] timfaraada. Eenda [yi-eeyaan-] rhita. Ooslif [u-sannii-yook] rama! Ootak [Allaayooh iriikwi] usaalhi ibeen. Teem'a [tum'ari tikwiyaa-t] araatiyaan. Toottunaasiibi [dehoon timmaraayt] kak weertiit yakisnay? Batuuh win hadhi [yhadhiyeeyoon maloob iiktiin] gaal door uyafiiyooh tid'i. I saw the man [who talked on the tape]. You (M) saw the man [who came]? Is the market [which we visited] far or not? Why did you (PL) beat, throw (REP) the man [who came for us]? Why did you (PL) beat, throw (REP) the man [who came for us]? You (M) saw the woman [who came]. You (M) talked to the woman [who came]. You (M) saw the men [who came]. The custom [which awaits you], follow it! They went to the devout man [who feared his God]. They asked the women [who prepared the food]. This relationship [which we found], what can we do to get rid of it (LIT lift it from us)? She would put a piece of bread [which is as big as two of our loaves] in her mouth at once. - ] . [ [ - - ] ? [- - ] ? , ] - ?[ - ] - ?[ - / [ -- ] . [-- ] . [ -- ] . ! [- - ] ] [ . ] [- . - ] [ ? ] [ .

Conversation 22: 'Who Do You Think I Am?' (Examples of Relative Clauses)


B: husband, A: wife
#1 B: Batuuk aneeb taajir hiistiniiheebhan? batuuk aneeb taajir hiis-tinii-heeb-han

B: Do you think I am a merchant? SG2F OBJSG1 merchant think-IMPFSG2F-OBJSG1-also #2 B: Ani miskiin taku. B: I am a poor man. #3 B: Ushanhiiyu [tu-amarri-yi], batiiyook gwad tamani. B: What I get (find) from my work, I eat together with you (F). #4 A: Whaalook akteen, laakiin uudehay: A: I know your way of life, but the people, #5 "Ukwoojaayiit takat, utaajiriit takat halak kitbaru (eeyadna), (that they say) "The teacher's wife doesn't have a dress. #6 yhalakaayaah shatatamaaba" [eeyadneet] toona hanyiis?' Her clothes are torn" - is that better? #7 B: Yaa takatay! B: Oh you woman! #8 [Uudehay eeyadneet] toona biimaasiiwi! Don't listen to the people saying that! uu-dehay ZERO-eeyad-n-eet too-na bii-maasiiw-i ARTSGMSUBJ-people IMPFPL3PF-say-IMPFPL3-WH ARTSGFOBJ-thing NEGIMPVFPF-hear-NEGIMPVF yaa takat-ay helloSG2F woman-VOCAT yi-halakaa-yaah shatatam-aab-a ZERO-eeyad-n-eet too-na ZERO-hanyiis ARTPLM-clothes-POSSSG3 be.torn-PTCPPAST-IDPL13M IMPFPL3PF-say-IMPFPL3-WH ARTSGFOBJ-thing IMPFSG3FPF-be.better u-kwoojaa-yiit takat u-taajir-iit takat halak kit-baru ARTSGM-teacher-CASGEN woman ARTSGM-merchantCASGEN woman clothes NEGIMPFSG3FPF-have w-haal-ook a-kteen laakiin uu-dehay ARTSGM-condition-POSSSG2 IMPFSG1PF-know but ARTSGMSUBJ-people u-shanh-ii-yu tu a-marri yi batiiyook gwad tam-ani ARTSGM-work-CASGEN-POSSSG1 ARTSGFREL IMPFSG1PF-find ARTPLMREL PossSG2F with eatIMPFSG1 ani miskiin tak-u SG1 poor man-IDSG13M

#9 [Aakna naan ibariin] tikteeni? They themselves, what do they have? Do you (F) know? #10 [Tu-tameen-i] tikteeni? Do you know what they eat? #11 [Tu-gw'een-i] tikteeni? Do you know what they drink? #12 [Tu-eetkwiin-i] tikteeni? Do you know what they wear? #13 Naat kiibaruun! They have nothing! #14 Baraah hineeka amagkaaba.' They (M) are worse (off) than we. baraah hin-ee-ka amag-kaab-a PL3M we-CASGEN-than bad-than-IDPL13M naat kii-baruu-n thing NEGIMPFPL3PF-have-NEGIMPFPL3 tu ZERO-eetkwi-in ti-kteen-i ARTSGFREL IMPFPL3PF-wear-IMPFPL3 IMPFSG2FPFknow-IMPFSG2F tu gw'-een ti-kteen-i ARTSGFREL drink-IMPFPL3 IMPFSG2FPF-know-IMPFSG2F tu tam-een ti-kteen-i ARTSGFREL eat-IMPFPL3 IMPFSG2FPF-know-IMPFSG2F aa-kna naan i-bari-in ti-kteen-i ARTPLMSUBJ-owner what PERFPL3PF-have-PERFPL3 IMPFSG2FPF-know-IMPFSG2F

<485> ? , ' ' . , ' : . , [ ? ] [ ?] [ ! ] ! ' ' ? [ ] ' , ' . ! ? [ ] ? [ ]

Other Subordinate Clauses


There are other subordinate clauses such as conditional or temporal clauses. Normally these clauses come before the main clause. Different types of subordinate clauses will be presented in the examples below, including conditional, purpose, and temporal clauses.

Conditional Clauses

The suffix which indicates conditions is -eek / -yeek 'if'. As usual, the form -eek is found after consonants, and the form -yeek after vowels.

This suffix can be attached to different tenses without further complications. But if the person suffix ends in -a, the -a will be replaced by the -eek. This is indicated by asterisks (*) in the paradigm here below.

Table 42: Condition Paradigm

Indicative: Condition:

abari tibariya ibari nibari tibariina ibariin

I have you (M) have

iibri-yeek tiibri*-yeek tiibrii-yeek iibri-yeek niibri-yeek iibriin-eek

if I had if you (M) had if you (F) had if he had if we had

- -* - - - -* -

tibarii, tibariyi you (F) have he has we have you (PL) have they have

tiibriin*-eek if you (PL) had if they had

Three Common Forms of Conditionals


There are different ways in which conditional clauses connect with main clauses. The three most common ones are listed here below. In English, these three types can be exemplified as follows: (First) 'If I do, you do', (Second) 'If I did, you would', and (third) 'If I would have, you would have'.

In the following examples, the conditional subordinate clause always precedes the main clause, and this is indicated by '>>'.

First Type: 'If I do, you do'

Weak verbs: Tamaniyeek, >> baruuk tami tindiya. Tamtiniyeek, >> gabi tindiya. Shagaamtiniyeek, >> anjhi tindiya. Strong verbs: Ani tukwoosha anliiweek, >> baruukehan iiliw tindiya. Urabi danbiileek, >> idaag tindiya. Urabi adanbiileek, >> iidbil tindiya. Adangiyeek, >> idaag tindiya. Tukwoosha anliiweek, >> w'eega gwuudi indi. Negative weak and strong verbs: Tukwoosha baaliiweek, >> w'eega gwuudi kiidi. Baatamayeek, >> gabi kaadi. If I don't burn (sth.), >> the smoke won't increase. If I don't eat >> I won't be full. << , . . << , If I burn the garbage, >> you (M) will burn (sth.). If you pile up the luggage, >> you will bring it back. If I gather the luggage, >> you (M) will gather (sth.). If I return (sth.), >> you (M) will return (sth.). If I burn the garbage, >> the smoke will increase. << , . << , . << , . << , . << , . If I eat, >> you (M) will eat. If you eat, >> you (M) will be full. If you work, >> you will succeed. << , . << , . << , .

Second Type: 'If I did, you would'

Weak verbs: Tamiyeek, >> baruuk tamtiya. Tamiyeek, >> gabi. Shagaamtiyeek, >> anjhatiya. Strong verbs: Ani tukwoosha iiliweek, >> baruukehan tiiliwa. Urabi tiidbileek, >> tidiiga. Urabi iidbileek, >> tiidbila. Idiigeek, >> tidiiga. Tukwoosha iiliweek, >> w'eega gwuudi. Tukwoosha baaliiweek, >> w'eega kagwuudiya. Baatamayeek, >> kagaban. If I would burn the garbage, >> you (M) would burn (sth.). If you would gather the luggage, >> you would bring it back. If I would gather the luggage >> you (M) would gather (sth.). If I would return (sth.), >> you (M) will return (sth.). If I would burn the garbage, >> The smoke would increase. Negative weak and strong verbs: If I would not burn (sth.), >> the smoke would not increase. If I would not eat, >> I would not be full. << , . << , . << , . << , . << , . << , . << , . If I would eat, >> you (M) would eat. If I would eat, >> I would be full. If you would work, >> you would succeed. . << , . << , . << ,

Third Type: 'If A would (not) have, B would (not) have'

Weak verbs: Tamaab iiktiyeek, >> baruuk tami tiiyida. Tamaab iiktiyeek, >> gabi iiyid. Tamaab tiiktiyeek, >> gabi tiiyida. Shagaamaab tiiktiyeek, >> anjhi tiiyida. Strong verbs: Tukwoosha liwaab iiktiyeek, >> baruukehan iiliw tiiyida. Urabi diblaab tiiktiyeek, >> idaag tiiyida. Urabi diblaab iiktiyeek, >> iidbil tiiyida. Digiyaab iiktiyeek, >> idaag tiiyida. If I would have burned the garbage, >> you (M) also would have burned (sth.). If you had gathered the luggage, >> you would have brought it back. If I would have gathered the luggage, >> you (M) would have gathered (sth.). If I would have returned (sth.), >> you (M) would have returned (sth.). , . << , .<< , .<< << , . If I would have eaten, >> you (M) would have eaten. If he would have eaten, >> he would have been full. If you (M) would have eaten, >> you (M) would have been full. If you would have worked, >> you would have succeeded. << , . << , . << , . << , .

Tukwoosha liwaab iiktiyeek, >> w'eega gwuudi iiyid. Negative weak and strong verbs: Tukwoosha liwaab baakaayeek, >> w'eega gwuudi kiidi. Tamaab baakaayeek, >> gabi kaadi.

If I would have burned the garbage, >> the smoke would have increased.

, . << , << . << , .

If I would not have burned (sth.), >> the smoke would not have increased. If I would not have eaten, >> I would not have been full.

More Examples: Conditions Real and Irrealis


Some conditions are real, others just imagined and known not to be real, i.e. irrealis.
Imhallagaayeek tiniiwu, dehook adaag andi, idaag andi. Imhallagaayeek tiiyiyu, dehook idiig, adaag iiyid. Imhallagaayeek hiyaayu tiiktiyeek, dehook idaag iiyid. If you (M) give me your money(s), I will return it to, for you. If you (M) would give me your money, I would return it to, for you (M) If you (M) would have given me your money, I would have returned it to, for you (M). , . , , . , , .

Rhitiniyu (NOT-yeek), sooyiheeb tindiya. Rhitiiyu (NOT-yeek), sootiyaheeb. Rhaayu tiiktiyeek, sooyiheeb tiiyida. Ushanhook faayistiniyeek, y'ihook andi. Ushanhook faayistiyeek, y'ihook. Ani barook iiktiyeek, indhiwaayi iibi. Baruuh aneeb rhaaheeb indiyeek, y'i andi. Tamna malooyeeh ayt tiniineek, naaka ingadiin?

If you (M) see me, you will tell, inform (me). If you (M) would have seen (saw) me, you would have told me. If you (M) had seen me, you had told me.

, , , . , . , . , , , ?

If you (M) finish your work, I will come to, for you. If you (M) had finished your work, I would come to you.

If I were you (M), I would go home (i.e. to my family). If he wants to see me, (and not someone else), I will come. If from 12 you take 5, how many remain (PL)?

Sakanaab tibariyeek, sooyaahoon! Baruuk naat tibariyeek, hadiidaa! If you (M) have news, tell, inform (M) us! If you (M) have something, speak ! , ! ,

(M)! Batuuk naat tibariiyeek, hadiidii! Baraakna naat tibariineek, hadiidaana. If you (F) have something, speak (F)! If you (PL) have something, speak (PL)! , ! , .

Condition Irrealis 1

There are conditions which don't apply - they are called irrealis, since they are only thought but not real. For these, the Past Continuous (also called Pluperfect) is used, to express that the events are not real. This is similar to the use of past in English 'if I had'.
Baruuh hamashaay ikatiyeet toona ... iiktiineek, baamooth'iyu. tiiktiineek, baamooth'iyuwa. tiiktiineek, baamooth'ituwi. iiktiineek, baamooth'iyu. tiiktiineek, baamooth'itu. niiktiinneek, baamooth'iya. tiiktiinneek, baamooth'iyaana. tiiktiinneek, baamooth'itaana. iiktiinneek, baamooth'iya. iiktiinneek, baamooth'iya. <493> The fact that he is blind ... , if I had known (sth.), I wouldn't have fought. if you (M) had known (sth.), I wouldn't have fought. if you (F) had known (sth.), I wouldn't have fought. if he had known (sth.), I wouldn't have fought. if she had known (sth.), I wouldn't have fought. if we had known (sth.), I wouldn't have fought. if you (M PL) had known (sth.), I wouldn't have fought. if you (F PL) had known (sth.), I wouldn't have fought. if they (M) had known (sth.), I wouldn't have fought. if they (F) had known (sth.), I wouldn't have fought. ... . , . , . , . , . , . , . , . , . , . ,

In the following examples, more non-real (irrealis) and real conditions are presented.

Condition Irrealis 2
Bak iiwra tiiyidineet toona iiktiineek, baabookna sooyi. Bak iiwra iiyideet toona tiiktiineek, baabu sootiya. Shaawi shijaaraat gw'atiniyeek, baabook sooni If I had known the fact that you (M) wanted to do like that, I would have told your father. If you (M) had known the fact that he wanted to do like that, you (M) would have told my father. If you (M) smoke a cigarette again, we will tell, inform your father. . , . , ,


Condition Negative: Weak Verbs

Ushanhu baadaayayeek, mhallagaab iyaawheeb kiidi. Ushanhook biddaayayeek, mhallagaab iyaawhook kiidi. Ushanhook biddaayayeek, mhallagaab iyaawhook kiidi. Ushanhooh biidaayayeek, mhallagaab iyaaw kiidi. Ushanhooh biddaayayeek, mhallagaab iyaaw kiidi. Ushanhoon bindaayayeek, mhallagaab iyaawhoon kiidi. Ushanhookna biddaayayneek, mhallagaab iyaawhookna kiidi. Ushanhooh biidaayayneek, mhallagaab iyaaw kiidi. If I do not do my work, he won't give me money. If you (M) do not do your (M) work, he won't give you (M) money. If you (F) do not do your (F) work, he won't give you (F) money. If he does not do his work, he won't give him money. If she does not do her work, he won't give her money. If we do not do our work, he won't give us money. If you (PL) do not do your (PL) work, he won't give you (PL) money. If they do not do their work, he won't give them money. , . , . , . , . , . , . , . , .

Condition Negative: Strong Verbs

Ushanhu baafaayisayeek, naat iyaawheeb kiidi. Ushanhook bitfaayisayeek, naat iyaawhook kiidi. Ushanhook bitfaayisayeek, naat iyaawhook kiidi. Ushanhooh biifaayisayeek, naat iyaaw kiidi. Ushanhooh bitfaayisayeek, naat iyaaw kiidi. Ushanhoon binfaayisayeek, naat iyaawhoon kiidi. Ushanhookna bitfaayisayneek, naat iyaawhookna kiidi. Ushanhooh biifaayisayneek, naat iyaaw kiidi. If I do not finish my work, he won't give me anything. If you (M) do not finish your (M) work, he won't give you (M) anything. If you (F) do not finish your (F) work, he won't give you (F) anything. If he does not finish his work, he won't give him anything. If she does not finish her work, he won't give her anything. If we do not finish our work, he won't give us anything. If you (PL) do not finish your (PL) work, he won't give you (PL) anything. If they do not finish their work, he won't give them anything. , . , . , . , . , . , . , . , .

Condition: More Examples

W'ayuuh dawilu, hangiiteek. Agriitniyeek, anjhi tindiya. Anjhatniyeek, mhallagaab iyaawhook His arrival is close, if you wait. If you study, you will have success. If you have success, I'll give . , , . ,

andi. Giiganiyeek, shaawi y'i kaadi. Maasiwaab iiktiyeek, y'ihookna iiyid. Rhaayookna iiktiyeek, dabaaysalaamihookna iiyid. Barook iiktiyeek, indhiwaayi iibi. Agwoordaat sagiit tikatiyeekehan, whireeriida fagaramaa! Jarrabtiniyeek, dehook madaatu / teemadi. Jarrabteeneek, dehookna madaatu / teemadi.

you money. If I go, I won't come again. If I had heard (PTCP), I would have come to you. If I had seen you (PL), I would have greeted you (PL). If I were you (M), I would go home (to my family). Even if Aqordat (F) is far, be (M) strong for the journey. If you (M) try, it (F) is easy for you (M). If you (PL) try, it (F) is easy for you (PL).

. . , , . , . , . , ! / , . / , .

Condition: Paradigm 'see if'

Baadaayayeek shibibaheeb! Biddaayayeek niishbib(hook)! Biddaayayeek niishbib(hook) / shibibtook eenay! Biidaayayeek shibiba! Biddaayayeek shibiba! Bindaayayeek shibiba(hoon)! Biddaayayneek niishbib(hookna)! Biidaayayneek shibiba! See (M) if I don't do it! Let's see if you (M) don't do it! Let's see if you (F) don't do it! See (M) if he doesn't do it! See (M) if she doesn't do it! See (M) if we don't do it! Let's see if you (PL) don't do it! See (M) if they don't do it! ! !( ) / ( ) ! ! ! !( ) !( ) !

Condition: Paradigm 'see if not'

Baatamayeek shibiba(heeb)! Bittamayeek niishbib(hook)! Bittamayeek niishbib(hook)! Biitamayeek shibiba! Bittamayeek shibiba! Bintamayeek shibiba(hoon)! Bittamayneek niishbib(hookna) / See (M) if I don't eat! Let's see if you (M) don't eat! Let's see if you (F) don't eat! See (M) if he doesn't eat! See (M) if she doesn't eat! See (M) if we don't eat! Let's see if you (PL) !( ) !( ) !( ) ! ! !( ) / ( )

shibibtookna eenay! Biitamayneek shibiba!

don't eat! See (M) if they don't eat!

! !

Purpose Clauses Interrogative Adverbs: Purpose

Naanhooy? Why? Naanaatii? Why, what from? ? ?

Paradigm: 'In order that'

Rayhamani-kaabu. Rayhamtini-kaawa. Rayhamtini-kaatuwi. Rayhamiini-kaabu. Rayhamtini-kaatu. Rayhamnay-kaaba. Rayhamteena-kaabaana. Rayhamteena-kaataana / rayhamteenkaataana. Rayhameen-kaaba. Rayhameen-kaata. In order that I may be satisfied. In order that you (M) may be satisfied. In order that you (F) may be satisfied. In order that he may be satisfied. In order that she may be satisfied. In order that we may be satisfied. In order that you (M PL) may be satisfied. In order that you (F PL) may be satisfied. In order that they (M) may be satisfied. In order that they (F) may be satisfied. . - .- .- . - . - .- .- - / - . .- .-

Temporal and Other Clauses Interrogative Adverbs: Temporal

Naahoob? When, what moment? ? Naadoor? Naamha? <494> When, what time? When, what day? ? ?

Before the suffix -hoob / -nhoob 'when', vowels may be deleted just as they would be deleted before -eek / -yeek 'if'. Note that this suffix has two alternative forms: After strong verbs it is -hoob, and after weak verbs it is -nhoob.

Temporal Suffix: 'when'

Halak dilbi tiniinhoob, tirig gaal haay kitihagiti? Nimmarari door haddiit When you buy a dress, doesn't it last (even) one month? I wait until the time we meet again. , ? .

ahangiit. Ushanhook faayistiniyeeb haddiit isaanhook andi. Aharagwhoob, ab'ar. Ayiwayhoob, ab'ar. Karan nidwilhoob, utambiiluun ikt'a. Baruuk waliiktanhoob, ani tami. Ugawooh shuumanhoob, Haamid tu'argin ihirid. Until you (M) finish your work, I will wait for you (M). When I was hungry, I woke up. When I was thirsty, I woke up. When we came close to Keren, our car broke down When you (M) called, I was eating. When I came to his house, Hamid was slaughtering the sheep. . . , . , , . / . , , .

'When, if': More Examples

Baabu rhanihoob, asi angadi. Ustaaz eeyiinihoob, asi ningadi. Bitsh'asayu, iibdhan andi. Sh'astiniyu, iibdhan kaadi. Baraah faayisiyaaneek, araata andi. Ibhaliiyeek faayistaayeek, gaana araatihook andi. When I see my father, I stand up. When a teacher comes, we stand up. If you (M) don't remind me, I will forget. If you (F) remind me, I will not forget. If (when) they have finished, I want to ask (them). If (when) you (M) have finished your speech (LIT words), I will ask you something. , . , . , . , . , . , .

Conversation 23: 'Selling Things' (Examples of Conditional Clauses)


S: seller, B: buyer
#1 S: Oon'umsajal dilbi tiniina? S: Will you buy this recorder? #2 B: Awooh, dilbi aniin. B: Yes, I will buy it. #3 B: Naakaaba? B: How much is it (i.e. the price) (LIT are they)? #4 naakaab-a how.many-IDPL13M awooh dilbi a-niin yes buying IMPFSG1PF-take oon-'u-msajal dilbi ti-niin-a NEARSGMOBJPF-ARTSGM-recorder buying IMPFSG2MPFtake-IMPFSG2M

S: Malu sheeya. S: Two hundred it is (LIT they are). #5 B: Rhasaabu. B: That is cheap. #6 Laakiin ani d'a gwadu mhallagaab kaabaru. But now I don't have the money with me. #7 Lhayt baakaayt hangiiteek, hook dilbi ayaay andi. If you wait till after tomorrow, I will trade it. #8 S: Aaw iddamiinhook? S: Who will guarantee for you? #9 B: Yaa takay! B: Oh you man! #10 Baruuk biddamiinu, aaw iddamiinheeb? If you don't guarantee for me, who will guarantee for me? #11 Masi anii gwisir (haraab) rhaawa? Have you ever heard (LIT seen) a lie from me? #12 S: Bariisook gwisir eeneenaaka rhaab kaaki. S: I haven't seen any lie from you. #13 Laakiin ani mhallagaayeeda shanahu!

malu shee-ya two hundred-IDPL13M


laakiin ani d'a gwad-u mhallagaab kaa-baru but 1SG now with-POSSSG1 money NEGIMPFSG1PF-have

lhayt baa-ka-ayt ZERO-hangii-t-eek hook dilbi ayaay andi tomorrow NEGPTCPPF-be-NEGPTCPF IMPFSG2MPF-waitIMPFSG2M-ADV+if SG2 trade take.FUTSG IMPFSG1PF-say aaw i-ddamiin-hook who IMPFSG3MPF-guarantee-OBJSG2 yaa tak-ay helloSG2M man-VOCAT baruuk biddamiinu aaw i-ddamiin-heeb SG2M NEG-guarantee-OBJSG1 who IMPFSG3MPFguarantee-OBJSG1 masi an-ii gwisir haraab rh-aa-wa yet 1SG-ADV+off lie wrong see-PTCPPAST-IDSG2M

bariisook gwisir eeneenaaka rh-aab kaa-ki off.SG2M lie any see-PTCPPAST NEGIMPFSG1PF-be

laakiin ani mhallag-aa-yee-da shanah-u

But I need the money! #14 Lhayt ooriitu simaaya abari. Tomorrow I have a naming ceremony for my boy (child). #15 B: Bak ikatiyeek, weer dehay shibiba! B: If that is so, look for other people! #16 S: Daayiib tidiya. S: Well spoken.

but 1SG money-CASGEN-PL-ADVGEN+for needyIDSG13M lhayt oor-iit-u simaaya a-bari tomorrow boy-CASGEN-POSSSG1 naming.ceremony PERFSG1PF-have bak i-kati-yeek weer dehay shibib-a so IMPFSG3MPF-be-ADV+if other people look-IMPVM

daayiib ti-di-ya good PERFSG2MPF-say-PERFSG2M

<496> , . , ? . . ? . . ?( ? , ! ? . ) ! . , . .

Annex Strong Verbs and Their Stems


This section lists the 7 basic stems of strong verbs. All frequent verbs have been included, and they are given in the alphabetical order of the main stem. A key to the English glosses follows below.

In Afro-Asiatic languages, verbs tend to have a consonantal skeleton of two, three or four radicals - usually three. The flesh, so to speak, is supplied by the vowels between them. The vowels may change, but the radicals don't.

The tri-radical pattern of CiCiC- Beja verbs is the most frequent, normal pattern - as in other Afro-Asiatic languages. For verbs of this pattern, all forms can be predicted. But there are many variations of this pattern. Some verbs don't have the first radical (e.g. CiC- like riba 'to refuse'), others start with a 'glottal sound' (e.g. HaCiC- like hariwa 'to look for'), others again end in 'y' (e.g. bariya 'to have').

All of these deviations from the 'normal' CiCiC- pattern lead to regular changes, but the interplay of these changes is difficult to predict. For this reason, all stems have been included. They are numbered from 1 to 7. The numbers refer to the seven different stems as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. Imperative, Past / Perfect, Participle, Negative Present Negative Imperative, Negative Participle Present / Imperfect Singular Present / Imperfect Plural

5. 6. 7.

Future Past Continuous / Pluperfect Action Noun


Where any of these stems have not been listed, the form either does not exist, or it has not been found as part of the active data base. An English key to this verb list is provided at the end of this list. The abbreviations 'e.o.' and 'w.e.o.' stand for 'each other' and 'with each other'. The abbreviation REP stands for repetitive actions and actions which involve more than one object (This includes activities such as laughing, which is considered repetitive).
have (very frequent) be (very frequent) be (very frequent) consult w.e.o. (frequent) meet w.e.o. (frequent) spend the day (REP) (frequent) seize (frequent) hobble, divide (frequent) return (sth.) (frequent) take (very frequent) ride (infrequent) quarrel once (frequent) respect, tolerate (frequent) be organized, in order (frequent) help (frequent) forget (frequent) go to (very frequent) fear (frequent) wake up, get up oneself (frequent) decide (frequent) separate, be between (frequent) kill (REP) (frequent) count once (frequent) -(bariy-), 2 bariiy, 3 bari, 4 ibari, 5 iibra, 6 iibiri, 7 tu-baraay -(fay-), 2 -, 3 eefi, 4 eefi, 5 -, 6 iifi, 7 tu-fayaay -(hay-), 2 hay, 3 -, 4 -, 5 -, 6 iheeyi haay, 7 -(makakir-), 2 makakiir, 3 -, 4 immakakiir, 5 -, 6 -, 7 -(mararay-), 2 maraarayin, 3 -, 4 immarari, 5 -, 6 -, 7 aayim, 2 ayim, 3 ee'eeyim, 4 ee'eeyim tee'eeyimna, 5 iiyam, 6 iiyiim, 7 abik, 2 abiik, 3 'anbiik, 4 'abik / n'abiik, 5 y'ibik, 6 y'ibik, 7 adhidh, 2 adhiidh, 3 'andhiidh, 4 'adhidh, 5 y'idhidh, 6 -, 7 w'adhuudh agir, 2 agiir, 3 'angiir, 4 'agir, 5 y'igir, 6 -, 7 t-'aguur / w'aguur ah, 2 haay, 3 niin, 4 eeyay, 5 ayaay / iyaay, 6 ihi / iheeyi, 7 umyaay am, 2 aam, 3 eed'iim, 4 eed'iim, 5 iid'am, 6 -, 7 amooth', 2 mooth'iy, 3 mooth'i, 4 imooth'i, 5 imuuth'a, 6 imuuth'i, 7 t-'amooth'ooy amtaraam, 2 mtariim, 3 mtarriim, 4 imtarriim, 5 imtirim, 6 imtirriim, 7 t-'amtarmuum arariw, 2, 3 'aarariiw, 4 'aarariiw, 5 i'irririw, 6 -, 7 away, 2 awaay, 3 t'awi, 4 it'awi, 5 iit'iw, 6 -, 7 t-'awyaay baadhin, 2 dhiin, 3 eebdhiin, 4 eebdhiin, 5 iibdhan, 6 -, 7 baay, 2 baay, 3 eebi, 4 eebi, 5 iiba, 6 iibi, 7 i-miibi b'an, 2 b'iin, 3 ban'i / b'ani, 4 iban'a / nib'an, 5 -, 6 iib'in, 7 b'ar, 2 b'iir, 3 tb'iir, 4 eetb'ir, 5 iitb'ar, 6 -, 7 oo-mb'ar bisir, 2 - , 3 bansiir, 4 ibasir, 5 iibsir, 6 iibsir, 7 bitik, 2 batiik, 3 bantiik, 4 ibatik, 5 iibtik, 6 iibtik, 7 oo-btuuk daar, 2 daar, 3 eedri, 4 eedri, 5 iidra, 6 -, 7 uu-madar dhigwiy, 2 dhagwiiy, 3 dhangwi, 4 idheegw, 5 idhaagw, 6 -, 7

oo-dhgwuuy go away (frequent) return (INTR) (less frequent) return (sth.) (frequent) crouch (less frequent) trade (frequent) kill (frequent) do, put (very frequent) say, mean (very frequent) get married (frequent) laugh (frequent) open, untie (frequent) get out (sth.) (frequent) get out (INTR) (infrequent) dig (less frequent) give birth (frequent) lift (less frequent) eat breakfast (less frequent) comb (less frequent) carry, take care of (frequent) stand (frequent) ignore, be ignorant (frequent) throw (frequent) move (sth.) (less frequent) forbid (frequent) wait (frequent) close, tie (frequent) thank, praise (frequent) be bitter, be serious dif, 2 diif, 3 ndiif, 4 eedif, 5 iidif, 6 iidif, 7 i-madaf digay, 2 dgaay, 3 ddagi, 4 iddagi, 5 iddig, 6 iiddigi, 7 toodgwooy / tu-midgwooy digiy, 2 dagiiy, 3 dangi, 4 ideeg, 5 idaag, 6 idiig, 7 oo-dgwuuy digwagw, 2 digwaagw, 3 ddagwiigw, 4 iddagwiigw, 5 iddigwigw, 6 -, 7 too-dgwuugw / tuu-midgwaygw dilib, 2 daliib, 3 dalliib, 4 idalib, 5 iidlib, 6 iidlib, 7 oo-dluub dir, 2 dariy, 3 ndiir / adarri, 4 eedir, 5 idaar, 6 -, 7 d'iy, 2 d'iiy, 3 dan'i, 4 id'i / eed'i, 5 iid'a / ad'a, 6 iid'i, 7 oo-d'uuy / i-miid'i diy, 2 diiy, 3 ndi, 4 eeyad, 5 iiyad, 6 iiyid, 7 u-miyaad d'ur, 2 d'iir, 3 nd'iir, 4 eed'ur, 5 iid'ur, 6 iid'ur, 7 i-m'ad'ar faayid, 2 faayiid, 3 eefyiid, 4 eefyiid, 5 iifyad, 6 -, 7 ee-fyad fidig, 2 fadiig, 3 fandiig, 4 ifadig, 5 iifdig, 6 iifdig, 7 oo-fduug fir', 2 far', 3 farr'i, 4 ifar'a, 5 iifir'a, 6 iifir'a, 7 too-fr'ooy / i-mifir'i fir', 2 tfar', 3 tfar'i, 4 itfar'i, 5 itfir'a, 6 itfir'a, 7 i-mifir'i / too-fr'ooy firik, 2 fariik, 3 farriik, 4 ifarik, 5 iifrik, 6 iifrik, 7 oo-fruuk firiy, 2 fariiy, 3 farri, 4 ifeer, 5 ifaar, 6 -, 7 u-fraay fitik, 2 fatiik, 3 fantiik, 4 ifatik, 5 iiftik, 6 iifrik, 7 oo-ftuuk fitir, 2 fatiir, 3 fantiir, 4 ifatir, 5 iiftir, 6 iiftir, 7 oo-ftuur fitit, 2 fatiit, 3 fantiit, 4 ifatit, 5 iiftit, 6 iiftit, 7 oo-ftuut fiyak, 2 fiyaak, 3 tfayiik, 4 itfayiik, 5 itfiyak, 6 itfiyik, 7 tumifyeek gad, 2 ngaad, 3 ngadi, 4 ingadi, 5 iingida, 6 iingidi, 7 i-mingid gam, 2 gaam, 3 eedgiim, 4 eegami, 5 iigam, 6 iigam, 7 tugamaam gid, 2 giid, 3 ngiid, 4 eegid, 5 iigid, 6 -, 7 oo-gaad gwishish, 2 gwashiish, 3 gwanshiish, 4 igwashish, 5 iigwshish, 6 iigwshish, 7 habiy, 2 habiiy, 3 hanbi, 4 heeb / nhabi, 5 ihaab, 6 ihiib, 7 whabuuy hagit, 2 hagiit, 3 hangiit, 4 hagit, 5 ihigit, 6 -, 7 te-haguut hakwir, 2 hakwiir, 3 hankwiir, 4 hakwir, 5 ihikwir, 6 -, 7 hamid, 2 hamiid, 3 hammiid, 4 hamid, 5 ihmid, 6 -, 7 w-hamuud hamiy, 2 hamaay, 3 tehami, 4 itehami, 5 ihaam, 6 ihiim , 7 te-

(infrequent) be hungry (frequent) slaughter (less frequent) watch (less frequent) try to find (very frequent) be angry, worry (frequent) think (frequent) spend evening (frequent) sew once (infrequent) be better (frequent) give (very frequent) cover (less frequent) know (very frequent) be, become (very frequent) build a dam (less frequent) break (frequent) be written (less frequent) write (frequent) arrive (frequent) do with, make (REP) (frequent) dress oneself (less frequent) create (frequent) have in mind (frequent) pay debts (less frequent) hear (REP) (frequent) be bad (frequent) get ready (frequent) remain (less frequent)

hamuuy haragw, 2 haraagw, 3 tehariigw, 4 itehariigw, 5 itehirigw, 6 itehirigw, 7 te-hargwooy harid, 2 hariid, 3 harriid, 4 harid, 5 ihirid, 6 -, 7 w-haruud harifa , 2 hariif, 3 harriif, 4 harif, 5 ihirif, 6 -, 7 w-haruuf hariw, 2 hariiw, 3 harriiw, 4 hariw, 5 ihiriw, 6 ihiriw, 7 wharuuw hasay, 2 hasaay, 3 tehasi, 4 itehasi, 5 itehis, 6 iitehas, 7 tuhasyaay hasib, 2 hasiib, 3 hansiib, 4 hasib, 5 ihisib, 6 -, 7 w-hasuub hawid, 2 hawiid, 3 hanwiid, 4 hawid, 5 ihiwid, 6 ihiwid, 7 whawuud hayid, 2 haayiid, 3 hanyiid, 4 hayid, 5 ihyid, 6 ihiiyad, 7 hayis, 2 hayiis, 3 hanyiis, 4 hayis, 5 ihiyis, 6 -, 7 tu-mhayas / tumhayis hiy, 2 hiiw, 3 niiw, 4 eeyaaw, 5 iyaaw, 6 iiyiw, 7 u-miyaaw humiy, 2 humiiy, 3 hummi, 4 heem, 5 ihum, 6 -, 7 w-humuuy kan, 2 kaan, 3 kteen, 4 ikteen, 5 iikan, 6 iktiin, 7 tu-kanaan kay / ak, 2 kaay, 3 kati, 4 ikati, 5 iikta, 6 iikti, 7 i-miiki / tukayaan kirir, 2 kariir, 3 karriir, 4 ikarir, 5 iikrir, 6 iikrir, 7 oo-kruur kit', 2 kat'iy, 3 kant'i, 4 ikat'a, 5 iikt'a, 6 -, 7 too-kt'ooy / oo-kt'uuy kitab, 2 ktaab, 3 tkatiib, 4 itkatiib, 5 itkitib, 6 iitkitib, 7 tuumikteeb kitib, 2 katiib, 3 kantiib, 4 ikatib, 5 iiktib, 6 iiktib, 7 oo-ktuub kitim, 2 katiim, 3 kantiim, 4 ikatim, 5 iiktim, 6 iiktim, 7 tukatmooy kwaas, 2 kwaasiy, 3 eekwsi, 4 eekwsi, 5 iikwsa, 6 -, 7 too-kwas kwaay, 2 kwaaya, 3 eetkwi, 4 eetkwi, 5 iitkwa, 6 -, 7 kwas, 2 kwasiiy, 3 kwasi, 4 ikwasi, 5 iikwsa, 6 -, 7 kwin, 2 kwiin, 3 nkwiin, 4 eekwin, 5 iikwin, 6 -, 7 kwisiy, 2 kwasiiy, 3 kwansi, 4 ikwees, 5 ikwaas, 6 -, 7 oo-kwsuuy maasiw, 2 maasiiw, 3 eemsiiw, 4 eemsiiw, 5 iimsaw, 6 iimsaw, 7 tu-meeswooy mag, 2 maag, 3 eetmiig, 4 eetmiig, 5 iitmag, 6 -, 7 oo-maag mar, 2 maar, 3 eetmiir, 4 eetmiir, 5 iitmar, 6 -, 7 too-mruuy mhiy, 2 mhiiy, 3 manhi, 4 imhi, 5 iimha, 6 -, 7 tu-mhiyooy

advise (infrequent) find (very frequent) miss (frequent) be thin (infrequent) milk animals (infrequent) be cured (less frequent) accompany (frequent) refuse (very frequent) stretch, drive (frequent) be afraid (frequent) sit (frequent) organize, put in order (frequent) to age, get old (frequent) add (very frequent) gather (REP) (frequent) look (very frequent) wash (less frequent)

mikir, 2 makiir, 3 mankiir / eemkiir, 4 imakir, 5 iimkir, 6 iimkir, 7 oo-mkwuur miriy, 2 mariiy, 3 marri, 4 imeer, 5 imaar, 6 imiir, 7 oo-mraay / u-miryaay naw, 2 naaw, 3 eetniiw, 4 eetniiw, 5 iitnaw, 6 iitniw, 7 oo-naaw nhaw, 2 nhaaw, 3 eetnhiiw / eenhawi, 4 eetnhiiw, 5 iitnhaw, 6 -, 7 tu-nhawooy niiy, 2 - , 3 nanyi, 4 ineeyi / ninayi, 5 -, 6 iini, 7 n'ur, 2 n'iira kaan'ur, 3 n'iir, 4 een'ur, 5 iin'ur, 6 ii'nur, 7 tun'urooy ram, 2 raam, 3 eetriim, 4 eetriim, 5 iitram, 6 -, 7 tu-ramaam / iramaam / tu-marmooy rib, 2 riib, 3 rriib, 4 eerib, 5 iirib, 6 iirib, 7 i-marab / oo-raab rigig, 2 ragiig, 3 rangiig, 4 iragig, 5 iirgig, 6 iirgig, 7 oo-rguug rikwiy, 2 rakwiiy, 3 rankwi, 4 ireekw, 5 iraakw, 6 -, 7 umirkwaay s'a, 2 si', 3 eest'i, 4 eest'i, 5 iist'a, 6 iist'a, 7 i-miis'a s'arariw, 2, 3 s'arariiw, 4 is'arariiw, 5 -, 6 is'iririw, 7 sh'a, 2 sh', 3 eesht'i, 4 eesht'i, 5 iisht'a, 6 -, 7 shaaw, 2 shaawiiy, 3 eeshwi, 4 eeshwi, 5 iishwa, 6 iishwi, 7 tushawaw shaawawiy, 2 shaawawiy, 3 eeshiwawi, 4 eeshiwawi, 5 iishiwiwa, 6 iishwiwi, 7 tu-shaawawiyooy shibib, 2 shabiib, 3 shanbiib, 4 ishabib, 5 iishbib, 6 iishbib, 7 ooshbuub shigwidh, 2 shagwiidh, 3 shangwiidh, 4 ishagwidh / neeshgwidh, 5 iishgwidh, 6 iishgwidh, 7 tu-mishgweedh / ooshgwuudh shikidh, 2 shakiidh, 3 shankiidh, 4 ishakidh, 5 iishkidh, 6 iishkidh, 7 shinh, 2 shinah, 3 shtanhi, 4 ishtanhi, 5 ishtinha, 6 ishtinhi / shinaah, 7 too-shnhooy shooth'ath', 2, 3 shooth'ath'i, 4, 5 -, 6 iishuth'ith'i, 7 sigiy, 2 sagiiy, 3 sangi, 4 iseeg, 5 isaag, 6 -, 7 too-sgwuuy sikwiy, 2 sakwiiy, 3 sankwi, 4 iseekw, 5 isaakw, 6 iiskwi, 7 tooskwooy / oo-skwooy sim, 2 siim, 3 nsiim, 4 eesim, 5 iisim /iisiim, 6 -, 7 tu-simoom sinaakir, 2 snaakiir, 3 snaakiir, 4 isneekiir tisneekiirna, 5 isniikar, 6 isniikar, 7 tu-snaakrooy

scratch (less frequent) be needy, worry (frequent) multiply, let quarrel (frequent) be far (frequent) run after (frequent) to name (frequent) listen (frequent)

subtract (frequent) make clean (less frequent) wait, stay (frequent) take to, bring to (less frequent) cause to be ready, prepare (less frequent) beat, knock (frequent) fill (frequent) prepare, produce (less frequent) cook (frequent) divide (less frequent) be similar (very frequent) let, leave (less frequent) do, make (less frequent) blame (frequent) die (less frequent)

sinakwis, 2 - , 3 snakwiis, 4 isnakwiis, 5 -, 6 isniikwis, 7 sinhas, 2 snhiis, 3 snhiis, 4 isnhiis, 5 isnhis, 6 -, 7 siniy, 2 saniy, 3 sanni, 4 iseen, 5 isaan, 6 -, 7 u-misnaay sitoob, 2 sitoobiiy, 3 stoobi, 4 istoobi, 5 istub, 6 -, 7 tu-stoobooy soomir, 2 soomiir, 3 soomiir, 4 isoomiir, 5 isuumir, 6 -, 7 tha', 2 th', 3 nth'i, 4 eeth'i, 5 iith'a, 6 iith'a, 7 oo-th'a tib, 2 tiib, 3 ntiib, 4 eetib, 5 iitib, 6 iitib , 7 oo-taab tikwikw, 2 takwiikw, 3 tankwiikw, 4 itakwikw, 5 iitkwikw, 6 iitkwikw, 7 oo-tkwuukw tikwiy, 2 takwiiy, 3 tankwi, 4 iteekw, 5 itaakw, 6 -, 7 oo-tkwuuy tirib, 2 tariib, 3 tarriib, 4 itarib, 5 iitrib, 6 iitrib, 7 oo-truub t'iy, 2 t'iiy, 3 tan'i, 4 it'i, 5 it'a, 6 iit'i, 7 i-miit'i ush, 2 iish, 3 n'iish, 4 ee'ush, 5 ii'ush, 6 -, 7 ee-m'ish weer, 2 weeriiy, 3 eewri, 4 eewri / neewari, 5 iiwra, 6 iiwiri, 7 tu-weerooy yaay, 2 yaay, 3 eetyi, 4 eetyi, 5 iityay, 6 iityay tiityaya, 7 ooyaay yay, 2 yaay, 3 yaayi, 4 iyaayi, 5 iiyya, 6 iiyiy, 7 too-yat

English Key: Strong Verb Stems

accompany (frequent) add (very frequent) advise (infrequent) arrive (frequent) be (very frequent) be (very frequent) be afraid (frequent) be angry, worry (frequent) be bad (frequent) be better (frequent) be bitter, be serious (infrequent) be cured (less frequent) be far (frequent) be hungry (frequent) be needy, worry (frequent) ram shaaw mikir kitim -(fay-) -(hay-) rikwiy hasay mag hayis hamiy n'ur sigiy haragw shinh

be organized, in order (frequent) be similar (very frequent) be thin (infrequent) be written (less frequent) be, become (very frequent) beat, knock (frequent) become old (frequent) blame (frequent) break (frequent) carry, take care of (frequent) close, tie (frequent) comb (less frequent) consult w.e.o. (frequent) cook (frequent) count, once (frequent) cover (less frequent) create (frequent) crouch (less frequent) decide (frequent) die (less frequent) dig (less frequent) divide (less frequent) do with, make (REP) (frequent) do, make (less frequent) do, put (very frequent) dress oneself (less frequent) eat breakfast (less frequent) fear (frequent) fill (frequent) find (very frequent) forbid (frequent) forget (frequent) gather (REP) (frequent) get married (frequent) get out, (INTR) (infrequent) get out (sth.) (frequent)

arariw t'iy nhaw kitab kay / ak tha' sh'a yaay kit' fiyak hakwir fitit -(makakir-) tikwiy dhigwiy humiy kwas digwagw bisir yay firik tirib kwaas weer d'iy kwaay fitir b'an tib miriy habiy baadhin shaawawiy d'ur fir' fir'

get ready (frequent) give (very frequent) give a name (frequent) give birth (frequent) go away (frequent) go to (very frequent) have (very frequent) have in mind (frequent) hear (REP) (frequent) help (frequent) hobble, divide (frequent) ignore, be ignorant (frequent) kill (frequent) kill (REP) (frequent) know (very frequent) laugh (frequent) let be ready (less frequent) let, leave (less frequent) lift (less frequent) listen (frequent) look (very frequent) build a dam (less frequent) make clean (less frequent) meet w.e.o. (frequent) milk animals (infrequent) miss (frequent) move (sth.) (less frequent) multiply, cause to quarrel (frequent) open, untie (frequent) organize, put in order (frequent) pay debts (less frequent) prepare, produce (less frequent) quarrel once (frequent) refuse (very frequent) remain (less frequent) respect, tolerate (frequent)

mar hiy sim firiy dif baay -(bariy-) kwin maasiw away adhidh gam dir daar kan faayid soomir ush fitik sinaakir shibib kirir sinhas -(mararay-) niiy naw gwishish shooth'ath' fidig s'arariw kwisiy tikwikw amooth' rib mhiy amtaraam

return (INTR), come back (less frequent) digay return (sth.), give back (frequent) return (sth.), do again (frequent) return (INTR), come back (infrequent) ride (infrequent) run after (frequent) say, mean (very frequent) scratch (less frequent) seize (frequent) separate, be between (frequent) sew, once (infrequent) sit (frequent) slaughter (less frequent) spend the evening (frequent) spend the day (REP) (frequent) stand (frequent) stretch, drive (frequent) subtract (frequent) take (very frequent) take to (less frequent) thank, praise (frequent) think (frequent) throw (frequent) trade (frequent) try to find (very frequent) wait (frequent) wait, stay (frequent) wake up, get up oneself (frequent) wash (less frequent) watch (less frequent) write (frequent) agir digiy digay am sikwiy diy shikidh abik bitik hayid s'a harid hawid aayim gad rigig sinakwis ah sitoob hamid hasib gid dilib hariw hagit siniy b'ar shigwidh harifa kitib

Note that the VV always indicates one long vowel - not a sequence of two different vowels. Beja has no so-called diphthongs like ia or ua. Such vowel sequences would always be split up by y or w, as in tidiya, timiruwa 'you said, you found'.
1 2

The abbreviation as 'H' was proposed by Hudson (Hudson 1976).

The numbering is based on Hudson's analysis of 1976, but some modifications were necessary.
4 5

LIT 'Red'. A nickname used for any Beja.

Jabanaat, tujabana refers both to the coffee pot as well as the ceremony of having several cups of coffee together. Note that sequences like b-w often change to (w)-w. The difference between bw and ww and ww is minimal.

Even words which have three consonants are usually considered as having only one syllable, provided the first vowel is an unstressed i, such as in nifis 'appetite'. This applies even with words that have three consonants because of affixes, like simooh 'his name (LIT name-his)'. The reason is that the i between the first two consonants may disappear when the article is attached; so nifis becomes oo-nfis, and sim-ooh becomes oo-sm-ooh.

The Hadendowa dialect uses i- /ti- instead of u- / tu-. Therefore, SG and PL cannot be distinguished. Both pronunciations are found, ani and ani. Both forms are found: tarabeeza and tarabeeda. An alternative currency. Some dialects prefer forms with a prefixed n- for words which start with a d or g. To avoid ambiguity with 'come!', in the Bishari dialect a suffix -t is added.

10 11 12 13

Alternative forms would be Hoon eefi?, etc., where the verb faya 'to be' is used rather than the verb haya 'to be'.
15 16 17 18 19 20 21


In N.E. Africa, this is common for imperatives of 'take' and 'come'. The Hadendowa are the largest Beja subgroup. A mhuud is the quantity of grain which fills one shovel. A gwilha is the length of one ulna. The first two verbs glossed as 'put' are close synonyms. The naming of a child requires a special ceremony called simaayaat.

In different areas, and for different kinds of teachers, different terms are being used. The term kwooja is used by very few speakers only. The two verbs glossed as 'to be tired' seem to be dialect variants.

22 23

Note that wooh is used to call people who are far away or more distant than people close by, in which case yaa would be used.
24 25

This seems to be a mild insult.

In the English glosses, the objects ('it', 'her') will not always be translated even where they are clearly understood in the Beja original. This verb implies a destination, not just the movement itself. Hidaarab is the term used by Eritreans to refer to the Beja.

26 27 28

Adverbs behave just like objects. The only difference is that a postposition may be added.


This construction is considered awkward, because the verb 'to greet' follows the noun which it modifies.