"Kitabu kina picha"

Translation:The book has pictures

February 21, 2017

This discussion is locked.


Because kitabu belongs to the ki/vi noun class. But not so sure why pictures are in plural? It doesnt seem to be possible to derive it from the sentence, still 'a picture' is being marked as not correct..


How does that work? The tips on "To Have" only mentions "ana" for he/she/it has. And the Ki/Vi tips don't mention it at all. Are there other forms for other noun classes?


Yes, the verb "kuna" (which means "to have") must agree with the subject like other verbs.

Msichana ana - the girl has Watanzania wana - the Tanzanians have Kitabu kina - the book has


It is still nit clear to me. The rule we know is that "it has" = "ana". What rule changes that so that "it (the book) has" = "kina"?

I know nina, una, ana, tuna, mna, wana.

If verbs must agreee with the subject in some other way, when would we EVER see "ana" for "it has"? For example, why does "brother has" = "kaka ana" instead of "kaka kina"?

So far, every single thing duolingi has presented has been "ana". Kitabu has been the only subject where this is different. What is the rule?


A- is the correct affix whenever the subject is a person or animal (and not “I, you” or “we” of course) Or you could think of it as the subject affix for the m-/wa- class since animate nouns such as people and animals are always treated as belonging to that class, even if their form suggests otherwise (for example you say kaka wangu).

But if the subject is a non-animate nouns like kitabu, the verb has to agree with the class of that noun. Kitabu belongs to the ki-/vi- class, so the correct verb affixes are ki- in singular and vi- in plural:

  • Kitabu kina picha. “The book has pictures.”
  • Vitabu vina picha. “The books have pictures.”

And the same affixes also go on normal verbs:

  • Kitabu kinauzwa. “The book is being sold.”
  • Vitabu vinauzwa. “The books are being sold.”


Kina is a form of It has

In Bantu languages it is normal to structure a sentence in such a way it will give a literal word for word translation as The book it has pictures. (as seen in this exercise).


Is “picha“ from “picture“?


As far as I know, definitely. Many modern/technological words are.

It's funny because in my language (Slovak) it is the most offensive word you can say to a woman... And when you see little tanzanian kids running towards you yelling "picha, picha" at you - had some explaining to do to my parents, that's for sure! :-D


Nertez in my native language the Swahili for avocado and green pepper make us explain (and giggle!) ..... so let us enjoy Swahili.

Learn Swahili in just 5 minutes a day. For free.