"Mtoto ameanguka"

Translation:A baby has fallen down

February 22, 2017

This discussion is locked.


Since I don't know where else to report it, I'll mention here that this appeared for me in the 'Present 3' unit, even though this sentence does not use the present tense, and the tense that it does use is not introduced until later in the tree.


The -me- form is actually present tense. It's called present perfect, and according to native speakers I interact with, this tense is used when something has happened just now (quoting the explanation they have given me). The focus is actually on the present time. The action is at present finished, but it is not necessarily true that it was finished at a previous moment in time (although that might have been the case, the focus is still on the present). This might seem strange to a westerner, since we tend to conflate the perfective aspect with the past tense. One way of thinking about the -me- form that I find helpful, is to see it, not as describing an action, but a state. It describes a present state resulting from a past action.

But yes, I get the frustration. Duolingo isn't always very good at explaining things before they are presented.


The lesson name on the tree is present 3, but the last time i "leveled up" it called this unit "present perfect"


What is 'me' ? In the other sentences the past tense marker was 'li' . Why is it not a-LI- anguka ?


Let's answer myself...

me = Present Perfect marker li = Past Tense marker ta = Future marker na = Present Tense marker


  • Mtoto ameanguka - the child has fallen

  • Mtoto alianguka - the child fell

  • Mtoto ataanguka - the child will fall

  • Mtoto anaanguka- the child is falling/ falls


To take it a step further:


Present Tense - mtoto haanguki - the child is not falling down

Future - mtoto hataanguka - the child will not fall down

Past Tense - mtoto hakuanguka - the child did not fall down

Perfect - mtoto hajaanguka - the child has not fallen down



Present: watoto wanaanguka -the children are falling down

Future: watoto wataanguka - the children will fall down

Past: watoto walianguka - the children fell down

Perfect: watoto wameanguka- the children have fallen down


Present: watoto hawaanguki - the children don't fall down

Future: watoto hawataanguka - the children won't fall down

Past: watoto hawakuanguka - the children did not fall down

Perfect: watoto hawajaanguka - the children have not fallen down

Disclaimer: I am not a native speaker. This might contain mistakes


If you consider all the different ways you could modify a verb regularly in Swahili you have hundreds of different forms in regular use. The ones you have mentioned are only the most common forms.


actually, it's more like thousands if you include all the forms with object concords and every combination of object and relative concords. probably over 10,000 for one verb, and maybe closer to 50,000 if you include its verbal derivations.


Oh, thanks! I was just thinking I'm becoming crazy. I was lost about these makers.


Interesting that the perfect 'me' has been used in this example although it has not yet been covered in the course


And we are in a lesson about the present tense. It's a bit early to introduce another aspect (present perfect). There's a separate lesson for that, isn't there? If so, this question has simply turned up in the wrong lesson.


Shouldn't (the child has fallen) also be acceptable. Technically they didnt mention chini (down).


It's accepted now, two months later (June 2018)


A baby would be Kitoto. Mtoto is a child


Yes, kitoto is the diminutive of mtoto, and would mean a small baby, but mtoto means both baby and child. As i've understood the diminutives, when applied to people, it refers more to size than age. Kitoto would mean then a baby that's small in size.


And thus, Undertale begins...


and again: this chapter is called Present 3. What has "has fallen down" to do with present? Past tense has not been introduced yet. Why is everything mixed and messed up in this chapter? Future tense, past tense, habitual and I don`t know how you call all those grammar that is being mixed up in here although it has not been introduced yet and is being taught far later?

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