"Sina chakula"

Translation:I don't have food

February 25, 2017

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Why is "sijambo" a form of "I am" when "si-" usually represents a negative?


Sijambo is not really a verb. It is the noun 'jambo' which means problems / incidents and the first person sg negative prefix 'si' - I don't have

In other words 'sijambo' means 'I have no problems' meaning 'I am fine'.

That explains also the the question:

  • Hujambo ?-You (sg) don't have problems? - Are you alright?

  • Hamjambo? - You (pl) don't have problems ? - Are you (pl) alright?

and the answer to the last one:

  • Hatujambo. We don't have problems - We are fine


Jambo is singular, so not problems/incidents in the plural but simply problem ... it actually just means "thing", as in an abstract thing (not a physical object), so it's kind of like "matter" or "affair".


Sijambo isn't I am so much as I am fine. I suspect the sense is something like '(I am) not bad', said in response to 'How are things?'. Or as the Scots would say, 'Nae bad'.


Where is the do not? I thought negatives ended in 'i' so Sini not sina


Si means is not (I do not) and Na means have. So Sina would be I don't have


That's a good question!

It's not true with "have". The na is basically just "with". The infinitive is kuwa na, literally "to be with" (not kuna). You'll also notice that it doesn't have the tense prefix either. Essentially, it's not a verb, it's a preposition that takes verbal prefixes for the present tense.

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