Translation:It does not rot

February 27, 2017



Can someone breakdown this sentence? In the chart i have i do not see H as a prefix for any noun class object nor do I see a present tense marker here, so I am confused.


The prefix is hali, which is the negative form of the li prefix for the ji/ma class. The verb (oza) is in its present negative form, which doesn't have a tense marker except that the final a turns to i.


So here for "it" the ji-ma class was used. If the noun was unknown and I wanted to say "it" which noun class prefix should I use?


i/zi prefix is usually fine for unknowns unless it is an animate unknown, which would need to be the a/wa prefix. Sometimes the prefix is used to imply the class of the unknown noun though. In this case, fruits are often ji/ma class, so given the verb, it might be talking about an unspecified or unknown fruit.


-i suffix indicates present tense negation. therefore, we know that the verb stem is -oz-a as such, the prefix negation is "hali-" ji/ma noun.

tricky one...for me anyway...


What would the past tense of this be? "Hakuozi"?


Why does the negative have "ku"? I know monosyllabic stems require it, but "oza" is... Any explanation is appreciated.


in the negative past specifically, 'ku' always goes after the negative past prefix whether it's a monosyllabic stem or not.

see: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/oza#Swahili


I see the the "ha" prefix is negative, but I thought the "li" infix was past tense. So, "It did not rot." (??)


ha = negative
li = it (JI/MA noun class singular, class 5)
oz(a) = rot
i = negative present tense

"It did not rot" is: halikuoza

ha = negative
li = it (JI/MA noun class singular, class 5)
ku = negative past tense
oz(a) = rot

As for why li is used to mean "it" rather than u, ki or i, which can also mean "it", there's already a discussion about that here (I'd say "above" but things don't have fixed positions in here, so it may end up below at some point) but it depends on the noun class if what it refers to. This would be used if the "it" refers to something of noun class 5 (singular JI-MA class). For example:

Angalia embe! Haliozi!
Look at the mango! It's not rotting!

Angalia mti! Hauozi.
Look at the tree! It's not rotting.

Angalia nyumba yangu! Haiozi.
Look at my house. It's not rotting.

Angalia uso wangu! Hauozi.
Look at my face! It's not rotting.


Thanks for all your helpful posts, youve lost me with your final example "haiozi" why the "i" for uso?


Oh, ah, I don't know. I guess I had a brain fart. Thanks for spotting it! That would be with "u". "My" should also be wangu there. I'll fix it up and add nyumba for the N class.


Thanks Ben - "u" helps, I've not tried too hard to get my head around possesives yet!


I did not get it. Why not Haozi? Would you say Hanuki or Halinuki (It doesn't stink)?


Where is the word" rot"?


This should be "hr doesn't rot"

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