Sometimes "the" is refused, sometimes it's needed, sometimes you can do either. This is very frustrating.
This word comes from the arabic غالي /ghali/ which means expensive. There are two common ways to pronounce it in Swahilli. Swahilli communities more influenced by arab traders and presence (like those in the major port cities) adopted with time the arab sound غ /gh/ coming deep from the mouth and pronounce the word this way, while others did not and they pronounce it more like /gali/.
In Swahili there is one and only one way of conjugating the verb "to be" and that is ni.
- Mimi ni
- Wewe ni
- Yeye ni
- sing. object ni
- Sisi ni
- Ninyi ni
- Wao ni
- plur. object ni
With regular Swahili verbs the noun class prefix attaches on to the beginning, but with the verb "to be" it doesn't. One of the few irregulars in the Swahili language.