"Kama ukisoma utafaulu"

Translation:If you study, you will succeed

March 10, 2017

15 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/greghuntoon

This should be accepted as well, "If you read, you will succeed."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pietro_Gallo

Shouldn't it be "kama utasoma"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasII

-ki- is the conditional tense, so ukisoma is correct. This could also be written "Kama unasoma utafaulu" or "Ukisoma utafaulu", as kama + -ki- is redundant (though still used).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pietro_Gallo

Thanks, I understand. Then I reckon that the "Tips and notes" section for the Conditional Tense is confusing. It is stated there that "kama" is followed by the future form


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasII

In Peter Wilson's Simplified Swahili (a really clear, concise and helpful book!) he writes in the '-ki-'tense chapter, after introducing the '-ki-' tense marker:

"There is a word which means 'if' namely 'kama'. It may be used before the verb bearing the '-ki-' tense to strenghten the condition 'if'. It may also be used with other tenses 'kama ulienda' - 'if you went'"

For the '-ki-' tense sign, it is written that it must be "...invariably followed by a future tense, or an imperative (which has future implication)."

I can't access the Tips and notes for that lesson, as I haven't progressed that far on the tree yet, so I can't compare what's written there to what's written in Simplified Swahili.

Also note that there is another use for '-ki-' tense, the present participle tense, but it is not related to anything discussed here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/juryrigging

Since you still aren't there yet, from the Conditional Tips & Notes:

The use of kama as ’if’

Conditional sentences in Kiswahili can be expressed by the word kama, which is followed by the future form in the second part of the sentence. Kama is not a particle.

The use of -ki- as ’if’

Conditional sentences in Kiswahili can also be formed by including the tense particle -ki- before the subject prefix and the verb. It is followed by the future form in the second part of the sentence.

When -ki- is used with monosyllabic verbs, the infinitive ku- is dropped.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/juryrigging

It does say that. Then it says conditional sentences can also be formed using the tense particle -ki-. It doesn't say outright that kama and -ki- can be used in conjunction, and it probably would be clearer if it did, but neither does it necessarily suggest they can't be used together.

Of course, I can absolutely see why upon initial reading it might look like kama can only be used with the future tense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasII

If the tips & notes contradict me, I'm probably wrong. I'll have to check later, and edit my answer if it turns out I'm wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lmz91C

If i understand correctly, it says it should be followed by future in the second part of the sentence. So as i understand: Kama+verb (present or comditional) //// future Kama unakuja, nitapika Kama ukija, nitapika If you come i will cook Well these are my examples so they could be wrong...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Catriona28475

So just to synthesize all these comments, I would rephrase the Tips notes (and start with the verb infix -ki-), as follows:

--

The use of -ki- as ’if’

Conditional sentences in Kiswahili can be formed by including the tense particle -ki- between the subject prefix and the verb in the first part of the sentence (the condition).

It is always followed by a future tense (or an imperative, which has future implication) in the verb in the second part of the sentence (the consequence).

When -ki- is used with monosyllabic verbs, the infinitive ku- is dropped.

Examples:

"Ukisoma, utafaulu." - "If you study, you will succeed."

"Nikila, nitakunywa." - "If I eat, I will drink."

--

The use of kama as ’if’

Conditional sentences in Kiswahili can also be expressed by the word kama.

Kama may be used before the verb bearing the conditional -ki- tense to strengthen the condition 'if', but it may also be used with other tenses than -ki-.

It is followed by a future tense in the verb in the second part of the sentence (the consequence).

Examples:

"Kama ukisoma, utafaulu." - "If you study, you will succeed."

"Kama utasoma, utafaulu." - "If you study, you will succeed."

"Kama ulisoma, utafaulu." - "If you studied, you will succeed."

--

[Does the consequence have to be in the future tense? How would you say, "If you studied, you certainly studied badly."?]


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KelseyMercurio

When do you get access to tips and notes? I have never seen them for Swahili, only Spanish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Catriona28475

You can't access them in the Android app, but in the web version you click on a lesson and select "Tips" (instead of "Start").

I find the Swahili tips very well thought out and informative (unlike the chatty tips for Duolingo German). You get a proper grammar lesson with example sentences (as shown in this discussion), as opposed to learning by guesswork in the app, and I am glad I started learning Swahili from the web version.

On the other hand, the app is better for flagging problems with a question, because there is a free text field where you can explain why your answer should have been accepted, or their translation is wrong, or the question is in the wrong lesson. Then the moderators won't have to guess what the problem was.

Unfortunately there are many, many problems with the questions. They are still - in Dec 2021 - apparently in a beta state, where alternative correct answers have not been added. But I live in hope that they will one day get an opportunity to do a major overhaul of the questions. Until then, we have to grin and bear it. There are some hilarious mistranslations later in the course, and often they teach you something about how Swahili grammar works.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Frank529236

So kama is optional in a few cases?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Catriona28475

Yes, I would think in most cases. My impression from all the above comments is that it is optional whether you use "kama" or "-ki-", and you can use both for extra emphasis.
"Kama unasoma utafaulu"
"Ukisoma utafaulu"
"Kama ukisoma utafaulu"

They all mean "If you study, you will succeed.", but no doubt there are subtle differences affecting which one you choose.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JudithSaps1

How do you say If you study you will be successful?

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