"How is the night Rehema?"

Translation:Habari za usiku Rehema?

March 12, 2017



Why does habari sometimes take za and sometimes ya?

March 12, 2017

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Habari is a class IX/X noun (N/N), so its singular and plural forms are identical, but have different agreement. Ya is for singular, and za is for plural.

March 13, 2017


But why is it sometimes singular and sometimes plural in these "how is..." expressions?

March 13, 2017


From what I understand "habari za" is asking for a general answer, and "habari ya" is something more specific and personal -- za if you're just asking to be polite, and ya if you really want to know.

April 3, 2017


This makes sense, but then why won't it accept both?

April 19, 2017


It's a new course. Probably just an error they need to fix.

April 20, 2017


In this case, I believe the use of ya or za with Habari depends on the country. Ya /za should agree with the preceding noun in this case habari (news). Habari is an N class noun. Therefore, za should be used grammatically speaking since ya is for singular N class nouns and za is for plurals.

However, in Kenya, this rule is not followed. In Kenya, they say habari ya jioni, mchana, asubuhi, etc. I am told that in Tanzania the grammatically correct za is used. But, if you use za in Kenya they will understand what you mean. You will just sound like a tourist, which is fine.

Some people explain that za is used for general politeness and ya is used when you really want to know what's going on. See website below. http://www.learnswahili.net/swahilicourse/learnswahilicourse_lesson2.html

And, perhaps this is why even Duolingo uses ya and za at different times. What is the news of the day? (General) vs. What's your news of the day. (Personal)

So maybe Kenyans choose to be less formal and that's why it is commonly used in Kenya. I don't know. I just know Kenyans say Ya even though it should be za if you are following the rule.

One disclaimer: It could also depend on where in Kenya. I stayed primarily in Nairobi where modt of my friends live or work.

June 28, 2017


Asante sana tashena! I still don't understand the reason you use jioni instead usiku.

January 11, 2018


Does anyone elses lessons not have audio

July 6, 2017


There is no audio yet, it's because the course is still in beta.

November 15, 2017


Why jioni and not usiku?

July 15, 2017


Hi man. Have you found the answer yet?

September 30, 2017


Why is it showing me "jioni" instead of "usiku"? I think "jioni" means "evening", not "night".

January 4, 2018



August 9, 2017


Why is it jioni instead of Usiku

March 6, 2018


But usiku is night and jioni is evening

February 6, 2019
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