Translation of my sister is tall


I'm a bit confused of the swahili translation of "my sister is tall" (in the m/mi lesson). From the rules mentioned on the page it says that "wangu" is singular and "yangu" is plural.

The first sentence that made me confused is "Dada yangu ni mrefu", so mrefu indicates singular, but yangu indicates plural... So if I understood correctly, the literal translation here would be "My sisters is tall"?

Or are there some other rules when it comes to possessive pronouns and family-names?


March 22, 2017


It is explained in the class of 'People' (M-WA- noun class): The exceptions to this rule are certain kinship nouns that come from Arabic: baba, mama, bibi, babu, shangazi, binamu, rafiki, dada, kaka, etc. These nouns take the y- agreement in the singular and the z- agreement in the plural, as in the N/N class. Accordingly, my sister will be dada yangu whereas my sisters will be dada zangu. However, with the -a of relationships, it follows the M-WA- rules, so the boy's sister would be dada wa mvulana and the boys' sisters would be madada wa wavulana, I think.

March 22, 2017

Thank you so much for the excellent answer! I had forgotten about that part, the exception rules are always difficult!

March 22, 2017
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It's kind of weird for that sentence to come up in the M-/MI- lesson, since none of the words in the sentence belong to that class. I've noticed other issues where sentences appear to be in the wrong lesson, and have reported them, but I don't know how easy it is for the course contributors to fix this problem. There's nothing actually wrong with the sentence, but it can be a little confusing/misleading, especially for beginners.

March 22, 2017
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