"My pen"

Translation:Kalamu yangu

April 2, 2017



How does one know to use yangu with kalamu and not langu?


You wouldn't use langu, as it is used with Ji/Ma nouns. Kalamu is an N/N noun.

You would use yangu for pen, zangu for pens.


it has no plural. Most things with no plural are yangu. Maji yangu, maziwa yangu, nchi yangu, pombe yangu etc.


How can you identify the noun classes by the word and then chose yangu, nangu, langu etc? Or do you just have to memorise it?


Some words you can get a feel for. Kiti/viti (chair(s)) and chakula/vyakula (food) are usually Ki/Vi nouns. Mti/miti (tree(s)) is M/Mi, etc. If you know the plural is the same as the singular you won't go far wrong with N/N.

I would also go and google Swahili noun class semantics to find out why words fall into certain groups. Having that information on hand is a huge help.

The tricky bit is remembering that animate nouns (animals, and people not already in the M/Wa class) follow their class' s pluralisation rules, but otherwise follow M/Wa grammar. Daktari(N/N noun) wangu(M/Wa concord).


Interesting, the word for pen, kalamu is from Arabic word قَلَم (qalam)

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