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Kula and Kulala

Hi, Can someone explain why the "ku" is kept when conjugating kula in the present. So, Ninakula. But not with kulala, so Ninalala?

April 7, 2017



Mambo GreenwoodMatt! This is a rule for monosyllabic verbs in affirmative sentences. Remember the notes in Present skill. ;)

Note 2: - Monosyllabic verbs like kula, kunywa, and kuja, drop the infinitive ‘ku’ in the negative present.

Ninakula. / I am eating.

Sili. / I am not eating.


Thanks for responding! I am doing most of my duolingo on the mobile app. Do you know how to get all those notes separately?


Some skills are based on the language course of Peace Corps, so you should try to download the documents for Kiswahili course from the page:


Otherwise, you may open Duo in a browser to read every section by unit.


There are 10 monosyllabic verbs in Swahili:

  1. Kula → Eat
  2. Kuja → Come
  3. Kufa → Die
  4. Kunya → a. To rain b. To discharge or release liquid
  5. Kuchwa → To set (the sun)
  6. Kunywa → Drink
  7. Kuisha → Live
  8. Kuenda → Go
  9. Kupa → Give 10.Kucha → a. To fear/be afraid b. To rise (the sun)

The other two are also monosyllabic, but are irregular conjugations.

Kuwa → Be Kuwa na → Have

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