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  5. "Kiti kilikuwa kimoja"

"Kiti kilikuwa kimoja"

Translation:There was one chair

April 22, 2017


  • Kiti kilikuwa kimoja - There was one chair.
  • Viti vilikuwa viwili. - There were two chairs.
  • Viti vilikuwa vitatu. - There were three chairs.
  • Viti vilikuwa vinne. - There were four chairs.
  • Viti vilikuwa vitano. - There were five chairs.
  • Viti vilikuwa sita. - There were six chairs.
  • Viti vilikuwa saba. - There were seven chairs.
  • Viti vilikuwa nane. - There were eight chairs.
  • Viti vilikuwa tisa. - There were nine chairs.
  • Viti vilikuwa kumi. - There were ten chairs.


Isn't there also something like: "kulikuwa na kiti kimoja"?


Yeah I'm thinking about this too.


I thought "there is a chair" was "pana kiti"? This sentence literally says: "the chair was one."

How about this: how many chairs were there? Were they two? No, the chair was one.. Kiti kilikuwa kimoja...


I understood it as "It was one chair". Am I wrong?


Is this typical syntax in these scenarios? I know that in Russian, there is a lot of freedom in word order--if you want to emphasize a detail, you can put it at the end. Is this kind of the same idea here, like it is underlining the fact that there was only one?


The question of syntax also came into my mind reading this sentence.

Is this typical and therefor required word order?


I'm completely baffled by this sentence and what it is trying to say. Anyone able to do a syllable-by-syllable breakdown?


Kiti (ki/vi class) = chair

Kilikuwa: "li" = past tense and "kuwa" = there is

Kimoja: Ki = "ki/vi" class and moja = one

Ki in the Ki/Vi class is singular and Vi is plural.


A comprehensive reply! You have my sincere thanks.


I thought kuwa = to be, so literally "chair(kiti) it(ki) was(-likuwa) one(kimoja)"...


Shouldnt it be kilikuwa kiti kimoja


Should it not say Kilikuwa kiti kimoja?


I suspect if you said kilikuwa kiti kimoja people wouldn't think of correcting you. Depending were you are on your journey with any language the first goal should be to enable a conversation and have people understand you and you understand them. My inlaws are all from Tanzania and i frequently get noun classes and syntax wrong, but no one cares, they all understand me and I can have a conversation. Let the rest come after.

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