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  5. "Tunaliuza"


Translation:We are selling it

May 25, 2017



How can you say "we are selling it to them"


Tunawauzia (huo/hilo/hicho/hiyo)

(The words in brackets depend on the noun class of the "it" and can probably simply be dropped if it's clear from context.)

The verb kuuzia "to sell to" is the applicative form of kuuza. The object of the applicative verb is the indirect object and you can include the direct object afterwards.

Alternatively, I've seen it with kwa but I don't know how idiomatic or correct that is seen to be. In this case it would be Tunaliuza kwao, but remember that the -li- could also be -u-, -ki- or -i- depending on what the “it" is.


So.. what is applicative? And, i did not get it, what kind of words are these in the brackets?


The applicative is what they're calling "prepositional" in this course. It's a verb form that in simple terms, kind of adds the meaning of "for", "to", "with", "in" or sometimes "from" to the verb.

The applicative form is made by adding -(l)i- or -(l)e before the final a. The "l" appears if there's a vowel before it. -(l)e- is used if the last vowel before it is either "e" or "o", otherwise it's -(l)i-.

For example:

kuuza = to sell
kuuzia = to sell for

kununua = to buy
kununulia = to buy for

kupika = to cook
kupikia = to cook for

Nilikununua = I bought you. (ie. you're a slave, you were my purchase)
Nilikupika = I cooked you. (ie. you are the food)

Nilikununulia chakula. = I bought you food. / I bought food for you.
Nilikupikia chakula. = I cooked you food. / I cooked food for you.

Because verbs can only have one object prefix, you can say

Nilikipika = I cooked it. (with "it" referring to chakula)


Nilikupikia = I cooked for you ...

But you can't say anything like "Ni-li-ku-ki-pikia" "I cooked it for you"!!!

That simply doesn't work. So, if you want to say "I cooked it for you", you either leave the "it" unsaid and filled in by context, or you use an extra word like the words in brackets.

The words in brackets that I used above are a kind of demonstrative word that is generally used to refer to things that have already been mentioned. They're kind of similar to "it" (except for the class 1/2 forms), but they're a bit more emphatic and can be used to mean "that" as well. When they're used with a noun they can even be a bit like "the" (but more like "that" or "this" or "the aforementioned"). They're very similar to the words for "this/these" but with an "o" added to the end and some sound changes to accommodate that. I'll translate that with "aforementioned" but that's only a guide and sometimes they're used for things that haven't been mentioned. Actually how the three kinds of determinatives are used exactly is a bit controversial and still not agreed upon by linguists.

Class 1/2 (M-WA)
huyu + o = huyo = the aforementioned (person, animal)
hawa + o = hao = the aforementioned (people, animals)

Class 3/4 (M-MI)
huu + o = huo = the aforementioned (thing)
hii + o = hiyo = the aforementioned (things)

Class 5/6 (JI-MA)
hili + o = hilo = the aforementioned (thing)
haya + o = hayo = the aforementioned (things)

Class 7/8 (JI-MA)
hiki + o = hicho = the aforementioned (thing)
hivi + o = hivyo = the aforementioned (things) (also: "in the aforementioned" way, "so")

Class 9/10 (JI-MA)
hii + o = hiyo = the aforementioned (thing)
hizi + o = hizo = the aforementioned (things)

Class 11 and 14 (U)
huu + o = huo = the aforementioned (thing)

Locative classes:
hapa + o = hapo = the aforementioned place (there)
huku + o = huko = the aforementioned approximate place (around there)
humu + o = humo = the aforementioned internal place (in there)


The words in the brackets would refer to "this" (demonstrative) To my knowledge "Tunaliuza kwao." would mean "We are selling it for them/on their behalf." Tunawauzia --- (always with object except for very few cases; like you said from context).


Why is it not we have sold it? Li is used for past tense....selling it is not past tense

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