"If they come, we will buy presents"
Translation:Ikiwa watakuja tutanunua zawadi
25 CommentsThis discussion is locked.
I suppose you would then lose the future aspect. It's implied in English but maybe has to be explicit in Swahili. Just a suggestion. ...
Is there any way this could get clarified in the lesson notes? Right now they say that "Conditional sentences in Kiswahili can also be formed by including the tense particle -ki- between the subject prefix and the verb."
Am I missing the point, or does that make it seem like Ikiwa/kama/ijapo and -ki- are interchangeable?
ah, let me amend my statement. '-ki-' can sometimes be ambiguous in meaning for not-so-distant future conditional tense. 'Wakija' can either mean 'If they come' or 'When they come'. There are ways to make the distinction between the two:
- If they come = Iwapo/Ikiwa/Kama watakuja (always future tense)
- When they come = Watakapokuja
I've added this to the notes!
Thanks, machieng! Could you also explain the "-kapo-" in your example "Watakapokuja"?
The notes only mention the tense particle -ki- (apart from the separate words kama, ikiwa and ijapo).
this will be covered in a lesson on its own, but in essence it's used when referring to an event/action that happened, happens or will happen, that was a prequel to a 2nd event (when (action 1), then (action 2)); it is usually in the dependent clause of the sentence
- Past: Tulipofika, walitupokea - When we arrived, they received/welcomed us
- Habitual: Wimbo wa taifa unapochezwa, watu husimama - When the national anthem is played, people stand
- Future: Atakapojifungua, tutamtembelea - When she gives birth, we will visit her
Like in English, you can reverse the order of dependent and independent clause
In the tips + notes it says:
"When -ki- is used with monosyllabic verbs, the infinitive ku- is dropped."
FYI: machieng has written an advanced lesson on when you can drop the "ku-" in monosyllabic verbs. (The lesson isn't about the conditional though.)
Strange! (Maybe the course developers just haven't added it yet?)
I just looked up "swahili kama vs ikiwa" in Google Books, and "kama/ikiwa" were shown as interchangeable to express a factual conditional, meaning "if (it is true that)". - Swahili Grammar and Workbook by Fidèle Mpiranya
The problem is that I doubt myself with these inconsistencies. When I think I got the grammar, suddenly it is different.... Thanks.