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  5. "Hili ndilo shamba tulililima…

"Hili ndilo shamba tulililima mwaka uliopita!"

Translation:This is the farm that we cultivated last year!

June 22, 2017



No need of "kwamba"?


No, kwamba would be incorrect.

Kwamba is a complementiser, not a relative pronoun. It does not introduce a relative clause but instead introduces a complement clause.

In the sentence "I know that this is the farm that we cultivated," the first that would be kwamba. The second that would be ambalo or just -lo- within the verb.

I'm 99% sure this sentence should be Hili ndilo shamba tulilima ... or Hili ndilo shamba ambalo tulilima ... I think tulililima is a typo.

I'd appreciate feedback on this point from someone who knows better, but in any case, I know the difference between kwamba and the amba- words so let me know of you'd like more explanation on that. I'm a grammar nerd and I can go a bit deeper into that.


So do they mean tulilolima instead of tulililima? Is that what you mean by "just -lo- within the verb"?


-lo- is the relative infix for singular nouns of the ji/ma class, like "shamba". I cannot confirm that this leads to tulilolima, because I am missing the object infix -li- then.

Actually, I would consider two possibilities for "the farm (that, which) we cultivated":

  1. relative included in the verb, can be done for na, li and ta tenses only
    shamba tulilolilima (tu-li-lo-li-lima- _ )

  2. relative expressed with amba-
    shamba ambalo tulililima (tu-li- _ -li-lima- _ )

My two examples look similar to the current Kiswahili solution, I just used in addition the relative. So it seems possible, that the relative could be skipped in Kiswahili sentences, too, at least if the verb contains an object infix?

I am happy about any correction or confirmation by others.


The question and answer were really helpful. Thanks


Taking the English sentence standing alone, the "that" is optional in English. Is there something about the Swahili that requires it? If there is, could the Swahili sentence be written without it?


Why not "the very farm"?


Isn't the second "li" an object affix referring to "shamba"? But, I don't think it is really necessary and that "lo" should be in there for the relative clause

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