Translation:Do not buy those

July 9, 2017

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yeah, i still don't understand what is happening pronoun - tense - infix-verb stem-suffix M - Si - ya - nunu - e (negate suffix)

I found what this is ... it is the subjunctive case. the tense is dropped...the Si is a negation and the -e is a suggestion indicator...ie, ' should not'.

you all - huh?? - it -buy - don't Why is the 'si' in the tense location - I'm missing something...


Actually, you have explained it perfectly, BeelerFami.

The only other thing to get your head round is that these locations don't have to be filled. It isn't that the negative marker is sitting in the tense 'slot'; it is just that prefixes have to be added in the right order. If the tense is dropped then there is no 'slot' for it, and if a negation or an object marker (or any other prefix/infix*) is added, it must be inserted in the right order.

Some examples:

"unajua" (you know)
= u-na-ju-a
(subject - present tense - verb stem - suffix)

"hujui" (you don't know)
= hu- (--) -ju-i
(subject negation - (tense dropped) - verb stem - suffix negation)

"aliuliza" (she asked)
= a-li-uliz-a
(subject - past tense - verb stem - suffix)

"aliniuliza" (she asked me)
= a-li-ni-uliz-a
(subject - past tense - object prefix inserted - verb stem - suffix)

*I would like to call it an infix too, but I have been taught that this is technically incorrect.


yep, that makes sense.

I just read the KU class notes on the Subjunctive (https://www2.ku.edu/~kiswahili/pdfs/lesson_55.pdf) last night and it explained the ordering of the -si- after the pronoun prefix...That explained what was happening.

Prior to that, i had never seen a -si- tense, or any other part of the construct other than the first position prefix, and couldn't explain how a -si- was being used ? Thank you for clarifying!


That whole KU Swahili course is an excellent reference. I also like this Swahili cheat sheet: http://www.swahilicheatsheet.com/

Thanks for getting back on topic (negation of the subjunctive)! Here, if I understand it right, the "-si-" still isn't a tense; it is just a negative marker. So:

"Msiyanunue" (Do not buy those - adressed to you (pl.) )
= m-si- (--) -ya-nunu-e
(subject prefix - negative marker - (tense dropped) - object prefix inserted - verb stem - subjunctive marker)

Based on this source:


M is for plural you, isnt it?


Yep! (From the English, we can't tell though, so it should allow both. Report it if you see it again.)


sometimes should is required, sometimes should is not allowed, sometimes you (pl) is required, other times not allowed...eish. now I feel better ;-)


Please keep hitting the report button when "should" is not accepted. They will add it eventually. (You should have seen it six months ago!)

The same goes for accepting both singular and plural forms as translations of the ambiguous English "you". (I hope you don't mean they have started requiring you to write "you (pl)" as a translation for the subject prefix "m-". That would be weird.)


Definitely will ! Thanks. and today I received my first notice from DL that a correction I requested has been accepted and 'allowed'! :-D


and no, there is no requirement for the (pl)...i was just being explicit on which you. But yes, there are times when 'you' in the plural case is required, and times when it is not accepted and I see no distinction in one or the other for when it may be required or not... Thank you!

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