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  5. "Wanafunzi hupenda kwenda shu…

"Wanafunzi hupenda kwenda shule"

Translation:Pupils like to go to school

July 16, 2017



I cannot guarantee this information, but I've heard someone explain that the difference between kwenda shule and kwenda shuleni is a bit like the English distinction between "go to school" and "go to a/the/his/her/my/... school.

In English, at least, "go to school" without any determiner before the noun "school", gives two pieces of information: (1) the destination of the journey is a school (2) the subject is a student at the school and the purpose of the journey to the school is to learn there.

If there is any other purpose for going to a school, for example, to watch your niece in a play, to deliver a package etc., or if you are a student there, but you are going there on the weekend to meet your friend, you don't simply say "I'm going to school" (except as a joke), but "I'm going to the/a/my neice's (etc.) school." Dropping a determiner is a way of indicating that you're going to the school for its customary purpose. (We have similar phrases with "hospital", "jail", "church" etc., where "to [noun]" indicates not only the destination, but that it is for the customary reason.)

So, if the explanation I have been told is correct and I've remembered it correctly, kwenda shule is "to go to school (as a student, to learn)" and kwenda shuleni is for any other purpose, "go to the/a school".

I'd love it if a native speaker could confirm or deny or give some extra nuance or elaboration on that.


That's a good question! I don't think that "shuleni" should be used in this context. But you'll find: tutakwenda shuleni, mashambani, sokoni, mjini, etc. It's the context of the sentence that usually makes clear which preposition is meant, but it's not always easy.


The infinitive can be translated "going" or "to go" in English

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