"How are they cooking?"
October 30, 2017
NB: in this context, it's never 'ji', it's always 'je'
- if the meaning of the question is not changed without 'je', then 'je' goes in front (it's basically an interjection). Think of its function as 'I'm making this very clear that what I'm saying is a question' e.g. 'Je, mlisafiri?' (Did you travel?) which still makes sense if you just say 'Mlisafiri?'
- 'je' only comes after the verb as a short form of 'aje' (how). In the sentence above, you can write it out as 'Walipika aje?' which is abbreviated to 'Walipikaje?' So if you exclude the 'je' the meaning of the sentence is altered. This amalgamation of 'verb' + aje only works if the verb ends with '-a'. i.e. you'd never say 'Mlisafirije?'; always 'Mlisafiri aje?'