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  5. "Mawingu meupe"

"Mawingu meupe"

Translation:White clouds

February 14, 2018



When do you use "mweupe" and when "meupe"?


Mweupe is used with the m- prefixes of the m-wa (1/2) and m-mi (3/4) classes as well as in the u class (either 11 or 14). Meupe is used with ma- nouns.

Essentially: m(w)- + -eupe = mweupe
ma- + -eupe = meupe

There's a table here https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/eupe


Thanks very much!


When do we use the connecting word (e.g. viatu vya njano) and when not (e.g. mawingu meupe)?


If I understand it right, -eusi=black, -eupe=white, and -ekundu=red are the only true colour words in Swahili. They act as adjectives and you have to make them agree with the noun by using the right prefix for that noun class.

All other colour terms are either borrowed from other languages (e.g. "pinki") or describe something in nature with a distinctive colour (e.g. "zambarau"=plum). These don't take a prefix; you use "rangi ya ..." (the colour of ...) instead.

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