"If I were not to eat, I would not be able to go to school"

Translation:Nisingekula nisingeweza kwenda shule

May 27, 2018



Why not shuleni?

May 27, 2018


As I've read somewhere, Swahili and English have an interesting parallel kind of difference.

In English, we can say "Go to school/prison/hospital" etc., without an article and this indicates that we are going to the place for the main expected reason, ie. we are going to learn / be incarcerated / be treated there as a student / inmate / patient respectively.

If you work at one of these places or are going there for any other reason, you'd say "I'm going to the school" etc. (or "a"). <

In Swahili, I don't know how widespread the parallel is but I've seen it at least for shule(ni) and hospitali(ni). Of course, it's not an article missing but the choice between the locative variety of the noun and the original form of the noun.

Ninakwenda shule = I am going to school. (I am a student and I will learn there.)
Ninakwenda shuleni = I am going to the school. (No indication of what I will do there, maybe I work there or I am delivering something, visiting etc.)

I don't remember where I read this though, but if I find it again, I'll reference it here.

May 27, 2018


The problem in a lesson, though, is that we have no idea which is meant. So shule and shuleni should both be accepted. They seem to be used interchangable in the given translations - case in point, if you click on the meaning of the word in this lesson, you will see both!

June 21, 2019
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