"The day after tomorrow I will go to school"

Translation:Kesho kutwa nitakwenda shule

July 31, 2018

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Why is it not shuleNI?


what is wrong with "Nitakwenda shule kesho kutwa"?


Is there no word for "to" needed? Is that implied in the "kwenda"?


Yeah, more or less. Generally you would need to indicate that the school is a location, but this phrase is an exception.

Swahili more or less has an idiomatic parellel to some idiomatic phrases in English:

nita(kw)enda shule = I will go to school (i.e. I'm a student there and I'm going to go there in order to attend lessons)
nita(kw)enda shuleni = I will go to the/a school (i.e. it's simply my destination ... maybe I'm delivering a package, maybe I'm a teacher or a parent, etc., no further information is given)

This -ni suffix is a bit complicated. It's generally added to common nouns (not names of people or places) to simply indicate that we're talking about the place. Whether it means "to", "at/in" or "from" generally depends on the verb it goes with. Eg.

kwenda dukani = to go to the shop kufanya kazi dukani = to work in/at the shop
kutoka dukani = to exit/leave (from) the shop

If the place is a name of a place, you simply do nothing as the place interpretation is default.

Nitakwenda Tanzania = I'm going to Tanzania.
Tanzania kuna simba. = In Tanzania, there are lions.
Toka Tanzania! = Leave Tanzania!

With people and I suppose animals, you introduce them with kwa.

Niko kwa Sonya. = I'm at Sonya's.**

Sometimes where the verb doesn't give the right meaning, you simply add kwenda or kutoka to give the right meaning.

Ninatembea msituni. = I'm walking in the forest.
Ninatembea kwenda msituni. = I'm walking to the forest.
Ninatembea kutoka msituni** = I'm walking from the forest.

This also works with people:

Niliipata kutoka kwa Rashidi. I got it from Rashidi.


Thank you very much, most helpful!


Wow this is very comprehensive! Thank you!

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