1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Swahili
  4. >
  5. "You can neither go to school…

"You can neither go to school nor home"

Translation:Huwezi kwenda wala shuleni wala nyumbani

September 22, 2018

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rose682808

Why huwezi? Isn't that the negative form? Why not anawezi?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/machieng

the sentence itself is in the negative form, since it's essentially 'you can't go to school and you can't go home either'. Also note that the translation should be 'huwezi kwenda shuleni wala nyumbani'

In the different persons, the affirmative and negative of '-weza' would be:

(1st person) naweza - siwezi (si); tunaweza - hatuwezi (pl)

(2nd person) unaweza - huwezi; mnaweza - hamwezi

(3rd person) anaweza - hawezi; wanaweza - hawawezi


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ernst557459

It seems from this sentence that Swahili (as opposed to English) uses a double negative here. Whether or not that is correct, I don't know.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/machieng

the sentence is just wrong altogether, 'wala' is never used more than once if you're only talking about two things; its use is mirrored in English


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ernst557459

You already pointed this out, and we are grateful for that. However, the incorrect double use of 'wala' ... 'wala' is not the issue of the question by Rose. It is the negative form of the verb in a 'neither' .. 'nor' sentence, which is apparently correct in Swahili, but definitely not in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/machieng

Swahili uses the negative form of the verb because there's no word for 'neither', which effectively negates the verb in English (they serve the same purpose). Does that answer your question?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RudolfJan

The "correct"solution still is incorrect here, it uses wala twice. Not sure yet if the real correct solution is accepted ..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

I don't really think this (once machieng's correction about the first "hawa" is taken into account) is an example of double negation.

Consider "You can't go to school, nor can you go home." The fact that the negative-environment conjunction "nor" appears doesn't make this a double negative. "wala" seems to work somewhat like "nor" except that you can use it to link single nouns.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jo2dSY

Hummm, interesting discussion, I read "wala wala" as either or at present, the translation then reading to me "you are not able to go either to school or home" no double negatives, no neither, just a different style of expression from English?

Learn Swahili in just 5 minutes a day. For free.