Noun class Summary
|Noun class||Noun example||-a prefix||-zuri prefix||-eusi prefix||amba- suffix||'-o' rejeshi affixes|
Things to Note
- I included the adjectives '-zuri' (good/nice) and '-eusi' (black), which are representative of the differences in adjective prefix when the stem begins with a consonant versus a vowel. Note that some adjectives don't have prefixes for some classes e.g. 'safi' (clean) i.e. 'Mtu msafi, Dirisha safi, Nyumba safi, Kiatu kisafi'. Adjectives like this are in the minority, however.
- The noun class M/Wa applies to all people, animals, insects, fish and birds. This is the only group of nouns with a specific noun class, the rest will become easier with practice. Often the naming of the nouns themselves do not follow the M/Wa prefix trend, but all other affixes mentioned for the M/Wa noun class apply to the verbs, adjectives, etc related to the nouns e.g.
Daktari wa upasuaji aliye na vazi jekundu - Madaktari wa upasuaji walio na mavazi mekundu ((The) surgeon with a red garment - Surgeons with red garments)
Kifaranga mdogo - Vifaranga wadogo (Small chick - small chicks)
- The nouns in the Ki/Vi noun class are the only nouns with a regular pattern of prefixes in their singular and plural form. The singular prefixes will either be Ki- or Ch-, and their corresponding plural prefixes are Vi- and Vy-
Choo kimechafuliwa na kioo kimevunjika - Vyoo kimechafuliwa na vioo vimevunjika (The toilet has been soiled and the mirror is broken - The toilets have been soiled and the mirrors are broken)
- Refer to the Tips and Notes section of the lesson 'People' for the exceptions regarding kinship nouns
- Nouns in the N/N noun class are countable nouns that are the same in singular and in plural
- Uncountable nouns don't all use the same affixes e.g. Maji, mafuta, maziwa
- It's difficult to capture all the noun class nuances, so sometimes you will come across exceptions to the rule
It's a good idea to familiarize yourselves with different nouns and identify their noun classes. As I said, practice makes it easier to identify the correct affixes; that's pretty much the only way to learn them, there's no set formula
I already did the pronoun affixes here
Leave your questions down below! Challenge yourself to form sentences from the table above (with different nouns) in the comments, even if you're unsure, and we can keep the conversation going
Great! I look forward to seeing these each time. :D
My only question is for an elaboration on the rejeshi affixes as these were the only ones not really covered in the Tips and Notes. There were a few exercises using them, e.g. "Usiku uliopita ..." but not much more than that.
Personally, I was surprised that "shati (shirt)" was a Ji-Ma class noun and not N-N class since it is a fairly obvious loanword. Come to think of it, I've seen a few other loanwords that are Ji-Ma class rather than N-N class too. Otherwise I think I've been getting a feel for which noun class a particular noun is likely to belong to.
Asante sana kwa bidii yako kutusaidia. :)
Thanks for your question! As for '-o-' rejeshi, the affixes above apply to whatever tense, past, present or future. Note that its use is an alternative to using 'amba-'
- Daktari aliyenitibu hayuko (The doctor who treated me is not here)
- Daktari anayenitibu ni huyu (The doctor who is treating/treats me is her/him)
- Daktari atakayenitibu anakuja (The doctor who will treat me is coming)
These sentences can also be written as:
- Daktari ambaye alinitibu hayuko
- Daktari ambaye ananitibu ni huyu
- Daktari ambaye atanitibu anakuja
And the meaning is exactly the same.
Ahhh. Ninafikiri kwamba ninaelewa. Asante kwa kunijibu. :D Kufanya mazoezi na mfano:
Seremala atakayetengeneza meza anaugua. (The carpenter who will make the table is ill.)
Au: seremala ambaye atatengeneza meza anaugua.
Sasa hivi nimechoka kwa hivyo nitajaribu kuandika mifano zaidi wakati mwingine.
Editted to make the example more accurate.
Naam, matumizi yako ya 'amba-' na '-o-' rejeshi ni sahihi. Ningependa kurekebisha matumizi yako ya 'kuumwa'. Ikiwa mtu ana ugonjwa, tunasema anaugua. Ukisema anaumwa, itabidi ueleze anaumwa wapi, kama vile 'kichwa kinauma' au 'anaumwa na tumbo'.
Shukrani kwa kujitolea kutunga sentensi, ndivyo utakavyokuza ujuzi wako wa lugha!
(Let me know if any of that needs translating, LOL!)
Asante kwa kuniambia tofauti ndogo hii: nimerekebisha mfano wangu.
Hamna tatizo. Ningependa kuendeleza vyema kwa sana iwezekanavyo (ni sawa au ningetumia neno lingine badala ya "sana"?).
Occupational or status nouns can often be found in this class. Examples: dereva/madereva (driver(s)), fundi/mafundi (craftsman/men), tajiri/matajiri (employer(s))
Asante sana, rafiki. I am very new to Swahili, and only attempt TWO lessons daily. Not something I get to practice very often here in Wyoming.
Wow, what a lot of work! You seem to have boundless energy, and a special enthusiasm for charts :)
Kuna jambo moja tu ambalo linanisumbua -- nafikiri katika M/MI class -eusi plural prefix ni mye- . Kwa hivyo tunapata myeusi, myembamba, myepesi, na kama hayo. Je, unakubali, au la?
Sikubali na hayo. Kutokana na nilivyofunzwa, wingi wa vivumishi katika ngeli ya M/Mi hufanana na vile vya ngeli ya Ji/Ma. Hivyo basi vitabaki meusi, membamba, mepesi, na kadhalika (samahani kwa kuchelewa kujibu)