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

Noun class Summary

Noun class Noun example -a prefix -zuri prefix -eusi prefix amba- suffix '-o' rejeshi affixes
M-Wa Mpishi-Wapishi wa-wa mzuri-wazuri mweusi-weusi ambaye-ambao aliye-walio
Ji-Ma Dirisha-Madirisha la-ya zuri-mazuri jeusi-meusi ambalo-ambayo lililo-yaliyo
Ki-Vi Kikombe-Vikombe cha-vya kizuri-vizuri cheusi-vyeusi ambacho-ambavyo kilicho-vilivyo
M-Mi Mwiko-Miiko wa-ya mzuri-mizuri mweusi-meusi ambao-ambayo ulio-iliyo
U-N Uzi-Nyuzi wa-za mzuri-nzuri mweusi-nyeusi ambao-ambazo ulio-zilizo
N-N Kalamu-Kalamu ya-za nzuri-nzuri nyeusi-nyeusi ambayo-ambazo iliyo-zilizo
U-Ma Ugonjwa-Magonjwa wa-ya mzuri-mazuri mweusi-meusi ambao-ambayo ulio-yaliyo

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 vimechafuliwa 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 ya versus unga wa
  • 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

Happy learning!

June 20, 2019

19 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rltl753

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. :)


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

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-'

M-Wa:

  • Daktari aliyenitibu hayuko (The doctor who treated me is not here)
  • Daktari anayenitibu ni huyu (The doctor who is treating/treats me is this one)
  • 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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rltl753

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.


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

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!)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rltl753

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"?).


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

Pengine sijafahamu ujumbe unaojaribu kutoa. Tafadhali fafanua


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/George413010

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.


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

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?


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

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)


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

Basi asante kwa jibu lako na ... pole ya kazi.


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

You mention safi as an example or an adjective that gets a prefix for some noun classes, but not for others.

However, some of the exercises are inconsistent with the rules you gave:

Emilian ni msafi: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/24322142/Emilian-ni-msafi (consistent).

Kijiko safi: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/21253875/A-clean-spoon. (should be kijiko kisafi?).

Mimi ni safi: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/21048238/Mimi-ni-safi (should be mimi ni msafi?)

Kiranja ni msafi: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/22113805/Kiranja-ni-msafi (consistent)


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

thanks for your question!

this is an endless source of frustration, but basically some of the sentences from Tree 1 (currently released version) that were deleted in Tree 2 (finished but unreleased version) still show up in the lessons. I actually can't access the Kijiko safi sentence in the editor because technically it doesn't exist, but this should rectify itself when Tree 2 is released...I don't understand why. All this to say, yes, it should be kijiko kisafi

As for 'mimi ni safi', this was before me, I personally think it's a little awkward sounding; 'Safi' is usually used as a response to mean 'I'm good' or 'Great!', so the 'mimi ni' is unnecessary to me. However if you're using '-safi' to mean 'clean', then it's 'msafi'


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

Thanks for these clarifications! And sorry for reminding you of these frustrating issues :)


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

Daktari is Ji-Ma class or I am wrong?


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

'Daktari' is a person, so 'M/Wa'


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

Occupational or status nouns can often be found in this class. Examples: dereva/madereva (driver(s)), fundi/mafundi (craftsman/men), tajiri/matajiri (employer(s))


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

noun classes is determined by the affixes associated with the nouns, not the prefixes of the nouns themselves. Some nouns of living things have the prefixes 'Ki/Vi' but they are not classed as belonging to that noun class. I don't agree with the wording of that

(And I've already corrected this) neither do uncountable nouns with the prefix 'Ma-'. They belong in the noun class 'Ya'

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