1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Swahili
  4. >
  5. Relatives: zilizo, lililo, tu…


Relatives: zilizo, lililo, tulio.....liliyo?

Hi everyone! Question for the grammar nerds out there.

I've seen this relative structure in a few contexts. Example from Modern Swahili Grammar:

Ondosha nguo zilizo chafu: Remove the clothes which are dirty.

From what I understand, it's a special relative construction for tenseless "to be"

  • Subj prefix + "li" + relative suffix for affirmative
  • Subj prefix + "si" + relative suffix for negative

Can anyone confirm this? Also, I've noticed the word "liliyo" floating about...why isn't this "lililo"?

Duka liliyo zuri: The shop which is nice

Thanks in advance for the help!

October 21, 2019



Is liliyo just a Sheng spelling for lililo?

I'm not sure.


that would make sense -- i'm in kenya now :) thanks!


it should be lililo. And for the rest of it, yes. More specifically it translates to 'that/which is'


all right, good to know! Thanks for clarifying


Yep, these should be in the course. There's a lot that needs to be added in regards to relative clauses. In the meantime, you can read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swahili_grammar#Relative_forms

Related Discussions

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