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What does adding "-ni" to nouns as a suffix do?

So I see the suffix "-ni" added to the end of some nouns (Nyumba -> Nyumbani; Misikiti -> Misikitini)

But I'm seeing two different explanations so I'm a little confused. It seems that the suffix can either indicate "in," "at," or "to" (as in, nyumba = house, nyumbani = in the house, at the house, or to the house) whereas other sources say that nyumba = house and nyumbani = home.

So what does adding "-ni" do to a noun? What about to a verb?

January 5, 2020



-ni on the end of many nouns expresses a location that's relevant to the noun.


Ziwa lake ziwani by the lake

Pori wilderness porini in the wild

Mlima mountain mlimani on the mountain

Barabara main road barabarani on the road

Nyumbani also means "at home" but has taken on the meaning generally of "home".


It turns it into a location. Whether it means "to", "at/in/on" or "from" depends on the verb in the sentence.

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