Introductory Shona Language - Lesson 3
lesson 1 lesson 3 solutions
lesson 2 lesson 4 other shona resources
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Lesson 3: More sentences Negatives Exercise Vocabulary
 
MORE SENTENCES

1. Now you'll learn how to use other tenses. These use the form of:

Personal pronoun + tense indicator + stem. You already know about pronouns and stems. The tense indicators are:

-no-…present -cha-…future -ka-…past (before today).

So: ndichaENDA…I will go. ndinoENDA…I go (regularly). ndakaENDA…I went

Notice that the last vowel of the pronoun changes to an 'a' if it is not already for the past tense. I have listed these 'past pronouns'at the bottom. They are very important as they can be used to make one of the simplest and most useful tenses of all, what I call the 'today past'. This is formed by adding the 'past pronoun' to the stem: so:

ndaCHERA…I dug (today) ndaPEDZA…I've finished (today)

2. Here are some examples: read and understand them to get the hang of how things work. New vocabulary is at the bottom of this page.

NdichaTENGA miriwo…I will buy vegetables.

aFAMBA ku chikoro…he walked to school.

TinoBVA kuScotland…we come from Scotland.

VakaGARA pa moto…they sat by the fire.

3. Now we can change the subject of our sentences, instead of just saying 'I, they' etc.

This is easily done by just putting the word for the subject in front of a verb in the correct form.

vana vaENDA kuchikoro…the children went to school.

John ari kuSHANDA…John is working.

4. However, be careful of doing this for things other than people: they use other pronouns which we'll get to later!

5. We can combine all the things we know to make longer sentences, e.g.….

TichaTENGA miriwo mu/pa musika…We'll buy vegetables in/at the market

vakadzi vari kuSENZA mu munda…the women are working in the garden.

6. Some other useful things… To say 'I want….' Use 'ndinoDA' + object, e.g…

ndinoDA miriwo…I want (some) vegetables (though a more polite way is to say 'ndipei' miriwo'…'please give me (some) vegetables')

To say 'I want to ….' use 'ndinoDA' + infinitive, e.g…

ndinoDA kuENDA...I want to go.

ndinoDA kuFUNDA chiShona…I want to learn Shona.

You can use the stem 'DA' like others in the present tense:

anoDA kuBATSIRA…he wants to help.

To say 'I have/ I've got' use the stem '-ne', so ndine badza...I've got a/the hoe

In the negative its like any other verb, but the last vowel changes to 'a', eg. 'handina'...'I don't have'


NEGATIVES

These are quite simple: 'ha' + pronoun + stem, e.g. handiende...I don't go. Notice that the last letter changes to an e or an i. You can also say handisi kuENDA...I'm not going. See below.

The negative of 'ndinoda' is 'handidi', and can be used in the same way, eg:

'handidi kuTENGA'...I don't want to buy

Finally, the negative past is the negative of 'have' ('ha' + pronoun + 'na') followed by infinitive, e.g.

havana kuENDA...they didn't go.


Finally, a very useful word is 'shamwari' which means 'friend, mate, pal'. You can add it to just about all of the words and phrases above, where it would seem right in English. Try it and see!

That's about it. To finish off there is another exercise and some useful vocabulary below.


EXERCISE 2: Translate into English solutions here (or click ? to see answer)
1. Tinoda kubatsira Click to show answer 4. Munofanira kutema mapango. Click to show answer
2. Vana vari kuuya rini? Click to show answer 5. Hatigone kuchera kuno nokuti kune matombo. Click to show answer
3. Mapedza here? Click to show answer 6. Ndinogona kutaura chiShona zvishoma chete. Click to show answer


VOCABULARY

bango(mapango)…pole banga(mapanga)… knife sando…hammer
demo…axe gomba(makomba)…hole pinjis…pliers
rwizi, rukova…river dombo(matombo)…stone, rock muti(miti)…tree
muriwo(miriwo)… vegetable chibage…mealies(maize) fenzi…fence
mombe… cattle(one or many) tsotsi, mbavha, mambara… thief, hood, wide boy (ma)zai…egg(s)
mbudzi…goat(s) imba...house bhasikoro…bicycle
Mukomana...boy Musikana...girl munda(minda)...garden, agricultural plot
Mukoma...brother(of a boy), sister (of a girl) Hanzvadzi...sister (of a boy), brother (of a girl)  

Useful phrases

kune/hakuna (or hapana)… there are/there aren't handei!…let's go!
Tipfuurei?…may we pass through? Tipindei?…may we come in?
gogogoi…knock knock! Nokuti…because
Rini?…when? Chenjerai!…watch out!
inguvaii?…what's the time? Ndaguta…I'm full (say this, even when you aren't, when you've finished eating - its polite)

Verbs

-bva…come from -vaka…build -takura…carry
-gona…be able -fanira…have to -mira…stop, wait
-pedza, pera…finish -bata…grab, hold -guta…to be full
-dya…eat -nwa…drink -neta…be tired
-chengeta, tarisa… look after -ona..see, look -nzwa...hear, understand
-tema...cut (down) -bika...cook -batsira...help
-da...want, like, love -rima...dig (a garden), plough

Adjectives & Adverbs

zvishoma…a little zvikuru, sterek, maningi…a lot chete…only pamwe…together
kadiki…small huru, hombe…big kurumidza…quickly pamwe chete… maybe


Introductory Shona Language

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