Swahili Plural

If you're trying to learn Swahili Plural which is also called Kiswahili, check our courses about Plural and Singular... to help you with your Swahili grammar. Try to concentrate on the lesson and notice the pattern that occurs each time the word changes its place. Also don't forget to check the rest of our other lessons listed on Learn Swahili. Enjoy the rest of the lesson!


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Swahili Plural

Learning the Swahili Plural displayed below is vital to the language. Swahili Plurals are grammatical numbers, typically referring to more than one of the referent in the real world. In the English language, singular and plural are the only grammatical numbers.

Grammar Tips:

While in English, the plural is formed byadding (s) to the singular. In Swahili, to form the plural of nouns and adjectives depends on the noun class. In Swahili,nouns are divided into 11 classes mainly following the syntax rules. For mostnouns, the prefix before the root tells whether it’s in singular or plural.However, there are some nouns that don’t change in their structure- the changeis realized in the syntax. For example we have the noun class of all the nounsthat have life- basically people.

Example- mtu (person) watu(persons)

In the sentence:

 mtu amekuja( a person hascome), watu wamekuja( persons have come)

msichana ameingia( a girl hasentered), wasichana wameingia ( girls have entered)

daktari ametoka( the doctor hasgone ot) Madaktari wametoka( doctors have gone out)

 

This class is called A-WA class as you cansee from sentence construction.

* In this class many nouns have prefix m- inthe singular and wa- in the prulal. However there are very many irregular nounsthat don’t follow this rule. E.g Rafiki( friend) Daktari( doctor) Kiwete(lameperson),

Rafiki(a friend) becomes: marafiki ( friends)

Mwanamke(one woman) becomes: Wanawake (manywomen)

Hilii ni gari langu lekundu (this is my redcar) becomes: Haya ni magari yangu mekundu (these are my red cars)


Here are some examples:

English PluralSwahili Plural
PluralWingi
my bookkitabu changu
my booksvitabu vyangu
our daughterbinti wetu
our daughtersbinti wetu
I'm coldnasikia baridi
we're coldtunasikia baridi
his chickenskuku wake
their chickenkuku wao

Notice the structure of the Plural in Swahili.

List of Plurals in Swahili

Below is a list of the Plurals and Singulars in Swahili placed in a table. Memorizing this table will help you add very useful and important words to your Swahili vocabulary.

English PluralSwahili Plural
alligatormamba
alligatorsmamba
bearunknown
bearsunknown
birdndege
birdsndege
bullng'ombe ndume
bullsng'ombe ndume
catpaka
catspaka
cowng'ombe
cowsng'ombe
deerswara
many deerswara wengi
dogmbwa
dogsmbwa
donkeypunda
donkeyspunda
eagletai
eaglestai
elephanttembo
elephantstembo
giraffetwiga
giraffestwiga
goatmbuzi
goatsmbuzi
horsefarasi
horsesfarasi
lionsimba
lionssimba
monkeykima
monkeyskima
mousepanya
micepanya
rabbitsungura
rabbitssungura
snakenyoka
snakesnyoka
tigerchui wa mlia
tigerschui wa mlia
wolfmbwa mwitu
wolvesmbwa mwitu

Plural and Singular have a very important role in Swahili. Once you're done with the Kiswahili Plural, you might want to check the rest of our Swahili lessons here: Learn Swahili. Don't forget to bookmark this page.


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