THIS VOLUME HAS BEEN
NICROFILMED BY THE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
.EORGE FORTUNE COLLECTION
_ These Bemba Grammar Notes have been compiled
S primary to help candidates who are preparing for
the Northern Rhodesia Civil Service Lower Standard
They are however also of great help to prepare
for the Higher Bemba examinations and to provide
for a thorough knowledge of Bemba, as they contain
all essential grammar rules of the Bemba language.
cf. see, compare
e.g. for instance
etc. and so on
i.e. that is
three dots in front of a word make it known as an adjective.
a dash in front of a word make.it known as a verb.
a dash following a prefix in brackets indicatesthat the respective
noun is unchanged put into the plural.
a dash standing alone means that the previous word is to be re-
/ between two words means 'or'.
C 0 N TENT S. pae
Notes for candidates. . . 1
The Bemba Alphabet . . . .. 5
Fusion of vowels.
Changes with the letter 'n' . . 6
The Noun . . * 7
The Diminutiyes & Augmentatives . 8
The Prefixes. & Genetive Particle "of" 9
The Pre-prefix . .. . 10
The Particle "kwa"
Formation of nouns.
The Adjective; Comparison .. . ... .12
Formation of adjectives . . 13
The Verb: "TO BE","UKUBA"; Notes on the tenses .14
The Tenses of "UKUBA" . . 16
The Copula . . . 19
The Simple Verb; Notes on the tenses . 20
The.Tenses of the Simple Verb . 24
Compound Tenses .. . . 29
Auxiliary Verbs . . 30
Extended forms of the Verb . . 32
1. The Passive Extension
2. The Stative Extension
3. The Applicative Extension .. 33
4. The Reflexive Extension
5. The Reciprocal Extension 34
6. The Causative Extension
7. The Completive Extension
8. The Intensive Extension . 35
9. The Frequentative Extension
10. The Reduplicative Extension .
11. The Reversive Extension .. .. .
The Numerals (quasi-numerals-& simple numerals). .
List of Cardinal & Ordinal Numbers .
The Pronouns; Possessive Pronouns . .
Demonstrative Pronouns . .
Interrogative Pronouns ....
The Direct & Indirect Speech . .
The Prepositions . . .. .
The Conjunctions .. . .
The Adverbs . . . .
Miscellany: 1. 'kuti' and 'tekuti' . .
2. 'ukuti.' or 'pakuti'
3. The Suffixes: ko; mo; po
List of some Adverbs .. .. . .
List of some Conjunctions . .
Verbs with Idiophones
List of some Interjections . .
Some Lower Bemba Examinations .
. . 50
* . 52
* . 53
.* . 54
Notes for Candidatcs
preparing for the
Northern Rhodesia Civil Service
Lower Standard Language Examinations.
Every student should be familiar with a vocabulary of not less
than 700 common words; especially words regarding:
2. The commoner terms of family relationships.
3. Household work in both huropean and Native homes.
4. giving instructions for work to be done, especially work con-
nected with the particular duties of the candidate.
5. Travel and journeys, including common geographical features
and seasons of the year.
6. Hunting and fishing. Students should know the names of all do-
mestic animals, the names of the commoner wild animals, fish
7. Gardening and growing crops common to the area.
8. Birth, marriage, divorce and death.
9. Parts of the body.
10.The ability to ask and give directions to places.
11.The ability to describe an item of local interest.
Students from Government departments will be required to be
familiar with topics relating to their work, e.g.:
Provincial Admiristration: Native Courts & Authorities: taxation:
village improvement and general knowledge of topics listed under
other departments (Agriculture,Veterinary,Education and Health).
Police: Court work: patrols: enquiries: traffic control :
apprehension of criminals.
Education: School attendance:maintenance of school buildings.
school organisation: boarding: feeding: personal matters.
Industrial: Ability to amplify instructions to trainees: investi-
gation of complaints.: boarding: feeding.
Agriculture: Soil conservation and erosion: crop rotation:
native agricultural systems peculiar to the District.
Veterinary: Aspects of animal husbandry: culling: selective bree-
Forestry: Names of indigenous trees: ability to explain reasons
for forest protection.
Health: Parts of the body: common ailments: instructions for
care of patients: diagnosis: rules of health: village
Game: A larger vocabulary of animals: native methods of trapping
and hunting fish and game: ability to explain reasons for game
preservation and tsetse control.
Prisons: Details connected with prison life: feeding: boarding:
organisation of work: complaints.
Labour: Matters connected with labour disputes.
Welfare: Social and domestic problems: recreation and adult edu-
II. Grammar & Syntax:
a) Nouns: All nouns belong to classes differentiated by the concords
which they impose on other words in the sentence.
A thorough knowledge of these classes is therefore re-
b) Verbs: It is required that all tenses and their formation are
studied. In addition there are many different forms which
the verb can take to give it a special shade of meaning
and the more common of these are essential to a proper
understanding of the language.
c) Adjectives: A thorough knowledge of the appropriate concord to
be given to the adjective is required: comparisonJ
d) Pronouns: a study of the different types of pronouns: simple,
demonstrative, possessive', emphatic and interrogative
e) Clauses: It is necessary to know how to handle and to recognize
the common English clauses in a Bantu language, especially
purpose clauses, indirect statements and questions, tem-
poral and conditional clauses.
III. Fluency, Idiom, Politeness:
The candidate must have some idea of idiom,which will assist
to bring fluency to his talk. He should know the common forms of
politeness (a detailed study of the customs of the people cannot
be expected). Practice in conversation is essential.
IV. Oral examination: converse and translate for half an hour.
1. The Bemba Alphabet:
- The letters*r q, v, x and z do not exist.
The letters: d, g, and j exist only in connection with I"n',
e.g.) ndq nga, njelwa.
- b when preceded by m is pronounced as in 'tumbler" otherwise
it is a soft 'w'.
- c is pronounced as "ch" in the word "church''.
- oh is only written in proper nouns.
- sh is pronounced as the English sh with a slight i-sound, e.g.
shani is pronounced shyani.
- 1 is a letter which is special to Bembag it is pronounced as ng
in the English word "singing-.
- The vowels are always pronounced as in the following list:
a as in far
e as in get
i as in hit
o as in hot
u as in put.
- There are three diphthongs: ai, au, ay; they are pronounced like
the separate vowels.
- All other letters are pronounced as in English.
2. The fusion of vowels:
(a)-two similar vowels always fuse into one long one; e.g. a + a
becomes a long a, etc.
(b) a + e and a + i and e + i become long e
a + o and a + u and o + u or u + o become long o
(c) e + a and i + a become long ya.
e + o and e + u and i + o become long yo.
(d) i + u becomes long yu.
(e) o + a and u + a become long wa.
o + e and o + e and 1 + e become long we.
(f) u + i becomes long wi.
Note: The first vowels of the following groups of words are never
contracted with the preceding vowel.
(a) all the numerals except ikumi.
also all quasi-numerals: eka, onse, umbi, etc.
(b) the demonstrative pronouns.
(c) the personal pronouns.
(d) the imperatives.
3. Changes with the letter an".
a n drops before: m, n,T e.g. money, nine,etc.
Sn before b, f, p changes into m, e.g. mbwili, mfike.etc.
Sn with 1 becomes nd, e.g. ndi,I am,instead of nli.
but 1 is dropped if the 2nd syllable in the word contains
m or n, e. g. ninde, instead of ndinde.
(d) n before a, e, i, y inserts j, e.g. njabuke, njebe.
e) n before o, u, w inserts g, e.g. ngofye, ngupe.
but when the 2nd syllable contains m or n ,the first
n changes into 9 e.g. wumfwe.
1o There are 9 classes of nouns,distincuished by the prefixes,
see pg.- 9
2. Any adjective,verb,pronoun,etc. in a sentence take the same or
a similar prefix as the noun which the7, specify; see pg. 9
This harmony is called Concordd'.
- There are quite a number of nouns 'lelon'ing to class 'mu/ba',
which have in singular either no prefix at all or the prefixes
'ka', 'ci' or 'mu'. A list of some of such nouns see on page f
4. The Gender: There is no gender given to any noun as in Euro-ean
Nouns which denote masculine or feminine are marked in 7 dif-
(a) by the use of a prefix, i.e. 'shi' for male & 'na' for female.
e.g. shibwinga,bridegroom; nabwinga, bride.
'shi' before -a proper noun means: the father of; 'na' before
a proper noun means: the mother of. e.g. shiMutale,the father
of Mutale; naMutale, the mother of Mutale.
(b) by the use of adjectives: ...aume or ...lume, masculine;
...kota or ...anakashi, feminine.
Note: ..aume & ...anakashi are only used for man;
...lume is more used for animal; but mulume,husband;
...kota is only used for animals.
e.g. mwana mwaume, son; mwana mwanakashi, daughter; inema
ilume, male animal; inama ikota, female animal.
(c) by distinct words, e.g. sukusuku, ram; sawe, he goat;
mukolwe, cock. cf.also all names of relationship.
The neuter: 'it' is expressed by the prefixes 'ci/fi', e.g.
cakaba, it is hot; fyafula, it is enough.
Note: "i" in "ci" drops,if a vowel is following.
5. The Diminutives & Augmentatives:
- The Diminutives are formed with the prefixes 'ka/tu';
The Augmentatives with the prefixes 'ci/fi'.
e.g. muntu,man; kamuntu,dwarf; cimuntu, giant.
Besides denouting the size,the diminutive & augmentative prefixes
also express agreeable or disagreetblQ characteristic.In this
sense they are more used for persons than for things. e.g.
kakashi kobe, your shameless little wife; cilume cobe, your
big stupid husband.
Nouns put into the Diminutives follow the concord of class 6;
Nouns put into the Augmentative follow the concord of class 4.
The nouns themselves are also put into the plural, e.g. ci-untu,
Nouns of class 'ci/fi' cannot be put into the augmentative form;
only diminutives can be formed, e.g. cuni, koni, tuni. ,
With this cass the augmentative adjectives are therefore
to be tranlated, e.g. a big pole, cilu cikulu.
Nouns of class 'ka/tu' cannot be put into the diminutives form;
only augmentatives can be formed. e.g. kanwa,mouth; cinwa,a big
mouth. hith this'class the diminutive adjectives are translated.
e.g. kalulu kanono, a small hare.
For nouns of class I & 3 the diminutives ard augmentatives sub-
stitute the class-prefix. e.g. mulumendo, cilumendo or kalumendo;
nsalu, cisalu or kasalu. But muntu, kamuntu or cimuntu.
For all other classes these prefixes are usually put before the
class prefix, e.g. lini, kalini or cilini.
Nouns which have a singular form but a plural meaning may have
the plural form 'fi' or 'tu', e.g. bubenshi,cibubenshi,tububenshi.
The augmentative prefix 'fima' with nouns of class 5 may also mean
'many big' e.g. fimapili,many big mountains.
The Prefixes & Genetive Particle "of".
It of "
1 s. umu a umu wa(kwa) umwana wa kwa Paolo all unu-
suma,the child of Paul is good
pl. aba ba aba ba abana ba kwa Paolo bali aba-
suma, the children....
2 s. umu u u wa umuti uli usuma,the tree is -
pl. imi i i ya imiti ill isuma,the trees ...
3 s. in/im i i ya insalu/imbuto ill isuma.
ulu lu ulu lwa ulukasu luli ulusuma.
pl. in/im slhi ishi sha insalu/imbuto/nkasu shili
4 s. ici ci ici ca icitabo cili cisuma.
pl. ifi fi ifi fya ifitabo fili fisuma.
5 s. i li illi lya isembe lili lisuma.
ili li illi lya ilini lili lisuma.
ulu lu ulu lwa ulukasa lull ulusuma.
ubu bu ubu bwa ubuta bull ubusuma.
uku ku uku kwa ukulu kuli ukusuma.
pl. ama ya aya ya amasembe,etc. yali ayasuma.
6 s. aka ka aka ka akalulu kali akasuma.
pl. utu tu utu twa utululu tuli utusuma.
7. s. ubu bu ubu bwa ubutani buli ububi.
8. s. uku ku uku kwa ukubomba kuli ukusuma.
pa I pa
kuntu kuli kusuma; muntu muli
musumar pantu pali pasuma.
1. Most nouns 4id adjectives have a pre-prefix, e.g. umuntu
instead of muntu.
2. Nouns which have no pre-prefix are: names, nouns of relation-
ship or of profession and trade, foreign nouns and nouns of
class 1, whose full singular is put into the plural, e.g.
3. Adjectives which have no pre-prefix are: numerals c. quasi-
4. Adjectives lose their pre-prefix if they follow directly a
noun, e.g. umuntu musuma.
5. Nouns and adjectives lose the pre-prefix:
) in the vocative, e.g. we muntu.
b) after the 1st and 2nd person of the verb -li, e.g. uli
musuma or muli basuma.
c when a noun -is preceded by a demonstrative.
After the prep. Iof' in all classes, e.g. masals ya fyuni.
After a negative, e.g. nshimwene muntu.
The Particle '!kwa'd is added to the genetive case:
1. before names, e.g.mfuti ya kwa Petero, the gun of Peter.
2. before nouns of class 1 which have no prefix, e.g. mfuti
ya kwa bwana, the master's gun.
3. before nouns of class 1 with the prefix "ka", e.g. citabo
ca kwa kafundisha, the teacher's book.
4. before nouns denoting a gender, e.g. ishina lya kwa nacim-
busa, the name of the midwife.
Formation of nouns:
1. the Infinitive of any verb can be used as a noun, of. class 8.
2. the prefix 'ka' before a verb is used to indicate an agent:
e.g. kabila, tailor, kalemba, writer,etc.
3. The prefix 'bu' before a verb denotes profession or an abstract
quality: bupatilish.,priesthood; busuma,goodness.
4. The prefix 'mu/ba' before a verb in its active form indicates
a profession: mulimi, farmer; muloshi, wizard, etc,
Note; such nouns end in''i'.
5. The prefix 'mu/ba' before a verb in its passive form indicates
a person as object of the verb: mukakwa, prisoner.
6. The prefix 'mi' before the applied form of a verb forms nouns
of manner: mik:lile,way of sitting. guch nouns end in 'e'.
Nouns belonging to class 'mu/ba' which have no prefix in singular:
1. proper nouns: Petero, Mutale, etc.
2. terms of relationship: tata; mayo, etc.
3. nouns starting with 'ka' denoting an agent: kafundisha; kabila.
'The syllable 'ka' of such nouns is not a prefix.
4. some nouns starting.with 'mu': mukclwe; munjili, etc. The syl-
lable 'mu' of such nouns is not a prefix,i.e.the full singular
is put into the plural; bamukolwe; bamunjili, etc.
5. Foreign nouns: supuni; motoka; etc. But foreign ncuns which
can be given the prefix 'i' or 'li' are put into class 5: e.g.
iscpo (ma); iwindo (ma).
6. Many other words,like.
bemba (ba-), lake. fwaka (no pl.),tcbaccc.
benye (ba-), relic of a cula (ba-). frcg.
cibinda (ba-),successful hunter.
cibulu (ba-),dumb person.
cilemba (no pl.),bean.
kwindi (ba-), rat.
kalundwe (nc pl.),cassava.
kapoli (ba-), wild pig.
lunshi (ba-), house fly.
makanta (no pl.),locust.
molwa (ba-),long mounds.
ngoshe (ba-), common cobra.
kafi (ba-) spitting cobra.
punda (ba-), donkey.
pungwa (ba-),kind of hawk.
All adjectives have a prefix which must correspond with the
noun they specify, cf. Table cf prefixes,pg.9. In Bemba therefore
the noun always precedes the adjective. e.g. umuntu musuma, a gccd
The comparison: There are different ways of making comparison:
1) with the adverb 'ukucila,more'.
Positive: mwaice uyu ali musuma, this child is good.
Comparative: mwaice uyu tli musuma ukucila uyo, this child is
better than that one.
Superlative: mwaice uyu ali musuma ukucila bonse,this child is
the best of all.
2) by the use of verbs:
in Positive: -lingana,be equal; -ba pamc, be the same.
in Comparative: -cila or -cisha, surpass.
in Superlative: by-any verb in intensive extension.
Examples: Positive: mwaice uyu alingana na uyo amano, this child
is as clever as that one.
Comparative: mwaice uyu acila uyc amanc, this child is
cleverer than that one.
Superlative: mwaice uyu akwatisha amanc, this child is
the cleverest of all.
3) by attributing a quality to one and denying to another:
Examples:Comparative: mwaice uyu alepa,uyc talepa iyo, this
child is tall that one not.
Superlative: mwaice uyu ali musuma,bambi bcnse tabali
basuma, this child is gccd,all others are
Formation of adjectives.
In Bemba there are very few adjectives in the real sense, as
e.g.:...suma,gcod; ...bi,bad; etc.
Some ways of making adjectives are:
1. by the use cf the verbs in the -a-a tense, e.g. nsalu yabuta,
2. with 'ba na',be with e.g ali na mane,he is wise (literally:
he is with wisdom).
3. with the preposition 'cf' followed by a noun, e.g. ali wa mano,
he is wise (literally. he is of wisdom).
4. by the use of adverbs, e.g. ndi mutende, I am well.
5. by the use of two nouns: e.g. mulumendc mulimi, a young farmer.
The Verb "TO BE".
1. The tenses of the verb "to be" are provided-by 2 verb-roots:'li'
and 'b'.cf. Tables,pg.16,etc.
The tenses are formed by: the personal pronoun or verbal prefix,
the tense particle and one of the 2 verb-roots. The verb-
root 'b' is ending either in 'a' or 'e'.
2. The negative particle is 'shi' for the 1st person and 'ta' for
the other persons and impersonal pronouns.
Note: 'shi' when followed by 'a' becomes 'sha'.
'ta' is always said first; 'shi/sha' follow 'n'= I.
3. The Prefix of the 3rd person:'he/she/it' changes according to the
noun which the verb specifies. In the Tables the prefixes
of class I have been used as examples.
4. The verb 'ukuba,to be',when followed by'na', means 'have', lite-
rally 'be with'; e.g. ndi no mwele, I have a knife.
When followed by 'n.' and an infinitive, the verb 'ukuba' means
'must','have to'; e.g.ndi no kuya, I must go.
5. The verb'ukuba',tc be, is often used with the prefixes of class 9.
e.g. pali muntu,there is somebody; takuli mulandu, it
does not matter; tamuli, there is nothing left.
Notes on the tenses. The numbers hereunder correspond with those in
The Indicative.Pr t the Tables.
1. The -li tense denotes a temporary state: ndi, I am (actually).
2. The -a- tense denotes a permanent state. naba, I am (always).
3. The -la-a tense denotes a customary state: ndaba,I am (habitually).
4. The --a tense also denotes a customary state,but this tense is
seldom used: mba,I am (habitually).
5. 'ci' inserted into the present tense,means 'still', ncili,I am
6. The -ala-a tense is used tc translate the English 'about tc be'.
The Past Tenses.
7. The -a tense provides the crdinary past; nali, I was.
8. The -aci-a tense is a past-of tc-day;, naciba, I was (tc-day).
9. The -ale-a tense indicates the continuous cr customary past;
e.g.naleba, I was habitually.
10. The -ali-a expresses a permanent state cf the past.
e.g.naliba, I was (always).
The Future Tenses.
11. The -ka-a tense is the real future tense of to-morrow cr later.
12. The -le-a tense expresses future cf to-day.
13. The -akula-a tense denotes a state from now on always.
14. The -kala-a tense denotes a distant future state which will con-
tinue; nkalaba, I shall be (always,latercn).
1. this is the real imperative.
2. this fcrm me.ns:'you may be', and is taken from the subjunctive,
3. this imperative is used,when insisting on one's command.
4. this form me.ns: keep on being.
5. -wingaba' cr 'shiwingaba' expresses an urgent wish for the
1.The -e tense expresses an order or wish. It is also used with
the prefix 'ka','kambe'instead of 'mbe'.
2.The -le-a tense denotes an order to be carried out to-day.
3.The -ka-e tense denotes'an order for tc-morrow or later.
4.The -kale-a denotes an order which should begin and continue in
5.The -inga-a expresses an urgent wish for the future.
TO BE. INDICATIVE.
1. -li ndi nshili
3.-la.-a ndaba nshiba
5. 'ci' ncili 6.-ala-a nalaba nshabe
uci.i :walaba tawabe
acili alaba tabe
tucili twalaba tatwabe
mucili mwalaba tamwabe
bacili balaba L tababe
2.-a- naba nshaba
4 --a mba same as
uba under No.3
Ipositive Ie -i.
wal eb a
PAST TENSES, ctd.
at eb a
11.-ka-a nkaba nshakabe 12.-le-a ndeba nshabe
ukaba tawakabe uleba tawabe
akaba takabe aleba tabe
tukaba tatwakzbe tuleba tatwabe
mukaba t.amwak be muleba tamwabe
bakaba tabakabe baleba tababe
P'o s i t i v e
1. ba beni
2. ube mube
3. shiba shibeni
4. akuba akubeni
Ne a rt i
5. nga tauli
I 1E P:.38
1. -e mbe nib a
UKUBA TO BE. SUBJUNCTIVE.
Negative I ITense Positive
5.-inga-, ningaba -ingala-a ningalaba
Note: These 'inga' tenses have the following characteristics:
1. the form 'inda' may be used instead of 'inga'.
2. the additional infix 'la' denotes a continuous state or action.
3. there is nc proper negative of these forms. It might be translated
with:nga nshili,etc.,cr with any other negative of Present or
4. these tenses are used' for Present and Future.
5. they are used tc express .n urgent wish,e.g.wingesa mailo,please
come to-morrow;, r to express pcssibility,e.g.nani enge-
shiba, who c-uld know.
2.-le-a ndeba nilaba
In addition to the verbs 'li' and '-b-', there are three other
ways tc express: he is, she is, it is, they are,there is,etc.
1.The copula 'ni', which is used:
(a) with nouns of class 1,which have no prefix or which mean pro-
fession or gender, e.g.:ni tata, he is my father; ni kafundi-
sha, it is a teacher.
(b) with proper names: ni Mutale, it is Mutale.
(c) with nouns -of olass 5 with the prefix 'in/im', e.g. ni mbwili,
it is a leopard.
(d) with prepositions,e.g. ni mu n'anda,it is in the house.
(e) with personal prcncuns,e.g. ni ne, it is I.
f with demonstrative pronouns,e..g. ni uyu, it is he.
(g) with adverbs,e.g. ni kunc, it is here.
Note: The copula 'ni' may be either singular or plural, personal
There is no negative of 'ni'.
2.The copula 'e', negative 'te'(contraction of 'ta e').
This copula may be used:
(a) with every class of nouns.
(b) with the infinitive form,e.g. e kutila,that is to say.
(c) with adjectives,e.g. e cikalamba, that is the big one.
d) with demonstratives instead of 'ni'.
(e) with possessive pronouns, e.g. e candi, that is mine.
(f) with adverbs: e ukc, it is there.
3. The accent copula:
The accent may take the place of the copula, i.e. the copula
is omitted and the stressed syllable Cf the word is lengthened,
e.g.instead of ni muti,one says simply miuti, the syllable 'mu!
being lengthened. In this case the pre-prefix drops.
The Simple Verb
1. Verbs are formed by the verbal prefix, the tense particle, the
roct cf the verb and the suffix, e.g. tu-le-cit-a, we
2. The sign of the negative is 'shi' for the 1st person singular
and 'ta' for the other persons.
Note: 'shi' before 'a' becomes 'sha'.
'ta' is always said first, 'shiysha' always follow
the personal pronoun 'n/m', I.
3. Verbs do not follow the rules of fusion. The following are the
a)the tense particles:.-ka; -ika; -inga; -la in -la-a tense;:nd
-ali in the -ali-a and -ali-ile tenses always fuse with
the following vowel.
b)the 'u' of the 2nd person singular always fuses with the fol-
c)also the prefixes 'u/i' of class 2 nouns fuse with the following
d)NC fusion between tense particle and the following vowel takes
place of. -le; -la in -ta-la-a tense; --a-; -ale, -ala;
-akula; -kala; -kale; -ila; and -ingala tenses.
e) also'the negative particle 'ta' never fuses.
4. The verbal prefix changes according to the 9 classes of nouns,
cf. pg.9. In the Tables the prefixes of class 1 have been
taken as example.
5. The Simple verb has never a pre-prefix>'With a pre-prefix the
Simple Verb changes into its relative-subject tense;e.g.
bacita, they have done; abacita, those who have done.
Notes on the different tenses: The verb ukucita, to do is taken
as example. The numbers hereunder correspond with those in
the Tables on pages 24,etc.
The Present Tenses.
1. The -le-a tense indicates that the action is being performed
and still going onstulecita, we are doing.
2. The -la-a tense denotes an habit of the agents tulacita, we
3. The --a tense also indicates an habit of the agent. But th is
tense cannot stand alone; it needs a completive worse
e.g. tulima kalundwe, we (habitually) plant cassava,
This tense is also used with the pre-prefix 'a' ir all
persons,except the Ist,singular. With the auxiliary
verb 'tala',it expresses then the English 'ever' and
'never'; cf. pg.30
4. The ta-la-a tense is used to express "not yet".'
The Past Tenses of to-days
5o The -a-a tense indicates an immediate past of to-daysnacita,
I have done.
it is also used as narrative tense with the proper past
tense '-a-ile' to start the story, e.g. ilyc naile h-
mushi nakumana inkalamc, when I went to the village
I met a lion.
it is also used to form adjectives, cf. pg. 13.
6.'The na-a tense indicates that the action took place earlier
7. The -ile tense also indicates a remote past of -to-day. It d.i1f-
fers from tense i0.6 that it cannot stand alone; e.L.
ncitile mulimc, I have done the work.
8. The -aci-a tense is also a remote past of to-day. It differs
from the tenses 6 & 7 that the action is regarded as
done with: nacipwa,it is finished (it does no longer
9. The -acila- tense indicates an action in progress earlier to-day.
Past Tenses of yesterday & earlier.
10. -a-ile This is the.actual past tense.
11. The -ali-ile tense denotes a more remote past.
12. The -ali-a tense denotes that the action took place before to-
day and still persists.
13.The -ale-a tense indicates an action as continuous or often re-
peated in the past.
The future Tenses:
14. The -ala-a tense indicates the immediate future of to-day. It
is used to translate the English 'be about to'.
15. The -le-a tense indicates a more remote future of to-day.
16. The -ka-a tense is the real Future tense of to-morrow or
17. The -akula-a tense indicates that an action starting now will
continue in the future.
18. The -kala-a tense also indicates continuity in the future,but
of an action which will only start in the future.
1. This is the actual imperative form.
2. This form is taken from the subjunctive. It is also used with
the prefix 'ka' to express: go and -; and the prefix 'sc'
come and .
3. This form indicates an order requiring continuation of an action.
4,5 & 6 are used for instisting on one's order.
1. The infinitive of any verb can be used as a ncun,cf.class 8.
2. The infinitive my- be used as exclamation,with cr without 'te pa'
e.g.mwaice uyu (te pa) kucenjela,how clever this child is!
3. The infinitive may be used,with or without 'ena' to express 'it
is true';e.g. ukwisa (kwena) akesa,it is true,he will come.
4. When there are two verbs in a sentence,joined by 'and',the 2nd
verb is put into infinitive; it may then still be added,
put into the resp.tense; e.g.amwene nkalamc no kwiipaya,
he saw a lion and killed it, cr amwene nkalame nC kwiipaya
5. 'to' and 'for' expressing purpose,is translated by 'of'; e.g.
menshi ya kunwa, water tu drink.
6. The copula 'e' followed by the infinitive,expresses the English
'do you call this', e.g. bushe e kubcmba, do you call this
7. The infinitive may be given the infix 'la' to express duration,
e.g.alekc kulalima, he stopped cultivating (for good).
8. The negative form of the infinitive may be formed by:
a) the negative particle 'shi'; e.g.ukushibcmba,not to work.
b) prefixing 'ukukana'(refuse) or 'ukubula'(lack); e.g. ukukana
(or ukubula) bomba,not tc work.
c) 'na',and, followed by 'iycc';e.g.no kuleta iyoc,nct to bring.
9. The preposition 'pa' with infinitive forms the participle Present
e.g.pa kuya,leaving or when leaving.
Notes regarding the Subjunctive see on pa6es 15 and 18 'Note'.
UKUCITA TO DO. INDICATIVE.
Negative ,Tense Positive
1.-le-a ndecita nshilecita
2.-la-a ndacita nshicita
1 .1. _________________________
ncitile s-me as
ucitile under No.6
8.-aci-a n.cicita nshacicita
Note.The Negative of tense 5 is also nshicitile,etc. s under No.6.
PAST TENSES of tc-day, ctd.
Tense Positive Negative
-acila-a nacilacita nshacilacita
PAST TENSES cf yesterday & earlier.
_i'q t, I, WO +A
THE FUTURE TENSES.
Tense Positive Negative
14.-ala-a nalacita nshacite
16.-ka-a nkacita nshakacite
15.-le-a ndecita same as
ulecita under 14.
2. ucite mucite wicita mwicita
3. akucita akuciteni wilacita mwilacita
5.. wingacita mwingacita wingalekc. mwingaleka "
6. shiwingacita shimwingacita shiwinglekc shimwingalekl.
7. natulecita twicita
8. leka ncite lekeni ncite wileka ncite mwileka ncite
The Subjunctive cf the Future Tenses are used as imperatives
for beth, Singular and Plural.
ukukana or ukubula cita
nc kucita iycc.
UKUCITA TO DO. SUBJUNCTIVES
1--e ncite nicita
3.-ka-e nkacite nikacita
2.-le-a ndecita nilacita
Past of to-day
nali ndecita I was doing
nali nshilecita I was not doing
Pluperfect: I had....' is made up with 'ali' and one of the
following three Past tenses:
1) nali nacita I had done nshicitile
2) nali nincita taucitile
etc. for all three kinds
.1. Present tense
I am still doing
nshilecita I am not doing::
2. Past Tense.
ncili nacita I was still doing
nshicitile I was not doing
with. 'ci', till.
3) nali ncitile
1. kwisa & kuya = come to.& go to :
ndeisa cita,I aczo to do ndeya citajI go to.do
uleisa cita etc. uleya cita etc.
Note: All tenses in positive & negative are uuod. Both vurbs.
can alsn bu s:.id with 'ku' as expressing purpose and the infinitive:
e.g. ndeya ku kumona, I go to see.
2. leka,a)allow, is used as Imperative: leka ncite = let me do
b)in order to, v.g. muleke tubombe bwino.
3. kana = refuse, not, prevent, is used to provide a negative of:
a) the Infinitive: v.g. kukana bomba = not to work.
b) the Subjunctive:v.g. pakuti akane bomb = so that he won't
4. kubala or kutala = to do first
this Auxil.verb is used in all tenses and both verbs are put in
the same form: v.g.
ndebala ndecita, or nabala nacita or nkabala nkacita
ulebala ulecita wabala wacita ukabala ukacita
etc. etc. etc.
-tala is als; used t, express 'ever' rnd 'never'. The verb which
fellows 't-la' is put intc the --a tense with the pre-prefix
'a', cf.pg.21,3. e.g.bushe watala aumone nkalamo,have you
ever seen a lion? Nshatala mone nkalamo,I have never seen
pana or swa = nearly, almost.
The accompanying verb is put into the Subjunctive.
napana ncite I almost did
Past of today:
mpene ncite I nearly did
or nacipana ncite I nearly did
napene ncite I almost did
6. suka = finally, at last (with all tenses); the verb is put into
different ways at different tenses, v.g.
ndesuka ncite I do finally
Past of to-day
nasuka nacita I did finally
Future : nkasuka nacita I shall do finally.
7. lala = for ever, once for all, entirely.(with all tenses);
both verbs are in the same tense, v.g.
alala alileko kutema = he stopped entirely lopping trees, or
nulala nuleko kulya = you have stopped completely eating.
EXTENDED FORMS OF THE VERB
By adding certain syllables the roots of many verbs may be extended.
These extended verbs have various different meanings.
J. The Passive Extension
General rule: in the active voice the verb hands in 'a'.
in the passive voice it ends in wa '.
e.g. kwita (to call); kwitwa (to be called).
Exceptions: 1) verbs ending in 'sha' have 'iwa': kutasha, kutashiwa.
2) 'wa' 'ikwa': kutemwa; kutemwikwa.
3) 'ya' preceded by a vowel have 'ikwa
v.g. kufwaya; kufwaikwa.
4) 'ya',:preceded by a consonant have 'iwa'
v.g. kulya, kuliwa.
Note:'by' is 'ku/kuli':;.g.he is bitten by a snake,asumwa ku nsoka.
2-. The Stative Extension
is used to express a state.
Such verbs end in : ika, eka, uka.
examples: simple verb:
kutula to pierce
kumona to see
konaula to spoil
kusangula to change
kulepula to tear
kutoba to break
kutulika to be pierced
kumoneka to appear
konaika to be spoiled
kusanguka to become
kulepuka to be torn
kutobeka to be broken
Note: these forms cannot be used when the agent is mentioned;
e.g. mbale yatobek,., the plate is broken; but mbale
yatobwa kuli Mutalo, the plate has been broken by Mut-.le.
3. The Applicative Extension
is used to express: instead, on behalf of, for, from, etc.
It is obtained by ending the verb in; 'ela', 'ila', 'ena', 'Ina'.
Examples; simple verb: applied form:
kusosa to speak kusosela to speak for somebody.
kutuma to send kutumina to send to somebody.
kufwa to die kufwila to die for somebody.
exceptions: verbs ending in 'ola' have 'wela';
e.g. kusombola to advertise, kusombwela (applied form).
verbs ending in 'ona' have 'vena',
e.g. kumona to see, kumwena (applied form).
verbs ending in 'ula'or 'ulva' have 'wila'l
e.g. kulwa to fight, kulwila (applied form).
verbs ending in 'una' have 'wina.1
e.g. kwanuna to take away, kwanwina (applied form).
4. The Reflexive Extension
is used to express: 'self'.
It is obtained by prefixing 'i' to the verb stem.
examples: simple verb: reflexive verb;
kutemwa to love, kuitemwa to love oneself.
kupata to hate; kuipata to hate oneself.
kukana to refuse, kuikana to deny oneself.
Note: The pronoun '...ine, self' may be added for emphasis.
v.g. aitemwo mwine, he loves himself,
baitemwa bene, they love themselves.
5. The Reciprocal Extension
is used to express: each other, one another.
It is obtained by ending the verb in 'ana',
examples: simple verb:
kutemwa to love
kulolesha to look
kutemwana to love one another
kuloleshanya to look at "
Note: in the Past tense 'ana' becomes 'ene',v.g. batemwene;
'anya' becomes 'enye'," baloleshenye.
6. The Causative Extension.
is used to express : to cause to do;
It is obtained by ending the verb in
examples: simple verb:
kufuma to go out
kuluba to be lost
kufika to arrive
kuleka to let be
kulwala to be sick
to make do.
'ya, fya, sha, esha, isha,
to put out
to cause to arrive
kulwalika to cause to be sick
7. The Completive Extension.
is used to express that an action is thoroughly done.
It is obtained by ending the verb in : 'ilila, elela, enena, inina.
kufika to arrive
kupola to recover
kupena to be mad
kufikilila = quite arrive
kupolelela to recover compl.
kupenena to be compl. mad.
8. The Intensive Extension
is used to express intensity or increase in quantity.
It is obtained by ending the verb in : 'esha', 'isha'.
examples: simple verb: intensive, verb:
kwikata to hold kwikatisha to hold firmly.
kwenda to go. kwendesha to go quickly.
9. The Frequentative Extension
is used to express frequency or extent.
It is obtained by ending the verb in 'ula'.
examples: simple verb: frequentative verb:
kuuma to beat kuumaula to beat all over.
kulasa to wound kulasaula to cause many wounds.
10. The Reduplicated Extension
is used to signify repetition of an act.
It is obtained by repeating the verb stem.
example: simple verb: redupli cated verb;
kusosa to say kusosa sosa. to say often.
Note: in the past tense only the repeated verb stem has the ending,
e.g. nasosa sosele, I said often.
- The adverb 'fye',when added to reauplicated verbs, has the mea-
nings: in vain, aimlessly, carelesslay, without reason, etc.
- The same adverbs are also expressed by a reduplicated verb stem
which is prefixed by 'ci' and ending in 'e'.
examples: aseka seka fye or aseka cisekeseke,he laughs without
aenda enda fye or aenda ciendeende,he goes aimlessly.
abomba bomba fye or abomba cibombebCone,he works care-
11. The Reversive Extension
is used to express the English 'un' in words as untie, undo etc.
It is obtained by changing the final 'a' of the verb into:
'ola' or 'olola' after 'o', v.g. kupcmba, to wind.;
kupombolola, to unwind.
'ula' or 'ulula' after 'a,e,i,u' v.g. kukaka to tie
kukakula to untie.
'ukula' or 'ukulula' when the verb ends in 'ika',
v.g. kufundika (tie a knot); kufundikulula (untic)
but: kwanika (spread out) ; kwanuna, take away.
Note: Such reversive forms can be changed into stative-reversive
verbs by changing olola into oloka, or ulula into uluka.
v.g. kupombolola (unwind); kupomboloka (to be unwound)
kupangulula (unpack); kupanguluka (to bhe unpacked).
Quasi-Numerals are called the adjectives: ...mo, ...onse,
a) ...mo, in singular means 'one' and in plural 'some', 'a few .
- Vhen preceded by 'nelyo','nangu','nangula' it means: 'no one',
'none', 'not any', 'not even oneF,etc. The verb is put into
the negative: nshacitile nangu umo,I did it not even once.
The duplication ...mo ...mo in singular means:'one by one',
'bach one',etc., in plural it means' some','a few' it also
serves to translate;'some...,., others.'
Examples: muleisa umo umo, you will come one by one.
bamo (or bamo bamo) bafika, some (or a few) have come.
bamo basose fi, bambi basose fyo, some say this,
others say that.
- ...mo ...ine means 'the same', e.g. cimo cine,just the same.
b) ...onse, in singular means 'each', 'everyone', 'whoever'.
e.g. muntu onse, everyone or whoever. It also means 'all'
with nouns which have no plural,e.g.munani onse,all re-
...onse in plural means 'all',e.g. bantu bonse,all men.
...onse is also used as conjunction with the prefix 'li' or 'ci'
as lyonse, each time,whenever. conse, either, e.g.
conse kuti wuisa atemwa iyoc,ycu can either come or not.
The duplication ...onse ...onse is used as 'konse konse' on
c) ...eka means 'alone', 'only'. It has no prefix with class I.s.
The duplication ...eka ...eka means 'nothing but', 'pure'.
d) ...mbi means 'other','another',in the sense of 'replacement'.
na ...mbi means 'another' in the sense of 'addition'.
The duplication ...mbi ...mbi can be used to express.
Si) emphasis,e.g. cimbi cimbi, something quite different.
ii)great distance,e.g. pambi pambi or kumbi kumbi, far away.
2.,Rules guidin i quai-numerals and simple-numerals;
a)The quasi-numerals and the first five cardinal numbers are
real adjectives and have therefore the prefix of the noun
With nouns of class 1,their prefix is however 'u' and not
'mu' as with other adjectives. Note also, 'u' drops before
'o' and 'e', e.g. muntu umo, muntu onse; muntu eka.
b) The place of both (quasi-numerals and simple-numerals) is
after the noun and before other adjectives; e.g. leta amani
yatatu yasuma,bring three good eggs.
c) They never have an initial vowel.
d) They can be used substantively with the prefix of the noun
which they qualify, e.g. leta mani, na limbi, bring eggs,
another one still.
e) In abstract counting the prefixes of class 4 are used, e.g.
cimo, fibili,etc. or cimbi, ceka.
f) Their beginning vowel never contracts with the preceding one,
1 cimo; ...mo (as adj.)
2 fibill; ...bili "
3 fitatu; ...tatu
4 fine; ...ne
5 fisano; ...sano
7 cine lubali
8 cine konsekonse
10 ikumi limo
11 ikumi limo na cimo
12 ikumi limo na fibili
20 makumi yabili
21 makumi yabili na cimo
makumi cine lubali
makumi cine konsekonse
mwanda umo na cimo
- The Ordinal Numbers are made out
with the verb "-lenga, cause" and
the Cardinal Number, e.g. the first
man: muntu walenga umo, or, the
fourth book,citabo calenga fine.
- The first can also be translated
by ...ntanshi, or,... pa kubala.
The last is: ... pa kulekelesha.
- once, twice,etc. are translated by
the noun 'muku, time "and the Car-
dinal Number, e.g. muku umo, miku
- firstly, pa kubala, ca bumo
secondly, pabili, ca bubili
thirdly, patatu; ca butatu
forthly, pane, ca bune
fifthly, pasano; ca busano
sixtly, pali mutanda, ca mutanda
alufu (ba-); tausandi (ba-)
The Cardinal Numbers 1 5 are adjectives.
one, ...mo with class 'mu/ba' takes 'umo' in singular Und not
mumo; e.g. one man, muntu umo.
..,andi, my,mine ...esu., our,ours
...obe, thy,thine ...enu, your,yours.
...akwe, his,hoer, its. ...abo, their,theirs.
Note: The poss.pronouns require a prefix like the adjectives.
Class I uses the u-prefix in the singular.
u before o drops,e.g. muntu obe,not wobe.
u before: a,e,i, becomes w.
i before: a,e,o, becomes y.
...akwe, & ...abo are only used with nouns of class 1.
ITS / THEIR (with nouns cf all sther classes)
is expressed with the suffix ...ko which has as prefixes
the one of the gen.case:"of" which is followed by the one
of the noun to which it refers. e.g. imbwa na bana bail%,
the dog and its pups (lit. the dog and the pups of it).
I.when used alone or to emphasise:
positive negative it is alone self
I, me ine ine tene nine ine neka ne wine
thou,thee iwe iwe tewe niwe iwe weka we mwine
he,she,it uyu uyu teo ni uyu uyu eka umwine
we,us ifwe ifwe tefwe nifwe ifwe fweka fwe bene
you imwe imwe temwe nimwe imwe mweka mwe bene
they,them aba aba tebo ni aba aba beka abone.
Note:-The following abbreviations take place: ne for ineq
we for iwe; fwe for ifwe, mwe for imwe.
-There is no proper pers.pronoun for the 3rd person, the
demonstratives are used instead.
II. The personal pronouns as part of the verb.
1. when subject:
ncita, I do
2. when object:
e x a mp 1 e s
The pronouns of the 3rd person change with the various classes.
They have been laid down in page 9,under: verb.
1 s. uno uyu uyo ulya teo wine ena
pl. bano aba abo balya tebo bene bena
2 s. uno uyu uyo ulya teo wine wena
pl. ino ii iyo ilya teyo ine yena
3 s. ino ii iyo ilya teyo ine yena
luno ulu ulo lulya telo wine Iwena
pl. shino ishi isho shilya tesho shine shena
4 s. cino ici ico cilya teco cine cena
pl. fino ifi ifyo filya tefyo fine fyena
5 s. lino iii ilyo lilya telyo line lyena
luno ulu ulo lulya telo line lwena
kuno uku uko kulya teko kwine kwena
buno ubu ubo bulya tebo bwine bwena
pl. yano ay a ayo yalya teyo yene yena
6 s. kano aka ako kalya teko kene kena
p. tuno utu uto tulya teto twine twena
7 s. buno ubu ubo bulya tebo bwine bwena
8 s. kuno uku uko kulya teko kvzine kwena
9 s. kuno uku uko kulya teko kkine kwena
muno umu umo mulya temo mine mwena
pano apa apo palya tepo pene pena
Note: I.The demonstrative: this here-' is seldom used.
2.The negative, see under 'not',can also be expressed with
the el.--,rticle: 'te- + '-emonstrative + -ne,.part. :,iyo"
., t'his rm not1. te rrutu uyu iyc.
1.when subject: who
1 1 ne u fwe ba
2 we u mwe ba
3 u aba
2 3 u i
3 3 i/ulu ishi
4 3 ici ifi
5'- 3 ili/ulu
6 3 aka utu
7 3 ubu
8 3 uku
9 3 uku/umu
1. When the relative is subject,the negative particle 'shi' is
used and not 'ta', e.g. ushisumina, one who does not believe.
2. The rel.object may be omitted when the noun to which it refers
is expressed: e.g. citabo waleta cili kwi,where is the book which
3. 'whose' may be omitted, e.g.mwaice wishi afwile,the child whose
father died. It can also be expressed by means of: a) the relat.
object: mwaice uo wishi afwile, b) the poss.pronoun: mwaice wishi
wakwe afwile, c) the genet.particle 'of': mwaice we shina lya Mu-
tale, the.child whose name is ivutale.
' '...ntu' means 'being'/the one which'.It is used like an adjec-
tive,both as subject or object: bakolwe bantu bacenjela,monkeys
are clever beings, ,anda intu wakulile,the house which you built.
2.when object: whom/which/that.
ne o fwe bo
we o mwe bo
1. ani, p1. bani, who? / whom? It changes into 'nani'/ ni bani'
a) with a demonstrative: uyu nani,who is this one; b) with a
verb* hani aisa, who has come.
- ani/bani with the pers.pronoun of 1st & 2nd persons:
nine ani, who am 1i niwe ani (or ni wani),who art thou,
nifwe bani,w ho are we, nimwe bani,who are you.
- Note: ishina lyobe ni wani? what is thy name?
ishina lyenu imwe ni bani? what is your name?
2. 'whose' is translated by -a kwani, pl. -a bani,if it refers to
a nounof class 'mu/ba', ncito ya kwani? pl. ncito ya bani?, whos4
work is this? When it refers to nouns of all other classes it
is translated by 'nshi': makasa ya nama nshi? whose traces are
these? (lit. :the traces of which animal).
3. nshi can mean: a) what/which: wasosa nshi? what have you said?
muti nshi? which tree?
b) what sort: bantu nshi? what sort of people.
o) for what purpose: ulukasu ulu lwa nshi? what is this hoe for?
- nshi is also used to transcribe 'whose', of. No.2,'wbhos'.
- nshi is never said first, it always follows a word: ulefwaya nshi?
what do you want? _
4. cinshi/finshi, what? When used alone it is placed at the begin-
ning of the sentence: cinshi ulefwaya,what do you want?
When used with 'ico/ifyo' and 'bushe' it stands at the end of the
sentence: ico waishile bushe cinshi?what did you come for?
- cinshi/finshi means also 'why?': cinshi waisa? why have you come?
5. shani how?/ what?: abomba shani? how did he work?
ati shani? what did he say?
Note: Questions are indicated in 3 ways: by the particle 'bushe'
by interrogative words as: lilali,when; ...nga,how much / manyp4tc.
'bushe' is in such sentences omitted.
by raising the tone level of the sentence.
The Direct Speech.
The direct speech is introduced by one of the following tenses of
Present Immediate past Past & Future.
ndeti;" nati:, nati:"
uleti wati auti
aleti ati ati
tuleti twati atuti
muleti mwati amuti
baleti bati abati.
Note: The words following 'ti' must be the actual words spoken.
Examples: ndesosa ndeti: nkaya mailo, I say,"I shall go to-morrow.
baipusha bati: kuti twaya, they ask: "can we go".
mwasosele amuti: "ee,kabyeni", you said:"yes, go.'
tukepusha atuti: "tukaye kwi?", we shall ask:" where
could we go to.
Note: With a verb in negative 'ukuti' is used as in the indirect
speech. e.g. I did not say:"I saw him", nshasosele ukuti
The Indirect Speech.
The infinitive 'ukuti' is used to translate 'that'. The verb of
the indirect speech is put into the Indicative:
Examples: asosa ukuti akaya mailo, he said that he would leave
nahwebele ukuti naishibo mulandu, I told you that I
know the case.
- Many prepositions are expressed by means of the applied form
of the verb. cf.pg 33,3.
- The prepositions: pa, ku, mu (on,to,in/into) are used before
common nouns and names of places which do not derive from proper
nouns, e.g. pa mumana,on the river, ku mwandi,at my home,
mu n'anda,in the house or into the house.
- The preposition 'pa' is also used to form the gerund, e.g. pa
- The prepositions; pali, kuli, muli, have the same meanings as:
pa, ku, mu. They are used:
(a) before proper nouns and names of places which derive from
proper nouns, e.g. kuli ,iutale, to Mutale (personally or to
() before the terms of relationship,e.g. kuli tata,to my father.
c) before nouns of class I which have no prefix,e.g. kuli bwana,
to the master.
(d) before quasi-numerals: e.g. kuli bonse, to all (men).
e before the Cardinal numbers: I 5.
f before demonstrative,personal and relative pronouns.
before the days of the week: Monday to Friday.
The days of the week:
mu nshiku ya viulungu, Sunday
pali cimo, Monday
pali cine, Thursday
pa cibelushi, Saturday.
Vote: I. it means also: on sunday,etc.
2. one can also say 'muli' instead of 'pali'.
3. 'pa Mulungu' is also used instead of 'mu nshiku ya kiulungu'.
- The prepositions 'kla','mwa' before names meansto or in the house
or village of.
The Conjunctions: 'na' & 'nga'.
'na' can mean 'and', 'with', 'even'.
'na...o' means 'also.', e.g. ici naco,this (thing) also.
'na'---'na', means -both,e.g. na Mu-tale na Mulenga, both
Mutale and Mulenga.
With nouns 'na' is repeated before each noun e.g. IMutale na Mu-
lenga na Cileshe, or even: na vMutale na Mulenga etc.
With verbs 'na' is never used before a conjugated form; it is
either omitted or it is followed by the infinitive
of the 2nd verb.
e.g. ukese taulile,taunwene or ukese taulile no kunwa taunwene,
you will come without having either eaten nor drunk.
'nga' can mean;
1. 'when', e.g. nga waisa, when you come.
2. 'if', e.g. nga waisa, if you come.
3. 'as if', 'like', e.g. all nga ine, he is like me.
'nga' is also used:
1. instead of 'na' in the meaning 'what about',e.g.nga nine,what
2. in the form 'ni cikanga', it is as if, nearly, almost.
3. in the form 'ngefyo' meaning 'indeed','certainly','is this not
so', e.g. IMutale tele ngefyo yu, Mutale has not left,indeed
there he is.
4. as adverb 'nga' is found in the form 'nganshi',very much.
'nga' in case of conditiono reali. la valalwala ndeita-badoktaia,
if you are ill,l will call the aootor.
in case of conditiono irrealis': walwele nga naita badoktala,
if you were ill (but you are not),I wouI call the doctor.
Many English adverbs can be translated into Bemba by the use of:
1.verbs, e.g. fyafula,enough.
2.the intensive extension of the verb, of. pg.35,8.
3.some tenses, of. pg.21,Bos.2,3,4, pg.22,No.13,14,17,18.
4.auxiliary verbs, pg.30,No.4, pg.31,Nos.5,6,7. pg.49,5.
5.nouns and adjectives, e.g.ulubilo, quickly, ububi,badly, icibi,much.
6.interrogatives, shani, nshi. e.g. nelyo wabomba shani,no matter
how hard you work; alabomba nganshi, he works hard.
Note: 1.some adverbs are peculiar to certain verbs; -buta tutu, be
very white, fita fititi, be very black, -kashika ce,be very
red, -uma ndi,be very hard; -nunka pipi,smell very bad,
-isusha pa,fill up to the brim, -isula pa,be full to the brim.
2.when adverbs of time are accompanied by other words to add
exactness or emphasis,the prefix of class 5 'li' is used,
e.g. lelo line,just to-day, mailo lyena,as for to-morrow.
The meanings of the adverb 'fye'.
1. its primary meaning is: no ,nothing empty e.g. itumba lili
fye, the pocket is empty, bushe nulwala? iyoo ndi fye, are
you ill? nol, have no illness, cili fye,it does not matter.
2. it means also: only, merely, aimlessly, in vain; nothing but,etc.
e,g. naisa fye, I came aimlessly, muntu umo fye,only one man,
wabepa fye, you are nothing but a liar.
3. it may also be used to add intensity; e.g. apusuka fye kwempe,he
had a narrow escape, tuli lye abengi,we are very many,
abutuka fye ulubilo, he ran very fast.
1. 'kuti' & 'tekuti'.
- 'kuti' means: can,could, may,might, probably,possibly, etc.
It is used with the -a tense for instantaneous action and
the -ala tense for continuous action, e.g. kuti aisa,he can
come, kuti alaisa, he can always come.
'tekuti' or 'teti' is the negative of 'kuti'. It is always
followed by the bubjunctive.e.g. tekuti (or teti) ese kuno,
he should not come here.
2. 'ukuti' or 'pakuti'.
both mean: in order to. They are followed by the subjunctive.
e.g. ukuti (or pakuti) eshibe, that he may know.
5. 'e mukuti' or 'e mukutila' means: that is to say, i.e.
4. 'fyakuti na fyakuti' means: that and that, many things,too
numerous to tell.
5. 'ti' can mean: before, if it is put in negative with -la tense
and. followed by the subjunctive. e.g. tukemo bushiku,mukolwe
talati alile, we shall leave at night before the cock crows.
'ti' can also means when. it replaces then the conjunctions,
cilya, lilya, ilyo. It is followed by -le tense in indicative,
to indicate present time or by a-tense in subjunctive,to indi-
cate past time, e.g. bati balelya, when they were about to eat,
bati balyc, when they had eaten.
6. The suffixes: ko, mo po.
They are abbreviations of the adverbs: ukouumo; apo.
Sometimes they need to be translated, e.g.ilyo nafikako,
when I arrived there.
Often they are mere suffixes which do not need translation,
e.g. nalundapo,I added.
Sometimes they change the sense of a verb. e.g. -konka means
'follow', but -konkapo means 'continue'.
When placed after a noun,these suffixes means in addition,
e.g. leto lukasu ne sembepo, bring a hoe and an axe.
1. of time;
nomba telyo or
2. of place;
te nomba iyoo, not now
nonba line, just now.
kale, long ago,
pa mulu wa,
on top of.
pa nshita inono
bulya bushiku,day after to-morrow,
day before yesterday.
lp ngLu1L.^C Jy nsLlJ ,
kuno ishilya (lya),on this side
peshilya (lya), on that side (of)
nangu kumo, nowhere.
formerly. mwisamba, below,beneath.
kuntanshi, later on, pe samba '
in future. mwisamba or pe-
limbi, another time. samba lya, at the bottom of.
kabili,nakabili again. kunbi, pambi, elsewhere.
elyo, then. kurbi kumbi fye, quite elsewhere.
ilyo,cilya,lilya when. pepi, mupepi, near.
lilaliint.pr. when? pepi na ku, near to.
apo, since. kutali,patali, far, afar.
luoalgmorning, in th kutali na ku, far from.
lucclo celo, early in the mukati (ka), inside (of)
cungulo,evening, afternoon' pakati (ka), in the middle (of).
pe, always. kunse, panse ,a),outside (of) .
pe na pe, for ever t ever.ku mbali (ya) alongside.
limo limo, sometimes, kuntanshi (ya), in front (of),
nshita ikalamba, a long time. before,forwards.
apo pene, at once, already. kunuma,panuma (ya), behind.
mu nshita nshi, at what time. panshi, on the ground.
kasuba shani, at what time. lubali(lwa) on the side (of).
nshita ni shani? what time is it? kubili kubili, on both sides.
bwangu, quickly. konse konse, everywhere.
.L i .. rL-ll-Ni I 'J 9 ifi n
3.Adverbs of manner -
bwino, well,nicely,all right.
bwino bwino, very well,etc.
oisuma, all right.
bubi; buhi bubi badly, very badly.
eyefilyako, not so badly.
sana,sana sana much, very much.
icibi, much, badly.
apakalamba, to a great degree.
nganshi, very much.
panononono, very little.
panono panono, slowly.
buce buce, slowly.
ku cilafi, out of forg.utfulness.
ku mufulo, wilfully.
na maka, with strength.
no luse, gently.
no mute, zealously.
cacepa, too little.
cine cine, really.
pali bufi, especially.
nangu ... nangu neither ... nor.
cikulu, kulila, provided that.
cik-anga na, it is as if.
e calenga,kanshi, therefore.
ukuti,pakuti, that, so that.
ifyo,filya, as, just as,
atemwa ... atemwa, either .. or.
nga, if,as if,in case.
filya, in the same manner.
Verbs with Idiophones:
-kosa ndi, be very hard.
-wa mpu, fall heavily.
-isula pa, be full to the
-buta tutu, be vary white.
-kashika ce, be very red.
-fita fititi,be very dark.
-nunka nu, smell strongly.
-uma ndupi ngwa, lap hands
with IUch noise.
-uma lupi mpa,give a heavy
slap in the face.
1. to express astonishment: yaba, yangu, yangwe, ala, etc.
2. to express joy; eya.
3. to express fear: yangu, owe, iye.
4. to express pain: yangu, owe, iye.
5. to express impatience: ala, yangwe, abwe.
6. to express protest; awi, awe, alai, ala.
7. to express disapproval: ata, ata se, alai, yawe.
8..to express encouragement: eya, mwandi, mwandini, ale, aleni
9. to call attention: lelo,(lelweni),look out, ati (atini),is
it not so!, bati (batini),same as ati.
10. to gain time for thought: awe, kabili, kabinge.
Some Lower Standard Examinations.
1. Vernacular into English:
A. Kumushi wesu kuno takuli kupamfiwa kwine uno mwaka. Kuba kwein.
twapamfiwe sana uyu mwaka pa mulandu wa nsala. Lelo ibukisha ifyo
im.fula tayalokele icilingile. Twabombeshe na maka yonse lelo ta-
kwali fyakulya. Ecalenga abaume abengi bayile kumbi ku kubomba
pakuti bamone ifyo balekabila. Nomba muno nushi abaume ku kulima
mabala babula. Cinshi tukacita? kumfwa abana bafwaikwa mwisukulu
inshiku shingi,-tukafwa ku nsala nakabili uno mwaka.
B. Pa kufika ku Boma napapile pa kumona abasungu bafula. Kanshi
baikala mu mayanda umo mine tucita nefwe. Lelo amayanda yabo yaba
ya matafwali te ya fimiti. Kwvaba ne n'anda imbi ikalamba iyainikwa
cipatala. Uko lkwine namwene abantu abengi balecula ku malwele yai-
bela. Aba bantu te pa kusungwa bwino. Kwaba ba doctor babili bale-
afwa balwele aba. Mu nshiku mu nshiku bakafundisha bes'a ku kufun-
disha aba bantu. Nga bapola babwelela ku mwvabo. Cine cine, inshiku
sha nomba shapusana ne sha kale.
C. Nani amwebele ukucita mu musango uyu?Tamwishibe ukuti ukucita
mu musango uyu e kupusa? Awe,mwe fibusa fyandi urfwikisheni ifyo
ndesosa. Natukule bonse. Nga twaumfwana teti kube ubwafya. Teti
mulime mupepi no mumana. Nga mukacita ifi Abasungu bakakalipa sana.
Bena bali na mano yabo yonse. Balishiba ifyo mushili e fyuma. Ta-
balefwaya umushili wonaike.
2. English into Vernacular:
A. I have a big house which I built last year. The house was
built during the dry season. I did not build the house alone.Many
friends came to help me. 1 killed a goat,so that my friends may
have enough meat. iuy wife also prepared food. She is a very good
wife. She has borne five children. These children are all alive.
I want to have some more children.
B. Our teacher arrived here yesterday. Last year he taught at
another school across the river. Ve are starting our school to-
morrow. iany children will go to school. They have all heard about
the new teacher. This teacher is a big man. He learnt at a big
school far away. He will teach us many new things. I heard that he
also has a motor car. I am going now to his house to see whether
this is true.
C. His father is the headman of our village. The headman's boy
is my friend. Liy friend's sister also stays in this village. We
are many children in the village. Sometime we play with the chil-
dren of another village. Ivy father died long ago. Mviy mother is
still alive. She did not marry again,because she is old. I help
her in the garden every day. I love my mother very much indeed.
3. \Vrite a letter of approx. one page on one subject ,
a) Telling a friend overseas about your wor' in Africa.
b) Giving details to your superior about one or other aspect of
c) Asking information from a village headman about the position
of his village.
d) Explaining to a chief the necessity of one or other project
in his area.
e) Instructing your clerk as to his work in the office during
4. Translate into Vernacular:
four white fowls.
the big bridge.
the man was killed.
that clever boy.
go now my child.
he sang a song.
I want his house.
I see you all.
whose boats are these?
which is his cup?
whose shirt is this-?
the cup is filled with water.
where do you find water?
the lion is near the village.
do not go away now.
bring me my food.
write a letter to your friend.
people hoc many gardens.
our child is not ill.
he is walking.
he was sitting on a chair.
they went to the boma yesterday
put the pot in the house.
I may be there to-morrow.
the iron hoe is strong.
bring this hat to your father.
do not come to-day.
this cow lost its tail
the boy was bitten by a snake.
men should love one another.
to be white ukubuta)
to kill uk ipaya)
to be clever ukucenjela)
(to sing ukwimba)
shir t ilaya)
to be ill ukulwala)
April, 1954: 1. Vernacular into English:
A. Mailo naimine ubulendo; naendele sana mu mpanga. Elyo nafi-
kile ku mumana. Mwakabile sana. Naikele kulya kwine u. kutusha,
nanwene na menshi. Umuntu aishile no bwato. Akwete isabi. Nashiti-
leko isabi limo ilikalamba. Anjabwishe mu bwato bwakwe. Elyo nabi-
kileko uk'enda. Nafikile ku mushi u-o. Kwali fye abantu bamo bamo.
Cali ubushiku, nashele kulya kwine. Nalile isabi lyandi. Ulucelo,
nabukile fye bwangu, ninshi abantu abengi baleya ku mabala yabo.
Naendele nakabili~ bwangu bwangu nafikile mcu musebo ukalamba, eko
nasangile na motoka mukalamba uo batila "bus'.
B. Kuno abantu bakwata amabala ayakalamba sana, umushili waba
usuma, ne filyo fimena fye bwino bwino. Balima imbalala shingi
no kushitisha bashitisha mu mashitolo. Umutengo wa mbalala nauya
pa mulu runo nshiku. E ico umuntu kuti amwenamo indalama ishingi
nga alima imbalala ishingi. Balima na kdlundwe. Balishuka pantu
icakulya tacabula kuli ii mishi. Lu ncende shimbi,abantu bali ne
nsala mu myeshi imo imo,pantu tabalima ioakulya cingi. Baisosha
ku mulandu wa nsala, nomba tabatesha ukuti bali no kulima icakulya
cingi. Nga balima icakulya icingi ninshi tabakomfwe nsala, kabili
bakamwenamo indalama mu kushitisha ifileshalapo.
C. Bushe mwatemwa ukubelenga amabuku? Ine natemwa sana ukube-
lenga. Ulya mulungu, naile ku kushita ibuku. Nalolesha rmi shitolo.
Nasangile ibuku limo, no !Iushita nalishitile. Ili libuku lifunda
ifya kucita pa kusunge ncito. Ili libuku lisuma sana. Abantu bengi
bakwata incinga nomba bamo bamo tabaishiba ukushisunga. Umuntu
nga alekelesha incinga yakwe,bwangu bwangu kuti yaonaika. Abantu
abengi basanga ubvafya mu kulemba kalata mu cisungu nga balefwaya
incito. Cinti cisuma nganshi ukwishiba ukulemba kalata. IIkjCja ba-
cibusa band bonse pali aya mabuku, elyo nabo bakashita.
2. English into Vernacular:
A. Yesterday I found two boys in my garden. They were stealing
maize. This has been going on for many days. My garden is far from
my house. I cannot see what is going on there. I started the garden
last year. The soil is very good. I hoed a very big garden. I plan-
ted maize and beans. I want to sell these things. One of my girls is
at school. She is learning to become a teacher. I must help her. If
the people steal my maize, will have no money. I must take these two
boys to the boma. Perhaps I shall ask them to work for me. They can
help me to bring the maize to my house.
B. Come here John. I want to send you to the bona. Listen care-
fully to what I am saying. I cannot write a letter now. You must
remember all my words.These are my words: yesterday I went to a
village. On the way,I met a man. He was very tired. He was coming
from a village far away. He was carrying a big load. He said his
name was Mangani. He has told me that he slept at the village of
Nsokolo. VWhile he was sleeping some people entered his hut. They
started quarrelling with him. They told him that he was a thief.
They chased him away from the village. He had to sleep in the bush.
C. What is your name? My name is Peter. Where do you come from?
I come from the country of chief Mwape. I live in the village of
my father. He is headman of the village. Are you the only child of
your parents? No I have two brothers and one sister. My brothers
are working in a store. My sister is at our village. She helps my
mother and grandmother with their work. lhat do you want to do now?
I am looking for work. i.y father is very poor. He cannot give me
food and clothes. Did you go to school? Yes, I went to school for
four years. I can read and I can write.
3.Translate into Vernacular.
1. four little children, child umwaice)
2. that bad dog. dog imbwa)
3. these long sticks. stick icimuti)
4. this large house. house n'anda)
5. go :and call them. to call ulavita)
6. he is still eating. to eat ukulya)
7. he is asleep. to be asleep ukulala)
8. he does not like them.
9. we shall finish to-morrow. (to finish ukupwa)
10. I have no relish. (relish umunani)
11. they came yesterday.
12. he died long ago. (to die ukufwa)
13. before I saw him.
14. after they had arrived. ( to arrive ukufLka)
15. it is not an eland? (eland nsefu)
16. that is he.
17. have you ever seen him ? (to see ukumona)
18. he has not yet spoken.
19. 1 bought myself some maize. (to buy ukushita)
20. do not sit alone. (to sit -ukvikala)
21. whose is this knife?
22. many have already arrived but
some have not yet come.
23. if she comes I will tell her everything.
24. if I had knovn,I would have been angry. (to be angry ukufulwa)
25. tie the load tightly. (to tie ukukaka)
26. I close the door,he opened it. (to close ukwisala)
27. we have built a house for our father.(to build ukukula)
28. he is constantly grumbling. (to grumble ukwisosha)
29. take care,lest you fall. (to take care ukuteko mutima)
30. how many months has he been away from his village?
4. write a letter in vernacular about one page on one of the
a) to a chief telling him to arrange a meeting with his people
to discuss ways of improving the water supply in his area.
b) to your clerk giving instruction as to his programme of work
during your absence.
c) to a teacher explaining the regulations regarding school
d) to your wife telling her about your journey.
e) to your superior explaining some of the problems you are
encountering in your work.
April 1955. 1. Vernacular into English.
A. Kale imilimo ya baume mu mishi yalelekana ne milimo ya banaks-
shi. Abaume baletema, balelunga inama, atemnwa baleipaya isabi.
Abanakashi bena balelima, kabili baleipika inama atemwa isabi ne
filyo fimbi. Abaume balebasa amato ne n'oma, abanakashi bena bale-
luke ifimponda, balebumba ne nongo. Umwaume alekula n'anda, elyo
umukashi wakwe aleshingula panshi. Miuno nshiku,imisango iyi ile-
aluka. iMuno nshiku abaume a balelima, tabaposa nshita ikalamba mu
kulunga pantu inama nashicepa muno nshiku. Liuno nshiku tushita fye
imipika mu mashitoloa e chalenga abanakashi bali ne nshita ikala-
mba iya kulela abana babo.
B. Mu chifulo chino abantu tabafula. Kabili,libili libili palepa
sana pa kufuma mu mushi umo no kuya fika ku mushi ubiye. Na kale
line abantu baikele ifi fine, kabili na nomba line tabalefwaya
ukwalula imisango yabo. Nomba nga babik'apo ukvikala ifi fine,kuti
bafilwa ukuwamya imikalile yabo. Teti bamone ukushitisha ifilyo
fyabo no kumvwenemo indalamaimishi nga naitalukana. Abana babo
teti b'aye kwisukulu,kano fye imishi nayipalamana, e pakuti abaice
abengi bamone ukuya kwi sukulu limo line. Kuti twaesha ukubafunda
pakuti balepalamanya imishi yabo.
C. Abantu abengi balibomba inshita ikalamba mu mikoti atemwa
mu matauni. Abakashi babo bafyalila abcaa mu matauni, na bana aba
balekula pamo na bafyashi babo. Aba baice tababwela ku mishi ku
kuya ikala kumo na bashikulu na banakulu, na banalume, iyo. Taba-
ishiba ifyo abantu bekala mu mpanga. Bamo batila' "Uyu musango ubi;
aba baice balingile ukutumwa ka masukulu ya ku mishi ukvatulile
Lelo,abafyashi babo teti basumine ukucita ifi. Balefwaya
amasukulu ya mu matauni pakuti abana babo bafundwve kulya kwine.
2. English into Vernacular.
A. You say that Mulenga wanted to steal your lnife,and this made
yoiu very angry. .When this happened you fired your gun and killed himr
Now it is clear that you must have intended to shoot him, a man does
not carry a loaded gun about in the village unless he intends to
shoot something.But there is no game in the village to hunt, you
were clearly hunting Ivulenga.
B. This man has come from the village near the river. He says
that many people have died there, men,women and children. He does
not know what illness has killed them, but there are many tsetse-
flies close to the village. In the past,the people lived in a dif-
ferent place, they moved because the tsetse flies brought illness.
Now I think these people have died from the same cause. It would be
a good thing to send a doctor to find out what has happened, then
we can decide how to help the people.
C. They have been very lucky this year. The rains were good and
the maize grew very well. So they have made much money from selling
it. But they do not use this money to build good houses or to buy
chairs and tables. They just bury the money in the ground. This
is very foolish. A poor man cannot change his way of living but
rich people can improve their life a great deal. These people have
also cattle. They can sell them and make more money to add to that
which they make from their crops. The government will build a
school,where grown up people can go and learn how to improve their
way of life. It is very important that woman should go there and
learn. Ignorant women prevent progress.
Translate into Vernacular:
nine small children.
his big hoe.
this old cloth.
The pig is mine.
those long spears.
heat the water.
do not steal.
they will begin to-morrow.
we have cut down the tree
I wrote last year.
they are sleeping.
he is still sick.
you did not explain.
I will not finish to-day.
it is not my dog.
tell he.r to go.
they are his chickens.
all three have gone.
he made me sit down.
I have untied the load.
carry it for him.
there is no meal.
if he returns he will find it
when I was a child.
after he had cooked the meat.
I was the last to go.
he refuses to tell him his na
he should have stayed there.
the house which I thatched.
he has never eaten it before.
(cut down ukutema)
to sleep ukulala)
to be sick ukulwala)
to tell ukweba)
(chickens utwana twa nkoko)
to sit ukwikala)
to carry ukusenda)
Sto stay ukushala)
to thatch ukufimba)
4. write a letter in vernacular of approx. one page on one
of the following subjects;
a) from a rural dweller to a friend at home after his first
b) from a successful burglar to a policeman telling him why
the police cannot catch him.
c) from an African to his k.L.C. asking for more female edu-
cation and explaining why this is needed.
d) from an orderly to a pen friend in England describing in-
sect borne diseases in Africa.
e) to a chief describing the evils of overstocking.
October 1955. 1. Vernacular into English.
A. Abaiche abengi bafuma kwi sukulu tabalapwa ukusambilila. Ici
echileta ubwafya. Nga mwaya mona isukulu limo,mukasanga ukuti
utwaiche utwingi twaishile ukulembwa. Lelo tatwakekaleko tonse
imyaka iyingiiyo. Kuliko ubwafya na bumbi. Abaiche abanakashi
tabafula mwisukulu. Chawama abanakashi abengi bafundwe umusango
umo wine na baume. Pali ino nshita tachabefi,iyo.
B. Mupepi no mum2na mwaba amalungu yakalamba. Pa nshita ino,tapaba
umuntu nangu umo uwilamo. Ichani chilemena ichitali sana, mu lusuba
abantu baposamo umulilo,ne chani chonse chilepya. Tufwile twaton-
tonkanyapo inshila shimo umwa kubomfesha amalungu aya,pakuti yawa-
mine abantu abekala mupepi. Ababa ne fitekwa,nga kuti fyalya icani
mu malungu. Bafwile kabili ukulimamo umupunga,no kumwenamo indalama.
Mupunga e cilyo chisuma. : bafilwa ukushitisha umupunga, kuti
C. .bo bantu ball nefitekwa ifingi. Lelo tabashitisha ifitekwa
fyabo.Echalenga no kuti ifitekwa fifulishe. Mu nshita ya mainsa
ifitekwa filalya ichani. Iomba amainsa nga yapwa,tafisanga ichaku-
lya chingi,nakalya. Epa kutampa ukonda. Fingi ififwafye ku nsala.
Ahantu epa kulufyamo indalama. Bakana ukushitisha ifitekwa fyabo
no kumwenamo indalama. Bafileka fye ifi fine mpaka fifwe ku nsala.
Echalenga abo bantu baba abalanda pefye. Ababa na mano,nga kuti
bashitisha ifitekwa fimo fimo ifya inisha ku mutengo ukalamba,
nabo epa kusanguka abakankala.
2. English into Vernacular:
A. This is what the girl did. Her friends said:"let us go'. But
she remained behind. Her mother forbade her to go,saying "remain,
go and bring grain from the grain bin". And she went and brought
it. Then her mother said "go and draw water". And she went and
drew water. Her mother said "come and pound the grain'. And she
did what she was told and put the pot on the fire. Her mother said
"stir the porridge". She stirred the poridge. When it was cooked
her mother said "Eat your porridge". The girl said -My friends now
are far away-. Her mother said "it does not matter,you will find
them on the way".
B. If a man has many wives he often has many children. If he gives
something to one child,the other wives also ask him to give the
same thing to their children. The oldest male child is treated with
respect. He is given more than the others. Most of the women work
in their gardnes. If a woman did not workpeople would say "she is
like a thief,she takes everything which her husband gives her but
she gives nothing herself". Even the wife of a rich man works in
C. Some people are eating different things to-day. Many people
buy bread and sugar. If we go to the market,we see fruit such as
oranges. Sometimes people bring fish for sale. If the weather is
hot,the fish is often bad because it comes from far away. Therefore
many people bring dried fish to sell in the market.The price is high.
3. Write a letter of one page on one of these subjects:
a) from a man on the Copperbelt to a friend at home describing
work on the mine.
b) from a doctor to a medical orderly explaining how people can
improve sanitary conditions in their villages.
c) from a policeman describing a motor accident.
d) from an agricultural assistant explaining how to avoid soil
e) from a man in Gwembe valley describing what people feel about
the Kariba scheme.
f) from a hunter to a friend describing how he shot an elephant.
4. Translate into vernacular.
1. the long snake.
2. the bad woman.
3. three fish.
chicken akana ka nkoko)
to draw water ukutapa menshi)
to fight ukulwa)
(to eat ukulya)
to write ukulemba)
to leave ukufuma)
(to like ukutemwa)
do not dig there. (to dig ukwimba)
I have not yet heard it. (to hear ukumfwa)
a knife for cutting bark-rope.(to cut ukuputula)
he had brought me a goat. (to bring ukuleta)
run away to the river. (river umumana)
the water is leaking out of the pot. (to leak ukusuma)
he was bitten by a dog. to bite ukusuma)
I have told him three times to tell ukweba)
he wants you to work for her. to work ukubomba)
wait in case they beat you. (beat ukuma)
let us all go in order to eat.
he was the last to speak (to speak ukulanda)
this basket of meal.
that old cloth.
it is far.
it is not far.
they are drawing water.
they are always fighting.
he is just coming.
you have already eaten.
they came yesterday.
we shall write to-morrow.
I left there long ago.
we shall not eat to-morrow.
they did not like her.
come here,both of you.
Aril 1956. 1. Vernacular into English.
1. Abantu baleisosha abati "lInania taiwreme, naikota no kuma
yalyuma". Ichalenga nicho in'ombe nashikota sana. Inshita nailepa
apo shatampile ukulya ichani ichabipa. Abene balikene ukushishi-
tisha ilyo shali tashilakota. Balikokwele,shasuka shakota. Nachi-
linga sana ukufunda bakateka ba n'ombe pali lyi milandu. Abashi-
tisha n'ombe ilyo shicili tashilakota,nga kuti bamwenamo umutengo
usuma, na if we nga tw mona inama isuma. Abantu abengi bakalakana
ukushita iyi inama, bakafwaya ukushita isabi.
2. Abakashana batemvapo ukuchila ukupwa ku baume ababombele mu
ma tauni. Pa kubwelela ku mushi,baisa ne nsalu sha busaka~ kabili
bali no ndalama sha kushitamo ifintu. Abhshatala abasela pa mushi,
bena bafwala fya nsamu. Abakashana batila abati: *'Abo baume ni
bakuwe,pantu batina ukuya mu matauni". Ubushiku bumo naumfwile
mukashana umo alebaula umwaume wa musango uyu,ati -'Muli bafye fye,.
mwe bashatala amuya ku nchito-. Abakashana bamo bamo balakana
ukupwa ku mwaume abekala fye ku mushi.
3. Ch-li pakati !abushiku,ne mfula yalolokako iyingi. Ununtu
asendeme mukayanga kakwe. Akoseshe mulilo mu n'anda pa kukana
umfwa impepo,ne chushi calefukamo icingi sana. Apo pene aumfwile
umusowa ukalamba kunse,no kubuka abuka. Ati asonteke ilampi lya-
kwe,awe asanga tamuli mafuta. Alolelapo,nomba aumfwa fye tondolo.
Epa kupona na kabili mu tulo.
2. English into Vernacular.
1. Children learn by watching and copying their elders. Their
parents do not teach them. Both boys and girls mix freely and play
games together, they watch and listen to everything that is going
on in the house and in the village. The little girls stay more with
their mothers and the boys walk about the whole village to see
everything that appears. They listen to their elders settling a
dispute or they hear tales which are told in the village meeting
2. The 'Doctor' came in the morning. He sat down and looked at
the patient. Then he said, you have a pain in your stomach; I can
divine this with my beads. In the afternoon you feel cold and in
the evening you do not wish to eat'. The patient agreed that this
was so. The the doctor brought out some roots. He said "this is
medicine for you'. He put the roots into a pot of water and boiled
3. When cases are being heard,anyone may attend and listen. The
elders and the witnesses discuss everything and many people say
what they think before judgement is given. Sometimes the elders
trust one witness and disbelieve another. Often a small case is
discussed for a long time before it is settled. In the village
everyone knows everything and it is difficult to hide evidence of
what has happened, and so cases are generally well settled.
Write a letter on one of the following subjects.
1. from a school boy to his uncle explaining what he does at the
2. from a miner to his wife at home in a rural area describing
how he spends his spare time at weekends in town.
3. from a doctor to an educated man describing how to tell whether
his people are suffering from malnutrition.
4. to an African policeman on a course in England giving him po-
lice news and an account of how the Corner Bar was burgled.
5. from an agricultural assistant to the local chief describing
the progress in improved agriculture and prospective crop yields
in the area for which he is responsible.
6. to a friend describing a hunt after garden rating elephants..
4. Translate into vernacular'
1. seven cats. (cat cona)
2. seventy three beans. (beans cilemba (not 01.4)
3. my big goat. (goat imbushi )
4. their only child.
5. this long grass. (grass ichani)
b. that red cloth. (cloth insalu)
7. we have just arrived. (to arrive ukufika)
8. I am about to go. (to go ukuya)
9. they began yesterday. (to be~in ukutampa or ukutendeka)
10. they have already finished. to finish ukupwa)
11. you saw him long ago. to see ukumona)
12. I am still eating. to eat ukulya)
13. she was cultivating, to cultivate ukulima)
14. do not hit him. to hit ukuma)
15. we shall not agree. to agree ukusumina)
16. I did not eat it.
17. you have not written. (to write ukulemba)
18. lest he forgets. to forget ukulaba)
19. let us both sit down. to sit ukwikala)
20. before he spoke. to speak ukulanda)
21. take it to him. to take ukutwala)
22. he has had a house built for himself. (to build ukukula)
23. your mothers are not here.
24. it is a long way to their village. village umushi)
25. he has never come here before. to come ukwisa)
26. I was the last to depart. (to depart ukuya or ukufuma
27.if he wishes,he will come.
28. how many times did you strike her? to strike ukuma)
29. he should have shortened it, to shorten- ukucefya
30. the woman whom he did not marry to marry ukupa)
April 1957 1 Vernacular into English.
A. Abo'bantu tabakwete fyum-n mpaka ilyo basun-u baishile, Amayanda
tayakulwa pa kuti yakokole,nakalyao kabili yaoneika bwangu ku bu-
bensio lmiEhi isela pa myaka ine atemwa isano. Amabala yalimwa fye
imlaka inono,elyo bafumaro. au fifulo fimbi abena Africa bateka
n'ombe; lelo abo bantu bafilwo kuteke n'ombepantu tushembele twa-
fulisha mu calo cabo. Abanakashi baba no mulimo wa kututila ifilyo
no kufiipika. Kale bakwete fys ifilyo finono ifya kuposesha.Abaume
batem-visho kulunga,nomba inems tashasekamuho nshiku.
Bo AbatonFa nomba bakwata n'ombe shingio Kale tacalifi pantu BaMa-
tabele baleisa lilili libili ku kwiba n'ombe shabo. Nomba nelyo
bakwatisha n'ombe,tabafwaya ukushitisha shingi myaka yonse,iyo.
Ecalenga,muno nshiku, n'ombe shilesanga ubwafya bukalamba pa kumone
cakulya icilinpile. Kale nalyo tukalume e twalecema n'ombeitakabli
masukulu. 'juno nshiku tukalume twinpi tuya kwisukulu. E calenga
n'ombenomba nashifulasana,nomba pa kushicema bv:ino,te pa bwafya.
C. Pa Christmas abantu bonse balisansamwike sana. "bakashi babo
balongele ubwalwa ubwinFi~ 'abili kwali ukucinda ubushiku bonse.
Pali ii nshita ya mnvaka,libili libili kulsba mfula sana; lelo uno
mwaka pa Christmas mfula tayalo'ele. Abantu bamo bamo baliipeye
abushi sha kulya, abaume batampile ukucinda; elyo umo aitile abana-
kashi bese nabo ku kucinda. romba umwaume alikolelwe; tafwaile
ukuti mukashi wakwe acinde. Atampile ukuumana na bantu bambi, no
kubalesha ukucinda. lyo bamo bamutwele ku n'anda ku mwakwe ku ku-
2o n-.lish into Vernacular:
A. In the past many children died,because their mothers did not
know what to do if their children were sick. To-day there are dis-
pensaries in many places: if a child is sick,its mother can take
it to eet medicine. Women are also learnin- how to feed their
children better. Milk is very rood for children; but it is still
difficult in some places to Fet milk. The government is also hel-
ping by teaching women how to cook food in new ways.
B. I was walking down the road when I saw a man waiting under a
tree. After I had passed he went to a store and tried to open the
door. He could not open it,but he found an oren window and climbed
through it. I .ent to the house and followed him inside. I found
him stealing clothes and pots. So I arrested hin. T"e tried to run
away and struck me,but I called another policeman and we brought
him to the charge-office.
C. If a young man dishes to marry he must fir.t find a girl who is
not married. His parents do not help to pay for his marriage; but
this does not trouble him much. He only has to pay a small amount
to the parents of the girl for several w-ears. At this time he has
no garden,so they cook for hin and provide hi' with food. Later he
makes his own garden. At night he sits and talks with other men of
the village, the women sit separately and do not talk with the mane
7. Write a letter in Vernacluar about one page:
.a) to a chief about soil erosion.
b to a woman teacher telling her how to cook rice.
c to a medical orderly about an epidemic of measles.
d to a constable about traffic offences.
e) to a native Luthority councillor about inefficient enforcement
of regulations relating to school attendance or unauthorised
settlement or plans for marketing.
4. Translate into vernacular:
1. many little trees.
2. only two chickens.
3, a red cloth
4- my mother,
5. their father.
6. iho is at the house?
7. whose is this hat'
8. those things yonder.
9. the handle of this axe,
10. that is the place
11. what is in there?
12. he himself came.
13. this is my sister,
14. as he said.
15. how much meal.
16. do not show them.
17. the man hurt himself.
18. you will take it from him.
19..he possesses a knife.
20. I do not know.
21. should I sit down.
22. we were about to depart.
23. those who did not hear.
24. he very nearly fell.
25. the day before yesterday.
26. they passed during the night.
27. you will come again next week.
28. he has been stung by a bee.
29. the water was poured into the p
30. he asks persistently.
(chicken mwana wa nkoko)
ot. (pour ukwitila)
April 1958 1. Vernacular into English
A. Nshatemwa ukwikala mu calo ca mwishika. Nshita yonse kulakabisha
akasuba, no bushiku bwine ndafilwa ukusendama pa mulandu wa cipuki.
Kabili abantu tabantemwa ne mwine naneu lupwa iwandi. Felyo natumwa
kuno ku kufunda abana babo no kubafwa pakuti baye ku ntanshi, taba-
lefwaya ukungafwa. Nshikwete filyo,pantu apo naishile papita fye
myeshi ibiligne bala nshilalima. Nomba abo bantu bandetelako tubunga
tunono utwakushita,balekana ukunshitisha umunani; baleti ndupwa sha-
bo nasho tashakwatisha. Eco nshilefwaya ukwvikala kuno, ndesubila
ukuti nkabwelela ku sukulu lyandi mu tauni uyu mwaka uleisa.
B. Uyu mulandu tawafishe. Uyu mwanakashi aletontonkanya ukuti ilyo
aile kukulosha nyina pe shilya lya mumana,uyu mulungu wapwile,umuka-
shana aleisa ubushiku nshiku shonse ku kusendama no mulume wakwe,
pantu nyina wa mwanakashi aleti alimwene mukashana ulya uko
alelungama ku n'anda icunp-ulo pa nshiku shibili nelyo shitatu ninshi
napafita, Umwaice wa mulume wakwe ena aleti aikele mu n'anda ilyo
mukashi aile ku lwendo,takwali mwanakashi uwaishile ku kubapempula,
Epo ali umo ushilesosa ifya cine. cifwile mukashana ulya aleya ku
n'anda ku citente cimbi ca mushi. Abo pashili uwamum-ene uko ale.-
ingila mu n'anda ya mwaume uyu, teti imukalipile.
C. Abantu abekala kwi shilya lya mpili isho nabasakamana sana uno
mwaka, Baletina abati:"Kukaba insala ninshi ifyakulya fya uno mwaka
tafilapya. Umwaka wapwile kwali mfula inono ne nyanje tashakulile
bwino twino Balikwata tukalundwe mu mabala yabo lelo tabatemwa uku-
nayako ubwali, Babelela fye ukulya ubwali bwa nyanje. Kabili balila-
saula inama ishingi mu mpanga mupepi no mushi e calenga mwashala fye
shinono no munani naucepa. Uno mwaka kwali mfula iingi na kasuba sana,
e ico baletontonkanya ukuti bakakwate ifilyo eyefilyako hvangu bwangu.
Ndesubila bakalonga no bwalwa ilyo nyanje shikapya.
2. English into Vernacular.
A. This is my house.I built it last year. It is a big house because
I have many children. Many of the houses in my village are small.
Only a few people live in brick houses.3ut we have rnany gardens-
This is a good thing since we have enough food every year.
B. I do not know when he left.He told me he will be back to-morrow.
I saw him at his village yesterday.The people at his village are
very lazyThey do not want to hoe their gardens properly.Last year
they had very little food. Some of them went away to the mines.
They left their wives and children without food.
C, One day I went to the boma. On the way I met two boys.They were
both returning from school.One had his books with him.The other one
carried a basket with food.He said the food belonged to his mother.
These two boys are children from the chief's villre They go to
school every day. Their father is a clever man. In future these
boys will be able to help him in his work. It is a good thing that
children should go to school.
3. Write a letter on one of these subjects:
a) from a 7ancroft miner who returned to his village to a friend
employed at Nchanga,telling him how he finds vill age life,etc.
b) from a student just arrived in London for the first time to
his mother in a village in Northern Ahodesia.
c) from a medical orderly to a doctor about bad conditions of hy-
giene found in a group of villages he visited.
d) from a F.A.councillor on leave to his chief councillor asking
for extension of leave and giving reasons.
e) from a N.A.councillor to the District Commissioner reporting
about one of the following and seeking help: (1) floods, road
cut, houses destroyed. (11) wild animal raiding -crops.
or (iii) a series of suspected poisoning cases witcraft involved.
4. Translate into vernacular:
1. four good cows. (cow ng'ombe)
2. we shall report to-morrow. report kufisla mashiwi)
5. bring me my bow. (bow buta)
4. the river is big. (river mumana)
5. come here at once, to come k7isa)
6. there is no maize in the grain bin. igrain-bin butala)
7. his brother is very ill. to be ill ukulwala)
8. what do you want to do? (to want kufwaya)
9. I want to leave my vork (leave kusha)
10. that road is bad. (road musebo)
11. their hoes are in the garden. (hoe lukasu)
12. a European killed this elephant
yesterday. (to kill kwipaya)
15. do not go to their village. (to go ukuya)
14. you should eat more fruit. (fruit citwalc)
15. my friend has four children. (friend cibusa)
16. ou will find good soil in the valley. (valley mukonko)
17. the eges are very expensive. (eu lini)
18. have you seen the new bridge9 (bridge bulalo)
19. he arrived at Ndola four days ago. (to arrive kufika)
20. did you put the meal in my basket? (basket cipe)
21. these men have not drunk much beer. (beer bwalwa)
22. if you come tomorrow I will give you money.
27. cut a little firewood. (firewood nkuni)
24. my brother has married your sister. (to marry ukupa)
25. tell him to come back on Sunday. (come back kubwela)
26. why did John not go home last year? (year mwaka)
27. I want you to ask the chief why he
has not planted the seed. (seed lubuto)
28. the people who live near the village
are suffering because of the rain. (to suffer kucula)
29. this house is tidier than Peter's. (to be tidy kuba no busaka)
30. do not stand in the sun without a hat. (hat cisote)
A. -aipwishe nati:"cinshi ciliko,John?" Nao asosele ati:"'Bwana,
awve ninsanswa".Umfweni mailo ubushiku ilyo nainwike ku ofeshi pa
kubwelela ku nanda nasangile ukuti abapupu balingile mu mwandi.
Balipantwvile ciseko ne fipe fyandi fyonse'nabafisalanganya panshi.
Bwangu bwangu naloleshe mu cipao ca mpiya. Awe tamuli nangu limo.
Kabili abapupu balisendele ne mfuti yundi ipya,ne nsapato shonse
ne fya kufwala fimo fimo fya mukashi wandi. Nomba nshishibe ne
fyakucita na mano yapela. Idukashi wandi aliya ku kutandala ku ba-
ntu bakwe,elyo nga abwela akatontonkanya ati nalishitisha amalaya
yakwe nelyo naliyapela kuli nkashi yandi. We Bwana,bushe teti
B. Umwikala-mushi nga alefwaya ukutampa ibala ilipya,pa kubala
ali no kuyapoka ulusa ku mukalamba wa mushi umo aikala. Nshita
ishingi pa kuyako alasenda kabupe kanono akali nga kamukolwe nelyo
mupini wa lukasu. Elyo engatampa ukutema ifimuti no kufyoca. Pa-
numa akaputaula icani no kucilonganya mu mina, elyo no kucoca
mfula'nga yaloka, umukashi wakwe e ubyala mbuto. Bwangu bwangu
mbuto shilamena,na pa nshita imo ine,ifyani nafyo filamena eco
bali no kukonkanyapo ukubomba mwi bala mpaka ifilyo fyakula fyaba
ifya maka. Cila bushiku kulaba ukubomba mwibala lipya mpaka ifilyo
C. Bulwele buntu bwabipa sana. Nomba amalwele ayengi tayesa fye ku
mulandu wa kukana ishiba,yesako na ku mulandu wa bunanani. Muno
nshiku kuli amasukulu ayengi mu calo na pa myaka iingi Abasungu
balilondolwele abakays ifilengo bulwele. Nomba abantu abengi bali-
kwata ubunanani bwa kuteshako. Ilingi tabapyfnga mu mayanda nelyo
ukuwamya pa mansa e cilengo kuti balunshi balefyalila mu fiko no
kulasslanganya yalya malwele syaletwa ku fiko. 1a bantu nga taba-
lesamba umute,fiko filalesha ifilonda ukupola. Abaice bamo bafyal-
wa'abapofula, bambi brnkoma-matwi,nelyo bacibulu pantu abafyashi
babo tbakwiata busaka. Abantu nga balefwaya ukwenda umutende abene
no kufyala na bana abakos,balingile baleesha na maka yonse ukwi-
sunga abene ku fiko no kusunga amayanda yabo ne filyo fyabo ubusakac
1. Vernacular into English.
2. English into Vernacular.
A. Come here Sakala. Your work is to look after this garden. Have
you worked in a garden before? It doesn't matter. I'will teach you.
But you must listen well. Today I want you to cultivate everywhere.
Pull out the weeds and put them all together in a heap over there.
When the rain comes,they'will make good soil. The soil here is very
poor and it is difficult to grow good flowers and vegetables. There
are many kinds of flowers growing in this garden. Look at them care-
fully so that you will know them. If you dig them up,I shall become
B. When a villager wants to build a hut,he cuts poles.and reaps
grass in the bush. Often his friends and relations help him in this
work and together they build the walls and thatch the roof. When
they have finished,the women plaster mud on the walls. These huts
are not very large and they _re dark inside. Sometimes,especially
during the wet season,the people light fires inside the huts and
the smoke cannot get out. Then it becomes very uncomfortable. Many
of the children get sore eyes because of the smoke and tney begin
to cough and to cry. Many people become sick because they live in
such wretched huts.
C. In this area the people catch fish and sell it in the market or
exchange it for other types of food such as fresh meat,rice or sweet
potatoes. The villagers who live near the river have different me-
thods of fishing. Some go far out into the river in canoes and let
down large nets which they drag towards the banks, others make
traps in the reeds and where the water is shallow; and others walk
along the banks with sparp spears which they thrust into the grass
where the fish like to hide. The womenfolk,too,stand in the shallow
water and let down large baskets in which they catch those tiny
fish which are in such great demand as relish. All the people who
live near this river work hard and,because of this, they are happy,
well off and free from troubles.
3. Translate into Vernacular.
1. Three large crocodiles. (crocodile = ngwena)
2. All these trees. (tree = cimuti)
3. Your old garden. (garden = ibala)
4. How' much money has he? (money = ndalama)
5. Where is my bicycle? (bicycle = ncinga)
6. Don't fight. (to fight = ukulwa)
7. My friends will arrive tomorrow. (to arrive = ukufika)
8. Why are you doing this? (to do = ukucita)
9. My father is dead. (to die = ukufwa)
10. Did you see him yesterday? (to see = ukumona)
11. You ought to tell me at once. (to tell = ukweba)
12. have you hurt yourself? (to hurt = ukucena)
13. Both these men are lying. (to lie = ukubepa)
14. We have no cattle. (cattle = ng'ombe)
15. How many wives have you? (wife = umukashi)
16. These children are always eating. (to eat = ukulya)
17. Whose is that dog over there? (dog = imbwa)
18. There is no food in the village. (food = icakulya)
19. If you fight you will be punished. (to punish = ukukalipila)
20. Ask that man what he is doing. (to ask = ukwipusha)
21. Let us go and sleep elsewhere. (to sleep = ukusendama)
22. o was killed by a cxrcodile. (to kill = ukwipaya)
23. We saw him stealing the money. (to steal = ukwiba)
24. Come here and help me. (to help = ukwafwa)
25. I have enough money now to buy a bicycle.(to buy = ukushita)
26. What were you trying to do? (to try = ukwesha)
27. go home before t.ie rain comes. (rain = imfula)
28. Is this the road to Lusaka,please? (road = umusebo)
29. Wait here until I return. (to wait = ukupembela)
30. They looked at each other without speaking.(to speak=ukulanda)
4. Write a letter in the vernacular of about one page in length on
ONE of the following subjects.
1. To a Native Auhtority departmental councillor,telling him his
duties and the way in which he should carry them out.
2. To a Chief,making arrangements for him to accompany you on
3. To an African detective,asking him to investigate a theft
of cattle from your farm.
4. To an African headmaster,suggesting ways and means of impro-
ving the attendance at his school.
5. To an African builder,explaining some work which you wish
him to carry out.
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