Chichewa

Learn Chichewa Lesson 10: Negatives

Lesson 10: Negatives

Rule 1 for Negative Usage

To show ‘negavitive’ we can usually use the prefix ‘si-‘ on the verb. It becomes the very first syllable on the word.

If the verb prefix starts with a vowel (like ‘Akubwera. (He / She is coming.)’ or ‘Uli bwino. (It is good.)’, the i on si- is often dropped, letting the s- and the vowel form one syllable.

VOCABULARY
English Chichewa
he is / she is / they are a ku
come bwera

CONVERSATION

POSITIVE STATEMENT

Akubwera.

He is coming.

NEGATIVE STATEMENT

Sakubwera.

He is not coming.

Rule 2 for Negative Usage

Negative past sentense changes the final ‘-a’ of the verb to ‘-e’.

VOCABULARY
English Chichewa
I did ndi na
go pita
want funa

CONVERSATION 1

POSITIVE STATEMENT

Ndinapita.

I went.

NEGATIVE STATEMENT

Sindinapite.

I didn’t go.

CONVERSATION 2

POSITIVE STATEMENT

Ndinafuna.

I wanted.

NEGATIVE STATEMENT

Sindinafune.

I didn’t want.

Rule 3 for Negative Usage

The ‘present perfect tense’ has no negative form, so just use the form of regular negative past tense.

VOCABULARY
English Chichewa
I’ve nda
go pita
church tchalitchi
eat dya
nsima nsima

CONVERSATION 1

POSITIVE STATEMENT

Ndapita kutchalitchi.

I have gone to church.

NEGATIVE STATEMENT

Sindinapite kutchalitchi.

I haven’t gone to church. (I didn’t go to church.)

CONVERSATION 2

POSITIVE STATEMENT

Ndadya nsima.

I have eaten nsima.

NEGATIVE STATEMENT

Sindinadye nsima.

I haven’t eaten nsima. (I didn’t eat nsima.)

Rule 4 for Negative Usage

The habitual tense ‘ma’ often drops the ‘ma’ when it is made negative. .

VOCABULARY
English Chichewa
He does a ma
stay khala
in ku

CONVERSATION 1

POSITIVE STATEMENT

Amakhala ku Lilongwe.

He stays in Lilongwe.

NEGATIVE STATEMENT

Sakhala ku Lilongwe.

He doen’t stay in Lilongwe.