Chichewa edit

Alternative forms edit

  • -da- (commonly used alternative)

Infix edit


  1. Forms the past tense in verbs.

Usage notes edit

  • To indicate the recent past, the high tone is shifted off the tense marker to the next syllable. Prescriptive grammars state that only the form -na- can be used this way, not -da-.
  • Among most speakers, -na- and -da- are in free variation. The form -da- is most common in Malawi's Central Region, and was formerly designated as the standard.

Swahili edit

Etymology edit

From -na, a stem of -wa na (to have).[1]

Pronunciation edit

  • (file)

Infix edit


  1. positive present tense marker
    wanakulathey are eating
  2. (in stative verbs) inceptive aspect marker
    wanalalathey are falling asleep
    Inakuwa baridi.It is getting cold.
  3. (in second verb in a series) marker of simultaneity
    Near-synonym: -ki-
    1. (after -wa) continuous aspect marker
      nilikuwa ninaandikaI was writing

Usage notes edit

This marker can be used in both nonrelative and relative verbs.

Conjugation edit

See also edit

Swahili TAM markers
Positive infinitive ku-/kw-1
Negative infinitive kuto-
Habitual hu-1
Telegrammic ka-1
General (positive indicative) -a
Positive subjunctive -e
Negative present -i
Second person plural -ni
Infix position
positive subject concord
Positive past -li-
Positive present -na-
Positive future -ta-
Negative subjunctive -si-1
Positive present conditional -nge-
Negative present conditional -singe-
Positive past conditional -ngali-
Negative past conditional -singali-
Gnomic -a-1
Perfect -me-
"Already" past -lisha-
"Already" present -mesha-/-sha-
"If/When" -ki-1
"If not" -sipo-
Consecutive -ka-1
Infix position
negative subject concord
Negative past -ku-1
Negative future -ta-
"Not yet" -ja-1
Negative present conditional -nge-
Negative past conditional -ngali-
Past -li-
Present -na-
Future -taka-
Negative -si-
1 Can take stress and therefore does not require -ku-/-kw- in monosyllabic verbs.

References edit

  1. ^ Carl Meinhof (1906) Grundzüge einer vergleichenden Grammatik der Bantusprachen, Dietrich Reimer, page 71