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Alternative formsEdit

  • -da- (commonly used alternative)



  1. Forms the past tense in verbs.

Usage notesEdit

  • 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.




  1. Forms the present tense in verbs.