Swahili pronouns/viwakilishi

A pronoun is a word that represents a certain noun (name). The same as English, Swahili has three (3) personal pronouns, each of which is divided into singular and plural. The pronouns are as follows below:

  1. First personal pronoun

Mimi (I/me) for singular and sisi (we/us) for plural  

  • Second personal pronoun

Wewe (you) for singular and Nyinyi (you) for plural

  • Third personal pronoun

Yeye (he, she, it) for singular and wao (they/them) for plural

Conversation 1

KULWA: Wewe ni nani? (who are you?)

MALIA: Mimi ni mwalimu (I’m a teacher)

KULWA: Mimi nakupenda wewe (I love you)

MALIA: Nakupenda pia (I love you too)

            Conversation 2

JUMA: Huyu ni jirani yangu (this is my neighbor). Yeye ni dereva (he is a driver).

AISHA: Hawa ni Watoto wangu (these are my children). Wao ni wanafunzi (they are pupils).

JUMA: Anna na Gama ni marafiki (Anna and Gama are friends). Wao wanapenda ugali (they like ugali)

AISHA: Sisi ni Watanzania (we are Tanzanians). Nyinyi ni Wamarekani (you are Americans)

JUMA: Kwaheri! (goodbye)

AISHA: Haya, kwaheri.


Is the pronoun used in the sentence singular or plural?

  1. Mimi NInapenda kula wali (rice).
  2. Sisi TUtakimbia kesho  (tomorrow).
  3. Wao WAnacheza mpira (ball).
  4. Nyinyi Mnakunywa maziwa.
  5. Yeye Anakuja leo (today).
  6. Wewe Unakunywa maziwa (milk).  

As seen in the examples above, each pronoun can be represented by a morpheme attached to the beginning of a verb. For example, Mimi (ni), wewe (u), sisi (tu), wao (wa), yeye (a), nynyi (m)


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