Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Chapter 11: Ngoni Auxiliary Particles

There are certain particles which are used with verbs and modify their meaning and serve instead of some English adverbs. They are derived from verbs.

The following are in use: -

1. Sa, is used before the verb root, and means,

(1) In positive conjugation, still, yet, then, while, &c., according to the context. Continuance of action is expressed by it. It is generally used with the present tense and present participle.


Ngisakhuluma, I still speak.

Wamuka, ngisadla, he went away while I was eating (I still eating).

(2). In negative conjugation, no more, any longer, again, &c.


Angisayikubuya, I will come no more.
Angisathandi, I do not any longer love.

2. Se, is used before the pronominal verbal prefix, and has a variety of meanings.

(1). Already, now, then, &c., marking the commencement or completion of the action of the verb.

(2). At this time, at that time, when, &c. It is used before pronouns whose initial letter is not the vowel u.

3. So, signifies the same things as se, but is used with pronouns which have u. It is merely a euphonic difference, and not a difference of derivation or meaning.


Sengiyahamba, now I am going.

Sowuhambile na? or Sohambile na? has he now (already) gone

Ningadla inyama sesifikile ekhaya, you can eat flesh when we arrive at home.

In Zulu, the use of se- with subject concords of more than a vowel only such as ngi-, si-, ba-, li-, ku-, is the same as in Ngoni as shown above in Sengiyamba. Note however that the subject concord of class 2 is be eg.

Abantu sebehambile na? Have the people already left?

Abantwana sebekhathele, bafuna ukuphumula, The children are already tired.

However when it comes subject concords of a vowel only, eg u-, i-, a-, there is a difference in that in Zulu the subject concord is atached in front of -se and is repeated immediately after -se in the place of the -e of -se.

Usumtshelile (<u-s(e)-umtshelile) na ubaba? Have you already told father.

Inyanga isiphumile (<i-s(e)-iphumile) The moon has already (come out, i.e.) risen.

The subject concords of class 1 1a and 6 are -e when following -se.

UThandi usehambile (u-s(e)-ehambile) Thandi has already left

Umama uselele (< u-s(e)-elele.). Mother is already asleep.

Amanzi asebilile (< a-s(e)-ebilile). The water has already boiled.

Amadoda asebuyile (a-s(e)-ebuyile). The men have already returned.

4. Ka, is used in the negative forms of tenses, and expresses that the action is not now, or was not then completed, at the time of speaking. It may be translated by not yet.


Ungakafiki, he has not yet arrived.

Ngafika, bengakafiki, I arrived, they not having yet arrived = I arrived before them.

5. Ake, is used with the subjunctive mood, and may be spoken. where in English we would say " please," as in making apology for troubling one in moving to another position.


Ake ngiphume, excuse my going out, or please let me go out, &c.

6. Ke, is used in commencing or ending a sentence, meaning, and so, and then, so, then, &c.


Ngafikake, so I arrived, or and then I arrived.

7. Phela, is used like ke, and may mean indeed, quite so, &c.


Ngitsho phela, I indeed say.

8. Buya, from the verb, to return (Ngoni=come) means " then," &c.


Wafika, wabuya walala, he arrived and then he slept.

9. Funa, means to be on the point of doing anything. It means also "lest" (with subjective mood).


Ufuna kufa, he is just dying.
Bamba funa uwe, grasp lest you fall.

10. Ukuthi, means to be so, or to do so, as is afterwards explained in the context.


Kwathi, ngolunye usuku wawa phansi, it was so, one day he fell clown.

Wathi, wabulala umuntu, and he killed a man.

Ukuthi is also used in describing sounds, &c., as Kwathi go! it sounded go. It is also used in counting, e.g., Izinkomo zami zithi (holding up so many fingers), my cattle are so many.

Ukuthi is the verb to say, and is used for " to wit," " that," &c.

Wakhuluma, wathi, He spoke and said.

Watsho ukuthi, he said, to wit (or that).

Click here to go to Chapter 12: Ngoni Interjections and Conjunctions

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