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Burmese Grammar

Welcome to the 8th lesson about Burmese grammar. We will first learn about prepositions, negation, questions, adverbs, and pronouns including: personal, object and possessive pronouns.

We will start with prepositions. In general, they are used to link words to other words. For example: I speak Burmese and English the preposition is [and] because it connects both words Burmese and English. The following is a list of the most used prepositions in Burmese.

Prepositions - Burmese
and hne Audio
above a paw Audio
under aut Audio
before ma tai me Audio
after pyi naut Audio
in front of a shei hmar Audio
behind a naut hmar Audio
far from hma way thaw Audio
near ni thaw Audio
in a the hmar Audio
inside a twin Audio
outside a pyin Audio
with hnint a tu Audio
without ma par be Audio
about laut/ a kyaung Audio
between kyar Audio
but thoh thaw le Audio
for a twet Audio
from hma Audio
to thoh Audio

Preposition Grammar Rules

The following examples use prepositions in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence.

Prepositions + Rules - Burmese
I eat without a knife
[preposition + noun] kyun note kha yin ma par be sar ba de Audio
she lives near the church
[verb + preposition] thu ma bayar shit khoh kyaung nar hmar ne ba de Audio
he is taller than her
[adjective + preposition] thu ka thu ma htet a yat shay ba thie Audio
he came with his small dog
[preposition + pronoun] thu ka thu ye khwe lay ne a tu la thie Audio
can you come with me?
[preposition + pronoun] thin kyun note ne a tu lar naing ba tha lar Audio

Negation in Burmese

Now let's learn how to make a negative sentence (negation). For example: Saying no, I can't, I don't ... The following examples use negation in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence.

Negation + Rules - Burmese
I understand you
[affirmative form] thin ko kyun note nar le ba de Audio
I don't understand you
[negation + verb] thin ko kyun note nar ma le bu Audio
this is not the correct word
[negation + adjective] d har ka sagar lone a hman ma hoat bu Audio
don't leave me
[imperative negation] kyun note ko chan ma htar khe ba ne Audio
no problem
[negation + noun] pyat tha nar ma hoat ba bu Audio

Negative Sentences - Burmese
I don't speak French
[negation + present tense] kyun note pyin thit sagar ma pyaw tat bu Audio
she didn't visit Germany
[negation + past tense] thu ma germany ko ma le pat bu ba Audio
he cannot see us
[negative modal verb] thu kyun note doh ko ma myin naing bu Audio
can't she play chess?
[interrogative negation] thu ma sit tu yin ma kasar bu lar Audio
we will not come late
[negation + future tense] kyun note doh naut ma kya aung lar ba me Audio

Questions in Burmese

Now let's learn how to ask questions (interrogative). Such as: what, why, can you ...? Here are some common examples:

English - Burmese
how? be lo le Audio
what? bar le Audio
who? be thu le Audio
why? bar kyaunt le Audio
where? be hmar le Audio

More of the interrogative form, now in a sentence:

Questions + Rules - Burmese
where do you live?
[interrogative + verb] thin be hmar ne ba tha le Audio
does she speak Chinese?
[interrogative verb] thu ma ta yoak sagar pyaw tha lar Audio
how much is this?
[interrogative preposition] d har ka be laut le Audio
can I help you?
[interrogative modal verb] kyun note thin ko ku nyi naing ba tha lar Audio
what is your name?
[interrogative preposition] thin nan me be lo khaw ba tha le Audio

Adverbs in Burmese

It's time to learn the adverbs in Burmese. But what is an adverb? In general, adverbs modify verbs and adjectives. For example: You speak fast. The adverb is [fast] because it describes the verb and answers the question how do you speak?. Here is a list of the most common ones:

Adverbs - Burmese
now a khu Audio
yesterday ma nei ka Audio
today d nei Audio
tonight d nei nya Audio
tomorrow ma nat pan Audio
soon ma kyar me Audio
quickly a myan Audio
slowly hnay hnay Audio
together a tu tu Audio
very a yan Audio
almost nee ba Audio
always a mye dan Audio
usually a khar dine a myarr arr phyint Audio
sometimes ta khar ta yan Audio
rarely shar shar ba ba Audio
never be daw hma Audio

The following examples use the adverbs in different ways and places to demonstrate how it behaves in a sentence.

Adverbs + Rules - Burmese
do you understand me now?
[pronoun + adverb] thin a khu kyun note pyaw da nar le ba tha lar Audio
I need help immediately
[noun + adverb] kyun note a khu chat chin a-ku-a-nyi lo ba de Audio
she is very intelligent
[adverb + adjective] thu ma nyan a yan kaung de Audio
I will always love you
[verb + adverb] thin ko kyun note a mye dan chit ne ba me Audio
can we learn German together?
[adverb in a question] kyun note doh greman sagar a tu tu le lar naing ba tha le Audio

Pronouns in Burmese

We're almost done! This time we will learn the pronouns in Burmese. In general, a pronoun can be used instead of a noun. For example instead of saying my teacher speaks 3 languages, you can use the pronoun he, and say he speaks 3 languages. Here is a list of the most common ones:

Personal Pronouns - Burmese
I kyun note Audio
you thin Audio
he thu Audio
she thu ma Audio
we kyun note doh Audio
they thu doh Audio

Object Pronouns - Burmese
me kyun note ko Audio
you thin ko Audio
him thu ko Audio
her thu ma ko Audio
us kyun note doh ko Audio
them thu doh ko Audio

Possessive Pronouns - Burmese
my kyun note ei Audio
your thin ei Audio
his thu ei Audio
her thu ma ei Audio
our kyun note doh ei Audio
their thu doh ei Audio

I think it's better to put the above example in a sentence to better assist you. The following examples use pronouns in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence. We will start with the personal pronouns.

Personal Pronouns - Burmese
I am your friend
[1st pronoun + verb] kyun note ka thin ei mate swe phyit ba de Audio
you speak very fast
[2nd pronoun + adverb] thin sagar a yan myan myan pyaw de Audio
he has three dogs
[3rd pronoun + verb] thu hmar khwe thone kaung shi de Audio
she can speak German
[3rd pronoun + verb] thu ma german sagar pyaw de Audio
we will not come late
[1st plural pronoun] kyun note doh naut ma kya aung la ba me Audio
they bought milk and bread
[3rd plural pronoun] thu doh nwar noh hne paung mont we khe de Audio

The object pronoun is used as a target by a verb, and usually come after that verb. For example: I gave him my book. The object pronoun here is him. Here are more examples:

Object Pronouns - Burmese
can you tell me your name?
[1st object pronoun] thin kyun note ko thin nan me pyaw naing ba tha lar Audio
I will give you money
[2nd object pronoun] kyun note thin ko pait san pay ba me Audio
she wrote him a letter
[3rd object pronoun] thu ma ka thu si ko sar ta saung yay khe de Audio
they visited her yesterday
[3rd object pronoun] thu doh thu ma si ko ma nei ko thwar le khe de Audio
can she help us?
[1st pl. object pronoun] thu ma kyun note doh ko ku nyi naing ba tha lar Audio
he gave them food
[3rd pl. object pronoun] thu ka thu doh ko a sar pay khe de Audio

Possessive Pronouns - Burmese
my name is Maya
[1st possessive pronoun] kyun ma ei nan me hmar maya phyit ba de Audio
your brother lives here
[2nd possessive pronoun] thin a ko d hmar nay de Audio
her mother cooks for us
[3rd possessive pronoun] thu ma ei a may ka kyun note doh ko chat kywe de Audio
his hobby is reading books
[3rd possessive pronoun] thu war tha nar ka sar phat chin phyit de Audio
our dream is to visit Paris
[1st pl. possessive pronoun] kyun note doh ei ain mat ka paris ko thwar le yan phyit de Audio
their house is not far
[3rd pl. possessive pronoun] thu doh ei ain ka ma way ba Audio

One more thing you need to know is the demonstrative pronouns. They're very easy to learn.

Demonstrative Pronouns - Burmese
this is my house d har ka kyun note doh ei ain phyit de Audio
that restaurant is far hto sar thaut sai ka way de Audio
these apples are delicious d pan thee twe ka a ya thar shi de Audio
those stars are shiny hto kye twe ka taut pa de Audio

I hope you learned a lot about the Burmese grammar in this lesson. Please check out our main menu here for more lessons: homepage. The next lesson is below, have fun!

Inspirational Quote: First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. Epictetus

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