Haitian Grammar

Welcome to the 8th lesson about Haitian 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 Haitian and English the preposition is [and] because it connects both words Haitian and English. The following is a list of the most used prepositions in Haitian.

Prepositions
Haitian
and
epi
above
anwo'l
under
anba'l
before
anvan'l
after
apre'l
in front of
devan'l
behind
dèyè'l
far from
lwen
near
tou pre
in
nan
inside
andedan
outside
deyò
with
ak
without
san
about
sou
between
ant
but
men
for
pou
from
nan
to

Preposition Grammar Rules

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

Prepositions + Rules
Haitian
I eat without a knife
[preposition + noun]
m 'manje san yon kouto
she lives near the church
[verb + preposition]
li rete tou pre legliz la
he is taller than her
[adjective + preposition]
li ki pi wo pase l '
he came with his small dog
[preposition + pronoun]
li vini avèk ti chen'l
can you come with me?
[preposition + pronoun]
ou ka vin avè m '?

Negation in Haitian

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
Haitian
I understand you
[affirmative form]
mwen konprann ou
I don't understand you
[negation + verb]
mwen pa konprann ou
this is not the correct word
[negation + adjective]
sa a se pa pawòl ki kòrèk la
don't leave me
[imperative negation]
pa kite'm
no problem
[negation + noun]
pa gen okenn pwoblèm

Negative Sentences
Haitian
I don't speak French
[negation + present tense]
mwen pa pale franse
she didn't visit Germany
[negation + past tense]
li pa't ale nan almay
he cannot see us
[negative modal verb]
li pa ka wè nou
can't she play chess?
[interrogative negation]
li pa ka jwe echèk?
we will not come late
[negation + future tense]
nou p'ap vini an reta

Questions in Haitian

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

English
Haitian
how?
ki jan?
what?
ki sa?
who?
ki moun?
why?
poukisa?
where?
ki kote?

More of the interrogative form, now in a sentence:

Questions + Rules
Haitian
where do you live?
[interrogative + verb]
kote w ap viv?
does she speak Chinese?
[interrogative verb]
èske li pale chinwa?
how much is this?
[interrogative preposition]
konbyen lajan sa a se?
can I help you?
[interrogative modal verb]
mwen kapab ede ou?
what is your name?
[interrogative preposition]
ki gen ou rele?

Adverbs in Haitian

It's time to learn the adverbs in Haitian. 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
Haitian
now
kounye a
yesterday
today
jodi a
tonight
aswè a
tomorrow
demen
soon
byento
quickly
byen vit
slowly
tou dousman
together
ansanm
very
anpil
almost
prèske
always
toujou
usually
anjeneral
sometimes
pafwa
rarely
rarman
never
pa janm

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

Adverbs + Rules
Haitian
do you understand me now?
[pronoun + adverb]
èske ou konprann mwen kounye a?
I need help immediately
[noun + adverb]
mwen bezwen èd kounye'a
she is very intelligent
[adverb + adjective]
li trè entèlijan
I will always love you
[verb + adverb]
m'ap toujou renmen'w
can we learn German together?
[adverb in a question]
nou ka aprann alman ansanm?

Pronouns in Haitian

We're almost done! This time we will learn the pronouns in Haitian. 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
Haitian
I
mwen menm
you
ou menm
he
li menm
she
li menm
we
nou menm
they
yo meam

Object Pronouns
Haitian
me
mwen
you
ou
him
li
her
li
us
nou
them
yo

Possessive Pronouns
Haitian
my
mwen
your
ou
his
li
her
li
our
nou
their
yo

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
Haitian
I am your friend
[1st pronoun + verb]
mwen se zanmi'w
you speak very fast
[2nd pronoun + adverb]
ou pale trè vit
he has three dogs
[3rd pronoun + verb]
li gen twa chen
she can speak German
[3rd pronoun + verb]
li ka pale alman
we will not come late
[1st plural pronoun]
nou p'ap vini an reta
they bought milk and bread
[3rd plural pronoun]
yo te achte lèt ak pen

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
Haitian
can you tell me your name?
[1st object pronoun]
ou ka di'm non'w?
I will give you money
[2nd object pronoun]
mwen pral ba ou lajan
she wrote him a letter
[3rd object pronoun]
li te ekri'l yon lèt
they visited her yesterday
[3rd object pronoun]
yo te vizite'l yè
can she help us?
[1st pl. object pronoun]
li ka ede nou?
he gave them food
[3rd pl. object pronoun]
li te bayo manje

Possessive Pronouns
Haitian
my name is Maya
[1st possessive pronoun]
non mwen se maya
your brother lives here
[2nd possessive pronoun]
frè ou viv la
her mother cooks for us
[3rd possessive pronoun]
manman'l fe manje pou nou
his hobby is reading books
[3rd possessive pronoun]
plezi li se li liv
our dream is to visit Paris
[1st pl. possessive pronoun]
rèv nou se pou n'al pari
their house is not far
[3rd pl. possessive pronoun]
lakay yo pa lwen

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

Demonstrative Pronouns
Haitian
this is my house
sa'a se kay mwen
that restaurant is far
restoran sa'a byen lwen
these apples are delicious
pòm sa yo gen bon gou
those stars are shiny
zetwal yo klere

I hope you learned a lot about the Haitian grammar in this lesson. If you have any question about this lesson please contact me here. The next lesson is below, have fun!

Haitian Phrases   Haitian Phrases

Haitian Vocabulary   Haitian Vocabulary



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