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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

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
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. 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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