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Hausa Grammar

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

Prepositions - Hausa
and da
above bisa
under a ƙarƙashin
before kafin
after bayan
in front of a gaban
behind bayan
far from nesa daga
near kusa da
in ciki
inside ciki
outside waje
with da
without ba tare da
about a
between tsakanin
but amma
for don
from daga
to ga

Preposition Grammar Rules

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

Prepositions + Rules - Hausa
I eat without a knife
[preposition + noun] na ci ba tare da wuƙa ba
she lives near the church
[verb + preposition] tana zaune kusa da ikilisiya
he is taller than her
[adjective + preposition] ya fi ta tsawo
he came with his small dog
[preposition + pronoun] ya zo da dan karensa
can you come with me?
[preposition + pronoun] zaka iya zuwa tare da ni?

Negation in Hausa

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 - Hausa
I understand you
[affirmative form] na fahimce ka/ki/ku
I don't understand you
[negation + verb] ban fahimce ka/ki/ku ba
this is not the correct word
[negation + adjective] wannan kalima ba daidai bace
don't leave me
[imperative negation] kada ka/ki/ku bar ni
no problem
[negation + noun] ba illa

Negative Sentences - Hausa
I don't speak French
[negation + present tense] ba na jin faransanci
she didn't visit Germany
[negation + past tense] ba ta ziyarci jamus ba
he cannot see us
[negative modal verb] ba zai iya ganinmu ba
can't she play chess?
[interrogative negation] ta iya wasar chess?
we will not come late
[negation + future tense] ba za mu zo a makare ba

Questions in Hausa

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

English - Hausa
how? yaya?
what? me?
who? wa?
why? me ya sa?
where? ina?

More of the interrogative form, now in a sentence:

Questions + Rules - Hausa
where do you live?
[interrogative + verb] ina ka ke zaune?
does she speak Chinese?
[interrogative verb] tana jin harshen china?
how much is this?
[interrogative preposition] nawa ne wannan?
can I help you?
[interrogative modal verb] me kake bukata ne?
what is your name?
[interrogative preposition] yaya sunanka?

Adverbs in Hausa

It's time to learn the adverbs in Hausa. 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 - Hausa
now yanzu
yesterday jiya
today yau
tonight da daren nan
tomorrow gobe
soon bada jimawa ba
quickly da sauri
slowly sannu
together tare
very kwarai
almost kusan
always koda yaushe
usually bisa al'ada
sometimes wani lokaci
rarely ba saban ba
never har abada

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

Adverbs + Rules - Hausa
do you understand me now?
[pronoun + adverb] ka fahimce ni yanzu?
I need help immediately
[noun + adverb] ina bukatar taimako yanzu-yanzu
she is very intelligent
[adverb + adjective] ita haziƙa ce
I will always love you
[verb + adverb] ba zan taba daina sonka/ki/ku ba
can we learn German together?
[adverb in a question] za mu koyi harshen jamusanci tare?

Pronouns in Hausa

We're almost done! This time we will learn the pronouns in Hausa. 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 - Hausa
I ni
you kai, ke, ku
he shi
she ita
we mu
they su

Object Pronouns - Hausa
me ni
you kai, ke, ku
him shi
her ita
us mu
them su

Possessive Pronouns - Hausa
my nawa
your naka/naki/naku
his nashi
her nata
our namu
their nasu

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 - Hausa
I am your friend
[1st pronoun + verb] ni abokinka.ki/ku ne
you speak very fast
[2nd pronoun + adverb] kana magana da sauri
he has three dogs
[3rd pronoun + verb] yana da karnukka ukku
she can speak German
[3rd pronoun + verb] ta iya magana da harshen jamus
we will not come late
[1st plural pronoun] ba za mu makaraba ba
they bought milk and bread
[3rd plural pronoun] sun sayo madara da burodi

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 - Hausa
can you tell me your name?
[1st object pronoun] za ka faɗa mini sunanka?
I will give you money
[2nd object pronoun] zan ba ka kuɗi
she wrote him a letter
[3rd object pronoun] ta rubuta masa wasiƙa
they visited her yesterday
[3rd object pronoun] sun ziyarce ta jiya
can she help us?
[1st pl. object pronoun] zata iya taimaka mana?
he gave them food
[3rd pl. object pronoun] ya ba su abinci

Possessive Pronouns - Hausa
my name is Maya
[1st possessive pronoun] sunnana maya
your brother lives here
[2nd possessive pronoun] ɗan'uwanka yana zaune a nan
her mother cooks for us
[3rd possessive pronoun] uwarta ne yi mana girki
his hobby is reading books
[3rd possessive pronoun] yana sha'awar karatun littafai
our dream is to visit Paris
[1st pl. possessive pronoun] mafarkinmu shine mu ziyarci paris
their house is not far
[3rd pl. possessive pronoun] gidansu ba ya da nisa

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

Demonstrative Pronouns - Hausa
this is my house wannan shi ne gidana
that restaurant is far gidan abincin nan yana da nisa
these apples are delicious waɗannan afel suna da dadi
those stars are shiny taurarin nan suna da haske

I hope you learned a lot about the Hausa 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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