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. If you have any question about this lesson please contact me here. The next lesson is below, have fun!

Hausa Phrases   Hausa Phrases

Hausa Vocabulary   Hausa Vocabulary



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