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Kongo Grammar

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

Prepositions - Kongo
and mpi
above na zulu
under na nsi
before na ntwala
after na nima
in front of na ntwala
behind na nima
far from ntama katuka na
near mfinama
in na
inside na kati
outside na nganda
with ti
without kukonda
about ya me tala
between na kati kati
but kansi
for sambu na
from katuka na
to na

Preposition Grammar Rules

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

Prepositions + Rules - Kongo
I eat without a knife
[preposition + noun] mono ke dia kukonda mbele ya mesa
she lives near the church
[verb + preposition] yandi ke vandaka mfina na nzonzambi
he is taller than her
[adjective + preposition] yandi me luta yandi na nda
he came with his small dog
[preposition + pronoun] yandi kwisaka ti mbwa na yandi ya fioti
can you come with me?
[preposition + pronoun] nge lenda kwisa ti mono?

Negation in Kongo

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 - Kongo
I understand you
[affirmative form] mono ke bakisa nge
I don't understand you
[negation + verb] mono ke bakisa nge ve
this is not the correct word
[negation + adjective] yai kele ngogo ya kulungo ve
don't leave me
[imperative negation] kubika mono ve
no problem
[negation + noun] diambu kele ve

Negative Sentences - Kongo
I don't speak French
[negation + present tense] mono ke tubaka falanse ve
she didn't visit Germany
[negation + past tense] yandi kwendaka kutala allemani ve
he cannot see us
[negative modal verb] yandi lenda mona beto ve
can't she play chess?
[interrogative negation] yandi ke lunga kubula ngolo ve?
we will not come late
[negation + future tense] beto ta kuma na letale ve

Questions in Kongo

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

English - Kongo
how? inki mutindu?
what? inki?
who? nani?
why? sambu na inki?
where? wapi?

More of the interrogative form, now in a sentence:

Questions + Rules - Kongo
where do you live?
[interrogative + verb] nge ke vandaka wapi?
does she speak Chinese?
[interrogative verb] yandi ke tubaka shinwa?
how much is this?
[interrogative preposition] yai ke ntalu kwa?
can I help you?
[interrogative modal verb] mono lenda sadisa nge?
what is your name?
[interrogative preposition] nki kele zina na nge?

Adverbs in Kongo

It's time to learn the adverbs in Kongo. 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 - Kongo
now ntangu yai
yesterday mazono
today bubu
tonight na nkokila yai
tomorrow mbasi
soon sisepi yai
quickly nswalu
slowly malembe malembe
together kisika/nzilamosi
very kibeni
almost mfinama
always ntangu yonso
usually kaka
sometimes mbala ya nkaka
rarely na mpasi
never ata mbala mosi ve

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

Adverbs + Rules - Kongo
do you understand me now?
[pronoun + adverb] nge me bakisa mono sesepi yai?
I need help immediately
[noun + adverb] mono kele na mfunu ya lusadisu nswalu
she is very intelligent
[adverb + adjective] yandi kele na ngangu kibeni
I will always love you
[verb + adverb] mono ta zolaka nge ntango nyonso
can we learn German together?
[adverb in a question] keti beto lenda kulonguka alemani beto zole?

Pronouns in Kongo

We're almost done! This time we will learn the pronouns in Kongo. 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 - Kongo
I mono
you nge
he yandi
she yandi
we beto
they bo

Object Pronouns - Kongo
me mono
you nge
him yandi
her yandi
us beto
them bo

Possessive Pronouns - Kongo
my ya mono
your ya nge
his ya yandi
her ya yandi
our ya beto
their ya bo

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 - Kongo
I am your friend
[1st pronoun + verb] mono ikele nduku na nge
you speak very fast
[2nd pronoun + adverb] nge ke tuba ntinu ntinu kibeni
he has three dogs
[3rd pronoun + verb] yandi kele na bambwa tatu
she can speak German
[3rd pronoun + verb] yandi lenda tuba alemani
we will not come late
[1st plural pronoun] beto ta kwisa na nima ve
they bought milk and bread
[3rd plural pronoun] bo sumbaka mabele ti mampa

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 - Kongo
can you tell me your name?
[1st object pronoun] nge lenda songa mono zina na nge?
I will give you money
[2nd object pronoun] mono ata pesa nge mbongo
she wrote him a letter
[3rd object pronoun] yandi sonikilaka yandi munkanda
they visited her yesterday
[3rd object pronoun] bo kwendaka kutala yandi mazono
can she help us?
[1st pl. object pronoun] yandi lenda kusadisa beto?
he gave them food
[3rd pl. object pronoun] yandi pesaka bo madia

Possessive Pronouns - Kongo
my name is Maya
[1st possessive pronoun] zina na mono kele maya
your brother lives here
[2nd possessive pronoun] mpangi na nge ya yakala ke vandaka awa
her mother cooks for us
[3rd possessive pronoun] mama na yandi ke lambila beto
his hobby is reading books
[3rd possessive pronoun] kisalu na yandi ikele kutanga minkanda
our dream is to visit Paris
[1st pl. possessive pronoun] mabanza na beto ikele ya kukwenda tala paris
their house is not far
[3rd pl. possessive pronoun] nzo na bo ikele ntama ve

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

Demonstrative Pronouns - Kongo
this is my house yai ikele nzo na mono
that restaurant is far restaurant yina ikele ntama
these apples are delicious mabamfu yai ikele ntomo
those stars are shiny bambwetete yina ikele kusema

I hope you learned a lot about the Kongo 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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