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Malagasy Grammar

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

Prepositions - Malagasy
and ary / sy Audio
above ambony Audio
under ambany Audio
before aloha Audio
after aoriana Audio
in front of eo anoloan'ny Audio
behind aoriana Audio
far from lavitra Audio
near akaiky Audio
in anaty Audio
inside anaty Audio
outside ivelan'ny Audio
with miaraka Audio
without tsy miaraka Audio
about mikasika Audio
between anelanelany Audio
but nefa Audio
for noho Audio
from avy amin' Audio
to hatrany Audio

Preposition Grammar Rules

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

Prepositions + Rules - Malagasy
I eat without a knife
[preposition + noun] mihinana tsy misy antsy aho Audio
she lives near the church
[verb + preposition] eo akaiki'ny fiangonana izy no mipetraka Audio
he is taller than her
[adjective + preposition] iry lava noho iry Audio
he came with his small dog
[preposition + pronoun] tonga niaraka tamin'ny alika kely izy Audio
can you come with me?
[preposition + pronoun] afaka miaraka aamiko ve ianao? Audio

Negation in Malagasy

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 - Malagasy
I understand you
[affirmative form] azoko ianao Audio
I don't understand you
[negation + verb] tsy azoko ianao Audio
this is not the correct word
[negation + adjective] diso io teny io Audio
don't leave me
[imperative negation] aza ilazana aho Audio
no problem
[negation + noun] tsy misy olana Audio

Negative Sentences - Malagasy
I don't speak French
[negation + present tense] tsy mahay miteny frantsay aho Audio
she didn't visit Germany
[negation + past tense] tsy tany alemanina izy Audio
he cannot see us
[negative modal verb] tsy afaka mahita antsika izy Audio
can't she play chess?
[interrogative negation] tsy mahay eseka izy Audio
we will not come late
[negation + future tense] tsy ho tara izahay Audio

Questions in Malagasy

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

English - Malagasy
how? ahoana? Audio
what? inona? Audio
who? iza? Audio
why? nahoana? Audio
where? aiza? Audio

More of the interrogative form, now in a sentence:

Questions + Rules - Malagasy
where do you live?
[interrogative + verb] aiza iana no mipetraka? Audio
does she speak Chinese?
[interrogative verb] miteny sinoa ve izy? Audio
how much is this?
[interrogative preposition] ohatrinona ity? Audio
can I help you?
[interrogative modal verb] misy azoka hanampiana anao ve? Audio
what is your name?
[interrogative preposition] izy no anaranao? Audio

Adverbs in Malagasy

It's time to learn the adverbs in Malagasy. 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 - Malagasy
now izao/amin'izao fotoana izao Audio
yesterday omaly Audio
today anio Audio
tonight ra-alina Audio
tomorrow rahampitso Audio
soon tsy ho ela Audio
quickly haingana Audio
slowly miadana Audio
together miaraka Audio
very tena Audio
almost saika Audio
always foana Audio
usually matetika Audio
sometimes indraindray Audio
rarely zara raha Audio
never tsy mihitsy Audio

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

Adverbs + Rules - Malagasy
do you understand me now?
[pronoun + adverb] azonao amin'izay ve aho? Audio
I need help immediately
[noun + adverb] mila fanampiana tsy misy hatak'andro aho Audio
she is very intelligent
[adverb + adjective] amaranintsaina be izy Audio
I will always love you
[verb + adverb] ho tiako foana ianao Audio
can we learn German together?
[adverb in a question] afaka miaraka mianatra teny alema ve isika? Audio

Pronouns in Malagasy

We're almost done! This time we will learn the pronouns in Malagasy. 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 - Malagasy
I izaho Audio
you ianao Audio
he izy Audio
she izy Audio
we isika Audio
they izy ireo/zareo Audio

Object Pronouns - Malagasy
me izaho Audio
you ianao Audio
him izy Audio
her izy Audio
us isika/tsika Audio
them izy ireo/zareo Audio

Possessive Pronouns - Malagasy
my ny -ko Audio
your ny -nao Audio
his ny -niny Audio
her ny -niny Audio
our ny -tsika Audio
their ny -nareo Audio

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 - Malagasy
I am your friend
[1st pronoun + verb] namanao aho Audio
you speak very fast
[2nd pronoun + adverb] miteny haingana ianao Audio
he has three dogs
[3rd pronoun + verb] manana alika telo izy Audio
she can speak German
[3rd pronoun + verb] mahay miteny alema izy Audio
we will not come late
[1st plural pronoun] tsy ho tara izahay Audio
they bought milk and bread
[3rd plural pronoun] nividy ronono sy mofo ry zareo Audio

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 - Malagasy
can you tell me your name?
[1st object pronoun] azonao lazaina ahy ve ny anaranao? Audio
I will give you money
[2nd object pronoun] homeko vola ianao Audio
she wrote him a letter
[3rd object pronoun] nanaoratra taratasy ho azy izy Audio
they visited her yesterday
[3rd object pronoun] namangy azy ry zareo omaly Audio
can she help us?
[1st pl. object pronoun] afaka manampy antsika ve izy Audio
he gave them food
[3rd pl. object pronoun] nomeny sakafo ry zareo Audio

Possessive Pronouns - Malagasy
my name is Maya
[1st possessive pronoun] maya no anarako Audio
your brother lives here
[2nd possessive pronoun] mipetraka eto ny rahalahinao Audio
her mother cooks for us
[3rd possessive pronoun] mahandro ho antsika ny reninao Audio
his hobby is reading books
[3rd possessive pronoun] mamaky boky no fanalany andro Audio
our dream is to visit Paris
[1st pl. possessive pronoun] hitsidika an'i parisy no nofinofinay Audio
their house is not far
[3rd pl. possessive pronoun] tsy lavitra ny tranon-dry zareo Audio

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

Demonstrative Pronouns - Malagasy
this is my house ity ny tranoko Audio
that restaurant is far lavitra ity otely ity Audio
these apples are delicious matsiro ireto paoma ireto Audio
those stars are shiny manjelatra be irony kitana irony Audio

I hope you learned a lot about the Malagasy 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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