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

Malagasy Phrases   Malagasy Phrases

Malagasy Vocabulary   Malagasy Vocabulary



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