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Maltese Grammar

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

Prepositions - Maltese
and u Audio
above fuq Audio
under taht Audio
before qabel Audio
after wara Audio
in front of quddiem Audio
behind wara Audio
far from boghod minn Audio
near qrib Audio
in go Audio
inside gewwa Audio
outside barra Audio
with ma' Audio
without minghajr Audio
about dwar Audio
between bejn Audio
but imma Audio
for ghall- / ghal Audio
from minn Audio
to lejn / ghall- / ghal Audio

Preposition Grammar Rules

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

Prepositions + Rules - Maltese
I eat without a knife
[preposition + noun] jien niekol minghajr sikkina Audio
she lives near the church
[verb + preposition] hi tghix qrib il-knisja Audio
he is taller than her
[adjective + preposition] huwa itwal minnha Audio
he came with his small dog
[preposition + pronoun] hu gie bil-kelb zghir tieghu Audio
can you come with me?
[preposition + pronoun] tista tigi mieghi? Audio

Negation in Maltese

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 - Maltese
I understand you
[affirmative form] nifhemek Audio
I don't understand you
[negation + verb] ma nifhmekx Audio
this is not the correct word
[negation + adjective] din mhux il-kelma korretta Audio
don't leave me
[imperative negation] thallinix Audio
no problem
[negation + noun] mhux problema Audio

Negative Sentences - Maltese
I don't speak French
[negation + present tense] ma nitkellimx bil-franciz Audio
she didn't visit Germany
[negation + past tense] hi ma zarietx il-germanja Audio
he cannot see us
[negative modal verb] ma jistax jarana Audio
can't she play chess?
[interrogative negation] hi ma tistax tilghab cess? Audio
we will not come late
[negation + future tense] ahna mhux se nigu tard Audio

Questions in Maltese

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

English - Maltese
how? kif? Audio
what? liema? Audio
who? min? Audio
why? ghaliex? Audio
where? fejn? Audio

More of the interrogative form, now in a sentence:

Questions + Rules - Maltese
where do you live?
[interrogative + verb] fejn toqghod? Audio
does she speak Chinese?
[interrogative verb] hi titkellem bic-ciniz? Audio
how much is this?
[interrogative preposition] kemm hu dan? Audio
can I help you?
[interrogative modal verb] nista nghinek? Audio
what is your name?
[interrogative preposition] x'jismek? Audio

Adverbs in Maltese

It's time to learn the adverbs in Maltese. 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 - Maltese
now issa Audio
yesterday ilbierah Audio
today illum Audio
tonight illejla Audio
tomorrow ghada Audio
soon dalwaqt Audio
quickly malajr Audio
slowly bilmod Audio
together flimkien Audio
very hafna Audio
almost kwazi Audio
always dejjem Audio
usually normalment Audio
sometimes kultant Audio
rarely rari Audio
never qatt Audio

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

Adverbs + Rules - Maltese
do you understand me now?
[pronoun + adverb] qed tifhimni issa? Audio
I need help immediately
[noun + adverb] ghandi bzonn l-ghajnuna immedjatament Audio
she is very intelligent
[adverb + adjective] hija intelligenti hafna Audio
I will always love you
[verb + adverb] jien inhobbok dejjem Audio
can we learn German together?
[adverb in a question] nistghu nitghallmu il-germaniz flimkien? Audio

Pronouns in Maltese

We're almost done! This time we will learn the pronouns in Maltese. 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 - Maltese
I jien Audio
you int Audio
he hu Audio
she hi Audio
we ahna Audio
they huma Audio

Object Pronouns - Maltese
me jien / jiena, lili Audio
you int / inti, lilek (s) intom / lilkom (pl) Audio
him hu / huwa, lilu Audio
her hi / hija, lilha Audio
us ahna, lilna Audio
them huma, lilhom Audio

Possessive Pronouns - Maltese
my tieghi Audio
your tieghek Audio
his tieghu Audio
her taghha Audio
our taghna Audio
their taghhom 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 - Maltese
I am your friend
[1st pronoun + verb] jiena l-habib tieghek Audio
you speak very fast
[2nd pronoun + adverb] inti titkellem tghaggel Audio
he has three dogs
[3rd pronoun + verb] huwa ghandu tlett iklieb Audio
she can speak German
[3rd pronoun + verb] hi tista titkellem bil-germaniz Audio
we will not come late
[1st plural pronoun] ahna mhux se nigu tard Audio
they bought milk and bread
[3rd plural pronoun] huma xtraw halib u hobz 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 - Maltese
can you tell me your name?
[1st object pronoun] tista tghidli x'jismek? Audio
I will give you money
[2nd object pronoun] jien naghtik il-flus Audio
she wrote him a letter
[3rd object pronoun] hija kitbitlu ittra Audio
they visited her yesterday
[3rd object pronoun] huma zaruha lbierah Audio
can she help us?
[1st pl. object pronoun] hi tista tghinna? Audio
he gave them food
[3rd pl. object pronoun] hu tahom l-ikel Audio

Possessive Pronouns - Maltese
my name is Maya
[1st possessive pronoun] jien jisimni maya Audio
your brother lives here
[2nd possessive pronoun] huk jghix hawn Audio
her mother cooks for us
[3rd possessive pronoun] ommha ssajrilna Audio
his hobby is reading books
[3rd possessive pronoun] il-passatemp tieghu huwa l-qari Audio
our dream is to visit Paris
[1st pl. possessive pronoun] il-holma taghna hija li nzuru parigi Audio
their house is not far
[3rd pl. possessive pronoun] id-dar taghhom mhijiex il-boghod Audio

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

Demonstrative Pronouns - Maltese
this is my house din hija d-dar tieghi Audio
that restaurant is far dak ir-restorant huwa 'l boghod Audio
these apples are delicious dan it-tuffieh huwa delizzjuz Audio
those stars are shiny dawk l-istilel ileqqu Audio

I hope you learned a lot about the Maltese 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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