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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Amharic Grammar

Ethiopian Argument | Wednesday, May 07, 2014
Welcome to the 8th lesson about Amharic grammar. We will first learn about prepositionsnegationquestions,adverbs, and pronouns including: personal, object and possessive pronouns. To hear the pronunciation, just click on the sound icon.
We will start with prepositions. In general, they are used to link words to other words. For example: I speak Amharicand English the preposition is [and] because it connects both words Amharic and English. The following is a list of the most used prepositions in Amharic.

PrepositionsAmharicPronunciation
andእና[ʾəna] Audio
aboveበላይ[bälayə] Audio
underበታች[bätačə] Audio
beforeበፊት[bäfitə] Audio
afterበኃላ[bähala] Audio
in front ofፊት ለፊት[fitə läfitə] Audio
behindከኃላ[kähala ] Audio
far fromከርቀት[kärəqätə] Audio
nearበቅርብ[bäqərəbə] Audio
inውስጥ[wəsət'ə] Audio
insideበውስጥ[bäwəsət'ə] Audio
outsideውጭ[wəč'ə] Audio
withከ ጋር[kä garə] Audio
withoutብቻውን[bəčawənə] Audio
aboutስለ[səlä ] Audio
betweenበመሀል[bämähälə] Audio
butነገር ግን[nägärə gənə ] Audio
for[lä] Audio
from[kä] Audio
to[lä] Audio

Preposition Grammar Rules

The following examples use prepositions in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence.
Prepositions + RulesAmharic + Pronunciation
I eat without a knife
[preposition + noun]
ያለ ቢላዋ በላሁ Audio
[yalä bilawa bälahu]
she lives near the church
[verb + preposition]
ቤተ ክርስቲያን አጠገብ ትኖራለች Audio
[betä kərəsətiyanə ʾät'ägäbə tənoraläčə]
he is taller than her
[adjective + preposition]
እሱ ከእሷ ረጅም ነው Audio
[ʾəsu käʾəሷ räǧəmə näwə]
he came with his small dog
[preposition + pronoun]
ከቡችላው ጋር መጣ Audio
[käbučəlawə garə mät'a]
can you come with me?
[preposition + pronoun]
ከእኔ ጋር መምጣት ትችላለህ? Audio
[käʾəne garə mämət'atə təčəlalähə?]

Negation in Amharic

Now let's learn how to make a negative sentence (negation). For example: Saying noI can'tI don't ... The following examples use negation in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence.
Negation + RulesAmharic + Pronunciation
I understand you
[affirmative form]
ገብቶኛል Audio
[gäbətoñalə]
don't understand you
[negation + verb]
አልገባኝም Audio
[ʾäləgäbañəmə]
this is not the correct word
[negation + adjective]
ይህ ትክክለኛ ቃል አይደለም Audio
[yəhə təkəkəläña qalə ʾäyədälämə]
don't leave me
[imperative negation]
አትተወኝ Audio
[ʾätətäwäñə]
no problem
[negation + noun]
ችግር የለውም Audio
[čəgərə yäläwəmə]

Negative SentencesAmharic + Pronunciation
I don't speak French
[negation + present tense]
ፈረንሳይኛ አልናገርም Audio
[färänəsayəña ʾälənagärəmə]
she didn't visit Germany
[negation + past tense]
ጀርመንን አልጎበኘችም Audio
[ǧärəmänənə ʾäləgobäñäčəmə]
he cannot see us
[negative modal verb]
ሊያየን አይችልም Audio
[liyayänə ʾäyəčələmə]
can't she play chess?
[interrogative negation]
ቼዝ አትጫወትም? Audio
[čezə ʾätəč'awätəmə?]
we will not come late
[negation + future tense]
አንዘገይም Audio
[ʾänəzägäyəmə]

Questions in Amharic

Now let's learn how to ask questions (interrogative). Such as: whatwhycan you ...? Here are some common examples:
EnglishAmharicPronunciation
how?እንዴት?[ʾənədetə? ] Audio
what?ምን?[mənə?] Audio
who?ማን?[manə?] Audio
why?ለምን?[lämənə?] Audio
where?የት?[yätə?] Audio

More of the interrogative form, now in a sentence:
Questions + RulesAmharic + Pronunciation
where do you live?
[interrogative + verb]
የት ነው የምትኖረው? Audio
[yätə näwə yämətənoräwə?]
does she speak Chinese?
[interrogative verb]
ቻይንኛ ትናገራለች? Audio
[ čayənəña tənagäraläčə?]
how much is this?
[interrogative preposition]
ይህ ዋጋው ምን ያህል ነው? Audio
[yəhə wagawə mənə yahələ näwə?]
can I help you?
[interrogative modal verb]
ምን ልረዳህ? Audio
[mənə lərädahə?]
what is your name?
[interrogative preposition]
ስምህ ማነው? Audio
[səməhə manäwə?]

Adverbs in Amharic

It's time to learn the adverbs in Amharic. 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:
AdverbsAmharicPronunciation
nowአሁን[ʾähunə] Audio
yesterdayትናትና[tənatəna ] Audio
todayዛሬ[zare] Audio
tonightዛሬ ማታ[zare mata] Audio
tomorrowነገ[nägä] Audio
soonበቅርቡ[bäqərəbu ] Audio
quicklyበፍጥነት[bäfət'ənätə] Audio
slowlyበቀስታ[bäqäsəta ] Audio
togetherአንድ ላይ[ʾänədə layə] Audio
veryበጣም[bät'amə] Audio
almostየተቀራረበ[yätäqäraräbä] Audio
alwaysሁልጊዜ[huləgize] Audio
usuallyሁልጊዜ[huləgize] Audio
sometimesአንዳንድ ጊዜ[ʾänədanədə gize] Audio
rarelyአልፎ አልፎ[ʾäləfo ʾäləfo ] Audio
neverበፍፁም[bäfəs'umə] Audio

The following examples use the adverbs in different ways and places to demonstrate how it behaves in a sentence.
Adverbs + RulesAmharic + Pronunciation
do you understand me now?
[pronoun + adverb]
የምልህ ገብቷሃል? Audio
[yämələhə gäbətahalə?]
I need help immediately
[noun + adverb]
እርዳታ አሁኑኑ እፈልጋለሁ Audio
[ʾərədata ʾähununu ʾəfäləgalähu]
she is very intelligent
[adverb + adjective]
በጣም ጎበዝ ነች Audio
[bät'amə gobäzə näčə]
I will always love you
[verb + adverb]
ሁልጊዜም እወድሃለሁ Audio
[huləgizemə ʾəwädəhalähu]
can we learn German together?
[adverb in a question]
ጀርመንኛ አብረን መማር እንችላለን? Audio
[ǧärəmänəña ʾäbəränə mämarə ʾənəčəlalänə?]

Pronouns in Amharic

We're almost done! This time we will learn the pronouns in Amharic. 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 PronounsAmharicPronunciation
Iእኔ[ʾəne] Audio
youአንተ[ʾänətä] Audio
heእሱ[ʾəsu ] Audio
sheእሷ[ʾəሷ] Audio
weእኛ[ʾəña] Audio
theyእነሱ[ʾənäsu] Audio

Object PronounsAmharicPronunciation
meእኔ[ʾəne] Audio
youአንተ[ʾänətä] Audio
himእሱ[ʾəsu ] Audio
herእሷ[ʾəሷ] Audio
usእኛ[ʾəña] Audio
themእነሱ[ʾənäsu] Audio

Possessive PronounsAmharicPronunciation
myየእኔ[yäʾəne] Audio
yourየአንተ[yäʾänətä] Audio
hisየእሱ[yäʾəsu ] Audio
herየእሷ[yäʾəሷ] Audio
ourየእኛ[yäʾəña] Audio
theirየእነሱ[yäʾənäsu] 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 PronounsAmharic + Pronunciation
I am your friend
[1st pronoun + verb]
የአንተ ጓደኛ ነኝ Audio
[ yäʾänətä gädäña näñə]
you speak very fast
[2nd pronoun + adverb]
በጣም በፍጥነት ትናገራለህ Audio
[bät'amə bäfət'ənätə tənagäralähə]
he has three dogs
[3rd pronoun + verb]
ሶስት ውሾች አሉት Audio
[ sosətə wəšočə ʾälutə]
she can speak German
[3rd pronoun + verb]
ጀርመንኛ መናገር ትችላለች Audio
[ǧärəmänəña mänagärə təčəlaläčə]
we will not come late
[1st plural pronoun]
አንዘገይም Audio
[ʾänəzägäyəmə]
they bought milk and bread
[3rd plural pronoun]
እነሱ ወተት እና ዳቦ ገዙ Audio
[ʾənäsu wätätə ʾəna dabo gäzu]

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 PronounsAmharic + Pronunciation
can you tell me your name?
[1st object pronoun]
ስምህን ልትነግረኝ ትችላለህ? Audio
[səməhənə lətənägəräñə təčəlalähə?]
I will give you money
[2nd object pronoun]
ገንዘብ እሰጥሃለሁ Audio
[ gänəzäbə ʾəsät'əhalähu]
she wrote him a letter
[3rd object pronoun]
ደብዳቤ ጻፈችለት Audio
[däbədabe s'afäčəlätə]
they visited her yesterday
[3rd object pronoun]
ትናትና ጐበኟት Audio
[tənatəna guebäኟtə]
can she help us?
[1st pl. object pronoun]
ልትረዳን ትችላለች? Audio
[lətərädanə təčəlaläčə?]
he gave them food
[3rd pl. object pronoun]
ምግብ ሰጣቸው Audio
[məgəbə sät'ačäwə]

Possessive PronounsAmharic + Pronunciation
my name is Maya
[1st possessive pronoun]
ስሜ ማያ ነው Audio
[ səme maya näwə]
your brother lives here
[2nd possessive pronoun]
ወንድምህ እዚህ ይኖራል Audio
[wänədəməhə ʾəzihə yənoralə]
her mother cooks for us
[3rd possessive pronoun]
እናቷ ለእኛ ታበስላለች Audio
[ʾənata läʾəña tabäsəlaläčə]
his hobby is reading books
[3rd possessive pronoun]
የትርፍ ጊዜ ሥራው መጽሐፍ ማንበብ ነው Audio
[yätərəfə gize sərawə mäs'əhäfə manəbäbə näwə]
our dream is to visit Paris
[1st pl. possessive pronoun]
ህልማችን ፓሪስን መጐብኘት ነው Audio
[hələmačənə parisənə mäguebəñätə näwə]
their house is not far
[3rd pl. possessive pronoun]
ቤታቸው ሩቅ አይደለም Audio
[betačäwə ruqə ʾäyədälämə]
One more thing you need to know is the demonstrative pronouns. They're very easy to learn.
Demonstrative PronounsAmharicPronunciation
this is my houseይኽ የእኔ ቤት ነው[yəhə yäʾəne betə näwə] Audio
that restaurant is farያ ምግብ ቤት ሩቅ ነው[ya məgəbə betə ruqə näwə] Audio
these apples are deliciousእነዚህ ፖሞች ጣፋጭ ናቸው[ʾənäzihə pomočə t'afač'ə načäwə] Audio
those stars are shinyእነዚያ ኮከቦች አንፀባራቂ ናቸው[ʾənäziya kokäbočə ʾänəs'äbaraqi načäwə] Audio
Source: Learn 101

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