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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Tigrigna Adjectives

Ethiopian Argument | Thursday, May 15, 2014
An adjective is a word that modifies a noun; they can describe shape, color, size, or anything else. e.g., 'round', 'black', 'tall' and 'new'. In English, adjectives are always used before the noun.
Correct: "That is a green ball."
Incorrect: "That is a ball green."
They are also neutral to the noun's gender or number.
Correct: "That is a tall man."
Correct: "Those are tall women."

Usage in Tigrigna
In Tigrigna, like in English, adjectives are used before the noun.

Correct Incorrect
ትግርኛ: እዚ ቀጠልያ መጽሐፍ ኢዩ እዚ መጽሐፍ ቀጠልያ ኢዩ
Transliteration: this green book is this book green is
Translation: "This is a green book" "This is a book green"

However, unlike in English, the adjective must agree with the noun's gender or number.
Gender

Correct Incorrect Correct
ትግርኛ: እዚ ጽቡቕ ወዲ ኢዩ እዛ ጽቡቕ ጓል ኢያ እዛ ጽብቕቲ ጓል ኢያ
Transliteration: this handsome boy is this handsome girl is this pretty girl is
Translation: "This is a handsome boy" "This is a handsome girl" "This is a pretty girl"
Rules for gender
    Most adjectives follow regular rules when taking feminine form:
  1. If the adjective's next-to-last letter is in the 2nd form (ሕዙን - 'sad' masculine), it will change to the 6th form and "ቲ" will be added at the end (ሕዝንቲ - 'sad' feminine).
  2. If the adjective's next-to-last letter is in any other form (ሓድሽ - 'new' masculine), then it should just be changed to the 4th form (ሓዳሽ - 'new' feminine).

Note: There are many times where people will form the feminine of an adjective irregularly; don't worry, if you follow these simple rules you should be understood by almost everyone.

Number

Correct Incorrect Correct
ትግርኛ: እዚ ንፉዕ ወዲ ኢዩ እዞም ንፉዕ ኣወዳት ኢዮም እዞም ንፉዓት ኣወዳት ኢዮም
Transliteration: this clever boy is these clever boys are these clever boys are
Translation: "This is a clever boy" "These are clever boys" "These are clever boys"
Rules for plurals
    The rules for indicating plurals for adjectives are a bit trickier:
  1. If a masculine adjective's next-to-last letter is in the 2nd/4th form (ህዱእ/ግናይ - 'calm'/'ugly' singular), the final letter will change to the 4th form and "ት" will be added at the end (ህዱኣት/ግናያት - 'calm'/'ugly' plural).
  2. If a masculine adjective's next-to-last letter is in the 3rd form (ሓጺር - 'short' singular), then it should be changed to the 1st form and "ቲ" should be added at the end (ሓጸርቲ - 'short' plural).
      2. a) Words that end in "ሕ" (ነዊሕ - 'tall' singular) are exceptions to this rule. With these words the next-to-last letter should be changed to the 4th form and "ቲ" should be added at the end (ነዋሕቲ - 'tall' plural).

Note: Like with gender, there are many times where people will form the plural of an adjective irregularly, but don't worry about it. Expect people to correct you when you make these minor grammar mistakes. This is a natural part of the learning process.

Here is a small list of some common Tigrigna adjectives and how they're made into their feminine and plurals forms. Can you figure out which adjectives follow what rules and which ones are irregular?
English: masculine - feminine - pluralEnglish: masculine - feminine - pluralEnglish: masculine - feminine - plural
big: (a) ገዚፍ - ገዛፍ - ገዘፍቲ
thirsty: (a) ጽሙእ - ጽምእቲ - ጽሙኣት
hot: (a) ውዑይ - ውዕይቲ - ውዑያት
fat: (a) ስቡሕ - ስብሕቲ - ስቡሓት
happy: (a) ሕጉስ - ሕጉስ - ሕጉሳት
short: (a) ንእሽቶ - ንእሽቶ - ናእሽቱ
wise: (a) ለባም - ለባም - ለባማት
black: (a) ጸሊም - ጸላም - ጸለምቲ
great/old: (a) ዓብዪ - ዓባይ - ዓበይቲ
tall/long: (a) ነዊሕ - ነዋሕ - ነዋሕቲ
full: (a) ምሉእ - ምልእቲ - ምሉኣት
lazy: (a) ሃካይ - ሃካይ - ህኩያት
healthy: (a) ጥዑይ - ጥዕይቲ - ጥዑያት
rich: (a) ሃብታም - ሃብታም - ሃብታማት
heavy: (a) ከቢድ - ከባድ - ከበድቲ
clever: (a) ንፉዕ - ንፍዕቲ - ንፉዓት
good: (a) ጽቡቕ - ጽብቕቲ - ጽቡቓት
red: (a) ቀይሕ - ቀያሕ - ቀያሕቲ
foolish: (a) ዓሻ - ዓሻ - ዓያሹ
calm/quiet: (a) ህዱእ - ህድእቲ - ህዱኣት
clean: (a) ንጹር - ንጽርቲ - ንጹራት
late/previous: (a) ዝሓለፈ - ዝሓላፈ - ዝሓለፋት
bad: (a) ሕማቕ - ሕማቕ - ሕማቓት
thin: (a) ረቂቕ - ረቃቕ - ረቀቕቲ
strong: (a) ሓያል - ሓያል - ሓያላት
sick: (a) ሕሙም - ሕምምቲ - ሕሙማት
hungry: (a) ጥሙይ - ጥምይቲ - ጥሙያት
flat: (a) ጸፊሕ - ጸፋሕ - ጸፋሕቲ
ugly: (a) ግናይ - ግናይ - ግናያት
poor: (a) ነዳይ - ነዳይ - ነዳያት


Source: http://www.memhr.org

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