Friday, April 25, 2014

V is for Verbs

It is the verbs that make Amharic so dang hard to learn. In English, conjugation is simple. Very little variation in the endings. (Exceptions not included)
 I eat
We eat
You eat
You (Plural) eat
He/She/It eats
They eat

I ate
We ate
You ate
You (Plural) ate
He/She/It ate
They ate

 To make something negative, you put a 'not' in front. (I did not walk) To make something future tense, you put a 'will' in front. (I will walk).

 Oh, Amharic. (please note, I left off the accents because they are a pain to type and not needed for this comparison)

 I ibalalahu
We inbalalan
You (male) tibalalah
You (plural) tibalalachihu
You (female) tibayalash
 You (formal) tibalalachihu
 He yibalal
They yibalalu
She tibalalach
 He/She (formal) yibalalu

 Please note, that there is an entirely different set of endings for simple past based on the stem. Both are shown below.
 I Balah (hedku)
We Ballagn (hedin)
You (male) Balah (hedk)
You (plural) Balachihu (hedachihu)
You (female) Balash (hedsh)
 You (formal) Balachihu (hedachihu)
 He Bala (hed)
They Ballu (hedu)
She Balach (hedach)
 He/She (formal) Ballu (hedu)

 You have to do a whole new conjugation, not matter what the tense, for negatives.

And simple future and simple presents are...the same. When means when someone says 'there is no bus' they could mean there is no bus now or there is no bus today at all. You learn to ask follow up questions.

Last but not least, verbs are always, always the last word in the sentence. So instead of saying 'I walked to the store' you'd say 'To the store I walked'. Yoda speech! But very few people here have even heard of Star Wars, so no one gets the joke.


Corinne said...

Good language lesson.

TaMara Sloan said...

That looks like a very difficult language to learn.

One of AJ's AtoZ wHooligans
Tales of a Pee Dee Mama

Lila Asnani said...

Good luck in your endeavor. Excited for you and your upcoming adventure. Go out and explore-the world is waiting for you. :) Dropped by for the A-Z.

A Tarkabarka Hölgy said...

Wow. O.o

@TarkabarkaHolgy from
Multicolored Diary - Tales of colors
MopDog - The crazy thing about Hungarians...

Annalisa Crawford said...

I've been catching up with a lot of posts recently, because I was leaving all you A-Zers alone. But - wow! - Amharic sounds very hard to learn. Love the Yoda joke :-)

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