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Unit 2

Greetings and Leave-Taking

Learning Objectives
At the end of this unit you will be able to: Demonstrate greetings and leave takings appropriate to age, gender, and time of day Demonstrate understanding of cultural aspects of greetings and leave-takings, including body language



Dialog 1

Greeting a Community Member. Lindsay, a female PCV, greets Ato* Kebede, her host family father, in the morning. Amharic Lindsay: Ato Kebede: Lindsay: English Lindsay: Ato Kebede: Lindsay: ndmn addru? EA Dhna, gziabher ymmsgn. A? Dhna adr? EA Dhna, gziabher ymmsgn.

Good morning. (Lit. How you spend the night?) Fine, God be thanked. Good morning. (Lit. Did you spend the night well?) Fine, God be thanked.

* ( A) Ato is an Amharic title meaning Mister.

Cultural Note
Greetings Greeting plays an undeniable role in speeding up your assimilation to the community. Even though the way Ethiopians greet each other might differ slightly from region to region or place to place, it is always an important part of public social interaction. Sometimes the greeting may extend to asking after families, cattle, sheep, crop yield, weather conditions, etc. It is also common, particularly in the countryside, to greet someone who you dont know. While greeting and taking leave, bowing, shaking hands and removing hats are common. Kissing one anothers cheeks is also practiced, especially upon meeting after an extended period of time. Using both hands when shaking hands with elders and officials indicates respect (the left hand to support the right forearm OR put both hands on the elders hand). Young people in Ethiopia will typically greet each other by shaking hands and bumping shoulders. Raising the eyebrows is sometimes used to greet someone in a situation in which someone doesnt want or is unable to talk, or in a situation in which the two people are very familiar with one another. Upon the entry or arrival of elders or officials, it is customary to stand and say, nor (signifying welcome and respect). The person arriving would respond, bGz@R bgzer (lit. by God). Not leaving a seat for respected or elder people shows disrespect. Also, putting hands in the pockets while talking with elders shows disrespect. Greetings can be replied to by saying XGz!xB/@R YmSgN gziabher ymmsgn. A person will be happy if you call her or him by name while greeting.

Useful Phrases for Greeting General greetings make use of the present-tense verb, to be (mN mhon): Person Amharic Verb to be Example (fine.) Pronoun I Xn@E ne n (Xn@n) dH ndhna n. You () You () You (polite) He She He/She (polite) We You all (plural) They Person You ()
xNt xNcE

anta ani rswo

nH n>

nh n nwot

(xNt ant) dH


dhna nh?

XRS Xs# X*

nT nW

ssu ssua

nw nat/ n

(xNcE ani) dH n> dhna n? (XRS rswo) dH nT dhna nwot? (Xs# ssu) dH nW dhna nw? (X* ssua) dH

T/nC cW nN

dhna nat/n?




(XcW ssaw) dH naw? (X a) dhna nn.


a nnant

nn nahu naw

XNt Xns#

Ch# cW


(Ennant) dH nahu? (E nnssu) dhna naw? Fine / I am fine / We are fine dH dhna. / dH dhna n dhna / dH dhna n. dH dhna / dH dhna n. dH dhna / dH nN dhna nn.

How are you? / Are you fine? XNdMN nH? dH nH? ndmn nh? / dhna nh? You () XNdMN n>? ndmn n? / dH n>? dhna n? You (polite) XNdMN nT? ndmn nwot? / dH nT?dhna nwot? You all (plural) XNdMN Ch#? ndmn nahu? / dH Ch#?dhna nahu?

General Greetings (Slamtawo) -@ YS_L Tenaystl! . [formal, for all persons & all times] May God give you health. sM nW Slam nw? [informal, all persons & times] Is everything okay? (Lit. Is it peace?)

Grammar Point
As you read through the following charts, pay attention to how the suffix changes for each different person (in bold).

Time-Specific Greetings Generally, morning is from awakening until noon, afternoon is from lunch until approximately the end of the work day/sunset, and evening is after work is over until bedtime. Person You () You () You (polite) You all (plural)

twat/morning (/ madr)

/ / A? ndmn / dhna addrk? E / / A? ndmn / dhna addr? E / / A? ndmn / dhna addru? E / / A? ndmn / dhna

ksat bhuwala/afternoon (/mwal) E / / ? ndmn / dhna walk? E / / ? ndmn / dhna wal? E / / ? ndmn / dhna walu? E / / ? ndmn / dhna walahu?

/mt/evening (/mamt)

/ / A? ndmn / dhna amh? E / /A? ndmn/ dhna am? E / / A? ndmn/ dhna amu? E / / A? ndmn / dhna

Responses gziabher ymmsgn. Praise to God. Dhna. Fine. nN Dhna nn. We are fine. nW Dhna nw. He is fine. T/nC Dhna nat/n. She is fine. EA A///? Dhna, gziabher ymmsgn. Dhna addrk/addr/addru/addrahu?

General Leave-Taking:Leaving for an Extended Period Person You () You () Take care (Lit. Be well.) dH h#N Dhna hun.
dH h#!

xNt xNcE

ant ani rswo nnant

Dhna hui. Dhna yhunu.(hunu).

You (polite)


dH Yh#n# dH h#n#

You all (plural)


Dhna hunu.

Time-Specific Leave-Taking Person

twat morning ( mwal) dhna wal dhna way(i) dhna

xNt xNcE

ant Ani rswo nnant

dH L dH Y


dH l#/ Yl#

dH l#

dhna walu

ksat bhuwala afternoon (/mamt) dH xM> dhna am dH xM! dhna ami dH xM#/ M# dhna amu/ yamu dH xM# dhna amu


evening (/ madr) dhna dr dhna dri

dH XdR dH Xd

dH Xd/ Yd dhna dru / ydru dH Xd

dhna dru

Responding to Greetings and Leave-Taking. How would you respond to the following greetings or leave-takings? 1. E A/ A? ndmn addrk? / addr? 2. dH Ch#? Dhna nahu? 3. dH XdR/ Xd Dhna dr / dri. 4. dH h#N/ h#! Dhna hun / hui.

Greetings and Leave-Taking Role-Plays. What would you say in each of the following situations? 1. You are meeting an elderly person of the community for the first time. 2. At a morning meeting, you are asked to the front of the room, and you must greet the entire gathered crowd. 3. You are speaking to a young, male shopkeeper in the afternoon. 4. You are saying goodbye to your LCF at the end of the day. 5. You are greeting a female counterpart who has come to visit your house in the afternoon. 6. You are going to bed and saying goodnight to your host family. 7. You take leave of a group of neighborhood children during the morning.

Grammar Point
Greetings and leave-takings in Amharic make use of three verbs: Amharic madr [adr] mwal [wal] mamt [am] English To spend the night To spend the day To spend the evening

Greetings Greetings are formed with the past-tense of these verbs (see Unit 10 for further details on past tense):

ndmn addrk? how did you () spend the night? Dhna ? wal? well did you () spend the day? E ndmn A? amahu? how did you (plural) spend the evening? The past-tense conjugations of these verbs have been utilized in the greeting charts given above. Refer to these charts and notice the pattern of changing suffixes for each person. Leave-takings Leave-takings are formed with the imperative form of these verbs. Dhna Xd dru. well spend the night (plural or polite)

Dhna Y way(i). well spend the day ()

Dhna xM> am. well spend the evening ()

The imperative forms of these verbs have been utilized in the leave-taking charts given above. Refer to these charts and notice the pattern of changing suffixes for each person. Note: In Amharic sentences, the verb almost always comes last. Subject + (object/modifier/descriptor) + Verb (Xn@ ne) dH dhna n. (I) fine am (subject) (modifier) (verb)


Note: Since the verb indicates the subject, and is therefore redundant, the initial pronoun can often be dropped, unless we want to add emphasis or intend to indicate contrast with another person. (dH dhna n or Xn@ dH ne dhna n ).

The Verb to be Given the Amharic pronoun, provide the correct form of the verb to be. 1. 2. 3. 4.
X* dH X dH

sswa dhna a dhna nnssu dhna Ani dhna

? . ? ?

5. 6. 7. 8.

XRS dH Xn@ dH

rswo dhna

? . ? ?

ne dhna Ant dhna nnant dhna

Xns# dH xNcE dH

xNt dH

XNt dH

Dialog 2
Meeting Friends on the Street Mark, a male PCV, sees his friends, Mekonen and Tigist, on the street, in the late afternoon. Amharic Mark: Friends: Mark: Friends: Mark: Friends: English Mark: Friends: Mark: Friends: Mark: Friends:
dH ?

Dhna walahu? Dhna, gziabher ymmsgn. Dhna ndmn nahu? Dhna

dH XGz!xB/@R YmSgN dH LK?

Dhna walk?
dH XNdMN Ch#? dH Ch#?

nahu? Dhna nn. X! dH xM# i. aw, dhna amu. xN dH xM> Amen, dhna am.
dH nN

Good afternoon (to you both). Fine, praise God. Good afternoon. Fine. How are you (both)? Are you (both) fine? We are fine. Okay. Bye, good evening. Amen, good evening.

Greet the different members of your host family, both individually and as a group. Take leave of them, as appropriate, throughout the day. During next class, discuss the specific greetings and leave-takings that you used. How did they respond?


Glossary: dhna gzabhr ymsgn tena ystl dhna nat dhna nn twat ksat mt slam nw? madr mwal mamst
EAw` M A ? ` M

fine God be thanked (praise to God) may God give you health she is fine we are fine morning afternoon evening is everything okay? to spend the night to spend the day to spend the evening

Practice Reading and Pronouncing Script

x!S xb x xs S XNj >NT b@T


Unit 3
Introducing Oneself
Learning objectives
By the end of this unit, you will be able to: Introduce yourself stating your nationality, occupation, and marital status Ask others for personal information: about place of origin, occupation, and marital status Use the verbs to be called as in, whats your name? (Lit. What do they call you?) Use possessives Pluralize nouns

Grammar Point
Conjugation of verb to be called mL mbaal [tl tbaal] Conjugation of verb to be called mL mbaal [tl tbaal] (present tense) (Note: We will look at the present tense conjugation in more detail in Unit 9.) Pronoun Nla/Singular Bzu/Plural Xn@E ne Xlh# baalallhu X a XNlN nbaalalln xNt ant TlH tbbaalallh TCh# XNt nnant xNcE ani Tl> tbbaayall tbaalallahu XRS rswo Yl# ybaalallu Xs# ssu YL ybaalal Xns# nnssu Yl# ybbaalallu X* sswa TlC tbbaalall XcW ssaw Yl# ybbaalallu

Words Denoting Nationality (z@GnT zegnt) To form nationality adjectives we add - E wi (male) or - ET plural form is - WN wyan. Look at the following examples: Country Male Singular Female Singular x!TE x!TET Ethiopia/ ityopyawi ityopyawit x!T tyopya xE xET x Amerika Amerikawi Amerikawit k@NE k@N Kenya k@NET Kenyawit Kenyawi wit (female). The Plural





Grammar Point
Conjugation of GT magbat [xg agba] to marry Affirmative Pronoun Xn@E ne xNt ant xNcE ani XRS rswo Xs# ssu X* ssua XcW ssaw Negative Pronoun Xn@E ne xNt ant xNcE ani XRS rswo Xs# ssu X* ssua XcW ssaw

Nla/Singular xGBlh# agbialhu xGBtL agbthal xGBtL agbtal xGBtL agbtwal xGBaL agbtoal xGBlC agbtala xGBtL agbtwal Nla/Singular Xgh#M alagbahum xgHM alagbahm xg>M alagbam xgb#M alagbum xgM alagbam xgCM alagbam xgb#M alagbum

Bzu/Plural X a









Bzu/Plural X a









Note: FcE fii/divorce (tTlh# Tfatalhu. I am divorced.) The affirmative forms make use of what is called the compound gerunditive tense, which is literally translated like, I have married, You have married, They have married, etc. You can see this tense outlined in more detail in the Grammar Appendix, and also in the Grammar point in Unit 17. The negative forms make use of the negative past tense form, which is translated literally, I did not marry, You did not marry, They did not marry, etc. This form is discussed in detail in Unit 10. Briefly, though, the negative form of the past is marked by the prefix x-al- and the suffix -M m attached to the positive form of the past tense verb. Notice in the chart above how the verb stem xg agba changes within the al- and m affixes. In the underlined bits, you should recognize the patterns that you have seen in greetings in the previous unit. Note: Prefixes are bits added at the beginning of a word, and suffixes at the end. The word affix is used for both prefixes and suffixes.


Introducing yourself
Look at the photos of the following celebrities (some of them are Ethiopians). Assume that they are introducing themselves to you in Amharic. Read their self-introductions given below: 1: Haile Gebreselassie (Ethiopian Long Distance Runner/ Rua)
/ E I

Haile Gebreselassie baalallhu. Ityopyawi n. Rua n. A Agballhu. / A Balbete Woizero Alem tbaalall. 2. Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez baalalhu. A Amerikawit n. Zfa n. AAgballhu.


Balbete Marc Anthony ybaalal. 3. Mary Smith Mary Smith baalallhu. Amerikawit n. Hakim n. A Alagbahum.

Practice Reread the self-introductions and complete the information in the tables below. Some of the information has been filled in for you. Haile Gebreselassie


zegnt/ nationality


ygaba huneta /marital status ___________

_______________ Jennifer Lopez

tyopyawi _______________




ygaba huneta zfa ___________

Jennifer Lopez



Mary Smith




ygabia huneta ___________




Cultural Note
Titles (:rG Marg) The ordinary title for adult men in Amharic is AAto (equivalent to the English Mr.). The ordinary title for married women is Woyzro and for unmarried women Woyzrit. There is no equivalent for Ms in Amharic. When in doubt, it is generally acceptable to ask the addressee which of the two titles Woyzro or Woyzrit to use. Inquiring About Marital Status Ethiopians will commonly ask you about your marital status. This, however, is not very common amongst Ethiopians themselves. If someone of the opposite sex asks your marital status, it may or may not mean that they are interested in having a relationship with you. Sometimes people are simply curious!

Grammar Point
The Possessive Adjective My (first method) To form the possessive for first person (my), add -e to the noun if it ends in a consonant or -ye if it ends in a vowel. Look at the following examples: sm name S sme my name xgR agr country xg agre my country b@T bet house b@t& bete my house S sra job/work S sraye my job/work z@GnT zegnt nationality z@Gnt& zegnte my nationality sM slamta greeting sM slamtaye my greeting

Pluralizing To pluralize, you add C o if the noun ends in a consonant, and Cwo if it ends in a vowel. The possessive marker goes on the end of the pluralized word. Singular Plural Plural Possessive LJ ljj child LC ljjo children Lc& ljjoe my children W wa dog WC Wawo dogs Wc& wawoe my dogs DmT dmmt cat DmC dmmto cats Dmc& dmmtoe my cats Note: Wc& wawoe may become Wc& woe for short. This is especially common for nouns ending in a ( 4th order).




Grammar Point
The Possessive Adjectives (first method) Now that you have learned the suffix to indicate my, study the following chart of suffixes to indicate possession by each different person. Pronoun Xn@E ne xNt anta xNcE ani XRS rswo Xs# ssu X* ssua XcW ssaw Nla/Singular Bzu/Plural xg agre my country X a xgRH agrh your (m.) country XNt nnant xgR> agr your (f.) country xgRT agrwot/wo xg agru Xns# nnsu xgR agrwa xgcW agraw agran

xgCN xgCh#



To form the possesive for your and , add h for male and for female. Look at the following examples: SM sm SMH smh (male) / SM> sm (female) xgR agr xgRH agrh (male) / xgR> agr (female) b@T bet b@TH beth (male) / b@T> bet (female) z@GnT zegnt z@GnTH zegnth (male) / z@GnT> zegnt (female) S sra SH srah (male) / S> sra (female) Pluralizing possessives: b@C beto WC wo betoh (male) / b@C> beto (female) woh (male)/ WC> wo (female)



In general, the pattern of possessive suffixes is as follows: Pronoun ne ant xNcE ani XRS rswo Xs# ssu X* ssua XcW ssaw
Xn@E xNt

Nla/ Singular -e or ye -h - -wot/wo -u or -w -wa -aw


Bz# X

Bzu/Plural a nnant -xCh# -ahu -xCh# -ahu -xcW -aw




Examples (msalewo) 1. xgRH yT nW? Agrh yt nw? What is the name of your country? (Lit. Where is your country?) 2. SM> N nW? Sm man nw? What is your name? (to a female person) 3. SH MNDN nW? Srah mndn nw? What is your job/occupation/profession? (to a male person)

You would like to elicit personal information from someone. Put your photo in the middle and write your questions as shown. You can add more questions to the chart.


Dialog 1
Read the dialog below. In the following situation, Hailu and Jeff have just met. What do they say to each other? Xn@ Yl# Xlh# xNtS? ne Hailu baalallhu. Ants? Hailu: Jeff: Xn@ F Xlh# ne Jeff baalallhu. xgRH yT nW Agrh yt nw? Hailu: Jeff: xg x nW Agre Amerika nw. Hailu: Xn@ xSt ne astmari n. xNtS SH MND nW? Ants, srah mndn nw? Jeff: Xn@ m/N!S ne mhandis n. Note: The suffix s added to the end of a subject pronoun indicates how about, as in, xNtS Ants? (How about you (m.)?).

Study the previous dialog and connect the sentences with gn (but). Look at the example: Ml@ Msale/example: Yl# xSt nW F GN m/N!S nW Hailu astmari nw, Jeff gn mhandis nw. 1. Liya tmari nat Meron gn . 2.

Yared zfa nw Abel gn


Use the appropriate possessive form to indicate that the following items belong to you. 1. b@T bet 2. 3. 4. 5.
xSt /k!M DmT R

astmari dmmt

hakim borsa

Grammar Point
Negation of the Verb to be Sometimes you will need to tell people, for example, that you are NOT a doctor, that you are NOT from England, etc. You have previously seen the negative form of the verb GT magbat [xg agba]. Now study the negative form of to be, which is slightly irregular.


Conjugation of verb to be nbr nbr (present tense negative) Nla/Singular Bzu/Plural Affirmative Negative Affirmative xYdlh#M Xn@E ne X ia n nN nn aydlhum xYdlHM xNt ant nH nh aydlhm XNt Ch# nahu xYdl>M nnant xNcE ani n> n aydlm xYdl#M XRS rswo nT nwot aydlum xYdlM Xs# ssu nW nw aydlm Xns# nnssu cW naw X* ssua T/nCnt(n) xYdlCM aydlm XcW xYdl#M cW nw ssaw aydlum






Although the past tense negative of to be is irregular, you can still see the changing pattern of person markers that you have observed in the past tense previously.

Answer the following questions in the negative. 1. /k!M nH/n>? Hakim nh? / n? 2. XNGl!E/ET nH/n>? nglizawi /wit nh? / n? 3. tC Ch#? Tmariwo nahu? 4. t$ST Ch#? Turist nahu? 5. xTH/> cW? Abbath/ naw?

Now make a list of your other belongings. Then convert them into a possessive phrase by adding the appropriate affix. In case you were unable to find an Amharic equivalent for the items you listed, you can still add the possessive affix to them. Like host father + e = host fathere! Make your list in the spaces given below: The first one has been done for you. A. m{/F mshaf B. C. D.



Use appropriate possessive forms to indicate that the items listed belong to a person you are talking to (you). In some of your answers, you can use the polite form for variety. 1. b@T bet () 2. 3. 4. 5.
xSt /k!M Y W

astmari ()

hakim ()

ay () wa ()

Underline the term(s) that describe you. z@GnT Zegnt: Amerikawi/Amerikawit/Ethipiawi/Etiopiawit/ S Sra: tmari/astmari/hakim/yslam guad :rG Marg: Ato/woyzro/woyzrit

Complete the following questionnaire (about you). SM sm
xgR S

agr sra zegnt ygaba huneta ______ ______


yUB h#n@

Introduce yourself to the class. Use the models given at the beginning of the unit.

Identifying Oneself SM sm name z@GnT zegnt nationality :rG mairg title xD adraa address kt ktma town/city mNdR mndr village xgR agr country

Tiyakewoy / Questions yT nW? yet nw? Where is it? N nW? man nw? Who is it? MNDN nW ?mndn nw? What is it?


Sra / Occupations /k!M hakim physician [h shafi secretary m/N!S mhandis engineer yHG l yhg balmuya lawyer yb@T Xmb@T ybet mbet housewife xSt astmari teacher z zfa singer gb gbre farmer xStUJ astnagaj waiter or waitress -#rt turta retired ngade merchant yhisab srata accountant ysdat srata janitor

Complete the blank spaces with the profession/job of the person represented in each picture.



Rehearse the self-introduction that you wrote above for a talk in class and then: 1. Introduce yourself to someone in your training community whom you have not met before. 2. Tell him or her three different things about yourself. 3. Find out three different things about him or her by asking questions.

Practice Reading and Pronouncing Script

p&Ps! s#Q [g#R FQR sM xF MGB b@T Z


Unit 4
Introducing Others
Learning Objectives:
By the end of this unit you will be able to: Introduce your own family Formulate questions about family members: where they live, who they are called, and what their professions are Use the verb to live Use the verb to have (positive and negative forms) Use negative, singular and plural markers, and demonstrative adjectives Use demonstrative pronouns

Introducing Ones Family

Destas Family Tree / ydS
zR hrG

yDesta yzr harg

A. B. C. D. E.

Ato Meshesha Woizro Tiruayehu Ato Belete Woizro Mulu Ato Nega

F. G. H. J. K.

Ato Gashaw Fantahun Mesfin Gete Woizro Taytu

L. M. N. O. P.

Woizro Tsehay Ato Abebe Ato Getahun Ato Mebratu Wozro Alem


YDesta betsb: Desta LJ ljj, Ato Gashaw xT abbat, Woyzro Taytu XT nnat, Mesfin wNDM wndm
ydS b@tsB

Grammar Point
The Possessive Forms (second method) The following tables review how to form the possessive forms for abbat and wa. You have learned these suffixes in the previous unit. Pronoun Xn@E ne xNt ant xNcE ani XRS rswo Xs# ssu X* ssua XcW ssaw Pronoun Xn@E ne xNt ant xNcE ani XRS rswo Xs# ssu X* ssua XcW ssaw
xT abbat father Nla/Singular Bzu/Plural xt& abate X a xCN abbatan xTH abbath XNt xCh# xT> abbat nnant abbatahu xTT abbatwot/wo xt$ abbatu Xns# xcW xT abbatwa nnsu abbataw xcW abbataw W wa dog Nla/Singular Bzu/Plural W waye X a WH wah XNt W> wa nnant WT/wawot/wo WW waw Xns# nnsu W wawa WcW waw





Note the differences in both the first person singular and third person male, between when the noun ends in a consonant (-e, -u) and when it ends in a vowel (-ye, -w).) The above table shows one way of forming the possessive adjective. Now lets look at another way of forming the possessive: First method Second method:
xt& Xt L xT xT

abbat xt& abbate abbat yn@ xT yne abbat

abbate = yne abbat nnate = yn@ XT yne nnat lijje = yn@ LJ yne ljj


Now look at the possessive forms of xT abbat for I and we. my we yXn@ xT y ne abbat (yn@ yne abbat) yX xT y a abbat (y xT ya abbat) Generalization: To form the possessive in the second method y y + noun (pronoun) = possessive phrase Examples: b@tsB betsb ymSFN b@tsB ymsfn betsb (ys# b@tsB yssu betsb)

Translate the following phrases into Amharic using the second method for indicating possession. 1. their family 2. his family 3. her family 4. your (female) family 5. your (male) family 6. your (plural) family __________ __________ __________ ____ ____ ___

Note: Sometimes we use the y + noun (pronoun) form to show contrast. Example: yn@ R TLQ nW Yne borsa tlk (big) nw. yxNcE R TN> nW Yani borsa gn tn (small) nw.

Vowel Change When y y is added to a noun (pronoun) that begins with a vowel, the sound may change. Look at this change in the following examples: 1. y y + Xn@ ne = yn@ yne 2. y y + xNt ant = Nt yant 3. y y + Xs# ssu = ys# yssu 4. y y + X* ssua = y* yssua 5. y y + XcW ssaw = ycW yssaw 6. y y + x Amerika = yx yamerika Vowels are dropped according to the hierarchy of vowels, listed from strongest (always replaces) to weakest (is always replaced):
xa, x@e, x!i,

o, x#u x X

So for example, the sound in yy may replace the beginning sound of pronouns like ssu, ssua, nnant, etc. Similarly, if the noun or pronoun begins with an a, as in ant or ani, the a may replace the . The assimilation of vowels indicated above occurs in fluent speech. In slow speech or reading the vowels can be pronounced separately, i.e as in the written form.

Kinship Terms xT abbat father XT nnat mother baal husband ST mist wife XNj xT njra abbat stepfather XNj XT njra nnat stepmother XHT ht sister wNDM wndm brother s@T xT set ayat grandmother wND xT wnd ayat grandfather xKST akst aunt (the sister of your mother or father) xT aggot uncle (the brother of your mother or father) yxT / yxKST LJ yaggot or yakst ljj cousin

Fill in the blank spaces about Mesfin. Look at the family tree. Ml@ Msale: x UW ydS xT cW Ato Gashaw YDesta abbat naw. 1. wYz Yt$ ydS Woyzro Taytu YDesta cW naw. 2. 3.
wYz l# ydS h#N ydS

Woyzro Mulu YDesta

T nW

nat. nw.

Fantahun YDesta

Study the family tree and answer the following questions. 1. ydS s@T xT N Yl# YDesta set ayat man ybbalalu? 2. 3. 4.
ydS wND xT N Yl# ydS xT N YL?

YDesta wnd ayat man ybbalalu?

YDesta aggot man ybbalal? YDesta akst man tbbalal?

ydS xKST N TlC?


Label the following pictures. The people shown in the pictures are all Mesfins family. Look at the family tree.



Ato Abebe



Woyzero Alem

Cultural Note
Patterns of Meeting People You may notice that introductions in Ethiopia are different than in America. Its not uncommon to talk about a third party while they are present (example: Does she speak Amharic? Is he an American?), without introducing the third person or addressing him or her directly. The practice of introducing people to each other (John, meet Mary. Mary, meet John) is not often used. Generally, people will offer their own names to an unknown person, sometimes saying XNtwQ nntwwk (lets introduce ourselves), rather than waiting for an introduction from someone else. Ethiopians are generally fairly private about disclosing information about themselves, especially because it can be interpreted as prideful to boast about oneself. You may find that Ethiopians are more direct than you are used to, however, in asking questions of foreigners. Questions that might seem personal (such as those about salary, marital status, price of your house rent, where you are going or even your weight) are not uncommon.


Change the following into the first method of possessive formation. Look at the example given. 1. yv!D XHT YDavid ht XHt$ htu 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
yv!D xT y XHT

YDavid aggot YDavid nna YMary agr YDavid nna YMary mkina

YMary ht Ynssu agr Ynssu mkina

yv!D X y xgR yXns# xgR

yv!D X y mk! yXns# mk!

Grammar Point
Conjugation of the verb mR mnor [r nor] to live (present tense) Pronoun Xn@E ne xNt ant xNcE ani XRS rswo Xs# ssu X* ssua XcW ssaw Nla/Singular Xlh# norallhu TlH tnorallh Tl> tnoriyall Yl# ynorallu YL ynoral TlC tnorall Yl# ynorallu Bzu/Plural X a







We will study the present tense conjugation in Unit 9. For now, start to notice the patterns of prefixes and suffixes that accompany each person.

Match the following expressions with appropriate completions from column B. A B 1. xt& x!S xb abate Addis Ababa a. Yl# ynoralu b. XNlN nnnoraln 2. yl XHT x yLaura ht Adama c. YL ynoral 3. xStCN TXGST astmarian Tigist 4. Xt& X xt& l!Rn! nnate nna abbate California _____ d. TlC tbalall 5. X XT a Ethiopia e. TlC tnoral Note: You can use formal or informal terms when referring to ones father or mother (or elder family member depending on the family). When referring to someones elses father or mother, however, you should always use formal terms.


Demonstratives Near Singular Plural YH yh this(male or masculine objects) Xnz!H nnzih these (both male & female) YHC yh* this (feminine) Far Singular ya that (male) C ya* (feminine) Plural Xnz! nnziya those (both male & female)

* YHC yh and C ya can also show smallness or endearment, or they can be diminuitives that mark disrespect.


yh bet

ya bet

Pluralize this item to these items and that item to those items:

this ball [*S kwas]

these balls

that paper [wrqT wrkt]___________

those papers



Grammar Point
Expressing to be and to have The verb xl all, means to be in regard to presence. For example:
Nx@L xl?

Daniel all? L xlC? Rachel all? tC KFL WS_ xl# Tmariwo kfl wst allu. xt& Xb@T WS_ xl# Abbate bet wst allu.

Is Daniel here? Is Rachel here? Students are in the class. My father is at home (polite).

Conjugation of the Verb all (to be, to not be in regard to presence) Affirmative and Negative Present Tense Nla/Singular Bzu/Plural Affirmative Negative Affirmative Xn@E ne X ia xlh# allahu ylh#M yllahum xlN alln ant ani XRS rswo Xs# ssu X* ssua
xNt xNcE XcW




allh all xl# allu xl all xlC all xl# allu

xlh xl>

yllhm yllm yl#M yllum ylM yllm ylCM yllm yl#M yllum
ylHM yl>M


nnant nnsu







Notice that the verb xl all is irregular in the negative form, since it does not use the usual al- prefix. This verb has a different form of negative because the negative marker prefix al- and the verb aall itself happen to be identical. So, we add y y at the beginning (and the usual -M-m at the end). (This is not the possessive y- marker!) Expressing to have makes use of the verb xl all. To say, I have it, in Amharic, you must literally say, It is to me. To say, I do not have it, you must literally say, It is not to me. Look at the following examples: 1. xT xl Abbat all. I have a father. (Lit: A father is to me.) 2. wNDM ylM Wndm yllm. I have no brother. (Lit: A brother is not to me.) As you can see, to express the phrase to me, to you, etc., a set of affixes called the object pronouns are employed. These will be studied in detail in Units 10 and 12, however they are identical to the endings for the verb to be (n n, nh, etc.) that you met in Unit 2.


Conjugation of the Verb allw (to have, to not have) Affirmative and Negative Present Tense Nla/Singular Bzu/Plural Affirmative Negative Affirmative X a ylM Xn@ ne xl all xlN alln yllm ylHM xNt anta xlH allh yllhm XNt xCh# yl>M nnant allahu xNcE ani xl> all yllm XRS rswo xlT allwot ylTM yllwotm ylWM Xs# ssu xlW allw Xns# nnsu yllwm xcW yTM allaw X* ssua xT allat yllatm
XcW xcW ycWM






ssaw Examples:


yllawm I have a sister. Do you (m.) have a friend?

XHT xl A?

ht all. Gwada allh?

When the thing that you own is plural, you must use the nnssu forms xl# allu and yl#M yllum, since you are literally saying, They are to me, and They are not to me. H#lT DmC xl# Hult dmmto allu. I have two cats. Bz# dC xl#> Bzu gwado allu! You (f.) have many friends! ST LC x*cW Sost ljjo alluaw. They have three children. LC yl#M Ljjo yllunm. We dont have children.

Indicate whether you have (xl all) or you dont have (ylM yllm) the following relations and items by adding the appropriate phrase. 1. 2. 3.


4. mk! mkina 5. BR/ brr/money 6. BR/ brr/money

ht abbat

Now ask your LCF if he or she has the following things, and complete in the same way about your LCF. Ask your LCF using the second person, i.e. you, but write about your LCF in third person, i.e. as he or she. 7. 8. 9.


ht abbat


10. R borsa 11. mk! mkina 12. BR/ brr/money Make another list of your own about your LCF and complete in the same way. 1. 2. 3.

Compare and contrast your town, ( e.g. Assela), and Addis Ababa. First, study the examples: x!S xb Bz# Ks! xT Addis Ababa bzu taxi allat. xs GN Bz# Ks! yTM Assela gn bzu taxi yllatm. x!S xb S b@T xT Addis Ababa posta bet allat. xsM S b@T xT Asselam posta bet allat. (Note: The suffix -M-m added to the noun Assella means too, also. Note also that towns and countries are normally considered feminine nouns.) Write your comparison and contrast bellow. Attempt to include as many points as possible. Have your LCF help! ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

Practice: In the space provided below make your own family tree and complete the
exercise that follows:


Now write about your relatives (family members and ancestors). Include relevant personal information such as who they are called, where they live, what their occupations are, and when appropriate their marital status. Use this description to prepare for a class talk in which you will use photos (if you have got some) to introduce your family members to the class. Write your description in the spaces given bellow. ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

ywND d ywnd guada boy friend ys@T d yset guada girl friend FQr fkra lover X oa fiance() L baal husband ST mist wife lb@T balbet* d guada

spouse friend rb@T gorbet neighbor U ga (old fashioned) beautiful WB/ Wb!T wub / wubit (feminine) beautiful N konjo beautiful LBS lbs clothing (clothes) Note: The word lb@T balbet is not as formal as its English equivalent spouseis. lb@T Balbet is just a fairly formal way of referring to someones husband or wife. ST Mist and L baal can sometimes be impolite (used in informal situations). It is safer to use lb@T balbet all the time.

Talk to a member of your host family. Include the following information: a) his/her name b) his/her occupation c) who his /her parents are called and their occupations and d) his/her other relations Then talk about this person in class.

Practice Reading and Pronouncing Script

N xNb W MpEWtR FRFR Y/b# x@C.xY.v! x@DS XDR

Unit 5
Basic Shopping
Learning Objectives
At the end of this unit you will be able to: Name items in the market and in shops Ask for, bargain and buy items from the market or shops Count up to 100 and use cardinals, ordinals and basic fractions Use basic question words, conjunctions, and definite articles

Dialog 1
In the following dialog a customer is buying a pencil. How does he/she ask the price? dMb Dmba: XRS xl rsas all? ls#Q Balsuk: x Awo. dMb Dmba: UW SNT nW Wagaw snt nw? ls#Q Balsuk: M NtEM Hamsa santim. dMb Dmba: Y,W Yhw. Note: dMb Dmba means customer and ls#Q baalsuk means store keeper. The opposite of xl all (there is) is ylM yllm (there is not). Based on the dialog, what does SNT

snt nw mean?

Look at the following examples to help you. 1. :DH dmeh (your age) SNT nW snt nw? 2. sT SNT nW? Sat (the time) snt nw? 3. /!B SNT nW? Hisab snt nw?

Grammar Point
The Definite Article Take a look at the w in the word UW waagaw in dialog above. Note: the word U waaga is understood as shared knowledge to both speakers in its association with XRS rsas. Consider the w in the following dialog as well: Host mother: b# LS_> Bunna lst? X! i. Elizabeth: Host mother: b#W XNT nW? Bunnaw ndet nw? b#W bM N nW Bunnaw btam konjo nw. Elizabeth:


We first mention the drink as bunna and in subsequent mentions it becomes bunnaw. The suffix shows definiteness. It shows that now the item has become shared knowledge, in other words, it has become known to both speaker and listener. Look at the following examples: muz - mz# muzu brtukan - BRt$n# brtukanu xS ananas - xs#ananasu wYN woyn - wYn# woynu M pom - pomu llomi - lW lomiw papaya -W papayaw N mango - NW mangow

doctor - Kt doctoru doctor Kt doctorwa the tall male doctor - r KtR rmu doctor the tall female doctor - r KtR rmwa doctor the doctors / KtC doctoro - Ktc$ doctorou (plural) the tall doctors - rc$ KtC rmou doctoro

You must have noticed that while some of the nouns (names) took the suffix u, the others took w. We can generalize this as follows: For masculine nouns (or plurals or noun modifiers), if the noun ends in a consonant, we add u and if it ends in a vowel, we add w. For feminine nouns we add -wa Also notice that if the definite noun is modified by an adjective, it is the adjective rather than the noun itself that takes the definite suffix u or w.

Reading (MNB Mnbab) YH nW Yh samuna nw. Samunaw ytsraw ityopya wst nw. ytgW kx!S xb nW Ytgzaw k Addis Ababa nw. bM N nW Btam konjo samuna nw.
W ytsW x!T WS_ nW

Yh rsas nw. XRs# ytsW x nW rsasu ytsraw Amerika nw. bM N XRS nW Btam konjo rsas nw.

Yh kbrit nw. Kbritu ytsraw Kenya nw. ytgW krb@T s#Q nW Ytygzaw kgorbet suuk nw. bM N KBT nW Btam konjo kbrit nw.
YH kBT nW KBt$ ytsW k@N nW

Some words you may need to understand the reading text given above: 1. ytsW ytsraw is made; other forms - mST msrat (to work), | sra (work), \t srata (worker), YsL yssral (is made-passive) 2. WS_ wust - in; e.g. ityopya wst- in Ethiopia



ytygzaw is bought; other forms mGT mgzat (to buy), Xglh# gzallhu ( I buy or I will buy), G gza (you buy imperative)

Read the text again and identify the definite article markers. Underline them. Note: The -w in final position of the phrases ytsW ytsraw and ytgW ytygzaw is not a definite article marker. The w here shows he or it (see Grammar Appendix on Relative Clauses). Definite article markers are added to nouns, not to verbs.

Question Words N man? MN mn (MNDN mndn)? lMN lmn? XNT ndet? yN yman? yT yt?

who? what? why? how? whose? where? When? Which

Examples (Msalewo) 1. z#N kyT g>? Muuz kyt gza? () Where did you buy the bananas? 2. gbW yT nW? Gbyaw yt nw? Where is the market? 3. N nW? Man nw? Who is it? 4. SM> N nW? Sm man nw? Whats your () name? 5. SH MNDN nW ? Srah mndn nw? Whats your () job? 6. YH MNDnW? Yh mndn nw? Whats this? 7. YHC MNDN nC? Yh mndn n? Whats this? 8. lMN xTbM? Lmn atblam? Why dont you () eat? 9. lMN xTwTM? Lmn atawtm? Why dont you () talk? 10. XNj XNT YUgL? njra ndet ygagral? How is njra made? 11. YH yN XRS nW ? Yh yman rsas nw? Whose pencil is this? 12. YH yN b@T nW? Yh yman bet nw? Whose house is this?

Construct an appropriate question for the situations given bellow: 1. When you ask a child what his name is he may say mSFN Msfn. Lets say you would also like to know his fathers name. How do you say, Whats your fathers name? 2. Ask your host mother where you can buy a match. 3. Ask your friend why she or he came to Ethiopia. 4. Ask your LCF how ro is made? 5. You see that someone has left a book on the desk. Ask the LCF whose book it is. 6. In the market you see a kind of cereal but you dont know what it is called. Ask the merchant what the cereal is called.


Other shop items ama candle FT soft tissue paper Y Q-L ay ktl tea leaves S*R skuar sugar =W w salt tEtEM L timatim salsa tomato sauce m_rg! mtrgiya broom mqS mks scissors samuna soap yLBS ylbs samuna laundry soap yg ygla samuna body/face soap y_RS ytrs samuna toothpaste y: -b! y ka matbiya samuna kitchen soap zYT zyt food oil S pasta pasta Items in the market tEtEM timatim tomatoes l kolo roasted grains l dabo kolo dry fried bread bits DNC dn potatoes -@F teff teff gBS gbs barley SN snde wheat bl bkolo maize >NB nbra chick pea q& bakela beans xtR atr peas ln! ooloni (lWZ lwz) peanuts S-b! mastatbiya washing basin

Dialog 2
Bargaining (Waaga mkrakr) g Gi: ls#Q xl? Balsuk samuna all? ls#Q Baalsuk: x Awo. MN YnT? Mn aynt? g Gi: yLBS Ylbs samuna. ls#Q Baalsuk: SNT LS_H? Snt lsth? g Gi: xN SNT nW? Aandu snt nw? ls#Q Baalsuk: xMST BR Amist brr g Gi: WD nW xYqNSM? Wudd nw. Ayknsm? ls#Q Baalsuk: X! bST BR kM WsD i lsost brr khamsa wsd. g Gi: X! xT S- i arrat st. ls#Q Baalsuk: Y,W Yhw. -Q xS xT BR nW Tklala asra araat brr nw.

Vocabulary for Dialog 2: mqnS mkns [qnS kns] to lower the price other forms: qN> kna (discount), YqNs#L yknsul (lower the pric, politely), qNSL knsl (lower the price to ), qN>L knl (lower the price to a ) For example: 8- 6 = 2 smnt s!qnS sikns sdst yhonal huult xYqNSM Ayknsm? Is this your best price? (Lit. doesnt it lower its price?). MN YnT Mn aynt? Which type? WD wdd expensive -Q tklala total Another phrase used in bargaining is m=rW SNT nW? Mraw snt nw? When you say this you are asking the shop keeper to tell you his/her best/lowest price.

Cultural Note
Most of the prices in markets are flexible: you can bargain. Some merchants may try to charge higher prices if they know you are from another country. But commercial centers such as supermarkets and restaurants have fixed prices.

Numbers 10 -100 (Kutro 10 -100) xSR asr 10 xS xND asra and 11 A arba 40 xS h#lT asra hult 12 hamsa 50 slsa 60 xS z- asra Zt 19 haya 20 sba 70 xND haya and 21 smanya 80 ztna 90 z- haya zt 29 slasa 30

100 200

hult mto

and i


Ordinal Numbers Look at the following examples and observe how cardinals are converted into their corresponding ordinal forms (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.). xND and xNd andda h#lT hult h#lt hultta ST sost St sostta z- zt z-n ztna M hamsa M hamsaa m mto mmtoa Can you derive a rule for the formation of ordinals?


Observation of the examples given above leads us to the following conclusions: If the cardinal form ends in a vowel, add a If the cardinal form ends in a consonant other than , add a If the cardinal ends in -- you change the -- into an -n and add -a Note: the suffix at the end of the ordinal numbers is stressed. To help you prnounce it with a stress, we will, from now on, double the . Thus xNd andda, h#lt huultta, etc. Fractions B rub = s! siso = 1/3 G> gma =

Add the appropriate suffix to the following cardinal numbers to convert them into their ordinal forms: __________ 1. SMNT smnt 2. 3. 4.
xR xMST xS z- xS h#lT

arba amst

____ __________ __________

asra zt asra hult


yxs N x SM

YAssela Maraton Anafiwo (winners) sm zrzr (list) t q$_R yxTl@t$ SM ygbT sT ygbabt sat Tra kutr yatletu sm (finishing times) xbb 1 2:06:07 Abb Mola mL 2 2:06:08 Maru Mlka b!qE tE 3 2:06:10 Bikila Moti

lmat (prizes) wRQ work


brr nhas

Answer the following questions about the information in the table above. 1. xNd nW? Aandda man nw? 2. h#lt nW? Hultta man nw? 3. mL SNt n? Maru mlka snta hon? 4. b!qE tE MN tlm? Bikila moti mn tlm?



l m BR T

bal mto brr not


bal hamsa brr not

lxSR (BR T

bal asr brr not


bal amst brr not


bal aand brr not






xMST NtEM (Sn!)


hamsa santim (shilling)

haya amst santim (smuni)

asr santim

amst santim

Note: l here means of as in a note of 5 birr (xR notes).


arba balsr = 40 ten birr


Now study the following table and answer the questions below. t q$_R yxN k!l U bBR xTKLT Atklt Tra kutr Yandu kilo waaga (bbr) 1 2 3 4

timatim DNC dn T karot >Nk#RT snkurt


tklala 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Addis Ababa---Assella 6 4 5 3 10 8 6 8 27 23

Atklt kyt mgzat yalal? xTKLT WD nW wYS R>? Addis Ababa Atklt wdd nw woys rka? xs G> k!l >Nk#RT SNT nW? Assela gma kilo nkurt snt nw? x!S xb B k!l DNC SNT nW? Addis Ababa rub kilo dn snt nw? xs h#lT k!l >Nk#RT X ST k!l T SNT nW? Assella hult kilo nkurt inna sost kilo karot snt nw?
GN X k X

Supplementary Vocabulary: gn but bstkr except for

nna and

k bStqR

Study the following sentences and translate them into English. 1. x!S xb k >Nk#RT bStqR h#l#M xTKLT WD nW Addis Ababa k nkurt bstkr hulum atklt wdd nw. 2. L xYb@KS k x!T bStqR l@ gR ylM Walia I bex k Ityopya bstkr lela agr ylm. 3. kxNcE bStqR l@ xLwDM K ani bstkr lela alwdm. 4. DNC x!S xb YL >Nk#RT GN xs YL Dn Addis Ababa yalal, nkurt gn Assela yalal. 5. RL GN xLbM Rboal gn alblam. Supplementary Vocabulary: l@ lela other R> rka cheap h#l#M hulum all Note: When two words are connected by X nna in fluent speech, and the first word ends in a vowel, the nna is shortened to just - -na. Example: Rs! X v!D Marcy nna David becomes Rs! v!D Marcyna David.

Dialog 3
Elizabeth: Abebe: nkurt yt yalal? x!S xb wYS xsAddis Ababa woys Assela? x!S xb YL Addis Ababa yalal. MKNt$M x!S xb R> nW Mknyatum Addis Ababa Rka nw.
>Nk#RT yT YL


Can you guess what MKNt$M mknyatum means? The following examples may help you guess what MKNt$M mknyatum means: 1. mtT XfLUlh# mtat flgalhu MKNt$M mknyatum dkm" dkm. 2. W XfLUlh#Wuha flgalhu MKNt$M -" mknyatum tma. 3. MGB XfLUlh# MKNt$M b" Mgb flgalhu mknyatum rab. Can you now make your own sentences with MKNM mknyatum? Use the spaces provided. 1. __________________________________________________________________ 2. __________________________________________________________________ 3. __________________________________________________________________

Visit the local market and ask the prices of three different vegetables, bargain and buy them. Glossary: Dmba Balsuk Ytgzaw Ytsraw rsas Samuna Gorbet Kbrit Uu vKc<p }< }W^< `de dS< A[u? w] customer shope keeper is bought /magzat-to buy) is made /masrat-towork Pencil Soap neighbour match

Practice Reading and Pronouncing Script

HR R x!T XGR *S XGz!xB/@R YmSgN xWb#S wF t&n!S


Unit 6 Food and Drink

Learning Objectives
At the end of this unit you will be able to: Name common food items and ingredients Express tastes, and likes and dislikes for food and drink Express needs and wants for food and drink Order food in a restaurant and pay Ask for, and offer food and drink Pass items at a table

Naming foods and drinks and expressing likes and dislikes Make a list of Ethiopian foods and drinks you already know: I. Foods 1. 2. 3. 4. II. Drinks 1. 2. 3. 4. ______________ ______________ ______________ ______________ ______________ ______________ ______________ ______________


Look at the following menu of a restaurant. Which one of the dishes listed do you know?


Slam Mgb Bet

Ymgb zrzr 1. qY w_ ky wt 2. xL w_ aalla wt 3. w_ doro wt 4. MSR w_ msr wt 5. N doro fanta 6. byYnT byaynt 7. KT ktfo 8. _BS tbs 9. MNcTxB> mnt abi 10. tUb! tgabino 11. lT dult 12. FRFR frfr 13. XNq$L _BS nkulal tbs 14. aasa ym-_ YnC Ymtt aynto 1. xM W ambo wha 2. yR -J ymar tj 3. ywYN -J ywoyn tj 4. b! birra 5. soft drinks Tk#S ngR Tkus ngr 1. wtT wtt 2. b# bunna 3. Y ay Waaga (bbr) 25.00 20.00 30.00 15.00 25.00 15.00 25.00 20.00 20.00 10.00 10.00 12.00 12.00 20.00 4.00 10.00 18.00 7.00 4.00 2.00 1.50 1.50


Ymgb zrzr Main Ingredients (waana waana gbat) 1. qY w_ ky wt sga (meat), brbre (red pepper), ky nkurt(onion), kmm (spices) 2. xL w_ aalla wt sga, ky nkurt, kmm, kariya (green pepper) n nkurt (garlic) 3. w_ doro wt ydoro sga (chicken), ky nkurt, kmm, kbe (butter) 4. MSR w_ msr wt msr (lentils), ky nkurt, with or without brbre 5. N doro fanta sga, brbre, ky nkurt, kmm, kbe 6. byYn byaynt ytlyay atklt (various vegetables), msr wt,ro, kariya, etc 7. KT ktfo y ktfo sga (finely chopped lean meat), kbe, kmm 8. _BS tbs sga, kariya, Rosemary, ky nkurt 9. MNcTxB> mnt abi sga, ky nkurt, kmm 10. tUb! tgabino (ro) ro (slightly roasted and ground peas), kmm, ky nkurt, n nkurt 11. lT dult gubt (liver), guara (rumen), kbe, mitmita (red chili), kariya 12. FRFR frfr njra, timatim (tomatoes), kariya 13. XNq$L _BS nkulal tbs nkulal (eggs), kariya, ky nkurt 14. aasa fish Kmmakmm Spices qr krfa cinnamon q$N bRb kundo brbre black pepper kororima cardamon ZNJBL znjbl ginger q$RND kurnfud clove kN kmun cumin S tos wild thyme n+ xZD n azmud bishops weed DML dmblal coriander _q$R xZD tikur azmud black cumin L hel citrus seed If you dont know any of these spices ask your host mother to show you.


Expressing Needs and Wants To Say You Want or Need Food or Drink XfLUlh# flgallhu. I want. Xblh# blallhu. I eat. YL Ynoral? Have you got? b (RL)Rab. (Rboal.) I am hungry. - () Tma. (Tmtoal.) I feel thirsty. ? Msa drsual? Is lunch ready? To Say That You Dont Want or Need xLfLGM Alflgm. I dont want. xLbM Alblam. I dont eat. xL-M Alttam. I dont drink. xLwDM Alwdm. I dont like. b Bka. I have had enough. Tgbku. Im full. Offering Food TfLUlH Tflgalh? Do you want? TfLg!l> flgiyal? YfLUl# Yflgalu? Polite/akbrot L=MRLH Lmrlh? Can I give you more? L=MRL> Lmrl? L=mRL Lmrlwo? Polite/akbrot LS_H Lsth? Do you want (me) to give you? LS_> Lst? LS_ Lstwo? Polite/akbrot MH Lamtalh? Can I get it for you? ML> Lamtal? ML Lamtalwo? Polite/akbrot


Answer the following questions 1. You are a vegetarian but someone invites you to have KT ktfo. What do you say to refuse politely? 2. Your host mother tells you to have more XNj njra. What do you say to tell her youve had enough? 3. It is lunch time and you are hungry. How do you ask if lunch is ready? 4. Your host sister asks you to have gN gnfo but you dont like gN gnfo. What do you say? 5. You would like to share your chocolates with someone. How do you say, Do you want to have some chocolates?


Firafire Fruits BRt$N brtukan oranges l lomi lemon or lime papaya papaya Z muz banana xS ananas pineapple N mango mango M pom apple wYN woyn grapes K kok peach/apricot XN njori berries



Atklt Vegetables yaba gommn kale-like leafy greens _QL mN tkl gommn frNJ mN frnj gommn cabbage S kosta kale/spinach qY SR ky sr beet DNC dnn potatoes S*R DNC skwar dnn sweet potato R kariya green pepper tEtEM timatim tomato T karot carrot
yhb mN

Dairy Products wtT wtt milk XR rgo yogurt xYB ayb cheese XNq$L nkulal eggs

yw_ b@T XC

Ywt bet kawo Utensils Nk! mankiya spoon #ukka fork BR+ brko glass D HN goguad sahn bowl ZRG HN zrg sahn plate b! bilawa knife k# kubaya mug

Passing Items at the Table When you pass an item you say Y,W yhw to mean here you are and qbL makbl to mean to pass.


Imperative forms of qbL makbl xqBl akbl pass to me xqBY akbyi A akblu (plural) yakblu (polite/akbrot)

A less formal way to say here you are is also: E nka E/E ni / nki E nkahu (plural)

Fill the following blank spaces with appropriate words. 1. 2. 3.

bakh bak sahn

# qBl#


akbl. .


uka yakblu

Tastes Tastes are expressed in Amharic using the verb: it is sweet, it is spicy, etc. YFL ytaftal sweet adjective: + tafa _L yaka tlal hot/spicy adjective: y_L ymiyakatl YmL ymral bitter adjective: m mrara Ym_L ykom ttal sour adjective: M komtata =W bZbL w bztobtal too much salt

Match the words under column A with the sentences under column B. B A 1. l lomi 2. kariya 3. kr krmella 4. S*R skuar 5. R mar 6. bRb brbre 7. b! bira a. YFL ytaftal b. _L yaka tlal c. YmL ymral d. Ym_L ykom ttal


Expressing Likes and Dislikes Make a list of American foods and drinks you like most. Write your preferences in the spaces provided below. 1. 2. 3. Guess what bM 1. 2. 3.
bM Xwlh# bM Xwlh# bM Xwlh# Xwlh#btam

btam wdallhu. btam wdallhu. btam wdallhu. .

wdallhumeans. It means alwdm. alwdm. alwdm.

Fill in the blank spaces with foods or drinks (Ethiopian or American) that you dont like.

What does xLwDM alwdm mean? It means

Make a list of things you like and say (in Amharic) that you like them. Use the spaces provided. Write your answers in complete sentences. Things that I like/
yMwcW ngC

ymwdaw ngro __________________________ _______ _____ __

Grammar Point
Conjugation of mwdd [wdd] present tense affirmative Nla/Singular Affirmative Xwlh# Xn@ ne wdalhu TwlH xNt ant twdalh Twl> xNcE ani twjal Ywl# XRS rswo ywdalu YwL Xs# ssu ywdal TwlC X* ssua twdal Ywl# XcW ssaw ywdalu
n- Bz#Bzu/Plural











twdallahu atwdum












Note: You can use the above forms to ask if someone likes something or someone (or not) by just changing the intonation to a (rising intonation) (question form). atwdm? Dont you like? () xTwJM atwjim? Dont you like? () or TwlH twdalh? Do you like? () Twl> twjal? Do you like? ()

How do you say I love you in Amharic? A. XwDlh# wdhalhu. to B. XwDlh# wdalhu. to C. XwClh# wdahualhu. ( to plural) Conjugation of I like (love) (third person) Xwdlh# wdwalhu. I like (love) him. Xwh# wdatalhu. I like (love) her. Xwclh# wdawalhu. I like (love) them. Note: You will see this construction again in Unit 12.

Complete the following sentences with a form of mwdd. Your answer can of course be in the negative or positive. 1. XGz!xB/@R x!TN gziabher Ityopyan 2. 3. 4.
XNtN nnantn s!U

. . ? (to a )

Sigara (cigarette)

BRt$N Brtukan

Note: The n suffix (Ityopyan, nnaten) is used to indicate that the noun is the direct
object of the verb. See Unit 10 and Unit 12.

Other Verbs of Preference Study the following dialogs.

Dialog 2
Host mother: You: Host mother:
Y wYS b# Y X!

ay woys bunna? YlL ay yalal. i.


Dialog 3
Host mother: You: yalal.
qY w_ wYM xL _ nW qY w_

Ky wt woyim aalla tru nw. _lL Ky wt yaktlal. xL YlL Aalla

Note: In the dialogs above, we used wYS woys to ask someones preference but wYM woym is used when we state something. For example, Y wYS b# S- ay woys bunna st means or? (in a question) and wYM woym means or (in an affirmative or negative statement). Guess the meaning of YlL yalal. It means ______________________.

Grammar Point
Different forms of tl tal (inf. mL mal) to be better Note: YL yalal means it is better and YlL yalal means it is better for me (you will see this construction in Unit 12). In the following table the negative forms have been left blank. Fill in the blank spaces with appropriate negative forms. n- Nla/Singular Bz# Bzu/Plural Affirmative Negative Affirmative X YlL YlL Xn@ ne a yalal yalnal YLL xNt ant YCL yalhal XNt yalhual YLL nnant xNcE ani yalal YLL XRS rswo yalwotal YlL Xs# ssu yalwal YcL Xns# nssu YL yalawal X* ssua yalatal




Dialog 4
At a Restaurant You: Clap your hand lightly/softly to attract the waiters attention. Waiter: MN LzZ Mn ltazz? You: MGB MN xCh# Mgb mn allahu? Waiter: xL Aalla, w_ doro wt, N doro fanta, bynt$ byayntu, KT ktfo, _BS tbs, MNcT xB> mnt ab


You: Waiter: You: You: Waiter: You:

Mnt abi amtal. y-S Ymi ttas? xM W Ambo wuha B SNT nW b!L xML Hisab snt nw? / Bill amtal Slasa (30) birr (You give the waiter a 50 birr note and ask for your change.) Mls st.
MNcT xB> xML

Useful Vocabulary from this Dialog MN LzZ Mn ltazz? What can I get for you? xML Amtal ()/xML amil () Bring for me mls change st ()/ si() give me

Role Play In the class: set up a restaurant situation and take turns to role play.

Cultural Note
When you eat food from the same plate with somebody, eat from your side of the plate. It may be considered impolite to eat from the other person(s) side. When you eat with elders, wait for the elders to start before eating yourself. You dont have to eat all the food served, you can eat as much as you can and return what remains. There is usually someone else who will eat it. Smelling food served to you can offend your host (you can explain to your host that in America it is a compliment to smell the food). When somebody serves you water for your hands, it is polite behavior to stand up to wash but your host usually asks you to sit down. You can then insist and wash standing up, or choose to wash sitting down depending on the age of the person who helps you to wash (relative to you). If the person seems to be younger than you, you may choose to sit down. But generally since standing up is a sign of respect for your hosts, it is the safer thing to do. While eating food on the same plate with somebody else, you may be offered gursha (feeding with hands). If you dont want the gursha, you can politely refuse to have it. It is not acceptable to lick your fingers at meals. Leaving a seat before the meal is over and while others are eating is considered inappropriate. If your food arrives before that of the other diners, you may begin eating without waiting. Usually the drinks arrive after the food (and are ordered after the food). Double-check every bill before you pay (compare against the menu price and check the addition IN the bill). Tipping is not necessary, and usually is just a birr or two, depending on the cost of the meal and the number of guests.


You can get change for a large bill by asking for zrzr (for example, a 100 birr note can be changed to one 50 and five 10s). When handing over the money, eye contact is important, and use your left hand to support your right forearm.

Go to a restaurant with your LCF and order food and drink and ask for your change.

Practice Reading and Pronouncing Script

NdR DmT F -> hYQ JB gb mR m{/F R


Unit 7
Time Telling
Learning Objectives:
At the end of this unit you will be able to: Correctly ask and tell time Name days of the week Describe your daily routine Use prepositions and adverbs to describe when actions happen Correctly use the compound imperfect (present/future) tense

Dialog 1
Telling Time
xbbC SNT sT nW?


Snt sat nw?

2 sT kB nW


2 sat k rub( nw).

bSNT sT wd TMHRT b@T TlH?



B snt sat wd tmhrt bet thedallh? b 3 sT xNcES Tl>? B 3 sat. Anis thejallsh?
xY b3 sT S xlB


Ay, b 3 sat srra allb (I have to).

X! dH Y


i, dhna way.

Times: Between 5 after and 25 minutes after the hour, use the preposition k k. From 35 to 55 minutes after the hour, time is expressed from the next hour, as in 10 until 8 pm. The preposition l l g#Y gudday is used.
2:05 2:10 2:15 (quarter past) 2:20 2:25 2:30 (half past)
H#lT sT kxMST

Hult (sat) k amst

H#lT kxSR

2:35 2:40
2:45 (quarter til)

lsT sT xMST g#Y

L sost sat haya amst gudday.

lsT g#Y

Hult k asr
H#lT kB

L sost haya gudday.

lsT B g#Y

Hult k rub
H#lT k

L sost rub gudday.

lsT xSR g#Y

Hult k haya
H#lT k xMST

2:50 2:55 3:00

L sost asr gudday.

lsT xMST g#Y

Hult k haya amst

H#lT tk#L

L sost amst gudday.

sT sT

Hult tkul

Sost sat.


Cultural Note
Time is expressed uniquely in Ethiopia. To distinguish am and pm, Ethiopians add qualifiers such as -T twat (morning), ksT b ksat bhwala (afternoon), M>T mt (evening), and l@l!T llit (at night). Furthermore, the Ethiopian day starts at k-t$ 1 sT ktwatu 1 sat (7 am.). Therefore, k-t$ 2 sT ktwatu 2 sat is 8 am, noon is kqn# 6 sT k knu 6 sat, 2 pm is kqn# 8 sT k knu 8 sat, 9 pm is kM>t$ 3 sT k mtu 3 sat, and 4 am is kl@l!t$ 10 sT k lelitu10 sat . When talking to colleagues or arranging an appointment, it is useful to establish whether the meeting is set for hb sT haba sat (Ethiopian time) or frNJ sT frnj sat (European time). f you are approaching a stranger to ask the time, it is polite to first say YQR ykrta. YQR SNT sT nW ? Ykrta, snt sat nw? Ethiopians may conceptualize time differently than Americans. Keeping schedules, starting meetings at the appointed time, or adhering to deadlines are generally not as rigid as in America. Rather, prioritizing peoples needs and adjusting time to suit people is valued. To further explore this idea, see Culture Matters pg. 103.

sat nw? Tell the times shown in Amharic.
SNT sT nW? Snt

Convert the following into Ethiopian times Example: 6 am -T xS h#lT sT twat asra hult sat 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 7am noon 1 pm 2 pm 11 pm 6. mid-night 7. 3 am 8. 11 am 9. 5 pm 10. 4 am


Routines Nouns ygdgda sat clock yXJ sT (yj) sat watch g!z@ giize time sT sat hour dqE dkika minute skND sknd se cond XGR *S gr kwas foot ball m mata sleep g gla body T fit face [g#R sgur hair _RS trs teeth gb gbya- market S sra work TMHRT b@T tmhrt bet school SL- sltna training S b@T posta bet post office dBb@ dbdabe letter q$RS kurs breakfast M msa lunch XT rat dinner Sequence markers mjm mjmriya first q_l ktlo next bm=r bmra finally

Verb matnat [atna] to study mST msrat [srra] towork mD mhed [hed] to go mwT mawt [tawt] to play NbB manbb [anbb]- to read mBT mblat [blla] to eat mR mmar [tmar]- to learn mmlS mmls [tmmlls]- to come back mtT mtat [ta] to go to sleep m-B mtatb [tatb] to wash mr> mborr [borr] to brush m_ mrot [rot] to run mT mwat [waa] to swim yT mayt [ayy] to see WT mawrat [awrra] to chat mnT mnsat [tnssa] to wake up FT maflat [affla] to boil

k....bT kz!

k.... b

k bfit before k bhuala after kziya next, then

Dialog 2
B -T -T MN TslH?


Twat twat mn tsrallh?

-T -T s#Q WS_ Xslh#


Twat twat suk wst srallhu.

ksT bS?


Ksat bhualas?
ksT b m{/F xnlh#


K sat bhwala mshaf anballhu.



t&l@VN xlh#


Mata televin ayallhu.

b ?


b kz! Xtlh#


Bka. Kziya tallhu.


Sequential Expressions of Time A Letter: Bob writes a letter to Girma about his daily activities as a PCT. Dear Girma, Everyday I wake up at 7 am. First, I wash my face and brush my teeth. Then I eat breakfast. From Monday to Friday, I go to school in the morning. After school I go home and eat lunch. In the afternoon, I study or play football. In the evening I watch tv and talk with my host family. At last, I eat dinner and go to bed at 10 pm. Your friend, Bob

Wud Girma,
H#Lg!z@ -T -T bxND sT Xnlh# mjm t&N X-B _Rs@N XRlh#

Hulgize twat twat band sat nsallhu. Mjmriya, fiten tatbna trsen borallhu. kz! q$Rs@N Xblh# ks XSk RB -T -T TMHRT b@T Xlh# kziya kursen bllallhu. kso sk arb twat twat tmhrt bet hedallhu.
kTMHRT t&l@VN b@T b Y x-lh# wY XGR *S Xwlh#

Ktmhrt bet bhwala, wy atnallhu wy gr kuas awtallhu. Mata mata

xlh# kb@tsc& URM xwlh# bm=rM Xt&N Xb m Xlh#

televin ayallhu. kbetsboe garm awrallhu. bmram, raten blana

kM>t$ bxT sT wd

k mtu baraat sat wd mtaye hedallhu.


Yntw Bob

Grammar Point
To express two sequential actions in the present, the first verb is shortened, as you may have noticed in the letter above: tatbna trsen borallhu, rather than X-lh# tatbalehu na borallhu. Xt&N Xb Xlh# raten blana na.hedallhu rather than Xblh# X Xlh# blalhu na hedallhu
X-B _Rs@N XRlh# Xt&N Xblh# X

To shorten the first verb, simply remove the ending (based on all) and add na. Examples
XD X Xmlh#

hed na amtalhu

I go and I bring We come and play

nmta na nawtaln.
Yb X YmL


Yibla na yimtal.

He eats and comes. She finishes and comes. You (pol.) drink and leave. You (fem.) go and bring.

Trs na tmtal
XR Y--# Yl#

Erso yttu na yhedalu.

T! Tml>

Theji na tamal.

Describe the action in each photo to your classmates. Days of the Week Fidel Phonetic ______ Sao ______ Maksao ______ rob ______ Hamus ______ Arb ______ Kdame ______ hud English Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday


Time Words -T twat morning qN kn day ksT b ksat bhuala afternoon M>T mt evening ll!T llit night Xk#lll!T kul llit midnight Xk#l qN kul kn mid-day G> gma half tk#L tkul half past B rub quarter bT bfit before bh# bhuala After b b at XSk sk until by b y every byqn# by knu everyday bmjm bmjmrya first q_l k tlo next bm=r bmra finally Phrases Snt sat nw? What time is it? b SNT sT B snt sat? At what time? _____ sT x nW sat nw It is ___ oclock k ___sT XSk___sT Ke ___ sat iska ___ sat. from _ oclock until __ oclock

babzaaw usually xNN aand ande sometimes zare today ng ng tomorrow kng w! kng wdiya day after tommorrow TNT tnant yesterday kTNT w! k tnant wdiya day before yesterday bq_lW MNT bmiktlw samnt next week lfW MNT balfw samnt last week MNT samnt week sT sat hour dqE d ki ka minute yS qC ysra kno working days Q X X/#D kdame nna hud weekend Q :lT kdame lt (On Saturday )

In the text below, Aster tells us what she did on the dates indicated. A) Match the pictures with the activities she recounts. B) She hasnt told us everything. Use your own creativity and the remaining three pictures as prompts to complete the story for her. Write as if you did those activities.
hS nW Q Xlh# TNT nW lfW B nbR ng RB *S b# nW kTNT w! Ks nbR MNT

Zare hamus nw. Tnantna rob nbr. Ng arb nw. Ktnant wdia makso nbr.
kngw! wd S mrB MNT Xwlh# -h# bq_lW

Kngwdia kdame nw. Zare mrb kuas awtallhu. Bmiktlw samnt wd Paris hedallhu. Bal fw samnt bunna ttahu.




Ks Makso


hS Hamus







11 Zare




wdx!S xb


wd Addis Ababa 16






Grammar Point
The Present-Future (or Compound Imperfect) Tense In Amharic, unlike in English, there is no specific future tense (I will, You shall, etc.). Only context and the use of adverbs can make it clear whether a sentence is in the present or the future tense. Example Zare bunna ttallhu. Today I drink coffee. ng b# X-lh# Ng bunna ttallhu. I will drink coffee tomorrow. byqn# b# X-lh# Byknu bunna ttallhu. I drink coffee everyday.
b# X-lh#


The present-future tense is also called the Compound Imperfect tense, because, even though it is expressed with one verb, it is actually composed of two parts: a root or stem verb, and the affixes, the person marker prefixes and the suffix, which is derived from the verb all, to be. The persons of the compound imperfect are shown by the combination of a prefix and a suffix. Person ne xNt ant xNcE ani XRS rso Xs# ssu X* ssua XcW ssaw X a XNt nnant Xns# nnsu

Prefix - X T- t T- tY- yY- yT- tY- yXN- nT- tY- y-


Example memtat [meta], to come -xlh# -allhu Xmlh# mtallhu -xlH -allh TmlH timtallh -xl> -all* Tml> tmallsh -xl# -allu Yml# ym talu -xL -al YmL ymtal -xlC -alle TmlC tmtal -xl# -allu Yml# ymtalu -xlN -alln XNmlN nmtalln -xCh#-allahu TmCh# tmtalaihu -xl#-alu Yml# ymtalu

* In the second-person feminine, the final consonant of the verb root palatalizes, following a pattern. - T becomes = , d d become j j, t t becomes c , s s becomes , z z becomes , [ s becomes = , n n become , and l becomes y y. See table in grammar appendix. Note: For - ma verbs whose stem begins with a (eg. NbB manbb [xnbb anbb], wQ mawk [xwq awok], yT mayt [xy ay]; read, know, see) the a vowel supercedes the i sound. Singular Xn@ ne xNt ant xNcE ani XRS rso Xs# ssu X* ssua XcW ssaw

awkallhu WlH tawkallh WqEl> tawkiall Wl# yawkallu WL yawkal WlC tawkall Wl# yawkallu

Plural X a


nawkaln tawkalahu






Common Verbs Infinitive Third Person Masculine Meaning mD mhed [d hed] mGTmgzat [g gza] mR mnor [r nor] mMT mmtat [m mta] mflG mflg [flg flg] mWdD mwdd [wdd wdd] mWsD mwsd [wsd wsd] mL mbal [tl tbl] to go to buy to live to come to want to like to take to be called

Practice Fill in the blanks with affirmative forms of compound imperfect verbs.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Xn@ wdS b@T

ne zare wd posta bet ______________



mhed [d

-T X q$RS

Twat a kurs ___________

mblat [b bla]

Ks Ks X* Xns# Y

Makso Makso ssua ________ K So sk Arb ssu ________

mrot [- rot] msrat [s sra] mtat [t ta]

Mata mata nnsu ay _______ m-T mttat [- tta]


ks XSk RB Xs# XcW b SNT sT xNcE kgb MN

ssaw b snt sat __________ ?


Ani k gbya mn ________? mGT mgzat [g gza]

Grammar Point
Negative Present-Future Tense To form the negative of compound imperfect verbs, again a combination of prefixes and suffixes attached to the verb root/stem indicates the person. Example mmtat Person Prefix Suffix (mta), not come Xn@ ne xL - al-M-m xLmM almtam xNt ant xT-at-M -m xTmM atmtam xNcE ani xY- at-M -_im* xTmM atmim XRS rswo xT- ay-M -um xYm-#M aymtum Xs# ssu xY- ay-M -m xYmM aymtam X* ssua xT- at-M -m xTmM atmtam XcW ssaw xY- ay-M -um xYm-#Maymtum X a xN- an-M -m xNmM anmtam XNt nnant xT- at-M -um xTm-#M atmtum Xns# nnsu xY- ay-M -um xYm-#M aymtum


* The final consonant of the second person feminine follows the same pattern as in the positive construction, with a palatalized consonant (that is, -+M -im, -JM -jim, -CM -im, ->M -im, -M -im, -"M -im, or -YM -yim).

Fill in the blanks using verbs in the negative compound imperfect:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Xn@ wdS b@T

ne zare wd posta bet ______________



mhed [d

-T X q$RS

Twat a kurs ___________

mblat [b bla]

Ks Ks X* Xns# Y

Makso Makso ssua ________ K So sk Arb ssu ________

mrot [- rot] msrat [s sra] mtat [t ta]

Mata mata nnsu ay _______ m-T mttat [- tta]


ks XSk RB Xs# XcW b SNT sT xNcE kgb MN

ssaw b snt sat __________ ?


Ani k gbya mn ________? mGT mgzat [g gza]

Fill in the blank verb table using the verb mGT megzat [g geza] to buy. Use script or phonetics. Person



ne ant ani rswo


xNt xNcE


XRS Xs# X*

ssu ssua ssaw


a nnant

XNt Xns#



An Interview: Interview a member of your host family. Ask what he or she does everyday and what time. Are there activities that only happen on a certain day? For the next class, be prepared to tell about what you discover using sequential references of time.

mshaf suk kurs tmhrtbet rat (rat) gr kuas

book shop break fast school dinner foot ball

Practice Reading and Pronouncing Script

Practice reading Amharic script with your host family. SNT sT nW? Snt sat nw? s s TMhRT b@T Xlh# So So timhert bet hedallhu. ST k!l BRt$N Xglh# Sost kilo brtukan gzallhu. dBb@ lXt& X{lh# Dbdabe l nate sfallhu. N Xlh# Kuankua marallhu. R xSq mNN hYl@ gBr Ss@ w xlMihY h#N K TXGST sYT _n> !


Unit 8 Amharic Verbs

Learning Objective:
By the end of this unit you shall be able to: - be familiar with Amharic root verb characteristics, - describe the different forms that common verbs take with the different personal pronouns, - distinguish between active and passive as well as transitive and intransitive verbs, - make use of common verb forms to express ideas and actions in Amharic, Characteristics of active verbs (gs) expresses action takes the end position, includes subject, number, gender, object, preposision, tense, A single verb can be a complete sentence on the context;


alksku sentence gzahu contextual,

Exercise 1: Circle the verb (gs) from the following words snf ky mgb hagr lkso traw konjo tta blu awrah sdb gzu tmar joro hedahu tnagr dabo t blahu aflan mtan ay brtukan rdata

Exercise 2: Take out the affixes of the selected verbs from the above words 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Verb _________________ _________________ _________________ _________________ _________________ _________________ _________________ _________________ affix _________________ _________________ _________________ _________________ _________________ _________________ _________________ _________________


Root Verbs - All Amharic root verbs are of the 6th character ( i.e. , , , etc) - Root verbs become meaningful only when they take vowels; Examples: bl gz hd bla gza head

Exercise 3: Take out the root verb that doesnt have a meaning by itself 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. tnsa abtr tatb saf anbb

Types of Verbs A) Verb to be ( Be-verbs) am are are is is

are are are

was were were was was

were were were

Note: in the present tense form the sounds next to n refer to pronouns indicated ( i.e. in , in , in indicate who is being referred to by the verb to be form). But in past tenses the sounds refer to . Exercise 4: Fill in the blank with the correct verb to be 1. 2. 3. 4. ne ahun mmhr ____________. Khult amt bfit gn tamari ____________. ne set _________________ Gbre gn wand ____________. nant Americawiyan ________ guadahu gn Grmnawit __________. swa tnant Nazret ngade _________ zndro gn zfa ______. to possess The root verb of have is al. The sounds next to al shows the pronoun indicated to

Verb to have

i) present tense form I have allalln ( plural) You have allh (male) You have all ( female)

you have you have He has She has

allahu ( you plural) allwot ( you polite) allw allat

each other respectively;

ii) the past form: Had I nbr , nbrn (plural) You nbrh ( male) nbr (female) nbrahu ( plural) nbrwot ( polite) He nbrw She nbrat They nbraw ( plural) Exercise 5: Rewrite the following sentences in a meaningful way 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

The root verb of had is nbr. The same pattern as the above one.

bdro gze ytyopa nguso bzu mret allw. __________________________ nant zare tru smet all. ________________________________ wndme konjo ama allat._______________________________ Dawit bljntu tlk kwas nbrat. _____________________________ zmdoe bahun sat konjo bet nbraw. ________________________________ 6. y zare amt hte mkina nbr. ____________________________________ 7. ani zare bzu gze nfit brat. ___________________________________________ 8. ljou karat amt bfit wolajo nbrahu. ______________________________ c) to be available I You allhu, alln allh ( male) all (female) allahu (plural) allu (polite) all all allu ( plural)

He She They

The root verb of had is nbr. The same pattern as the above one.

Exercise 6: Match the pronoun under with verb to be available under 1 Henok A all

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Ato Belay (pol) Hellen na Hanna Suzan Ani Ani na Janet ant ne Nati na ne


allh all all allu allhu allu alln allahu

D) Action Verbs Verbs that express action are called y drgit ( active verbs). Example: Mblat ne ( I) blahu a (we) bllan (plural) anta( you (m)) blah ani (you (f)) bla nnant (you pol) blahu Infinitives that end in t, rswo ( you pol) bllu takes h sound for I ssu (he) bla and you ( male). sua (she) bla nnsu (they) bllu saw bllu Mhed ne ( I) a (we) anta ( you (m)) ani (you (f)) nnant (you pol) rswo ( you pol) ssu (he) sua (she) nnsu (they) saw hedku hedn (plural) hedk hed The k sound in I and hedahu you ( male) can be hedu changed into h sound. hed hed hedu bllu

Most root verbs that end with the 4th character take ma at the beginning and t at the end of the infinitive. Example: tba mtbat gza mgzat na mnat In all cases, note that all infinitives begin with ma or m. Example: amar mamar asb masb agz magz


As in this example, if the root verb begins with a vowel, the initial sound becomes ma. Here are more examples: ay mayt atfa matfat awk maw k Exercise: Derive stems that agree with pronouns from the list of infinitives given below. mt mstt maflat mastat mwaat mgbat asb tat manbb mgzat mawrat Some root verbs of two consonants that end with the first character take m at the beginning and t at the end to form an infinitive. Example: st mstt mt Wa mwat kr mkrt Exercise 7: Use the following infinitive as a resource to make a meaningful sentence: mtat msaf mtatb mayt msam msak mrot msmat ne ____________________________________ ssu ____________________________________ nsu ____________________________________ na ____________________________________ ani ____________________________________ ssua ____________________________________ ssaw ____________________________________

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Transitive and Intransitive Verbs: A transitive verb ( tagari gs) transfers an action performed by the subject to the object. wsd st sbr ngr saf gza tta mr.

An intransitive verb is a verb that lacks an object for it doesnt transfer an action. Example: mot arfd tffa allks dkm znb


ta Active Voice/Passive voice



Active statement is a statement with a transitive verb that passes action performed by the subject to the receiver of the action (object). Example: Abb msa blla. Msa (b Abb ) tblla. Peter br kft Br (b Peter) tkft. A passive voice from A past active statement is formed by prefixing t to the verb. ne msa bllalhu. msa ybllal. (y is stressed) anta gnzb tstallh gnzb ystal. ( s is stressed) ani mshafo ygzalu. ( g is stressed) Present and future tense statement retain the verbs by stressed the initial sound of the root verb when changed into passive. But, in the 3rd person singular as in ssu msa yblal the verb doesnt change its form when chaged to passive, for y and al affixes are passive markers. But it is stressed. The objects and the verbs must agree in number when passive voice is used. Exercise 8: Change the following active statements into passive statements. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Abebe muz blla. Aster dbdabewun saf. nnsu film ayu. ljou wtet wsdu lbs gza. mkina nda. ay yaflal. stota lljou ystal. ( Please read more in David Appleyard, pp 239-251)