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AMHARIC

BASIC COURSE Units 1 - 50



SERG E OBOLENSK Y

DEBEBOW ZELELIE

MULUGETA ANDUALEM

FOREIGN SERVICE INSTITUTE

WASHINGTON, D.C.

1964

o EPA R T MEN T 0 F 5 TAT E

AMHARIC

FOREIGN SERVICE INSTITUTE BASIC COURSE SERIES Edited by

CARLETON ~ HODGE

ii

BASIC COURSE

PREFACE

This volume is the first of a two-volume Basic Course in Amharic, and contains Units 1-50 of the course. The second volume includes Units 51450, an introduction to the writing system, a Reader, and a Glossary.

Amharic, the official language of the Ethiopian Empire, is spoken natively by perhaps six million people in a small but populous area of the country which includes the capital, Addis Ababa. A member of the Southern Semitic branch of the Afro..Asiatic family of languages, Amharic is steadily gaining importance as it picks up additional speakers through the spread of communications and education within Ethiopia.

The linguist in charge of the entire project has been Serge Obolensky, with the assistance of Mr. Debeboui Selelie and Mr. Mulugeta Andualem, The Amharic script in the second volume is the work of Mr. Zelelie, Valuable suggestions received from Professor Wolf Leslau during the beginning stages of the work are gratefully acknowkdged.

Howard E. Sollenberger, Dean School of Language and Area Studies Foreign Service Institute Department of State

iii

AMHARIC

Preface

Introduction

Unit 1

Symbols used

TABLE OF CONTENTS

....................................... ~ .

.................................................

Basic Sentences ..•.••••••••. Note 1.1 Transcription used 1.2 1.3 Consonants

1.3.1 Plain Consonants

Vowels

1.3.2 Glottalized Consonants

Drills .

Unit 2

Ba.sic Sentences .

Note 2.1 Masculine Definite Suffix /-uN-w/ 2.2 'and' /-(i)nna/

Basic Sentences .•.••.....•••..

Note 3.1 Independent Pronouns 3.2 3.2.1 Verb Suffix Pronouns 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7

Basic Sentences Note 4.1 4.2 4.3 4·4 4.5

Drills

Unit 3

Drills

Unit 4

. .

...........

Suffix Pronouns

Loss of Vowels /w/ and /y/ glides

Verb 'be' •••••••••••

Formation of Plural Transitional Vowel /i/

Noun Suffix Pronouns

Amharic equivalents of 'have' and 'have not' Feminine Definite Suffix /-waN-(y)ituN-(y)itwa/.

Definite Suffix on Modifier

Suffix /-(i)n/-Specific Direct Object

Iv

11i

xvi

1 2 3 4 7 7 9 9

12 13 14 15

19 22 23 23 24 24 25 25 26 27

29 31 32 33 34 35

BASIC COURSE

4.6 4.6.1

Drills

Unit 5

Basic Sentences

Note 5.1
5.2
5.3
5.4
5.5
5.5.1
5.5.2
5.5.3
5.6 Drills

Narrative

Unit 6

Basic Sentences

Note 6.1 6.2 6.3 6·4 6.4.1 6.4.2 6.5 6.6

Prepos i tion .

Preposition /b(e)-/ and /best(e)-/ •••••••

Verb. Perfective

'have' and Ihave not' with feminine object.

Verb Suffix Pronouns with Perfective •••••• Verb Suffix Pronouns used in apposition ••• Prepositions /k(e)-/, /isk(e)-/ and /l(e)-/

/k(e)-/ "f'r-om ' •••••••••••••••••••••••••••

/isk(e)-/ and /isk(e)- •.. dires/ IUp tol,

Ito I

/1 (e) - / I for I, I to I ••••••..•••.•..••••••

Postpositions /wisT/ and /lay/ combined with prefixes /b(e)-/ or /i-/ ••.•••••••• Suffixes /-iyye/ and /-iyyo/ to nouns ••••• Definite Suffixes /-iyyew/ and /iyyewa/ •••

Numerals;

Ordinals

Relational Prefix /y(el-/

Verb. Infinitive

Verb. Imperfective Verb Classification

Regular Three-Radical Verbs Regular Two-Radical Verbs

Verb.

Notation

Postposit~on /gar-gara/ combined with pre-

fix /k (e) - / •••••.•••••••••••••..•••••••

6.7 Use of /k(e)- ••• befit/ and /k(el-/ •••

Drills

Narrative

Un~t 7

Basic Sentences

Note 7.1 7.2

behwala/

Verb Suffix Pronouns with Imperfective ••••

Equivalents of 'had' and 'had not I

v

35 35 36

43 46 49 49 51 51 52

52 52

52 53 53 53 54 55

57 59 60 61 63 63 65 65

65

66 66 69

71 73 77

AMHARIC

Dr~l1s Narrat~ve

Un~t 8

Ba a i,c Sentences

Note 8.1 8.2 8.3 Dr~lls

Narratlve

Un~t 9

................................................................................................

T~me

Suf'f'u /- (l)m/ Suf'f'u /-(~)ss/

....................................

77 80

81 82 84 84 84 88

Ba s i c Sentences " .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 89

Note 9.1 Imperf'ect~ve forms connected by /-(l)nna/ 92

9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5

Drllls Narrat~ve

Negatlve Perfectlve Short Imperfectlve Negatlve Imperfectlve Negatlve Inflnlt~ve

........ ,

Unlt 10

EaSlC Sentences

Note 10.1 10.1.1

10.2 10.2.1 10.2.2 10.2.3 10.2.4

Drllls Narratlve

Relatlonal Affues to Verbs

Relatlonal AffLX /y(a)-- yamm(l)-/ In Relatlve Constructlons

AffLX /lnd(a)-/ /lnd(a)-/

'llke', etc.

/lnd(a)- .•• yalla/ 'such as', etc. /lnd(a)-/ 'as soon as'

/lnd(a)-/ wlth Relatlve Constructlons

t t.ha t' ..

Unlt 11

Ba s a c Serrt e nce s

Note 11.1 Verb: Regular Two-Radlcal Verbs In /-a/ ..
11.2 Verba Gerund ................
11.3 Verb: Present Perfect
11.4 Verb: Past Perfect
11.5 Verb. Imperfect ( Past)
Dr-a Lf a ..........................
Narratlve .......................... .. .............. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .............. vi

92 93 95 99

100

103

105 107

107 110 110 111 III 111 112 118

120 121 122 126 127 128 129 132

BASIC COURSE

Un~t 12

Ba s a,c Sentences

Note 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.$ 12.6 12.7

Dr~11s

Narrat~ve

Umt 13

Ba s i.c Sentences

Note 13.1

13.1.1 13.1.2

13.1.3 13.2 13.2.1

Drllls

Narratlve

Um.t 14

BaSlC Sentences

Note 14.1 14·2 14.3 .1 14.3.2 14.4 14·$ 14.$.1 14.$.2

014.6 14.7

Drllls

Narrat~ve

Un i t 1$

BaSlC Sentences

Note 1$.1

Verb. Jusslve

'I'e Ll i.ng 'I'arne •••••••••••••••.•••••••••••••••• 136·

133

Verba Impe r-a tn.ve •••.•.•.•••••••••.••........

Relatlonal AffLX /lyy(e)-/ wlth nouns •••.•••. Relatlonal AffLX /~yy(e)-/ w~th verbs ..•...•• Relat~onal AffLX /s(~)-/ ••.•.•••••••....•.•••

/abro/ ' bo t.h r, rtogether r ..••••.•.••••.••••••

Relatlonal Afflxes /1(~)-/ and /-(~)ll(~)-N-

(~)llg-/ •••••••••••••••••••••••••.••••••••

/1(~)-/ w~th Short Imperfect~ve ••••••••••••• /1(~)-/ w~th Short Imperfect~ve plus /new/ or

/nebbar/ III ..

/-b)ll(~)--(~)lle-/ ...•.•...•..•...•.•••..

Re La t aona L AffLXes hsk(~)-/ and /~sk(e)-/ •••

/~sk(e)-/ w~th Relatlve Constructlons

Demonstratlve Pronouns

Noun: Gender ..

Relatlonal AffLX /b(l)-/ rlfr ••••••••••.•.•• Relatlonal AffLX /b(ll-/ rbecauser ••.•••••••

Suf'f'ax /-(l)bb(l) .. / .•.•••••.••••.•••••.•••••

PrefLX /b(e)-/ wlth Relatlve Clauses •••.•.•.•

/b(e)- gize/ ..

/b(g) - KuT1r/ ..

Relatlonal AffLX /sll(e)-- sllemm(l)-j •••.••••

......................................................................................................

............................ ,. ..

Verba /a-/ verbs

vii

136 140 144 144 145 147 148 153

155

11)8 159 159 159 159 160 161 161 163

16$ 168 169 172 175 176 178 178 178 179 179 180 186

188 189

AMHARIC

15.2

15.2.1 Causatlve Verbs In /a-/

Verb: Causatlves In /a-/ and /as-/ ••.•.•••••

15.2.2 15.3 15·4 15.S' 15.5.1 15.5.2

Drllls

Narra t,lve

Unlt 16

Causatlve Verbs In /as-/ Passlve-Reflexlve Verbs

....................

190 191 191 191 195 197 197 198 198 205

BaS1C Sentences 206

Note 16.1 Relatlonal AfflX /lnd(l)-/ ........•.••••••• 208

16.2 16.3 16·4 16.5 16.6 16.7

Narratlve

Unlt 17

BeS1C Sentences

01asslflcatlon and Notatlon •••••.•••••••••. Relatlonal Afflx /k(e)-/ wlth Perfectlve •••• /k(e) -/ 'If'

/k(e) -/ ' e a.nc e '

· .

Pronoun /ras-/ 'self'

Regular Four-Radlcal Verbs

Three-and Four-Radlcal Verbs ln /-0-/ .

Verb: Noun of Agent .•....•.••.....•.•...•.

Verb: Noun of Instrument .•••...•.....•.••. Use of /weYlm/ and /weYlss/ 'or' .•..........

••••••••••••••• It ••••••••••••••••• III •••••••

Note 17.1 Verb: CIa ss lflca t a on ......................
Chart I Regular 'I'hr-e e=Ra d i ca L Verbs ................
Chart II Regular Three-Radlcal /a-/ Verbs ...........
Chart III Regular Two-Radlcal Verbs In /-a/ ...........
Chart IV Regular THo-Radlcal Verbs ln /-e/ It •••••••••
Chart V Regular Foul'-RadlCal Verbs ................. Dr a Ll s

Narratlve

Unlt IB

BeS1C Sentences

Note IB.l IB.2

Drllls

Narratlve

..................................................

· .

Verb: Use of /Ylhonal/ ..••••••••••.••••••.

Use of /gena/ It

....................................................

· '" .

viii

20B 209 210 210 212 213 214 215

222 223 224 225 226 227 230

232 233 234 235 239

BASIC COURSE

Una t 19

Ba s i,c Sentences .

Note 19.1 Comparat~ve and Superlatlve Dr~11s

Narrat~ve

Unlt 20

BaS1C Sentences ,. .

Note 20.1 Verb Class~flcat~on, Two-Rad~cal Verbs, typ@s

me~a~, me~o~, me~e~ and me!e~

Chart VI/l Chart VI/2 Chart VI/3 Chart VI/4

20.2 20.3

Drl-11s Narrat~ve

Un~t 21

BeSlC Sentences Drl-lls Narratl-ve

Unlt 22

BeSlC Sentences Dr i.L'l s Narratlve

Unl-t 23

mela2 ,. ,..,..

melo2 mele2 mele2

Verba Verb:

....................

Impersonal Cbnstructlons Present Perfect of verbs

denotlng

'state' or 'condltlon'

..............

· ..

.................... ,. ..

................

........................... ,. .... ,. ,. ...

· ..

. ..

Note 23.1 23.2

BeSlC Sentences Plural AfflX /mn(e}-/

............................

23.2.1 23.2.2 23.2.3 23.2.4 23.3 23.4 23.5

Drllls Narrat~ve

· ,. .

.......... ,. .

Questlon Words /man/

/ml-n/ or /ml-ndl-n/ /yet/

/yetu/, /yetl-nnaw/ and /mannlnnaw/ /manrllnnaw~m/ or /mannacc8w~m/ /mannl~/ and /ml-nlmm/

/mlnlmm/ wl-th /l-nde-/

............................................................

.# " ..

ix

248 250 251 251 252 252

253 255 256

258 260 261

263 265 267

268 270 271 271 273 274 274 275 275 276 277 278

AMHARIC

Um.t 24

Baslc Sentences

Note 24.1 Verb:

24.2 Use of /glddeta/ wlth /allabb-/,

and /nabbarabb-/

BaS1C Sentences .

Note 25.1 Repetltlon and Redupllcatlon

25.1.1 25.1. 2 25.1.3 25.2

Dr-a l.Ls Narratlve

Um.t 25

Drllls Narratlve

Short form of /madrag/

/honabb-/

Partlal Redupllcatlon

Complete Redupllcatlon Use of /madragiya/

Baslc Sentences

Note 26.1 SuffLX /-(l)nnet/

26.2 Verb. The use of /meKnat/

Drllls Narratlve

BaS1C Sentences

Note 27.1 SuffLX /-8/ In compound words

27.2

Dr a.L'l.s Narratlve

Una t 28

Plural after numerals

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . .

Ba s a c Sentences

Note 28.1 Verb:

28.2 AffLX

28.3

Drllls

Narratlve

Unlt 29

Hypothetlcal Condltlonal .•.••••••••• /md(a)-/ wlth /alla-/ and /hona-/ ••••

Impersonal Verbs

Ba s a c Sentences .

Note 29.1 Verb Classlflcatlon Three-Radlcal Verbs ln

/-a-/

x

280 283

283 284 288

291 292 293 293 294 295 295 297

300 301 302 303 307

310 311 312 313

315 317 318 319 320 324

327

328

BASIC COURSE

Chart VII 29.2

29.3 Dr111s

Narrat1ve

Umt 30

Use o~ /m1kn1yatu/ comblned w1th /s11e-/ and /s11emm(1)-/ affLXes and the verb form /new/ /k(el- •.. yetenessa/

Note 30.1 30.1.1

BaS1C Sentences

Compound Verbs w1th /ma1et/ and /madreg/

Dr111s Narratlve

Umt 31

Verb:

Inconc1uslve Aspect

Baa i,c Sentences

Note 31.1 /b(e)- ••. beklru1/

31.2

Dr111s Narratlve

Un1t 32

.......................................

Use o~ /blcca/ w1th Noun SUf~1X Pronouns and D1rect ObJect SU~~lX /-(l)n/ .•.•••..••.•

\

BaS1C Sentences

SU~~1X I-gel

Note 32.1 32.2 32.3

Dr111s Narrat1ve

Umt 33

Verb: /lndehon/ w1th re1at1ve constructlons /lndehon/ w1th Short Imper~ect1ve and Gerund,

'whether or not' .

Verb: In~ln1t1ve w1th Noun SU~~1X Pronouns and Verb ~orms /new/ and /nebber/

Ba s i,c Sentences " .

Note 33.1 Verb. /s-/ negatlve comb1ned w1th the forms

o~ the verb /Kerre-meKret/ ...•.••••

Dr111s Narrat1ve

..........................

xi

329

329 330 330 332

334 335 338 340 342

344 345

346 347 349

350 352 352

353

354 355 357

358

AMHARIC

Uru t 34

BaS1C Sentences Note 34.1

Chart VIII 34.2 Chart IX Drl11s

Verba Frequentatlve Form ..•.•..•...•...

Frequentatlve Verbs ...•.......•.•.•••.•....

Verb: Reclprocal Form ..•.•.....••.••••.••• Reclprocal Verbs

............. ~ ..

....................................................................................................

Narratlve

.. , .. 4 " ..

Umt 35

Ba S lC Sentence s ..

Note 35.1 Use of /lnkwan/ .......•..•..•.....•.•.••..•

35.2 /lnkwan/ comblned wlth /Y1Krlrma/ 'let alone',

'even though'

...................................................

Dr a.Ll.s

..........................................................................................

Narratlve

.......................................................................................

Urri t 36

Ba S lC Sentence s ..

Note 36.1 Re1atlve constructlons comblned wlth lmperson-

al forms of the verb /memsel/ .•.•••••....

Dr i Tl s

...................................................................................................

Narratlve

.............................................................................................

Umt 37

Ba.S1.C Sentences .

Note 37.1 Verb. /maweK/ wlth Gerund •••...•..•...•.•. Drll1s

..........................................................................................

Narratlve

.................................................................................

Umt 38

BaSl.C Sentences .

DrJ..lls .. ~ ..

Narratlve

........................................................................................

Umt 39

Ba s r c Sentences " ..

Note 39.1 Verb: Use of /yellem T / wlth Short Imper-

fectlve and Gerund

............................................

Drllls

Narratlve

xii

365 367 368 369 372 373 375

377 379

380 381 383

387 387 391

392 395 396 398

400 401 403

407 408 410

BASIC COURSE

Un i t 40

Ba s i c Sentences

Dr~lls

Narrat~ves

Umt 41

Ba s i c Sentences

Note 41.1
41.1.1
41.1.2
41.1.3
41.1.5
41.2
41.2.1
41.2.2
41.3
41.4
Dr i.LLa Narrat~ve

Umt 42

Ba s a,c Sentences

Note 42.1 42.2 42.3

Dr~lls

Narrat~ve

Umt 43

Ba s i,c Sentences

Note 43.1 Chart X

Dr~lls

Narrat~ve

Umt 44

Ba s a,c Sentences

Note 1t4.1

Dr~lls

Narrat~ve

Postpos~t~ons /zend/ and /ga/ ...•...••••••

/k8- z orid - gal .

/~- •.. zend-ga/ /be- ••. zend/

/lZz'ih z arid-o.z z Lh gal and /~zziya z cnd-o.az Lya

gal .

417 420 421 421 421

422

Verb: Use of /zend/ as postverb .•••...•••• 422

Verb: /zend/ w~th Short Imperfect~ve .•••.• 422

Verb. /ke .•• zend/ w~th Perfect~ve ••......• 422

Verb: Use of /kenorefi/, /kenoreh/, etc. 'If

I do have' etc.

Verb: /menor/ used ~mpersona11y, 'w~ll

have', 'may have'

Verb. Pr-ogr-e as i.ve Form .•...•...•.•••.•••• Verb. 'whether ••. (or not)' cona t ruc t aons Use of /m~n~mmal~l/, /m~n~mmatt~l/, etc.

Benefact~ve or Causat~ve Rec~procal Verbs •.

Benefact~ve Verbs •.•....••.•.....••....••.

Verbal Nouns

..............................

................. ,. .

..............................................

xiii

422

424 427

429 432 433 434 435 439

442 444 447 448 449

451 453 455 457

AMHARIC

Umt 45

Ba s i,c Sentences

Note 45.1 Use of /blcca

45.2 45.2.1 45.2.2 '45.2.3

Drl11s

Narratlve

Umt 46

sayhon/

Adve r-b i.a Ls •••••••••••

Adverblals In /b(e)-/ Adverbla1s of Tlme In /-(l)n/ Gerund Forms used Adverbla11y

Be S 1C Sentence s ..

Note 46.1 /k(e)-/ used In comblnatlon wlth

/wedih-wedezzih/ and /wediya-wedezzlya/

Drll1s

Narratlve

Umt 47

EaSlC Sentences Drllls Narratlve

Umt 48

EaSlC Sentences

Note 48.1 Use of /l(l)-/ form In c omb i na t a.on wlth /sll/,

/slth1/, etc.

48.2 48.3 Drl11s Narratlve

Verb. Verb.

Intenslve Aspect Conatlve Aspect

Una t 49

EaSlC Sentences

Drl11s ••.•.•••••

Narratlve

Un i t 50

EaSlC Sentences

Note 50.1 Emphatlc SufflX /-a/

Dr-a Ll s Narratlve

xiv

460 461 461 461 462 464 468

467

470 471 472

474 476 478

480

483

.483 484 485 488

490 491 493

495 497 498 500

BASIC COURSE

Inte'natlOnd' buundary , Provi nee aou ndary Nation~1 Gr

colonial canital

Province capital

Rail cad

Rood 01 lr.c~ .J\T"baric Speak ing Are'<l

ETHIOPIA

1 1111 IHI

50 lOO 1~ 200 "'MI!-s

50 \&; 150 cb.J IWOnil!~~'"5'

------T-,

C( LV 01" A.m;:;\' ~

/_L

, I

I

xv

AMHARIC

INTRODUCTION

The Amharlc Language

Amharlc lS the offlclal language of the Ethloplan Emplre used In government, In buslness, In all lnstructlon In government schools and In most newspapers. It lS, however, not the only language spoken In Ethlopla. As can be seen from the map on page xv the area where Amh~rlc lS spoken

as a natlve tongue lS about one slXth of the whole terrltory of Ethlopla.

Amharlc belongs to the Southern Semltlc branch of the Afro-Aslatlc (formerly called Hamlto-Semltlc) famlly of languages. The number of natlve speakers of Amharlc together wlth the speakers of the other Semltlc languages spoken In Ethlopla (such as Tlgrlnlya, Tlgre, Hararl, Gurage and others) lS less than one half the total populatlon of the Emplre. The greatest part of Ethlopla lS lnhablted by speakers of Cushltlc languages (another branch of

the Afro-Aslatlc famlly) such as Galla, Agaw, Somall and many others. Slnce no census has ever been taken In Ethlopla the number of Ethloplans can only be estlmated. Accordlng to the offlclal data of the Ethloplan government

the number of lnhabltants of Ethlopla lS between 20 and 22 mllllon. It lS also dlfflcult to glve a rellable estlmate of the number of Amharlc speakers; It lS probably between Sand 7 mllllon. There lS Ilttle doubt, however, that due to the constantly growlng development of communlcatlons systems and the spreadlng of educatlon Amharlc lS galnlng ground throughout the whole country. It lS now the language of greatest prestlge and anyone who has had any educatlon lS able to speak It, even If It lS not hls mother tongue. Stlll others learn It lnformally as a second language.

Thls Course:

The f'o L'Low r.ng pa rt.s may be found In a urn, tr

EaSlC Sentences Classroom Expresslons structure Sentences Useful Words Grammatlcal Notes

Drllls:

Substltutlon Correlatlon Transformatlon Model-Transform drllls

Questlons and Answers

Narratlve

xvi

BASIC COURSE

EaSlC Sentences and Questlons and Answers are found In each unlt. The Narratlves begln wlth the unlt 5. The occurrence of other parts may vary.

The Course lS dlvlded lnto two volumes. Volume I - contalns unlts 1 through 50 In transcrlptlon. Volume II - unlts 51-60 In transcrlptlon, Introductlon to the Amharlc Wrltlng System, The Reader (Unlts 1-60 In Amharlc scrlpt) and a Glossary (In transcrlptlon).

The Reader lncludes:

Ba s a,c Sentences Questlons and Answers Narratlves

Use of Thls Course

1. 'EaSlG Sentences', 'Structure Sentences', 'Useful Words'.

The lnstructor reads the Amharlc ltem by ltem, repeatlng each ltem (8 bUlld-up or a sentence) tWlce for each student. Each member of the class repeats the ltem lmmedlately after the lnstructor trYlng to lmltate hls (or her) pronunclatlon.

If In the lnstructor's oplnlon the ltem lS mlspronounced by the student, the lnstructor repeats It at normal speed wlth the student repeatlng after hlm (or her) as many tlmes as necessary. After the class hours each student goes over the Baslc Sentences by llstenlng to the tape and repeatlng, dOlng thls untll he knows the dlalogue by heart.

After the EaSlC Sentences have been thoroughly memorlzed the students take part and act out the dlalogues. The lnstructor may take one of the parts the flrst tlme or two. ThlS drlll lS to be contlnued untll any student can take part and go through the dlalogue llke an actor.

2. Substltutlon, Correlatlon and Transformatlon Drllls are to be used In accordance wlth the lnstructlons glven at the beglnnlng of each dr i LL,

3. Model Transform Drllls should be drllled In the same way as other Transformatlon Drllls.

4. Questlons and Answers.

The questlons and answers are to be drllled as speclfled below, but they should not be consldered complete. Any questlon whlch lS wlthln the llmlts of the students' grammar and vocabulary can be asked.

Some questlons requlre lnformatlonal answers some others slmply 'yes' or 'no' answers.

xvii

AMHAR~

Quest~ons requ~r~ng ~nformat~onal answers are to be dr~lled as follows:

The ~nstructor asks each student a quest~on. The student repeats the quest~on and g~ves an answer. Any answer g~ven by the student ~s cons~dered correct ~f ~t ~s good Amhar~c. The answer ~s corrected by the ~nstructor,

~f necessary. The student repeats the corrected answer. The ~nstructor then g~ves the student the answer wh~ch ~s wr~tten ~n the book and the student repeats ~t as a further dr~ll.

Quest~ons requ~r~ng 'yes' or 'no' answers should be dr~lled ~n the same way, ~.e. the student repeats the quest~on after the 1nstructor and glves h1m e1ther an aff~rmat1ve or a negat1ve answer (or both 1f so requested by the 1nstructor).

5. Narrat~ve

The 1nstructor goes through the sentences (If any) 11lustrat1ng new vocabulary ~tems, ln the same way as he d1d for Bas~c Sentences. After the students have thus fam111ar1zed themselves w1th the new words the 1nstructor reads through the whole Narrat1ve at a natural speed. The students 11sten for comprehens10n, books closed. The students summa~l{;e 1n Engl1sh as much as they understood of the Narrat1ve. The 1nstructor reads each sentence aga~n for each student, each of whom repeats after h~m. Each student translates the sentence he repeated. Th1S dr1ll 1S cont1nued unt1l the students are thoroughly fam111ar w1th the materlal. The 1nstructor then asks quest10ns llsted at the end of each Narrat1ve and the students answer them as completely as posslble uS1ng words conta1ned ~n the Narrat1ve. In add~t10n to the questlons llsted 1n the book the 1nstructor may ask any quest10n pertlnent to the Narratlve wlth1n the llm1ts of the students' grammar and vocabulary. The students me~or1ze the Narrat1ve by 1~sten1ng to the tape and relate the story to the 1nstructor the next day.

Students must keep 1n m1nd that there 1S no one correct way of speaklng Amhar1c. Due to the poor system of commun1cat10ns ~n Eth10p~a Amhar1C has developed var~ous local d1alects. There ~s an espec~ally marked dlfference 1n pronunc1at10n, 1n vocabulary, and even 1n grammar between the northern GOJJam1 and the southern Showa d1alects. The purpose of th1s Course 1S to teach the language as lt lS spoken 1n the cap1tal of Eth~op1a, AddlS Ababa.

Add1s Ababa Amhar1c conta1ns elements of a var1ety of d1alects. The student should have th1S 1n m1nd and should always follow the manner of speech of h1S 1nstructor even 1f h~s (or her) speech varles somewhat from what 1S ~nd1cated 1n th~s book.

xviii

BASIC COURSE

UNIT I

Symbols Used In Thls Course

On the Engllsh slde, parentheses and quotatlon marks are used together (t •••• t) when a more llteral translatlon lS glven In addltlon to the ordlnary Engllsh equlvalent.

Brackets [ J are used to lndlcate words In the Engllsh equlvalent whlch do not have an equlvalent In the Amharlc.

Parentheses ( ) lndlcate words WhlCh are In the Amharlc but not In a normal Engllsh equlvalent. The Engllsh slde lS not necessarlly a Ilteral translatlon but what lS ordlnarlly sald In thls sltuatlon. The use of parentheses and brackets as explalned above should make the sltuatlon clear In each case.

On the Amharlc slde, parentheses are used to lndlcate sounds whlch are sometlmes omltted. Brackets are used to lndlcate a more formal pronunclatlon to be used In more dellberate speech or whlle readlng texts ~rltten In Amharlc characters. Alternate pronunclatlons of the same word or alternate words are glven after a slant Ilnel /.

The accent mark used lS / '/. Thls lndlcates the loudest syllable In a word or phrase. Secondary stresses are not marked.

As Amharlc has an almost even dlstrlbutlon of stress on each syllable, It lS sometlmes extremely dlfflcult to detect where the prlnclpal stress of a partlcular word lles. In thls Course phrase stress wlll be marked In the BaSlC Sentences, but words In the bUlldups wlll be left unmarked unless the stress lS clearly dlstlnctlve.

An arrow / t / lS used to lndlcate sharply rlslng pltch.

A perlod falllng pltch.

/ • / lS used to lndlcate the end of a phrase accompanled by It mayor may not correspond to an Engllsh perlod.

A comma / ' / lndlcates that the precedlng tone lS carrled on evenly to the comma and that a new pltch contour beglns followlng the comma. The syllables lmmedlately before / ' / are sllghtly lengthened. There mayor may not be a break or pause after / ' /.

In the Notes slant Ilnes are used to set off Amharlc sounds or words wlthln an Engllsh text. Engllsh letters and words are underllned when used as examples.

I

UNIT 1

AMHARIC

Unlt 1

EaSlC Sentences

health

let hlm' glve for me

Hello. or Goodbye. (general greetlng)

how

you (pollte) spent the nlght

Good mornlng. How are you~ (Ihow dld you spend the nlght~ I).

good, very well

God

he may be pralsed

thank you ('may God be pralsed')

Very well, thank you. How are you~

AmharlC

you (pollte) know

Do you know Amharlc~

yes

I know

Ye s, I do (, know' ) •

no; there lS not

I don't know

No, I don't (know).

llttle, small, a llttle

I know a llttle.

what

you (polltel sald

What dld you say~

nothlng

Tena

YlsTlllln Ten~YlsTllllfi.

adderu

Ten~YlsTllllfi, lndemin adderu.

dohria

19ziyabher

19ziyabher Ylmm8sg8n

d8hn~, 19ziyabher Ylmm8sg~n, lnd8min add8ru.

amarlfifia yawKallu

amarlfifia yawK~llu t

~wo/~won

awKal18hu

~wo,awK~118hu.

alawKlm

Y8II~m, al~wKlm.

tlnnis awKal18hu.

mln

mlnlmm

2

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 1

I dld not say

alalhum

I dldn't sayanythlng.

mlnimmalalhu. /mlnimm alalhum •

Classroom Expresslons

(he, It) lS

lndegena.
y i dg smu t ,
llkk
new
likk new.
aydellem
li~"k aydellem.
beTam
Tlru/Tru
beTam Tnu new. Agalnl

Repeat It.'

correct, exact

It's correct.

It lS not

It's not correct.

very, very much

good

It's very good.

Let's have a break ('let us rest').

lnnlref.

Grammatlcal Notes

Note 1.1 Transcrlptlon Used In Thls Course

Thls transcrlptlon lS an attempt to put down systematlcally on paper the sounds that the lnstructor wlll say, or that wlll be heard on the tapes.

The transcrlptlon lS based dlrectly on spoken Amharlc and lS not a transllteratlon of ordlnary Amharlcspelllng. It lS not, strlctly speaklng,

a 'phonetlc' transcrlptlon. For example, the letter /b/ stands for one sound at the beglnnlng of a phrase or If doubled, and for another sound elsewhere. Slnce the pronunclatlon lS predlctable on the basls of where It occurs, a slngle letter may be used for both sounds.

The letters and other symbols used are:

VOVIels .
e u l a e l 0
Consonants palred
VOlceless p t k s s c
GlottallZed p T K S C
VOlced b d g z v
z J unpalred

f h '

rIm n fi y VI

3

UNIT 1

AMHARIC

stress;

Weak (unmarked) Strong

P~tch:

Ind~cated as contours ~n conJunct~on w~th phrase f~nal Juncture: Fall~ng / /

Ra s i.ng / t /

Change of P~tch /, /

Juncture,

Close I

(no space)

Open.

Space between words

Phrase f'a.na Lr

/ , / / t / /. /

These letters should not be confused w~th those used for wr~t~ng Engl~sh or any other language. Every language has a un~que sound system and symbols used to wr~te a language must be def~ned ~n terms of that language. However, where the Amhar~c and Engl~sh sounds are s~m~lar, the same letter lS usually used ~n the transcr~ptlon as lS used ~n Engl~sh. ThlS does not mean that these sounds are r de n t a ca L, / 1 /, for example, a s d i f I'e r-e n t r.n

q:3 J._ ~ ~

Engl~sh and Amhar~c, even though the same symbol ~s used.

The follow~ng notes are rough h~nts on the pronunc~at~on of Amhar~c.

Engl~sh sounds are g~ven for comparlson, or more accurately for contrast, Slnce they are dlfferent sounds. Only careful Ilstenlng and practlce can glve the student the Amharlc sounds. It lS also very lmportant to reallze the posslble dlverslty of sounds covered by a slngle symbol, the actual sound belng determlned by the context.

The Amharlc wrltlng system lS syllablc: that l3 to say, each 'letter' represents a consonant followed by a vowel. Slnce there are seven vowels In Amharlc, It follows that there are seven dlfferent ways of wrltlng

a glven consonant, dependlng on what vowel accompanles It. The wrltlng system wlll be lntroduced at a later stage In the course.

In the notes below, the vowel sounds are dlscussed ~n the order In whlch they come In the Amharlc syllabary (but the letters are our transcrlptlon; they are not letters of the Amharlc syllabary).

Note 1.2

Vowels

Letter Nearest Engllsh Sound, Descrlptlon

Examples

/e/ represents several sounds; the maJor varlants are:

1) usually llke ~ In formula.

berr f~llege

'doorway 'he wanted'

Technlcallyz a lower-mld central unrounded vowel [8]

4

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 1

2) approx~mately the sound of ~ In bet under the follow~ng cond~t~ons:

Always after /y/

/z"/

usually after

/n/ /s/ IJ/ /c/

/e/

Techn~callys a low-m~d front unrounded vowel [~]

/u/ a h~gh E sound someth~ng llke the 00 of boot but w~thout the ~ gllde found ~n Engl~sh and wlth the l~ps rounded from the beg~nnlng.

Techn~cally: a h~gh back rounded vowel [u]

/i/

someth~ng l~ke the ~ of beet but w~thout the /y/ gllde of Engllsh.

Techn~cally: a hlgh front unrounded vowel [i]

/a/

llke In a In father

TechnlcallYI a low central unrounded vowel [a]

/e/ approxlmately l~ke the Engllsh sound of the flrst part of the al In ba~t but wlthout the /y/ gl~de of Engllsh.

s

Y8t Y811em Y811 Jll J

'where'

'no'

"gr-andch i Ld '

v

Z8rnrn8r8 'he started'

ag8fine 'he found'

s8m8gg81e 'he became old'

ab8JJ8 'he performed'

t omo cco 'l t be carne com-

fortable'

laCC8

'he shaved'

dur bunna

'forest' 'coffee'

fit

'face'

' La s t e ne r- ' 'Parls'

abb~t

!father!

bet 'house'
mehed 'to go'
set 'female'
,
lne 'I'
,
wendlrnrne 'my brother' UNIT 1

AMHARIC

In maklng /e/ the center of the tongue lS ralsed almost to the roof of the mouth.

Consonants lmmedlately precedlng thls vowel may be sllghtly palatallzed, that lS, the tongue lS close to the posltlon It takes for X, so that the consonants have a sllght X off-glldea by, Sy' hy' etc.

Technlcally. a hlgher-mld front unrounded vowel [e]

/l/ may best be compared wlth a regular pronunclatlon of the u of Just In .lust a m i.nu t.e ,

'dollar'

dlbb

'bear'

Slm

'name'

Technlcally: a lower-hlgh central unrounded vowel [~]

In lnltlal posltlon (at the beglnnlng of an utterance) thls vowe] lS VOlceless and may be heard as a breathed gllde to the followlng sound.

lbakklwo

'please' 'there 1

'here 1

/0/ somethlng llke the 0 of note but short, rounded from the beglnnlng and Wl bhou t the w g.l i.de of Eng l a sh after the vowel.

Consonants precedlng /0/ are usually lablallzed, that lS, are pronounced wlth rounded Ilps, resultlng In a

sllght W off-glldel bW, pW, kW, etc. menor

,

lngocca

doro

'to Ilve' 'bread'

t cha c ken '

Technlcally: a mean-mld back unrounded vowel [Q]

Vowels In Amharlc are generally short. When flnal or followed by only one consonant they may be longer than when followed by two consonants, or by a long (double) consonant.

6

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 1

Note that after /w/ the follow~ng vowel, ~f normally unrounded, 1S 1n1t1ally rounded. Th~s ~s part~cularly not~ceable w1th /e/ and /~/.

Example s:

wade

'to 'month' 'sect'

w11 w1ha w1sT

'agreement' 'water' '1ns1de'

wer

wegen

Note 1.3 Consonants

All consonants 1n Amhar~c occur short (~nd1cated by a s1ngle symbola r, 1, m, etc.) and long (1nd1cated by doubllng the symbol: rr, 11, rum, etc.).

The d1st1nct1on between short (slngle) and long (doubled) consonants lS very 1mportant, as 1t may d1st1ngu1sh otherw1se ldentlcal words, e.g. /a18/ 'he sald', /al18/ 'there lS'.

Amharlc has twenty-seven consonants WhlCh we wrlte wlth the follow-

lng symbols:

P'La i.n t

b c d f g h J kIm n n p r s

v v

stwyzz

Glottallzed: C K PST

Note 1.3.1.

Most of the plaln consonants have near equlvalents e1ther 1n Engllsh or 1n other famlllar languages such as French, Itallan or Spanlsh. Hlnts on pronunc1at10n are g1ven as necessarya

/b/ has two pronunclatlons: at the beglnnlng of a word, when doubled, or when lmmedlately follow1ng /m/ or /n/ 1t 1S llke Eng11sh ~ 1n bet. Between vowels or flnally the alr 1S not completely stopped, so that a fr1cat1ve sound results, rather than a stop. ThlS 1S a bllab1al sp1rant (or fr1cat1ve), comparable to the b 1n Span1sh Habana. Techn1caly [pJ.

Examples,

bet abbat

'house'

m8nber abeba g1b

'pulp1t' 'flower' 'goal'

'father'

wember

' oha r.r-!

/c/ represents a sound llke th&t of ch In church. /g/ llke E In gun.

/h/ has three pronunclat1ons Wh1Ch sound somewhat d1fferent to a speaker of Engllsh:

1) at the beglnnlng or ln the mlddle of the word 1t approxlmates the h to hlm.

7

UNIT 1 AMHARIC

2) at the end of the word It sounds almost llke German ch In nacho Technlcallya velar splrant [xJ.

3) at the end of the word followed by the vowel /u/ thls sound lS llke a sharp puff of breath wlth the Ilps rounded.

hede hedh

'he went' 'you went'

hedhu hedacclhu

'I went'

'you (pI.) went'

/1/ lS formed farther forward In the mouth than Engllsh 1 and lS very much llke French 1 In elle or Itallan I In llngua. The mlddle of the tongue lS closer to the roof of the mouth than It lS for Engllsh 1.

Examples.

ale

'he sa a d '

aIle

'there lS'

/n/ lS llke ~ sound In Engllsh canyon. Technlcallya palatallzed n [ n J or [nY J •

/r/ lS rolled or flapped - the tlP of the tongue strlklng one or more tlmes on the gum rldge behlnd the upper teeth. It lS very much llke Itallan E In caro.

Examples:

neggere berrede

'he told'

'It was cold'

roman blrr

"pome gr-ena t.e ' 'dollar'

/s/ approxlmates the sh sound In Engllsh harsh rather than In she.

It lS close to the French ch In chat.

/t/ lS made agalnst the teeth rather than agalnst the rldge back of the teeth as In Engllsh. It lS otherwlse very much llke Engllsh ~ except In flnal posltlon where It lS more asplrated (released wlth a short puff of brea th) •

/z/ lS llke the French 2 In Jour or somewhat llke the Engllsh s In ln pleasure.

/'/ lS a glottal stop [?J, a stoppage of breath whlch can be heard before each of the words: In Engllsh If these words are pronounced slowly and dellberately.

/y/ llke ~ ln~, yeast, etc. Between vowels /y/ lS Just a klnd of trough ln between the vowel peaks. Both vowels are sald dlstlnctly, e.g. /keyet/ 'where from' /getaye/ 'slr', etc.

/w/ llke ~ ln west. Between vowels /w/ lS a sllght w-gllde, e.g. /baKlowoc/ 'mules'. Where the second vowel lS an /0/, /w/ stands for the same klnd of trough as descrlbed above In the case of /y/. The /w/ trough or gllde lS rounded. Compare the /w/ gllde ln /awo/ 'yes', /sewoc/ 'people' wlth the /y/ gllde ln /mayet/ 'to see' and /lyut/ 'look at It'.

8

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 1

The vOlced consonants /b, d, g, z, z/ are generally devolced In flnal posltlon and sound very much llke thelr vOlceless counterparts /p, t, k, s, s/. They are, however, more 'lenls', l.e. pronounced wlth more relaxed muscles of the mouth.

Note 1.3.2

The glottallzed consonant sounds /e K P S T/ are not llke anythlng In Engllsh or any other language In Europe. These sounds are formed almost llke /c k p s t/ as far as the tongue (or Ilps In case of /p/) are concerned. But they are 'exploded! not wlth alr from the lungs but rather wlth the alr llliprlsoned between the vocal cords (whlch are completely closed) and the tongue (or

llps In case of /p/).
Examples I
/C/ Cammere 'he added'
WlCC "o'u t.s i de
/K/ Keyy 'red'
ruK 'far'
/p/ i t yo Pa.ya 'Ethlopla'
PaPas ' b a shop '
/s/ Sehay 'sun'
geSS 'page'
/T/ Tlru 'good'
wlsT 'lnslde' Pronunclatlon Drllls

/e/
meblat 'to eat' ma yo t Ito see'
mesmat 'to La s ten, hear' ,
menezzere 'he changed'
mehed 'to go' ameseggene 'he thanked'
bella 'he ate' ,
asgeddede 'he forced'
semma 'he llstened' m6kkere 'he t.r i.e d '
assebe 'he thought' g~mmete 'he guessed'
, s~bbeke
addere 'he spent the m.gh t t 'he preached'
masseb 'to thlnk' m~kkere 'he a dv i s e d '
mader 'to spend the n i.gh t t berr 'doorway'
feres 'horse' weyzero 'Mrs. '
hede 'he went' weyzerit 'MlSS'
9 UNIT 1

AMHARIC

medres d~rrese

,

ayye

weddede mewded tewe IlJagered

/u/

ugaden u'uta bunna bulla 1 dulla hulett duldum dur

nuro

nUg

v

sum

luI bellu wessedu h~du

/i/

immlnt ityoPlya iyyesus imam iTallya

,

isayyas

lssi

anbabi adragi

/e/

mehed leba let

me t i r

'to arrlve' 'he ar-r ave d '

'he saw'

'he llked' 'to La.ke : 'he left' 'glrl'

(pIa ce name)

'a cry for help' 'coffee'

'dove'

'club, mace' 'two'

'dull' 'forest' 'llfe' 'black seed' 'offlclal' 'pearl'

'they ate' 'they took' 'they went' '

'lnslgnlflcant' 'Ethlopla' 'Jesus'

'Imam'

'Italy' 'Isalah'

'all rlght' 'reader'

'doer'

'to go' 'thlef' 'nlght I Imeter'

10

keddene wessede fellege neggere ~ddege l~CCe Cerrese

mulu fellegu

gum

v

mus rr-r-a

mUkkera kurat

dulet gulbet sukka sumet surrab dubba yasayyufi alu

hid

fit lngliz ~ddis weyzerit 1mbita

semi

amerikawi fellagi

lne

rase

Slme

bl'lre

'he covered' 'he took'

'he wanted' 'he told'

'he grew'

'he shaved' 'he f'arn.she d '

'full'

'they ,-J"anted' "c a.r-c Le '

'rm s t '

"br-a de ' 'trlal'

"pr a de '

'councll of elders'

'knee'

'fork' 'rank'

t swea ter' 'pumpkln'

'let them show me' 'they aa i d '

'go' 'face'

'Eng La.ah "new'

'MlSS' 'refusal' 'llstenel' ,

I' I

"Ame r-a ca n I

lone who wants'

'I' 'myself' 'my name' 'my pen'

BASIC COURSE UNIT 1
me da 'f~eld ' b~rre 'my dollar'
geta 'master' ~dme 'age'
bergewoc 'oxen' 19re 'my foot'
ldmewoc 'ages' bete 'my house'
neggadewoc 'merchants' fite 'my face'
r.nde t 'how'
h/
1ElSU 'he' lW1net 'truth'
~.sswa 'she' t~nn~s 'small'
1nne$"tu 'they' l~kk 'correct'
a nnarrtc 'you' y~dresu 'let them a r-r a.v e '
, look for'
a.r aa s "pe nc i L ' t~felllg 'let her
~zzih 'here' tlYY 'let her see'
~zziya 'there' Ylhun 'let It be'
lnnezzih 'these' d1ngay 'stone'
ya nb i.bu 'read' b1'~r 'pen'
~yut 'look' b{rr 'dollar'
ldme 'age' ~skezziya "me a nwh i Le '
ammabe f 'lady' Slm 'name'
~mmeyte 'ma 'am' slnt 'how much'
v v. 'O.K. ' dlbb 'bear'
lSSl
~c1l~llehu 'I can' d~nn~c 'potato'
~rswa 'she' b i r-buka n 'orange'
/0/
menor 'to Lj.v s t ankuwakto 'he, hav1ng knocked'
1ngocca 'bread' ayto 'he, havlng seen'
ma ngo ca 'bakery' gezto 'he, havlng bought'
weyzero 'Mrs. ' gebto 'he, hav~ng entered'
weddo 'he, havlng La ke d ' sefifilto 'he, havlng a c c on-
belto 'he, havlng eaten' panled'
hedo 'he, hav~ng gone' dabbo 'bread'
doro 'chlcken' 11

UNIT 2

AMHARIC

Un~t 2

Ba s i.c Sentences

please Embassy

embassi

Amer a can

amerika yamerikan/amerikan

Amerlca

where

yet

lbakklwo, yamerikan embassi y~t new.

Excuse me, where lS the Amerlcan Embassy"

face, ahead, earller ~n front of

fit fitlefit fi tleflt new,

It's [rlght] In front [of you].

far

It's far [from here].

ruK

r{u( new.

rlght

on the r~ght

K~fifi

on your rlght

The Amerlcan Embassy ~s on your r a.gh t ,

besteKefifi b~steKefifilwo

yamerikan embassi, besteKefifilw~ new.

left

gra bestegrawo bestegraw~ new.

on your left

It's on your left.

toward, to

wede

goJ (pollte lmperatlve)

Ylhidu

and

turn (pollte lmperatlve)

lnna

Ylzuru

Go stralght ahead and turn to the left.

wedefit Ylhidunna, wedegra y~zuru.

near

It's nearby.

Klrb new.

12

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 2

s ta t a on

traln

rallroad statlon

the rallroad statlon

Where's the rallroad statlon?

here

from here

Is the rallroad statlon far from here?

It's not far, ltlS [rlght] near [here] •

hotel, restaurant

there lS, he [or It] eXlsts Where lS ('exlstsl) a good hotel?

There lS a good hotel across from ('In front of') the Amerlcan Embassy.

the hotel

there

The hotel lS over there.

Tabiya
babur
babur Tabiya
babur Tabiyaw
,
babur Tabiyaw yet new.
a.z z i.h
kezzih
babur Tabiyaw kezzih rUE: new t rUE: aydellem, K~rb new.

hotel aHe

dehna hotel yet aIle.

amerikan embassi fitleflt, dehna hot;l alle.

hotelu

a.z z Lya hotelu, lzziya ne~.

Numbers
one and su slddlst
two hulett seven sebatt
three sost elght slmmlnt
four aratt nlne zeTen
flve ammlst ten aSSlr Grammatlcal Notes

Note 2.1 The mascullne deflnlte sufflX /-u N -w/

1. dehna hotel yet aIle.

2. hotelu lzziya new.

3. babur Tabiyaw, yet new.

Where lS a good hotel? The hotel lS there.

Where lS the rallroad statlon?

13

UNIT 2

AMHARIC

In sentences 2 and 3 we have /hotelu/ and /Tabiyaw/, l.e. these nouns have the sufflxes /-u/ and I-wi respectlvely.

The sufflX /-u/ after consonants and I-wi after vowels lS added to mascullne nouns or thelr modlflers (see later unlts) to make them deflnlte or speclflc. It lS generally used when the speaker refers to thlngs or persons that have been mentloned before, or to thlngs or persons WhlCh are

ln hlS presence. It lS, however, not necessarlly used ln the same sltuatlons as the Engllsh deflnlte artlcle. The sufflX makes the 'polntlng out' or 'reference' more expllclt. It lS less used wlth plural nouns than wlth nouns ln the slngular.

Note 2.2. 'and' /- (l)nna/.

The sufflX /-lnna/ after consonants and /-nna/ after vowels lS the equlvalent of the Engllsh word 'and', e.g.

/hotellnna babur Tabiya/ /lzzihlnna lzziya/

'a hotel and a rallroad statlon' 'here and there'

It should be noted, however, that /lnna/ may also occur as a separate word.

Note 2.3 Verb: The use of /new/ 'lS' and /alle/ 'there lS '.

amerikan embassi yet new.

babur Tabiyaw kezzih r,ili_ new t

dehna hotel yet aIle.

Where lS the Amerlcan Embassy~

Is the rallroad statlon far from here~

Where lS (there) a good hotel~

The verb form /new/ 'lS' (see Note 3.5.) denotes slmple equatlon (x lS y). Its ne ga t av e counterpart lS /aydellem/ '18 not', e.g.

/hulett1nna hulett ar~tt new/ /hotelu T1ru aydellem/

'Two and two are ('lS') four' 'The hotel lS not good'

The verb form /alle/ denotes the eX1stence of someth1ng ('there lS', 'there eX1sts ,). Its negatlve counterpart lS /yellem/ 'there lS not,'

e.g.

land dehna hotel lzzih alle/ /lzzih dehna hotel yellem/

r

The word /yellem/ means also

14

'There lS a good hotel here '. 'There a sn ' t a good hotel here. '

'no' •

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 2

Pronunclatlon Drllls
GlottallZed Consonants
/K/
Kome 'he stood up' saKe 'he laughed'
Kelem ' arik ' beKlo 'mule'
Kezzefe 'he rowed' beKi 'enough'
Keblr 'funeral' teKebbele 'he r-e ce i.ve d t
Kumet 'length' teKawweme 'he opposed'
Kim 'grudge' moKe 'It became warm'
Kal 'word' asdennaKi "s ur-pr a s a.ng !
Ku.rs 'breakfast' awaKi 'Wlse'
Keyy 'red' derreKe' 'It drled'
Kefifi 'rlght' tllllKlnnet 'blgness'
TlbK 'tlght' dlnK 'amazlng ,
tllllK 'blg' mewdeK 'to fall'
ruK 'far' mesenTeK 'to sp Li t '
s a.nf, 'provlslon' TlIK 'depth'
blrK 'strange'
/T/
Tlwat 'mor-na ng ' wlsT 'lnto'
Tlnt "a nc i e n t t seKeT "me r-cha nd a s e t
, watched' meTeTT
TebbeKe 'he ' dr-a nk '
TeyyeKe 'he asked' lewT 'barter'
, dusted'
Terrege 'he aYlT 'rat'
TereTTere 'he suspected' KereT 'taxatlon'
TemeTTeme 'he wound' bllT 'clever'
TlbK 'tlght' medengeT 'to be frlghtened'
TerePeza 'table' mewKeT 'to pound'
, called'
Terra 'he meKureT 'to cut'
me TemmeTe 'he sucked' reTTebe 'he got wet'
seTe 'he sold' weTTere 'he stretched'
seKKeTe 'he peddled' KeTTere 'he h i.r-e d '
, seneTTeKe
ameTTa 'he brought' 'he Spllt'
,
aTTebe 'he washed' gazeTa 'newspaper'
/p/
PaPas b i sncp Pagume 5 days placed
PeraKliTos (a Salnt 's name) between August
and September
PesTenTinos (a Sa i.n t t s name) 15

UNIT 2

AMHARIC

Petros PenTeKosTe

/C/

C~~beTe Cane C~lleTe Cew C~ffere C~ffera C~kkene Cekkan Cewata ClS mllaC glllbbaC TeCCi seCi

/S/

Sehay Safe Sehafi Segga SeTTl ta Selot Selleye SadlK

SldK meSaf mlSwat lSf

h a.nsa

'Peter I 'pentecost I

Ihe gra sped' 'he loaded I 'he emp t a.e d I t sa Lt t

'he danced' 'dance'

'he became cruel' 'cruel'

'play'

'smoke'

'razor'

'copy' 'drunkard' 'generous'

'sun'

'he wrote'

'wrl ter, clerk' 'grace' 'calmness' 'prayer'

'he prayed' 'rlghteous' 'rlghteousness' 'to wrlte' 'alms'

'double' "bu i Ld i.ng ,

16

Pawlos ityoPlya

laCCe feCCe aCcawwete maCes meCCaweca aCCede tacce meCebbeT meCeffer aCClr WlCC

weCi

neCC

meCi KoraC KeraC

baleSegga meSlhaf neSa meSelley h i.Sa n neSannet dlmS

KlrS

gllS

geSS

glbS

lS

'Paul' 'Ethlopla'

'he shaved' 'he ground'

'he kept company' 'to smoke'

'playground; Igameroom' 'he mowed'

'he became engaged' 'to grasp'

'to dance'

'short'

"ou t s i de !

'expenses'

'whlte'

'one who come s ' 'one who cuts' 'tax collector'

'rlch' 'book' 'free'

'to pray' 'baby' 'freedom' 'v o i.ce t

'shape' 'open' 'page' 'Egypt' 'plant'

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 2

Substltutlon Drllls

Substltute the words glven to the rlght of each sentence for the underllned word (or words) of the sentence.

1. hotelu ruK new.

Klrb bestegr~ besteKenn lzzih

lZziya beTam ruK beTam Klrb

dehna Tlru

beTam Tlru

2. babur Tabiyaw ruK aydellem.

Klrb bestegra besteKefifi lzzih

lzziya beTam ruK beTam Klrb

dehna Tlru

beTam Tlru

3. amerikan embassi fitlefit lzziya bestegrawo
dehna hotel aIle. lzzih babur Tabiyaw fitlefit
besteKennlWO
4. t.z z Lh dshna hotel yellem. lzziya besteKenfi besteKennlwo
amerikan embassi fitlefit. bestegra
bestegrawo Questlons and Answers

Questlon

Answer

TenaYlsTl11ln, lndemin adderu. lbakklwo, and dehna hotel y~t aIle.

dehna, 19ziyabher Ylmmesgen.

dehna hotel amerikan embassi fitlerit alle.

hotelu rUE: new t amarlnna yawKallu t min alu t

yellem, ruK aydellem. awo, tlnnlS awKallehu.

mlnimm alalhu.

babur Tabiyaw lZziya new t amerikan embassi kezzih rUE: new t

yellem, lzziya aydellem. ruK aydellem, Kirb new.

beTam Tlru amarlnna yawKallu t kezzih bestegra min aIle. kezzih besteKenn min aIle.

yellem. beTam Tlru aydellem. and beTam Tlru hot~l aIle.

kezzih besteKefin and embassi aIle.

17

UNIT 2

AMHARIC

babur Tabiyaw rUK new t hotelu tlnn{s new t babur Tabiyaw y~t aIle.

kaz z ih rUK new t

,

awo, beTam ruK new.

~wo, beTam tlnnls new. amerikan embassi fitleflt, and

babur Tabiya aIle.

yellem, ruK aydellem, K{rb new. al~wKlID.

amerikan embassi y~t new.

18

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 3

BaSlC Sentences

John honl

naIllB

s im

my name

Slme

you (pollte) yours (pollte)

lrSlwo I lSSlWO yerslwo I yesslwo

how about yours

yerslwoss TenaYlsTlllln Slme J6n new, yerslw6ss t

Hello, my name's John, what's yours ('how about yours r)~

kebbede (a proper name)

Ethloplan

itYOPlyawi

you are (pollte)

newo

Kebbede. Are you an Ethloplan~

kebbed~ new. ityoPlyawl newo t

John

Ame r r ca n

amerikawi

I am

nen

but

negergln

Mr.
(a proper name)
(a proper name)
Ethloplans
they are
I'm an Ame r a.can , but Mr. Tesemma
and Mr. Lemma are Et.h a.op a.aris , ato

tes~mma

l~mma

ityoPlyawiyan

naccew

amerikawl nen, negerg{n ato tesemmanna ato lemma, ityoPlyawiyan naccew.

19

UNIT 3

AMHARIC

when

you came

When dld you come~

yesterday

I came

I came yesterday.

how much, how many

hour, o'clock, watch, clock

What tlme lS It, please.

It's three o'clock.

Thank you ('May God glve [It] for me I).'

both

let hlm glve us

You're welcome ('let hlm glve It to both of us i )

kebbede

ms ce / mac

meTTu

,

mece meTTu.

John

meTTahu tlnantlnna meTTahu.

kebbede

slnt

seat

John

sost seat new.

kebbede

19ziyabh~r YlsTlllln.

John

abro

YlsTen abro YlsTen.

Classroom Expresslons

book

books

your books

your books (as dlrect obJect of a verb)

openJ

[Please] open your books.

meSlhaf / meShaf

meShafoc

meShafoccaCClhu

meShafoccaCClhun

klfetu

meSlhafoccaCClhun klfetu.

20

BASIC COURSE UNIT 3

together (you pl.) abraccIhu

sayJ belu

Altogether] ('say together')

abraccihu belu.

now

ahun

close J.

ZlgU

ahun meSlhafoccacclhun ZlgU.

Now close your books}

structure Sentences

Personal endIngs of the verb 'be'.

I

Ine

Ine amerikawi nen.

1'm an Amer a can ,

Are you an Ethloplan~

i tiyo Pa yaw l nsh t

you (fem. sIng.) pretty

You (f) are pretty.

anci

KonJo anci KonJ~ nes.

IntellIgent, sensIble You (polIte) are IntellIgent. thIS

asteway

asteway newo / asteway newot.

Ylh

person, man who

Who IS bh a s mane

sew

man

ylh sew man new.

woman, female She's a good woman.

set

Tlru set nec / Tlru set nat.

student students We are students.

temari temariwoc temariw~c nen.

teacher teachers Are you teachers~

astemari astemariwoc astemariwoc naccIhu t

21

UNIT 3

AMHARIC

bad
They are bad.
he or she (pollte)
b1g
He or she (pollte) lS blg. meTfo

meTf~ naccew.

1rsaccew

Grammatlcal Notes

Note 3.1 Pronoun: Independent Pronouns.

1ne amerikawi nen.

I am an Amer1can.

anci KonJ6 nes.

You (fem.slng.) are pretty. you (pollte)

1rslWO.

lrsaccew

He or she (pollte) 1S b1g.

These are examples of Independent Pronouns that have occured ln the

Bas1c or structure Sentences. As one can are two genders, mascullne and fem1n1ne. sec~nd and th1rd person slngular pronouns nouns are 1ndeterm1nate of gender.

see from the above sentences, there Gender 1S d1stlngulshed only 1n the (fam1l1ar forms). All other pro-

As the personal endlng (or other afflx) of the verb lndlcates the person 1nvolved, the Independent Pronouns are much less used 1n Amharlc than they are ln Engl1sh. When used, they are sllghtly emphat1c. Attent10n lS drawn to the fact that th1S part1cular person lS, or these persons are dOlng so-and-so.

The complete set of such pronouns 1S:

1ne I

ante you (masc. fam.)

anci you (fem.fam.)

lrS1WO / 1SSlWO you (pol1te)

1rsu / 1SSU

he

a.r swa / a s swa lrsaccew / 1ss~ccew

she

he or she (pol1te)

1nfia

we

a nnant.s

you (pl.)

1nnessu / lnnersu

they

22

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 3

As Illustrated by the above lIst of the Independent Pronouns, AmharIc has dIfferent terms of reference wIth regard to people spoken to (second person) and people spoken of (thIrd person). Thus /ante/ (addressIng a man) and /anci/ (addressIng a woman) show a certaIn degree of famIlIarIty. /lrslwo/ IS used as a polIte or deferentIal form of 'you' (addressIng both men and women), and /lnnante/ addressIng many persons wIthout dIstInctIon of sex. /lrsaccew/ IS a polIte or deferentIal form of 'he' or 'she'. Note that verb forms used wIth the 'polIte' pronouns have the thIrd person plural personal e nda.ng s ,

Note 3.2 Pronoun: SuffIX Pronouns.

let hIm gIve for me.

let hIm gIve us.

2. YlsTen

3. Slme Jon new.

~ name IS John.

There are two kInds of suffIXed pronouns:

1) Verb SuffIX (or ObJect) Pronouns, (Sentences 1 and 2) I.e. pronomInal suffIxes attached to verb stems or other forms of the verb. The translat10n of a Verb SuffIX Pronoun depends upon the structure of EnglIsh. For example the suff1X /-en/ after consonants (/-n/ after vowels), can mean 'me' (dIrect obJect) or 'to me' (IndIrect obJect); /-accew/ 'them' (dIrect obJect) or 'to them' (lndlrect obJect), etc.

2) Noun Suff1x Pronouns (Sentence3) I.e. pronom1nal suff1xes

attached to nouns, correspond1ng to Engl1sh 'posseSSIve pronouns', 'your', etc. These are d1scussed In Note 4.1.

Note 3.2.1 The Verb Suff1X Pronouns are:

After After
Consonants Vowels
SIngular -en -n
-lh -h
v v
-IS -s
-lWO /-lwot -wo /-wot
-ew -w
-t
(after /u/ and /e/)
-at -at 23

'my' ,

MeanIng
me, to me
you, to you (ma s c , )
you, to you (fem. )
you, to you (polIte)
Ii irn , to h rm /1 t, to It her, to her

UNIT 3

AMHARIC

Plural

us, to us

-acc~hu

-ucc ahu ' •

you, to you

-accew

-accew

them, to them

Examples I

ato lemmanna ato kebbede min aluh.

What dld Lemma and Kebbede say to you",

min alun.

What dld they say to me"

~zziy~ new aluwacc~hu.

Itls there they sa~d to you.

Note 3.3 Loss of Vowels.

As lndlcated In the chart of the Verb SufflX Pronouns (Note 3.2.1 above) certaln vowels are lost before the /-a-/ of the suff~x pronouns /-at/, /-acclhu/ and /-accew/.

TIllS loss of vowels occurs regularly ~n Amharlc accord~ng to the
f0110wlng patterns I
1) e + a = a e.g. band [b~ + ~nd] seat ra tone olclockl
2) a + a = a e.g. ameTTat [ameTTa + at] 'he brought herl
3) l + a = a e.g. bagen [b~ + ~gen] Ilf I f~ndl
4) e + l • e e.g. yerslwo [y~ + ~rSlwo] Iyoursl
5) l + l = ~ e.g. b~negr [bl + ]:negr] Ilf I tell I
6) a + l = a e.g. amsaglr l amea + ]:glr ] 'cent~pede' Note 3.4 /w/ and /y/ gl~des before /-a-/ of the aff~es.

The Chart of Verb SufflX Pronouns (Note 3.2.1) ~nd~cates that /-u/ lS /-uw-/, /-0/ lS /-ow-/ and I-if lS /-iy-/ before the suff~ pronouns /-at/, /-acc~hu/ and /-accew/.

These /w/ and /y/ g1ldes occur regularly ~n Amharlc before /-a-/ of the afflxes, e.g.

If the" last vowel of stem lS /e/, /a/ or /l/ It lS dropped and the suff~x lS added dlrectly to the preced~ng consonant (see Note 3.3.)

/u/ lS /-uw-/, /0/ lS /-ow-/ and /i/ lS /-iy-/ before these suff~ pronouns (see Note 3.4.).

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 3

u + a = Uv, + a e.g. felleguwaccew [felllg~ + ~ccew]
'they wanted them'
o + a :: ow + a e.g. felllgowal [felhg_£ + all
'he has wanted'
i + a -= iy + a e.g. tlfelllgiyalles [tlfelllg1: + al188 J
'you(f) want' Note 3.5 Verb. /ne-/ 'be'.

The verb stem /ne- / plus Verb Sufflxed Pronouns (No te 3.2.1) c ori-, s t a bu te verb forms e xpr-e s s a.ng s rmp Le e qua t i.orn 'I am', 'you are', etc. These forms, lllustrated In the Structure Sentences, may be elther sufflxed or separate words (e.g. /Tlr~new/ or /Tlr~ new/ 'It's good'). They are themselves unstressed and the stress lS regularly on the prevlous syllable, as In /temariw~c nen/ 'we are students '.

The complete set of these forms lS:

Slngular Plural

nen I am
neh you (m.) are
v (f. )
nes .' ., ~, you are
newo/newot you (pol. ) are
new he lS
nat/nec she lS nen

we are

nacclhu

you are

naccew they are

(or, he/she (pol.) lS)

Note 3.6. Formatlon of the Plural

temariwoc nan, astemariwoc nacclhu·

We are students. You are teachers.

The general plural sufflX In Amharlc for both mascullne and femlnlne lS /-(w)oc/ (/-oc/ after consonants and /-woc/ after vowels.) Wlth

some speakers, wor-ds e nd i.ng In vowels may drop the vowel and the suf't'ax /-oc/ lS afflxed to the precedlng consonant. Thus the Amharlc word 'students' may be elther /temariwoc/ or /temaroc/. Before vowels the plural sufflX lS usually /-(w)occ/, as In /meSlhafoccacclhu/ 'your books. 1

ato tesemmanna ato lemma ityoPlyawiyan naccew.

Mr. Tesemma and Mr. Lemma are Etih i.op aa ns ,

The plural sufflX /-yan/ lS used excluslvely wlth nouns denotlng natlonallty endlng In /-awi/ e.g. /ityoPlyawi/ 'Ethloplan' /ityoPlyawiyan/ 'Ethloplans', /amerikawi/ 'Amerlcan', /amerikawiyan/ 'Amerlcans', /lnglizawi/ 'Engllshman', /lnglizawiyan/ 'Engllshmen', /ferensawi/ 'Frenchman', /ferensawiyan/ 'Frenchmen'. The use of the plural wlll be taken up In later unlts.

25

UNIT 3 AMHARIC

Note 3.7 Transltlon vowel III

Klrb hot~l yet alle. l

It's correct.

Where lS the near[estJ hotel?

The t.r-aris i t a.on vowel, r nd i oa t e o above by I / lS a weak vowel g Li de l

that serves to lnterrupt a sequence 01' consonants across word boundarles.

Thls vowel occurs at the pOlnt of word dlvlslon whenever two words comlng together produce a cluster of three consonants, or a cluster of two consonants, the flrst of whlch lS an affrlcate: /c/, /J/, /e/.

The transltlon vowel lS not marked In our transcrlptlon because ltS presence lS almost completely predlctable.

Pronunclatlon Drllls

/1/
lemma 'a proper name'
Ilbs r c Lo th a.ng t
lebbes8 'he dressed (hlIDself) I
IlJ t ch a Ld t
Lsma.n 'why'
alebbese 'he dressed (someone) ,
melbes ,to dress'
melKem 'to plck up'
melemmen 'to beg' /r/
ras 'head, cha.e f !
roma 'Rome'
rat 'dlnner'
ruK 'far'
regga 'It coagula ted'
aratt 'four '
mekera 'calamlty'
a.r-su 'he'
blrr 'dollar' malKes 'to weep'
ale 'he sa a d r
g irne L 'camel'
bulla 'grey'
lul 'pearl'
suI sharp
Kal 'word'
Kil t f'o o La sh r mettere 'he cut lnto p i.e ce s '
(mea t )
a r sa s 'pencll'
mlklr ' adv r ce !
mesmer 'llne'
wember 'chalr'
memokker 'to try'
menor 'to Ilve'
arrere 'burned'
serra 'he made' 26

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 3

Subst~tut~on Dr~lls

Subst~tute the words l~sted to the r~ght of each sentence for the underl~ned word of the follow~ng sentences.

a.ne dehwi nsfi,

t~nn~s KonJo

ityoPlyawi dehna

ante sew nah ,

and THU nes.

KonJo set

~rs~wo astemari newo.

temari asteway

~ssu temari new.

man asteway

dehna

a z z Lh

~sswa meTfo nat/~rswa meTfo nec.

~nfia amerikawiyan nen.

ityoP~yawiyan a.z z Lya

t~nn~s

tlll~K

~nnante astemariwoc nacc~hu.

~nnessu ityoP~yawiyan naccew.

amerikawiyan temariwoc

~rsaccew asteway naccew.

l~kk ruK

amerikawi temari

t~nn~s meTfo

T~ru K~rb

asteway astemari

~zzih astemari

a.z z Lya

ityoP~yawi amerikawi

sew

~zziya sew

sewoc temariwoc

K~rb temariwoc

sewoc

astemari ruK

astemari K~rb

a.z z Lh asteway

ruK setoc

astemariwoc ~zziya

setoc

Subst~tut~on - Correlat~on Dr~ll

man

beTam T~ru

Replace the underl~ned pronoun w~th those l~sted to the r~ght of each sentence.

Change the form of the verb 'to be' as necessary to agree w~th the pronoun used.

ante anci ~ssu
~sswa ~rsaccew ~nna
~nnessu ~nnante ~rs~wo
~ne anci ~sswa
~ne ante a.r-aa c csw
~fina ~nnante ~sswa ~ne temari nen.

ante asteway neh.

anci T~ru ne s.

27

UNIT 3

AMHARIC

lnnessu temariwoc naccew.

~rs~wo lzziya newo.

llliia

armarrbe

ante

anei a.nnant.e

lrswa

lSSU

Questlons and Answers

Questlon

slme tesemm~ new, yerslwoss t lrslwo amerikawi newo t

lzzih mece meTTu.

,

ato lemmanna ato kebbede mee meTTu.

lrS1WO temari newo t

amarlnna yawKallu t

lsswa KonJo set nat t

ato tesemma min yawKallu. a to lemma meTfo sew new t asteway new t

hulettlnna hulett, sint new. sostlnna aratt s{nt new.

ato tesemma Tena new t

a.nnas su a z z Lh naecew t astemariwoc lzzih mece meTTu. lzzih sint sewoc meTTu.

ato kebbede meTfo new t

ato kebbedenna ato lemma temariwoc

naccew T

ato kebbede lzzlh new t lrS1WO Lt.yo Pa.yaw I newo t lrS1WOSS t

astemari newo t

ato tesemma y~t new. meSlhafu y~t aIle.

a s swa astemari nec ~ lSSU tllllK new t sint seat new.

ato lemma dehna new t

lzzih dehna astemari alle t dehna amarlnn~ yawKallu t

ato kebbedenna ato Jon, lzzih mec meTTu.

Answer

,

Jon new.

lne ityoPlyawl nen.

tlnant meTTahu/tlnantlnna meTTahu. alawKlm.

, ,

awo, temari nen.

tlnnlS awK~llehu. awo, beTam KonJ6 nat.

beTam Tlru amarlnna yawKallu. yellem. lSSU beTam T~ru sew new. awo, asteway new.

hulettlnna hul~tt, aratt new. seb~tt new.

~wo,dehn~ new.

awo, lzzlh naccew.

lne alawKlm.

hulett sewoc meTTu. yellem, meTfo aydellem.

~wo, lnnessu temariw6c naccew.

lZz1h aydellem.

awo, ityoPlyawl nen. lne amerikawl nen. yellem. temarl nen. lzzlh new.

lzzlh new.

aWOl astemarl nec. yellem, tlnnis new. a s s iz- seat new.

awo, beTam dehna new.

awo, and dehna astemarl aIle. beTam Tlru aydellem. tlnantlnna meTTu.

28

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 4

Umt 4

BaS1C Sentences

let you (pollte) show me to show me ('to let you (pollte) show me ,)

you (pollte) can, are able

Could you please dlrect me to ('show me') a good hotel~

(name of hotel)

It seems

It seems to me, I thlnk

Yes [I can]. The Glon hotel seems good to me.

address

What's ('where lSi) the address~

t.ax i,

by t.ax i,

to go

You can go [there] by taxl.

O.K.

I'm call1ng, I'll call, I'm lnvltlng, I'll lnvlte

O.K. I'll call a taxl.

TaxlJ

John

kebbede

John

kebbede

John

yasayyun

liyasayyun

Ylcllallu

lb~kklWO, dehna hotel liyasayyufi ya c i.La LLu t

giyon

Ylmeslal

Ylmeslefifial

awo, giyon hotel dehn~ Ylmeslenfial.

adrassa

adrassaw yet new.

taksi

betaksi

mehed

betaksi mehed Ylcllallu.

lTerallehu

lssi. taksi lTerallehu. t~ksi.

29

UNIT 4

AMHARIC

TaXl drlver

Yes Slr / madam. (saId In reply to a call)

abet t

Jonn

cause me to arrIve (polIte ampe r-a t a.ve )

yadrlsun

Take me to Glon Hotel, please.

Ib~kklWO giyon hot~l yadrlsufi.

let me pay

let me pay to you (pollte)

llkf'el

llkf'ellwot

How much am I to pay you~

TaXl drlver

dollar (EthIopIan)

Four dollars.

aratt blrr.

Classroom Expresslons

thlng

neger

It IS saId, It IS called

Ylbbalal

In AmharIc

bamarlnfia

How do you say thlS (IthlS thlng IS saldl) In Amharlc~

ylh neger bamarlnna mln ylbbalal.

pencll

you have ('there IS to youl)

lrsas

allewot

[No] I don I t (have) (I there IS not to me I)

a.r sa s allewot t yell~nnlm.

Do you have a pencll~

many, much

blZU

Do you have many penclls~

blZU lrsasocc alluwot t

only; alone

blCCa

No, I have only one.

yellem, and blcca allen.

Say It agaln (Irepeat for mel).

Yldgemulllfi.

thlS (as obJect)

30

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 4

word

Kal

Ylhln Kal yldgemut.

, h t

amarlnna Ylcilallu

Repeat thlS word.

Can you [speak] Amharlc~

I can

lCllallehu

Yes, I can.

awon, lCllallehu.

Structure Sentences

Noun SufflX Pronouns.

My name lS Kebbede.

Slme

kebbede new.

country

Amerlca lS your (m) country.

ager

agerlh amerika new.

father

abbat

tall

Your (f.) father lS tall.

re J j rm abbatls reJJ~m new.

What lS your (pollte) name~

Slmlwo man new.

red

Keyy meSlhafu Keyy new.

Hls book lS red.

mother

a.nna t lnnatwa KonJ~ nat.

or. lnnatwa KonJo nec.

SlmaCCln kebbedenna lemma new.

Her mother lS beautlful.

Our names ar-e Kebbede and Lemma.

Where lS your (pl.) country~

ageracclhu yet new.

car, vehlcle

mekina

Thelr car lS not good.

mekinaCC8w Tlru aydellem.

Grammatlcal Notes

Note 4.1 Noun SufflX Pronouns

The structure Sentences lllustrate the use of the Amharlc Noun Sufflx Pronouns whlch are the equlvalent of Engllsh 'Possesslve Pronouns', 'my', 'hlS', 'yours', etc. (see also Note 3.2.).

31

UNIT 4

AMHARIC

The complete set of Noun SuffLX Pronouns lSI

Slngular

After Consonants

After Vowels

1st pers.
?'1.d pers. m.
2nd pers. f.
2nd pers,. pol.
3rd pers. m.
3rd pers. f.
Plural
1st pers.
2nd pers.
3rd pers.
(2,E • po La tie s i.ng , ) 'my' -e
'your' = ah
'your' "
-lS
'your' -lWO
'hls' -u
'her' -wa -ye

-h

"

-s

-wo

-w

-wa

'our '

-accln

-acclhu

-accln

'your ' 'thelr' 'hls, her I

-acclhu

-accew

-accew

Note 4.2 Verb: Verb forms /alle/ 'there lS', /allu/ 'there are' and /yellem/ 'there lS not', /yellum/ 'there are not' as equlvalent to Engllsh 'have' and 'have not.'

a.r sa s allewot t yellenihm.

blzu lrsasocc alluwott yellem, and blcca allen.

Do you have a penclI~

[No J I don't ('There lS nat to me'). Do you have many penclIs7

No, I have only one.

/alle/ 'there r s ! , 'there ex a s t s ' (Note 2.3) and the plural /allu/ 'there are', 'there ex a s t t are used Wl th Verb SufflX Pronouns.

The thlng possessed lS the SUbJect of /alle/ or /allu/. The owner lS lndlcated by a suffLX pronoun, e.g. /meSlhaf allen/ 'I have a book',llterally 'there lS a book to me', /ammlst meSlhafocc allun/ 'I have flve books', llterally 'there are to me flve books'.

The forms of /alle/ and /allu/, wlth the verb sufflXed pronouns,

are.

Mascullne (slng.) Thlng Possessed:

Slngular Plural

allen

a11eh

a11es allewo/allewot

I have

you (m.) have

you (f.) have you (pol.) have

allen

we have

allacclhu

you have

allew allat

he has she has

allaccew

they have

32

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 4

Plural Th1ng Possessed:

allufi I have
alluh you (m.) have
allus you (f. ) have
alluwo/alluwot you (pol. ) have
allut he has
alluwat she has allun

alluwacclhu

alluwaccew

we have

you have

they have

Note that In Amhar1c the obJect possessed 1S the sUbJect of the verb.

The negat1ve forms are:

Mascullne (slng.) Thlng Possessedl

yellefiihm yellehlm

yelles1ID yellewotlm

yellewl.m yellatlm

Slngular

I don't have yellen1m

you (m) don't have

Y.2u, _(fl don't have yc Ll a cc a.hum

"V

you (pol.) don't have

he doesn't have yellaccewlm

she doesn't have

Plural Thlng Possessed:

yellufiihm yelluhlm

yelluslm yelluwotlm

yellut1m yelluwatlm

Slngular

I don't have yellunlm

you (m) don't have

you (f) don't have yelluwacclhum

you (pol.) don't have

he doesn't have yelluwaccewlm

she doesn't have

Plural

we don't have

you don't have

they don't have

Plural

we don't have

you don't have

they don't have

For the equlvalents to 'have', 'have not' w1th femln1ne thlng possessed see Note 5.1.

Note 4.3 Fem i.n.i.ne de f'a.na te suf'f rx /-wa ~ - (y) i tu - - (y l itwa/

The mascul1ne deflnlte sufflX was d1scussed 1n Note 2.1. The fem- 1nlne def1n1te sufflX 1S I-waf; /-(y)itu/ (/-itu/ after consonants, /-yitu/ after vowels); or /-(ylitwa/ (/-itwa/after consonants, /-yitwa/ after vowels).

All words lnd1catlng females are fem1n1ne. (Femln1ne gender w1ll be d1scussed In deta11 In later un1ts.)

33

UNIT 4

AMHARIC

Examples:

/temariw/

/temariwa/ or /temariyitu/ or /temariyitwa/ /astemariw/

/astemariwa/ or /astemariyitu/ or /astemariyitwa/

the (boy) student the (glrl) student

the (gentleman) teacher the (lady) teacher

Nouns wlthout deflnlte sufflX do not show gender. Thus the word /temari/, for example, may refer both to a boy and a glrl student. The gender of 'lndeflnlte' nouns lS lndlcated by the verb endlngs, e.g.

Tlru temari new. Tlru temari nec/nat.

he lS a good student. she lS !::. good student.

The most commonly used form of the femlnlne deflnlte sufflX lS I-waf.

Note 4.4 Deflnlte sufflxes on modli"lt.;X'S.

If a noun has a modlfler the deflnlte sufflX lS afflXed to the modlfler and not to the noun It modlfles, e.g. /meSlhafu/ 'the book', but Itlnnlsu meSlhafl 'the small book'.

Examples:

dehnaw sew tlnnls meSlhaf allew. dehnawa set tlnnls meSlhaf allat. KonJoyitu set and meSlhaf allat.

The good man has a small book. The good WOman has a small book. The pretty glrl has a book.

It should be noted that the deflnlte sufflX lS afflXed to the modlfler even when the modlfled noun has a Noun SufflX ('Possesslve') Pronoun, e.g.

tlnnlSu meSlhaflh lzzih alle.

Your small book lS here.

Note 4.5 SufflX I-(l)nl speclflC dlrect obJect.

Group 1

meSlhafoccacclhun klfetu. Ylhln Kal Yldgemut.

Open your books! Repeat thls word!

Group 2

dehna hotel liyasayyufi Ylcllallu t

Can you dlrect me to ('show me') a good hotel~

I'll call a taxl.

Do you know Amharlc~

taksi lTerallehu. amarlfifia yawKallu t

In Group 1 the ObJects of the verbs (/meSlhafoccacclh~/, IYlhln Kal/) have a sufflX I-nl or I-ln/. In Group 2 none of the ObJects have such a sufflX. In Group 1 we have 'your books' (not Just any book), 'thls word'

(a spe c i.I'a c one). In Group 2 we have 'a good hotel' (any good hotel) 'a bax a ' (not t.h i.e par t.a cu.l az- taxl), 'Amhar-a c ' (In general) .

34

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 4

The sufflX /-(l)n/ (/-In/ after consonants, /-n/ after vowels) must always be used:

a) When the dlrect obJect 1S a speclflc noun, l.e. a noun wlth

a defln1te sufflX (/-u--w/ or /-wa--(y)itu/); e.g. /meSlhafu/ 'the book', /meS1haf~ klfetu/ open the book'.

b) 1rIhen lt 18 mo d r.f i.e d by a suf'f ax pronoun, e.g. /meSlhafoccacclhu/ Iyour books', /meSlhafoccacclhuE klfetu/ lopen your books'.

c) When lt lS modlfled by a demonstratlve pI'onoun, e.g. /Ylhln Kal Yldgemut/ 'repeat thlS word'.

d) When 1t 1S a proper name, an lndependent pronoun, a name of a country, or obJects assumed to be commonly known, such as

s t.a t a on , m i.n i s t.r-y etc. e.g. /giyon hotel~ yasayyufi/ 'show me the Gion Hotel', /kebbeden yawKallu/ 'they kno-w Kebbede,' /lrs1woE awKallehu/ 'I know you', /babur Tabiyan yasayyufi/ Ishow me the I'allI'oad statlon'.

When the dlrect obJect of the verb has a mod1f1er, lt lS the mod1f1er that usually takes the /-(l)n/ sufflX and not t~e noun lt mod1f1es, as In /Ylhln Kal Yldgemut/ 'repeat thlS word', /tlnnlsun meSlhaf klfetu/ lopen the small book'.

The sufflX /-(l)n/ lS not afflxed to the lndef1nlte, nonspeclflc dlrect obJect (Group 2 above).

Note 4.6

Prepos1t1ons.

Amharlc preposltlons are usually lnseparable from the word they precede. These 'preflx preposlt1ons' lose thelr vowel when preflXed to words beglnnlng wlth a vowel In accordance wlth the patterns Ilsted In Note 3.3.

If, however, the prepos1tlons are sald as separate words the vowel lS not lost, e.g.

/bamar1fifia/ or /be amarlfifia/ 'In AmharlC'.

Note 4.6.1 Preposltlon /b(e)-/ 'to, by, In, at, onl and /best(e)-/ 'to', Iln the dlrect10n of I.

betaksi mehed Y1cllallu.

Ylh neger bamar1fifia min Y1bbalal. yamerikan embassi besteKefifilVj~ new.

You can go by t.ax i,

How do you say thlS In Amharlc~

The Amerlcan Embassy lS on your rlght.

The preflx prepos1t1on /b(e)-/ (/be-/ before consonants, /b-/ before vowels) lS used 1n equlvalents to Engllsh prepos1tlons 'to, by, In, at, onl and the pref1x /best(e)-/ (/beste- before consonants and /best-/ before vowels) In equlvalent to Engllsh Ito' wlth reference to speclf1c d1rectlons, such as 'to the r a.gh t.! , 'to the left', 'to the nor tn ! , Ito the south', etc.

Other usages of the preflx /b(e-)/ w1Il be taken up In later unlts.

35

UNIT 4 AMHARIC

Pronunclatlon Drllls
1) It I
temarhr 'the student' mesmat 'to hear'
t arm.h lr t be t ' school' meterret 'to narrate'
t'lnant 'yesterday' magnet 'to flnd'
tesome (proper name) mesTet 'to g a.ve t
bet 'house' mayet 'to see'
2) Short and Long Cons onants.

Ibl
algebam 'I wll1 not enter' algebbam 'he has not entered'
abay 'llar' abbay 'Nlle'
genzeb 'money' dlbb 'bear'
Icl
t-""l 1'''') ( ...... SJre 'he suffered' Ylcceggeral 'he lS sufferlng'
mec 'when' temariwocce 'my students'
mecebceb 'to thrash' cebeccebe 'he thrashed'
Ici
maCet 'to engage' aCCe 'he engaged'
maCes 'to smoke' aCCawac "ump i.r-e r
meCemCem 'to kz s s repea tedly' neCC 'whlte'
Idl
modemnJer 'to add' weddede 'he loved'
1riessede 'he carr led ' weddeKe 'he fell'
deggene 'he a ame d ' Keddeme 'he preceded'
11'1
mefelleg 'to want' me1'1'eleg 'to be wanted'
a11e1'e 'he passed' ke1'1'ele 'he dlvlded'
addofe 'lt became dlrty' se1'1'i 'wlde'
Ig/
rregemmet 'to guess' meggemet 'to be e s t ama ted'
ad81'rege 'he dld' seggede 'he worshlpped'
meTreg 'to clean' deggeme 'he repeated' 36

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 4

/h/
habtam t r-a ch t
mehed 'to go'
neh 'you are'
hedacclhu 'you went'
IJ/
me Jemmer 'to begln' YlJJemmeral 'It wlII be started'
awweJe 'he declared' lJJ 'hand'
jagna 'brave' aJJebe 'he accompanlep'
/k/
kebbede (proper name) mekkere 'he a dv a se d '
memker 'to a dv a se r mukkera 'attempt'
awweke 'he dlsturbed' sekkere 'he became drunk'
/K/
maweK ·'to "know' aKKede 'he planned'
saKe 'he laughed' beKKele 'It ge rtm.na ted'
meKeddes 'to bless' meKKedes 'to be blessed'
/1/
melbes 'to dress mellebes 'to be dressed'
meleyyet 'to separate' melleyet 'to be separa ted'
ale 'he sa a d ' aIle 'he lS present'
/m/
ylmetal 'he wlII strlke' Ylmmettal 'he wlII be struck'
ameseggene 'he pralsed' Ylmmeseggenal 'he wlII be pr-a a s e d '
mamar 'to be beautlful' memmar 'to learn'
/n/
manbeb 'to read' mennebeb 'to be read'
mansat 'to llft' mennesat 'to get up'
ante 'you' (SlDg. ) a.nnarit.s 'you' (pl.)
/n/
magnet 'to flnd' meggenfiet 'to be found'
nen 'I am' amarlfifia 'Amha r i c I
lemman 'beggar' lemmafifioc 'beggars' 37

UNIT 4 AMHARIC
/PI
posta 'envelope'
postabet ' po s t of'f'a ce !
POllS 'pollce'
Ipi
PilaTos' (proper name)
PeraKliTos (proper name)
ityohya 'Et.h i.op a.a '
Irl
reggeme 'he cursed' merreKe 'he blessed'
TereTTere 'he doubted' werre de 'he came down'
terabe 'he was hungry' blrr 'dollar'
lsi
tenesa 'stand up}' tenessa 'he stood up'
mesmat 'to hear' messemat 'to be heard'
Slm 'name' messele 'It seemed'
lsi
Some 'he fasted' KeSSele 'he contlnued'
mo Sa f 'to wrlte' geSS 'page'
neSa 'free I neSSa 'lt became clear'
lsi
mesemgel 'to be old' v v. 'all r-a.gh t '
lSSl
v 'you (f') 'he hld'
nes are sessege
selleme 'he rewarded' asse 'he rubbed'
It I
gemmete 'he guessed' metta 'he struck'
mote 'he d i.e d t a ttete 'he d a scus se d '
metennat 'to sleep' gottete 'he pulled'
ITI
memTat 'to come geTTeme 'he flxed'
meTra t 'to call' a TTere 'he fenced'
T1Klm "be ne f'a, t ' aTTebe 'he washed'
Iwl
awon 'yes' awweJe 'he delcared'
mewded 'to llke' awweKe 'he knew'
wlb 'attractlve' dewwele 'he dlaled'
38 BASIC COURSE

UNIT 4

/y/

Y8ll8m b8lay m8ll8Y8t

/z/

m8zor W8nz g8nz8b

/'2/'

z8le

v

murlZ

gezi

'no'

aYY8 K8YY m8l8YY8t

'he saw' 'red'

'to separate'

'upon'

'to be separated'

'to turn'

aZZ8z8

'he ordered' 'they bought' 'l t mul b i.p La e d ,

'rlver'

g8ZZU bezza

'money'

'unarmed'

'a klnd of grass' 'governor'

KaZZ8

'he talked In h i s sleep' "i. t suppura ted' 'purchase'

aZZ8

'/z/ and /J/ are usually lnterchangeable.

Substltutlon Drllls

Use the proper Noun Sufflx ('Possesslve') Pronoun as lndlcated by the Engllsh pronouns Ilsted to the rlght of the followlng sentences.

m8Slhafe Tlru n8W.

h i s her
your (pI. ) our your (pol. )
thelr your (fem. ) your (masc. )
your (masc) her our
h i s your (fern. ) thelr
your her m8kinawo lzzih n8W.

Correlatlon-Substltutlon Drlll

Change the form of the underllned verb (equlvalent to the Engllsh 'I have, you have,' etc. or 'I don't have, you don't have,' etc.) to agree wlth the pronouns llsted to the rlght of each sentence.

Tlru m8Slhaf allew,

lne lnnant8

arrto anci

lnnessu

lrsu lnna

l.rSwa

lrsacc8W

39

UNIT 4

AMHARIC

T~ru mekinawocc allut.

afifia

anci

a s su

a.nnarit.e ante

~sswa

lrslwo

abbat yellatlm.

a.r-sa c cew

lsswa

lne

a.r-su ~fifia

lnnessu

meS~hafocc~nna lrsasoc yellufin~m. ante lrs~wo

a.r-aa c cew

lrsu lfina

lnnessu

~nnessu

~ne

lrsaccew

ante lnnante anci

lne

lnnante

anci

In the followlng sentences, substltute the words llsted to the rlght of each sentence for the underl~ned word (or words), us~ng the proper dlrect obJect form.

anten awKallehu.

anci

t

ar-s iwo

a.r sa cc.ew giyon hotel ageraccew

lnnante ato Jon s~macclhu

and meSlhaf yasayyun.

meS~hafu

mekinaw abbataccew

lrsaswa

and lrsas meSlhafe

and hotel hotelu

babur Tabiya and seat

t~nnlsun meS~haf yasayyun.

donna sew

KonJo set dehnawa temari

Ylh sew

Tlru astemari Keyy meS~haf tlll~K ager meTfo temari asteway set

Questlon and Answer Dr~ll

meSlhaf allewot t

,

awo, allen.

yellennlm.

ylh temari ~rsas allew t

~wo,allew. yellewlm.

lrswa

lnnessu

ager mekinah

taksiwo

seatlwo

Tlru meSlhaf

llkk neger

temariwoc blZU lrsasocc alluwaccew t

awo, blZU lrsasocc alluwaccew. blZU lrsasoc yelluwaccewlm.

40

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 4

ante b~zu meS~hafocc alluh t

t~m~hlrt betun yawKallu t

mekina a Ll.a t t

seat allewot t

giyon ho te Lrn liyasayyun y i.c a La Ll,u t mekinawon liyasayyufi Ylcllallu t

ato kebbede m~kina allew t

abba tn.nna arma t alluh t

giyon hotel beTam Tlru new t

giyon hotel mahe d y i.c i La Ll.u t aSSlr blrr allewot t

Keyy mekina alleh t

mekinawocc alluwacc~hu t

astemariw mekina allew t

b~zu mekinawocc allut t

lsswa meSlhaf allat t

a s bema r-Lw dehna new t

~rslwo amarlnna Ylcllallu t seatlh meTfo new t

T~ru a.r aa a allewot t

Tlru r r sa s o cc a Ll.uwa c c a.hu t

aw~ b~zu meS~hafocc allufi. blZU meS~hafoc yeilufifilm.

awo, awKallehu. yellem,alawKlm.

awo,allat.

yella tun.

awo, allefi. yellefiihm.

awo, ICllallehu.

awo, a c i Ja Ll.ehu,

awo,allew. yellewlm.

awo, a l l.ufi, yellufifilm.

8.wo,beTam Tlru new. beTam Tlru aydellem.

aWO,lCIlallehu.

awo,allefi.

aSSIr bIrr yellennlm.

awo,allefi.

mekina yeilefifilm.

awo,allun. mekinawoc yellunlm.

awo,allGw.

astemariw mekina yellewlm.

8wo,blZU mekinawocc allut. blZU mekinawoc yellut~m.

awo,allat.

meS~haf yellat~m.

awo,dehna new. dehna aydellem.

awo, a.c a.La Ll.ahu , awot meTf6 new meTfo aydellem. awo,allen.

yellefinm.

awo,allun. yellunlm.

41

UNIT 4

AMHARIC

a to kebbede amerika mehed y a c a La L'Lu t Keyy mekina alleh t

awo,Ylcllallu.

awo, a Ll.afi , ye LLcfifiam ,

lnnessu mekinawoc alluwaccew t

awo,alluwaccew. yelluwaccewlm.

mekinawoc Tlrcr na c c sw t

, "

awo, 'I'a.r-u naccew.

a bba t i.wo 'I'a.r-u seat allaccew t

avlO, allaccew. yellaccewlm.

me k l.na c c ahu beTam Tlru new t

, I

awo,Tlru new.

Tlru ayydellem.

temariwocc amar1I1D~ yaHKallu t a gor-a.h rUK new t

awo,yawKallu.

" ,

awo,ruK new.

rUK aydellem.

mekinaccew lZZ ill new t

awo, lzz:Lh new. lzz:Lh aydellem.

astemariw blZU temariHocc allutt

awo,allut. yellutlm.

awo,yawKallu.

abba t iwo abba ten yawKallu t babur· Tabiyaw ruK new t

, ,

awo,ruK new.

rUK ayde1L,m.

,

ant o temari neh t awo, temar:L nsfi,

reJJlm lrsas al1eh t awo,a11eh.

and reJJlm temari 1iyasayyun Ylcl1a11u t awo, lCl1a11ehu.

42

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 5

Un i t 5

Ba s a.c Sentences

John

Hello.

newcomer, guest

one who ne ce i.ve s

teKebbay

hotel receptlonlst

a ng i da teKebbay

Hello.

~ng~da teKebbay

Ten~ YlsTllllfi.

ln, lns~de

w~sT

ill the hotel empty

behotelu wlsT/~hotelu wlsT

- -- --

bado

room, sect~on, d~v~s~on, class, classroom

Do you have an empty room ~n th~s hotel"

bezzih hotel w~sT, bado klfl allewot t

~.t.

Yes, I have.

~wo, allen.

John

rent

kiray kirayu s~nt new.

How much ~s the rent"

~.t.

week

samm~nt

~ two to ten

From two to ten [Eth~op~an] dollars a week.

kehulett ~skass~r

besammlnt kehulett lskasslr b~rr

new.

John

to see

mayet

I want, I!m looklng for

~fell~gallehu

klflun mayet lfell~gal18hu.

I!d l~ke to see the room.

43

UNIT 5

AMHARIC

rIll show you, rIm showlng you All rlght, rIll show [It] to you.

ltls not bad

If you tell me

J take, rIm taklng, rIll take

It lsnlt bad. Jf you tell me how much It lS ('the rentl) rIll take l t (I bh a s room I ).

master, owner; rlch

s i.r (Imy ma a t.er t l

Jtls ten dollars a week.

thlngs, belonglngs, goods

have (somebody) brlng (somethlng) (pol. lmperatlve)

Have them brlng my thlngs (for me). food

dlnlng room, restaurant

And where lS the dlnlng room~

fust

story, floor

upstalrs

Jt's on the flrst floor.

Thank you.

l.t.

John

l.t.

John

l.t.

John

asayylwotallehu lssi,asaYYlwotallehu.

aykefam

binegrun

lwesdallehu

aykefam. kirayun binegr~n, ylhln klfl lwesdallehu.

geta

getaye

besammlnt slmmlnt b{rr new, getaye.

lKa

yasgebbu

lKayen yasgebbullln. mlgb/mlglb

mlglbbet mlglbbetuss yet new.

andenna

foK

lfoKlay / befoKlay andeiifiaw foKlay new.

19ziyabher Ylstllllfi.

The'flrst floor' In Ethlopla corresponds to the Isecondl floor In U.S.A.

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 5

Structure Sentences

Perfectlve

town, c a ty

ketema

I went

he dhu/hedku wede ketem~ hedhu.

I went to town.

house, home

you (m) looked for, wanted You (m) looked for a house.

bet

fellegh b~t fellegh.

money

genzeb fellegs genzeb fellegs.

you (f) looked for, wanted You (f) wanted money.

a man

sewlyye

the man

sewlyyew

to call

meTrat

he wanted

fellege

The man wanted to call hls father.

sewlyyew abba tun meTrat fellege.

a woman

the woman

she saw

ayyec

The woman saw her mother.

setlyyowa lnnatwan ayyec.

to Kebbede

12kebbede

cup

slnl

coffee

bunna/bun

we gave

seTTen

lekebbede and slni bunn~ seTTen.

We gave a cup of coffee to Kebbede.

study, knowledge, lesson

school

tlmlhlrtbet/temaribet

you (pI.) went

You (pl.) went to school.

hedacclhu

lnnante wede tlmlhlrtbet hedacclhu.

they (~I you, he, she (pol. )) saw

ayyu

The students saw the dlnlng room.

temariwoc mlglbbetun ayyu.

45

UNIT 5

AMHARIC

Grammatlcal Notes

Note 5.1 Verb. Perfectlve

lndemln adderu.

mln alu t

wede ketem~ hedhu.

abba tun meTr~t fellege.

lnnatwan ayyec.

seTTen.

mlglbbetun ayyu.

'How have you spent the nlght~ I

What dld you say~

I went to town.

He wanted to call hls father.

We gave.

She saw her mother.

They saw the dlnlng room.

In Amharlc as In other Semltlc l~guages the verbs are llsted In dlCtlonarles In the 3rd person mascullne slngular Perfectlve form and not In the 'Inflnltlve' as In so many other languages.

Thus the verb 'to want' lS llsted under /fellege/ 'he wanted', the verb 'to see' under /ayye/ 'he saw', etc.

The great maJorlty of Amharlc verbs have three baslc consonants (tradltlonally known as 'radlcal' or 'root' consonants) the second of whlch lS almost always doubled.

There are, however, a great number of verbs wlth two, four, or even flve radlcals. Some of the two-radlcal verbs, such as /ayye/ 'he saw' /hede/ 'he went', etc. are among the most common ones.

The classlflcatlon of Amharlc verbs wlll be gradually lntroduced In the later unlts.

Followlng lS a llst of varlOUS verb forms whlch have occurred In Unlts 1 through 5 together wlth the correspondlng Perfectlve form In the rlght hand column.

Forms In the Unlts

adderu they spent the nlght
yadrlsufi take me
alu they sa a.d
lnnlref let us rest
yasayyufi show me
yasgebbulllfi have them brlng for me
awKallehu I know
mayet to see Parfectlve Forms

addere aderrese

ale arrefe

asayye asgebba

ayye

46

he spent the nlght he took (caused to arrlve)

he sald he rested he showed

he had (someone) brlng (somethlng)

he knew

he saw

UNIT 5

BASIC COURSE

cale deggePle fellege hede

keffa keffele keffete messele meTTa neggere seTTe tebale temeseggene Terra

'he could' 'he repea ted' 'he wanted' 'he went'

'lt became bad'

'he pald, he dlvlded' 'he opened'

'lt seemed'

'he came'

'he told'

Ylcllallu yldgemut fellege mehed

a y ka f'am llkfellwot klfetu Ylmeslal meTTu binegruD YlsT1111D Ylbbalal Ylmmesgen meTrat

'you can' 'repeat ltJ' 'he wanted' 'to go'

'lt a sn t t bad' 'let me pay you' 'open'

'lt seems'

'they came'

'If you tell me'

'let hlm glve for me' t i t lS sa i d '

'let hlm be pralsed' 'to call'

'I'll take'

'he gave'

, 1 t wa s sa a d ' 'he was pr-a z se d ' 'he called'

'he took'

'he closed'

'he turned (lntr.) he toured'

lwesdallehu

wessede

'close'

zegga

ZlgU Ylzuru

'turn} ,

zore

The Amharlc Perfectlve Stem Play end elther In a consonant, or ln a vowel, e.g.:

Consonant Stem:

Vowel Stem:

/fellege/ 'he wanted'

/ayye/ 'he saw'

(stem: /felleg-/)

(Stem: /ayye-/l

Slngular

Plural

Slngular

Plural

fellegn/fellegln

1st p. felleghu
2nd p.m. fellegh
2nd p.r. feUegs
2nd p.pol. fellegu
3rd p.m. fellege
3rd p.f. fellegec
3rd p.pol. fellegu ayyehu ayyeh

ayyen

v

ayyes

ayyu

fellegacclhu

a yya c c rhu

ayye

ayyec

fellegu

ayyu

47

UNIT 5'

AMHARIC

The complete set of Perfectlve personal endlng8 18:

1st p.
2nd p.m.
2nd p.i'.
2nd p s po L,
3rd p.masc.
3rd p.fem. 3rd p.m. and f. (pol.)

Slngular Plural.

-hu / -Jcu '

-h / -k'

1st p.

-n/-ln (after consonants only)

-n ccahu ' •

2nd p. 3rd pers.

-u· ..

-e after consonants

-zero after /e/ and /e/

-ec(c) "after consonants

-c(c) "after /e/ and /a/

allehu alleh alles aIle allec allen allacclhu allu

0) /-hu/ after /g/, /k/, /K/, and vowels; otherwlse /-hu/ or /-ku/ I-hi after /g/, /k/, /K/, and vowels; otherWlse I-hi or /-k/

-u· ..

•• ) Before Verb SuffLX Pronouns these endlngs are:

2nd p.f. /-81-/

3rd p.f. /-eccl-/ after consonants, /-CC1-/ after vowels

•.• ) Vowel stems drop thelr flnal vowel and the suffLX ~s affLXed dlrectly to the precedlng consonant.

The verb /al18/ 'he eXlsts, lS present' denotes the present tense but takes the personal endlngs of the Perfectlvel

'I am present'

'you (m) are present' 'you (1') are present' 'he a s present'

'she a s present'

'we are present'

'you (pl.) are present'

'they (he, she, you -pol.) are present'

Note 5.2 Verbl Verb forms /allec/ 'she eXlsts', and /yellecclm/ 'she does not eXlst' as equlvalents to Engllsh 'have' and 'have not' wlth femlnlne obJect (see also Note 4.2).

Slnce the thlrd person femlnlne of the verb /alle/ lS /alleccl-/ before Verb SuffLX Pronouns (Note 5.1), the equlvalents of 'have' and 'have not' when what lS possessed lS femlnlne are as follows. (The constructlon lS, 11terally, t some thang (femlnlne) a s to me, to you, e t c t , },

a Ll.c c c afi 'I have'
allecclh 'you (m) have'
allecc18 'you ( f) have'
allecclwo 'you (pol. ) have'
a Ll.s c c aw 'he has' alleccat 'she has'

alleccln 'we have'

alleccacclhu 'you have' alleccaccew 'they have'

48

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 5

and
ye1leccll'ifhm 'I don't have'
ye1lecclhlm 'you (m) don't have'
yellecc1slm 'you (f) don't have'
ye11ecc1wotlID 'you (pol. ) don't have'
ye1lecc1w1m 'he doesn't have'
yelleccat1m ' she doesn't have'
yellecc1n1m 'we don't have'
ye11eccacc1hum 'you (pI) don't have'
ye1leccaccew1m 'they don't have' Note 5.3. Pronoun: Verb suff1X pronouns used w1th Perfect1ve.

The suff1X obJect pronouns are afflXed to the verb forms ln the Perfectlve accordlng to the chart glven 1n Note 3.2.1.

Th1S 1S lllustrated by the follow1ng examples1

Consonant stem /felleg-/

SubJect: F1rst Person

felleghut felleghuh felleghus felleghuwot felleghuwat

'I wanted hlm/lt 'I wanted you(m) 'I wanted you(f)

'I wanted you(pol.) 'I wanted her'

felleghuwaccew

fel1eghuwacc1hu 'I wanted you(pl.)

'I wanted them/ h1m, ayyehuwaccew her (po L, )

ayyehuwacc1hu 'I saw you (pl.)

'I saw them/h1m, her (pol. )

SubJect: Second person mascul1ne

fel1eghefi. felleghew felleghat felleghen felleghaccew

'you wanted me' 'you wanted h1m/1t' 'you wanted her' 'you wanted us' 'you wanted them/

h rm , her (pol.)

SubJect. Second person fem1nlne

ayyehut ayyehuh ayyehus ayyehuwot ayyehuwat

ayyehefi ayyehew ayyeha t ayyehen ayyehaccew

Vowel stem /ayye-/

'I saw hlm/l t 'I saw you lm) 'I saw you l f)

'I saw you (pol.) 'I saw her'

'you saw me' 'you saw hlm/lt' 'you saw her' 'you saw us'

'you saw them/hlm, her (poL)

fellegslfi. 'you wanted me' ayyeslfi 'you saw me'
felleghw 'you wanted hlm/lt' v hlm/lt'
ayyeslw 'you saw
fellegsat 'you wantec her' ayyesat 'you saw her'
fellegsln 'you wanted us' v
ayyesln 'you saw us'
fellegsaccew 'you wanted them/ v 'you them/hlm,
ayyesaccew saw her,
h i.m , her (poL) • (pol. )
49 UNIT 5

AMHARIC

Sub je c t s Thud person mascullne

fellegefi 'he wanted me' ayyefi 'he saw me'
fellegeh 'he wanted you(m) ayyeh 'he saw you(m) ,
felleges you(f) v 'he you(f) ,
'he wanted ayyes saw
fellegewot 'he wanted you I po L, ) ayyewot 'he saw you Cpo L. )
fellegew 'he wanted hlm/lt' ayyew 'he saw hlm/l t,
fellega t 'he wanted her' ayyat 'he saw her'
fellegen 'he wanted us' ayyeD 'he saw us'
fellegacclhu 'he wanted you' ayya cc ahu 'he saw youf p l , )
fellegaccew 'he wanted them/hlm, ayyaccew 'he saw them/hlm,
her (pol.) her (pol.)
Sub,]ectl Thud Eerson femlnlne fellegecclfi ' she wanted me' ayyecclfi
fellegecclh ' she wanted you(m) ayyecclh
fellegeccls ' she wanted you(f) v
ayyeccls
fellegecclwot 'she wanted you i po L, ) ayyecclwot
fellegecclw ' she wanted hlm/lt ayyecclw
fellegeccat 'she wanted her' ayyeccat
fellegeccln ' she wanted us' ayyeccln
fellegeccacclhu ' she wanted you(pol. ) ayyeccacclhu
fellegeccaccew 'she wanted them/hlm, ayyeccaccew
her (pol. ) Plural

SubJect: Flrst Eerson

'she saw me'
'she saw you(m) ,
'she saw you(f) ,
'she saw you l po L, ) ,
'she saw hlm/l t'
'she saw her'
'she saw us'
, she saw ycu Lpo.L. )
'she saw them/hlm,
he r I po L, ) fellegnlh 'we wanted you(m) ayyenlh 'we saw you(m)
fellegnls 'we wanted you(f) v you (f)
ayyenls 'we saw
fellegnlwot '1rJe wanted ycuf po L, ) ayyenlwot 'we saw you t po l , )
fellegnew 'we wanted hlm/lt ayyenew 'we saw hlm/l t
fellegnat 'we wanted her' ayyenat 'we saw her'
fellegnacclhu 'we wanted you i p L, ) ayyenac c ahu 'we saw you(pol
fellegnaccew 'we wanted them/hlm, ayyenaccew 'we saw them/hlm,
her (pol.) her (pol. ) SUbJect: Second Eerson

fellegacclhufi 'you wanted me' ayyacclhufi 'you saw me'
fellegacclhut 'you wanted hlm' ayyacclhut 'you saw h im '
f'e L'l aga c c rhuwa t 'you wanted her' ayyacclhuwat 'you saw her'
fellegacclhun 'you wanted us' ayyacclhun 'you saw us'
fellegacclhuwaccew 'you wanted them! ayyacclhuwaccew 'you saw them/hlm,
h im , her (pol. ) her (pol.) 50

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 5

Subject: 'I'h i.r-d person (or: he, she, you - po L, )

fellegufi 'they wanted me' ayyufi 'they saw me'
felleguh 'they wanted you(m) , ayyuh 'they saw you(m) I
fellegus 'they wanted youl f) , v 'they you(f) ,
ayyus saw
felleguwot 'they wanted you i po l )! ayyuwot 'they saw you I po L. ) ,
fellegut 'they wanted hlm/ltl ayyut 'they saw hlm/lt'
felleguwat 'they wanted her' ayyuwat 'they saw her'
fellegun 'they wanted us' ayyun 'they say us'
felleguwacclhu 'they wanted you(pl) ayyuwacclhu 'they saw you po L; ) ,
felleguwaccew 'they wanted them/' ayyuwaccew 'they saw them/hlm,
h irn , hez-I po L, ) I her (pol.) Note 5.4 Pronoun: Verb Sufflx Pronouns used In apposltlon for emphasls.

ylhln Kal Yldgemut

Repeat thls word ('It')l

The Verb Sufflx Pronouns are used not only to lndlcate the dlrect or lndlrect object of the verb (Note 3.2.1) as In /Yldgemut/ 'repeat It',

but can also be used wlth a verb whlch already has a noun as speclflc object, as In the sentence /Ylhln Kal Yldgemut/ above. The pronoun sufflX lS here In apposltlon to the precedlng noun object, whlch must have a deflnlte sufflX. The use of thls pronomlnal sufflx on the verb lS emphatlc and mayor may not be used by Amharlc speakers, e.g. 'he saw the house' may be elther /betun ayye/ or /betun ayyew/. The sufflx lS not used If the object of the verb lS lndeflnlte, e.g. /bet ayye/ or land bet ayye/ 'he saw a house'.

It should be noted that wlth the verbs whlch may have both dlrect and lndlrect objects -- for example 'to glve somethlng (dlrect obJect), to somebody (lndlrect obJect)'-the sur r ix pronoun lS usually the lndlrect object, and not an emphaslzer.

Examples:

meSlhafun seTTew. meSlhafun asayyat.

'He gave hlm the book. ' 'He showed her the book.'

but:

meSlhafun ayyew. Kalun deggemew.

'He saw the book (It), 2E: hls book' 'He repeated the word (It), ora hlS word'

Note 5.5 Preposltlons /k(e)-/ 'from'; /lsk(e)-/ 'to', 'up to'; /l(e)-/ 'for', 'to'.

kehulett lskasslr blrr new. lekebbede and slni bunna seTTen.

'It's from two to ten dollars. I

'We gave a cup of coffee to Kebbede.

51

UNIT 5

AMHARIC

Note 5.5.1 /k(el-/ 'from'

The preflx preposltlon /k(el-/, (/ke-/ before consonants /k-/ before vowels), lS equlvalent to the Engllsh preposltlon 'from', when afflXed to nouns, thelr modlflers or to the verbal nouns ('Inflnltlves 'l. Other meanlngs of /k(el-/, as well as ltS use as a relatlonal afflX to verbs wlll be dlscussed In later unlts.

In some AmharlC dlalects thlS preflx lS /t(e1-/. The /t(el-/

form appears In some compounds, such as /best(el-/ (Note 4.6.1l = /be + lste/ for /be ~ lske/; /tekkul/ (Note 8.1) = /te ~ lkkul/ for Ike + lkkul/, etc.

Note 5.5.2 /lsk(e)-/ 'up to', 'to'

besammlnt kehulett lskasSlr blrr new.

'It lS from two to ten dollars a week. '

The preflX preposltlon /lsk(el-/ (/lsk-/ before vowels, /lske-/ before consonants) corresponds In meanlng to the Engllsh preposltlon 'to', 'up to'. Thls preposltlon may be used elther lndependently as In the above example or wlth the postposltlon /dlres/ 'up to'. e.g.

kebetu lske babur Tabiya dlres hede.

'He went from hlS house up to the rallroad statlon. '

kezzih lskeketemaw dlres beTam ruK new.

'It's very far from here to the clty.'

Note 5.5.3 /l(e)-/ 'for', 'to'

The preflx preposltlon /l(e)-/ (/le-/ before consonants, /1-/ before vowels) corresponds In meanlng to the Engllsh preposltlons 'for' or 'to' when afflXed to nouns, thelr modlflers or verbal nouns ('Inflnltlves'l. Other usages of thlS afflx wlll be dlscussed In later unlts.

Note 5.6

POStPOSl t a.oris I The POStPOSl t.a.ons /wlsT/ 'In', 'lnslde' and /lay/ 'on', 'upon' used In comblnatlon wlth the preflX preposltlons

/b(e )-/ or /1-/.

bezzih hotel wlsT bado klfl allewot t

'Do you have an empty room In bh i a ho t.e Lz '

lfoKlay new.

'It's u sp s ta a.r-a , '

andefiflaw foKlay new.

'It's on the flrst floor.'

/wlsT/ 'In', 'lnslde' and /lay/ 'on', 'upon' follow the word they govern. These postposltlons may appear elther In sufflX forms, as In /lfoKlay/ or as separate words, as In /lfoK lay/.

Both /wlsT/ and /lay/ are used In comblnatlon wlth the preflX preposltlon /b(el-/ (see Unlt 4.6.11 or /1/ (zero before /a/ and /1/, see Note 3.3), e.g. /bebete wlsT/ or /lbete wlsT/ 'In my house'; /bandenfiaw foKlay/ or /andenfiaw foKlay/ 'on the flrst floor'.

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 5

Amhar~c has a great number of such construct~ons, ~.e. postpos~t~ons used ~n comb~nat~on w~th certa~n preposltlons. These constructlons wl11 be dlscussed In later unlts.

Note 5.7

Nouni SuffLXes /-lyye/ and /-lYYO/

sewlyyew abba tun meTrat fellege.

'The man wanted to call h~s father. '

setlyyowa nnatwan ayy~c.

'The woman saw her mother. '

The words /sew/ 'man, person' and /set/ 'female, woman' have alternat1ve forms /sewlyye/ 'a man' and /setlYYo/ 'a woman'. Thus, land sew meTTa/ or land sew~yye meTTa/ both mean 'a man came'; land set meTTac/ or land setlYYo meTTac/ 'a WOman came'. When addressed dlrectly to a person /sew{yye/ means someth~ng l~ke 'hey you}' and /set{yyo/ 'hey lady!'

The word /sew/ wlth the defln1te suffLX ~s /sewlyyew/ and /set/ a s /set1yyowa/.

Note 5.7.1 Noun. Defln1te Sufflxes /-lyyew/ and /~yyewa/.

Parallel to the words /sew/ and /set/ the nouns of relatlonshlp have regular def~nlte suffLXes /-lyyew/ w~th the mascul~ne nouns and /-lyyewa/ wlth the femln~ne nouns (wlth some speakers these suffLXes may be /-lYYOW/ and /-lyyowa/). Examples:

abbat 'father' abbatlyyew 'the father'
1nnat 'mother' lnnatlyyewa 'the mother'
bal 'husband' ballyyew 'the husband'
mist 'w1fe' mistlyyewa 'the w1fe'
wend1m 'brother' wendlmmlyyew 'the brother'
1hlt/~t 'slster' lhlt~yyewa 'the slster'
aggot 'uncle' aggotlyyew 'the uncle'
ak1st 'aunt' aklstlyyewa 'the aunt' These nouns may also have forms ln /-lyye/ (see Note 5.7). They have a connotatl0n of endearment or tender faml11arlty rather than that of ~ndef~nlteness, e.g. /wendlmm1yye/ 'my dearest brother', /lhltlyye/ 'my dearest s a s t.e r ! , 'SlS', etc.

The suff1X /-lyye/ may sometlmes be aifLXed even to adJect1ves, e.g. /KonJo/ 'pretty', /KonJlyye nat/ 'she lS cute'.

Note 5.B

Numerals: Ord1nals

andennaw foKlay new.

'It's on the f1rst floor.'

The ordlnals are formed from the card1nals by the addlt1Gn of the suffLX /-enna/ after consonants, /-nna/ after vowels.

Examples I and hulett

'one' 'two'

a ndafifia hulettenna

'flrst' 'second'

53

UNIT 5

AMHARIC

Substltutlon-Correlatlon Drlll

1) Change the form of the underllned verb to agree wlth the pronouns llsted to the rlght of each sentence.

wede ketema hede.

and slni bunna fellege. mec meTTa.

betun ~.

m i.n ale t

lem~n seTTe.

maDDln awweKe.

lne, anci, lnna, lnnessu, lrswa lrslWo, lnnante, ante, lrsaccew lnna, lne, anci, lrswa, lnnessu lDDante, lrSlWO, ante, lrsaccew lne, ante, anci, lrswa, lnnessu lrSlWO, lnnante, ante, lrsaccew lne, lnna, ante, lnnessu, anci

2) Change the underllned verb sufflX pronoun to agree wlth the pronouns llsted to the rlght of each sentence.

meSlhafun seTTew.

lrsasun asayyat.

wede Tabiyaw wesseden.

lene, lers l1rJO, lennersu, lerswa, lante, lennante.

lerslwo, lene, lante, lenna, lennessu, lanci, lennante.

anten, ancin, lnnanten, lnnan, lnnersun, lrswan, lrsun.

Questlons and Answers - /TlyyaKewocclna melsoc/

ato kebbede abbatlnna lnnatun wede tlmlhlrtbet Terraccew t

ato tesemma wedamerika m8c hede. ato tesemma Y8t hotel addere.

ato kebbeden wede hotel man aderresew. astemariwa min alec.

antenna ato tesemma y~t arrefaCClhu. lnglda teKebbayu klflun asayyeE t lKaWln m~n asgebbaw.

lrSlWO amerika wlsT s{nt sewoc awweKu. astemariwoc ltlmlhlrtbet wlsT s~nt

temariwocc ayyu.

temariwoc wede tlmlhlrtbetaccew mehed calu t

Kalun man deggemew.

wede mlglbbet mehed man fellege. a t o kebbede mo Sa.ha f'un keffete1rJ t

awo, lSSU hulettun wede tlmlhlrtbetu Terraccew.

tlnant hede.

19iyon hotel wlsT addere.

ato tesemma aderresew. astemariwa temariwoccun Terrac. 19iyon hotel wisT arrefln.

awo, hulett Tlru klfloc asayyen. lnglda teKebbayu asgebbaw.

aSSlr sewocc awweKhu.

slmm{nt temariwocc ayyu.

awo, ahun mehed calu.

temariwocclnna, astemariwoc deggemut.

ato kebbedenna, ato lemma fellegu. ~wo. keffetew.

54

BASIC COURSE

UNIT' 5

lebetu kiray sint birr keffelu. astemariwa keyet ager meTTac. ato kebbedo min neggereh.

y i.h i.n mo Sa.ha f m~n se'TTacCihu. temariwoc beTam temeseggenu t abba tiS m~n Yibbalal. meSlhafun wede tlmihirtbet man

wessedew.

timihirtbetun man zeggaw. ketemawin m~n zore.

sewiyyew kamerika mec meTTa. setiyyowa mec wede timihirtbet hedec. ato Jon and sini bunna seTTeh t

ate kebbede Tiru timlhirt allew t wede t.arm.h i.r-t.be t mehed fellege t ingida teKebbayu dehna kifl allewt getah wedamerika hedu t

izzih and ingida meTTa t

temariwoc bado kifl fellegu t lekiflu sint birr keffelec. lemeSlhafu sint birr ko f'f s La ,

ato kebbede a.Kawun r.ba do ka r'L w i s I' asgebba t

migbun wede bet man wessedew.

ato tesemmanna ato kebbede andennaw

fOKlay min ayyu. genzeb m~n seTTes. balls y8t alle. mistih mec~ meTTac. wendim alles t

ihitih min fellegec. aggotaccihu man new. akistis astemari nat t

Narrative

lesammint, aSSir birr keffelu. kamerika meTTac.

wedamerika mehedun neggeren. astemariyaccin seTTecCin. ~wo) beTam temeseggenu.

ato tesemma Yibbalal. ascemari.-J wossedew.

ato lemma zeggaw. abbac~ z or s , tlnant meTTa. barat se~t hedec.

,

awo, seTTen.

awo, beTam Tiru timihirt allew. awo , follege.

,

awo, and beTam Tiru kifl allew.

awo, tinant hedu.

,

awo, and ingida meTTa.

awa, simmint bado kifloc fellegu. aSSir birr keffelec.

hulett birr keffele.

,

awo, asgebba.

inenna innat~ wessednew. and migibb~t ayyu.

ascemariw seTTen. itlmlhlrtbet WisT alle. tinant barat seat meTTac. ~wo, sost wendimmocc allun. and meSihaf fellegec.

ata kebbede new.

awo, astemari nat.

tinanc wodato yohannis bet hedhunna, abbatinna nnacun ayyehu. aco yohannis beTam Tiru abbatinna nnat allut. innessu astemariwoc naccew. lSSU beTam Tiru mekina allew. inna bemekinaw wede timihirtbetu hednlnna, migibbetun ayyen. timihircbetu beTam Tlru new. ate kebbedenna ato tesemma izzih timihirtbet WisT allu. lnnessu ityoPiyawiy~n naccew. negergin ato yahannis amerikawi new.

5S

UNIT 5

AMHARIC

TlyyaKewoc

ato yohannls mln allew.

a to yoha nna s i tyoplyawl new t

wedato yohannls abbatlnna lnnat bet mece hedhu. ate yohannls mekina allew t

betlmlhlrtbetu wlsT ityoPlyawiyan temariwQcc allu t mlglbbetu y~t new.

abbatlnnannatu Tlru naccew t

ate kebbedenna ate tesemma yet allu. lrSlWO mekina allewo t

56

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 6

Unlt 6

Easlc Sentences

tomorrow

mor-m.ng

you (m) are dOlng

What are you dOlng tomorrow mornlng, Mr. Kebbede~

kebbede

out, outslde, forelgn, external

buslness, affalrs

Mlnlstry

Mlnlstry of Forelgn Affalrs

appolntment

because, slnce; about

I'm gOlng, I go, I wlll go

I h~ve an appolntment at the Mlnlstry of Forelgn Affalrs tomorrow mornlng. ('Slnce I have an appolntment tomorrow mornlng

at the Mlnlstry of Forelgn Affalrs, I'll go there').

lemma

Wl th whom

Wlth whom lS the appolntment~

kebbede

Mlnlster

Mlnlster of Forelgn Affalrs

(It lS) wlth the Mlnlster of Forelgn Affalrs.

lemma

behlnd, after

57

nege

Tlwat

tlseralleh

ato kebbede, nege Tlwat mln tlseralleh.

WlCC

gudday

minister

yewlCC gudday minister

KeTero

slle

lhedallehu

nege Tlwat, lWlCC gudday minister KeTero sllallefi, lzziya lhedallehu.

keman gar KeTerow keman gar new.

ministr

yewlCC gudday ministr keWlCC gudday ministru gar new.

hwala

UNIT 6

AMHARIC

afterwards ('from there after')

kezziya behwala

kezziya behwalass min tlseralleh.

And what are you gOlng to do afterwards'1

kebbede

work, Job, occupatlon

slra

free

neSa

Afterwards I don't ha ve a ny bh i.ng to do (, I don't have any work') [and] wlll be free.

kezziya behwala Slra yellennlm. neSS. neil.

lemma

well then

lngldiyamma

'Empress' (name of a hotel In Addls Ababa)

ltege

let us meet

lnnlggenafi

lngldiyamma, ltege hotel likk beslddlst seat lnnlggenafi.

Well then, let's meet In the Itege Hotel exactly at noon ('SlX o'clock') •

kebbede

flne, good, well

melkam

I'm comlng, come, wlll come

lmeTallehu

Very well, I'll come. Walt for me [there]}

melkam, lmeTallehu. TebblKen.

Structure Sentences

Imperfectlve

store, shop

suK

wede s~ lhedallehu.

I'm gOlng to a store.

you (m.) are comlng, come

tlmeTalleh

Are you comlng from the Amerlcan Embassy'l

kamerikan embassi tlmeTalleh t

you(f.) are seelng, see, wlll

tayalles

see

You'll see the students.

temariwoccun tayalles.

58

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 6

new

flower

AddlS Ababa

When are you gOlng to AddlS Ababa~

he lS drlnklng, drlnks, wlll drlnk

before hls gOlng

He'll have ('drlnk') [a cup of] coffee before gOlng to town.

she lS wantlng, wants, wlll want

ora looklng for, wlll look for

She's looklng for a hotel.

we are comlng, come, wlll come

We'll COme home In two hours.

you (pl.) are seelng, see, wlll see

today

You'll see the house tOday.

they are gOlng, go, wlll go

addis

abeba

addis abeba

,

lrSlWO wedaddis abeba mece

y rhe da Lj u ,

YlTeTTal

kemehedu befit

wede ketema kemehedu befit, bunna YlTeTTal.

hotel tlfelllgallec.

lnmeTallen

behulett seat wlsT, wede bet lnmeTallen.

tayallacclhu

zare

,

betun zare tayallacclhu.

Ylhedallu

teacher.

,

kastemariyaccQw gar, wede

tlmlhlrtbet Ylhedallu.

Grammatlcal Notes

They are gOlng to school wlth thelr

Note 6.1 The Relatlonal PrefLX /y(e)-/ yamerikan embassi, y~t new.

,

s i.me Jon new, yerslwoss t

yewlCC gudday ministr.

Where lS the Amerlcan Embassy~ My name's John, what's yours~ The Mlnlster of Forelgn Affalrs.

The prefLX /y(e)-/ lndlcates 'pertalnlng to' or 'possessed by'. It lS affLXed to the 'possessor' WhlCh always precedes the 'possessed' ltem, and lS generally equlvalent to Engllsh 'of' or the apostrophe-plus-s possesslve suf'f'ax , e.g.

/yetemariw bet/

/yaddis abeba ketema/

'the student's house' ('of the student [the] house')

'the Clty of Addls Ababa'

If the 'possessor' ltself lS modlfled, /y(e)-/ lS preflxed to the modlfler, e.g.

/yeKonJo set bet/ /yeTlruw temari meSlhaf/

'A house of a pretty glrl'.

'The good student's book'.

59

UNIT 6

AMHARIC

If a noun has more than one modlfler the relatlonal afflx /y(e)-/ lS preflxed to the flrst one only, e.g.

lzzih yereJJlmwa KonJo set meSlhaf aIle.

'Here lS the book of the tall pretty g i r L,'

If, however, the modlflers are separated by /-(l)nna/ 'and' or other conJunctlons the relatlonal afflx lS preflXed to both modlflers, e.g.

/yeKonJowanna yastewaYlwa temarf abbat meTTa./

'The father of the pretty and lntelllgent glrl student came. '

The relatlonal preflx /y(e)-/ lS not used after preposltlons and preflxes, and the posseSSlve relatlonshlp lS then lndlcated slmply by the word order, e.g.

/wede temariw bet hede/ 'He went to the student's house'.

/babbate bet wlsT/ 'In my father's house'.

The preflx /y(e)-/ lS afflXed to all the lndependent pronouns (Note 3.1) to form the 'possesslve pronouns', e.g. /yene/ 'mlne', /yante/ 'yours (m.) , /yessu/ "ha s ", etc.

Personal posseSSlon can, therefore, be expressed In Amharlc In two

ways: (1)
(see Note 4.4.) (2 )
meSlhafe 'my book' yene meSlhaf
meSlhafu 'hls book' yessu meSlhaf
meSlhafaccln 'our book' yefina meSlhaf
etc. etc. etc. The second constructlon lS often used to show emphasls, or to make the Ineanlng clear when the other form would be amblguous, e.g. /meSlhafu/ may mean 'hls book' or 'the (partlcular) book', whereas /yessu meSlhaf/ means 'hlS book' ('of hls the book') only.

Note that 'Amerlcan Embassy' can be sald In Amharlc In three ways: /yamerika embassi/ ( 'Embassy of Ame r i.ca '), /amerikan embassi/, da.ne c t.Ly borrowed from Engllsh, and /yamerikan embassi/.

Note 6.2 Verb; Inflnltlve

klflun mayet lfelllgallehu. I'd llke to see the room.

sewlyyew abbatun meTrat fellege. The man wanted to call hls father.

The lnflnltlve lS characterlzed by the preflx /m(e)-/, e.g. /meTrat/ 'to call', /mehed/ 'to go', /mayet/ 'to see', etc. (for the loss of the vowel /e/ see Note 3.3).

The use of the Inflnltlve lS often equlvalent to that of Engllsh, as an /mayet lfelllgallehu/ 'I want to see '. tV-hen used as a verbal noun, It may have the preflxes and sufflxes characterlstlcally attached to nouns, as, for example In /kemehedu befit/ 'before hls gOlng' (preflx Ike-I, sufflx

/-u/) .

60

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 6

Note 6.3 Verb: Imperfectlve.

The Structure Sentences of thls unlt show the use of the Imperfectlve form, whlch lS used wlth reference to present and future actlon. The Imperfectlve has a set of preflxes and the sufflX /-all-/, wlth personal endlngs. It may be lllustrated by the followlng example:

The verb /m8f8118g/ 'to want, to look for'

Slngular

1st pers. lf811lgal18hu 'I 1rlant'
2nd pers.m. tlf811lgal18h 'you want'
2nd pers.f. tlf8111giya1l8s 'you want'
3rd pe r s s m , ylf811lgal 'he wants'
3rd pers.f. tlf811lgal18c 'she wants' Plural

'we want'

tlf811lgallacclhu

'you want'

Ylf811lgallu 'they (or: pollte you, he, she) want'

Thls verb has the followlng afflxes:

Slngular

Plural

1st pers. l-- - --- a 11- 8-hu
2nd pers .m. tl------all-8-h
2nd pers.f. tl--iy--all-8-s
3r? pers.m. yl------al
3rd pers. f. tl------all-8c tl------all----acclhu

yl------all----u

Except for the thlrd person slngular mascullne sufflX (/-al/), these sufflXes are ldentlcal wlth the verb /al18/ (see Note 5.1).

The example above shows /iy/ before /-all-/ In the second person femlnlne slngular. If the consonant precedlng /-iy-/ (l.e. the last consonant of the stem) lS one of the followlng elght consonants, It (and /-iy-/) are replaced as follows:

/t-iy-/ by /c/, as In /tlk8fcal18s/ 'you (f.) open' (masc. /tlk8ftal18h/) /d-iy-/ by /J/, as In /tlheJal18s/ 'you (f.) go' (masc. /tlhedal18h/) /T-iy-/ and /S-iy-/ by /C/, as In /tlm8Cal18s/ 'you (f.) come'

(masc. /tlm8Tal18h/)

/s-iy-/ by /s/, as In /tad8rsal18s/ 'you (f.) cause to arrlve'

(masc. /tad8rsal18h/)

/z-iy-/ by /z/, as In /tlg8zal18s/ 'you (f.) buy'

(masc. /tlg8zal18h/)

61

UNIT 6

AMHARIC

/n-iy-/ by /n/, as In /tlmmeseggenalles/ 'you (f.) are pralsed'

(masc. /tlmmeseggenalleh/)

/l-iy-/ by /y/, as In /tlyalles/ 'you (f.) say' (masc. /tllalleh/)

Wlth SOme speakers only the consonant precedlng /-iy-/ lS replaced.

The second person femlnlne slngular lS then:

/t! replaced by /c/ /tlkefciyalles/
/d/ ' , , , h/ /tlhe Jiyalles/
/T/ and /S/ ' , , , /C/ /tlmeCiyalles/
/s/ ' , , , /s/ /tldersiyalles/
/z/ ' , , , /z/ /tlgeziyalles/
/n/ ' , , , /n/ /tlmmeseggeniyalles/
/1/ ' , , , /y/ / tliyalles/ Verbs In /a-/ lose the vowel /l/ of the preflxes (see Note 3.3) as In /awKallehu/ 'I know'J /yadral/ 'he spends the nlght', etc.

The verb /malet/ 'to say' lS 'lrregular'. Its ImperfecGlve form lS as follows:

llallehu

'I say, am saylng, wlll say' 'you (m.) say, etc.'

'you (f.) say, etc.'

tllalleh

tlyalles

Yllal

'he says, etc.'

tllallec

'she says, etc.'

lnnllallen

'we say, etc.'

t.a La Ll.a c c r.hu

'you say, etc.'

Yllallu

'they say, etc.'

Followlng lS a complete Ilst of the verbs that have already occured In Unlts 1 through 6. The verbs are llsted In the Inflnltlve, In the 3rd person mascullne slngular Perfectlve, and In the 3rd person mascullne slngular Imperfectlve.

Inflnltlve
Three-Radlcal Verbs
1) 'A' medgem 'to repeat
mekfel 'to pay'
mekfet 'to open'
memsel 'to seem'
menger 'to tell'
mewsed 'to take' Perfectlve

Imperfectlve

deggeme keffele keffete

Yldegmal Ylkeflal Ylkeftal Ylmeslal Ylnegral Ylwesdal

messele

neggere wessede

62

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 6

'B' -mefelleg --meTebbeK

'to want

'to walt fori to look after'

2) Two-Radlcal Verbs In I-al

'A' mekfat -memTat mesrat meTra t -r maz ga t

'B' meTeTTat

3) others

'to become bad'

'to come'

'to work' 'to call' 'to close'

'to dr a.nk '

mesTet 'to g i ve '

madres 'to cause to arrlve'

ma del' 'to spend the n i gh t '

maref 'to rest'

maweK 'to know'

masgebbat 'to cause to enter'

mehed 'to go'

mecal 'to be able'

mezor 'to turn'

mayet 'to see'

masayyet 'to show'

malet 'to say'

mebbal 'to be sald'

memmesgen 'to be pralsed'

meggenafifiet 'to meet'

Note 6.4 Verb: Classlf1cat1on.

Perfect1ve

fellege TebbeKe

keffa meTTa

serra Terra

zegga

TeTTa

Imperfect1ve

Ylfell1gal Y1TebblKal

Y1kefal Y1meTal Y1seral Y1Teral y i z aga I

Y1TeTTal

seTTe Y1seTal

aderrese yadersal

addere yadral

arrefe yarfal

awweKe yawKal

asgebba yasgebbal

hede Y1hedal

cale Ylc1lal

zore Y1zoral

ayye yayal

asayye yasayyal

ale Y1lal

tebale Ylbbalal

temeseggene Ylmmeseggenal

tegenafifie Y1ggenafifial

As ment10ned 1n Note 5.1 a class1flcat1on of Amharlc verbs wlll be gradually lntroduced 1n ~ater unlts. The IlSt of verbs In Note 6.3 above, makes lt posslble for us to lntroduce the two maln classes of verbs, 1.e. the so-called regular three-rad1cal verbs (types 'A' and 'B') and the regular two-radlcal verbs 1n I-al (types 'A' and 'B').

Note 6.4.1 Three-Rad1cal Verbs (types 'A' and 'B').

The regular three-rad1cal verbs have the follow1ng d1str1but1on of vowels and root consonants ('rad1cals'):

63

UNIT 6

AMHARIC

In the Perfect1ve both types have 1dent1cal formula:

le~~el - where l, ~ and 1 stand for the f1rst, second and th1rd rad1cals respect1vely.

Examples:

Type AI neggere 'he told'

Type B. fellege 'he wanted'

(The /-e/ 1S the end1ng for the th1rd person slngular.).

In the Inf1n1t1ve:

Type A: me12e3 as 1n /menger/ 'to tell', and Type B: me~e~~e2 as 1n /mefelleg/ 'to want'

In the Imperfect1ve:

Type A: -~e~2- as 1n /Y1-negr-al/ 'he 1S tell1ng, he tells, he w111 tell', and

Type B. -~e~~l~- as 1n /Y1-fell1g-al/ 'he 18 want1ng, he wants, he w1ll want'.

Th1S shows that the Imperfect1ve form of type A and B verbs 1S always pred1ctable from the1r Inf1n1t1ve form.

If the Inf1n1t1ve 1S me~~e~ (Type A) the Imperfect1ve 1S -~e~2-

Example:

/mewsed/ 'to take'

/Y1wesdal/ '4e takes'

Example.

/mefelleg/ 'to want'

/Y1fell1gal/ 'he wants'

Note that the second rad1cal of Type B verbs 1S always doubled.

In summary:
Inf1n1t1ve Perfect1ve ImEerfect1ve
Type A me~~e2 ~e~~e2- -~en-
menger neggere Y1-negr-al
Type B me!e~~e2 ~e~~e2- -le2213-
- -- -
mefelleg fellege Y1-fell1g-al 64

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 6

Note 6.4.2. Regular two-radlcal verbs In /-a/ (types 'A' and 'B').

The dlstrlbutlon of vowels and consonants ('radlcals') of the regular two-radlcal verbs In /-a/ IS:

Inflnltlve Pe r-f'e c b i.ve Imperfectlve

Type A me12at le22a Yl-~e~-al
mesrat serra Yl-ser-al
Type B mele22at le22a Yl-1:-e?~-al
meTeTTat TeTTa YI-TeTT-al Note that the Inflnltlve of the regular two-radlcal verbs In /-a/ ends In /-at/.

Note also that the second radlcal of Type B verbs IS always

doubled.

Note 6.5 Verb: Notatlon.

Beglnnlng wlth gRlt 7 the three baS1C forms (l.e. Inflnltlve, Perfectlve and Imperfectlve) of all verbs oCCurlng for the flrst tlme In the Baslc or Structure Sentences or In the Narratlves wlll be glven In the bUlld-ups as follows:

'to take'

wessede-mewsed-Ylwesdal

'to go'

hede-mehed-Ylhedal, etc.

After the student has thoroughly famlllarlzed hImself wlth all 'regular' verbs (l.e. three-, two-, four-radIcal verbs and other 'predlctable' verbs), the InfInltlve forms only wlll be gIven In the bUlld-ups whIle the three baS1C forms wlll contlnue to be glven for the 'Irregular' verbs only.

Note 6.6. Postposltlons:

The postposltlon /garNgara/ 'wlth' comblned wIth the prefIX preposltlon /k(e)-/.

,

KeTerow keman gar new.

'WI th whom IS the appo arrtme nt.z'

,

kewICC gudday winistru gar new.

'It's wIth the MInIster of ForeIgn

Af'f'a r.r s , '

The postposltlon /gar/ (/gara/ In some dIalects) IS used In combInatIon wlth the preflx preposltlon /k(e)-/. The resultlng constructIon corresponds In meanlng to Engllsh 'wlth' (together wlth, accompanIed by).

In spoken AmharIC /gar/ usually appears In the form of a suffIX /-gar/, e.g. /kekebbedegar/ 'wlth Kebbede,' /kenegar/, 'WIth me, ' /kersugar/ 'wlth hlm, ' etc.

65

UNIT 6

AMHARIC

Note 6.7.

The use of /k(e)- ..• befit/ 'before' and /k(e)- •.. behwala/ 'after.'

kemehedu befit bunna YlTeTTal.

,

kezziya behwala mln tlseralleh.

'He'll have [a cup of] coffee before he leaves. '

'1r[hat are you go mg to do after t.ha t t

The preflx preposltlon /k(e)-/ lS preflxed to words followed by

/befit/ 'before' and /behwala/ 'after', e.g. /kand seat befit/ 'an hour ago' 'before one hour'), /ketlnant befi t/ ' the day before yesterday'; /kehulett seat behwala/ 'In two hours' ('after two hours'), /kenege behwala/ 'the day after t.ornor-r-ow ! ,

Kote that /keseat befit/ means 'before noon' and /keseat behwala/ 'In the afternoon'.

When used wlth verbs, l.e. In the subordlnate clauses correspondlng to Engllsh 'before dOlng so-and-so', or 'after dOlng so-and-so,' the Amharlc constructlons are as follows:

/k(e)- ••• befit/ lS used wlth the lnflnltlve, the subJect of the verb (from the Engllsh pOlnt of vlew) belng lndlcated by the noun sufflx pronoun afflxed to the lnflnltlve, as In /kemehedu befit/ 'before hlS gOlng', and /k(e)- •.• bahwa Lay' wlth the Pe r-f'e c t i.v e , e s g , /kehede behwala/ 'after he Hent' or 'after he goes'. Elther constructlon may be used In the subordlnate clause. The tlme reference lS speclfled by the tense of the verb used In the maln clause.

Examples:

kemehede befit bunna lTeTTallehu.

kemehede befit bunna TeTTahu.

kehedhu behwala bunna tlTeTTaleh.

kehedhu behwala bunna TeTTah.

'I'll have a cup of coffee before I leave'.

'1 had a cup of coffee before I left. '

'You'll have a cup of coffee after I leave. '

'You had a cup of coffee after I left. '

Questlons and Answers

,

lbet wlsT mador man Ylfeillgal.

a to lemma nege y~t yrhe da L, wede KeTeroh nege tlhedalleh t tlmlhlrtbetun m~c Ylkeftallu.

nege Tlwat y~t mehed Ylfeillgallu. leklflu kiray m~n Ylkeflal.

ato kebbodenna ato lemm~ Ylfeillgallu. wedagoru Ylhedal.

~wo, besost se~t lhedallehu.

,

nege Ylkeftallu.

weda tlmlhlrtb~t mehed lfeillgallehu. ato kebbedenna abbatu Ylkeflallu.

66

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 6

ylhln meSlhaf wede tlmlhlrtbet man Ylwesdal.

lnnante y~t mader tlfelllgallacclhu.

ato kabbe ds mak i.nawa.n Ylkeftal t lnnatlh m~c YlmeTallu.

bewlCC gudday minister w~sT mesrat tlfelllgalleh t

astemariwoc temariwoccun VJede betaccew ms 'I'r-a t Ylfelllgallu t ato ke bbada ms k i.naw t.n y a.z aga I t letemariwoc s~nt meSlhafoc mesTet tlfelllgalleh.

,

wede WlCC gudday minister man

memTat Ylfelllgal.

lKawln bemekinaw wlsT masgebbat

tlfelllgiyalles t

ylh neger m~n Ylbbalal. mec wedanci YlmeTal.

mekinawln m~c mayet tlfelllgiyalles. behwala m~n tlseralleh.

lzzih mannln tlTebblKiyalles. lebeT,u s~nt Ylkeflallu.

mekinahln lem~n mesTet tlfelllgalleh. yewlCC gudday ministrun wede betaccew

man yadersal.

addis abeba wlsT yet tarfiyalles.

lne lwesdallehu.

19iyon hotel w~sT mader lnfelllgallen.

I

awo, y i ke f t.a L,

,

nege YlmeTallu.

,

awo, lfelllgallehu.

~vw. y i z aga L,

aSSlr meSlhafoc lseTallehu.

lnfi~ memTat lnfelllgallen.

awo, lfelllgallehu.

meSlh~f Ylbbalal.

,

zare YlmeTal.

nege mayet lfelllgallehu. wede tlmlhlrtbet lhedallehu. ato lemm~n lTebblKallehu. aSSlr b~rr lkeflallehu. labbate lseTallehu.

kebbed~ yadersal.

giyon hotel arfallehu.

Substltutlon - Correlatlon Drlll

1) Change the form of the underllned verb to agree wlth the pronouns llsted to the rlght of each sentence.

meSlhafun lfelllgallehu. genzeb Ylkeflal. kebbeden YlTebblKallu.

,

ma c YlmeTal.

min tls8ralleh.

bunna YlTeTTal. meSlhafun lnseTallen. mesrat Ylcllal.

mln Yllal.

Ylhln bet tawKallec. kekebbedegar Ylggenannal.

ante, anci, lnnessu, lnna

z.ne , lrswa, lrsaccel" a.nna nt.s lrswa, lrsu, anci, lne lnnessu, lnna, ante, lnnante lrslwo, lrsaccew, anci, lrswa lne, ante, anci, lrswa

lnnessu, ante, lrsaccew, lrSlWO anci, ante, lrslwo, lrsaccew t.ne , a r awa , anc I , ante

lSSU, lnnessu, lnnante, lrSlWO lne, ante, anci, lrswa

UNIT 6

AMHARIC

bet ~nnasayyallen. ketemaw~n y~zoral.

wede ketema ~hedallehu. behotel w~sT yarfal. ~Kaw~n yasgebbal. temariwoccun yadersal.

I

leman y~negral.

mek~naw~n ~wesdallehu. k i t'Lun y~zegal. sew~yyew~n y~Teral.

~nnessu, ante, ~rsaccew, ~rswa ~fifia, ~ne, ante, ~nnante

~fifia, ~rs~wo, ante, anci ~nnante, lfifia, ~ne, ante ~rsaccew, ~nna, ~rswa, ante lne, lnna, lnnessu, ~nnante ~nna, ~nnante, anci, ~rswa ~ssu, ~fifia, ~rs~wo, ante ~rswa, ~rsaccew, ~nnante, lne ~ne, ~fifia, ante, anci

2) The ~nstructor w~ll say sentence 'A'. The student w~ll repeat the sentence. The ~nstructor w~ll say /befit/ 'before' or /behwala/ 'after' as l~sted to the r~ght of sentence 'A'.

The student w~ll then repeat sentence 'A' chang~ng the verb form accordlngly (sentence 'B').

A. genzebun kemekfele befit mo Sa.haf'un wessedhu.

B. genzdlJ,-<." .n.ekeffelhu behwala meS~hafun wessedhu.

behwala

A. mekinawln kezeggahu behwala miste meTTac.

B. mekinaw~n kemezgate befit miste meTTac.

befit

A. negerun kemengeru befit genzebun Ylwesdal.

B. negerun keneggere behwala genzebun y~wesdal.

A. mekinaw~n kemewsed~s befit abbats~n mayet t~c~yalles.

B. mekinawln kewesseds behwala abbats~n mayet t~c~yalles.

behwala

behwala

A. kebbeden kefellegh behwala and sew meTTa.

B. kebbeden kemefelleg~h befit and sew meTTa.

befit

A. awtobusun kemeTebbeKacc~n befit temariwoccun ayyen.

B. awtobusun keTebbeK~n behwala temariwoccun ayyen.

behwala

A. wede bet kememTat~h befit ~nen mayet t~cllalleh.

B. wede bet kemeTTah behwala ~nen mayet t~c~lalleh.

behwala

A. betun kemesratacc~n befit lato kebbede genzeb ~nkeflallen.

B. betun keserran behwala lato kebbede genzeb ~nkeflallen.

behwala

A. betun kezeggu behwala ~nnate meTTac.

B. betun kemezgataccew befit ~nnate meTTac.

befit

A. bunnaw~n kemeTeTTat~h befit wede bet ~hedallehu.

B. bunnaw~n keTeTTah behwala wede bet lhedallehu.

behwala

A. m~gbun kemesTetu befit genzebun fellege.

B. m~gbun keseTTe bewhala genzebun fellege.

behwala

68

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 6

A. meSDhafun kaderreshu behwala abba ten ayyehu.

B. meSlhafun kemadrese befit abba ten ayyehu.

befit

A. amarlnna kemaweKwa befit lnglizlnna maweK tlfelllgallec.

B. amarlnna kawweKec behwala lnglizlnna maweK tlfelllgallec.

A. wendaremun a t.anuh i.r-t.bs t kemasgebbatu befit lastemariw neggere.

B. wendlmmun l t mn.ha.r-t be t kasgebba behwala lastemariw neggere.

behwala

behwala

A. wedamerika kemehedaccew befit lzzih meTTu.

B. wedamerika kehedu behwala lzzih meTTu.

behwala

A. tlmlhlrtbetun kemezoraccew befit and astemari ayyu.

B. tlmDhlrtbetun kezoru behwala and astemari ayyu.

behwala

A. ityoPlyan kayyen behwala wedamerika meTTan.

B. ityoPlyan kemayetaccln befit wedamerika meTTan.

A. kato kebbede gar kemeggenafifietwa befit lne bet meTTac.

B. kato kebbede gar ketegenafifiec behwala lne bet meTTac.

befit

behwala

dlrset

The student was In Amerlca.

temariw amerika nebber(e).

He asked about the school.

slle tlmlhlrtbetu TeyyeKe. lemin meTTah.

m{n gize tlmeTalleh.

Why dld you come~

At what tlme wlll you come~

Wlll you stay here~ How old are you? year

It! S .£.£lS! now.

lzzih tlKoyyalleh t s{nt ametlh new. amet

ahun bird new.

and sew wede WlCC ager kemehedu befit sllageru maweK Ylfelllgal. ato lemma befit amerika nebber. ato kebbede wedamerika mehed sllfellege, ata lemma bet hedenna, sllamerika TeyyeKew.

kebbede:

lemma.

amerika mehed slle felleghu anten lemayet meTTahu. amerika lemin tlhedalleh.

letlmlhirt new.

Tlr~ new. sint gize tlKoyyalleh. hulett amet new.

lwaslngton wlsT tlKoyalleh t

lemma:

kebbede.

kebbede:

lemma:

kebbede:

awo.

lemma:

waslngton beTam Tlru ketema new. negergln tlnnls bird new.

69

UNIT 6

AMHARIC

kebbede:

tlmlhlrtbetuss lndem~n new.

lemma:

beTam Tlru tlmlhlrtbetocc allu.

befit amerika wlsT man nebber.

, *)

ato kebbede,ato lemman slle mln TeyyeKew.

ato kebbede y~t hede.

ato kebbede mln fellege.

ato lemm~, ato kebbeden mln TeyyeKew. ato kebbede lm~n bet hede.

ato ,
kebbedo ri i.n alle.
ato kebbede wede a to lemma b~t lem~n hede.
a to kebbede bamerika w i.s'I' s~nt gize YlKoyyal. * *)
a to kebbede ato lemman, m~n alew. TeyyeKe-meTeyyeK-YlTeYYlKal Koyye-meKoyyet-YlKoyyal

Ito ask, to Vlslt'

Ito stay, to walt for

70

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 7

Unlt 7

Ba SlC Sentences

kebbede

Hello, how are you~

street, road

traveler, passer-by

mengedenna

[r'm] flne, thank you.

kebbede

New Town (a sectlon of AddlS Ababa where the shopplng center lS located)

~nJ. '{ S" r

wh i ch one

bus

Excuse me, whlch bus shall I take

to go to AddlS Ketema· ( 'please by Hhlch bus can r go to AddlS Ketema')~

mengedenna

truth

In truth, truly

I dori t t know It

tha t (demons tr. )

pollce, pollceman

perhaps

that he may tell you (pol.)

To tell you the truth ('truly') I don't know (It), but that pollceman can perhaps help you.

kebbede

I'll ask hlm.

71

Tena YlsTlllln lndemln allu.

menged

mengedenfia

19ziyabher Ylmmesgen, dehna t

addis ke t.ema

y8tu

Y8tlfifiaw

awtobus

lbakklwo, H8daddis ket8ma b8yetlfifiaw awtobus m8hed lCllal18hu.

lWlnet

alawKewlm

ya

polis mlnalbat

Lt nagr-awo t

beWlnetu alawKewlm, neg8rgln ya polis m a na Lba t Lf.nagr awo t

y i.c i.La L,

lT8YYlK8wallehu.

UNIT 7

AMHARIC

183i, 19ziyabh~r YlsTlllln lTeYY1Kewallehu.

(to a pollcernan)

All rlght, thank you, I '11 ask hlm.

Hello.

Hello.

I wantlng, havlng wanted

I had wanted

to flnd

how I may flnd lt

('for me how to flnd It')

I (had) wanted to go ('for gOlng') to AddlS Ketema and I don't know where to flnd the bus.

across

that one

(bus) stop

Do you see that bus stop across the streeM

Ye s I do (, see' ) •

kebbede

kebbede

polis walt for ltJ (pollte lmperatlve)

Go over there and walt for It.

to thank

Ithank you.

You're welcome ('not at all'),

kebbede

72

felllgge

felllgge nebber agenne-magnet-yagennal

lndemmagennew

wedaddis ketema lemehed felllgge nebberlnna, awtobusun yet lndemmagennew alawKlm.

kemenged mado

yan

meKomiya /maKomiya

kezzih menged mado yanln yawtobus meKomiya yayallu t

,

awo, ayallehu.

Y1TebblKut

lzziya Ylhidunna, Y1TebblKut.

ameseggene-mamesgen-yamesegglnal amesegglnlwotallehu.

ma.namm aydel.

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 7

Grammatlcal Notes

Note 7.1 Pronoun. Verb SufflX Pronouns used wlth Imperfectlve.

amesegglnlwotallehu.

'I thank you. '

lTeYY1Kewallehu.

lSS~ asaYY1wotallehu.

'I'll ask h im , '

O.K. I'll show [It] to you (pol.)

The Verb SufflX Pronouns (Note 3.2.1) are aff1xed to verb forms In the Imperfect1ve before the sufflX I-alI-I.

The use of these sufflXes 1S lllustrated by the follow1ng examples,

Slngular

1st person:

lfelllgacclhuwallehu

'I want hlm/1t'
'I want you t m) ,
'I want you (f) ,
'I want you (pol. ) ,
'I want her'
'I want you (pI. )
'I want them (or: h1m, her (pol) , lfelllgiilwallehu

\. )~j.l.n.L ,...-::_,

1fell1g1hallehu

1felllglsallehu 1felllglwotallehu

1fell1gatallehu

1fell1gaccewallehu

2nd person mascul1ne:

tlfelllgefialleh tlfell1gewalleh

'you want me'
'you want h i.m '
'you want her'
'you want us'
'you want them (or: hlm, her (pol.) , tlfelllgatalleh

t1felllgenalleh

2nd person fem1n1nel tlfelllgifiallG S tlfelllgiwalles tlfell1giyatalles hfell1ginalles tlfell1giyaccewalles

'you want me'
'you want h im '
'you want her'
'you want us'
'you want them (or: hlm, her (pol.) , 73

UNIT 7 AMHARIC
3rd person mascullne:
Ylfelllgefial 'he wants me'
Ylfelllglhal 'he wan t.s you (m) ,
Ylfelllglsal 'he wants you (f.) ,
Ylfelllglwotal 'he wants you (pol. ) ,
Ylfelllgewal 'he wants h i.m '
Ylfelllgatal 'he wants her'
Ylfelllgenal 'he wants us'
Ylfelllgacclhuwal 'he wants you (pI.) ,
Ylfelllgaccewal 'he wants them (or: h im , her (pol. ) ,
3rd person femlnlne.
tlfelllgefiallec 'she wants me'
tlfelllglhallec 'she wants you (m) ,
tlfelllglsallec 'she wants you (f) ,
tlfelllglwotallec 'she wants you (pol.) ,
tlfelllgewallec 'she wants h i.m '
tlfelllga tallec 'she wants her f
tlfelllgenallec 'she wants us'
tlfelllgacclhuwallec 'she wants you (pI. ) ,
tlfelllgaccewallec 'she wants them (or: hlm, her (pol.) ,
Plural
1st person.
lnfelllglhallen we want you (m) ,
lnfelllglsallen 'we want you (f) ,
lnfelllglwotallen 'we want you (pol.) ,
lnfelllgewallen 'we want h rm '
lnfelllgatallen 'we want her'
lnf8111gacclhuwallen 'we want you (pl.) ,
lnf8111gacc8wallen 'we want them (or: h im , her (pol. ) , 74

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 7

2nd person:

tlfelllgunallacclhu

'you want me'
'you want h irn '
'you want her'
'you want us'
'you warrt them (or: hlm, her (pol.) , tlfelllgutallacclhu

tlfelllguwatallacclhu

tlfelllgunallacclhu

tlfelllguwaccewallacclhu

3rd person:

Ylfelllgunal

Ylfelllguhal Ylfelllgusal YLfelllguwotal

'they want me'
'they want you (m) ,
'they want you (f) ,
'they want you (pol.) ,
'they want hlm'
'they wa n t her'
'they want us'
'the;) want you (pI.) ,
'they want them (or: hlm, her (pol.) , Ylfelllgutal

Ylfelllguwatal Ylfelllgunal

Ylfelllguwacclhuwal

Ylfelllguwaccewal

Note that the /-l/ (/-lY-/ before /a/) for second person femlnlne slngular, and the /-u/ for second and thlrd person plural are regularly added to the stem before the pronoun object sufflX.

Note also that the lmperfectlve sufflX I-all lS the same for slngular and plural In the thud person, the plural belng shown by the /-u/ before the pronoun sufflX, as In /Ylfelllgefial/ 'he wants me' and /Ylfelllgufial/ 'they want me'.

Note 7.2 Verb: Amharlc equlvalents of 'I had, you had' etc. --the Perfectlve forms /nebbere/, /nebberec/ 'It was' and /nebberu/ 'they were' plus verb sufflX pronouns.

'I'he Amhar-a c e quav a Le.rrt of 'I had (somethlng), you had (somethlng)' e t.c , , lS, Ilterally, r(somethlng) was to me, to you' etc. The somethlng that lS possessed lS the subject of the perfectlve form /nebbere/ If It lS mascullne, /nebberec(cl)-/ If It lS femlnlne, Or /nebberu/ If It lS plural. The owner

lS expressed by a verb sufflX pronoun (see Note 5.2).

75

UNIT 7

AMHARIC

The forms are as follows:

(when what lS owned lS mascullne)

nebberen

nebbereh

nebberes

'I had (m)'

'you (m) had (m)' 'you (f) had (m)'

nebberewo/

nebberewot 'you (pol.) had __ (m)'

nebberew 'he had (m)'

nebberat

nebberen

nebberacclhu

nebberaccew

'she had (m)'

'we had (m)'

'you (pI.) had (m)' 'they (he, she-pol.) had (m)'

(when what lS owned lS plural)

nebberun

nebberuh

nebberus

'I had (pI. ) ,

'you (m) had (pI. ) , 'you (f) had (pl.)'

nebberuwo/

nebberuwot 'you (pol) had (pl.)'

nebberut

nebberuwat

nebberun

'he had (pI. ) , 'she had (pI. ) , 'we had (pl.)'

nebberuwacclhu 'you (pl.) had (pl.)' nebberuwaccew Ithey (he, she -

po L, ) had (pl.)'

(when what lS owned lS femlnlne)

nebbereCCln

'I had (rl'

'you (m) had (t), 'you (fl had (f)'

nebberecclh

nebbereCCls

nebbereCClwo/

nebberecclwot 'you (pol.) had __ (f)'

nebbereCClw 'he had (fl '
nebbereccat 'she had (f) ,
nebbereccln 'we had (f) ,
nebbereccacclhu 'you (pI. ) had (fl'
nebbereccaccew 'they (he, she-
pol) had (f) , Examples:
bet ns bbar-afi, 'I had a house ',
betocc nabbar-ufi. 'I had houses '.
and lhlt nebbereccln 'I had a s z s t e r '.
lhltocc nebberufi. 'I had s i s t.e r-a '. 76

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 7

Substltutlon-Correlatlon Drl11

1) Use the proper SufflX Pronouns as lndlcated by the Engllsh pronouns llsted to the rlght of each verb.

ayye felleghu seTTeh

me, h im , us, her

them, you (m), you (f), her

me, hlm, us, them

asayyes agennen

them, us, me, hlm

you (pl.), you (pol.), you (m), you(f)

ameseggenacclhu

me, them, her, hlm

keffelu

us, you (pl.), me, her

you (m), you (f) , you (polo), her

wessedhu

TebbeKs

me, us, them, hlm her, them, us, me

Terru

aderresec

hlm, us, you (pl.), you (f)

you (pol.), hlm (pol.), me, her

neggere

yayal

lfelllgallehu tlseTalleh tasayyalles lnnagefifiallen tamesegglnallacclhu

me, hlm, us, her

them, you (m), you (f), her

me, hlm, us, them

them, us, me, hlm

you (pl.), you (pol.), you (m), you(f)

lwesdal18hu

me, them, her, h im

us, you (pl.), me, her

you (m), you (f), you (pol.), her

Ylkeflallu

tlTebblKiyalles tadersallec

her, them, us, me

hlm, us, you (pl.), you (pol.)

Y1Terallu Ylnegral

me, us, them, hlm

you (pol.), her (pol.), me, her

77

UNIT 7 AMHARIC

2) The lnstructor wlll say the sentence In Column A.

The student wlll repeat the sentence and then say It agaln changlng the verb lnto lmperfectlve (Column B).

A

B

I

Ylh neger mln tebale.

and bet yayal.

mekina labbatwa tlseTallec. tlmlhlrtbet lnkeftallen. and bet y i se r-a L,

bunna tlTeTTallacclhu. and meSlhaf adersallehu. and temari lnnawKallen. and ketema tayallec.

and set tayalle~.

and slni bunna tlseTalleh.

sost temariwoc YlmeTallu.

abbate wede ketema Ylhedal. lnnate wede ityoPlya tlhedallec. lrS1WO bunna Y1TeTTallu.

,

and mekina Ylwesdallu.

lnnante tlnegrallacclhu. blZU genzeb yagennal. m{n tlTeYYlKiyalle~. mehed lnfelllgallen.

and Kal Yldegmal.

genzeb tlkeflallacclhu. and temari tlTerallec.

wede bete mehed lCllallehu. mln y i La L t

Ylh neger mln Ylbbalal.

and bet ayye.

mekina labbatwa seTTec. tlmlhlrtbet keffetln. and bet serra.

bunna TeTTacclhu.

and meSlhaf aderreshu. and temari awweKln. and ketema ayyec.

and set ayye~.

and slni bunna seTTeh.

sost temariwoc meTTu. abbate wede ketema hede. lnnate wede ityoPlya hedec. lrS1WO bunna TeTTu.

and mekina wessedu.

lnnante neggeracclhu.

blZU genzeb agenne.

m{n TeyyeK~.

mehed fellegln.

and Kal deggeme.

genzeb keffelacclhu.

and temari Terrac.

wede bete mehed calhu.

min ale t

3) The lnstructor wlll say the sentences In column A.

The student wlll repeat the sentences In Column A and then say the sentence agaln changlng the second person mascullne slngular lnto second person femlnlne slngu]ar (Column B).

A

B

genzebun lehotelu tlkeflalleh. abbathln tlmeslalleh. mekinaccewln tlwesdalleh.

zare keseat behwala tlmeTalleh. bunna tlTeTTalleh.

wede tlmlhlrtbet tlhedalleh.

genzebun lehotelu tlkefyalles. abbatsln tlmesyalles. mekinaccewln tlwesJalles.

zare keseat behwala tlmeCalles. bunna tlTeCCalle~.

wede tlmlhlrtbet tlheJalles.

78

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 7

and meSIhaf t~seTalleh. meSIhafoccln tadersalleh. wedagerIh mehed tIcIlalleh. astemarihIn tayalleh. amarInna tIcIlalleh t wedamerika tIhedalleh t astemarihIn tameseggInalleh.

and meSIhaf tlseCalles. meSIhafoccln tadersalles. wedagerls mehed tIcIyalles. astemarisIn tayalles. amarInna tIcIyalles t wedamerika t ahe Jalles t astemariSIn tameseggInalles.

QuestIon and Answer DrIll

tImIhIrtbetun ayyaccIhut t

astemariwan wede tImIhIrtbet TerraccIhuwat t and meSIhaf tlseTutallacclhu t

addis keteman yawKutal t

zare tlTeriwalles t

mekinahIn tIkeftalleh t

ato lemman TeyyeKaccIhut t

astemariwoc tImInIrtbetun zorut t

yato kebbeden abbat tawKutallacclhu t

babur TabiyawIn tayutallacclhu t

temariw astemariwIn ameseggenew t

a.h i bh i,n a t i.ma.h i.r=t.be t asgebbahat t

ato lemma yaddis abeban babur Tabiya awweKewt ato kebbede lehltu and slni bunna seTTat t

a to kebbede genzeb nebberew t

abbatIwon TeyyeKuwaccew t

kebbeden zare yayutal t

astemariw ms kf.na YIseTusal t

ato kebbeden tawKutallacclhu t

astemarihIn tlTeraccewalleh.

awtobus maKomiya agefii'ilsallehu t

awo, ayyenew.
awo, Terrana t.
,
awo, InseTewallen.
awo, awKewallehu.
,
awo, ITerawallehu.
awo, Ikeftewallehu.
awo, TeyyeKnew.
awo, zorut.
awo, InnawKewallen.
awo, Innayewallen.
awo, ameseggenew.
awo, asgebbahuwat.
awo, awweKew. awo, seTTa t.

,

awo, nebberew.

awo, TeyyeKhuwaccew. awo, ayewallehu.

awo, and mekina YIseTufifial. awo, InnawKewallen.

,

awo, ITeraccewallehu.

awo, tagefifiefifialleh.

kemengedu mado yawtobusun meKomiya tayewalleht awo, ayewallehu.

betsIn lene tasaYYIfifialles t awo, a sa yyawo t.a Lj ohu ,

wendImhIn ItImIhIrtbet tasgebbawalleh t awo, asgebbawallehu.

sllemekinaw kebbeden tameseggIfiiwallest zare abbatInna nnatIwon YITeYYIKuwaccewalt Ihltlwon wede tImIhIrtbet Ylwesduwatal t ityoPlyan yawKuwatalt

mf s t iwcn YIwesduwatal t

WI t.h i.n ayyeha t t

meSIhaf nebberatt

TIru mekina nebbereh t

mak.l.nawo o nebberuh t

79

awo, ameseggInewallehu. awo, IteYYIKaccewallehu. awo, Iwesdatallehu.

awo, aWKatallehu.

#

awo, Iwesdatallehu.

awo, ayyehuwat.

#

awo, nebberat.

#

awo, nebberefi.

#

awo, nebberufi.

UNIT 7

AMHARIC

betoc ne bbar-uwa c c ahu t

bamerika wlsT wendlm nebberew t bamerika wlsT bet nebber8wot t Tlru temariwoc nebberuwacc8w t

maln, prlnclpal, general populatlon, people

too, also

If he wants

mOYle, plcture prlce

awo, n8bberun.

,

awo, nebberew.

awo, nebberen.

~wo, nebberuwaccew.

dlrset

yamerika wanna ketema wasington new. yeniyork hlZb blZU n8W.

a.nem r.he da Ll.ahu ,

kebbede bifelllg memTat Ylcllal. beketemaw wlsT blZU sinima betocc allU. wagaw blZU new.

yeityoPlya wanna ketema addis abeba Ylbbalal. lzzih ketema wlsT beTam blZU embassiwocclnna, ministrocc allu. yeketemaw hlZb beTam blZU new. beketemaw wlsT blZU awtobusocclnna,mekinawocc allu. yeketemaw polisocclm beTam Tlru naccew. and sew and addis neger lemayet bifelllg, wed addis ketema bawtobus mehed Ylcllal. addis ketema wlsT blZU yemeSlhaf suKoc,hotelocclna, sinima betocc allu. a t.e ge hotel wlsT me Lkam rm.g r.b a LLa . and sew yamerikan sinima bifelllg, wedandu sinima bet wlsT mehedlnna mayet Ylcllal. yesinimaw waga blZU aydellem.

TlyyaKewoc

yo L tyoPlya wanna ketema man y a.bba La L, addis abeba wlsT m{n aIle.

yaddis abeba hlZb sint new.

wedaddis ketema bemin mehed Ylcllallu. yeketemaw polisoc melkam naccew t

addis abeba wlsT sinima betocc allu t yesinima waga sint new.

ltege hotel y~t aIle.

behotelu wlsT min aIle.

Tlru mlglb yet aIle.

and sew yamerikan sinima yet mayet Ylcllal.

80

BASIC COURSE

UNIT 8

Un i.f 8

Bas~c Sentences

kebbede

everJl mornlng

Tlwat T~wat

to do

aderrege-madreg-yadergal T~wat T~wat m{n tadergalleh.

What do you do every mornlng~

yohannls

bed

alga

to get up, to depart, to leave

tenessa-mennesat-Ylnnessal

to wash oneself

taTTebe-mettaTeb-YlttaTTebal

I get up ('from my bed') and wash myself ('my face').

kalgaye ~nnessanna, fiten ~ttaTTeballehu.

kebbede

breakfast

Kurs

to study

aTenna-maTnat-yaTenal

Do you study before breakfast~

keKurs befit taTenalleh t

yohannls

No, I do ~t (r~t lSr) after breakfast.

yell~m. keKurs behwald new.

kebbede

sort, klnd

aynet

to eat

bella-meblat-Ylbelal

What do you have for breakfast ( rWhat klnd of breakfast do you eat r)"

min aynet Kurs t~b81allGh.

yohann~s

f'r i.e d , roasted

eggs

lnKula1

bread

dabbo

butter

I have (reatr) frled eggs and bread and butter.

Tlbs ~nKulal~nna, dabbo beKlbe ~belallehu.

81

UNIT 8

AMHARIC

orange

blrtukan

JUlce

CunmaKi

mllk

wetet

(I drlnk) orange JUlce and coffee Wl th cream ( 'mllk') •

yeblrtukan ClmmaKinna, bunna bewetet lTeTTallehu.

kebbede

What tlme do you go to school~

beslnt seat wede tlmlhlrtbet tJ.hedalleh.

yohammls

half) equal

lkkul

2.30

(I go) at elght thrlty ('half past two').

hulett seat tekkul

behulett seat tekkul lhedallehu.

Numbers

eleven

twelve

asra and
asra hulett
asra sost
asraratt/asra aratt
asrammlst/asra ammlst
asra slddlst
asra sebatt
asra slmmlnt
asra z a'I'afi
haya thlrteen

fourteen

flfteen

s ax t e e n

seventeen

elghteen

nlneteen

twenty

Grammatlcal Notes

Note 8.1 Tlme

beslnt seat wede tlmlhlrt bet tlhedalleh.

At what tlme do you go to school~

behullett seat tekkul lhedallehu.

(I go) at elght thlrty ('half past two').

82