Adjectives

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Aim - use adjectives to describe things - the TALL man, the NEW car

Soft Adjectives

When using these adjectives, add the subject prefix to the start of the adjective.

  • -ntle (beautiful) mosadi montle, basadi bantle, le@@ lentle, etc
-ntle beautiful
-tona big
-kima fat
-sesane slim
-nnye small/young/little
-leele long/tall
-khutshwane short
-ntsi many/plenty
-sweu white
-ntsho black
-tala blue/green
-hibidu red

Strong/Hard Adjectives

These adjectives stay the same whatever the noun is.

  • monate (nice/enjoyable) @@@ monate, ba@@ monate, le@@ monate, etc
monate nice/enjoyable/tasty
maswe ugly/bad
turu expensive
chipi cheap
thata hard/strong/very much
motlhofo weak/lightweight/simple
leswe dirty
sekono clean
bokete hard/heavy

Use in simple sentences

  • nna ke montle - I am beautiful
  • mosadi o montle - the woman is beautiful
  • Batswana ba bantsi mo Botswana - Batswana are many in Botswana
  • Batswana ga ba bantsi mo UK - Batswana are few (not many) in the UK
  • mosese o mohibidu - the dress is red (or "the red dress" see below)


More complex sentences

using the adjective in normal sentences requires use of the "adjectival concord", related to the relative construction see later.

  • mosadi yo montle o bidiwa Sara - the beautiful woman is called Sarah

here "yo" is the adjectival concord for noun mosadi

Adjectival Concords

Class Example Adjectival Concord Soft Adjective Subject Marker
Class 1 Mosadi yo mo-ntle o
Class 2 Batho ba ba-ntle ba
Class 3 Molomo o mo-ntle o
Class 4 mesese e me-ntle e
Class 5 legodu le le-ntle le
Class 6 makgowa a ma-ntle a
Class 7 Setswana se se-ntle se
Class 8 dimumu tse di-ntle di
Class 9 koloi e ntle e
Class 10 diphologolo tse di-ntle di
Class 11 lorole lo lo-ntle lo
Class 12 dikgong tse di-ntle di
Class 14 borotha bo bo-ntle bo
Class 15 go ithuta go go-ntle go

Note the adjectival concord is the same as the subject prefix except for class 1 o -> yo and subject prefix di -> tse

Comprehension Exercise

Leina la me ke Sara. Ke fana ka Boardman. Ke tswa kwa California mo Amerika. Ke na le dingwaga di le 23. Batsadi ba me ba nna kwa California. Rre ke ngaka ya meno, mme ene ga a bereke o tlhokomela lelapa. Re bararo, ke na le bo-kgaitsadiake ba babedi, yo motona le yo monnye. Nkgonne o bereka mo restaurenteng, o itse go apaya thata. O tlhola a re apeela pizza, tlhapi le dikheiki. Leina la gagwe ke Paul. O na le dingwaga di le 25. Paul o nyetse. Mosadi wa gagwe o bidiwa Kim. Ba ne le ngwana a le mongwe fela, ke mosetsana.

Nnake o bidiwa Rob, o na le dingwaga tse 19. O santse a tsena sekolo kwa University ya California. O dira ngwaga wa bobedi.

Rotlhe re rata Rob thata ka gore re akanya gore ke mosimane yo monnye, gape o botlhale thata. Ke akanya gore ngwaga e, Rob o tlaa nketela. Fa a tla, re tlaa ya kwa Chobe go bone diphologolo. Kwa Chobe go monate ka gore go na le diphologolo, dinonyane le metsi a mantsi.

Nkoko le ntatemogolo ba tlhokafetse. Ke na le rakgadi le malome. Rakgadi o bereka mo shopong. Go a na bana, o nna a le nosi. Fa ke fetsi tiro ya me mono, ke tlaa nna le rakgadi kwa Pensylvania. Malome ene o na le bana ba le babedi. Bo-Ntsalake ba tsena mo High School, ke basetsana botlhe. Ke a ba rata, gape ke eletsa gore le bone ba nketele fa dikolo tsa bone di tswalwa.

Jaanong araba dipotso tse: (now answer these questions:)

  1. Leina la mokwadi ke mang?
  2. Dingwaga tsa gagwe di kae?
  3. O tsaletswe kae?
  4. Rragwe o dira eng?
  5. Leina la mogolowe ke mang?
  6. Rob ke mang?
  7. Rob ke ngwana wa bokae mo lapeng?
  8. Botlhe ba rata Rob ka goreng?
  9. Rob o dira ngwaga wa bokae kwa University?
  10. Kwa Chobe go monate kagoreng?
  11. Sara o ikaelela go dira eng fa a fetsa tiro ya gagwe mono?

Vocabulary

fana surname / here
dingwaga years
batsadi parents
ngaka ya meno dentist (doctor of teeth)
tlhokomela to nurse/look after
lelapa home / compound
-raro three
kgaitsadiaka my brother/sister
tlhola to spend the day
apeela to cook for
tlhapi fish
dikheiki cakes
nyetse has married (past tense)
fela only / nonetheless
santse still (also has rained lightly - past tense)
rotlhe all of us
akanya to think
gore that/so that
botlhale intelligent/clever
nketela visit me
diphologolo animals
diononyane birds
-ntsi many/too much
tlhokafetse has become scarce/has died
rakgadi aunt (father's sister)
malome uncle (mather's brother)
a le nosi alone
fetsa finish/complete
botlhe all of them
eletsa wish for/desire
dikolo schools
tswalwa being closed/shut

Jacob