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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