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In this lesson you will learn about locations and how to talk about location (in front of, nearby etc)


locatives "ko/kwa", "mo" and "fa" are used to describe location. "mo" usually means "in, on, inside" while "ko/kwa" usually means "to, from, at".

o kae? where are you/he/she ?
ke bereka mo ofising I am working in the office
o nna kwa Broadhurt mo Gaborone he stays at Broadhurst in Gaborone
Festus o ko Francistown Festus is in Francistown
Ba kwa tirong They are at work
Sarah o yo Sarah is here
Sarah ga a yo Sarah is not here

Note the use of "ofising" and "tirong" above. In general, whenever a noun is used as a location following "ko/kwa/mo/fa" then -ng is added at the end, unless the noun ends in "a" in which case the "a" is replaced by "-eng".

Location nouns

banka bankeng in the bank
sepatela sepateleng in the hospital
moraka morakeng at the cattle post
kereke kerekeng in the church
motse motseng in the village
tafole tafoleng on the table
kopi koping in the cup
ofisi ofising in the office
lefifi lefifing in the dark/darkness
sephiri sephiring in secret/privacy
shopo shopong in the shop
toropo toropong in the town
tiro tirong in the workplace
sekolo sekolong in the school
maru marung in the clouds

see later lesson getting around for how to say "on top of", "underneath" etc

Where is?

A John o kae ? Where is John ?
B O teng He is here/roundabouts
A Bese e* kae ? Where is the bus ?
B Bese e teng The bus is here/there
  • "e" is the subject marker for the noun "bese" see noun classes later


A Dumela tsala ya me Hello my friend
B Dumela Dineo, o tlhotse jang? Hello Dineo , how have you spent your day ?
A Ke tlhotse, wena o kae? Good, how are you ?
B Le nna ke teng. O ya kae o itlhaganetse jaana ? I'm fine as well. Where are you going in such a hurry?
A Ke ya kwa bankeng, ke batla madi go ya kwa dikopelong ka moso I'm going to the bank, I need money to go to the music competitions tomorrow
B Ao! Dikopelo di kae ? Oh! where are the competitions ?
A Di kwa Mochudi kwa sekolong sa Molefi They are in Mochudi at Molefi School
B Ehe! O tlaa boa leng ? Right! when will you come back ?
A Ke akanya gore ke tlaa boa ka moso morago ga dikopelo I think that I will come back tomorrow after the competitions
B Mme o tsamaya ka eng ? How are you getting there
A Ke tlaa tsamaya ka dibese ka gore ke tshaba dilifiti I will go by buses because I am afraid of lifts
B Ruri tsala ya me, le nna ke tshaba dilifti. O tsamaye sentle Certainly my friend, I am also afraid of lifts
A Ee, rra tlaa bonana fa ke boa Yes, we will see each other when I come back

This example uses the verbs - future tense and subject marker "di" for noun "dikopelo" which we will see in the next lesson.