In this post, we’re gonna see how to conjugate in Ciluba. I chose here a few common verbs.
I am not gonna show the verb “to have” as it is the same as “to be”. In Ciluba, “to have” is translated as “to be with”, therefore, all you have to do is add the preposition “with” or “nè” in Ciluba to transform “to be”, kwikala, into “to have”, kwikala ne.
Mema ndi mukaji: I am a woman
Ndi nè mukanda: I have a book
Ndi nè mutu: I have a headache
As a general rule, when you have the infinitive form of a verb, for examples kudyà, kunwà, all you have to do to conjugate it is to drop the infinitive prefix ku- and keep the verb stem -dyà, -nwà, then add the personal pronoun according to want you want to say:
n- => ndi = I (am)
u- => udi = you (are)
u- => ùdi = she/he (is)
tu- => tudi = we (are)
nu- => nudi = you (are)
ba- => badi = they (are)
Of course, it wouldn’t be fun if there wasn’t any exceptions. Kwikala is one (it is a special verb that is also used as auxiliary and its conjugated form is also used as personal pronouns). We’ll check them out as we go. Note that in the dictionaries you will often find the verb stem as the entry. It makes sense, I believe, otherwise there would be thousands of words under “ku-” and nothing in the other sections… 🙂
N.B.: verbs of which stem starts with L transform NL into ND at the first person of singular, to ease pronunciation.
-lààla -> ndi ndààla -> I sleep
-lela -> ndi ndela -> I give birth
-lekela -> ndi ndekela -> I leave