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Grammar

A noun is a word used as the name of a person, a thing, quality or action existing  or conceived  by the mind; substantive. We have different types of nouns;

proper noun is the name of an individual person, places or as Mazi, Ikechukwu, Uchechi, Nnenna, Nwabueze,  Ngozi, Afo, Nkechi, Ihuoma, Ezinne, Ebube, Nkoli, Ifeoma, Nwamaka(Amaka), Nnamdi, Ndubuisi,  Edwin, Gladys, Melody, Nicole, Sandra, Rayness, Ellen, Anna, Christian, Fred and Eric. (Note, a lot of Igbo people answer English names. Some have Igbo names as second names which are hardly used). In extreme conditions, some have both English names as first and last names(surnames). Example  Ray Johnson.

common noun is the name an individual object has in common with others of its class, as man, city, hill.

collective noun is one expressing a collection or aggregate of individuals, as assembly, army.

An abstract noun is one indication a quality, as goodness, beauty.

Pronoun: A word used as a substitute for a noun such as I, he, she, that. Pronouns are referred to as being in First Person, Second Person and Third person. First Person is the person speaking; Second Person is the person being spoken to; and third person is the person being spoken about(of). Although, there are  many types of  pronouns, we will only concentrate on personal, possessive, demonstrative and interrogative pronouns:

Personal Pronouns: A personal pronoun is a pronoun that is used as a substitute for a “proper” or “common” noun. For example, in English the personal pronouns are I, you, he, she, we and they. Fortunately, in Igbo  these are easy to learn:

 

 

PERSON (MADỤ)

 

      

SINGULAR

 

             

PLURAL

1st person

       m, mụ; I

 

Anyi, we

2nd person

       ị, i;   Gị  you

 

Unu,  you

3rd person

       , o;    he/she/it

       ọ 

         o

Note the difference between the two. "ọ" pronounced as "or" in English has a dot under "o". "O" is pronounced as in Orange.

 

Ha,    they

Fa, they

Possessive Pronoun: A possessive pronoun is pronoun that is used to express possession. For example, in the phrase, “My cat is hungry” the word “my” is the possessive pronoun. In Igbo the possessive pronouns are a bit tricky and requires some special  attention because the sentence structure between Igbo and English is different. Usually, the possessive pronoun comes after what is being possessed.

 

For instance:

 

IGBO SENTENCES

 

ENGLISH SENTENCES

 

 

Agụ na-agụ Nwamba m

Agụ = hunger;

na-agụ = is catching;

Nwamba = Cat (noun);

 

m = possessive pronoun

 

Literal meaning:

Hunger is catching my cat

 

 

My cat is hungry

( My = possessive pronoun;

Cat = noun;

 

is = verb;

hungry = object)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Singular version:

Ọ chọrọ ụgbọ  m

Ọ chọl  gbọ  m

 

 

He wants my car

 Ụgbọ  = car

   Ụgbọ =car

 

 

Singular version:

Ọ biara n’ụlọ m

Ọ bialụ n’ụnọ m

 

 

 

He came to my house

 

Plural version

 Ha  biara n’ụlọ m

 

Fa bịalụ n’ụnọ m

 

 

They came to my house

Ha = they

 

Fa=they

 

Ụlọ=House

  Ụnọ=House

 

Demonstrative Pronouns: A demonstrative pronoun is a word used to distinguish one thing from something else. In English the equivalents are “this, that, these and those”. In Igbo language the singular words for demonstrative pronouns  are”  “Nke a = This”; Nke ahụ = That or Nke afụ (Nke anwa) = That”. The plural version are  “Ndị a = These” and “Ndị ahu = Those” or “ Ndịa afụ(Ndị anwa)  = Those

 

IGBO SENTENCES

ENGLISH SENTENCES

 

Nke a bụ akwukwọ m

 

 

This is my book

 

Nke ahu bụ nwa ya

 

Nke afụ bu nwa nya

 

                        bụ  nwa ya

Nke anwa

 

 

 

 

That is his child

 

Plural:

Ndi a bụ nke m

 

 

 

These are mine

 

Ndi ahụ  bụ nke gị

 

Ndị afụ bụ nke gi

 

Ndị anwa bu nke gi

 

Those are yours

 

 

 

Interrogative  Pronouns/Relative pronouns: Interrogative Pronouns or Question words include: “Who, what, which, whose, whom, where, when and why”. Overall these are pretty easy and straight forward to learn in Igbo.

 

 

IGBO SENTENCES

 

ENGLISH SENTENCES

 

Kedụ?

Kedụ ka ị dị?

 

 

 

How?

 

How are you?

 

Onye?

 Onye ka Ị bụ?.

 

 

Who?

Who are you?

 

Gịnị?

Gịnị ka Ị na-eme?

----


A b m nwa akwkw

 

 

What?

 

 

What do you do?

 

------

I am a student

 

 

Nke Olee ?

 

Nke Onee ?

---------- 

Nke ole ka ị chọrọ?

Nke one ka ị chọlụ?

  

 

 

Which?

 

 

 

------

Which one do you want?

 

 

Nke onye?

Nke  onye bụ akwụkwo

ndị a

 

Whose?

Whose books  are these?

 

 

Ebe ole?

Ebe one?

Ebe ole ka ị na-aga

Ebe one ka I na-eje?

 

 

Where?

 

 

Where are you going?

 

 

Mgbe ole?

Oge one?

Mgbe ole ka ọ bịara?

Oge one ka ọ bịalu

 

When?

 

When did he come?

 

Maka ginị?

 

Maka gini mere o ji bịa?

Maka gịnị ka o jilụ bia

 

Why?

Why did he come?

 

 

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