The Passive Form (Kauli ya Kitendwa)

Form of verbs where the action is done on, or to the subject. The standard passive extension is -wa, which is added to the verb root.

Kupika (to cook)

-pikwa (to be cooked)

Kufanya (to do)

-fanywa (to be done)

Kulipa (to pay)

-lipwa (to be paid)

If the subject performing the action is mentioned we use:

Kazi ilifanywa na mwalimu.

Kazi ilifanywa kwa machina.

Verbs ending with double vowels use -liwa or -lewa

Verbs ending -aa, -oo or -ua use -liwa

Kuzaa (to be children)

-zaliwa (to be born)

Kunununa (to buy)

-nunuliwa (to be bought)

Verbs ending -ea or -oa use -lewa

Kuoa (to marry)

-olewa (to be married)

Kutembelea (to visit)

-tembelewa (to be visited)

Verbs ending with -u or -i use -iwa.

Kujaribu (to try)

-jaribiwa (to be tried / tested)

Kusalimi (to greet)

-salimiwa (to be greeted)

Monosyllabic Verbs

Drop -ku-

Three special ca­se:

Kula (to eat)

-liwa (to be eaten)

Kunwya (to drink)

-nywewa (to be drunk)

Kupa (to give)

-pewa (to be given)


There are a few exceptions, most common are:

Kusahau (to forget)

-sahauliwa (to be forgotten)

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