The Subjunctive Form

The subjunctive form is the 'polite' form for Kiswahili verbs used to make requests, suggestions or give directions.

Rules

Verbs ending in -a, change to -e

If the verb ends with an -a then change to -e and drop the tense infix.

Kuenda (to go)

Uende (you should go), twende (we should go)

Kusoma

Nisome (I should read), wasome (you should read)

Verbs ending with other letters

Drop the tense infix only.

Kuhisi (to feel)

Uhisi (you should feel), mhisi (you (pl) should feel)

Kukumbuku (to remember)

Nikumbuku (I should remember)

Monosyllabic Verbs

Drop the ku prefix for monosyllabic verbs

Kula

Nile (I should eat)

Kuja

Nije (I should go)

Expressing Purpose with the Subjunctive

The subjunctive can also be used to express a purpose clause, in the form of "in order to...". In this form you use ili to introduce the subjunctive clause.

Walienda hospitali ili wamuone daktari

They went to the hospital (in order) to see the doctor (from Kuona)

Anajifunza Kiswahili ili afanye kazi Kenya

He is learning Kiswahili (in order) to work in Kenya (from Kufanya).

Negating the Subjunctive

Use -si- infix

Use -si- between the subject prefix and the verb stem.

Kuenda

Tusiende (We should not go)

Kupiga

Nisipige picha (I should not take pictures)

Useful linking words

afadhali

Its better that/to.., ought to..

lazima

It's necessary that/to..., must

tafadhali

Please

ni bora

Its better that/to....

itabidi

It's necessary that/to...

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