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Oromo Grammar

Welcome to the 8th lesson about Oromo grammar. We will first learn about prepositions, negation, questions, adverbs, and pronouns including: personal, object and possessive pronouns.

We will start with prepositions. In general, they are used to link words to other words. For example: I speak Oromo and English the preposition is [and] because it connects both words Oromo and English. The following is a list of the most used prepositions in Oromo.

Prepositions - Oromo
and fi
above gubbaa / gararraa
under jala / gajjallaa
before dura
after booddee / booda
in front of fullee isaa
behind dudduuba / dugda duuba
far from irraa siqee / iraa fagaatee
near bira
in keessa
inside keessa
outside ala
with wajjin
without malee
about waa'ee
between gidduu
but garuu
for f
from irraa, ittii
to itti

Preposition Grammar Rules

The following examples use prepositions in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence.

Prepositions + Rules - Oromo
I eat without a knife
[preposition + noun] haaduu malee nyaadha
she lives near the church
[verb + preposition] mana kadhata bira jiraatti
he is taller than her
[adjective + preposition] ojjaadhan isee caala
he came with his small dog
[preposition + pronoun] saree sa xinno wajjin dhufe
can you come with me?
[preposition + pronoun] na wajjin dhufitta?

Negation in Oromo

Now let's learn how to make a negative sentence (negation). For example: Saying no, I can't, I don't ... The following examples use negation in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence.

Negation + Rules - Oromo
I understand you
[affirmative form] dubbiin ke naa gala
I don't understand you
[negation + verb] dubbiin ke naan ngalle
this is not the correct word
[negation + adjective] jechi kun sirritti hin-ibsu
don't leave me
[imperative negation] na gattee hindeemin
no problem
[negation + noun] rakinni hinjiru

Negative Sentences - Oromo
I don't speak French
[negation + present tense] afaan faransaayi hinbeeu
she didn't visit Germany
[negation + past tense] biyya jarmanii dhaqxee hinbeektu
he cannot see us
[negative modal verb] inni nu argu hindanda'u
can't she play chess?
[interrogative negation] ishiin cheesi taphachu hinbeektu?
we will not come late
[negation + future tense] yeroo dabarsinee hindhufnu

Questions in Oromo

Now let's learn how to ask questions (interrogative). Such as: what, why, can you ...? Here are some common examples:

English - Oromo
how? attamitti?
what? maal?
who? eenyu?
why? maaliif?
where? eessa?

More of the interrogative form, now in a sentence:

Questions + Rules - Oromo
where do you live?
[interrogative + verb] eessa jiraatta?
does she speak Chinese?
[interrogative verb] afaan chaayina beeka?
how much is this?
[interrogative preposition] kun gatiin meeqa?
can I help you?
[interrogative modal verb] maal si gargaaru?
what is your name?
[interrogative preposition] maqaan ke eenyu?

Adverbs in Oromo

It's time to learn the adverbs in Oromo. But what is an adverb? In general, adverbs modify verbs and adjectives. For example: You speak fast. The adverb is [fast] because it describes the verb and answers the question how do you speak?. Here is a list of the most common ones:

Adverbs - Oromo
now amma
yesterday kaleessa
today harr'a
tonight edana
tomorrow bor
soon dhiyootti
quickly dafee
slowly suuta
together walii wajjin
very baayyee
almost xinnoo hanqata
always yeroo hunda
usually yeroo baayyee
sometimes gaaffii gaaf
rarely darbee darbee
never matuma

The following examples use the adverbs in different ways and places to demonstrate how it behaves in a sentence.

Adverbs + Rules - Oromo
do you understand me now?
[pronoun + adverb] amma sii galee?
I need help immediately
[noun + adverb] gargaarsi hatattamaan na barbaachisa
she is very intelligent
[adverb + adjective] iseen gar malee abshaala
I will always love you
[verb + adverb] yoomiyyuu siin jaaladha
can we learn German together?
[adverb in a question] walii wajjin afaan jarmanii baruu dandeenya?

Pronouns in Oromo

We're almost done! This time we will learn the pronouns in Oromo. In general, a pronoun can be used instead of a noun. For example instead of saying my teacher speaks 3 languages, you can use the pronoun he, and say he speaks 3 languages. Here is a list of the most common ones:

Personal Pronouns - Oromo
I ani
you ati
he inni
she isheen
we nuhi
they isaan

Object Pronouns - Oromo
me ana / na
you si
him isa
her ishee
us nuu
them isaan

Possessive Pronouns - Oromo
my ko / kiyya / tiyya
your ke / te
his isaa
her ishee
our keenya / teenya
their isaanii

I think it's better to put the above example in a sentence to better assist you. The following examples use pronouns in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence. We will start with the personal pronouns.

Personal Pronouns - Oromo
I am your friend
[1st pronoun + verb] ani jaala keeti
you speak very fast
[2nd pronoun + adverb] daddaftee dubbatta
he has three dogs
[3rd pronoun + verb] inni saree sadii qaba
she can speak German
[3rd pronoun + verb] afaan jarmanii beekti
we will not come late
[1st plural pronoun] yeroo dabarsinee hindhufnu
they bought milk and bread
[3rd plural pronoun] daabboo fi annan bitatan

The object pronoun is used as a target by a verb, and usually come after that verb. For example: I gave him my book. The object pronoun here is him. Here are more examples:

Object Pronouns - Oromo
can you tell me your name?
[1st object pronoun] maqaa ke natt himta?
I will give you money
[2nd object pronoun] qarshiin sii kenna
she wrote him a letter
[3rd object pronoun] xalayaa areesiteef
they visited her yesterday
[3rd object pronoun] kaleessa dhaqanii isee dubbisani
can she help us?
[1st pl. object pronoun] nu gargaaru dandeessi?
he gave them food
[3rd pl. object pronoun] nyaata jaraaf kenne

Possessive Pronouns - Oromo
my name is Maya
[1st possessive pronoun] maqaan ko maayaadha
your brother lives here
[2nd possessive pronoun] obboleessi ke as jiraata
her mother cooks for us
[3rd possessive pronoun] haati ishee nyaata nuu hojjetti
his hobby is reading books
[3rd possessive pronoun] kitaaboota dubbisu jaallata
our dream is to visit Paris
[1st pl. possessive pronoun] paarisiin daawwachun fedhii keenya
their house is not far
[3rd pl. possessive pronoun] manni saani fagoo miti

One more thing you need to know is the demonstrative pronouns. They're very easy to learn.

Demonstrative Pronouns - Oromo
this is my house kun mana kooti
that restaurant is far manni nyaataa sun fagoodha
these apples are delicious apilooti kun nimi'aa'u
those stars are shiny urjooti sun baayye ifu

I hope you learned a lot about the Oromo grammar in this lesson. Please check out our main menu here for more lessons: homepage. The next lesson is below, have fun!

Inspirational Quote: First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. Epictetus

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