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Ajami هُـ

Etymology 1[edit]

A lenited, fused form of ni ku- (is [verb]ing).



  1. habitual aspect marker; indicates an action is routine or characteristic[1]
    Jua huchomoza mashariki.
    The sun rises in the east.
    • 2022, Muungano wa Tanganyika na Zanzibar: Chimbuko, Misingi na Maendeleo, Serikali ya Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania, →ISBN:
      Ni dhahiri kuwa huu ni mfumo unaopendwa kutokana na urahisi katika kuuendesha kwa kuwa huwa na mamlaka moja kuu yenye mtandao mmoja wa uongozi mpaka chini kupitia mfumo wa ugatuzi wa madaraka.
      It is obvious that this system is popular due to how easy it is to run it, as it has one central authority with one leadership network all the way to the bottom through a system of decentralization.
Usage notes[edit]

There is no subject concord with this marker. Instead, independent pronouns can be used:

mimi hulaI usually eat

This is also analyzed as a gnomic marker.[2]

In colloquial speech, this is often replaced by the -na- marker, eventually preceded by huwa (the habitual form of -wa):

huwa tunakunywawe habitually drink
See also[edit]
Swahili TAM markers
Positive infinitive ku-/kw-1
Negative infinitive kuto-
Habitual hu-1
Telegrammic ka-1
General (positive indicative) -a
Positive subjunctive -e
Negative present -i
Second person plural -ni
Infix position
positive subject concord
Positive past -li-
Positive present -na-
Positive future -ta-
Negative subjunctive -si-1
Positive present conditional -nge-
Negative present conditional -singe-
Positive past conditional -ngali-
Negative past conditional -singali-
Gnomic -a-1
Perfect -me-
"Already" past -lisha-
"Already" present -mesha-/-sha-
"If/When" -ki-1
"If not" -sipo-
Consecutive -ka-1
Infix position
negative subject concord
Negative past -ku-1
Negative future -ta-
"Not yet" -ja-1
Negative present conditional -nge-
Negative past conditional -ngali-
Past -li-
Present -na-
Future -taka-
Negative -si-
1 Can take stress and therefore does not require -ku-/-kw- in monosyllabic verbs.


  1. ^ Foreign Service Institute (1966) Swahili: An Active Introduction: General Conversation, US Department of State, page 44
  2. ^ Dorothee Rieger (2011) “Swahili as a Tense Prominent Language: Proposal for a Systematic Grammar of Tense, Aspect and Mood in Swahili”, in Swahili Forum[1], volume 18, page 120

Etymology 2[edit]

From the same source as ha-.



  1. you do not, 2nd person singular negative subject concord
    Antonym: u-
    • 18th century, Abdallah bin Ali bin Nasir, Al-Inkishafi[2], translation from R. Allen (1946) “Inkishafi—a translation from the Swahili”, in African Studies, volume 5, number 4, →DOI, pages 243–249, stanza 11:
      مُيُ وَاغُ نِنِ هُزُدُكَانِ ، لِكُغُرِيِلُ هِيْلَ نِنْنِ ،
      Moyo wangu nini huzundukani, likughuriyelo hela ni-n'ni?
      Soul, why not awake? Hi! what is it that cheats you?
See also[edit]


Alternative forms[edit]


From Proto-Celtic *su-.




  1. affirmative prefix, emphasises prefixed word

Derived terms[edit]


  • R. J. Thomas, G. A. Bevan, P. J. Donovan, A. Hawke et al., editors (1950–present), “hu-”, in Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru Online (in Welsh), University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies