Present Tense

Simple Present Tense

There are two types of the simple present tense - short form present tense and long form present tense.

1. The Short Form Present Tense

It is a form in which an object follows the verb.

      Ke ja lijo.
      U rata bana.
      O bina hantle.
      Re ea Maseru.
      Le lula hole.
      Ba sebetsa haholo.
      Ausi o pheha papa.
      Abuti o noesa likhomo.
      Morena o bua le sechaba.
      Mokuli o hlahlobela lefuba.

2. The Long Form Present Tense

It is a form that ends with a verb. "a" is added to a pronoun.

      Kea leboha
      Ua leboha.
      Oa leboha
      Rea leboha.
      Lea leboha.
      Baa leboha
      Ntate oa leboha.
      Lona lea leboha
      Ngaka ea leboha.

Negative Present Tense

How do we form Negative Present Tense?

The negative marker "Ha" is at the beginning of a sentence when a sentence begins with a pronoun.

      If a sentence begins with a noun/subject, "ha" follows the noun/subject.
      The last vowel of the verb "a" changes to "e".

1. The Short Form Present Tense

      Ke ja lijo.
      U rata bana.
      O bina hantle.
      Re ea Maseru.
      Le lula hole.
      Ba sebetsa haholo.
      Ausi o pheha papa.
      Abuti o noesa likhomo.
      Morena o bua le sechaba.

1. The Short Form Present Tense Negative

      Ha ke je lijo.
      Ha u rate bana.
      Ha a bine hantle.
      Ha re ea Maseru.
      H le lule hole.
      Ha ba sebetse haholo.
      Ausi ha o phehe papa.
      Abuti ha noese likhomo.
      Morena ha a bue le sechaba.

1. The Long Form Present Tense

      Kea leboha
      Ua leboha.
      Oa leboha
      Rea leboha.
      Lea leboha.
      Baa leboha
      Ntate oa leboha.
      Lona lea leboha
      Ngaka ea leboha.

1. The Long Form Present Tense Negative

      Ha ke lebohe
      Ha u lebohe.
      Ha a lebohe
      Ha re lebohe.
      Ha le lebohe.
      Ha ba lebohe
      Ntate ha a lebohe.
      Lona ha le lebohe
      Ngaka ha e lebohe.

Note: The long form Present Tense Negative follows the same pattern as the Short Form Present Tense Negative.

The present continuous Tense.

How do we form Present continuous Tense?

"ilo" is the present continuous tense marker, it is also a helping verb "going to"! It follows a pronoun in a sentense.

      Ke ilo posa lengolo
      U ilo reka bohobe
      O ilo ntsa chelete.
      Re ilo bua le mookameli.
      Re ilo ngolisa bana
      Sechaba se ilo keteka
      Ba ilo lumelisa Morena

The Present continuous Tense Negative

How do we form Present continuous tense negative?

The negative marker "Ha" preceeds the pronoun "ilo" changes to "eo" and the verb stays in present. The third person "o" changes to "a".

Present continuous Tense

      Ke ilo bina Lesotho.
      U ilo ruta bana.
      O ilo bona ngaka.
      Re ilo keteka.
      Le ilo luba bohobe.
      Ba ilo qosa lesholu.
      Morena o il bula mokete.

Present continuous Tense Negative

      Ha ke eo bina Lesotho.
      Ha u eo ruta bana.
      Ha a eo bona ngaka.
      Ha re eo keteka.
      Ha le eo lula bohobe.
      Ha ba eo qosa lesholu.
      Morena ha a eo bula mokete.

SIMPLE PAST TENSE

To form simple past tense, verbs take different suffixes. There is no specific reason why they take such suffixes. It is similar to irregular verbs in English. The formation of the simple past tense can be shown in th following classified examples:

"a" is replaced by "ile"

Present Tense Simple Past Tense Translation
Bua buile Talked/Spoke
Araba arabile answered/replied
Bala balile read
Ruta rutile taught
Pheha phehile cooked

"na" is replaced by "nne"

Present Tense Simple Past Tense Translation
Bina binne sang
Hana hanne refused
Nona nonne fat
Tena tenne wore

"ma" is replaced by "mme"

Present Tense Simple Past Tense Translation
Khama khamme strangled
Hama hamme milked
Kama kamme combed
Mema memme invited
Qhoma qhomme jumped

"la" is replaced by "tse"

Present Tense Simple Past Tense Translation
Alola alotse made bed
Bula butse opened
Ebola (Has nothing to do with the disease) ebotse peeled
Hula hutse pulled
Hlola hlotse won

"ala" is replaced by "tse"

Present Tense Simple Past Tense Translation
Jala jetse sowed
Roala roetse wore on head, neck, ears / carried on head
robala robetse slept
sala setse left/stayed behind

"tsa" is replaced by "litse"

Present Tense Simple Past Tense Translation
Eletsa elelitse advised
Fokotsa fokolitse decreased
Eketsa ekelitse increased
Sebetsa sebelitse worked

Simple Past Tense Negative

How do we form Simple Past Tense Negative?

      Negative marker "Ha" preceeds a pronoun.
      "a" is added to the pronoun.
      A verb goes back to the present tense.
      The third person pronoun "o" changes to "a".

Simple Past Tense

      Ke buile Sesotho haholo.
      Re chaketse metsoalle.
      Bana ba ithutile sekhooa.
      Morekisi o rekisitse nama.
      Baithaopi ba bone mookameli.
      Sechaba se ile pitsong.

Simple Past Tense Negative

      Ha kea bua Sesotho haholo.
      Ha rea chakela metsoalle.
      Bana ha baa ithuta sekhooa.
      Morekisi ha aa rekisa nama.
      Baithaopi ha baa bona mookameli.
      Sechaba ha sea ea pitsong.

Sesotho Prepositions

Lesson 3: Learn Prepositions