Subject concord used pronominally

The subject concord can be used to represent a subject. For example instead of saying "Linotsi li a loma." (The bees sting.) one can say "Li a Loma." (They sting.). The relevant concord for the subject (noun) can then be chosen

Class 1 2 1a 2a 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 14 15
Subject concord mo ba o ba mo me le ma se li n li bo ho

Note that the subject concord does not represent gender and that "o" can mean "he" or "she". This kind of meaning is usually derived from the context in which an utterance or text appears


Bana ba ea sekolong. (The children walk to school.) = Ba ea sekolong > (They walk to school.)
Ausi o thusa 'm'e oa hae. (A sister helps her mother.) = O thusa 'm'e oa hae. > (She helps her mother.)
Motsoalle o palama bese. ( A friend boards a bus.) = O palama bese. > (He boards a bus.)
Katse e noa lebese. (The cat drinks milk.) = E noa lebese. > (It drinks milk.)

Absolute pronouns

Singular Translation Plural Translation
First person 'na I rona we
Second person uena you lona you
Third person eena he/she bona they

Reflexive Pronouns

It is used to express an action that one does to oneself. The prefix "i" is added to a verb.

      rata ==> ithata
      bona ==> ipona
      araba ==> ikaraba
      loma ==> itoma
      shapa ==> iichapa
      seha ==> iitseha
      hlokomela ==> itlhokomela
      ja ==> itja
      fepa ==> iphepa
      tseba ==> itseba

The prefix "i" changes the first consonant of the verb to which it is joined.


Consonent Changes to: Examples
b p bona ipona
f ph fepa iphepa
h kh hana ikhana
hl tlh hlatsoa itlhatsoa
j tj ja itja
l t loma itoma
r th ruta ithuta
s seha itšeha
sh ch shapa ichapa

Vowels are preceded by "K"

araba ikaraba
otla ikotla
isa ikisa

To some of the verbs, we just insert "i"

kama ikama
tsosa itsosa
mema imema

Personal Pronouns (First person)

  • I
  • 'Na
  • we
  • rona
  • us
  • rona

Personal Pronouns (Second person)

  • you
  • uena

* Singular

  • you
  • bona

* Plural

Personal Pronouns (Third person)

  • He / Him / She / Her
  • Eena
  • it
  • eona
  • they
  • bona

Detailed Example

Class 1 2 1a 2a 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 14 15
Subject concord mo ba o ba mo me le ma se li n li bo ho
Absolute Pronoun eena bona eena bona ona eona lona ona sona tsona eona tsona bona hona
Translation he/she they he/she they it they it they it they it they it it