FANDOM


Numbers are words that tell how many there are of something. Depending on what you are describing, they may have different beginnings or small joining words before them.

Basic numbers

With Shiyeyi numbers, they are handled differently depending on whether they are less than or more than ten. The reason that numbers beginning with ldikumi (ten) and makumi (tens) are handled differently is because they are nouns themselves, members of the ldi- and ma- noun classes. The differences and similarities between Shiyeyi and Setswana numbers can be seen below:

Shiyeyi

Shiyeyi Example

Setswana

Setswana Example

-chiki

mukazi muchiki, one woman

-ngwe

mosadi o mongwe, one woman

-yiri

maambo ayiri, two ruins

-bedi

marope a mabedi, two ruins

ldikumi

mawe i ldikumi, ten stones

lesome

mantswe a lesome, ten stones

makumi

wanyana wa makumi ayiri, twenty men

masome

banna ba masome a mabedi, twenty men


The basic numbers are the single digits or the groups of makumi, tens, (tens, hundreds, thousands, etc.) where only the first number changes and is followed by zero(s). For example, 1, 40, 700, and 9000 are fairly basic numbers and easy to form, once you know the rule.

Single Digits = beginning matching the noun- + -number 
(e.g. mukazi muchiki, one woman)

Ten = connector + ldikumi 
(e.g. mawe a ldikumi, ten stones; zilduwa zi ldikumi, ten foods)

Tens = connector + makumi a-number of tens 
(e.g. mawe a makumi ayiri, twenty stones, i.e. “stones: two tens”)

Hundreds = connector + makumi a makumi a-number of tens
(e.g. mawe a makumi a makumi ataatu, three hundred stones, i.e. “stones: tens of three tens”)

Thousands = same as hundreds, only with an extra makumi a in front
(e.g. mawe a makumi a makumi i ldikumi, a thousand stones, i.e. “stones: ten of tens of tens”)

The “Zeros = Makumi” Rule

The formation of tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and so on is achieved by adding more makumi a. So, for every zero (0) in the written number, there’s either a ldikumi (for numbers starting with 1) or a makumi.

20 → has one zero → makumi ayiri

500 → has two zeros → makumi a makumi ashano

7000 → has three zeros → makumi a makumi a makumi avundja wutaatu

300,000 → has five zeros → makumi a makumi a makumi a makumi a makumi ataatu

Complex numbers

Complex numbers are numbers that contain more than one type of number, making them take longer to say and to write. For example, the number 347 (three hundred forty-seven) contains hundreds (300), tens (40), and a single digit (7). In Shiyeyi, these are listed by the largest group first and joined by the word ni, with. For example:

11 = 10 and 1 = ldikumi ni wuchiki

254 = 200 and 50 and 4 = makumi a makumi ayiri ni makumi ashano ni wunee

3007 =3000 and 8 = makumi a makumi a makumi ataatu ni wuvundja wuyiri

Ordering by numbers

With Shiyeyi ordering by numbers, connectors are used, similar to Setswana. The number that gives the order begins with ka-. The similarities between Shiyeyi and Setswana ordering by numbers can be seen below:

Shiyeyi

Shiyeyi Example

Setswana

Setswana Example

kataandzi

muti wa kataandzi, first tree

-a pele

setlhare sa pele, first tree

kayiri

ldiiwa lda kayiri, second day

-a bobedi

leina la bobedi, second name

kataatu

itjutu sha kataatu, third thing

-a boraro

motse wa boraro, third village

Counting with numbers

With Shiyeyi counting, this is also similar to Setswana. Shiyeyi single digit numbers begin with wu-, whereas Setswana single digit numbers begin with bo-. This can be seen below:

Shiyeyi

Setswana

English

#

wuchiki

bongwe

one

1

wuyiri

bobedi

two

2

Numbers without a connector

Shiyeyi

Shiyeyi Example

Number

#

Shiyeyi Examples

mu-

umutu, person

pa qhu

0

pa qhu umutu, no person

wa-

aŵatu, people

-yiri

2

aŵatu wayiri, two people

mu-

muzi, village

-chiki

1

muzi muchiki, one village

mi-

mizi, villages

-taatu

3

mizi itaatu, three villages

ldi-

ldina, name

-chiki

1

ldina ldichiki

ma-

mana, names

-nee

4

mana anee

ma-

mana, names

-shano

5

mana ashano

shi-

shilduwa, food

-chiki

1

shilduwa shichiki

zi-

zilduwa, foods

-vundja wunee

6

zilduwa zivundja wunee

i(n)-

inywaka, snake

-chiki

1

inywaka inchiki

zi(n)-

zinywaka, snakes

-vundja wutaatu

7

zinywaka zivundja wutaatu

ru-

rupati, rib

-chiki

1

rupati ruchiki

zi-

zimpati, ribs

-vundja wuyiri

8

zimpati zivundja wuyiri

wu-

wuyimi, life

-chiki

1

wuyimi wuchiki

ka-

kati, twig

-chiki

1

kati kachiki

tu-

tuti, twigs

-vundja wuchiki

9

tuti tuvundja wuchiki

Numbers with a connector

Shiyeyi

Example

Number

#

Shiyeyi Examples

wa-

aŵatu

ldikumi

10

aŵatu wu ldikumi

mi-

mizi

makumi ayiri

20

mizi a makumi ayiri

ma-

mana

makumi ayiri ni wutaatu

23

mana a makumi ayiri ni wutaatu

zi-

zilduwa

ldikumi ni wuchiki

11

zilduwa zi ldikumi ni wuchiki

zi(n)-

zinywaka

ldikumi ni wunee

14

zinywaka zi ldikumi ni wunee

zi-

zimpati

makumi a makumi

100

zimpati za makumi a makumi

tu-

tuti

makumi a makumi ayiri

200

tuti twa makumi a makumi ayiri

Counting to 10

Shiyeyi

Setswana

English

#

wuchiki

bongwe

one

1

wuyiri

bobedi

two

2

wutaatu

boraro

three

3

wunee

bone

four

4

wushano

botlhano

five

5

wuvundja wunee

borataro

six

6

wuvundja wutaatu

bosupa

seven

7

wuvundja wuyiri

bofera bobedi

eight

8

wuvundja wuchiki

bofera bongwe

nine

9

ldikumi

lesome

ten

10


back to Spelling Guide

Next Page

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.