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With Shiyeyi question words, they can be handled differently depending on whether they are at the beginning or the end of a sentence. Some Shiyeyi question words will begin with i- if they are said at the beginning of the sentence; the i- is dropped if the question word is said at the end. The differences and similarities between Shiyeyi and Setswana questions can be seen below:

Shiyeyi

Shiyeyi Example

Setswana

Setswana Example

shikya

Shikya mati shaka? What do you want?

eng

O batla eng? What do you want?

ikure / kure

Ikure mati dzwa? Where are you coming from?

Mati dzwa kure? You are coming from where?

kae

O tswa kae? Where do you come from?

iyani / yani

Iyani mati shaka? Who are you looking for?

Mati shaka yani? You are looking for whom?

mang

O batla mang? Who are you looking for?

ingini / ngini

Ingini mati ya? When are you coming?

leng

O tswa leng? When are you coming?

akyare / ikyare

Akyare mati ya? How are you coming?

jang

O tswa jang? How are you coming?

angahare / ingahare

Angahare mati ya? How are you coming?



-ldeeti

Shilduwa shildeeti? How much food?

Mayiwa aldeeti? How many days?

-a bokae / - le kae

Dijo tsa bokae? How much food?

Batho ba le kae? How many people?

-re

Rusuku rure? Which time?

-fe

Nako efe? Which time?


Note that there is also a spelling of akyare/ikyare as angahare/ingahare. They mean the same; the choice of which question word meaning how depends on the speaker or writer.

Question forms examples

Question: -re?

Shiyeyi

Shiyeyi Example

Connector

Shiyeyi Examples

mu-

umutu, person

yi-

Umutu yire? Which person?

wa-

aŵatu, people

wa-

Aŵatu ware? Which people?

mu-

muzi, village

wu-

Muzi wure? Which village?

mi-

mizi, villages

yi-

Mizi yire? Which villages?

ldi-

ldina, name

ldi-

Ldina ldire? Which name?

ma-

mana, names

nga-

Mana ngare? Which names?

shi-

shilduwa, food

shi-

Shilduwa shire? Which food?

zi-

zilduwa, foods

zi-

Zilduwa zire? Which foods?

i(n)-

inywaka, snake

yi-

Inywaka yire? Which snake?

zi(n)-

zinywaka, snakes

zi-

Zinywaka zire? Which snakes?

ru-

rupati, rib

ru-

Rupati rure? Which rib?

zi-

zimpati, ribs

zi-

Zimpati zire? Which ribs?

wu-

wuyimi, life

wu-

Wuyimi wure? Which life?

ka-

kati, twig

ka-

Kati kare? Which twig?

tu-

tuti, twigs

tu-

Tuti ture? Which twigs?


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