Bemba Lesson 15.3 – How to Ask a Question – WHAT? – To Eat

Bemba Lesson - To Eat - kitweonline

Bemba Lesson – To Eat – kitweonline

In this lesson – How to Ask a Question in Bemba, we look at the verb “Eat” (Lya).


  • Mu ciBemba (In Bemba) the same words are used to refer to a man and to a woman (He / She).
  • In the following examples, remember that the plural form (pl.) is used to address one person as a sign of respect. (The plural form of “You”).
  • The words  Ninshi / Cinshi / Finshi are sometimes used interchangeably, but they mean different things:
    •  “Ninshi” to refer to “What is it?”
    • “Cinshi”  is used when you are referring to one thing, e.g “What one thing have I done?”
    • “Finshi.” is used to refer to more than one thing, eg. “What things have I done?”


Eat = Lya

(You can use “Ninshi”(What is it), “Cinshi” (What thing) or “Finshi” (What things) wherever  each of them is used below).


What have I eaten? = 
Finshi nalya?
What have you eaten? = 
Finshi muliile? (pl.) / Finshi uliile? (sing.)
What has she eaten? = 
Finshi aliile?
What has he eaten
Finshi aliile?
What have they eaten? = 
Finshi baliile?

What does she eat? = Finshi alya?
What does he eat? = 
Finshi alya?
What do they eat? = 
Finshi balya?


What did I eat? =  
Finshi naaliile?
What did you eat? (sing.) 
 Finshi waaliile?
What did you eat? (pl.) = 
 Finshi mwaaliile?
What did he / she eat? (sing.) =  
Finshi aaliile?
What did he / she eat? (pl.) 
 Finshi aaliile?
What did they eat? =  
Finshi baaliile?


What will I eat? = 
Finshi nkalya?
What will you eat? (sing.) = 
Finshi ukalya?
What will you eat? (pl.) = 
Finshi mukalya?
What will he / she eat? (sing.) 
Finshi akalya?
What will he / she eat? (pl.) =  
Finshi bakalya?
What will they eat? = 
Finshi bakalya?

Look out for further lessons from the 15.00 series.

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