Bemba Lesson 7 – Asking Questions

It is useful to have a quick list of the five types of questions you are likely to use in different situations.

Here's a list covering Who? What? When? Where? How? Examples are given to illustrate the use of these terms.

 

Some questions start with the "Bushe…." interjection. It's a bit like putting the question mark at the beginning of your sentence.

Depending on the situation, and the intonation used, "Bushe" can also signal exasperation.

 

As usual, the plural (pl.) form is used as a sign of respect, and so is preferable over the singular (sing.) form.


WHAT?   = Nshi? Cinshi?

What is it?  = "Finshi?" 

What has happened? = "Finshi ficitike?" 

What just happened? = "Finshi fyacitika?"

What happened? = "Finshi fyacitike?"

What is your name? = "Nimwe bani ishina?" (pl.)

What time will you come? =  "Mukesa nshita nshi?" (pl.) / "Ukêsa nshita nshi?" (sing.)


WHO?  = Ani?

"Who is it?" =  "Nibani?" (pl.)  /   = "Nani?" (sing.)

"Who are you?" = "Nimwe bani?" (pl.)  /  = " Ni wani?"(sing.)

"Who is coming?" =  "Nibani baleisa?" (pl.)  /  = "Nani aleisa?" (sing.)

"Whose shoes are those?"  = "Bushe nsapato shilya sha bani?" (pl.)  /  = "Bushe nsapato shilya sha kwani?"

 

 

WHERE? = Kwi? / Pi?

"Where is it?" (big) = "Cili kwi?" 

"Where is it?" (small) = "Kali kwi?"

"Where are you?" (singular) = "Muli kwi?" (pl.)  /   = "Uli kwi" (sing.)

"Where are you?" (pl.) = "Muli kwi?"

"Where can I find…." = "Nikwi(sa) ningasanga……"

"Where can I buy……" = "Nikwi(sa) ningashita……"


 

WHEN? = Lilali? / Mu nshita nshi?

 

 

WHY? = Mulandu nshi?

 

"Do you have……..?"  = "Namukwata ………….?" (pl.)  /  = "Naukwata …………….?" (sing.)

"Can you ………?" = "Kuti mwa……….." (pl.)  /   = "Kuti wa ………………" (sing.)

"Have you got ……..?" = "Namukwata ………" (pl.)  /    = "Naukwata …….." (sing.)

"Will they…………." = "Baka ……………."

"Did you" = "Mwali ………..?" (pl.)  /   = "Wali …………………?" (sing.)

"Is it" = "Cili …………….?" 

"Are they ……"  (people) = "Bali……………….?"

"Are they ……" (big things) = "Fili …………………."

"Are they ……" "Tuli ……………….?" 


"Is she?" (big) = "Ali…….?" (sing.)  /   = "Bali…….?" (pl.)

 

"Is he?" (big) = "Ali…….?" (sing.) /  = "Bali…….?" (pl.)

_________________________________________

Be Sociable, Share!

  7 comments for “Bemba Lesson 7 – Asking Questions

  1. atupala
    November 27, 2015 at 5:38 am

    How do you ask “Are you the head of the household?”(Respectfully)

    • JS
      November 28, 2015 at 4:42 pm

      Atupala, “Are you the head of the household? ” = “Bushe nimwe mutwe wang’anda?”

  2. KALOMBE KAPAMBWE
    May 6, 2015 at 11:51 am

    what does kapambwe mean?

  3. Alena Křivánková
    December 23, 2012 at 5:32 am

    Hi,
    could u please add some lesson really for begginers? I mean composition of sentences, formation of words (prefixes, suffixes), basic tenses and their using?

    Thank you very much.

    • JS
      December 31, 2012 at 10:36 pm

      Hi Alena,

      We will do some more basic lessons in the new year.
      Thank you for your support.

  4. Mercy
    March 5, 2012 at 11:17 am

    This is really an amazing resource! Thank you so much 🙂

    • Editor
      March 5, 2012 at 2:09 pm

      Thank you Mercy.
      We hope you will be able to participate by guiding us to post more of what you are looking for.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

(Spamcheck Enabled)