All Kinyarwanda verb infinitives begin with 'gu-' or 'ku-' (morphed into 'gw-' or 'kw-' before vowels). To conjugate, the infinitive prefix is removed and a prefix agreeing with the subject takes its place. Then a tense infix can be inserted.

Noun Prefix | Subject Prefix

Sing./Pl. | Sing./Pl.

u-mu-/a-ba- | a-/ba-

u-mu-/i-mi- | u-/i-

i-(ri)-/a-ma- | ri-/a-

i-ki- (i-gi-)/i-bi- | ki- (morphs to cy- before vowels)/bi-

i-n-/i-n- | i-/zi-

u-ru-/i-bi- | ru-/bi-

a-ka-/u-tu- | ka-/tu-

u-bu-/u-bu- | bu-/bu-

u-ku-/a-ma- | ku-/a-

a-ha-/a-ha- | ha-/ha-

The prefixes for pronouns are as follows.

I = n-

you (sing.) = mu-

he = y-/a-

she = y-/a-

we = tu-

you (pl.) = u-

they (human) = ba-

Tense markers include the following.

-Ø- | Present

-ra- (morphs to -da- when preceded by 'n' | Present Progressive - to be doing

-za- | Future - will do

-racya- | to still be doing

The past tense can be formed by using the present and present progressive infixes and modifying the apect marker suffix.

Last modified on 18 August 2006, at 10:49