Although Swahili has no standard articles (the, a), no genders (as in French or Spanish), and no cases (as in German), standard Swahili is a very highly inflected language. There are eight 'noun classes' with two numbers that specify the prefixes used at the beginnings of nouns, adjectives and verbs and which are the basis for a system of concordal agreement.
To elaborate on this, let us look at the different noun classes. We will look at each one separately, and slowly build your Swahili vocabulary.
The first class begins with 'm' in the singular form, and 'wa' in the plural.
|Swahili||English||Swahili- pl||English- pl|
- Another useful tip to keep in mind for changing these words is that when the root of a word begins with a vowel, the "m" changes to "mw" as seen above in "mwanafunzi" to "wanafunzi". The root of the word being anafunzi, the prefix "mw" is added, along with a "w" in the plural.