Afaan Oromo/Chapter 02

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Chapter 2: Word Order
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Greeting ConversationEdit

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Girma: Tariku, akkam bulte?   play
Tariku: Akkam bulte? Fayyaa dha?   play
Girma: Fayyaa, galata Waaqaa. Akkam jirta?   play
Tariku: Nagaa, galata Waaqaa. Eessa deemta?   play
Girma: Amma gara mana barumsaan deema.   play
Tariku: Har'a galgala maal goota?   play
Girma: Edana qo'achuun qaba.   play
Tariku: Tole. Wal agarra.   play

[For translation see here]

Basic Sentence StructureEdit

Afaan Oromo follows Subject-Object-Verb (SOV) format. But because it is a declined language (nouns change depending on their role in the sentence), word order can be flexible, though verbs always come after their subjects and objects. Typically, indirect objects follow direct objects. Oromo has both prepositions and postpositions, though postpositions are more common.


“I threw the ball to you” → “I ball to you threw” → “Ani kubbaa siif nan ha'e

“She came from America” → “She America from came” → “Isheen Ameerikaa irraa dhufte


Adjectives come after the nouns they modify. Adverbs that modify adjectives go before the adjective. Adverbs that modify verbs, adverbial clauses, and relative clauses tend to go at the beginning of the sentence before the subject.


“your blue pen is in my room” → “pen blue your room my in is” → “biirii dooqee kee kutaa koo keessa jira

“I don't know where it is” → “Where that it is I don't know” → “Eessa akka ta'e ani hin beeku

“How far is the post office” → “How post office is far?” → “Hagam manni postaa fagaata?

“What are you doing tonight?” → “Tonight what will you do?” → “Edana maal gotta?

Chapter VocabularyEdit

Akkam bulte?” / “Akkam bultani?”

“Good morning” [lit. “How did you spend the night?”]

Fayyaa dha?”

“Are you well?”

Galata Waaqa

“Thank God”



Akkam jirta?” / “Akkam jirtu?”

“How are you?”

Eessa deemta?”

“Where are you going?”




to do, make

Maal goochaa jirta?”

“What are you doing?”




to work

Maal hojjatta?”

“What are you working on?”


to, toward

mana barumsaa




har'a galgala, edana



to study

Qo'achuun qaba

“I have to study”

hojii manaa


Wal agarra

“See you”

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