Afaan Oromo/Chapter 07

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Chapter 7: Past Tense Verbs
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NarrativeEdit

An Oromo History (Seenaa Oromoo)Edit

[Adapted from Ali and Zaborski (1990)]

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About this sound play Bara dheeraaf sabni Oromoo nagayaan aadaa, diinagdee fi polotikaa isaa oofuu ture. Yeroo kana keessatti diinagdeen biyya Oromoo akka gaariitti guddatte. Akkasumattiis aadaa fi sirni of bulchiinsaa bal'ate.

About this sound play Haa ta'u malee, toora jaarraa 15 irratti duulli Habashaa fi Mootummaa Islaamaa o'aa deeme. Kuni saba Oromoo yaada keessa seensise. Sabni Oromoo diina jajjabaa kana ofirraa dhorkuuf suuta-suutaan humna lolaa guddisuu jalqabe. Duulaaf sabni Oromoo hin jarjarre. Obsa wajjin duula Habashaa fi Mootummaa Islaamaa akeekatani eegan. Habashaa fi Mootummaan Islaamaa lafa Oromoo irratti wal lolan.

About this sound play Imaam Ahmed biyya Habashaa akka hamaatti cabse. Magaalota Habashaa tokko-tokkoon gube nama hedduus fixe. Akkuma ta'eti, duultuun Portugaal bara 1543 dhufani Habashaa gargaaran. Imaam Ahmed lola Portugaal wajjin godhame irratti kufe.

About this sound play Kana booda Amir Nur 1559, duultuu fi meeshaa duulaa fudhate Habashaa rukute. Amir Nur mootii Habashaa Galaawdiyos kan jedhamu ajjeese nama hedduus fixe. Amir Nuriif waan hafte biyya Habashaa of jala bulchuu. Kanaaf biyya isaatti deebi'e namaa fi meeshaa barbaachis qopheessuuf karaa galaana deemuu ture.

About this sound play Akka olitti jenne, sabni Oromoo duula Habashaa fi Mootummaa Islaamaa eegaa ture. Hoggaa Amir Nur Hasaloo ga'u duultuun Oromoo duultuu isaa rukutte. Hasalootti duultuun Mootummaa Islaamaa hedduu dhume. Amir Nur lubbu isaa baafate nama xiqqoo wajjin. Adaree-biyyoo gale. Hasaloo booda sabni Oromoo lafa isaa Habashaa, Mootummaa Islaamaa fi saba biraarraa suuta-suutaan haga jaarraa 18 harka isaa seensifate.


[For translation see here]



Verbs in the AffirmativeEdit

To express actions completed in the past, verbs are conjugated in the simple past tense. Verb groups described in Chapter 4 remain the same independent of verb tense. That is, if one knows the present-future conjugation pattern for a verb, one can accurately conjugate that verb in the simple past (or any other tense, for that matter). Compared to the present-future affirmative conjugation, only the final vowel changes to form the simple past. The table below shows how to change a verb conjugated in the present-future to the present negative and simple past affirmative.[1]

final vowel in
the present aff
ending in
    present neg    
ending in past
aff
a u e
i u e
u an an(i)

So that “you learn” is baratta, “you don't learn” is hin barattu, and “you learned” is baratte.

The exceptions to this rule are the “to be” verbs: dha and jiruu. These verbs are only used in the present-future tense, and in the past tense are replaced by the verb turuu, which in the present tense means “to stay/wait”. To say “it is present” is jira, but “it was present” is ture. This verb is regular, as shown in the conjugation table below.

“To be” in the Simple Past
ani nan ture     nuti ni turre
ati ni turte isin ni turtani
inni ni ture isaan     ni turani
isheen     ni turte

The preverbs nan (or -n suffix) and ni are used in the past tense just as they are in the present-future tense (see Chapter 4 for use of nan and ni).



Verbs in the NegativeEdit

Verbs in the simple past negative use the hin preverb (as in the present-future tense negative) and the simple past form from the 2nd person plural. The simple past negative is therefore the same for all persons. Context or a pronoun are required to clarify the person to whom the verb is referring. To say “I didn't know” is “ani hin beekne”, “you didn't know” is “ati hin beekne”, “they didn't know” is “isaan hin beekne”, etc.

Like dha, miti is only used in the present-future tense. In the past tense, it is replaced by hin turre, meaning “was/were not”.

Verbs from the main conjugation groups are shown below for present affirmative, present negative, past affirmative, and past negative.

Deemuu — 'to go' (regular verb)
Present Past
Affirmative     Negative     Affirmative     Negative
ani         nan deema hin deemu nan deeme hin deemne
nuti deemna hin deemnu deemne hin deemne
ati deemta hin deemtu deemte hin deemne
isin deemtu hin deemtan deemtani hin deemne
inni deema hin deemu deeme hin deemne
isheen deemti hin deemtu deemte hin deemne
isaan deemu hin deeman deemani hin deemne


Nyaachuu — 'to eat' (-chuu verb)
Present Past
Affirmative     Negative     Affirmative     Negative
ani         nan nyaadha hin nyaadhu nan nyaadhe hin nyaanne
nuti nyaanna hin nyaannu nyaanne hin nyaanne
ati nyaatta hin nyaattu nyaatte hin nyaanne
isin nyaattu hin nyaattan nyaattani hin nyaanne
inni nyaata hin nyaatu nyaate hin nyaanne
isheen nyaatti hin nyaattu nyaatte hin nyaanne
isaan nyaatu hin nyaatan nyaatani hin nyaanne


Haasa'uu — 'to talk' (-oof- verb)
Present Past
Affirmative     Negative     Affirmative     Negative
ani         nan haasa'a hin haasa'u nan haasa'e hin haasoofne
nuti haasoofna hin haasoofnu haasoofne hin haasoofne
ati haasoofta hin haasooftu haasoofte hin haasoofne
isin haasooftu hin haasooftan haasooftani hin haasoofne
inni haasa'a hin haasa'u haasa'e hin haasoofne
isheen haasoofti hin haasooftu haasoofte hin haasoofne
isaan haasa'u hin haasa'an haasa'ani hin haasoofne


Danda'uu — 'to be able' (-ees- verb)
Present Past
Affirmative     Negative     Affirmative     Negative
ani         nan danda'a hin danda'u nan danda'e hin dandeenye
nuti dandeenya hin dandeenyu dandeenye hin dandeenye
ati dandeesa hin dandeesu dandeese hin dandeenye
isin dandeesu hin dandeesan dandeesani hin dandeenye
inni danda'a hin danda'u danda'e hin dandeenye
isheen dandeesi hin dandeesu dandeese hin dandeenye
isaan danda'u hin danda'an danda'ani hin dandeenye



Vocabulary from the NarrativeEdit

aadaa

culture, tradition

ajjeesuu

to kill

akeekachuu

to observe

akka

like, as

akkasumatti

in this way

akkuma

just as, just like

akkuma ta'eti

somehow

baafachuu

to escape, flee

bal'achuu

to widen

bara

time period, era

bara dheeraaf

“for a long time”

biyya

country

cabsuu

to break

deebi'uu

to come back, return

dheera

tong

dhorkuu

to forbid, prevent

dhumuu

to be finished, completed

diina

enemy

diinagdee

economy

duula

battle, campaign

duultuu

soldiers

eeguu

to wait

fixuu

to finish, exterminate

fudhachuu

to take, receive

ga'uu

to reach, be enough

gargaaruu

to aid, assist

gubuu

to burn

guddachuu

to grow, develop

guddisuu

to increase

haa ta'u malee

but, however

Habashaa

Habasha, Abyssinian (from Amhara)

hafuu

to remain

hamaa

mean, vicious, evil

hamaatti

viciously

hoggaa, yoom

when (relative pronoun)

humna

power, force

humna lolaa

army [lit. “fighting force”]

jaarraa

century

jabaa

strong

jala

under

jalqabuu

to begin

jarjaruu

to be in a hurry

kana booda

after this

karaa galaana

by sea

kufuu

to fall, die in battle

lafa

land

lola

fight

loluu

to fight

lubbu

life

magaalaa

town, city

meeshaa

goods, materials

meeshaa duulaa

Weapons [lit. “fighting materials”]

mootii

king

mootummaa

kingdom

o'aa

hot

obsa

patience

obsa wajjin

patiently [lit. “with patience”]

of bulchiinsaa

self-governance

of jala bulchuu

to control

polotikaa

political system

qopheessuu

to prepare, make ready

rukutuu

to hit, strike

saba

people, nation

seensisuu

to cause to enter

seenuu

to enter

sirni

system

tokko-tokkoon

one by one

wal loluu

to fight each other

yaada

thought, idea

yeroo

time

yeroo kana keessatti

“at this time”



NotesEdit

  1. Some dialects prefer -tan and -an for 2nd and 3rd person plural past, while others tend to use -tani and -ani. Both are used in western Oromia and are considered correct in the Wellega dialect. Only the later method will be used for examples in this text for consistancy.


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Last modified on 4 April 2014, at 07:31