Miskito/Lesson 3

Miskitu Aisas!

Miskito Language Course

Lesson 2 Flag of the Mosquito Monarchy.svg 3 Tawan ra sap kum bara sa ki?
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Contents Is there a shop in the village?

There is/areEdit

What do they mean?
  • There is a book on the table.
  • There is a shop in the village.
  • There is a mango on the ground.
  • There are some books on the table.
  • There are some women in the shop.
  • There are some stones on the path.
  • Tibil ra buk kum bara sa.
  • Tawan ra sap kum bara sa.
  • Tasba ra mangu kum bara sa.
  • Tibil ra buk kum kum bara sa.
  • Sap ra mairin kum kum bara sa.
  • Yabal ra walpa kum kum bara sa.
Practice Given the cue A / B, say that there is an 'A' in/on the B. Then say that there are some 'As' in/on the 'B'.
  1. buk / tibil
  2. mangu / sap
  3. tibil / utla
  4. yabal / tawan
  5. windar / rum
  6. daiwan / yabal
  1. Tibil ra buk kum bara sa.
    Tibil ra buk kum kum bara sa.
  2. Sap ra mangu kum bara sa.
    Sap ra mangu kum kum bara sa.
  3. Utla ra tibil kum bara sa.
    Utla ra tibil kum kum bara sa.
  4. Tawan ra yabal kum bara sa.
    Tawan ra yabal kum kum bara sa.
  5. Rum ra windar kum bara sa.
    Rum ra windar kum kum bara sa.
  6. Yabal ra daiwan kum bara sa.
    Yabal ra daiwan kum kum bara sa.

The phrase ... bara sa means "there is ..." or "there are ...".

  • You already know that sa is "is" or "are". Bara means "there".

You learnt in Lesson 1 that kum is "one" or "a(n)", e.g. buk kum a book or one book. The plural of kum is not formed with nani, but by repeating the word: kum kum some, e.g. buk kum kum some books. Notice the word order in the above sentences: Tibil ra buk kum bara sa literally is "On the table a book there is."


What do they mean?
  • Is this man poor?
  • Yes, he is poor.
  • Is that an animal?
  • No, it is not an animal.
  • Are the dogs in the road?
  • Is there a shop in the village?
  • Waitna na umpira sa ki?
  • Au, witin umpira sa.
  • Baha daiwan kum sa ki?
  • Apia, daiwan kum apia sa.
  • Yul nani ba yabal ra sa ki?
  • Tawan ra sap kum bara sa ki?
Practice Answer these questions with full sentences.
  1. Tawan ra sap kum bara sa ki? (au)
  2. Yul ba daiwan kum sa ki? (au)
  3. Yul nani ba yabal ra sa ki? (apia)
  4. Maria umpira sa ki? (apia)
  1. Au, tawan ra sap kum bara sa.
  2. Au, yul ba daiwan kum sa.
  3. Apia, yul nani ba yabal ra apia sa.
  4. Apia, Maria umpira apia sa.

The verb usually comes at the end of a Miskito sentence, but a word that can come after the verb is ki. This turns a statement into a question. The words for "yes" and "no" are au and apia.

Who, what and whereEdit

What do they mean?
  • Who is this woman?
  • Who is in the house?
  • What is on the table?
  • What are these animals?
  • Where is the shop?
  • Where are the mangoes?
  • Mairin na ya sa (ki)?
  • Ya utla ra sa?
  • Tibil ra dia sa (ki)?
  • Daiwan nani na dia sa?
  • Sap ba anira sa (ki)?
  • Mangu nani ba anira sa?
Practice Answer the questions with full sentences:
  1. Mairin na ya sa ki? (Susan)
  2. Baha ya sa? (yaptiki)
  3. Naha dia sa ki? (walpa kum)
  4. Miguel anira sa ki? (tawan ra)
  5. Mangu nani ba anira sa? (sap ra)
  1. Mairin na Susan sa.
  2. Baha yaptiki sa.
  3. Naha walpa kum sa.
  4. Miguel tawan ra sa.
  5. Mangu nani ba sap ra sa.

Some important question words:







  • Ya has a long a: .
  • Notice that anira where and bara there both end in -ra. This is actually the postposition ra.

In questions formed with question words, the ki particle is optional.


What do they mean?
  • Where is your mother?
  • — My mother is in the village.
  • Is this your child?
  • — No, this is not my child.
  • Is your father big?
  • — Yes, my father is very big.
  • Is your name Miguel?
  • — Yes, my name is Miguel.
  • Yaptikam anira sa?
  • — Yaptiki tawan ra sa.
  • Naha ba tuktikam sa ki?
  • — Apia, naha ba tuktiki apia sa.
  • Aisikam tara sa ki?
  • — Au, aisiki tara pali sa.
  • Ninam Miguel sa ki?
  • — Au, nini Miguel (sa).
Practice Answer these questions using the words given:
  1. Ninam Paula sa ki? (au)
  2. Witin aisikam sa ki? (au)
  3. Tuktikam anira sa ki? (utla)
  4. Yaptikam sin utla ra sa ki? (apia)
  1. Au, nini Paula (sa).
  2. Au, witin aisiki (sa).
  3. Tuktiki utla ra sa.
  4. Apia, yaptiki utla ra apia sa./Apia, yaptiki tawan ra sa.

We have already seen that some words ending in -i mean "my (something)". When such words end in -m, they mean "your (something)".


my name


your name


my child


your child


my father


your father


my mother


your mother

  • Since you have not learnt all the rules for forming such possessive forms, do not try to form them yourself yet but just learn the ones you have seen.
  • "Very" is pali placed after the adjective if modifies, e.g. tara pali very big.
  • When sa simply expresses an equation of identity or a quality, it may be omitted, as in Nini Miguel or Nini Miguel sa My name is Miguel.

Vocabulary and reviewEdit

your father
int adv
there is, there are
int pron
question particle
some, a few
your name
shop, store
your child
int pron
path, road
your mother

Say in Miskito:
There are mangoes on the table.

Tibil ra mangu kum kum bara sa.

There is a book too.

Buk kum sin bara sa.

Are the mangoes big?

Mangu nani ba tara sa ki?

No, they are very small.

Apia, (witin nani) sirpi pali sa.

Who is in the room?

Ya rum ra sa ki?

A man.

Waitna kum.

Is he my father?

Witin ba aisiki sa ki?

No, he is not your father.

Apia, aisikam apia sa.

Where is my mother?

Yaptiki anira sa ki?

Your mother is in the village.

Yaptikam tawan ra sa.

Is your name Pedro?

Ninam Pedro sa ki?

Yes, my name is Pedro.

Au, nini Pedro.

Lesson 2  
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