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Zulu/Lesson 6

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Ngithanda ukudlala ibholaEdit

In this lesson, we learn how to express likes and dislikes. To this end, we introduce and explain how to use infinitives e.g. 'to play'. A number of verbs are also introduced.

Umbhuti usebenzela i-EskomEdit

uNandi: Sawubona Philani!
uPhilani: Yebo sawubona Nandi!
uNandi: Unjani?
uPhilani: Ngisaphila, wena unjani?
uNandi: Nami ngiyaphila.
uPhilani: Unombhuthi angithi?
uNandi: Yebo, nginombhuthi.
uPhilani: Umbhuthi usebenzaphi?
uNandi: Umbhuthi usebenzela i-Eskom.
uPhilani: Eish, yena uyasebenza kakhulu angithi?
uNandi: Yebo, manje uyasebenza kakhulu. Wena unombhuti?
uPhilani: Cha, anginambhuti.
uNandi: Hamba kahle.
uPhilani: Sala kahle.
Zulu English
angithi isn't it
anginambhuti I do not have a brother
Eish wow
sebenzela work for

When "na" is used in the negative, we just drop the first letter of the noun then add the na. So, to say I do have not a sister: Angi+na+sisi becomes 'Anginasisi'. We have also introduced the word angithi, which also be used instead of na or intonation.

Ngithanda ubisi noshiziEdit


Sanibona! NginguThatho wakwaNdlovu. Ngineminyaka engu-21 ubudala. Ngingumfundi. Ngifunda eWits. Ngifunda ukuba i-Accountant. Ngineminyaka engu-3 ngifunda. Ngiyafunda kakhulu kodwa ngithanda ukudlala ibhola. Ngiphuza ubhiya newayini kodwa ngithanda ubisi noshizi futhi. Ngiyajabula ukunazi!

Zulu English
umfundi student
iWits Wits (University of the Witwatersrand)
ukuba to be
thanda like
dlala play
ibhola soccer/ ball
phuza drink
ubhiya beer
iwayini wine
ubisi milk
ushizi cheese

Notice the use of uku- as a prefix, it means 'to' so if we want to say I like to play, for instance, we simply put uku- onto the second verb as its prefix 'Ngithanda ukudlala'. Also notice the use of na-, it links two nouns with coalescence - merging - and means either 'with' or 'and'.

In the above table, we have introduced additional nouns. The nouns beginning with u- below to class 1a and those with i- to class 3. At this stage, you should be able to understand the whole passage.



Ugogo wami akathandi ukubhema. Yena akathandi ikofi newayini. Akaphuzi ubisi kodwa ngidla ushizi. Akadli utamatisi. Ngiphuza ubisi namanzi kodwa angiphuzi ubiya. Obhuti bathanda ukuphuzi mqombothi. Abaphuzi iwayini.

Zulu English
bhema smoke
amanzi water
umqombothi traditional beer

The passage above illustrates how to form negatives in the present tense. We add an 'a' before the subject concord and change the final letter of the verb to an 'i'. But this still raises questions, what happens when the first letter of the subject concord is a 'u'? Well in that case, it becomes a little more complicated. The table below show a summary of what happens.

What happens with u
Mina angiphuzi ijusi. Thina asiphuzi ijusi.
Wena awuphuzi ubisi. Nina aniphuzi ubisi.
Yena akadli ushizi. Bona abadli ushizi.
Ugogo akaphuzi iwayini. Ogogo abaphuzi ibiya.
Umzali akaphuzi amanzi Abazali abaphuzi amanzi.
iKholigi alidli ushizi. amaKholigi awadli ushizi.


  • We can say that we don't have a family member or an object. Anginagogo.
  • We can say what we like and dislike. Ngithanda/angithandi
  • We can tell people what we like to do and what don't like to do. Ngithanda ukudlala/ Angithandi ukudlala.
  • We have learnt how to negate verbs in the present. Akathandi ubisi. Awuthandi ushizi.