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The verb “To Be” in Garífuna

Sentence Structure in Garifuna by Clifford J. Palacio

Garifuna Language & Culture Academy Online

This lesson is about constructing sentences in Garifuna. When sentences are constructed in Garifuna, the verb “To Be” is not used. Here are the forms of the verb to be:

Nuguya – You are,

Buguya – You are,

Ligia -He is,

Tuguya – She is,

Wagia – We are,

Hugua - You (guys) are,

Hagia – They are

In constructing sentences in Garifuna, forms of the verb “To Be” are implied. To produce a negative sentence, Garifuna uses “MA” (ma), “MAMA” (mama), or “ME” (me) as prefixes or in front of a positive statement.

Now, let’s make some short sentences in Garifuna:

“Na, Na, Na” that means, it is mine.

“Mama nani” it means it is not mine.

“Nani le” this is mine.

“Mama na le” this is not mine.

“Nitu” She is my sister.

“Mama nitu” She is not my sister.

“biduhe” she is your cousin.

“Mama biduhe” she is not your cousin.

“Wamada” He or she is our friend.

“Mama wamada” He or she is not our friend.

“Ka biri?” What is your name?

“Betu, niri bei” My name is Betu.

“Atiri irumu bau” How old are you?

“Disi irumu nau” I am ten years old.

“Halia badibu” Where are you going?

“Neibuga águyu” I am going home.

“Halia baganawa?” Where do you live?

“Nigarawa naganawa” I live in Nicaragua.

“Idame bidin águyu?” When are you going home?

“Nidiban águyu haruga” I am going home tomorrow.

“Ka uwegien biabin?” Why did you come?

“Niabia ebeluha Meriga” I came to visit America.

“Gáriti lira” that hurts. “Magáriti lira” That does not hurt.

“Gáriti nari” My tooth hurts.

“Magáriti nari” My tooth does not hurt.

“Gariti nugudi” My foot hurts.

“Magáriti nugudi” My foot does not hurt.

“Harougati uguñe” It is hot today.

“Marougati uguñe” It is not hot today.

“Hamuñougati uguñe” It is cloudy today.

“Mamuñougati uguñe” It is not cloudy today.

“Diligati nun” I feel cold.

“Madiligati nun” I don’t feel cold.

“Harougati nun” I feel warm.

“Marougati nun” I don’t feel warm.

“Herengutinun” It is hard for me.

“Merengutinun” It is not hard for me.

“Barasegutina” I am busy

“Mabarasegutina” I am not busy.

“Lamadina” I am hungry.

“Malamaditina” I am not yet hungry.

“Garumougati uguñe” It is calm today.

“Maramougati uguñe” It is not calm today.

“Süti weyu” The sun is hot.

“Masüti weyu” The sun is not hot.

“Herougati uguñ” The sea is rough today.

“Merougati uguñe” The sea is not rough today.

“Würigatiya” “Maburigatiya”

“Guñeli” It is now night time.

“Maguñetugili ” It is not yet night time.

“Ahuyeti huya ariebugu” It rained last night.

“Mahuyuti huya ariebugu” It did not rain last night.

“Siriguati seinsu” He won some money.

“Masiraguti seinsu” He did not win any money.

“Feiditi seinsu” He lost some money.

“Harumatu gusina” The kitchen is clean.

“Marumatu gusina” The kitchen is not clean.

“Wiatü gusina” The kitchen is dirty.

“Hurüti” It is hairy. “Mahuruti” It is not hairy.

“Migifeti” It is long.

“Mamigifeti” It is not long.

“Hagei bamulen?” Where is your younger brother?

“Abidientinun/Ibidientinun” I don’t know.

“Inhin” another way to say, I don’t know.

“Furuti irahü le” This child is excessively active.

“Mafuti hirahü le” This child is not excessively active.

“Mafudaba” Come down / Don’t be excited.

“Deregüdaguba waba” Keep still / behave yourself.

“Dereneti” “Medereneti” He is wild / he is not wild.

“Chuti lau” He is smart.

“Machuti lau” He is not smart.

“Rísitu” She is rich.

“Marísitu” She is not rich.

“Kariñuti” He is kind.

“Louguati Kariñu lau” He is unkind.

“Gamadouti” He is friendly.

“Mamadouti” He is not friendly.

“Gerereguatu” She is affable.

“Merereguatu” She is not affable.

“Gaganbaditi” He is obedient.

“Maganbaditi” He is disobedient.

“Benefati” He is industrious.

“Mebenefati” He is not industrious.

“Magualiti” He is lazy.

“Mamagualiguti” He is not lazy.

“Dudutu tanagu irahü to” This baby’s dress is wet.

“Madudutu tanagu irahü to” This baby’s dress is not wet.

“Magurabuhali namulen” My younger brother is now thirsty.

“Mamaburabugili namulen” My younger brother is not thirsty.

“Adimuradügütu” She is talkative.

“Uwati adimadüguta” She is not talkative.

“Gimugati” He is envious.

“Magimugati” He is not envious.

“Emeiditi” He is jealous.

“Memeigiti” He is not jealous.

“Anufudatiña” They are afraid.

“Manufudatiña” They are not afraid.

“Libele le” This is like this one.

“Mamalibele le” This is not like this one.

“Iyufati nugudin” My foot is numb.

“Miyufati nugudin” My foot is not numb.

“Baraseatina” I care.

“Mabaraseatina” I don’t care.

This is the end of this lesson.

Sentence Structure in Garifuna by Clifford J. Palacio – “Clifford J. Palacio” Garifuna Language & Culture Academy Long Beach, CA.


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