Ndebele You, me, mine, yours

Salibonani mngane (hello friend). Today, let's look at some vocab about possession and people. If you are new, as always, please start at the bottom of the blog and work up to this post. Ngiyabonga (thanks).

mina - me
wena - you (singular)
thina - we/ us
lina - you (plural)

e.g. Mina, ngingumtshayeli, wena? - Me, I am a driver, and you?
Mina ngudokotela - me, I'm a doctor

Lami - my
Lakho - your
Lakhe - his/ hers

e.g. Ibizo lakho ngubani? - What is your name? (lit: name your is what?)
Ibizo lami nguJohn - My name is John (lit: name of mine is John)
ungaphi umama wami? - where is my mother?
remember that "your mother" has a whole different name to "my mother" i.e. unyoko and umama respectively (similarly uyihlo and ubaba for your/ my father)

(uku)Hlala - (to) stay
Ngaphi - where

Together, they can be put together as: Uhlalaphi? - Where do you stay?

remember that I use "u" for you/him/her but use "ngi" for I, "ba" for they, "si" for we
e.g. mina, ngihlala koBulawayo - me, I stay in Bulawayo
uhlala eGweru - He stays in Gweru
uhlala eGwanda, angithi? you stay in Gwanda, isn't it so?
bahlala eHwange - they stay in Hwange

If you are going to say a place with an "r" in it, just remember that siNdebele technically does not use the "r" sound and so replace it with an "l". e.g. France = eflansi

Yebo mngane, so... uhlalaphi? (yes friend so... where do you stay?)


  1. i thot u sed "SI" means "WE"???

    1. Hi Anonymous. That is a very good question. You are correct; the "si-" prefix does mean "we" in English. So if you would like to make a sentence, you can use the prefix "si-" before a verb e.g. siyahamba (we are going). If you want to use the English word "we", then you can use "thina" e.g. "Ngubani?" (who?) - "thina" (we/ us). The "si-" prefix is only used in a sentence as a prefix, whereas "thina" can be used as a stand alone word. Ndebele is a pro-drop language like Spanish, Greek, and many others. You can say for instance, "mina, ngiyahlala eBulawayo" (me, I live in Bulawayo), using the pronoun for emphasis. "Thina, siyahamba!" means "Us, we are going!" and is a perfectly good sentence in Ndebele. I hope this explains the use and if you need any clarification, we would be happy to help as always mngane.

  2. You say 'KoBulawayo' not 'eBulawayo'. Bulawayo its a homestead (umuzi womuntu) hence the use of "Ko" instead of "e".

  3. ngihlale komasvingo. am grateful for the lesson. you an awesome umbalisi lol.tina as in mina nawe have to work on translating all that english to isindebele. keep it up


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