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I already talked in a previous post about the basic structure of the sentence in Amharic and now is time to see how verbs are formed. Grammar is complicated because we need to consider many variables. These variables are gender (masculine/feminine), plural or singular, informal or formal, etc.
To form the different combinations, suffixes and prefixes are added to the root of the verb or to nouns.
I want to say that what I present here is very simplified, those who would like to seriously learn the language I would recommend to read a book from the List of my Amharic page or what would be better, to have a teacher of the language, or if your can afford it, to spend some time in Ethiopia ;-)

To start, I  will write about the verb To Be in the present tense very basically.
Amharic, like Spanish, has two different verbs for to be depending if we are talking about existence or place, something that doesn’t happen in English where we use the same verb to be to refer to any of those. This time I will talk about the Verb To Be when it refers to existence.
Verbs in Amharic are cited in the third person singular masculine form, so “to be” would be  “näw/ነው
In the following table we see the conjugation of the verb to be (existence). 
In Amharic personal pronouns are not normally used, unless you want to highlight the person as a form of reaffirmation, for example if I say: “I am your mother” to my son, but in everyday conversation it is omitted since the verb itself indicates the person.

Verb TO BE

Singular Transliteration Personal Pronoun+ Verb to be Amharic
I am näñ ïne + näñ (እኔ)  ነኝ  
You are(masc) näh antä + näh (አንተ)  ነህ
You are (fem) näsh anči + näsh (አንቺ)  ነሽ
He is näw ïssu/ïrsu + näw (እሱ/እርሱ)  ነው
She is näch/nät ïsswa/ïrswa + näč/nät (እስዋ/እርስዋ)  ነች/ናት
We are nän ïñña + nän (እኛ) ነን
You are nächuh ïnnantä + näččuh (እናንተ)  ናችሁ
They are nächäw ïnnässu/ïnnärsu + näčäw (እነሱ/እነርሱ)  ናቸው
You are näwo/nawot ïsswo/ïrswo + näwo/näwot (እስዎ/እርስዎ)  ነዎ/ነዎት
He / She is nächäw ïssaččäw/ïrsaččäw + näčäw (እሳቸው/እርሳቸው)  ናቸው

Let’s write some examples:

Sentence Transliteration Amharic
I am a¹ student ïne tämari näñ
(I student am)
እኔ  ተማሪ   ነኝ
You are a student(masc) (antä) tämari näh
(You student are)
(አንተ)  ተማሪ ነህ
You are a student (fem) (anči) tämari näsh
(You student are)
(አንቺ)  ተማሪ ነሽ 
He is a student (ïssu) tämari näw
(He student is)
(እሱ)  ተማሪ  ነው
She is a student (ïsswa) tämari näč
(She student is)
(እስዋ)  ተማሪ  ነች
We are students (ïñña) tämariwoč² nän
(We students are)
(እኛ)  ተማሪዎች   ነን 
You are students (ïnnantä) tämariwoč näččuh
(You students are)
(እናንተ)  ተማሪዎች   ናችሁ
They are students (ïnnässu) tämariwoč näčäw
(They students are)
(እነሱ)  ተማሪዎች   ናቸው
You are a student (ïsswo) tämari näwo
(You students are)
(እስዎ)  ተማሪ  ነዎ
He / She is a student (ïssaččäw) tämari näčäw
(He/She student is)
(እሳቸው)  ተማሪ  ናቸው 

¹ The definite article a/an is not used in Amharic
² Plurals are formed adding “woč” or “oč” (if the word ends in a vowel or a consonant) to the noun.

For those who want to practice more, I would recommend writing the above sentences in Amharic several times on a paper to memorize the verb and the characters.


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