Zulu Grammar cheat sheet

Noun Prefixes
 
Class sing. plur.
1/2 um(u)- aba-, abe-
1a/2a u- o-
3/4 um(u)- imi-
5/6 i- ama-, ame-
7/8 isi- izi-
9/10 i(m,n)- izi(m,n)-
11/10 u- izi(m,n)-
14 ubu-
15 uku-
17 uku-
Subject Concords
(present tense)
sing. +,-,p plur. +,-,p
u-, -ka-, e- ba-, -ba-, be-
u-, -ka-, e- ba-, -ba-, be-
u-, -wu- i-, -yi-
li-, -li- a-, -wa-, e-
si-, -si- zi-, -zi-
i-, -yi- zi-, -zi-
lu-, -lu- zi-, -zi-
bu-, -bu-
ku-, -ku-
ku-, -ku- (also indef. "it")
Subject Concords
(past tense: SC+a)
sing. plur.
wa- ba-
wa- ba-
wa- ya-
la- a-
sa- za-
ya- za-
lwa- za-
ba-
kwa-
kwa-
Subject Concords
(recent past cont.)
sing. plur.
ube- bebe-
ube- bebe-
ube- beyi-
beli- abe-
besi- bezi-
beyi- bezi-
belu- bezi-
bebu-
beku-
beku-
Subject Concords
(remote past cont.)
sing. plur.
waye- babe-
waye- babe-
wawu- yayi-
lali- aye-
sasi- zazi-
yayi- zazi-
lwalu- zazi-
babu-
kwaku-
kwaku-

Personal SC (+,-,p)
ngi-, -ngi- I
u-, -wu- you
u-, -ka-, e- he/she
si-, -si- we
ni-, -ni- you
ba-, -ba-, be- they
+ = positive
- = negative
p = participial mood

Future tense: SC + -zo-
(neg: -zu-) (+ -ku- with mono­syl­lab­ic verbs)
Personal SC
nga- I
wa- you
wa- he/she
sa- we
na- you
ba- they
Personal SC
bengi- I
ube- you
ube- he/she
besi- we
beni- you
bebe- they
Personal SC
ngangi- I
wawu- you
waye- he/she
sasi- we
nani- you
babe- they

 

Noun Prefixes
 
Class sing. plur.
1/2 um(u)- aba-, abe-
1a/2a u- o-
3/4 um(u)- imi-
5/6 i- ama-, ame-
7/8 isi- izi-
9/10 i(m,n)- izi(m,n)-
11/10 u- izi(m,n)-
14 ubu-
15 uku-
17 uku-
Object Concords
 
sing. plur.
-m- -ba-
-m-, -wu-¹ -ba-
-wu- -yi-
-li- -wa-
-si- -zi-
-yi- -zi-
-lu- -zi-
-bu-
-ku-
-ku-
Possessive Concords
(SC + a)²
sing. plur.
wa-, ka- ba-, baka-
wa-, ka- ba-, baka-
wa-, ka- ya-, ka-
la-, lika- a-, ka-
sa-, sika- za-, zika-
ya-, ka- za-, zika-
lwa-, luka- za-, zika-
ba-, buka-
kwa-, kuka-
kwa-, kuka-
Adjective Concords
(a + noun prefix)
sing. plur.
om(u)- aba-
om(u)- aba-
om(u)- emi-
eli- ama-
esi- ezi-
en-, em- ezin-, ezim-
olu- ezin-, ezim-
obu-
oku-
oku-
Relative Concords
 
sing. plur.
o- aba-
o- aba-
o- e-
eli- a-
esi- ezi-
e- ezi-
olu- ezi-
obu-
oku-
oku-

Personal OC
-ngi- me
-ku- you
-m- him/her
-si- us
-ni- you
-ba- them
¹ ‑m‑ refers to per­sons, ‑wu‑ to other objects:
uyamsiza ubaba
He's helping dad
uyawudla ubhiya
He's drinking the beer
Possessive Stems
-mi my
-kho your
-khe his/her
-ithu our
-inu your
-bo their
² the ‑ka‑ variants are used with class 1a pos­ses­sors:
izinkomo zikababa
Dad's cattle
Personal AC
engim(u)-
om(u)-
om(u)-
esiba-
eniba-
aba-
Personal RC
engi-
o-
o-
esi-
eni-
aba-

 

Noun Prefixes
 
Class sing. plur.
1/2 um(u)- aba-, abe-
1a/2a u- o-
3/4 um(u)- imi-
5/6 i- ama-, ame-
7/8 isi- izi-
9/10 i(m,n)- izi(m,n)-
11/10 u- izi(m,n)-
14 ubu-
15 uku-
17 uku-
Absolute Pronouns
 
sing. plur.
yena bona
yena bona
wona yona
lona wona
sona zona
yona zona
lona zona
bona
khona
khona
Quantitative Concords
(-dwa, -nke)
sing. plur.
ye-, wo- bo-
ye-, wo- bo-
wo- yo-
lo- o-
so- zo-
yo- zo-
lo- zo-
bo-
ko-
ko-
"One" Concords
(sing. only)
-dwa (rc+qc) -nye (bnp)
oye- mu-
oye- mu-
owo- mu-
elilo- li-
esiso- si-
eyo- yi-
olulo- lu-
obubo- bu-
okuko- ku-
okuko- ku-
Enumerative Prefixes
(-phi, -ni) (bnp)
sing. plur.
mu- ba-
mu- ba-
mu- mi
li- ma-
si- zi-
yi- zi-
lu- zi-
bu-
ku-
ku-

Personal Pronouns
mina I
wena you
yena he/she
thina we
nina you
bona they
Personal QC
nge-, wo-
we-, wo-
ye-, wo-
so-
no-
bo-
Personal (-nye)


 
simu-
nimu-
 
-phi: which?
-ni: what kind/sort of?

Absolute pronouns lose the trailing -na when used with a prefix. E.g.: nga- + mina = ngami (about me). -dwa:
only/solely (adv.)
-nke:
sg.: all, the whole
pl.: all, every
-dwa:
one/only (adj.)
-nye:
it/there is one ...

The whole truth about -dwa
Inkosi yodwa   Only the chief. The chief alone.
Inkosi eyodwa   One chief
Eyodwa inkosi   The only chief

 

Noun Prefixes
 
Class sing. plur.
1/2 um(u)- aba-, abe-
1a/2a u- o-
3/4
 
um(u)- imi-
5/6 i- ama-, ame-
7/8 isi- izi-
9/10
 
i(m,n)- izi(m,n)-
11/10 u- izi(m,n)-
14 ubu-
15 uku-
17 uku-
Demonstrative Pronouns
(this, that, that over there)
sing. plur.
lo, lowo, lowaya laba, labo, labaya
lo, lowo, lowaya laba, labo, labaya
lo, lowo, lowaya
 
le, leyo, leyaya
 
leli, lelo, leliya la, lawo, lawaya
lesi, leso, lesiya lezi, lezo, leziya
le, leyo, leyaya
 
lezi, lezo, leziya
 
lolu, lolo, loluya lezi, lezo, leziya
lobu, lobo, lobuya
lokhu, lokho, lokhuya
lokhu, lokho, lokhuya
Locative Demonstratives
(here is, there is, over there is)
sing. plur.
nangu, nango, nanguya naba, nabo, nabaya
nangu, nango, nanguya naba, nabo, nabaya
nanku, nanko, nankuya nayi, nayo, nayiya
nansi, nanso, nansiya
nanti, nanto, nantiya nanka, nanko, nankaya
nasi, naso, nasiya nazi, nazo, naziya
nayi, nayo, nayiya
nansi, nanso, nansiya
nazi, nazo, naziya
nalu, nalo, naluya nazi, nazo, naziya
nabu, nabo, nabuya
nakhu, nakho, nakhuya
nakhu, nakho, nakhuya