Nnọchi aha Igbo (Igbo Pronouns)
Pronouns are words that can replace nouns in a sentence. In Igbo, pronouns do not reveal gender. So, you use the same pronoun to talk about both males and females. The following provides a brief overview of different types of pronouns for your reference and then goes over some pronouns found in Igbo language.
Personal pronouns – These pronouns reveal number, gender, and person (1st, 2nd, or 3rd). Personal pronouns can be subject pronouns, object pronouns, or possessive pronouns.
Impersonal Pronouns (Indefinite) – These pronouns do not refer to a specific object or person (ex. it, someone…).
Possessive Pronouns – In English, possessive pronouns include my/mine, your/yours, her/hers, his, its, our/ours, and their/theirs.
Note: For the singular pronouns, dependent pronouns are usually limited to using the pronoun as a subject and independent pronouns are usually used an object.
He is going. – He is the subject so you would use the pronoun o or ọ for he.
I did not tell him. – Him is an object so you use the pronoun ya for him.
Dependent Pronouns (Inseparable)
1st person: I – m
2nd person: You – i / ị (depends on vowel harmony with vowel in verb)
3rd person: He/she/it – o / ọ (depends on vowel harmony with vowel in verb)
Impersonal: One/Someone – e / a (depends on vowel harmony with vowel in verb)
Independent Pronouns (Separable)
1st person: I or me or my – m or mụ
2nd person: You or your – gị
3rd person: him/his/her/it/its – ya
1st person: We or us or our or ours- anyị
2nd person: You or yours – ụnụ
3rd person: They or their or theirs or them – ha
Addressing a group of people
1st person: All of us – anyị niile
2nd person: All of you –ụnụ niile
3rd person: All of them – ha niile
These are pronouns are for asking questions.
Who? – Onye? / Kedu onye?
What? – Gịnị? / Kedu ihe?
Which? – Kedu nke?
Why? – Maka gịnị?
When? – Olee mgbe? / Kedu mgbe?
Where? – Ebee? / Kedu ebe?
How? – Kedu etụ? / Kedu ka?
Demonstrative pronouns replace the noun or noun phrase in a sentence.
nke ahụ / ahụ– that
ndị ahụ – those
nke a / a – this
ndị a -these