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.

Examples:

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)

Singular 

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)

Singular 

1st person:  I or me or my – m or m

2nd person: You or your – g

3rd person:   him/his/her/it/its – ya

 

Plural 

1st person: We or us or our or ours- any

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

 

Interrogative Pronouns

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

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

 

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