Negative verbs

 

Negation describes how to make a verb negative in a sentence or say an action is not happen, will not happen, or did not happen. For example, some examples of negation are “I will not come”, “She is not going”, or “They did not eat”.

Negative verbs in Igbo

Please note: Negative verbs may be created in a different way from what is listed on this page depending on your dialect.

Negative Imperative

Imperative verbs are verbs used to give a command such as “Go home!” or “Come in the kitchen!”

One way to make imperative verbs negative in Igbo is to replace the i/ị infinitive marker with either an a or e depending on vowel harmony and add  -la  to the end of the verb. (Again, there are other ways to negate imperative Igbo verbs. It just depends on your dialect).

Some negative imperative Igbo verb examples:

ibịa – “to come” | Negative imperative form: abịala (Do not come!)

ije – “to go” | Negative imperative form: ejela (Do not go!)

Negative Present Simple/Continuous Tense

To make Igbo verbs in the present tense negative, remember to follow the general rules for Igbo present tense verbs and remove the i/ị infinitive marker and add  -ghi/-ghị to the end of the verb depending on vowel harmony. For plural nouns and when the verb comes before the noun in 1st person singular, add an “a” in front of the verb that is being negated.

Review these examples for more info:

Vowel Harmony Group A Example:

Let’s go over how to conjugate the different verb ịbụ (“to be”) in negative present simple tense.

M bụghị / A bụghị m  – I am not

Ị bụghị – You are not

Ọ bụghị – He/She/It is not

Anyi abụghị – We are not

Ụnụ abụghị– You all are not

Ha abụghị – They are not

Note: If the negated verb is not referring directly to one of the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd person singular subject pronouns and is referring to a singular possessive pronoun instead (like my, his, her), then you would add an in front of the negated verb. This also applies if you replace the 3rd person singular pronoun with the name of an actual person, place, or thing. (See examples below).

Aha ya abụghị Ezinne – Her name is not Ezinne.

Aha m abụghị Amaka. – My name is not Amaka.

Chidi anọghị  n’akwụkwọ. – Chidi is not at school.

 

Another Vowel Harmony Group A Example:

Let’s go over how to conjugate the verb ga (“to go”) in negative present continuous tense.  First, combine the present tense auxiliary verb “na-” and negative participle  “ghị” into the word naghị without the hyphen. Next, for plural pronouns and when the verb comes before the noun in 1st person singular add an “a” in front of naghị. Then, replace the  ị marker in ga with a for vowel harmony to make it aga.

M naghị aga / A naghị m aga   – I am not going

Ị naghị aga   – You are not going

  naghị aga – He/She/It is not going

Anyi anaghị aga – We are not going

Ụnụ anaghị aga  – You (all) are not going

Ha anaghị aga / A naghị  ha aga – They are not going

Negative Future Tense

Vowel Harmony Group A Example:

Let’s go over how to conjugate the verb ga (“to go”) in negative future  tense.  First, combine the future tense auxiliary verb “ga-” and negative participle “ghị” into the word gaghị without the hyphen. Next, for plural pronouns and when the verb comes before the noun in 1st person singular, add an “a” in front of gaghị. Then, replace the  ị marker in ga with a for vowel harmony to make it aga.

M gaghị aga / A gaghị m aga– I will not go

Ị gaghị aga   – You will not go

  gaghị aga – He/She/It will not go

Anyi agaghị aga– We will not go

Ụnụ agaghị aga  – You (all) will not go

Ha agaghị aga – They will not go

 

Negative Past Tense

 

Vowel Harmony Group A Example:

Let’s go over how to conjugate the verb ga (“to go”) in negative  past tense.  First, remove the  ị marker in ga. Next, for plural pronouns and when the verb comes before the noun in 1st person singular add an “a” in front ga to make it aga. Then add the negative participle “ghị” at the end of the verb to make it gaghị or agaghị.

M gaghị / A gaghị m   – I did not go

Ị gaghị   – You did not go

 gaghị – He/She/It did not go

Anyi agaghị – We did not go

Ụnụ agaghị  – You (all) did not go

Ha agaghị  – They did not go

 

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