Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Grammar: Using Contractions in Creole.

m contraction for mwen (i, me, my)
w contraction for ou (you, your)
l contraction for li (he/her, him, his)
n contraction for nou (we, our, us)
y contraction for yo (they, their, them) (Contraction only used with subject pronoun "they")

Rule 1:  When placing contractions after a word, place them only after words that end with a vowel.
Koute m. → Listen to me
Mwen konprann ou. (Instead of: Mwen konprann w) I understand you.
Sa se manman m. (the word "manman" ends with nasal vowel "an") → This is my mother.
Sa se liv nou. (instead of: Sa se liv n) This is our book.
Chyen an te mòde l. → The dog bit him.

Rule 2:  Do not place contractions after the prepositions: sou (on), nan (in,at), and pou (for).
The coffee spilled on me.
Kafe a tonbe sou mwen.
(instead of: kafe a tonbe sou m.)

This gift is for her.
Kado sa se pou li.
(instead of: Kado sa se pou l.)

Believe in me.
Kwè nan mwen.
(instead of: Kwè nan m.)

Have ever seen these contractions in a sentence?
k contraction for ki (who, that)
p contraction for pa (negative marker)
t contraction for te (past tense marker)

1. Sa'k pase?
(instead of: Sa ki pase?)
What's happenning?

2. Mwen p'ap chante.
(instead of: Mwen pa ap chante.)
I will not sing.

3. Mwen t'ale wè yo.
(instead of: Mwen te ale wè yo.)
I went to see them.

Some contractions for a few Creole words:
al contraction for ale (to go)
vin contraction for vini (to come)
fin contraction for fini (to complete)
konn contraction for konnen (to know)
ka, kab contraction for kapab (to be able)

Examples of some sentences in which contractions are used.  See if you can translate them.  Scroll down for answers.
1. Mwen t'al wè w.  Ou pa't la.
2. Ede m pote malèt la. Mwen p'ap ka pote l pou kont mwen.
3. Poukisa w'ap meprize m konsa?
4. Papa n rete Ayiti.
5. Y'ap pale avè n lè yo pare.

1. I went to see you.  You weren't there.
2. Help me to carry the suitcase.  I won't be able to carry it on my own.
3. Why are you ignoring me?
4. Our dad lives in Haiti.
5. They will talk to us when they're ready.

Grammar: Using the Haitian Creole word "SOT" or "SOTI"

soti → go out, come out of, come from, exit
sot → (contracted form of soti) it also means just came from

He came out of the room.
Li soti nan chanm nan.

I am from (come from) Haiti.
Mwen soti Ayiti.

I came from new York.
Mwen sot New York.

I just came from seeing her.
Mwen sot wè li.

We should get out more often.
Nou ta dwe soti pli souvan.

An nou fè yon ti soti non!
Let's go out! (for entertainment)

I'm out.  Don't wait up for me.
Mwen sòti.  Pa tann mwen.

People who come from Port-de-Paix have a good heart.
Moun ki sot Port-de-Paix gen bon kè.

Soti deyò!
Get out!
Go outside!

Soti nan kay la!
Get out of the house!

Soti nan machin nan!
Get out of the car!

Sot nan tèt mwen!
Get out of my head!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Grammar: Asking "yes" and "No" questions

To ask a 'yes' or 'no' question in Haitian Creole, place "Eske" in front of your sentence.
Review lesson 25 before doing this exercise
li marye - he's married
eske li marye - is he married

frèz yo mi -  the strawberries are ripe
eske frèz yo mi? - are the strawberries ripe?

pye bwa a tonbe - the tree fell
eske pye bwa a tonbe? - did the tree fall?

ou kontan - you're happy
eske ou kontan? - are you happy?

chyen yo ap jape - the dogs are barking.
eske chyen yo ap jape? - are the dogs barking?
Let's practice!


1. Madanm sa-a genyen yon bel bag nan dwèt li.

2. Chyen sa yo tap jape tout nan nwit.

3. Alex bwè dlo a nan yon sèl glòt!

4. Ti fi a pral marye demen.

5. Genyen lekòl jodia.

6. Ti pitit la chante tankou yon ti zwazo.

7. Tout "Cowboy" soti Texas.

8. Yo di anpil mizisyen ap mouri pòv.

9. Gwo anvlòp sa se pou ou.

10. Egzèsis sa te fasil!

Grammar: Subject Pronouns

I - Mwen, M

you - Ou, W

He/She/ It - Li, l

We - Nou, N

You - Nou, N

They - Yo, Y

1. She buys five houses. - Li achte senk kay. Or L-achte senk Kay.

2. We come to see you. - Nou vini wè w. Or N vini wè w

3. They sing all night. - Yo chante tout nan nwit.

4. They buy all the food. - Y achte tout manje a.

5. I show you the way. - Mwen montre ou chimin an

Let's practice. Translate the following sentences.

1. He is happy.

2. She walks fast.

3. I sit next to you.

4. We bring good news.

5. They talk a lot.

Find answer key at the bottom of this page

1.li kontan    2.li mache vit    3. m chita bò kote w    4.nou pote bòn nouvèl    5.yo pale anpil.

Grammar: Definite article

Good news! I have posted a video lesson on the singular definite article. Look to the left column of the screen into the Audio/Video section and select The Singular Definite Article parts 1, 2, 3, and 4. Hope it helps.

More on the definite articles in Exercisae 10, and 12
You may also take a test on the definite articles at http://hosted.onlinetesting.net/HaitianCreole/login.pl



A. For words ending with a nonnasal vowel, the definite article is "a".

1. Pye a - The foot

2. Kò a - The body

B. For words ending with a consonant preceded by a nonnasal vowel the definite article is "la".

1. Liv la - The book

2. Tab la - The table

C. For words ending with the nasal vowels "an, en, on" the definite article is "an".

1. Tan an - The time

2. Jaden an - The garden

D. For words ending with a consonant which is preceded by the nasal vowels "an, en, on" , The definite article is "lan".

1. Sant lan - The odor

2. Pant lan -The edge

E. For words ending with a resonating "m and n", The definite article is "nan".

1. Kann nan - The Sugar cane

2. Fanm nan - The lady

Added:  SPECIAL NOTE: For words ending in the vowels “i” and “ou” which is preceded by a nasal sound, Creole speakers will use the definite article: an

1. fanmi an – the family (the ending “-mi” is preceded by a nasal sound “fan-“)

2. senti an – the waist

3. tanbou an – the drum

4. lennmi an – the enemy

F. Let's practice! Practice makes perfect. Choose the correct definite article for the following words. Choose: a, nan, lan, la, an

1. Zanmi 2. Twalèt 3. Klou 4. Pen

5. Syèl 6. Vwazen 7. kay 8. Chapo

9. Semèn 10. Leson 11. Chanm 12. Mont

Find answer key at the bottom of this page

 1.zanmi an   2.twalèt la   3.klou a    4.pen an    5.syèl la    6.vwazen an    7.kay la    8.chapo a    9.semèn nan    10.leson an     11.chanm nan    12.mont lan.

Grammar: To have

Genyen - to have
Gen - to have

Gen is the contracted form of genyen

Gen and genyen are used interchangeably in the Haitian Creole language. 

1. Mwen genyen yon machin - I have a car.
2. M gen yon machin - I have a car.

3. li genyen ven tan - he's twenty years old4. li gen ven tan - he/she is twenty years old.

5. nou genyen yon pitit - we have a child
6. nou gen yon pitit - we have a child

7. yo genyen cheve wouj - they have red hair
8. yo gen cheve wouj - they have red hair

Let's Practice. Please translate the following sentences.

1. I have a house.

2. You have a car.

3. You have two books.

4. My room has a bed.

5. Roro has a t-shirt.

6. I got enough.

7. The house has an upstairs floor.

8. Each country has a flag.

Find answer key at the bottom of this page

 1.m gen yon kay    2ou gen yon machin    3.ou gen de liv    4.hanm mwen gen yon kabann    5.Roro gen yon mayo.      6. m gen ase     7.Kay la gen yon chanmòt       8.chak peyi gen yon drapo

Grammar: Comparatives

Yeap! The biggest baddest, coolest, and most useful skill ever is to speak more then one language.  It opens new doors.  You meet new people, discover new traditions and cultures, and learn how the other half of the world live.

The determiner for Haitian Creole superlative is 'pi'.

The ten Haitian Creole superlatives that you must memorize are:

1. pi gwo - biggest

2. pi bon - best

3. pi bèl - most beautiful

Pi fò pase tsunami.
Pi bèl pase lanmou.
Pi cho pase solèy.

4. pi piti - smallest

5. pi fò - strongest

6. pi fasil - easiest

7. pi dous - sweetest

8. pi anfòm - coolest

9. pi move - worst

10. pi cho - hottest (has nothing to do with the word 'sexy hot')

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Grammar: There will be / There won't be

There will be...

There will be joy.
Ap gen lajwa.  or
Pral gen lajwa.

There will be laughter.
Ap gen kè kontan. or
Pral gen kè kontan.

There will be cakes.
Ap gen gato.    or
Pral gen gato.

There will be food.
Ap gen manje.   or
Pral gen manje.

There will be fireworks.
Ap gen fe datifis.   or
Pral gen fe datifis.

There won't be.

There won't be any tears.
Pap gen kriye.

There won't be violence.
Pap gen vyolans.

There won't be any anguish.
Pap gen tèt chaje.

There won't be peace.
Pap gen lapè.

There won't be enough space for you.
Pap gen ase plas pou ou.