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.

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