The present continuous, also called the present progressive, is a verb form that combines the present tense with the continuous aspect. In English, the present continuous is made from the present tense of the verb be and the –ing form of a verb: eg.
I am … working
She is …. running
In Dagbani, to achieve the present continuous from the present tense of a verb we use: ra, na, or ta. These forms are used without objects to the verb.
O chana – He/She is walking – (Verb is Chama)
Bi dara – They are buying – (Verb is Da)
O birta – He/She is sowing – (Verb is Biri)
|Verb||Present Continuous||In English|
|Chama||O Chena||He/She/It is walking|
|Da/Daabu||Bi dara/Bi Daara||They are buying/They are pushing|
|Biri||O bir'ta||He/She is sowing|
When they are used with objects, we get the forms -di, -ti, -ni and -ri.
O damdi zim = He/She/It is stiring flour
O diri saɣim = He/She/It is eating tuo zaafi
Bi chani daa = They are going to the market
The endings : –imi or –mi or –rimi could also be used to define a present continuos tense. This is not certainly the academically defined verb inflection, however, you will most likely use imi, mi or rimi to define present continuous on a daily basis.
|Question in English||Question in Dagbani|
Asking Questions About What’s Happening in The Moment
||Answer (Dagbani)||Question (English)||Answer (English)|
|Bo ka a niŋda?||N guurimi||What are you doing?||I am running|
|Bo ka bia maa niŋda?||Bia maa dirila bindirigu||What is the child doing?||The child is eating food.|
|Bo ka paɣa maa niŋda?||Paɣa maa bohindila Dagbani.||What is the woman doing?||The woman is learning Dagbani.|
(1) Me: Dasiba Kataali.
(2) You: Nnaa, Timtooni.
(3) Me: A chɛnla shikuru?
(4) You: Aayi, n bi chɛni shikuru.
(5) Me: Ka ya ka a chana?
(6) You: N chɛnla tuma ni.
(7) Me: Tuma ni? A pa tumdila tuma?
(8) You: iin, n pa tumdila tuma.
(1) Me: Good morning Kataali.
(2) You: Greetings, Timtooni.
(3) Me: Are you going to school?
(4) You: No, I am not going to school.
(5) Me: Then where are you going?
(6) You: I am going to work
(7) Me: Work place? You now work?
(8) You: Yes, I now work
Present Continuous – Negative
To give a negative response to a present continuous question, add any of the “bi” before the continuous verb. Example:
N bi guura = I am not running
|Personal pronouns (Dagbani)||Personal pronoun (English)||Negation (Dagbani)||Negation (English)|
|n||I||N bi||I do not/ I am not|
|a||You||A bi||You do not/ You are not|
|o||He/She/It||O bi||He/She/It does not / He/She/It is not|
|bi||They||Bi bi||They do not/ They are not|
|ti||We||Ti Bi||We do not/ We are not|
Negation in Dagbani depends on the verb. Negating a pronoun even though written the same could mean differently. It depends on the verbs “being” and “doing”.
“N” is used to refer to the personal Pronoun “I”
“A” is used to refer to personal Pronoun “you”
“O” is used to refer to personal Pronoun “he/she/it”
“Bi” is used to refer to personal Pronoun “they”
“Ti” is used to refer to personal Pronoun “we”
|N bi zaya. N ʒimi.||I am not standing. I am sitting.|
|A bi dira. A nyurimi.||You are not eating. You are drinking.|
|O bi kuhira. O larimi.||He/She/It is not crying. He/She/It is laughing.|
|Bɛ bi chana. Bɛ guurimi.||They are not walking. They are running.|
|Ti bi karinda. Ti warimi.||We are not learning. We are dancing.|
ɛ, ɣ, ŋ, ɔ, and ʒ
Guurimi = running
Niŋda = doing
Bindirigu = food
Bia = child
Dirila = eating
Bɔhim = learn
Bɔhindila = learning
paɣa = woman
Tuma = work
Tumdila = working
Chanila = going
Shikuru = school
iin = yes
Aayi = No
Found any issues, feel free to suggest changes here! Thank you for your contribution.
Lesson by: Rasheeda Yehuza