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Having mentioned the name of a person, place, thing, animal, or idea, you may want to refer back to it within the same sentence in order to show:
- Which person, place, thing, animal, or idea that you mean.
- More about that person, place, thing, animal, or idea.
To do any of that, we make use of what we call relative pronouns. Today, we look at relative pronouns in Twi. I promise this is going to be a very simple lesson.
What is a relative pronoun?
A relative pronoun is a pronoun used to refer to a hitherto-mentioned noun or noun phrase. There are only a handful of relative pronouns in English, with the most common being who, whom, which, that, whose, whoever and whomever. Other less-common ones are what, when, and where.
Important Note: Do not confuse the wh-words listed above with question words, i.e. words used to ask questions. The above are used in such contexts as:
- The boy who failed the paper is back
- The man to whom the dowry was paid is here
- The woman whose farm caught fire is crying
For question words, you may refer to this lesson. If we are clear on the distinction, let’s continue with the lesson.
Relative Pronouns in Twi
The function that relative pronouns play in English is achieved with a single-letter particle: a (pronounced áà). Let’s see how this particle is used with some examples.
|maame no a gya tɔɔ n’afuom no resu||The woman whose farm caught fire is crying|
|Kofi waree ɔbaa a na ɔnhuu no da||Kofi married a woman that he had never met.|
|papa no a ɔbaa ha no atu kwan||the man who came here has traveled|
|woasum aberewa, baabi a ɔbɛkɔ akɔtɔ deɛ, ɛfa wo ho bɛn?||you’ve pushed an old woman, as to the place where she’ll land, how does it concern you?|
|wokae berɛ a na wonni sika no?||do you remember the time when you didn’t have money?|
|akwadaa no a ne nan mu abuo no kɔ ayaresabea||the child whose leg is broken has gone to the hospital|
|aduro no a wode maa me no asa||the medicine that you gave me is finished|
|merehwehwɛ obi a ɔyɛ kwadwofoɔ||I’m looking for someone who is lazy|
|ɛdan no a yɛdaa mu nnora no adwiri agu||the building in which we slept yesterday has collapsed|
Now, how about the relative pronouns whoever, wherever, whichever, and the likes?
We have previously looked at Twi indefinite pronouns, the likes of obi (someone), obiara (everyone), baabiara (everywhere), baabi (somewhere), biribi (something), etc.
Now, to form the relative pronouns whoever, wherever, whichever, etc., we simply follow up the appropriate Twi indefinite pronoun with the particle a.
|INDEFINITE PRONOUN||PLUS PARTICLE||EQUALS|
|obiara + a|
everyone + who
|biribiara + a|
everything + that
|baabiara + a|
everywhere + where
|biara + a|
any/every + that
|Awurade nhyira wo, obiara a woboaa me no||God bless you, whoever helped me|
|ɛdan anaa kaa, ebiara a wopɛ no, mɛtɔ ama wo||a house or car, whichever you like, I’ll buy (it) for you|
|wiase afɛɛfɛdeɛ yi nyinaa, biribiara a yɛamfa anwo yɛn no, yɛbɛwu agya hɔ||all the(se) niceties of the world, whatever we weren’t born with, we’ll die and leave them behind|
|yi baako, obiara a w’ani gye ne ho||choose one, whomever you like|
And this brings us to the end of the lesson. Please don’t forget to share and subscribe to the website for notifications on future publications. And, if you need to purchase a copy of our vocabulary e-book, you may do so here.
Thank you for reading.