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In our last lesson, we got to know that personal pronouns are a broad set of pronouns, encompassing subject and object pronouns. If you missed that lesson, please pause here, go to that lesson and make sure you fully understand it, and then come back to continue the present lesson.
Today’s lesson is about subject pronouns. Again, this shouldn’t be too difficult if you came here after reading Akan (Twi) Pronouns and Personal Pronouns in Twi. You may continue reading beneath the embedded video lesson below.
What is a subject pronoun?
As its name implies, a subject pronoun is a pronoun that acts as the subject of a sentence (specifically, of the verb). So far, our lessons on Twi pronouns have taught us that (personal) pronouns take the place of nouns and noun phrases. So, a personal pronoun, having replaced a subject noun or noun phrase of a sentence, assumes the subject role that the noun or noun phrase was playing in that sentence. Thus, a personal pronoun that is used as the subject of a sentence (verb) is what we call a subject pronoun.
List of subject pronouns in Twi
The table below shows a list of subject pronouns in Twi.
|Me||I (1st person singular)|
|Wo||You (2nd person singular)|
|Ɔno||He/She (3rd person singular)|
|Ɛno||It (3rd person neutral)|
|Yɛn||We (1st person plural)|
|Mo||You (2nd person plural)|
|Wɔn||They (3rd person plural)|
In the examples below, you will find the subject pronouns underlined.
1. Metɔn mako.
I sell pepper.
2. Wodidii anɔpa.
You ate in the morning.
3. Ɔpɛ aduane.
He/she likes food.
4. Ɛforo nnua.
It climbs trees.
We have slept.
6. Mosere me a, mɛgyae.
If you (plural) laugh at me, I will stop.
7. Wɔtan me.
They hate me.
Twi pronouns constitute a key topical area when it comes to Twi grammar. It will, therefore, be beneficial if we understand its workings very well. Below, you will find two very important rules regarding Twi subject pronouns. Get to understand them and you are on your way to building a solid foundation for a faster and better learning of the language.
- In Twi, when a subject pronoun is directly followed by a verb, we combine the subject pronoun and verb into a single word in writing, including any accompanying tense marker. This explains why in the set of usage examples above (1 – 7), the subject pronouns and verbs are written together in all cases except example 3. The case of example 3 is different because the verb does not directly follow the pronoun.
So, when writing, make sure you combine the subject pronouns and verbs that directly follow them, together with all tense markers. Let’s look at some examples.
- Yɛn (we) + bɛ (future marker) + ware (marry) = Yɛbɛware (We will marry).
- Me (I) + re (progressive marker) + kɔ (go) + dware (bath, verb) = Merekɔdware (I am going to bath).
- Mo (you, plural) + re (progressive marker) + twerɛ (write) + nsɔhwɛ (exam) = Moretwerɛ nsɔhwɛ (you (plural) are writing an exam).
- When the Twi subject pronouns ɔno (he/she), ɛno (it), yɛn (we) and wɔn (they) are directly followed by verbs, they change into ɔ, ɛ, yɛ, and wɔ So, in addition to combining Twi subject pronouns with verbs that directly follow them (as mentioned in point 1 above), the forms of ɔno, ɛno, yɛn and wɔn will change into ɔ, ɛ, yɛ, and wɔ respectively if they are directly followed by verbs.
This explains why in our set of usage examples (1 – 7), the following happens.
- Ɔno (he/she) + pɛ (like) + aduane (food) = Ɔpɛ aduane (He/she likes food)
- Ɛno (it) + foro (climb) + nnua (trees) = Ɛforo nnua (It climbs trees).
- Yɛn (we) + ada (slept) = Yɛada (we have slept)
- Wɔn (they) + tan (hate) + me (me) = Wɔtan me (They hate me)
The lesson ends here. I suggest you go over it a few times to ensure you have a full grasp of it before you move on to the next lesson Lesson 16: Object Pronouns in Twi.
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