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[fruitful_dbox]Lesson: Definite Particles (The)[/fruitful_dbox]
There is a big difference between saying ‘a book’ and ‘the book’ in most languages. In grammar terms, ‘the’ is called the definite article and turns a general noun into a very specific noun that the speaker/writer is referring to.
Somali creates definite particles be attaching sounds to the end of the word. For example: ‘Book’ in Somali is ‘Buug’ while ‘The book’ is ‘Buugga’. Notice that the difference between the two is that ‘The book’ now has the two additional letters -ga at the end of the main word ‘buug’.
Unlike English, Somali nouns all have a gender, either masculine or feminine. The definite article that goes along with a noun is the best indicator as to the word’s gender, which becomes important later when forming sentences. It breaks down like this:
[fruitful_ibox column=”ffs-two-one” icon=”fa-mars” title=”Masculine” styletext=“font-size:14px”]
[fruitful_ibox column=”ffs-two-one” title=”Feminine” icon=”fa-venus” styletext=“font-size:14px” last=”true”]
When you listen to your vocabulary, pay special attention to what gender each noun is… there is no real rhyme or reason to why some objects are masculine and some are feminine (it definitely has nothing to do with an object being “macho” or “nurturing” or whatever other gender roles people perceive in society), which means there is no easy hack to understanding the word’s gender just by seeing it. As a learner you’ll have to listen and practice memorizing the grammatical gender of the nouns you encounter.