Adjective In Kiswahili: Comparisons and Superlatives Made Easy

July 29, 2023 1 Comment
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You’ve decided to learn Kiswahili and want to dive into describing the world around you. Adjectives are key to adding color and life to your conversations. Get ready to boost your Swahili skills and discover some of the most useful adjectives to know. In this quick guide, you’ll learn common adjectives to describe objects, people, places, feelings, and so much more.

With these essential words at your fingertips, you’ll be describing details effortlessly and engaging in lively discussions in no time. Whether you want to talk about the hot weather, a crowded bus, or your funny friend, this list has you covered. Prepare to get descriptive and bring your Swahili to the next level! An exciting new world of expression awaits.

Adjectives In Kiswahili to Describe People

Swahili has some great adjectives to describe people and their wonderful qualities. Let’s start with some basics. Mzuri means beautiful or handsome. Use it for someone who brightens your day with their smile and spirit. Rafiki mwema is a good friend, your close companion who’s always there for you. Mpole is kind or gentle, perfect for that soft-spoken soul who wouldn’t hurt a fly.

Feeling energetic? Say that guy is shujaa, brave, or courageous. For a hard worker, say ana bidii, diligent or industrious. Someone smart or clever is mjanja. And a trustworthy person is mwaminifu. Want to describe a family? Baba is the father, mama is mother. Dada is a sister, kaka is a brother. For respect, call someone mzee (elder) or bibi (grandmother).

With these useful adjectives, you’ll be describing people in Swahili in no time. Why not try them out next time you meet your rafiki mwema, or that mzuri girl? Learn a few each day, and soon you’ll be conversing comfortably about all the amazing people in your life!

Adjective In Kiswahili for Describing Places

Learning adjectives is key to describing anything in Swahili! Some useful words for talking about places are majestic and grandiose, two fantastic adjectives to describe Kenya’s breathtaking landscapes. Say “mashupavu” for majestic like the snow-capped Mount Kenya, and “kubwa” for grand, like the vast Maasai Mara.

Peaceful and serene natural areas are “tulivu” and “mzuri”. Picture a secluded tropical beach or the rolling hills of the Highlands. The stuff postcards are made of! Historical sites that showcase the rich cultural heritage of Swahili civilization deserve adjectives like “zamani” meaning ancient, and “muhimu” meaning important. Places like Gedi Ruins and Kilwa Kisiwani will transport you back in time.

With these useful adjectives, you’ll be describing places in Swahili in no time! Keep exploring to uncover more words to depict the beauty and wonder of Kenya and Tanzania. Don’t forget that adjectives usually come after the noun they modify, and they must agree in number with that noun. Now go out and put your new words to use! The vibrant culture and striking landscapes of East Africa await your colorful descriptions!

Adjective In Kiswahili for Talking About Time

Learning Swahili adjectives is a fun way to start describing the world around you! Swahili has many useful adjectives for talking about time that will allow you to discuss schedules, events, and the passage of time.

Adjectives for Days of the Week

In Swahili, the days of the week are:

  • Jumatatu – Monday
  • Jumanne – Tuesday
  • Jumatano – Wednesday
  • Alhamisi – Thursday
  • Ijumaa – Friday
  • Jumamosi – Saturday
  • Jumapili – Sunday

You can say “leo ni Jumatatu” (today is Monday) or “kesho ni Ijumaa” (tomorrow is Friday).

Adjectives for Time of Day

  • Asubuhi – morning
  • Mchana – afternoon
  • Jioni – evening
  • Usiku – night

For example, you could say, “Ninakula chakula cha jioni” (I eat dinner in the evening).

Other Useful Time Adjectives

  • Mpya – new, recent
  • Zamani – old, former, previous
  • Baada ya – after
  • Kabla ya – before
  • Saa ngapi? – What time is it?

Using these adjectives, you can say things like:

  • Leo ni siku mpya. – Today is a new day.
  • Tulikutana baada ya shule. – We met after school.
  • Kabla ya kulala, ninafanya kazi. – Before going to sleep, I do work.

With practice, you’ll be describing time like a pro in Swahili in no time! Keep listening for these adjectives in conversations and songs to help lock them into your memory. In a few lessons, you’ll be ready to move on to learning Swahili verbs and starting to form full sentences. Asante (thank you) for learning, and endelea kujifunza! (Keep learning!)

Powerful Kiswahili Adjectives to Describe Emotions


Powerful adjectives are key to bringing your Swahili descriptions to life! Once you know some essential nouns and verbs, adjectives allow you to express yourself in vibrant, emotional ways. Here are some of the most powerful Swahili adjectives to describe emotions and bring your speech to the next level.


Use -penzi to convey affection or love. Mke wangu mpenzi means “my dear wife.” Rafiki yangu mpenzi is “my dear friend.” Adding -penzi to nouns turns them into heartfelt terms of endearment.


Feeling fierce or intense? Use -kali. For example, “the hot chili” is pilipili kali. Maji makali are “fierce waters,” like rough seas. Ugomvi mkali is an “intense quarrel or argument.” -Kali injects a sense of passion and vehemence into your descriptions.


To express beauty or goodness, use -zuri. Mwanamke mzuri is a “beautiful woman.” Habari nzuri means “good news.” Kitu kizuri is a “good thing.” -Zuri conveys positivity, excellence, and pleasantness.


On the other hand, -baya expresses negativity or badness. For example, mtu mbaya is a “bad person.” Majibu mabaya is “bad answers.” Tabia mbaya refers to “bad behavior” or “bad manners.” Use -baya to describe things that are unpleasant, unkind, or undesirable. With these powerful adjectives at your disposal, you have the tools to describe an array of emotions and qualities in Swahili. Practice using them in sentences to bring your speech and writing to life! By mastering adjectives, you’ll gain a whole new level of self-expression in this dynamic language.

kiswahili Adjectives FAQ: Your Questions Answered


You’ve got questions about Swahili adjectives, and we’ve got answers! Learning new words in any language can be challenging, but we’re here to help make Swahili adjectives easy and exciting.

What are the most common Kiswahili adjectives?

Some of the most popular Swahili adjectives are -zuri (beautiful), -kubwa (big), -dogo (small), -pya (new), -zima (whole/entire), and -mbaya (bad). Master these, and you’ll be describing objects, places, and people in no time!

Do adjectives change based on the noun they describe?

Yes, in Swahili, adjectives change form depending on the noun class of the word they’re describing. For example, -zuri (beautiful) becomes -zuri when describing a class 9 noun like nyumba (house), but changes to -nzuri when describing a class 1 noun like mtu (person).

What are the rules for making adjectives agree with nouns?

The rules for adjective agreement in Swahili are:

  • Adjectives that end in -a, like -zuri, change to match the noun class. So -zuri becomes -nzuri for class 1, -mzuri for class 3, etc.
  • Adjectives that end in -e, like -pya (new), change to -pye for class 5 nouns and -mpya for class 4 nouns. Otherwise, they stay the same.
  • Adjectives that end in -i, like -kubwa (big), change to match nouns in classes 3, 4, and 6. So -kubwa becomes -kubwa for class 3, -mikubwa for class 4, and -makubwa for class 6.
  • For other adjectives, the initial vowel or consonant may change. The rules are complex, so it’s best to memorize the different forms.

Does this help explain Swahili adjectives? Let us know if you have any other questions! We’re happy to help you learn. Habari ya asubuhi! (Good morning!)


You now have a whole host of Swahili adjectives at your disposal to describe anything and everything around you! With practice, these descriptive words will roll off your tongue, and you’ll be conversing comfortably about colors, sizes, ages, and beyond. Keep exploring, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

The more you use these adjectives, the more natural Swahili will feel. So get out there and describe the vibrant flowers, chat about your energetic friends, and discuss the latest fashions. The possibilities are endless. You’ve got this! Now go spread your wings and describe the world in Swahili. The colorful, cultural journey awaits!

Want to learn more about Adjectives in Swahili? I have activities in my TPT store that are fun, interactive, and engaging, designed to help you learn Adjectives in Swahili while having fun!

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  • […] creates a personal archive of your language-learning adventure. Begin by means of jotting down some sentences about your day in Swahili. You don’t need to write a novel; simple entries like “Leo nilienda sokoni kununua […]

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