How To Learn Swahili Fast: Swahili Prepositions

July 29, 2023 No Comments
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You’re eager to learn Swahili and expand your cultural horizons. Great choice! Swahili is a fun language spoken by over 100 million people across East Africa. To get started, focus on learning some essential prepositions. Prepositions are short words that indicate location, direction, or time. Master these building blocks, and you’ll be chatting with new friends in no time.

In Swahili, the preposition ‘kwa’ means ‘at’ or ‘to’. Use it when describing where you are or where you’re going. ‘Kutoka’ means ‘from’ and indicates where you’re coming from. ‘Hadi’ translates to ‘until’ or ‘to’ when referring to an endpoint. ‘Kati ya’ means ‘between’ or ‘among’ for locations or groups. ‘Baada ya’ signifies after, for following in time or place.

With these fundamental prepositions under your belt, you’ll be well on your way to speaking Swahili. Keep practicing every day, listen to music, watch movies, and immerse yourself in the culture. Before you know it, you’ll be planning your exciting trip to East Africa, ready to greet new friends with a cheerful ‘Jambo!’ and chat with locals. The adventure of a lifetime awaits—all thanks to mastering a few simple prepositions to start. Pole, pole (slowly), you’ll get there!

How To Learn Swahili Fast

To start speaking Swahili, you need to know some essential prepositions. These little words indicate location, time, and other relationships between words in a sentence. Master these, and you’ll be chatting away in no time! The most important preposition is ‘kati’ which means ‘between’ or ‘among’. Use it to say something is located between two places or things, like ‘The school is between the church and the market.

’‘Kwa’ means ‘at’, ‘to’, or ‘with’. It’s used to indicate location or direction, as in ‘I’m going to the store’ or ‘The book is with John’.‘Baada’ means ‘after’. Use it to indicate something happening after another event, e.g. ‘We’ll go shopping after school.’‘ Kabla’ is ‘before’, as in ‘We’ll have dinner before the movie.’ Plan ahead with this useful preposition!‘Wakati’ means ‘when’ or ‘while’. It’s used to indicate something happening at the same time as something else, like ‘I like to read when I eat breakfast.

’‘Kama’ means ‘like’ or ‘as’. Use it to make comparisons, e.g. ‘He sings like a bird’ or ‘Do as I say’.How’s that for a start? Practice using these prepositions in sentences and conversations. Soon, you’ll be speaking Swahili with confidence! Keep at it, learn a few new words each day, and before you know it, you’ll be fluent!

Common Learn Swahili Prepositional Phrases to Use in Conversation

To start speaking Swahili, you’ll need to get familiar with some common prepositions and the phrases that go with them. These little words pack a lot of punch and will have you sounding like a pro in no time!

Mimi ni (I am)

Use “mimi ni” to introduce yourself. For example, you could say “Mimi ni Juma” (I am Juma).

Ninatoka (I’m from)

When someone asks where you’re from, use “ninatoka”. For instance, “Ninatoka Marekani” (I’m from America).

Ninakwenda (I’m going)

Heading somewhere? Say “ninakwenda” plus the place. Like “Ninakwenda sokoni” (I’m going to the market).

Kwa (to/at)

Use “kwa” to indicate where you’re going or where something is located. For example, “Ninakwenda kwa duka” (I’m going to the store) or “Kiti kiko kwa ukumbi” (The chair is in the living room).

Na (and/with)

The preposition “na” means “and” or “with”. For example, you could say, “Nataka kahawa na keki” (I want coffee and cake) or “Nimekuja na rafiki yangu” (I came with my friend). By mastering these common prepositional phrases, you’ll be chatting comfortably in Swahili in no time! Keep practicing, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You’ve got this! Tunakusubiri! (We’re waiting for you!)

Learn Swahili: Prepositions of Location

Learn Swahili

Swahili prepositions are essential for learning how to describe locations and spatial relationships. Mastering these will allow you to discuss where things are in relation to other objects with confidence. Let’s start with the basics!

Kwenda na kutoka

To say you’re going to or coming from a place, use kwenda (to go) or kutoka (to come from). For example, say “Ninakwenda shuleni” (I’m going to school) or “Ninatoka shuleni” (I’m coming from school).

Ndani na nje

Ndani means inside or within, while nje means outside. You can say “Kompyuta iko ndani ya chumba” (The computer is inside the room) or “Watoto wako nje ya nyumba” (The children are outside the house).

Mbali na Karibu

Use mbali to indicate something is far away, and karibu to say something is near or close by. For example, “Shamba langu liko mbali na mji” (My farm is far from town) or “Duka la karibu ni karibu na nyumba yangu” (The nearby store is close to my house).

Kushoto na kulia

Kushoto means left and kulia means right. To give directions, say something like “Nenda kulia kwa mwendo wa mita tano” (Go right for five hundred meters). Or to describe the location of an object, say “Kiti kiko upande wa kushoto wa meza” (The chair is on the left side of the table).

Using these essential prepositions will allow you to start describing locations, giving directions, and discussing spatial relationships in Swahili. Keep practicing and listening for these words in context, and in no time you’ll be communicating about where things are with confidence!

Learn Swahili Prepositions In The Time: Key Words and Examples

Learn Swahili

Learning prepositions is key to mastering Swahili. Prepositions tell you the relationship between nouns, pronouns, and other words in a sentence. The good news is that Swahili only has a few basic prepositions to memorize. Let’s start with prepositions of time—they’ll get you talking about when things happen in no time!

Kabla ya – Before

Use ‘kabla ya’ to indicate something happening before another event. For example, Nilitoka kabla ya saa sita – I left before six o’clock.Tulikula kabla ya kuondoka – We ate before leaving.

Baada ya – After

To express something happening after another event, say ‘baada ya’. For example:Baada ya kazi nitakwenda nyumbani. After work, I will go home.Baada ya kuja kwake aliondoka. After he came, he left.

Wakati: When/While

‘Wakati’ means when or while. Use it to indicate something happening at the same time as another event. For example:Wakati wa mvua tulibaki nyumbani. – When it was raining, we stayed at home.Alinipigia simu wakati nilipokuwa shule – He called me while I was at school.

Saa: Time/Hour

To specify a certain time something happens, use ‘saa’ followed by the number of the hour. For example, Nimepika saa tano I cooked at five o’clock.Tulikutana saa kumi na mbili. We met at twelve o’clock. With these essential prepositions of time, you’ll be talking about when events happen in Swahili in no time! Keep practicing, and before you know it, you’ll be fluently describing the sequence of events in your day. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Learn Swahili Prepositions of Direction: Where Things Are Heading

Learn Swahili

Learning prepositions in Swahili is fun! These little words tell you where things are in relation to each other. Some of the most useful prepositions show direction—where things are heading. Let’s check them out!


This versatile preposition means “to” or “towards”. Use it when something is heading in the direction of something else. For example:Ninakwenda dukani. I’m going to the store. Alikwenda shuleni. – He went to school.


Meaning “from” or “out of”, kutoka indicates where something is coming from or originating. For example, Ninatoka nyumbani. – I’m coming from home. Alitoka mjini. – He came from town.


This preposition signifies movement “up to” or “as far as” a certain place. For example, Nilienda hadi uwanja wa ndege. – I went up to the airport.Alisafiri hadi mlima. – He traveled as far as the mountain.


Use kupitia when something is moving “through”, “by way of,” or “via” another place. For example, Nilitembea kupitia bustani I walked through the garden. Tulipita kupitia mlima we passed by way of the mountain.


This preposition means “into” – indicating movement to the inside or interior of a place. For example Niliingia ndani ya nyumba. – I went into the house. Keep exploring and having fun with Swahili! Prepositions open up a whole new world of communication. Use them, and the language will become more natural in no time. You’ve got this!

Learn Swahili: Conclusion

You now have the basics of Swahili prepositions down pat and are well on your way to mastering this key element of the language. With regular practice of the examples and exercises, these little words will soon roll off your tongue with ease and become second nature. Before you know it, you’ll be impressing native Swahili speakers with your grasp of their language.

Keep at it and stay enthusiastic. You’ve got this! Soon you’ll be conversing comfortably and forging meaningful connections with new friends who speak Swahili. The opportunities to use your new language skills are endless. Now get out there and start talking; the exciting journey of learning Swahili awaits!

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

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I'm an elementary school teacher who loves what she does! I enjoy creating resources in my Native language "kiswahili". My goal is to spread the beautiful language of "Kiswahili" inside and outside the classroom. Thanks for stopping by! Read More

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