Episode 2: All About You

It’s important to start speaking as soon as possible, and the thing we can all talk most about is ourselves. So I’m going to use the first person to introduce some topics, which we can expand on later.

So, who are you, in Guaraní. I’m me, you want to say. In Guaraní, that’s che. Che Paulita, I would say.

Che means me, I, or my. Remember last episode we learned the word avei, which means “as well”? Well now you know how to say "me too", which would be che avei. So when you greet someone and they say Che aipora, or “I’m good,” you can say, che avei. Me too.

Now because we want to get speaking as soon as possible, we’re going to get to that other thing you need for a sentence, a verb.

And our first verb is japo. Japo means "to do or to make." These concepts, which are separate in English, are combined into one word in Guaraní, like hacer in Spanish.

You’ll remember that Guaraní verbs are like trains. The verb by itself is like a lonely car. It needs the conductor to drive. So who’s driving this train?

When it’s me driving the train, when I’m doing or making something, we’re going to put an a in the front, which takes the soft a sound like the Spanish a. There are separate beginning for each different pronoun, such as he, we, them, which we’ll discuss in the next episode. Right now let’s talk more about you.

So when someone asks you, “Who’s making dinner?” You can say “Che ajapo.” I’m making it.

For almost all verbs, the root, such as japo, will stay the same, and you will just change the front sound for the personal pronoun. But what fun would life be without irregular verbs?

So what are some irregular verbs we can start with. How about “I go.” To say “I go”, you’re going to start with that same Che and add the verb, aha. Che aha. There’s still that same “a” sound in the front there for the first person, so that’s good. What else? If you’re going somewhere, then you must be coming to another place, so to say I’m coming is “Che aju.”

Here’s one more irregular that you’re going to use a lot. This is one of the few that does not have the a in front. It means “I eat.” Che ha’u.

To say, "I say", its che ha’e. One of the phrases used her to mean I agree is “Che ha’e avei.” Literally, "I say also."

Now you have the conductor car, the verb cargo car, but what about those cabooses, the suffixes if you want to be boring, that latch on to the back of the words to change their meaning?

First, let’s think of some in English. Let’s say "to go", which is aha. And "I go" is Che aha. Well what about "I’m going", with that -ing that indicates that the action is going on right now? In Guaraní, that ending is hina.

The next two endings I want to give you also have to do with time. If things are occuring presently, with hina, then what about things that will occur in the future? For this, you add a ...ta to the end of a word. (I will write the eclipse before word endings) So how would you say, “I will go?” Che ahata. How about, “I will come?” Che ajuta. “I will eat?” Che ha’uta.

The next ending is kind of like a past tense, but it really means more like “already.” The translation for that in Guarani is a verb ending of ...ma. So how would you say, “I’m coming already?” Che ajuma.

A lot of times, people combine ma and ta together, kind of like if you wanted to say, “I’m going to go already.” There’s kind of the future and the present tense there. “I’m going to go already” would be translated to ahatama. You hear that exact phrase a lot when people are just standing around and someone goes to leave.

Now I’m going to give you one more ending, because it will help you get some sentences out. With all this coming and going, you’re going to want to say where. For this, you’re going to use the ending ...pe, to mean "at" or "to" or "in", and you would add it to the end of the place you’re talking about, not the verb. So "I’m going to Disneyland" would be Che ahata Disneylandiape.

Woo, ok, that’s just 10 words, believe it or not.

Now let’s practice.

1. If someone asks where you’ll be spending Christmas, and you have plans to go to Brazil, what will you say?
Che ahata Brazilpe.

2. Your friend calls and asks if you’d like to eat cake, but you currently have cake in your mouth and want to say, “I’m eating already.”
Che ha’umahina.

3. We want to know who will make dessert for our sweet party and you want to offer, how would you say, I will make it.
Che ajapota.

4. You attempt to make a joke in Guarani. After an awkward silence, you want to go. You stand up and say...what?
Che ahatama.

5. You’re friends are going to eat ice cream and you love ice cream as much as the next guy. How do you say, “I’m going too!”
Che ahata avei.

  1. che: Me, my or I
  2. japo: to do or make
  3. aha: I go
  4. aju: I come
  5. ha’u: I eat
  6. ha’e: I say
  7. ...hina: ...ing
  8. ...ma: already
  9. ...ta: future tense
  10. ...pe: to, at, in

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