Parts of Speech: Pronouns


      Pronouns are words that can function by itself as a noun phrase and that refers either to the participants in the discourse (e.g., Iyou ) or to someone or something mentioned elsewhere in the discourse (e.g., sheitthis ). In the Igala language, there are  [insert text here]…

NÀ   ÒMÌ, U; ÙWẸ̀,  Ẹ̀;  ÀWÀ (à) or À;  ÀMÀ, MÀ;   I, ÒÑWÙ; ÑWU



Sometimes, you choose not to mention nouns. Instead, you use other words in their places. Those ‘other words’ are called pronouns.

Categories of Pronouns 

Just as there are different types of pronouns in the English language, there are;

First Person (Singular)

  1. Nà, Òmì. (Low-toned)
  2.  U (Mid-toned)
  3. Ú (High-toned) = I; myself;
       Òmi; mi                (I, me, my)


Òmi; mi; Nà á…    (I, me, I will…)


  1.   Àwà; À à. (Low-toned); (Past tense).

  2.  ‘A’ or ‘a’ (Mid-toned); us, 

   3.   Á  (High-toned) We (will)


Second Person (Singular)  Pronouns

  1. Ùwẹ̀; Ẹ̀ (Low-toned)
  2. Wẹ (Mid-toned)
  3. Wẹ́  (High-toned) You


Second Person (Plural) Pronouns

  1. Àmẹ̀, mẹ̀ (Low-toned) You.
  2. Mẹ (Mid-toned) you.
  3. Mẹ́ (High-toned) You.

Third Person (Singular) Pronouns

  1.  ‘Ì’ (low-toned).
  2. ‘I’ (Mid-toned).
  3. ‘Í’ (High-toned)
  4. Òñwù: He/She/it.

Third Person (Plural) Pronouns

  1.  Àmà, mà (Low-toned).
  2. Ma (Mid-toned).
  3.  (High-toned). they.

Fourth Person (Singular) Pronoun
1. Ẹ̀lẹ́ (He/She)

Fourth Person (Plural) Pronoun

Àmẹlẹ́ (They)


Pronouns work mainly with verbs. For example:

Òmì jẹ : I ate it. Mà lìá: They came.


pronouns replacing nouns.jpg

Rules Governing ÍGÁLÁ Pronouns

1.  Some pronouns take an auxiliary verb, ‘á’ (will or shall) to indicate present continuous tense, suggesting an on-going action.

Example: Nà ájẹñwu: I am eating.

Sometimes, pronouns they indicate the simple future tense, suggesting action going to take place.

Example: À ányí ár’ibọ́lù: We are going to play soccer.


2.    When the pronouns, ‘Ẹ̀’ or ‘ẹ̀’ and ‘Mẹ̀’ are used in the simple future or present continuous tenses, the auxiliary verb, ‘á,’ changes to ‘ẹ́,’ having been assimilated (swallowed) by the preceding, low-toned vowel, ‘ẹ̀.’

Examples: Ẹ̀ ẹ́ rakwú lẹẹ?: Are you crying? 


3.  When a pronoun is used in the interrogative tense (or question form), the terminal  vowel, which is usually mid-toned, becomes duplicated or tripled.  Example:

Ẹ̀ ẹ́ k’ọ̀tákádaaa? : Are you writing? 

Iii, ọ̀tákáda nà ákọ-i: Yes, I am writing.



Revision: Read these sentences and get used to the different personal pronouns used in Igala speech. 

  1. Mà álà; mà átà: They buy; they sell.
  2. Má tà ṅ:  They are not selling it.
  3. Mẹ gbà: (Plural) You (should) take; take.
  4. Mẹ́ kọ̀ ṅ: Do not refuse (it).
  5. A dàbì: Let us go back.

Questions and Answers

  1. Ẹ̀ ẹ́ rakwúuu?: Are you crying?
  2. Iii, nà árakwú gbóóó: Yes, I have a reason to cry.
  3. Ẹ́nẹ́ kọ̀lài?: Who spoke just now?
  4. Òmì kọ̀là: I spoke.
  5. Ẹ̀ ẹ́ jẹẹẹ?: Are you eating?
  6. Èhéee. Ú jẹ nóò: No, I am not eating.
  7. Ẹ̀ ẹ́ dufuuu?: Are you going out?
  8. Ọ́dáà, ú dufù ṅ: No, I am not going out
  9. Nà á wá: I am coming. I will be coming.
  10. Àmà kó wá: They brought them.



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