Somali Language Verb to be

Somali Language Verb to be

Simple Present Tense


In Somali language, verb to be means (ahaansho), in the Table (1) below, there are 5 columns.

  • The English language pronouns.
  • The verb to be, am, is, are
  • I called this column, the hidden pronouns of the Somali language because the Somali language native speaker normally omit the actual pronouns and use pronoun indicators in column 4. It is not illegal to omit, nor it is mandatory to use those pronouns with its indicator, but it is optional and it is mostly not used.
    1. Example: ( I am fine) means: Aniga waan fiicanahay = Waan fiicanahay
  • This is the indicator that tells you which verb to be you need to use with which pronoun. The usage of the column 4, the pronoun indicators is mandatory, otherwise your sentence will not be complete.
    1. For example:

Allowed: Aniga waan fiicanahay.

Not Allowed: Aniga Fiicanahay.

Not Allowed: Fiicantahay

  1. Also pay attention to the two indicators Example:
    1. Waan/ Waxaan (I)
    2. Waad/Waxaad(You)

We will use the first one first: Waan/Waad/Wuu/Way etc and the second one: Waxaan/Waxaad/Waxay etc,  we will use in Table 3.


  • Column 5 is the present tense Verb to be ( Ahaansho) of the Somali Language. There is two ways to use the verb to be. Here is the examples.
    1. Using with a Adjectives: (Table 2)
      1. I am fine (Waan fiicanahay). She is tall.(Way dheertahay)
      2. We are happy (Waan faraxsannahay).


  1. Using with a noun:
    1. I am a man (Waxaan ahay nin). I am a person (Waxaan Ahaya qof).
    2. He is a parent (Wuxuu yahay Waalid). They are Soldiers (Waxay yihiin askar)


Table 1

Present Tense: am/is/is= Fal joogto ah: Ahay/tahay/yahay/nahay/tihiin
Somali Pronoun helpers: example  Waan/waad/wuu/way/waan/waad
1.      Pronouns 2.      Verb To be 3.      Hidden Pronouns 4.      Pronoun Indicator 5.      Verb to be
I Am I/Aniga Waan/Waxaan Ahay
You(singular) Are You/Adiga Waad/Waxaad Tahay
You(Plural) Are You/Idinka Waad/Waxaad Tihiin
He Is He/Asaga Wuu/Wuxuu Yahay
She Is She/Ayada Way/Waxay Tahay
We Are We/Anaga Waax/Waxaan Nahay
They Are They/Ayaga Way/Waxay Yihiin
It/ is It = He or She. There is not “It” in Somali Language


Table 2

Present Tense: Examples:  Using with a Adjectives:
I Am You  are He is She is We are They are
Pronouns are grayed out because They are  optional Aniga












Word/ Meaning
Fine/ Fiican Fiicanahay Fiicantahay Fiicanyahay Fiicantahay Fiicannahy Fiicanyihiin
Tall/ Dheer Dheerahay Dheertahay Dheeryahay Dheertahay Dheernahay Dheeryihiin
Happy/ Faraxsan Faraxsanahay Faraxsantahay Faraxsanyahay Faraxsantahay Faraxsannahay Faraxsanyihii
Angry/Xanaaqsan Xanaaqsanahay Xanaaqsantahay Xanaaqsanyahay Xanaaqsantahay Xanaaqsannahay Xanaaqsanyihiin
Sick/ jiran Jiranahay Jirantahay jiranyahay jirantahay jirannahay jiranyihiin
Silent/ Aamusan Aamusanahay Aamusantahay Aaamusanyahay Aamusantahay Aamusanahay Aamusanyihiin
Tired/ Daalan Daalanahay Daalantahay Daalanyahay Daalantahay Daalannahay Daalanyihiin
Hungry/ Gaajaysan Gaajaysanahay Gaajaysantahay Gaajaysanyahay Gaajaysantahay Gaajaysannahay Gaajaysanyihiin
Late/ Daahsan Daahsanahay Daahsantahay Daahsanyahay Daahsantahay Daahsannahay Daahsanyihiin
Ready/ Diyaarsan Diyaarsanahay Diyaarsantahay Diyaarsanyahay Diyaarsantahay Diyaarsannahay Diyaarsanyihiin
Away/Maqan Maqanahay Maqantahay Maqanyahay Maqantahay Maqannahay Maqantihiin



  1. I am fine. (Waan fiicanahay).
  2. She is away. (Way maqantahay).
  3. Some of the words I used don’t make sense in real life, but they make sense grammatically like the example of Tall: People don’t normally say: We are tall. (Waan dheernahay) but for the sake of the Somali verb to be /pronoun agreement.

The above table formula is: (Pronoun Indicator + Adjective + verb to be). Note: the Verb to be becomes part of the adjective word and goes to the end of the adjective; fiicanyihiin for example.


The difference between Pronoun indicators:


Table 3

Present Tense: Examples:  Using with a noun:


Pronouns + verb to be Pronoun Indicator+ verb to be Word/Meaning
I am Waxaan ahay Driver/Darawal
You are Waxaad tahay Good Driver/Darawal Fiican
You are Waxaad tihiin Nice family/ Cid Fiican
He is Wuxuu yahay Nothing/Majirto
She is Waxay tahay Mother/Hooyo
We are Waxaan nahay Patriots/ Halgamayaal
They are Waxay yihiin Students/Arday
It is There is Not “it”


Formula: Pronoun Indicator+ (verb to be) + Word/Meaning

Note, other ways to write the same sentences:

I am a driver (Waxaan ahay darawal), had another way of writing/saying in Somali language. For the sake of simplicity and formula, we will stick with this version. For your information, the below sentences are all the same. And the table followed will give you list of pronoun indicators that are similar. As I said, we will stick with table 3 version. Table 4 is just for you to know other option and ways of writing the Somali language.

Example ONE

  • I am a driver. (Waxaan ahay darawal)
  • Darawal Ayaan ahay
  • Darawal baan ahay

Example TWO

  • She is a student. (Waxay tahay arday)
  • Arday ayay tahay. (Ardayad- Female studen)
  • Arday bay tahay.

Table 4

Pronouns + verb to be Word/Meaning Pronoun Indicator 6.      Verb to be
I am Driver/Darawal Ayaan/ Baan Ahay
You are (Singular) Good Driver/ Darawal Fiican Ayaad/ Baad Tahay
You are (Plural) Nice family/ Cid Fiican Ayaad/ Baad Tihiin
He is Nothing/Majirto Ayuu/ Buu Yahay
She is Mother/Hooyo Ayay/bay Tahay
We are Patriots/ Halgamayaal Ayaan/Baan Nahay
They are Students/Arday Ayay/Bay Yihiin
It is There is Not “it” 7.       


Formula:  Word/Meaning+ Pronoun Indicator_ Verb to be.



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