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Page history last edited by Franz Sledge 13 years, 11 months ago




Here are some of Papiamentu's question-words with examples of their usage.


who? : ken

  Ken a bati e bel? Who rang the bell?

  Ken t’ei? Who is there?


whose? : di ken (noun-like) or ken su (adjective-like)

  Di ken e sapatonan ei ta? Whose shoes are those?

  Ken su sapatonan ta blou? Whose shoes are blue? 


which? which one of several? : kua

  Kua kas ta di bo? Which house is yours?


what? : kiko, ki

  Kiko a pasa? What happened?


why? : pakiko or di kon

  Pakiko bo ta bai? Why are you going?


how? : kon

  Kon mi ta usa e mashin? How do I use the machine?

  Kon señora yama? What is your name, ma'am?


when? : kuant’or, ki ora, ki dia

  Ki ora klas ta kuminsa? When does class begin?

  Ki dia mi outo ta kla? When (on what day) will my car be ready?

  Kuant’or’tin? What time is it?


where? : unda

  Unda e banko di mas serka ta? Where is the nearest bank?

  Unda señor ta biba? Where do you live, sir?


how much? : kuantu

  Kuantu plaka señor tin? How much money do you have, sir? 

  Kuantu e ta kosta? How much does it cost?





Words like this, that, these, those are called "demonstratives." Papiamentu, unlike English, has a three-way system of demonstratives, corresponding to this, that, and "that one way over yonder."


The demonstrative adjectives consist of the multipurpose word e appearing before the noun, and aki or ei or aya appearing after the noun.


e pushi aki : this cat

e pushi ei : that cat

e pushi aya : that cat over there


Mi gusta e kas aki. I like this house.

E kas ei ta nobo. That house is new.

E kas aya ta grandi. That house over yonder is big.


The demonstrative pronouns are:


esaki : this

esei : that

esaya that one yonder


Esaki ta bon. This is good.

Mi no ta gusta esei. I don't like that.

Esaya ta su kas. That over yonder is his house.


It is possible to add the suffix -nan to create plural demonstrative pronouns such as esayanan (those over there). The following demonstrative pronouns also exist:


esun aki : this one

esun ei : that one

esun aya : that one way over there






Blankenburg, Eleanor Basic Papiamentu Grammar for English Speakers 1986

T. Dovale, G. Dammers and B. Lockwood Getting around the Islands in Papiamentu 2007

Goilo, E.R. Papaimentu Textbook, ninth edition 1994

van Putte, Florimon et al. Basiscursus Papiaments 2002



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