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


Personal Pronouns 


The personal pronouns are:


mi : I, me

bo : you

e : he, him, she, her, it

nos : we, us

boso : you (plural)

nan : they, them


These pronouns remain unchanged regardless of whether they are the subject or object of a verb (unlike their English counterparts). Some examples:


Mi ta tende bo.

I hear you.


Bo ta tende mi?

Do you hear me?


VARIANTS: Sometimes ami is used in place of mi and abo sometimes substitutes for bo. E becomes el when it appears before the past tense indicator a.


IMPORTANT: It is considered rude to use bo when speaking to strangers and people you barely know. Rather than bo you should use Señor or Meneer (equivalent to English "sir") or Señora (equivalent to "Ma'am"). Alternatively, use the other person's name.


The possessive pronouns are:


mi : my

bo : your

su : his, her, its

nos : our

boso : your (plural)

nan : their


The words listed above behave like adjectives. The phrases listed below behave like nouns.


di mi : mine

di bo : yours

di dje : his, hers

di nos : ours

di boso : yours (plural)

di nan : theirs 


Many of these possessives are identical to the subject/object forms. The Papiamentu word mi might be translated into English as "I" or "me" or "my" depending on context. This can make Papiamentu sentences seem rather ambiguous until you get used to it. 




mes produces pronouns similar to English myself, yourself, themselves, etc.


mi mes : myself

bo mes : yourself

e mes : he himself or she herself (subject of a phrase)

su mes : himself or herself (object of a verb or preposition)

nos mes : ourselves

boso mes : yourselves

nan mes : themselves



Indefinite Pronouns


Until I get a chance to edit this into something more coherent, I present this list of Papiamentu equivalents for English indefinite pronouns and similar words.


another : un otro

anybody : kualke hende, ken ku ta

anything : kualke kos

each, either : kualke

everything : tur kos

everybody, everyone : tur hende, kada hende, tur un

nobody, no one : ni un, ningun hende

somebody : un hende

something : algo / algu


both : ambos, tur dos

all (of a single thing) : tur

all (of several) : tur di

some (of many) : algun di

none of : ningun di 



Relative Pronouns


ku : which, that

ken su : whose

di ken : of whom

loke : that which


Esaki ta e kas ku mi a kumpra.

This is the house that I bought or This is the house which I purchased.


Mi gusta wak beisbòl ora un team ku mi gusta ta hunga.

I like to watch baseball when a team that I like is playing.


Esaki ta e homber ken su auto tabata hortá.

This is the man whose car was stolen.


E ta esun di ken mi a papia.

He is the one of whom I spoke.


Mi lo hasi loke ta bon.

I shall do that which is good.






Blankenburg, Eleanor Basic Papiamentu Grammar for English Speakers 1986

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

Ratzlaff, Betty English-Papiamentu Bilingual Dictionary, first edition 1992


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