Describing people using character traits

Helpful vocabulary:

kindness kirki
truth/honest gaskiya
lie karya
deception yaudara
empathy/sympathy tausayi

There are multiple ways formulate a phrase describing a person based on character traits.

  1. (pronoun) + da + (adjective)
  2. mai-(adjective)


  • Tana da kirki = she is kind (literally, she has kindness)
  • Yana da kirki = he is kind (literally, he has kindness)
  • Mai-kirki = kind/the kind one (gender neutral)

Formulating a negative. To formulate a negative sentence use the following formulas:

  1. Ba + (pronoun) + da + (adjective)
  2. Mara + (adjective)


  • Ba shi da kirki = He isn’t kind (literally, he who doesn’t have kindness)
  • Ba ta da kirki = She isn’t kind (literally, she who doesn’t have kindness)
  • Mara kirki = unkind/the unkind one (literally the one lacking in kindness, gender neutral)

**Note how the pronouns used are slightly different in the negative

To describe someone using multiple physical characteristics use the formula below. Similar to describing people using physical characteristics, the ‘and’ in Hausa is not used when only using two adjectives. It is however used when using three or more adjectives.

  1. (Name, optional) + (pronoun) + da + (adjective) ne/ce + (adjective)


  • Mamoutou yana da kirki ne tausayi. = Mamoutou, he is kind and sympathetic.
  • Fatma yana da kirki ce, tausayi da gaskiya. = Fatma, she is kind, sympathetic, and honest.

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