Sierra Leonean Krio

Krio Basic Lesson -A Day at School

Aisha: Padi! Gi mi yu pehn bo. Noto di blak wan, di rehd wan.

Umu: Luk di pehn. She passes the red pen to her left and it crosses some desks before reaching Umu. 

“Who can give me an example of sublimation?”, asks Mr. Sesay.

Aisha whispers to her neighbor Salieu: Wetin I say?

Umu: Yes Sa! She raises her hand high.


This is an introduction to the context, vocabulary, and sentence structure of the Krio language. We will deal directly with parts of speech based on the dialogue above, but more details will be saved for the next lesson. Please detailed take notes organized in a way that will be easy to reference later. This lesson is the start of an iterative process. Recording any new vocabulary and grammar you’ve acquired as well as questions about words or sentence structure that doesn’t make sense to you yet.


The shape Krio takes depends on the context it’s spoken/written and who the audience is. For example, in a school setting teachers may use a different tone and vocabulary with the principle than two students who are friends in a class. For example, padi means “friend” and Sa means “sir”. If you’re not an advanced student in Krio yet, you can still gather meaning from the context roughly painted in the dialogue above.

What is the setting? What is happening between Umu and Aisha? What else do you notice from this dialogue? What languages are involved and who’s using them when?

Parts of Speech

Using the table below, see if you can identify the subject and object pronouns that are in the dialogue.


  Singular Plural
1st a wi
2nd yu una
3rd i dehn









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Resources for Self-Instructional Learners of Less Commonly Taught Languages Copyright © by University of Wisconsin-Madison Students in African 671 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.