Ngakarimojong: The Conditional Tense

Construction of Verbs in the Conditional Tense

Present Tense Construction:

TO class verbs

Akilem (to take):

Kalemi (if I take)

Kilemi (if you take)

Kelemi (if he/she/it takes)

Kikilemi (if we take)

Kilemete (if you all take)

Kelemete (if they take)

KI class verbs 

Akilip (to pray) 

Kelipi (if i pray)

Kilipi (if you pray)

Kilipi (if he/she/it prays)

Kikilipi (if we pray)

Kilipete (if you all pray)

Kilipete (if they pray)

Perfect Tense Construction: 

TO class verbs

Kalemit (if I had taken)

Kilemit (if you had taken)

Kelemit (if he/she/it had taken)

Kikilemit (if we had taken)

Kilemito (if you all had taken)

Kelema (if they had taken)

KI class verbs

Kelipit (if I had prayed)

Kilipit (if you had prayed)

Kilip (if he/she/it had prayed)

Kikilipit (if we had prayed)

Kilipito (if you all had prayed)

Kilipa (if they had prayed)


Conditional Sentence Type 1 (“If/Shall”):

  • In the conditional clause, the present conditional tense is used. In the consequent clause, the present indicative tense is used.
  • Ani” can be added prior to the verb in the conditional tense for emphasis.


  • Ani kimuji inges, emuji ayong dang: If he eats, I’ll eat too.
  • Ani kengolik ayong inges, amali ayong inges: If I see her, I’ll greet her.
  • Ani keloto ikes, eryamunete papa kec lore: If they go, they’ll find their father at home.
  • Ani kilot iyong taun a Jinja, ingoliki angolol a Nile: If you go to the city of Jinja, you’ll see the Nile River.
  • Ani kingit iyong, emorete ikes iyong: If you ask, they will tell you.

To negate Type 1 conditional sentences, add “pa” before the verb in the conditional clause, which is conjugated normally.


  • Ani pa ketepi akiru, nyelosete ngaberu akicap amana: If it doesn’t rain, the women won’t go to weed the field.
  • Ani pa kimori iyong inges, nyeyeni inges: If you don’t tell him, he won’t know.
  • Ani pa kasyomi ayong abuk na, nyapedori ayong alosit locukul: If i don’t read this book, I won’t be able to go to school.

Conditional Sentence Type 2 (“If/Would”): 

  • The verb in the conditional clause may be preceded by “kerai“.
  • The verb in the consequent clause may have the endings of the present or perfect tenses, or simploy of the root of the verb.
  • Present tense endings in the consequent clause imply that the action would have been done regularly.
  • If kerai is placed before the verb in the conditional clause, the verb commonly takes the narrative form of the perfect tense, especially in the case of ayakau (to be).


  • Kerai toyakasi iyong ngisilinga, kipedorit angyelar akai ngina kitete: If you had had money, you would have been able to buy a new house.  
  • Kipedorit iyong alosit lotic kerai kikatakinit akisyom: You would have been able to go to work if you had tried to learn.
  • Kayaunit ayong akimyet nakwar na kerai toyai ayong ecupa: I would have brought the oil today if I had had a bottle.
  • Kerai alosito iswa taparacu sek, kikibongunit sek lore kosi: If we had gone early in the morning, we would have returned early to our home.
  • Kerai toyai ayong akoro, kalosit ayong lore a Nacan, anerai eporei inges akimuj ngina ajokan nooi: If I were hungry, I would have gone to Nacan’s house, because she cooks really good food.

To negate Type 2 conditional sentences, add the prefix “ny-” to the verb in the conditional clause, which may be preceded by kerai or ani kerai.


  • Kerai nyikainakit inges ikes akimuj, ketwanara ikes: If he hadn’t given them food, they would have died.
  • Kerai nyingarakinit iswa aberu ngina toyai inges edeke, pa kepedor alosit akingolokin edakitar: If we hadn’t helped the sick woman, she wouldn’t have been able to see the doctor.
  • Kerai nyitijikit Germany Poland, pa kesyak ejie kiding ngakwap ngun ngaarei: If Germany hadn’t attacked Poland,  a war wouldn’t have started between those two countries.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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.