In Swahili, ‘all’ and ‘anything whatever’ are expressed with similar constructions using -ote. The concept of -ote is wholeness or completeness. It can be used with a noun or alone as a pronoun. It must always agree with the noun.
For -ote, singular is restricted:
- Mwili wote waniuma- my whole body pains me.
It’s more common to be used in the plural:
- Lete visu vyote– bring all the knives
- Watu wote wamefika- all the people have come
-o -ote means ‘anything whatsoever’ or ‘anyone whosever’ and qualifies a noun or stands alone.
- Watu wo wote: any people whatever
- Viti vyo vyote: any chairs whatever
- Lete kisu cho chote: bring any knife