Passive Verbs in Rukiga

This page provides the basic details of passive verbs in Rukiga relevant for a beginner. Throughout the page, we use verbs that start in the “ku-” form, the basic Rukiga verb form.


Passive verbs in Rukiga are used when a person is trying to express the idea that the relevant subject or objects of the verb is impacted or experiences the effects of the action. This is similar to the English passive tense in translation.

In using passive tense sentences, it is important to recognize that the verb prefix might change if the noun class changes because the new object/subject is now the new focus of the sentence. This happens in two of the examples below.

The basic formula to make verbs in Rukiga passive tense is:

Verb Stem (VS) – a (remove a) + wa

Here are some examples with the verb changes bolded:

A. Maama akateeka ebyokurya. – My mother cooked the food.

⇒ Ebyokurya bikateekwa Maama. – The food was cooked by my mother.

B. Omuhiigi yaacumita enyamaishwa. – The hunter speared the animal.

⇒ Enyamaishwa yaacumitwa omuhiigi. – The animal was speared by the hunter.

C. Abashomi bakahuunduura ekereziya. – The congregrants [literally “the readers”] redecorated the [Catholic] church.

⇒ Ekereziya ekahuunduurwa abashomi. – The [Catholic] church was redecorated by the congregants [literally “the readers”].


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