The passive form in Luganda
How to use the passive verb
The passive voice is used frequently in Luganda.
Using the passive changes the action so that the verb is not what the subject does, but what is done to the subject. For example, “The people count.” in the passive form is “The people are counted.”
How to construct the passive form
To construct the passive verb, look at the verb stem.
If the second-to-last letter of the verb stem is a, i, or u, the final -a of the verb is dropped and the suffix “-ibwa” is added in its place.
okugamba (to say) –> the second-to-last letter is a, so this becomes okugambibwa. (To be said)
okukungula (to harvest) –> the second-to-last letter is u, so this becomes okukungulibwa (to be harvested).
okubuulira (to tell) –> the second-to-last letter is i, so this becomes okubuuliribwa (to be told).
If the second-to-last letter of the verb stem is e or o, the final -a of the verb is dropped and the suffix “-ebwa” is added in its place.
okugoba (to chase away) –> the second to last letter is o, so this becomes okugobebwa (to be chased away).
okuweta (to turn) –> the second to last letter is e, so this becomes okuwetebwa (to be turned).
When speaking in the immediate or near past tense, the rules are the same except for the -ibwa or -ebwa becomes -iddwa or -eddwa.