Haitian Creole/Question Words

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The word ki[edit]

The word ki is a relative pronoun that means "which" or "that", as you have learned previously, as in "the person that is over there". It also is an adjective that means "which" or "what", as in "which one do you need?", equivalent to the French quel. It is not used as a pronoun, as in "which is bigger?". It is used as follows:

Ki peyi sa ye? What country is that?
Ki manje ou fè? Which food do you want?

Other uses[edit]

This word is used in conjunction with other nouns to form the equivalents of other (pronoun & adverb) question words.

  • ki jan = what manner = how
  • ki kote = what place = where
  • ki bò = what place = where
  • ki lè = what hour = when
  • ki moun = what person = who/whom
  • ki sa = what pron. (Sa is not the usual word for "thing", however; bagay is.)
  • poukisa = for what = why
  • Note: often you can find the word ki used as a prefix: kijan, kimoun, kisa.

Examples:

Ki jan ou rele? How are you called? = What is your name?
Kimoun ou ye? Who are you?
Poukisa yo pa vle ale? Why don't they want to go?

Use of ye[edit]

The use of question words triggers wh-movement, placing the verb at the end. This causes the word se (to be) to turn into ye, as you learned previously.

References[edit]