81 Common Verbs In Amharic (With Audio And Pictures)
Verbs play a very important role in any language. They are the words that indicate the actions or states of being of the subject/object of a sentence. That’s why it makes sense to familiarize yourself with the most important among them.
Think of it this way: you could get the gist of what someone’s saying to you simply by understanding the verbs they use. That’s how important verbs are in a sentence.
In Amharic, if you know the different forms verbs take, you can leave off the subject pronoun (I, he, she, etc.) altogether, as the verb will already show who is doing the action. This is known as verb conjugation, and it’s something we’ll break down below.
What is verb conjugation in Amharic?
Verb conjugation simply refers to the different ways a verb can be changed to show who is doing the action and when the action takes place. Though it exists in all languages, Amharic’s way of conjugating verbs is… interesting, let’s just say that.
Verb endings in Amharic change depending on tense, gender, seniority, and number of people.
Amharic verb tenses
We’ll focus on the 3 main tenses (present, past, and future), as these are the ones you’ll use most often.
Please note: the stem of a verb in Amharic is always in the past tense, third-person singular masculine form; this is the word on which you add the relevant endings.
Please also note: when you see an apostrophe between 2 letters, that’s to show that the previous letter has a click.
The present tense in Amharic
When forming the present tense in Amharic, there’s a specific formula you need to follow. We’ll use the verb “መምጣት (memt’at)” – “to come” in our example. This word is in its infinitive state (meaning it hasn’t been conjugated yet).
When we want to conjugate any infinitive verb, we first remove the መ (me) – “to”. In its general stem form (i.e. third-person masculine past tense) it becomes መጣ (mt’a).
For the present tense (or, more accurately, the present continuous = “-ing” words), you generally add the prefix “እያ (iye)” and then apply one of the following formulas to the end of the stem, finishing off with the suffix “ነው (naw)”:
- First-person singular (I): ‘ሁ/hu’. Also can become “ኩ/ku” depending on the last letter of the stem
- First-person plural (we): ‘ን/n’
- Second-person singular male (you): ‘ህ/h’
- Second-person singular female (you): ”ሽ/sh’
- Second-person plural (you all): ‘ችሁ/chihu’
- Third-person singular male (he): no change/stem
- Third-person singular female (she): ‘ች/ch’
- Third-person plural (they): ‘ኡ/u’ (though this is more a sound change. The letter will change to reflect the different vowel sound, you don’t add an extra letter)
- I am coming = እያህመጣሁ ነው (iyemt’ahu naw)
The past tense in Amharic
You apply the same endings above to the stem word when making the Amharic past tense. The only difference here is that you don’t add the prefix “እያ (iye)” or the suffix “ነው (naw)”.
So, the past tense of the verb “to come” would be:
- I came = መጣሁ (mt’ahu)
- We came = መጣን (mt’an)
And so on.
The future tense in Amharic
The future tense in Amharic is a bit more complicated, but we’ll try to simplify things for you.
Once again, we’ll use the verb “to come” as our example, with the stem being “mt’a. We need to add a prefix to the stem first, according to the formula below:
- First-person plural (I): “እ/I”
- First-person plural (we): እን/In
- Second-person: ት/Ti
- Third-person singular male (he): ይ/Yi
- Third-person singular female (she): ት/Ti
- Third person plural (they): ይ/Yi
The stem remains the same in all of these except second-person female (you). This becomes different things depending on the verb, but here it becomes “መጫ (mch’)” as opposed to “መጣ (mt’)”.
The last part of this equation is the suffixes. The sound “al/ale” is added to the suffixes you already know so well:
- First-person singular: ኣለሁ/alehu
- First-person plural we add ኣለን/ alen
- Second-person singular male: ኣለን/aleh
- Second-person singular female: ኣለሽ/alesh
- Second-person plural: ኣላችሁ/alechihu
- Third-person singular male: ኣል/al
- Third-person singular female: ኣለች/alech
- Third-person plural: ኣሉ/alu
- He will come = ይመጣል (yimet’al)
Wow, that was some heavy stuff! We know your brain must be frazzled right about now. We won’t bore you anymore, we think it’s time we introduced you to those wonderful verbs you came to see.
We’ve included both the phonetic Latin spellings of words together with audio for each set of verbs.
List of 81 Verbs in Amharic
Amharic Verbs 1 – 16
|Verbs 1 – 16||ግሶች ፩ – ፲፮||Gisoch 1 – 16|
Listen to Amharic verbs 1 – 16
Amharic Verbs 17 – 32
|Verbs 17 – 32||ግሶች ፲፯ – ፴፪||Gisoch 17 – 32|
Listen to Amharic verbs 17 – 32
Amharic Verbs 33 – 48
|Verbs 33 – 48||ግሶች ፴፫ – ፵፰||Gisoch 33 – 48|
|be able to (can)||መቻል||mechal|
|smile||ፈገግ ማለት||fegeg malet|
|cost||ዋጋ ማስወጣት||waga maswet’at|
|hope||ተስፋ ማድረግ||tesfa madreg|
Listen to Amharic verbs 33 – 48
Amharic Verbs 49 – 64
|Verbs 49 – 64||ግሶች ፵፱ – ፷፬||Gisoch 49 – 64|
|walk||በእግር መሄድ||birgir mehed|
Listen to Amharic verbs 49 – 64
Amharic Verbs 65 – 81
|Verbs 65 – 81||ግሶች ፷፭ – ፹፩||Gisoch 65 – 81|
|shower||ገላ መታጠብ||gela metat’eb|
Listen to Amharic verbs 65 – 81
Want some more Amharic vocabulary? Why not learn about the time in Amharic or learn some food words in Amharic. Or maybe check out some of the best Amharic YouTube channels for learning Amharic.