How to ask questions in Yoruba using Ṣé
To ask a question in English we usually use one of the following words: what, when, where, how or who?
Today you will learn how to use the word ṣé which means is, are, does, or do depending on the context in Yoruba.
The word ṣé effectively just turns a statement into a question. In English to turn a statement into a question, we usually just put the word is in front of a statement and end it with a question mark (?).
is + statement + ?
Statement: The sky is blue
Question: Is the sky blue?
Ṣé works virtually in the same way, it can easily turn a statement into a question. In Yoruba to turn a statement into a question, one can put the word ṣé in front of the statement and end it with a question mark (?).
The examples below show ṣé being used in the is/are context.
ṣé + statement + ?
Statement: Jídé ń ta iṣu (Jide is selling yam)
Question: Ṣé Jídé ń ta iṣu? (Is Jide selling yam?)
Statement: Bàbá ń sùn (Dad is sleeping)
Question: Ṣé Bàbá ń sùn? (Is dad sleeping?)
Statement: Wọ́n ń jẹ àgbàdo (They eating corn)
Question: Ṣé wọ́n ń jẹ àgbàdo? (Are they eating corn?)
The examples below show ṣé being used in the do/does context.
Statement: Kóyè fẹ́ sùn (Koye wants to sleep)
Question: Ṣé Kóyè fẹ́ sùn? (Does Koye wants to sleep?)
Statement: O fẹ́ jẹun (You want to eat)
Question: Ṣé o fẹ́ jẹun? (Do you want to eat?)
Statement: Wọ́n fẹ́ owó (They want money)
Question: Ṣé wọ́n fẹ́ owó? (Do they want money?)
NB: Sometimes ‘Ṣé o’ (Are you) is contracted in speech and sounds like ‘Ṣo’.
ṣé o –> ṣo
Now you have learnt loads of different ways to use the word ‘ṣé’ in Yoruba.