Yoruba Pronouns

The most important Yoruba Pronouns

Welcome back! Today we are going to be exploring Yoruba pronouns…But before we get into that, I need to explain to you a little grammar rule. Don’t worry it’s nothing complicated.

Basically, whenever you have a sentence it is usually made up of something called a subject and another thing called an object. I’ll give you an example of a sentence with a subject and an object below.

example sentence: I eat cake

As you can see from the above sentence, subjects usually come at the beginning of the sentence and objects after. In the example above the ‘I’ is the subject of the sentence and ‘cake’ is the object.

Another example is:

example sentence: I love you

In the second example ‘I’ is the subject and ‘you’ is the object.

Anyways, the reason why I’m telling you all this is because in Yoruba, the pronoun used depends on whether it is the subject or the object of the sentence. For example the sentences ‘You eat pizza’ and ‘I like you’ in Yoruba would have different pronouns for the word ‘you’.

Subject Pronouns

We’ll start off with subject pronouns, here’s another fun thing about Yoruba, it has two types of subject pronouns (yay we love to learn…).

One group are called emphatic pronouns, they are used when you want to emphasise the pronoun. The other group are called standard pronouns, which is pretty self-explanatory.

Take note: both are often used interchangeably.

Yoruba Subject pronouns

English PronounYoruba Standard PronounYoruba Emphatic Pronoun
IMoÈmi
YouOÌwọ
He/SheÓÒun
WeAÀwa
You allẸ̀yin
TheyWọ́nÀwọn
Yoruba subject pronouns

Example sentences with Standard Subject Pronouns

YorubaEnglish
Mo jẹI ate
Mo fọI washed
Mo ràI bought
O fọ You washed
Ó jóHe/She/It danced
A ràWe bought
Wọ́n ràThey bought
Example sentences with subject pronouns in Yoruba

Object Pronouns

Now, on to the object pronouns which we briefly talked about earlier; the table below shows the object pronouns of Yoruba.

Yoruba object pronouns

English Object Pronoun Yoruba Object Pronoun
MeMi
YouỌ/Ẹ
Him/Her/It*
UsWa
They allYín
ThemWọn

*. The pronoun in this case just repeats the vowel of the verb just before it.

For example

Example 2

O lè ṣe é meaning you can do it in English

Example sentences with object pronouns

  1. Mo tà á
    I sold it

  2. Mo fẹ́ ṣẹ̀ ọ́
    I want to offend you

  3. Mo lè ṣe é
    I can do it

  4. Sọ fún wa
    Tell us

  5. Wá sọ fún mi
    Come (and) tell me

Alrighty, you’re all done for the day! I know you went through quite a bit, but remember to pace yourself when you are trying to memorise the words, try memorising a couple a day.

Remember, learning a language is a marathon and not a sprint.

When you hear Yoruba what do you hear more of, Emphatic or Standard pronouns?