Verb “To be” and “To have”

Four forms of the verb “to be”. In Ateso there are four forms of the verb “to be”.

  • The first used to express where abouts of something (Ejaas ore — They are at home) or existence of something (Ejaas ikacudak — There are sorcerers).
  • The second form qualifies a state (Eraas Iteso — They are Iteso).
  • The third is used to express numerical value of more than one(quantity) and is therefore applicable only as plural (Imwaas itomon —They are ten).
  • The fourth, is a rare form that the other three, it is used to express size, price or quantity (Etaas ai? — How big is it?).

The infinitives of these four forms are:

  1. Ajaus (or Ajaut)
  2. Araus (or Araut)
  • Amwaus (or Amwaut)
  1. Atiaus (or Atiaut)




Verb “To be” and “To have”

Present tense

The present tense of the verb “to be”.

  • Ajai –- I am

Ijai —You are

Ejai — She/he is

Kijai (Kijaa) — We are

Ijaas — You are

Ejaas — They are

  • Arai — I am

Irai — You are

Erai — She/he is

Kirai –- We are

Iraas — you are

Eraas — they are


  • Kimwai — We are

Imwaas — You are

Imwaas – They are


  • Etiai — I am

Itiai — You are

Etiai — She/he is

Kitiai — We are

Itiaas — You are

Etiaas — They are




When an emphasis lies on the negative it is possible to use mam with the verb ajaus (or ajaut).

E.g.     Ejai Oselle ngina. — Is Oselle there?

            Mam ejai.     — He is not here.   


Ateso vocabulary.

Ore – Home

Lailo — On this side or here

Kane (or ne) – Here

Ngina (or Kangina) — There

Ai? — Where? (or how?)


Verb “To be” and “To have”

Exercise One

Please write Ateso equivalent of the following statements or/and questions.

  1. Where is the bed?
  2. It is at home.
  3. Where are Iteso men?
  4. I love Ateso women.
  5. Visit Teso.
  6. They are coming to visit Teso.
  7. How many are you?
  8. The boy has a dog.
  9. The cows are gone.
  10. There is no milk.
  11. We are here.
  12. That man is Etesot.