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Negations: A negation describes how to make a negative sentence. Negations are very different in Igbo to English and also different to other Romance languages. For example, in Spanish, Italian and Portuguese you just append the word “no” in front of a verb to derive  a negation. In Igbo, however, negation is derived by adding “ghi” to the end of the verb of the sentence. Another popular negation is “mba” which means “no”. But “mba” is not appended to a verb. It is used mainly at the beginning of a sentence to emphasize a negation. For instance, if asked  a question in English such as “Will you come?; the single answer for not coming will be “no”.

Similarly in Igbo Ị ga-abịa? (Will you come?), the single answer for not coming is “mba”

Let us explore negations in sentences:



English and Igbo


 English and Igbo


I am coming

A na m abịa


I am not coming

(not = negation)

A naghi m abịa       

(ghi = negation)


I am hungry

Agụ na-agụ m


Agụ = hunger

 na-agụ = catching me

m = I



 I am not  hungry

Agụ anaghi agụ m


(ghi to make negation)







No, I am not coming

Mba anaghi m abia



Mba, agu anaghị agụ m

No I am not hungry




I Want

A Chọrọ m

A Chọlu m




I do not want

A chọghị m

A chọr m


I went

A gara m




I did not go

A gaghị  m




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