Verbs

Note that a positive Sesotho verb in the present tense and in it's original form always end on an -a.

abandon - ngala
abolish - fedisa
accuse - qosa
admire - boha
allocate - aba
answer - araba
approach - atamela
argue - lwana
arrive - fihla
ask - botsa
assault - otla
assess - hlahloba
bake - baka
bark - bohola
become blind - foufala
beg - kopa
bend - koba
bite - loma
break - roba
bring - tlisa
buy - reka
borrow - adima
boil - bela
call - bitsa
catch - tshwara
chase - leleka
chew - hlafuna
classify - hlophisa
clean - hlakola
close - kwala
come - tloho
complete - phetha
confiscate - hapa
conserve - boloka
consult - rerisa
contest - tseka
correct - tshwaya
cook - pheha
cry - lla
cut - seha
dance - tantsha
dazzle - fahla
deny - hana
desire - lakatsa
divide - arola
drink - nwa
drive - kganna
dry - omisa
eat - ja
enter - kena
entertain - thabisa
fall - wa
finish - qeta
fly - fofa
fold - mena
get - fumana
give - fa
guide - tataisa
help - thusa
herd - disa
hit - otla
hold - tshwara
immerse - ina
improve - lokisa
indicate - supa
inject - hlaba
inoculate - enta
invite - moma
kick - raha
kill - bolaya
knock down - diha
know - tseba
laugh - tsheha
listen - mamela
look - sheba
love - rata
make fire - besa
marry - nyala
meet - kopana
modify - fetola
obtain - fumana
open - bula
originate - hlaha
pass - fetisetsa
pay - lefa
phela - live
play - bapala
plant - jala
pray - rapela
press down - hatella
put on - tena/apara
race - beisa
read - bala
reduce - fokotsa
receive - amohela
refuse - hana
remove - tlosa
require - batla
respect - hlompha
respond - araba
rest - phomola
return - kgutla
reveal - senola
rinse - tsokotsa
run - matha
say - re
see - bona
sell - rekisa
sew - roka
sign - saena
sing - bina
sit - dula
sleep - robala
smell - nkga
stand - ema
steal - utswa
succeed - atleha
surpass - feta
suspend - emisa
swallow - kwenya
swear - rohaka
sweep - fiela
talk - bua
teach - ruta
tell - bolella
thank - leboha
tie - tlama
wait for - emela
wake up - tsoha
want - batla
wash - hlatswa
win - hlola
work - sebetsa
write - ngola
wring - sotha

The verb is used to indicate tenses in Sesotho.

 

The following prefixes and suffixes may be added to verbs to achieve certain meanings and/or forms of the verb:

Type Prefix/suffix Original
form
New
Example
Translation Description
Infinitive ho - bala ho bala to read Forms infinitive form - adds "to"
(Also functions in a nominal capacity.)
Passive -wa ja jewa being eaten Creates passive form - 
action is done to noun.
Neutral -ahala
-leh
utlwa utlwahala be audible Verb expresses noun 
in tansformative manner.
Applied -etsa
-ela
sheba shebetsa ask for Creates applied form of verb.
Causative -tsa
-ntsha
-nya
bona bontsha cause to see Something is caused to happen 
to the noun.
Intensive -isisa utlwa utlwisisa understand The act of the verb is intensified.
Reciprocal -ana bona bonana see each other Action is carried out among
parties - from both sides.
Reversive -oloha
-olla
tlama tlamolla untie A certain action is reversed - undone.
Reflexive i- bona ipona see yourself Action is done by subject or object
to itself.

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J. Olivier (2009)