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Friday, September 28, 2012

Can you explain the (subtle?) difference between "Li t ap pase pou l-al kay fanm li" and "Li t ap ale kay fanm li." Do these sentences require "nan" for "nan kay fanm li"? Why or why not?

Li t'ap pase pou l'al kay fanm li.
He was passing by to go to his lady's house.
He was moving past here in order to make his way to his girlfriend's house.

Li t'ap ale kay fanm li.
He was going to his girlfriend's house.

No, these sentences do not require the prep. "nan".
In ale lakay mwen (going home) or ale kay yon moun (going to someone's house), the sentence without the preposition "nan" best describes the motion of moving into a direction (towards home, in this case).
If you were to add "nan", the sentence would translate He's going inside the house or he's stepping inside the house.
See if this link might be helpful : prepositions at, in, from
Haitian Creole ↔ English Reference, Look up Haitian Creole and English Words


  1. I like how you translated it to "his lady's house." :)

    (This sentence is from a book, the setting in old old times)

    The polite way to greet a group of women is "Bonjou medanm," correct? It is fine to say to a male friend "Sa kap pase gason m?" but it is not so ... sophisticated to say "Kouman ye, fanm mwen?" ?

    1. Ah I see... mèsi :)

      Yes you are correct. Greeting to a group of women is: Bonjou Mèdam. This comes from the French mesdames which is the plural of Madame.

      If there's a male (or more) in the group, then you will say: Bonjou mesyedam. That comes from the French messieurs dames

      So, "ladies and gentlemen" will be translated in H. Creole as mesyedam or mèdam e mèsye
      Yes, you could say gason'm if it's someone that you know very well (a very good friend, and you are sure that he would not misinterpret the fact that you're calling him "my boy".

      And concerning "fanm mwen", you would call a female lover (spouse, partner) fanm mwen, and a male lover (spouse, partner) nonm mwen.