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Friday, January 18, 2013

How to translate "ago"? "He graduated a month ago."

Usually, it's "pase" in Creole.

1. Last year → ane pase
2. last month → mwa pase
3. last week → semèn pase
4. last christmas → Nwèl pase
5. two weeks ago → de semèn pase
6. a month ago → yon mwa pase

7. He graduated a month ago.
    Li te diplome mwa pase.

8. He graduated some time ago.
    Li te diplome kèk tan pase.

Haitian Creole ↔ English Reference, Look up Haitian Creole and English Words


  1. Can 'iliya' can be used as well? "Li te pale iliya(vwala) 5 minit." = "He spoke 5 minutes ago."
    I know that il y a means ago and voilà mean ago as well but informally. I tend to use french words or construction in my creole. Not because I think french is better than creole, but because I love expressing the same idea in a multitude of ways.

    1. Interesting.
      I have not used iliya.
      I would probably say sa gen it's been

      "Li te pale sa gen senk minit"

      Kenbe la.

  2. What about if 'ago' is at the beginning of the sentence, how is the sentence translated? "A year ago, I was still in Paris." or "A week ago, we were still on vacation." or "Two days ago, it was raining." Does the sentence construction change or remain the same like the ones you gave in your response?

    1. We could use pase or desla like this:

      A year ago, I was still in Paris.
      Ennan desla, mwen te a Pari toujou.
      Ennan pase, mwen te a Pari toujou.
      Ane pase, mwen te a Pari toujou.

      A week ago, we were still on vacation.
      Yon semèn desla, nou te an vakans toujou.
      Semèn pase, mwen te nan vakans toujou.

      Two days ago, it was raining.
      De jou desla, li t'ap fè lapli.
      De jou pase, li te fè lapli.

  3. Last night, I was having a conversation with my mom and I wanted to say 'two days ago' but the word 'ago' escaped me so she told me 'avan' I was like impressed that there was another way of saying 'ago' I think. Here is a the sentence I was saying to my mother: "De jour avan, mwen te panse prepare tout bagay pou ou anvan ou leve." (Two days ago, I was thinking about preparing all the things for you before you get up." So, can 'avan' be used to mean 'ago'? Are there anymore words for 'ago' that I need to know about? I feel like I'm on a treasure hunt for words.