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Friday, January 11, 2013

How to you use the word "tanndat"?

In Creole, tanndat, depi tanndat, se pa dat, se pa pou dat,  indicate past tense and is used a lot with the present perfect  → it's been a long time, since a long time, for a long time

1.  Tanndat m pa wè w.  Sa w'ap fè konsa?
     It's been a long time since I haven't seen you.  What are you up to?

2. Tanndat m kite fimen, enpi w fèk tande sa?
     It's been some time since I quit smoking, and you're just hearing about that?

3.  Depi tanndat n'ap goumen pou libète, nou poko janm rive toujou.
     It's been a long time since we've been fighting for freedom, we're still not there yet.
     We've been fighting for freedom for a long time, we're still not there yet.

4. Kote ou te ye depi tanndat sa?
    Where were you all this time?

5.  Se pa pou dat Ayisyen ap tann Mesi pa yo. Kilè Li va resi vini?
     Haitians have waited for their own Messiah for a long time. When will She finally come?

6. Se pa dat w'ap mande fi sa a renmen, li lè li tan pou'w chache yon lòt.
    You been courting that woman for too long, it's about time you look for another one.

7.  Se pa pou dat mwen la m'ap tann ou. Kilè w'ap rive?
     I've been waiting for you for a long time.  When will you get there?

8. Se pa pou dat  m pa manje yon ti manje peyi.  Lè'm rive Ayiti, premye bagay m'ap fè se pran yon ti fritay.
    I haven't had a homemade meal for a long time.  When I get to Haiti, the first thing I'll do is to get a little fritay.
Haitian Creole ↔ English Reference, Look up Haitian Creole and English Words


  1. This is why I love this site. I never knew about this before or maybe I did but I was not aware of it until now. So, this does beg some questions. What about 'depi', 'sa fe lontan', 'gen lontan'(if that is even used at all)? Can these be used in this context? If 'tanndat' is used to indicate past tense, are there others words besides the ones that you mentioned similar to it? There could be more time constructions or expressions that I am not aware of. I love learning about these things.

    1. Hi.
      I think that instead of "...indicate past tense..." I should have said that it's used to recall an event that has happened some time in the past and, in some cases, is still happening... just like we recall an event when we say "It's been a long time since..."

      Now we do still use sa fè lontan, sa gen lontan, gen yon bon ti tan, gen yon bon bout tan, etc... But because our Creole language is so rich, full of beautiful expressions, and the by-product of various other languages, we have inherited diversified ways of expressing the same ideas. This is proof, to me, that my Creole language is alive and real.

      Although Haitian Creole, as an OFFICIAL language, is in its infancy, you should be able to find a great deal of information about it, and the direction that it's taking ...specifically in Haiti. I am very excited that there are people (Michel Degraff, for example) working on a uniformed way to educate people in Creole.

      But for now, it is from reading great literary works (in Creole) from authors such as Frank Etienne, Morriseau Leroy, Emile Célestin-Mégie, Yves Dejean, Francois Severin, Jean-Euphèle Milcé, Maude Heurtelou, Jacques Roumain, Michel Degraff, and many many more.... that you will begin to touch the tip of this iceberg that we call Haitian Creole.

      Kout chapo :)

  2. Can "tanndat + time construction" be an equivalent to "se fè + time construction" and "sa gen + times construction" expressing "for" or "since" in a declarative and interrogative sentence? Also, in different tenses like the futures tenses and other tenses(conditional tense, all past tenses) if they exist?


    "I have been working for working for nine hours."
    "Tanndat nevèd tan ke mwen travay."
    "Sa fè(sa gen) nevèd tan ke mwen travay"

    "It has been raining for five days."
    "Tanndat senk jou ke li fè lapli."
    "Sa fè(sa gen) senk jou ke fè lapli."

    "I have been in Paris for three weeks."
    "Tanndat twa semèn ke mwen nan Pari."
    "Sa fè(sa gen) twa semèn ke mwen nan Pari."

    "(For)How long have you been studying French?"
    "Tanndat konbyen tan ou etidye fransè?" or "konbyen tan tanndat ou etidye fransè?
    "Sa fè(se gen) konbyen tan ou etidye fransè? or "konbyen tan sa fè(sa gen) ou etidye fransè?

    "How long have you been in Quebec?"
    "Konbyen lè tanndat ou nan Quebec? or "Tanndat konbyen lè ou nan Quebec?"
    "Konbyen lè sa fè(sa gen) ou nan Quebec? or "Sa fè(sa gen) konbyen lè ou nan Quebec?"

    "It will be six weeks tomorrow since Paul left."
    "Tanndat pral sis semèn demen ke Paul pati."
    "Sa pral fè(sa pral gen) sis demèn ke Paul pati."

    "It will soon be a year since the president's resgination."
    "Tanndat youn ane talè ke prezidan an demisyone."
    "Sa pral fè(sa pral gen) youn ane talè ke prezidan an demisyone."

    Feel free to correct any grammatical errors you spot, feel free to add any more grammar constructions, words, or phrases pertaining to this topic, feel free to be as detailed as possible. I want to know as much as I can.