Episode 16: More Adjectives & Pa

Today we’re going to continue with some good adjectives, these are going to be more about things than about people. But first, we’re going to start with a caboose that you will use a lot, especially with adjectives, and then we can practice it throughout the episode.

-Pa & -Mba
The caboose is -pa. It’s the root of Opa, which means "all done" or "finished!" -Pa means everything, or totally, or completely, or finished. When you use it with an adjective, such as fatty, it can mean that something is completely that adjective. For example, “This cow is all fatty,” would be Ko vaka ikyrapa. Or it can mean that a group of things are all something, such as: “They are all skinny.” Ipirupa hikuái. Or, it can mean that you’ve done something completely, or just finished doing something, such as “They drank all my terere.” Ho’upa che terere. Or, if you really want to put emphasis on it, you might combine pa with ite. This is a combo you’ll hear a lot -paite. To say they totally drank everything, Ho’upaite!

You’ll also hear -pa combined often with -ma, as in Ohopáma, to mean, "Everyone left already."

-Pa changes with nasals to become -mba. You may have heard me say a few episodes ago Oĩmbama. That’s another version of that Oĩma we already learned, Which means like, "Ok, it’s ready." Oĩmbama means, "Ok, everything’s all ready."

Let’s do a mini practice of that.
Jakarupáma. We finished eating lunch already.
Ajohéipama che ao. I washed all my clothes.
Mateo ho’upaite che terere. Matt drank all my terere.
Oguahẽmbama. Everyone has arrived.
Ñande soguepa. We’re all broke.

You are all fat. Pende kyrapa.
They’re all hungry already. Ha’ekuéra ivare’apáma.
This road is completely totally muddy. Ko tape ivaipaite.
I remember everything now. Che mandu’apáma. (Technically, this should be mandu'ambama, because of the nasal, but people just say it with pa)
You’re all lazy. Pende kaiguepa.

You’ll remember that -pa is also the caboose which acts like a question mark. But you’ll hear the difference. When you’re using this kind of -pa, to mean totality, you’ll hear a strong accent on the -pa. OhoPA. Everyone went. But if it’s a question, the accent will stay on the root word. Ohópa? Did they go?

More Adjectives

That’s just an overview, and now let’s learn some adjectives and practice that.
Today we’re going to learn adjectives that will be used more with things. In any language, there are going to be a ton of adjectives. Long, short, big, small, gross, smelly, etc. We’ll only be able to cover 10 in this episode, but look below in the part labeled Extra Credit for a list of more.

The first word for today is dirty, ky’a. I always confuse this with the word kyra, for fat. So to remember the difference, let’s pretend that the apostrophe in the middle of ky’a is like a coffee stain, because ky’a is dirty. You’ll hear ky’a when people talk about their messy houses, their dirty clothes, or you might hear a mother yell at her children, Iky’apaite nde sapatu. “You’re shoes are completely filthy.”

How would you say, “This cow is dirty.” Ko vaka iky’a.
How would you ask someone if the guampa is dirty? Iky’a piko la guampa.
How would you tell someone to wash the guampa that’s dirty? Ejohéi la guampa iky’ava.
What does this mean: Che atererese pero che guampa iky’a hína. “I want to drink terere but my guampa is dirty.”

If we’ve got dirty then we’ve got to have clean. This one is potĩ, with a nasal i. Here’s a little lesson in why that nasal is important. I saw in my dictionary that poti, without the nasal, means excrement, or, when used as a verb, to defecate. Usually you just hear kaka, as in ha’e okakata, but still. Anyway, how did we get on this topic? Just make sure you put that nasal on there! So if I just washed the guampa, and I want to say “It’s totally clean now,” I would say Ipotĩmbama. How about if you cleaned your table and you want to say, “The table’s clean now. Let’s eat lunch.” Ipotĩma la mesa, jakaru. The word clean should be easy to remember, because you already know the verb “to clean,” which is mopotĩ. Potĩ is just the root of that word, the adjective that means clean. How would you say, “I finished cleaning all my shoes.” Amopotĩmba che sapatu. How would you say, “All my shoes are clean.” Ipotĩmba che sapatu. With the chendale, because clean is an adjective.

Another good one is fast, which is pya’e. My host mom is always yelling at the kids to do their chores, Pya’eke!, using pya’e with that command exclamation point -ke. It’s technically Nde pya’éke! But it just comes out Pya’éke! How would you say, "My motorcycle is fast", using the word moto for motorcycle, like they do in Paraguay? Che moto ipya’e. How would you say, My moto is the fastest? Che moto la ipya’evéva.

Tuicha means big. Tuichaiterei means too big or really big. “My head is too big” would be Che akã ituichaiterei. Sometimes this can be used to say someone is pregnant. Ha’e ituicha could be “She’s pregant,” so cháke! You might also hear this as a synonym for “a lot” or “very”. People will say it rained tuicha, “rained a lot” or that someone was tuicha oka’u, “very” drunk.

Now let’s talk about the opposite of tuicha, big, which would be small. Here we have to back track a second, because I have something to tell you. Some adjectives don’t ever put the i in front of them, like to say, He is small. Small is michĩ. It’s just Ha’e michĩ. Why is this? I don’t know. The pattern seems to be that it’s the adjectives that begin with m or h. Sometimes people do put an i on the front of michĩ, but according to my peeps, that's not correct.

Some ways you will use michĩ is to say that something is michĩmi, like, "little bitty". If someone asks you if you’d like seconds, a lot of people respond, michĩmi. Or michĩve, a little bit more. But you will still hear this in the beginning of a sentence, like Michĩ ha’u kuri. “I just ate a little bit.” Or if someone gives you just a sliver of cake, you might say it’s Michĩeterei. "Too small." How would you say, “I want a little bit more.” Che aipota michĩve. How would you say, "Your moto is small." Nde moto michĩ. You might also hear people use michĩ to say there’s not enough of something, such as that food is Michĩeterei to feed everyone.

Another adjective that will not have an i on the front is the all important word for delicious, which is he. My host mom asks me at meal times, about the food, He piko, “Is it good?” And there is no acceptable answer except Heterei, super delicious It’s not the same as the word for yes, which is Héẽ, all nasaly. This is just h-e. He. How would you say, “I want to drink terere that’s delicious.” Che ha’use terere héva. How would you say, “My chipa is the most delicious.” Chipa, by the way, is a Paraguayan snacky snack. Che chipa la hevéva.

Another good one is ho’ysã, which means cold. You’ll hear this a lot with terere, to say, “Ooh that t-ray’s nice and cold.” Ho’ysã porã la terere. How about, “I want to drink water that’s nice and cold.” Ha’use y ho’ysã porãva. And here’s something I hear when one of the kids is late to eat, for example pizza. Eju jakaru. Ho’ysãmbáta nde pizza. That means, “Come on, let’s eat. You’re pizza’s going to get totally cold.” ***You will not use ho’ysã to say “I’m cold.” That would be Che ro’y, which will be explained in a future podcast.***

Then you’ve got the opposite. Haku. Hot. Haku is so clutch. In the summer, haku is practically a greeting. Haku, says one person, then the other says, Hakueterei. But, listen to me, you will never, never want to say, Che haku. Or maybe you will, if you’re an adult, doing adult things with another consenting adult. But other than that, if you want to say, “I’m hot,” as in the weather is causing me to sweat, it’s Haku chéve, or just haku.

And for our last word today, we’re going to learn how to say, a lot. This is heta. You’ll hear all the time, hetaiterei to mean, a lot a lot or too many. Heta porã means enough. Hetaiterei japuka. That means, "Oh, we laughed so much." Heta la outava. "Many people are going to come." ***I just heard someone say this and had to add it, that heta ikesuva means something has a lot of cheese. I don’t know, maybe a good topic of conversation***

Vocab list!
  1. -pa/mba: totally, completely, finished
  2. ky’a: dirty (Aiko ky'a = ridin' dirty. Just sayin')
  3. potĩ: clean
  4. pya’e: fast
  5. tuicha: big
  6. michĩ: small
  7. he: delicious
  8. ho’ysã: cold
  9. haku: hot
  10. heta: a lot

FYI in this conversation, you’re going to hear Héta, which is the way to say that something is going to be delicious. Didn’t want you to confuse that with heta.
Mba’e jakaruta Oscar?
Ndaikuaái. Mba’epa recocinata?
Hmm. Ikatu acocina pizza.
Ooh. Héta.
Héẽ. Ha nde rejapota la terere.
Ha aipota y ho’ysãva.
Ha che aipota peteĩ pizza tuicha porãva. Heta akaruta.
Oĩma. Eho eru la terere. Pya’éke! Che uhéima.

1. This table’s too small.
Ko mesa michĩeterei.

2. This mandioca’s dirty.
Ko mandi’o iky’a.

3. Mmm, this terere’s nice and cold.
Mmm, ko terere ho’ysã porã.

Go now. Hurry!
Eho ko’ãga. Pya’eke!

I washed all my clothes.
Ajohéipama che ao.

6. Fernando has a lot of cows.
Fernando oreko heta vaka.

7. I want to eat sushi that is delicious. (And, by the way, Oscar informed me that chipa in Guarani is she-PA.)
Che ha’use chipa héva.

8. Bring water that’s cold please.
Erumi y ho’ysãva.

9. Is there a smaller table?
Oĩ piko peteĩ mesa michĩvéva?

10. You need shoes that are bigger.
Reikotevẽ sapatu ituichavéva.

Now Guarani first...

1. Ani regueraha ao ky’a.
Don’t wear dirty clothes.

2. Heta opuka cherehe hikuái.
They laughed a lot at me.

3. Heterei che pizza.
My pizza is super delicious.

4. Jaipota peteĩ computadora ipya’evéva.
We want a computer that’s faster.

5. Iky’apa che ao.
My clothes are completely dirty.

6. Ohopáma piko?
Did everyone leave already?

7. Hetaiterei roguata ko pyhareve.
Ugh, we walked so much this morning.

Pya’e ajohéipata che ao.
Real quick I’m going to wash all my clothes.

Ani re’u ko kesu. Itujáma.
Don’t eat this cheese. It’s old already.

10. Jastudiapáma.
We’re done studying now.

michi puede ser i or no.

No usa i en frente

Extra Credit
Here’s a list of some other good adjectives
hatã: hard
guasu: big
hu’ũ: soft
mbegue: slow
sa’i: few
tuja: old
puku: long
mbyky: short
karape: short (person)
yvate: tall
pyahu: new; young
hepy: expensive
he’ẽ: sweet
jyky: salty (food); funny, nice (person)


  1. Oh, I love this blog! Please, PLEASE, keep up this great work, for I'm learning Guarani, too.

  2. I noticed that you are confusing the verb to drink and to eat... To eat is "u" and to drink is "i'u". So the sentence you wrote "Ho’upa che terere" is actually "They/someone ate all my terere" which is kind of weird, the best option would be "Hoi’upa che terere". Also there the article "la" you're applying in cases where it isn't necessary, for example: “Ooh that t-ray’s nice and cold.” Ho’ysã porã la terere... in this case the best way would be: "Terere ho'ysã porãva" or "Terere ho'ysã porãva kóa" or you can give even more personal feeling with "nio" "Terere ho'ysã porãva nio kóa".
    Salt is "juky" and not "jyky", far is "mombyry" and not "mombyru"
    In: “The table’s clean now. Let’s eat lunch.” Ipotĩma la mesa, jakaru.... first I think the best option is: "Mesa ipotĩma" instead of "Ipotĩma la mesa" and jakaru is we eat, so to make it like an invitation "let's" you need to add "katu". So the sentence should be something like: "Mesa ipotĩma, jakaru katu".
    Please in guarani is expressed but the particle "na"... Please bring water: "Eguerumina y"..."Erumi" might be a sort of slang. The verb "to bring" is "gueru" and not "ru".
    I've found some other minor mistakes as well as some grammar "jehe'a" and a lot of "jopara". Jopara is okay, but jehe'a is considered major mistake in grammar.
    I hope this can help you in the blog, which is a very good one indeed.
    I am full native bilingual guarani-spanish by the way. :)