In Kiswahili there are two ways (at least) of saying the interrogative
“which.” One way is to use the interrogative word gani, which
means either “which” or “what kind/type,” depending on the context and intent of
the speaker or writer. Hence, kitabu gani
(depending on the context) could mean either “which book” or “what kind of
When you use the Kiswahili morpheme -pi,
however, there is no such ambiguity. The
morpheme -pi only means “which” (and not “what
Another distinction between gani
and -pi is that, whereas gani
does not take agreement with the noun that if refers to, -pi
Here’s how -pi works with noun classes
6. yapi (or yepi)
Mwanafunzi yupi aliibia mtihani?
Watu wepi wanataka kuacha kazi?
Je, unapenda mto upi --- huu au huu?
Miti ipi itakatwa leo?
Tutaendesha gari lipi, letu au lao?
Ni maneno yepi ambayo huyafahamu?
Wiki hii tunasoma kitabu kipi?
Viti vipi vimeharibika?
Nyumba ipi inauzwa, hii au ile?
Silaha zipi zilifichuliwa na askari polisi?
Ufunguo upi umepotea?
Mwalimu Mtembezi, 2004