chapter  4
Swahili noun class system
Pages 10

Swahili verb stems generally have two syllables or more. There are only nine verb stems that have one syllable. The alternation between the two elements suggests that, like the prefixed "object pronoun", the prefix ku- discussed here is an extension of the monosyllabic stem. Therefore, it is considered a "stem augment" that gives a disyllabic structure to the stem. An "augment" is a particle added to a given word or part of the word without adding any additional meaning. In the absence of a prefixed object pronoun, the stem augment ku- proper to monosyllabic verb stems is found in all tenses with a regular tense/mood marker. The "conditional" mood mentioned in is described in Language note. The stem augment is present in the singular and the plural imperative forms, but absent in the subjunctive form. Like other verbs, the imperative for the verb "be" does not have a specific negative construction but uses the same form as the subjunctive.