The entries in the Chizigula of Somalia dictionary consist of a main entry followed by grammatical parts in parentheses, if any; then the word class or part of speech is given; then an English translation. If the main entry has more than one English translation, then the different translations are numbered. After each translation, normally one or more sentences in Chizigula are given followed by their English translations. An entry may also have notes, sometimes, giving other information about grammar, phonology, sociolinguistics, etc.
So for nouns, the singular main entry is given with its plural in parentheses, if any; or for plural nouns, the main entry is given then its singular in parentheses, if any. Note that for nouns both the singular and plural have main entries because they are always in different noun classes and they tend to work independently of each other, and many singulars have no plural forms and many plurals have no singular forms. Then after the main entry (and grammatical forms), the noun gender is given followed by its English definition, or numbered definitions. Within each numbered definition one or more sentence examples are given followed by their English translations. For example:
hamri (mahamri) NG3 flatbread (small, triangular and fried) Naunga hamri dimwenga na sambusa. I want one flatbread and a samosa.
faida NG5 1) profit(s) Mwaka uno chipata faida nyingi kwe soko. This year we got a lot of profit in the market. Biyashara yangu yaningiziza faida nyingi. My business brings me in a lot of profit. Mwaka uno songezesa faida mwe di kampani dyangu. This year I increased profits in my company a lot. 2) gain(s) 3) benefit(s) Faida ya masomo waiyona unabinda a masomo. The benefit of schooling you see when you finish the schooling. Midarsheni ni miti ina faida kwa wanadamu. Marulas are trees that have benefits for humans. 4) heirloom Hande ya baba ni faida yangu. Grandfather's farm is my heirloom. 5) opportunity (-ies) Kuishi bandari kuna faida nyingi ya masomo. Living in a city has many opportunities for studies.
For verbs, the main entry is always the verbal noun or infinitive form with the prefix ku-, or kw- if the verb stem begins in a vowel. The command form appears after the main entry in parentheses without the ku- or kw-, if one exists, and then any irregular forms may also appear in parentheses, if they exist. Then the part of speech and numbered translations occur with sentence examples and their translations.
Kugona (gona) 1 • VI. sleep. Sigonire. I haven't slept. 2 • VI. go to sleep. Nachigone! Let's go to sleep! 3 • VI. sleep (be). Kama wazana wanagone, nachiwaganeze. If the children are sleepy, we'll put them to bed. 4 • VI. asleep (be). Sigona. I'm asleep. 5 • VI. lie. Sigona hasi. I laid down. 6 • NG8. sleeping, to sleep. Sizimwa kugona. I was unable to sleep. 7 • NG8. lying, to lie.
kwita (ita ~ hita) 1 • VI. go (away). Hita kagone! Go sleep (somewhere else)!
In the example above the varying sign ~ signals a variation in pronunciation between the command forms ita and hita.
Adjectives are more problematic in that many adjectives have no normal independent form without agreement prefixes in a sentential context. This is especially the case for adjective stems that begin in a vowel, which are entered with a * before the stem, for example:
*edi (chedi, dyedi, hedi, iyedi, kedi, kwedi, mwedi, vedi, wedi, yedi, ywedi, zedi) Adj good
*edi is never said alone by itself, and the other forms in parenthethes are only said when they are modifying a noun of a given noun class. Even many adjectives that begin in a consonant are never said without agreement prefixes, although normally adjectives agreeing with NG3 singular nouns have no agreement prefix, so these forms are entered as main entries, for example:
tuhu (katuhu, matuhu, mituhu, mtuhu, nduhu, utuhu, vituhu, watuhu) Adj other
Here tuhu is the NG3 singular form and is the main entry, and all the other grammatical forms in parentheses have agreement prefixes used in context modifying head nouns of differing noun classes.
Note: In the English definitions all references to he, him, his etc. should also be taken to refer to she, her, hers etc.