Both i and sá can be translated by the English copula (to) be. However, those two elements do not express exactly the same semantic nuance. With i, we have a neutral equative relationship, with no inference about its pragmatics or contextual circumstances. With sá, the equative relationship has a resultative implication, i.e. Joŋ ø sá piskador 'John is now a fisherman' means implicitly 'Before, John had another job, now he has become a fisherman'. The contrast between i and sá probably reflects the contrast between Portuguese ser (the Casamancese copula i can probably be (partly at least) traced back to Portuguese é, 3SG.PRS.IND of ser) and estar (etymon of Casamancese sá).