How to learn Maori

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How to learn Maori a short treatise on the structure and idiom of the language
Shortland, Edward, 1812-1893
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Upton & Co
H. Brett, General Steam printer
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
ii, 55 pages; 19 cm


Subjects / Keywords:
Maori language ( lcsh )
Maori language -- Grammar ( lcsh )
Reo Māori
Spatial Coverage:
Oceania -- New Zealand
Ao-o-Kiwa -- Aotearoa


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VIAF (Name Authority) : Shortland, Edward, 1812-1893 : URI

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SOAS University of London
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Author of “Traditions and Superstitions of the New Zealanders/’ “Maori
Religion and Mythology/’ &c.
All rights reserved.

The aim of this little book is to render the study of
Maori more simple and interesting to learners, by
avoiding the formal method of grammars. Maori is
a language of very different structure to that of the
European languages with which we are more familiar :
the student of Maori should be fully impressed with
this fact.
A short introductory notice on language generally,
and on the distinct class of languages to which Maori
belongs is prefixed. The characteristics of Maori, its
structure and idiom are afterwards discussed. The
examples given are chiefly taken from the original
Maori of Sir George Grey’s “ Mythology and
Traditions of the New Zealanders,” which having been
derived from the best available sources may be
accepted as good specimens of the language in its
purity. The number affixed to each of these examples
refers to the page of the volume where it is to be
found. I take this opportunity to thank my friend,
Mr. H. Smith, late Judge of the Native Lands Court,
who carefully read the MS before going to press, for
some valued hints and illustrations.
Auckland : March, 1883.


Languages, their varieties, Indo-European or Aryan,
Malayo-Polynesian, Papuan ... ... ... 1-5
Classification and Analysis of Languages—Horne Tooke
on Inflections—Analysis of Greek Inflections ... 5-7
Its Characteristics—Roots of Words—Pronounciation—
Parts of Speech—The Aitides— The Particle (a)—
Demonstrative Particles ........................... 7-10
Nouns —Adjective—Pronouns, personal, possessive,
demonstrative, indefinite, reflexive......... ... 10-17
Verbs—No class of words analogous to the Verbs of
Inflectional Languages—The Passive Participle—
Reduplicate Words—Numerals ... .. ... 17-19
The Subject follows the Predicate—No Relative Pro-
noun—Demonstrative instead of Relative Forms—
The Demonstrative Particles nei, na, ra, ai:
Explanation with examples of their use and
signification ... ... ... ............ 19-23
Prepositions, their importance and various uses, with
examples ... ... ... ... ... 23-29
‘U’and‘Ko’ ...................................... 29-31
Compound Prepositions—Abstract local words, ‘runga,’
‘raro,’&c....................... ... ... 32
Verbs—Tenses—Verbal Prefixes—Comparative Table
of Tenses ...................... ... ... 33-35
The Prefix (e) ......... ... 35-36
>> (ka) ... ... 36-38
,, (kua) ... 38
Imperative Forms 38-39
Infinitive ,, 39

The Participle, active and passive .................... 39-4d
The Subjunctive Mood................................... 40-41
Sentences expressing motive or purpose ... ... 41
Conditional Sentences ... ............. ... 41-42
Maku, Naku, Mana, Nana,.....&c., in direct and con-
ditional sentences ... ... ... 42_44
Negative Forms......................................... 44~45
Inteirogative ... ... ... .. ........ 45-46
Temporal Sentences ... ... ... ........ 46-47
Adverbs, Mai, Atu, Ake, Iho, their various uses, and
significations ... ... ... . . ... 47~52
Maori Idiom in regard to members of the body 52
Anomalous use of the definite (te) .................... 52_55

The languages spoken by the various inhabitants of
the earth, however numerous and dissimilar, may be
grouped into families composed of members, having in
common certain well marked and distinct peculiarities.
Careful examination has shown that the differences
now existing between them are no more than may be
readily conceived to have arisen from natural causes;
that is to say, partly from the separation and disper-
sion of the descendants of those who possessed a
common tongue, while at the same time the separated
and dispersed tribes, each according to its wants and
the advancement of its civilization, developed inde-
pendently its earlier form of speech; and partly from
the intermixture which took place between tribes
after considerable alterations had been thus made in
their languages—such intermixture being due either
to increase of population, or to wars and conquest, or
to more peaceful colonisation.
How powerful such agency has been in giving rise
to variety of language we recognise in the fact that
the modern Italian, French, and Spanish have been
formed from the union of the Latin with Celtic and
Teutonic forms of speech.
The family, of which our own language is a member,
has been named the Indo-European or Aryan. It
comprises the principal languages spoken by the in-
habitants of Europe, Asia-Minor, Persia, and India.

These ean all be shown to have a strong affinity to the
Sanskrit—itself the developed and cultivated form of
a more ancient language.
The family to which the language we propose to
introduce to the reader belongs has been called the
Malayo-Polynesian. It is a family of language very
widely spread over the surface of the globe, extending
from East to West, from Eastern Island to Mada-
gascar, and from North to South, from the Sandwich
Islands to New Zealand. Included within these
limits there is also the Papuan family of languages,
common to the inhabitants of New Guinea, New
Caledonia, and some other islands of those seas;
probably also the Australian may be included in the
same family.
There appears to be good reason to believe that
Papuans were the first colonists of the Philippines,
Sumatra, Java, and many other neighbouring islands,
and that they were dispossessed of them by an immi-
gration from the Asiatic Continent of tribes, the an-
cestors of the Malayo-Polynesian stock. The former
are still found in the mountainous parts of the interior
of Borneo, and in the more southern of the Philip-
pine Islands, one of which has, on that account, ob-
tained the name of Isla de los negros. The island
Vanikoro (lat. 11° 40' S.; long. 166° 40'E.), where
the Boussole and Astrolabe, commanded by the
lamented La Perouse, were wrecked in 1788, and
those lying between it and New Guinea are also in-
habited by the same race of men.
The various members of the Malayo-Polynesian
family agree with each other in peculiarities of gram-
matical structure, while at the same time they differ
strikingly from the Indo-European family in this and
in almost every other respect; so much so, indeed,
that it is with difficulty any points of resemblance
between them can be traced. M. Bopp, however, who
has instituted careful comparison between these two
families, is of opinion that a likeness can be traced in
their numerals and personal pronouns ; and he has
arrived at the conclusion that both owe their origin
to a common source.

The following are among the characteristic pecu-
liarities of the Malayo-Polynesian languages as pointed
out by M. de Humboldt and other competent autho-
rities :—
1. Roots of words are for the most part dissylla-
bles, and when they are monosyllables they are
generally doubled.
2. Nouns have neither gender, number, nor case.
3. Verbs have no inflections to denote moods,
tenses, or persons. The artifices chiefly employed to
perform what inflection does in the Indo-European
languages are the prefixing various particles.
It has been remarked that few classes of human
idioms bear so much analogy in their leading peculi-
arities of structure as do the Polynesian and Chinese.
The words of the former language might be denoted
by Chinese characters, both being indeclinable. The
principal difference between the two consists in the
mode of using particles of relation which supply the
place of inflection.
The Malayo-Polynesian family branching off
from the Malay Peninsula now extends over Sumatra,
Java, the Celebes and neighbouring islands, Borneo,
the Philippines ; thence through various groups of
small islands to Polynesia proper. In these districts
the languages now spoken are closely allied ; but, as
might be expected, the inhabitants of the districts
lying nearest to India, owing to subsequent communi-
cation with that country, have adopted a large pro-
portion of foreign words. Thus the language of Java,
the Kawi, contains numerous Sanskrit words en-
grafted on the original Polynesian stock, while its
grammatical structure remains Polynesian. The
Malay language has been still more corrupted with
Sanskrit, and also with Arabic, in modern times,
owing to the introduction of the Mahometan religion.
The Papuan dialects have likewise contributed to
corrupt the Polynesian wherever the two races have
chiefly come in contact. The Malay ‘ kapala-orang/
a man’s head, is an example of this double origin,
‘ kapala ’ being evidently of Sanskrit, and ‘ orang ’ of
Papuan origin.

The Philippine islands being more remote from the
continent of India, the language spoken there was not
subjected to a similar corruption by intermixture, and
consequently became developed independently. The
principal dialect of this language, the Gala or Tagala,
the most perfect and polished form to which any of
the family have attained, is declared by a Spanish
Missionary, who possessed an intimate knowledge of
it, to have combined the advantages of the four
principal languages of the world, Hebrew, Greek,
Latin, and Italian.*
The only western branch of the Malayo-Polynesian
family is the language of Madagascar. However
difficult it may be to credit that an island, so remote
from the Malayan group, and at the same time so
near the Continent of Africa, should have been
peopled from the former instead of from the latter
place, there is little doubt of the fact. The whole
island of Madagascar, we are assured, possesses but one
language.! Varieties in dialect exist, but these are
neither so numerous, nor so strongly marked that
natives residing in different parts of the island find
much difficulty in conversing with one another. It is
in its genius and structure a dialect of the great
Malayo-Polynesian family; one of those indeed,
according to M. de Humboldt, the most nearly allied
to the Tagala, and containing in an entire state a great
many of its grammatical and fundamental forms; hence
he infers that, if it originated from Java, or from
one of the neighbouring islands, the emigration which
transplanted it to so distant a land must have taken
place at a date antecedent to the changes introduced
into the language of Java from India; as it would
otherwise have possessed more Sanskrit words than
are found to exist in it.
Proceeding eastward from the Philippines we
find, among the Micronesian islands and the Fiji,
dialects which have more or less affinity to the Tagala :
and, lastly we reach the Polynesian language, properly
* Leyden Asiatic Res : p. 207.
+ Hist, of Madagascar, Ellis, vol. 1, p. 497.

so called, such as it is spoken in the Navigators,
the Sandwich islands, Tahiti, and New Zealand.
This language is the least developed form of the
original tongue of the Malayo-Polynesian family ; at
the same time it is the most pure and free from
admixture with foreign sources, and therefore may
be imagined to represent the most nearly its ancient
state. For such consideration alone the Polynesian
dialects appear to offer a study of peculiar interest.
Four different classes of languages are recognised,
each of them distinguishable by marked character-
1. Isolating or Analytic langibages.
In these words suffer no change to express varieties
of meaning. Chinese and Maori are examples.
2. Agglibtinating languages.
In these, varieties of meaning are denoted by com-
pound forms of word, made by uniting in a certain
method words each of which retains its own form.
Turkish is an example.
3. Inflectional or Synthetic languages.
In these, several words and fragments of words
are united into one inseparable whole—commonly
called an inflection—of which the component parts
have so lost their meaning as separate words that their
origin can with difficulty be recognised. Greek,
Latin, &c., are examples.
4. Polysthenic languages.
In these, the principle of structure referred to in
(3) is carried still further—so that each sentence is a
compound word, made up of words altered in form or
obsolete. The Basque, and the aboriginal languages
of America are examples.*
The celebrated philologer, Horne Tooke, was one
of the first to point out that the so-called inflections
* Farrar—G, Syntax—p. 2—3.

were not arbitrary, and that each part of an inflection
had its own distinct meaning. To quote his remarks
on this subject :—
“ Case, gender, number are no parts of a noun ;
but as these circumstances frequently accompany the
noun, these circumstances are signified by other words
expressive of these circumstances; and in some
languages these words, by their perpetual use, have
coalesced with the noun, their separate signification
has been lost sight of, except in their proper applica-
tion, and these words have been considered as mere
artificial terminations of the noun.
“ So mood, tense, number, person, are no parts
of the verb. But these same circumstances fre-
quently accompanying the verb are then signified
by other words expressive of these circumstances;
and again, in some languages, these latter words, by
their perpetual recurrence, have coalesced with the
verb; their separate signification has been lost sight
of, except in their proper application, and these words
have been considered as mere artificial terminations of
the verb.
“ The proper application of these coalesced words,
or terminations to nouns, has been called declensions,
and to verbs, has been called conjugations ; and per-
haps this arrangement, and these terminations, may
have greatly contributed to withdraw us from a
proper consideration of this matter; for we are all
very apt to rest satisfied with a name, and to inquire
no further.” *
The analysis of inflections of Greek verbs has
been much studied in recent times, and has been
carried to remarkable perfection. For example, take
the word XvOyoo/tai, I shall be loosed. This, when
analysed, consists of five parts :—
1. Xv, the root = loose.
2. 0, the relic of a root signifying to do, or to
3. -7, the representative of a root signifying to go.
4. ffo, the future sign.
* Diversions of Pnrley, p. 473,

5. /ttu, first personal pronoun (oblique case).
These elements, when put together, express the
idea : There will be ( (0) me (/Luu) loose (Xv). Thus the two auxiliary
verbs “to go” and “to be,” however much disguised,
occur in every Greek future. We see, then, that what
have been called inflections are the relics of pronouns
and auxiliary verbs.” *
In a modern language like the French it is easy
to see how tenses of verbs in synthetic languages are
formed on the principle above indicated. The future
“ dirai,” although in grammars treated as one word,
is a compound, the analysis of which is simple. Dirai =
dir ai, viz., j’ai a dir, I have to say, and has necessarily
a future signification.
1. Every syllable is either a vowel, or a consonant
followed by a vowel. We often meet with a word
composed of several syllables without a consonant, as,
for instance, “ uaua,” strength of nerve. In this respect
it differs from the western branches of the Malayo-
Polynesian family, which admit of consonants at the
end of syllables.
English. Maori. Tagala.
Bird Manu Manuk
Heaven - Rangi Langit
Ear Taringa Tayinga
2. Roots of words have very commonly a redu-
plicate, as well as a simple form. Thus—
Tuhi, or tuhituhi, write.
Raru, or raruraru, the being disturbed.
The reduplication may be partial, affecting either
the first or last syllables of a word.
Sometimes it has a frequentative meaning, some-
times a diminishing force. So—
Korero, talk ; korerorero, chatter.
Pouri, dark ; pouriuri, less dark.
Pai, good; Papal, charming.
* Farrar—G, Syntax—p. 5—7,

3. There is an absence of sibilant, and a prevalence
of nasal consonants,
4. Words do not vary in form to denote cases,
moods, or tenses.
5. There is no verb substantive, or auxiliary verb,
6. Clauses of sentences are always independent
statements. There is no relative pronoun.
As no rules havs ever been found of avail alone to
enable a person to pronounce a language even intel-
ligibly to the native of the country where it is spoken,
it seems preferable to leave the pronunciation of
Maori to be acquired by practice in New Zealand.
All necessary to be here said on this subject is that
the vowel letters have the same sounds, or nearly so,
as in Italian, viz.:—
a has generally the sound of a in all and far
With regard to the only consonants in use,
a in name and fate
e in theme
o in cold
oo in cool
h, k, m, n, p, r, t, w, ng,
there is no difficulty, except as to ‘ ng/ which has a
sound peculiar to the language, to be acquired after
a few days practice, more or less, according to the
quickness of the ear and facility of tongue of the
learner. It may, however, assist to know that if the
point of the tongue is placed firmly at the base of the
lower front teeth, so that its upper surface forms an
arch, the mouth being open the while, on attempting
to utter the sound denoted by net, it will glide naturally
into the sound denoted by nga.
The parts of speech commonly distinguished by
grammarians cannot be distinctly represented generally
in Maori; for the same word has the force of a noun,
adjective, adverb, or verb, according to its relative

position in respect to other words of which the
sentence is composed, or according as certain words
of special signification are prefixed, or placed after it.
For instance, in the sentence —
He tangata pai = a good man—the word ‘pai’ has
the force of an adjective.
In i te pai ’ = the goodness—the article ‘ te ’ pre-
fixed gives to ‘ pai’ the force of a noun.
In ‘ e takoto pai ana ’ = ‘ is lying well ’—‘ pai1 has
the force of an adverb.
And in ‘ e pai ana ahau1 =11 am pleased ’—the
prefix ‘e’ and the suffix ‘ana’ give to ‘pai’ the
force of a verb.
Maori has a definite and indefinite article, ‘ te ’ =
the, for the former, and ‘ he ’ = a, for the latter.
The article ‘ te ’ has also a generic sense, as is the
case with the English article 1 the.’
He iwi mohio te Pakeha = The Pakeha is a clever
E hara koe i te potiki naku (10) = You are no
child of mine.
E kore ra e tata atu te tangata i te nui o tona
wera (18) = Man cannot approach by reason
of his scorching heat.
Is used as a prefix to personal pronouns, and replaces
the article before words which represent persons,
or things to which special names have been given, so
that they may be regarded somewhat in the light of
persons ; but this prefix is not used when such words
are governed by any of the prepositions a, o, ma, mo,
na, no, and e, which seem to be sufficient in them-
selves to indicate that the words they govern have
the sense denoted by the personal prefix.

NEI, NA, RA, Al.
Nei always has reference to the speaker.
Na ,, „ „ person spoken to.
Ra is used when no reference is intended to be
made to either the speaker or person spoken
In their primary sense they are local words.
Nei, here, near the speaker.
Na, there, near the person spoken to.
Ra, yonder, apart from either of the former.
Compare the Latin hie, istic, illic.
Ai is used to direct attention to something before
These particles are of very great use in the
language, and will therefore be more fully considered
The definite article •4 te,’ or the indefinite article
lhe’ placed before a word gives it the force of a noun
in the singular number, as—
Pai, good ; te pai, the goodness.
Korero, speak ; he korero, a speech.
The plural is denoted by nga prefixed, and in
some cases, when a word has a personal signification,
by ma placed after it, as—
Nga tangata, the men; e hoa ma ! 0 friends.
It may be here noticed that, in the Tagala lan-
guage, the plural of nouns is formed by means of the
word ‘manga’ which signifies many. It would there-
fore seem that the Maori 4 ma ’ and 4 nga ’ are frag-
ments of the word 4 manga’ formerly in use.
The distinction of gender, if not expressed in the
word itself, can only be made by the addition of the
word 4 tane’for male, and lioaliine’ for female, of persons.
The male of animals is denoted by the word 4toa’ the
female by the word 4 uwha’

The so-called cases of nouns are expressed in
Maori by prepositions prefixed to the word.
0 and no for the possessive case.
Ki for the dative, locative, and instrumental.
E (interject.) for the vocative.
E (prep.) for the ablative, by (the agent).
I for the accusative, after active transative words.
The word ‘kai’ joined to the beginning of a
verbal word gives it the force of an agent, as
Whakaako, teach; kai-whakaako, teacher.
Korero, speak ; kai-korero, speaker.
There is an important class of words formed by
adding to the simple form of a word one or other of
the following terminations :—
Nga, anga, hanga, kanga, manga, ranga, tanga.
Such words denote—
1. The taking place of an action or event.
2. The place where it takes place.
3. The time when it takes place.
Inu, drink; inumanga, a drinking.
Moe, sleep ; moenga, sleeping place, bed.
Korero, speak; korerotanga, act or time of
Sometimes the same form of word is used in one
or more of the three significations Sometimes a
different form is employed for variation of meaning,
Heke, descend; hekenga, a place of descent;
heketanga, time or act of descending.
The action indicated may be either active or pas-
sive, so that such words readily take the place of
participles. For instance, from the word ‘hopu/
catch, is formed ‘ hopukanga,’ which may signify the
act of catching or of being caught, or the time or
place of catching or being caught.
Taku liopunga i a ia, my act of catching him.
Toku hopunga e ia, my being caught by him.
When two words come together so as to form a
compound word, the word which limits or modifies
the sense of the other is placed last.

When a word is used with the force of an adjec-
tive it is placed immediately after the word it quali-
He tangata pai, a man good = a good man.
By transposing the words 4 tangata ’ and 4 pai ’
their sense is entirely changed ; for in the sentence
He pai tangata, excellence manly, i.e, manly
4 pai ’ discharges the office of a noun, and 4 tangata ’
of an adjective. Thus the proverb,
He kino wahine ka reia, he pai tangata e kore e
Female ugliness will be sought after, (while)
manly beauty will not be sought after.
An adjective can be formed by prefixing the word
4 whai \ = possessed of), to a word expressive of some
abstract notion, as power, quality, &c.
Taonga, wealth; whai-taonga, wealthy.
M&na, power ; whai-mana, powerful.
Reduplicated words are sometimes diminutives,
Pouri, dark; pouriuri, darkish.
The word tua (= tu-a, standing as) placed before
a word also gives the sense which the English 4 ish ’
does when placed after a word,—
Tu-a-pouri, darkish.
Comparison is effected by means of the words—
Atu, denoting motion forwards )
Ake ,, ,, upwards > For the comparative.
Iho ,, ,, downwards )
Pai, good.
Pai ake, good upwards, i.e., in a higher degree.
Pai atu, good forwards, i.e., in advance.
Kino, baa.
Kino iho, bad downwards, i.e., worse.
The comparison is expressed in relation to some
other object.
Kua nui ake te kura o tenei kainga i te kura o
Hawaiki (74).

The 4 kura ’ (red feathers) of this land far excel
those of Hawaiki.
Pai ake tenei i tera.
This is better than that.
.The comparative is also formed by means of the
words rangi, or ngari = rather.
E rangi tenei i tera, this is preferable to that.
E ngari tenei e pai ana, this is better.
The superlative is formed by means of 4 rawa’ =
very, placed after, or tino = thorough, prefixed to the
Pai rawa, very good.
Tino pai, altogether good.
Kino rawa, very bad.
Tino kino, thoroughly bad.
Combinations of these words of comparison are
employed to express more intensively, as—
Pai rawa atu.
Tino pai rawa.
Tino pai rawa atu.
Two words expressing different qualities are some-
times combined, as 4 pai-kino/ goodness of a bad or
inferior quality.
An adjectival word generally takes a terminal
similar to that of the word which it qualifies, as—
Oranga tonutanga, health-abiding,
4 tonu ’ being the simple form of 4 tonutanga. ’
The personal pronouns are—
Au, or ahau, I.
The initial a in ahau is the personal prefix, the
aspirate h being placed before au to prevent the
double a forming a long.
Koe, thou.
Ia, he, she, it.
These personal pronouns have a dual as well as a

plural form; and also a double form for the first
person dual and plural, the one including, the other
excluding the person spoken to.
We two
You „
f Taua, including the person spoken to.
(Maua, excluding ,, ,,
51 You
* (They
Tatou (inclusive).
Matou (exclusive).
Taua, maua, korua, raua, are contractions for
ta-rua, ma-rua, &c. Tatou, matou, &c., for ta-toru,
ma-toru, &c. Thus the dual is formed by the addi-
tion of the word ‘ rua,’ two, and the plural by the
addition of the word ‘toru,’ three.
The pronoun au, I, has another radical form, Aw,*
which is always used in connection with the preposi-
tions a, o, ma, mo, na, no.
Aku, of me (active).
Oku of me (passive).
Maku, for me (active) to do.
Moku, for me (passive) to suffer, to have, to enjoy.
Naku, by my act.
Noku, belonging to me.
In place of koe and ia the radical forms, u for the
former and na for the latter, are used after the prepo-
sitions above mentioned. In these cases the prepo-
sitions are so intimately connected with the pronoun
as to form equivalents to possessive pronouns.
The singular of possessive pronouns is formed by
combining the demonstrative te( = the or that), the
preposition ‘a’ or ‘o’ (= of), and the appropriate radical
* In the Malay language the personal pronoun I is aAw,
or leu ; in T’hay or Siamese it is ku.
The Sanskrit, and all languages most nearly allied to it,
agree in forming the pronoun of the first person singular by
means of two roots, one of which we find in the nominative
with the guttural for its consonant (I., Ich); the other,
beginning with (m), forms the oblique cases. This prevails
through nearly all the Aryan languages of Europe and Asia,
—Edinburgh Review, October, 1851.

form of the personal pronoun. Their plurals are
formed by dropping the te, thus—
Taku (= te aku) Ta taua Ta maua Ta tatou Ta matou Tau Ta korua Ta koutou Tana Ta raua Ta ratou A ku, my A taua, our two (inclusive) A maua, our two (exclusive) A tatou, our (inclusive) A matou,' our (exclusive) Au, thine A korua, your two A koutou, your Ana, his A raua, their two A ratou, their
Toku, tou, and tona follow the same rule.
The distinction in meaning between ‘ taku ’ and
‘toku,’ ‘tau’ and ‘tou,’ ‘tana’ and ‘tona,’ and other like
forms, is that the (a) form denotes that the thing
referred to is to be acted on, or has been caused by
the possessor, as, for instance, food to be eaten, a
weapon to strike with, a man’s own children, &c.
Taku kai, my food which I eat.
Taku patu, my weapon.
Aku tamariki, my children.
A ratou whakaaro patu i o ratou matua (3),
their murderous thoughts towards their
Kei te niihi tonu te aroha a te wahine ki tana
tane (9), the love of the wife for ever sighs
for her husband.
The (o) form, on the contrary, denotes’that the
action is from the thing on the possessor.
He wai moku, water for me; for man is revived
by water, which is swallowed without effort.
Toku mate, my illness (to suffer).
Oku tupuna, my ancestors.
Oku kakahu, my clothes.
There is a long a and a short a. The short a may
be used generally.
Naku, mine, by past action.
Noku,- mine, by possession, enjoyment, suffering.

He pouri no taku ngakau i tangi ai.
My heart was sad, I greeted therefore,
No koutou tenei ra, this is your day (to enjoy).
The article ‘ te/ which is also the demonstrative
‘that/ combined with each of the local particles nei,
na, and ra, forms demonstrative pronouns.
Te-nei, that here, referring to the speaker.
Te-na, that there, referring to the person spoken
Te-ra, that yonder, without reference to speaker
or to person spoken to.
Compare Latin and Italian—
Maori. Latin. Italian.
Tenei Hie Questo
Tena Iste Cotesto
Tera Ille Quello
It is therefore proper to use—
Tenei, in connection with the first person, au.
Tena, in connection with the second person, koe.
Tera, in connection with the third person, ia.
To the above add ‘ taua/ aforesaid.
Their plurals are formed by dropping the initial
‘t/ and so giving enei, ena, era, aua.
The common term of welcome on meeting, “ Tena
koe,” means only “that (’s) you.” It is merely an
expression of recognition. The form “ Ko koe ra/ or
“ Tena ra ko koe ” is the common reply.
‘ Some one ’ is represented in Maori by the word
tangata = man.
Q. Na wai tena ki ? Who said so ?
A. Na tangata, somebody.
A. Na tangata noa atu, some one or other.
There is no special reflexive pronoun, personal
pronouns and possessive pronouns of the ‘ o ’ form
being employed instead.
Kei te werowero i a ia, kei te patu i tona
upoko (96).

He sets about wounding him (self) with a spear,
and strikes blows on his (own) head.
The adv. ano = indeed, is sometimes added to give
emphasis, as—
I a ia ano. I tona upoko ano.
The verb has been defined as ‘ the word by which
we assert, or can assert’ Mr. Harris says ‘ every
complete verb is expressive of an attribute, of time,
and of an assertion/* These and other definitions of
grammarians may apply more or less to synthetic lan-
guages (Greek, Latin, &c), where the verb is a com-
pound word made up of a root and other formal
elements—fragments of pronouns and auxiliary words,
In Maori there is no class of words analogous to
the verbs of the languages referred to; for the same
word may have the force of a verb in one sentence,
and of a noun, adverb, and even of a preposition in
another. That which in inflected languages is effected
by tenses of verbs is in Maori effected by means of
special prefixes and suffixes, as also by other words
involving an idea of time. In the sentence ‘ Ka
whakatika etahi tira-haere o Rotorua, ka na Tarawera/
‘ Some travellers of Rotorua set out; they go by way
of Tarawera/ the prefix ‘ ka ’ gives to ‘na Tarawera/
‘ by way of Tarawera/ the force of a verb.
A passive participle is formed by adding to the
end of a word one of the following suffixes :—
A, hia, ia, kia, mia, na, nia, nga, ngia, ria, tia,
Tuhi, write ; tuhia, written.
Ope, gather in handsful; opehia, gathered in
Penei, like this; Peneitia, done like this.
When the form of the word is re-duplicate, one of
these terminations may be attached to the re-duplicate
form, as—
Tuhituhi Tuhituhia
Patupatu Patupatua
* Harris’s Hermes, p. 184.

But when the re-duplication is only partial, one of
these terminations is added to the simple form of the
word to make its passive participle, as—
1. Tahi
2. Rua
3. Toru
4. Wha
5. Rima*
6. Ono
7. Whitu
11. Te kau-ma-tahi
12. Te kau-ma-rua
20. Rua-te-kau
21. Rua-te-kau-ma-tahi
90. Iwa-te-kau
100. Rau
8. Wharu
9. Iwa
1000. Mano
2000. Rua-mano
Many. Tini
10. Te kau, or Nga-huru
An indefinite great number, tini-noa-iho.
1st. Te tahi, or tu-a-tahi
2nd. Te rua, or tu-a-rua
&c. &c.
9th. Te iwa, or tu-a-iwa
10th. Te te-kau
20th. Te rua-te-kau
100th. Te rau
400th. Te wha o nga rau
Pu or ‘ topu’ placed after a number denotes that
the number is doubled.
Tautahi, so placed, denotes the addition of unity.
Thus the number 5 may be expressed by ‘ rua-pu-
tautahi/ two pair and one.
The word choko’ prefixed to the numbers 2, 3,...9,
inclusive, signifies that the numbers are respectively
multiplied by 10, thus—
Hokorua = 20 ; hokoiwa = 90.
The New Zealanders, inter se, count by pairs, and
when it is intended to count according to our method,
they add the word ‘takitahi,’ one by one, to the
* The number 5, rima, has evidently its origin in the
Maori word for the hand, pronounced ‘ringa,’ or ‘rina,’ in
New Zealand, but‘rima ’ in Hawaii and Tahiti,

number. Several odd units are frequently not
expressed definitely, but only generally by the addi-
tion of the word ‘ tuma/ or ‘hara.’ Thus, instead of
exactly expressing 147 men, they would merely say
1 hokowhitu tuma,’ or ‘ hokowhitu ko nga hara/ which
means one hundred and forty odd.
To denote a number of persons less than ten, the
word ‘ toko ’ is prefixed to the number. Example—
Q. Tokohia koutou ? How many persons are
you ?
A. Toko-toru matou, we are three in number.
Observe, 6 Toko ’ is only applicable to persons.
The necessary parts of a sentense are—
(a.) The Subject, i.e., the person or thing about
which something is stated.
(b.) The Predicate, i.e. that which is stated.
In some languages every form of the finite verb
comprises a complete sentence in itself, the personal
ending being the subject, and the verbal stem being
the predicate.
When a sentence contains only these necessary
parts it is called a simple sentence. But very gene-
rally the action of the verb expressing the predicate
extends to some object. The subject also is often
qualified by the addition of some attribute (adjective),
as well as the predicate by some adverb, in which
cases the sentence is called compound.
In a simple or compound Maori sentence the
predicate is regularly placed before the subject.
Kua torengi te ra ki te pae, the sun (te ra) has
disappeared (kua torengi) at the horizon
(ki te pae).
I patua te tangata e koe, the man (te tangata)
was struck (i patua) by you (e koe).
If the order of the words in this sentence is
changed to ‘ Te tangata i patua e koe/ their meaning

is altered. ‘ Te tangata ’ becomes a distinct clause of
the sentence, of which (i patua e koe ’ is an explana-
tory clause, and the sentence becomes in literal
English (the man (he) was struck by you/ meaning
1 the man who was struck by you?
Maori has no relative pronoun, and therefore
expresses relation by means of a demonstrative form.
This, it is believed, was the form of language in an
early stage of development, for it is remarked that
in Homer there is no relative pronoun—the word 6?,
which afterwards came to be used in a relative sense,
being in his time a demonstrative.*
For the relative ‘whose/ Maori employs the
demonstrative ‘ nona ’ (for possession) and ‘ nana’
(for action).
Te tangata nona te whenua, the man, his the
Te tangata nana te patu, the man, his the
The demonstrative form ‘ his ’ being used for the
relative form ‘ whose?
The demonstrative particles, nei, na, ra, and ai,
are of great use in supplying the absence of the
relative pronoun, by defining more particularly the
relation which clauses of a sentence bear to each
other. They are therefore of frequent occurrence,
and a correct knowledge of their signification and
application is important.
Nei, na, and ra are more generally used in con-
nection with present time, while ‘ai’ is only used with
the indefinite past and the future.
Te whare, e hanga nei koe, the house (which)
you are building here, or are now building.
He aha ta te kuri, e tau mai nei ? What is the
dog doing, or what does the dog mean, is
barking now ? i.e., why is the dog barking ?
* To form a relative, Homer uses om=and he.

Te hau, e pu mai nei ki taku kiri, the wind, it
(for which) is blowing here on my skin.
Kia haere atu ia ki te rapu i taua wahi e noho
nei raua (10), that he may go to seek the
place (where) they both are now living.
Te tangata, i korero atu na koe, the man, you
spoke to.
Mawai nga kai e kawea na e koutou ? (19), for
whom is the food (which) is being carried
by you ?
He aha tau, e titiro ra 1 What are you looking
at there ?
Ka tae kei te rua, i rere iho ra tona whaea (15),
He reaches the cave, there (for where) his
mother descended.
Ra is also commonly used to denote reference to
a person or thing mentioned before.
Ka mahara te wahine ra (45), the woman (men-
tioned) thinks, &c.
Ka tae atu te tangata ra, ka noho ki te taha o te
hunga e tarai-waka ra (50), the man (men-
tioned) arrives; he seats himself beside the
party employed adzing the canoe.
No single English word can express the meaning
of ‘ ai ’ for all cases, for it refers always to something
in a former clause, which may be a person, or thing,
or time, or place, or circumstance, &c., which reference
in English must be variously expressed.
Compare the Latin ‘is/ which is similarly used,
and may mean he, she, it, this, that, &c., under its
different forms for gender and case, and which in the
sentence ‘ id ego gandeo ’ means ‘ therefore/
When ‘ ai ’ refers to persons or things it may be
rendered in English him, it, by or on account of him
or it, &c.
Te tangata, i korero atu ai koe, the man, you
spoke to him.

To him instead of (to whom.’
Te tangata, i karanga ai koe, the man, you called
4 Tau tangata, i karanga ai,’ has the same meaning,
and both should be translated 4 The man whom you
called.’ The clause ‘tau tangata,’ owing to the active
form 1 tau,’ means 4 the man on whom you exercised
some action.’ The second clause, 4 i karanga ai,’
4 called him,’ explains the kind of action.
This explanation will point to the significance of
the Maori idiom, so that it will be sufficient to give
only English idiom translations of other examples, at
the same .time preserving the sense of the Maori.
4 Te tangata i patua ai koe,’ 1 The man by whom,
or on account of whom, you were struck,’ the context
showing which interpretation is required.
When 4 ai ’ refers to time it is equivalent to 4 then.’
Imua ai, then formerly.
Ka po rima i toku kitenga ai i a ratou, it is five
nights from my then seeing them, i.e., since
I saw them.
Kia ahiahi ka puta ake ai ? (54), when it is
evening will he come forth then ?
Meaning will he come forth at the evening.
Pena tonu me nga kupu a Maui:potiki, i korero
ra, i a ia ai i roto i te whare ona tuakana,
&c., (17), just the very same words which
Maui-potiki uttered while in the house of
his elder brothers.
When ‘ai’ refers to place it is equivalent to 4 there,’
4 here,’ 4 by it.’
Te whenua, i noho ai ia, the land, he dwelt
there, for 4 the land where he dwelt.’
Na, ko tona ara tenei e puta ake ai; ko te wai-
heru tena na, ko te wai-whakaata tenei na;
e kore e mate ki te wai-whaka-ata; kei te
wai-heru ano ka patu ai, ka tahi ka mate (54),
Look, this is the path, by it he comes up.
That near you is the water for washing his
hair, this nearer me is the looking-glass

water. He will not be killed at the lookfng-
glass water; but if struck there, at the water
for washing the hair, then he will be killed.
When ‘ai’refers to circumstance, condition, pur-
pose, and the like, it is equivalent to thereon,
therefore, in order that.
Heikonei whakarongo ake ai (10), remain here
to listen for news.
Ko te ahi anake taku e tiki atu ai, a-ka hoki mai
ai au akuanei (23), I am only going to fetch
fire, and then I will return presently.
Kei mate ai koe, take care you are not injured
Kuru ai ki te kohatu, thereon pound it with a
stone. (Sequel to description of process of
preparing fern root).
Mutu kau ano ta ratou haka, te tino katanga o
Kae i kata ai (37), their 1 haka’ no sooner
ended than Kae burst out laughing.
Te whakatikanga mai o taua tangata, tanumia
ana nga kanohi o Tu ki te oneone ; ka pura
ona kanohi, whakawarea ai koa a Tu ki te
mirimiri i ona kanohi, he oti ano, hahau kau
ana te patu a taua tangata ki a Tu (40), the
man got up, and buried with dust Tu’s eyes,
so while his eyes were blinded, and he was
off his guard rubbing his eyes, the weapon
of that man struck Tu.
Are very important words in Maori. They supply
the absence of cases of nouns, indicate more or less
the time of the action in verbs, as well as mark other
relations which the words in a sentence bear to each
The simple prepositions are thirteen in number—
a, o, ma, mo, na, no, e, i, hei, kei, ki, and whaka.
A, of (casual).
Te mahi a te tangata, the work which a man

Of or at (referring to future time).
A hea koe haere ai ? When will you go 2
0, of, or belonging to (possessive).
Te kakahu o te tangata, the man’s clothes.
Ma, for, for me as agent, has an active sense, and
refers to future time.
Mawai te kai 2 For whom is the food (that is
to eat) 2
Maku e kawe he kai mana (17), I will carry food
for her (to eat).
Hei aha ma korua i hahauria ai tena wahine 2
(185), for what purpose have you two sought
for that woman of yours 2
Ma roto hoki kia ora ka pai te korero, (187),
when the inside is satisfied speech will be
By way of.
Mahea atu te huaraki 2 By which way is the path 2
Mo, for (to have, enjoy, suffer), with passive sense,
and referring to future time.
Mou te patu, for you (will be) the blow (to
Mo amua haere ai, will go hereafter.
Mo te aba koe i mauahara ai 2 Why did you
bear malice 2
Ka ho atu te waka hei hokinga mona, the canoe
is given as a means of return for him.
On account of, because.
Mou i tutu, because you were unruly.
Mo ratou kahore i rongo, because they did not
Kei rapurapu to whakaaro moku kaore nei i tae
atu ki te tiki atu i a korua ko to whaea, do
not be thinking on my account, because I
did not go to fetch you and your mother.
Kia rongo mai koe, i tuhi atu ai au i aku
whakaaro ki a koe moku kaore au e pai ki
tenei mea, ki te whawhai, listen to me; I
wrote my thoughts to you on my account,
because I did not like that thing, war.

Na, by, with active sense, and reference to past time.
Q. Na te aha koe ? A. Na te tara o te ika,
by what were you (wounded) ? By the
spine of the fish.
He oti, kihai i patua e te ringaringa tangata; na
te ra anake i patu (47), well then, they
were not killed by the hand of man; by the
sun only were they killed.
By (way of).
Na hea mai koe ? Na uta mai, by which way
did you come here ? (I came) here by land.
No, from, belonging to, refers to past time.
Noku, belonging to me, mine to possess, enjoy,
He mate noku, an illness I have been and am
Nona ano tona kainga, no on a tupuna ake ano,
his land belongs to him, from his ancestors
of old.
No koutou tenei ra, this is your day (to enjoy).
From (circumstance).
No reira te ngakau i whakawairangi ai, therefrom
was the heart made wild.
No te tangi ka matau ai a Rehua, ko Rupe tenei,
from the lament Rehua knew that this was
From (time), when, since.
No te po i haeremai ai, he arrived last night.
In reply to the question ‘ Nonahea i haeremai ai ? ’
« When did he come ?’ and in reference to a person
still remaining at the place indicated.
Noku i haeremai nei, since I arrived here.
No matou i u mai nei, since we landed here.
Ka nui taku pai ki a koe, nou i mahara mai ki a
au, I am much pleased with you, since you
were mindful of me.
E, by (governs the agent).
It is commonly used after words passive in form,
or in signification.

Patua e te tangata, struck by the man.
Ka oti te patu e au, the blow by me is done.
He mea apoapo ahau e te rimu, takai atu, takai
mai, I am a thing entangled in the seaweed,
rolled backwards and forwards.
He mea takai ahau e koe ki roto i tou tikitiki
(11), I am a thing wrapped up in the top-
knot of your hair.
After verbal nouns.
Tangohanga e te tama : E hara ! kua riro te tu,
me te maro-whaiapu, the son makes a snatch :
So ho ! away went girdle and petticoat.
I muri iho i tona kitenga e tonawhaea (10), after
his being (or having been) seen by his
E aue haere ana mo te kohurutanga e ana tama-
riki (13), She goes crying aloud because of
her being ill-treated by her children.
After mild imperative forms like ‘ me patu.’
Ka kitea e Turi te whakaaro : ‘Me rapu e ia ki
te tamaiti,’ Turi forms the resolve : * He
must seek for satisfaction on the boy.’
Ko ratou, me whakahoki mai e au kiakoe (184),
as for them, it is my intention to send them
back to you.
I, by, or through means of, governs the agent or
instrument after neuter words.
Ka maku koe i te ua, you will be wet by means
of the rain.
Me haere i a ia, go with him.
From (place or circumstance).
I hea koe ? I te hanga waka ahau, whence
(come) you ? I (come) from canoe-building.
Ka tau ake taua kuri i roto i te puku o Toi, au,
the dog cries out from within Toi’s belly, au.
In comparison.
E ngari tenei i tena, this is preferable to that.
At (referring to past time), when.

Ko tahi rawa te mea i kitea e au, ia po, ia po, i
au e haere nei kia kite i aku tamariki (16),
only one thing like this was seen by me,
night after night, when I used to go to see
my children.
The preposition ‘i ’ also governs the object of an
active transative word, thus forming the accusative *
case (Latin).
Ka kite i te tamaiti, sees the child.
Timata tonu iho te hanga i nga waewae rakau
(63), forthwith they set about making wood
Ka whakatangi au i taku koauau (76), I will
make my pipe sound.
Ki te rapu i te tuaiiu (79), to seek for the sacred
Hei, at.
Hei kona, (remain) at the place where you are.
For (object or purpose).
Hei aha tena ? What is that for.
To, before verbals with force of English infinitive.
Kowai tou tangata hei tangi i a koe ? Who is
your man to lament over you ?
N.B.—With reference to time, i hei ’ is used with
the future.
Kei, at, in reference to time, is used with the
present, or with a near past.
Kei te matatu tonu i te roa o te po, I am always
awake the livelong night.
At (place).
Kei hea te whare o aku tuakana ? (96), at what
place (= where) is the house of my elder
brothers ?
At (condition, state, likeness).
Kei te ahi e toro, like the fire that burns.
Kei is used idiomatically with the force of a
present active.
Kei te kai, kei te haehae i taua ika (22), they
commence eating and cutting up the fish.

Tangohanga atu, kei te purupuru i te matapihi, i
te whatitoka (13), he takes away (the tu
and maro), (and) stops up the window and
E hua ana, e ngaro nei, kei te mahi kai pea (12),
He keeps thinking the cause of her disap-
pearance is perhaps that she is busied about
cultivating food.
Ki, with (governs the instrument).
Patua ki te rakau, struck with the stick.
Homai ki ahau, give to me.
Ka herea te taura ki te kauae o te ika (75), the
rope was tied to the jaw of the fish.
According to, as.
Ki ta te tangata korero, as people say.
About, in reference to, of, for.
I warea ahau ki te kai, my thoughts were dis-
tracted about the food.
Ka ui atu a Maui ki ana tuakana ki te wahi i
noho ai to ratou matua (10), Maui asks his
brothers in reference to the place where
their mother dwelt.
Ka tautohetohe ki ta raua ika (75), they dispute
about their fish.
Ka whakatiki ahau i a ia ki te kai, I made a
Tiki* of him as to food, i.e., starved him.
E whakarongo ana raua ki te putanga mai o te
hau (93), they are listening for the coming
of the wind.
The preposition ‘ ki,’ like ‘ i,’ is used to form an
accusative case after active transitive words.
Ka ui atu a Maui ki ana tuakana, Maui asks his
I is used after words of rest at, or motion on,
a place with the sense of ‘ at ’ or ‘ on ’; after words
of motion from a place with the sense of i from.’
* Tiki is a stone image of a man, which of course cannot eat.

Ka noho i reira, remains there.
Ko taua hunga i liaere i uta, but that party who
went on, or by, land.
Ka hokimai i reira, returns from there.
Ki is used after words of rest at, or motion to, a
place, with the sense of ‘ at?
Ka u ki Tamaki, lands at Tamaki.
Ka haere atu ki tetahi talia, toes to one side.
Ka tukua etehi tangata ki uta haere ai, some
men were set ashore to walk.
Whakarongo i, listen to.
Whakarongo ki, assent to, obey.
‘ Whakarongo i ’ also signifies to ‘ cause to hear?
Hoki tonu te purahorua ra ki te whakarongo i
nga wahi i kapi i nga tangata o runga i a
Te Arawa (81), the messenger returned at
once to tell the men of the Arawa (literally,
the places where the men of the Arawa
were assembled).
Mate i, sick through means of something.
Mate ki, sick for, or dying for something.
Whaka, towards.
To, up to, is a compound of the definite 1 te,’ that,
and the preposition ‘ o,’ of, meaning ‘ that of.’
U, it appears probable, has been considered to be
a preposition by a simple error in writing from sound.
It is always met with in connection with the preposi-
tion ‘ a,’ either in composition or not.
E tika ana u ana.
E tika ana u a te pakeha.
It is no doubt a contracted form for 1 ua,’ for
although usually written {u,’ it is sometimes written
by the natives themselves ‘ ua.’

He aha koa, ua ana, te waiho ai hei hoa aroha mo
tatou? (12), why not then, as he proposes,
let him remain as a loving friend for us all 1
E tika ana ua au, haere ano i runga i ou mohio-
tanga (15), what you propose is right, go
then guided by your own experience.
E whakataki ana i te ua o te korero, is holding
forth on the merit of the subject.
Kihai koe i haere ki te ua o te tikanga, i haere •
ai koe, otira tika ke ana koe, you did not
keep to the subject of the merits of the right,
about which you went: but went astray in
another direction.
In the two first sentences 4 ua ’ is used in precisely
the same sense as 4 u,’ the usual form of writing the
word. The expression 4 ua o te korero/ 4 ua o te
tikanga/ point to the same sense, and confirm the
opinion that 4 ua ’ is a word used figuratively in the
sense of ‘proposition’ or 4 decided opinion/ and that 4u/
in writing, has been substituted for 4 ua ’ owing to the
final 4 a ’ having been dropped, because being followed
by the preposition 4 a ’ it is not sounded in speech, for
as pronounced the former becomes blended with the
following 4 a.’
Ko has various uses, and in some cases might be
substituted for the preposition ki = to (a place). In its
primary sense it is an indefinite local word signifying
4 there/ for the speaker must indicate the locality
meant by some motion of head or hand. In the
sentence 4e haere ana ki ko,’ 4isgoing to there’ (aplace
indicated), it is treated like a noun, admitting of a
preposition as a governing word.
In the sentence 4 e haere ana ahau, ko Waitemata/
although we should translate it41 am going to Waite-
mata/ what a Maori understands by the words is 41
Note.—Ua, or ue, a dialectic variation, also signifies the
nape of the neck, and a round-shouldered person is termed
‘ he ua piko. ’ Hence it is applied to the collar of a Maori
cloak ; also to the ridge summit of mountains.

am going there, Waitemata.’ The sentence being
composed of two independent clauses, in conformity
with common Maori idiom.
Frequently ‘ko ’ may be rendered by the conjunc-
tion ‘and.’
Ka tae atu a Tama raua, ko tonateina (63), Tama
and his younger brother arrive.
Tatau, e, ka awatea ? Kaore, kaore, ko te po nui,
ko te po roa, ko te po whakaau te moe, e
moe, Tatau there, is it daylight ? No, no, it
is great night, long night, sound sleep night,
sleep on.
Here ‘ko’ is used as a conjunction which in English
is not expressed.
Frequently ‘ ko ’ has an indicative sense.
Ae, ho atu, ko koutou ki mua; e kore au e
hohoro (50), aye, go on, you there first; I
shall not be quick.
Ki te kitea, ka hokimai ano matou; ki te kahore,
ko ratou me whakahokimai e au ki a koe,
ko ahau, me haere ahau ki te haha i nga
kaigna katoa nei (184J, if she is discovered
we will return; if not so, as for them (his
companions) I intend to send them back to
you; as for myself, I intend to go forthwith
to search every settlement.
Ko is also frequently prefixed to a clause of a
sentence where in English the ‘ obliqua oratio ’ would
be used.
No te tangi ka matau ai a Rehua, ko Rupe tenei
(33), from the (words of the) lament Rehua
knew that this man was Rupe.
Observe.—Ko always commences a sentence, or a
clause of a sentence, except when used in a purely local
sense, when it is preceded by a preposition.

Several compound prepositions are formed by
means of simple prepositions combined with words of
purely local signification, which words cannot be classed
among the recognized parts of speech with which we
are familiar. These are : —
Runga, above ; raro, below.
Roto, within ; waho, without.
Mua, in front; rnuri, rear.
Tua, some place on the other side of an object.
Reira, there.
These words can find no place in a Maori sentence
except in combination with one or more of the simple
In order to give these abstract local words a con-
crete sense the preposition ‘ a ’ is prefixed, which with
its active sense gives, as it were, form and substance
to what in itself was merely an abstract idea of
Pehea a roto o te whare, like what are (dimensions
of) inside of the house.
Ka ki a roto o te pouaka, the inner space of box
is filled.
0 roto o te pouaka, would signify that which
occupied the inner space.
Reiia, there (locality); a reira, that place.
Tua, on the other side of (locality).
A tua, some place on the other side.
The preposition ‘ ma ’ has a similar force.
Ma roto kia ora, ka pai te korero, when the inside
is satisfied, speech is good.
1 Ko ’ prefixed to the local words referred to has
the same effect as the preposition ‘ a ’ in giving them a
concrete sense.
Ko runga kau i kaigna.
I kaigna kautia a runga.
Both sentences have the same meaning—the upper
part only was eaten.

There being no verb substantive in Maori, such a
sentence as 4 He is a good man ’ is expressed ‘ he
tangata pai ia/ ‘ a man good he ’; ‘ This is a bad man1
‘ he tangata kino tenei,’ ‘a man bad this.’ The demons-
tratives Ha’ and ‘tenei’ make the assertion as plain
to a Maori as the word ‘ is ’ to ourselves.
Every action, in reference to the time of speaking
or writing of it, must be considered as taking place at
some time, either past, or present, or future. Also in
reference to such past, present, or future time, the
action may have been either completed, or in progress
—and therefore imperfect— or it may be considered
without any reference to its state of completion or
progress, that is in an indefinite aspect. The formal
modes of expressing these different ways in which any
action may be considered comprise what have been
called tenses of verbs.
The time of the action is always in Maori more or
less marked by prepositions, or other words which in
themselves refer to time past, present, or future;
thus ‘na’ and ‘no,’ from, go appropriately with the
past time, while ‘ ma,’ for, goes with the future.
There are also special words employed to denote
the time or circumstance of the action, which are
prefixed to, or placed after the verbal word, namely—
e, i, ka, kia, kua, prefixed; and ana, suffixed.
E is used chiefly with the future, and accompanied
with the suffix ‘ ana ’ forms a present imperfect.
I denotes the past indefinite.
Ka is independent of time, and may be used with
past, present, or future. It merely gives to the word
to which it is prefixed the force of a verb.
Kei denotes a mild negative imperative = cave ne.
Kia gives to the word to which it is prefixed
the force of a mild imperative, or an infinitive. In
negative sentences it helps to form the perfect definite.
Kua denotes an action completed.
Ana denotes an action in progress, or imperfect.

Action completed I had written Kua tuhituhi ahau imua Scripseram
,, imperfect I was writing I mua e tuhi- tuhi ana ahau Scribebam
,, indefinite I wrote I tuhituhi ahau —
Action completed I have written Kua tuhituhi ahau Scripsi
,, imperfect I am writing E tuhituhi ana ahau Scribo
,, indefinite I write Ka tuhituhi ahau —
Action completed I shall have
written Apopo kua tuhituhi ahau Scripsero

,, imperfect I shall be
writing Apopo e tuhi- tuhi ana ahau

,, indefinite I shall write E tuhituhi
ahau, or Scribam
Tera ahau e
Note.—The Latin tenses have been included in this
Comparative Table, because Latin is a very perfect specimen
of a synthetic language, and we can thus present to the eye
proof that a synthetic language can express in ‘ one word ’
what requires many words for its expression in an analytic
language like Maori. At the same time, it must be recog-
nised that the ‘ one word ’ which forms a tense in a synthetic
language is in its origin a compound of similar elements to
those employed for the same purpose in an analytic
language. Vide p. 6,

The Maori language.
The Maori Passive Voice Tenses may be formed
similarly to the Active by substituting the passive
participle form for the active form of the word.
The Maori tense expressions given in the table are
such as can be formed by means of the prefixes and
the suffix ‘ ana ’; but the time of a sentence, as
already stated, can be otherwise expressed by means
of pronouns, adverbs, or prepositions, which have
reference to time.
It will be noticed that to form the perfect and
imperfect past the word ‘ imua,’ signifying ‘ formerly,’
is introduced. Any other word denoting the past
would have answered the purpose, that is to throw
the perfect and imperfect actions back to a past time.
Similarly for the futures perfect and imperfect the
word ‘ apopo’( = to-morrow), is introduced to throw the
action on to a future time.
Is variously used.
(1.) To form a present or past imperfect, the
verbal word to which it is prefixed being followed by
‘ ana/ to denote continued action.
Boa noa ratou e epaepa ana i a ia (16), a long
while they keep throwing stones at him.
Ta te mea ka rongo ia i nga kupu amuamu a ona
tuakana, e tangi ana, e aue ana (22), because
he heard the reproachful words of his elder
brothers, as they were crying and lamenting.
(2.) To form a present tense in a secondary clause,
the verbal word being followed by nei, na, ra, or ai.
Ko Maui potiki ahau, e noho atu nei (11), I am
little Maui who sit here opposite you.
Haere tonu atu i te ara nui naka, a, tae tonu ki
to tupuna, e noho mai na (23), go by the
broad path you are now following till you
reach your ancestor who dwells there.
He aha tau e titiro ra ? what are yon looking at
there ?
Ki te tae atu ki taku wahi, e pai ai hei tukunga
mo te punga (21), when we reach the place
which pleases me for letting go the anchor.

(3.) To form a future tense.
Taria nei he mate e pa mai ki a Tu (6), by and
by misfortune will come on Tu.
E takoto pai te wahi i takoto, e riro pai te wahi e
mauria atu e koutnu (22), the part which
lay on the ground will lie quiet, the part
which will be carried off by you will be
peacefully yours.
Me tuhituhi koe, please write.
Tena ano au e tuhituhi, I will indeed write.
See other examples of the use of prefix ‘ E ’ under
Imperative, Interrogative, and Negative forms of
gives to the word with which it is used the force of a
verb; but it does not, in itself, define time, for it
may be used with either past, present, or future time,
the time of the sentence being determined by some
preposition or other word significant of time, thus —
Ka huihui nga tangata, the men assemble.
Ka huihui nga tangata apopo, the men will as-
semble to-morrow.
Ka huihui nga tangata inanahi, the men assembled
It is the prefix commonly used in narrative, in
which case it may be rendered in English by the
indefinite present or past, the so-called historic tenses.
Ka tahi ka pakia atu e Tawaki nga kanohi, then
the eyes are touched by Tawaki,
Ka mutu te tangi, ka ki atu ki tona teina (50),
(when) the lament ended, he said to his
younger brother.
Kia oti taku mahi, ka hoki ai ahau, let my work
be done, then I will return.
Ka waenganui po, ka haere iho raua ki raro, ka
puta atu to raua whaea ki waho, ka noho
ratou i te whatitoka, ka ki atu a Karihi,
‘ Me pehea e mate ai to Iwi, e moe mai nei ?’
Ka mea atu to raua whaea, ‘ma te Ra e
patu.’ (47), it was midnight, they both came

down (from the roof of the house) : their
mother comes forth, they all sit by the
doorwey. Karihi then asked his mother,
‘ But how shall your tribe that sleeps here
perish ?’ Answered their mother, ‘ The sun
will smite them.’
In spirited narrative, prepositions, participles, or
verbal noun forms supply the place of the prefixes,
so that a truly literal translation would be scarcely
intelligible, or, at any rate, appear very strange; we
must therefore represent Maori idiom by English
idiom of a like character. To give a specimen—
Kei runga taua maia, a Tama, me te maipi: he
maipi kura tana, ta Rua, Waiho tahi tonu ta Tama
ki a Rua. Tukua atu e Rua, tera te haere ra: mahue
ake te maipi kura a Rua, tangohanga atu ki nga ringa-
ringa o Tama-te-kapua : ko nga ringa, ko te maipi,
ana ! takoto ana i raro. Maranga ake, maranga ake,
ka tuarua, ka tuawha. Tahi ano te naomanga iho a
Rua ki te rapoikutu nei, ana mau tonu iho ki te
taringa o Tama, ana mau tonu, te taea, te wewete e
Ka mea atu a Rua, 1 ka mate koe i au, wahio mau
ta taua wahine hei utu mou, ka mate na koe.’ Kihai
taua maia i rongo kupu atu, e tu porangi noa ana ki
te rakuraku i te mangeo. A ----haere ana a Rua,
me te hokowhitu ra ki te rapu kaigna ke atu mo
ratou (77).
Up starts that bold fellow, Tama, with his ‘maipi.’
Rua too had a 4 maipi, ornamented with red feathers.
He allows Tama to strike the first blow. Off it
glances, warded by Rua. Then Rua throws aside his
4 maipi/ and seizes Tama’s hands. Hands and 4 maipi ’
are lying on the ground. Twice, thrice Tama rises.
Twice, thrice he falls under. Still he persists a fourth
time. But Rua seizes him by the hair of his head,
and lays hold of his ear. He holds it fast, so that
Tama cannot get free.
4 Now,’ said Rua,41 have hurt you, let our woman
be a payment for the hurt.’ That bold fellow heard
never a word of what was said, but stood like a silly

fellow rubbing the sore place. So Rua and his men
went away to look for land for themselves elsewhere.
In the first clause, ‘ kei runga taua maia/ the
*kei ’ serves to denote the present indicative. Some
examples of a similar construction have been noticed
under that preposition. It will be observed that in
the description of the combat the ordinary verbal
prefixes are neglected; but in the following sentence,
the combat being over, the narrative throws aside the
abrupt spirited form for the more common narrative
form, and the verbal prefixes reappear.
denotes an action completed, but whether the action
is present or past must be determined by the time of
action otherwise denoted in the sentence.
Kua riro a Mea ma, Mr.---------- and party have
Tae rawa mai ahau, kua riro a Mea ma, When I
arrived, Mr.------------and party had gone.
(1) . The simple form of the word—Haere, Go.
Whakatika mai ki runga. Taua ka whawhai—tou
kotahi—toku kotahi. Ma to kaha, e pai ana. Ma
toku kaha, kia penei rawa ake koe i te whenua e tako-
to ana (76).
Stand up. You and I will fight in single combat.
If you are the stronger, well. If I am the stronger,
your fate will be to lie stretched on the ground.
(2) . With the prefix ‘ E/ for active forms—E noho,
remain, stay.
(3) . The passive participle form—Patua, strike.
Tahuna he kai, kia ora ai te haere (49), dress
some food, that we may travel heartily.
(4) . With the prefix 4 Me.’
Me haere koe, you had better go, or you must go.
(5) . With the prefix 1 Kia.’
Kia haere tatou, let us all go.

Kei haere koe. do not go, or beware going.
Kaua, kauaka, don’t.
Kaua e whakaohokia noatia (19), don’t awake
her too soon, or carelessly.
Kaua e whakatupu wehewehe i roto i a tatou (12),
don’t cause strife to spring up among our-
(1.) With the prefix ‘kia.’
Tukua ano au kia kite i te kaigna o Ariki-mate-
o-kore-kai, let me go to see the dwelling-
place of Sir Famished.
Kaore i ho atu e ia kia kaigna (18),—(the food)
was not given her by him to be eaten.
Ka haeremai a Rehua kia tangi (33), Rehua ap-
proaches to greet.
Ka riria ratou e Paoa kia hoki (184), they are
told angrily by Paoa to return.
(2.) With the preposition ‘ki’ before a verbal
E hoa, ka haere taua ki te whakataki i taku
kotiro, Friend, we will go together to search
for my daughter.
(3.) With the preposition ‘hei ’ prefixed.
E kore au e waiho hei tata i te wai o to tatou
waka (20), I will not be left to bale the
water of our canoe.
Nawai koe i ki hei tua i a Tane ki raro ki te
whenua ? (36), who told you to cut Tane
down to the ground ?
Nawai te tangata mate i ki hei mahi ? whoever
said the sick man was to work ?
The definite article ‘ te,’ and a verbal word in its
simple form, followed by ‘ana’ give the force of the
present participle active, as—
Te rere ana, flying.

Ko tana mahi, he whakaangi manu: ko te manu
anake e kitea atu ana, te rere ana: ko
Whakatau kei roto i te wai: kei a ia te pito
o te aho e mau ana (57), his occupation was
flying a kite. The kite only was visible,
flying: Whakatau was in the water, in his
hand he held the end of the line.
The verbal noun forms (v.p. 11) are used in a like
Taku hopukanga i a ia, my act of seizing hold of
The passive participle is formed by prefixing the
article ‘ te ’ to the passive form of a word.
Ka tata ahau te patua e koe, I was near being
beaten by you.
Ki te puritia atu to koutou hoa, hohoro mai kia
tikina atu (190), If your companion is being
detained, hasten back that we go to rescue
Ki te puritia, at, or in event of the being de-
Me i kore te tinihangatia e Maui, e kore e mate
te tangata, had it not been for her being
tricked by Maui, man would not die.
Verbal noun forms (v.p. 11) are also used in a like
Toku hopukanga e ia, my being caught by him.
As Maori has no relative pronoun, or relative
sentence, so it has no subjunctive mood forms strictly
speaking. It must be gathered from the context what
mood and tense of English is applicable, when we are
translating Maori into English. The following
sentences will the better explain this—
Ka hua au, i haere ai, e rongo, I went because I
thought he would listen.
Ka hua au (I thought), i haere ai (went therefore),
e rongo (will listen).

Kua riro ahau, na te mate, i noho ai, I would
have gone, had not illness obliged me to
Kua riro au (I had gone), na te mate (by cause of
illness), i noho ai (remained therefore).
Me i kore ahau kua mate, if it had not been for
me, he would have died.
Penei kua ora, in this case he would have been
Me i waiho tonu, nohea e pa atawhai ia ki tona
peke maui (16), if he had left it alone (to go
its own course), it would never have hit
gently his left shoulder.
Ngunguru iti nei te reo o te Puhi ra, me i nui
kua mate rawa a Hakawau raua ko tona
hoa (177), the voice of the Puhi was only a
low murmur, if it had been strong, Hakawau
and his friend would have died at once.
I am writing, that you may learn.
Scribo, ut di seas.
E tuhituhi ana ahau, kia mohio ai koe.
I am writing (e tuhituhi ana ahau), to learn (kia
mohio), therefore (ai) you (koe).
I wrote, that you might learn.
Scripsi, ut disceres.
I tuhituhi ahau, kia mohio ai koc.
(Literal) I wrote, to learn therefore you.
Observe that the clause expressing motive is, in
Maori, the same in both cases, while in the English
and Latin a different tense of the subjunctive is used.
Such as consist of two clauses, one containing the
condition, expressed in English by ‘ if/ the other con-
taining the consequence.
In some languages delicate varieties of condition
can be expressed by means of subjunctive and optative

mood forms. In Maori two varieties of condition can
be expressed.
(1.) If he has any money he will give it, ki te
mea he moni kei a ia, tera e ho atu.
(2.) If he had had any money, he would have
given it, me he mea he moni i a ia, kua ho
If doubt be intended to be expressed, it must be
done by introducing the word ‘pea’ ( = perhaps.)
There is this difference of meaning between ‘ ki te
mea ’ and ‘ me he mea.’ The former merely supposes
a case which may be fact. The latter intimates that
the supposition is contrary to fact.
Me he mea i pai koe, if you were, or had been
willing (which is not so).
The word ‘ mea ’ may be omitted, as in—
Ki te pai koe, if you are willing.
Ki te puritia atu to koutou hoa, if your friend be
Me e pai ana, an it were being good.
Me i pai, an it were, or had been good, utinam
fuisset bonum.*
E kite koe i te rakau roa, e tu ana, turakina (45),
if you see a long straight pole, break it
down, (and) bring it here on your back.
Mana ahau e liopu, ka mau ai (57), if she seizes
me, I shall be held fast.
Mau kia haere, ka haere ai au, if you go, I will
go too.
Waiho mana e taemai, ka tae mai: mana e noho
atu, ka noho atu, if he comes, he comes: if
he stays away, he stays away.
Maku, etc., always accompanies the future.
Naku, etc., always accompanies the past indefinite.
*/ Ki te mea ’ is literally at, or on, the thing or condition.

(a.) Maku e patu te tangata, I will strike the
(a.) Maku e kawe he kai mana, I will carry some
food for her (to eat).
(a.) Ko te tangata tera nana i tinihanga a Hine-
nui-tepo (67), that was the man who played
tricks on Hinenuitepo.
(b.) Ki te ui mai ia ki a koe, mau e whakahua
atu i tou ingoa (23), if she asks you, you
must tell your name.
(b.) A mau e mea atu ki a Tama, (aue ! he moe-
moea naku, ko Rua e whakatangi ana i ana
pu i tenei po,’ a mana e patu i a koe (76),
then you will say to Tama, 4 alas ! I dreamed
last night that Rua was playing on his
putorino ’ (= pipe), and then he will beat
A marked difference of construction in the senten-
ces distinguished respectively (a) and (b) is to be
noticed. In the former the verbal word is not con-
nected with its object by the intervention of one of
the prepositions ‘ i’ or ‘ ki,’ which would be the case
in a regularly constructed sentence; but in the latter
we observe that one of these prepositions is used to
connect the object and verbafword.
The explanation appears to be this. The sentences
distinguished (a) are examples of a rather favourite
Maori idiom which prefers a disjointed emphatic
arrangement of words to a connected sentence, when-
ever a simple fact is to be stated independent of other
circumstances. ‘Maku e patu te tangata’ is a dis-
jointed sentence, composed of three clauses, each of
them independent statements, but each qualifying the
meaning of the preceding, the whole conveying to the
Maori mind the following sense—
Act for me to do (maku), will strike (e patu),
the man (te tangata).

Act done by me (naku), struck (i patu), the man
(te tangata).
The other sentences distinguished (a) admit of a
similar explanation.
With regard to the sentences distinguished (b) it
will be observed that ‘ mau e whakahua atu i tou
ingoa,’ ‘you will tell your name,’ depends on, or is
consequent on ‘ ki te ui mai ia ki a koe,’ ‘ if he asks
you’; also that ‘ mana e patu i a koe,’ ‘ he will beat
you,’ is the immediate consequence of the woman
telling her imaginary dream.
From such examples it is to be inferred that while
in short direct statements an irregular disconnected
form of words was admissible,—in sentences the
clauses of which were so connected with each other
that one statement was consequent on the other, that
is, had the relation to each other of cause and effect,
the more regular construction, which required the
verbal word to be connected with its object, by means
of one of the prepositions stated, was preferred.
E hara, it is not.
E hara i te mea, it is not so, that, etc.
E hara i te hanga, it is not a thing (of an ordin-
ary nature). An expression commonly used
as an exclamation.
E hara koe i te potiki naku (10), you are no child
of mine.
Hore, not.
Ka-hore, ka-ho, no
Kihai, never, not at all. Used only with the
past indefinite.
Kihai au i rongo, I never heard.
Aua, aua hoki, I don’t know.
Aua, kahore matou i kite (97), we don’t know,
we did not see.
Kaua, kauaka, do not.
E kiia ana kia kaua e haere, he is told not to go.
Kauaka is generally used alone.
Me haere ra nei au ? Kauaka, had I better go, or
not ? Answer : Don’t.

Kahore ahau e tuhituhi ana I am not writing
Kahore ahau i tuhituhi I did not write
Kahore ahau kia tuhituhi I have not written
Kihai au i tuhituhi I never wrote
E kore ahau e tuhituhi I will not write f I do not write )
Ka kore ahau e tuhituhi -! I did not write > * (I will not write )
Kaore a Maui i kitea e nga tuakana (20), Maui
was not seen by the elder brothers.
Ta te mea kaore ia i whakaae kia wehea raua, te
tane i te wahine (4), because he did not
consent that they should be separated, the
husband from the wife.
Kihai hoki i pa (16), but it never hit the mark.
E kore ra e tata atu te tangata i te nui o tona
wera (18), a man will not be able to approach
by reason of his burning heat.
E kore e marere, it will not be yielded.
Wai ? who ?
Aha ? what ?
Hea ? which!
Hia ? how many 1
Ko-wai hoki taua, ka kite ? how should you and
I see, or know ?
Hei aha mawai ? what is that to anyone ? literally
for what for whom ?
He aha oti ? what then ?
Ma te aha ? by what means ?
Mo te aha ? for what purpose
He aha tau i hangarau ai i au (18), why did you
befool me ?
He aha matou o matamua i kore ai e mohio ? (10),
how is it that we your elder brothers should
be ignorant ?
*According to the time required by the context.

‘ Hea ’ has always the article ‘ te/ or a preposition
prefixed, or some other word in combination.
Te-hea ? the which, which ?
A-hea ? of which (future time), when 1
Hei-hea ? for which ?
I-na-hea ? at which time (past) ?
No-na-hea ? from or since which time (past) ?
Kei-hea ? at which (place) ?
Ki-hea ? to which (place) ?
Ko-hea ? there which, where, what place ?
Ko- hea ra tenei ? ko Awhitu, kei raro i nga pari
—toia, what place is this ? it is Awhitu,
under cliff—pull away.
Pe-hea ? like which, how ?
Kia pehea te Ra ka hoki mai ? (46), at what time
of day will (you) return ?
The reply to a question takes a form similar to
that of the question.
Q. Me pehea e haere ake ai ? how will he come
up ?
A. Me karanga e au (54), I must call him.
Ianei, ranei, koia, oti are often used in interroga-
tive sentences emphatically, or doubtfully.
Hei a koe ranei ka kitea ai taua wahi e rapua na
e koe ? (14), will you be the person to find
that place, which is being sought for by
When, ana, ina, no, i.
Kia mahara mai koe, ana (or ina) tae koe ki to
kai^na, remember me when you arrive at
your home.
I te rikonga o te Ra, when the light of the sun
When (or while) we were walking, Mr----met
us, I a maua e haere ana, ka tutaki ki a
maua a Mea.
Whenever you have learnt the facts, judge. Such
a sentencej?equires to be converted, as—wait till the

facts are thoroughly learnt, thereon judge. Taria e
kitea putia te tika o te korero, hei reira whaiwhakaaro
No reira au i mohia ai, from that time or circum-
stance I became aware.
No to maua haerenga ki, etc., from the time or
circumstance of our going to, etc.
No-ku ka mate, since my illness.
‘Before’ is not represented directly in Maori. Such
a sentence as ‘ They were unwilling to do that before
you ordered ’ must have its form changed, as thus—
They were not willing that it should be done, but
when you order them, thereon it will be
done, kaore ratou i pai kia meatia tena, e
ngari kia unga atu koe i a ratou ka meatia
‘ As often as ’ may be represented in Maori by a
verbal noun followed by the appropriate form of the
word katoa (= all, every), as—
I nga inumanga katoa-tanga, as often as you
Or by the words ‘i nga wa katoa,’ ‘on every
occasion.’ Such a form is used in the translation of
the Bible.
Na, i nga wa katoa i tika ai ia na reira, ka peka
atu ia ki te kai taro (Kings 2 b., 4 ch., 8 v.),
and so it was that, as often as he passed by,
he turned in thither to eat bread.
The most important for consideration are—
Mai, hitherwards.
Atu, away from, forwards.
Ake, upwards.
Iho, downwards.
Because their use and signification in sentences is, at
first, rather perplexing.

Refer to motion in direction to and from the front of-
the speaker. Whether what is to be said is spoken
by word of mouth, or by letter, the same rule applies.
It is bad manners, when addressing anyone, not to
face him, and when writing to a person you are
assumed to be looking towards him.
If, for example, a person writes from his own
house to a friend, inviting him to come to his house,
he would say ‘ haere mai.’
If, being at his friend’s house, he wished to say to
him, ‘ Go to my house and await my arrival, and then
return,’ he would thus express himself in Maori :
‘ Haere atu koe ki taku whare noho mai ai, kia tae
atu au, ka hoki ai.’
In the sentence ‘ kowai te hunga e noho mai nei ? ’
‘ Who are the persons resting hard by ? ’ the party of
strangers is supposed to be resting with the intention
of coming towards the speaker.
‘ Mai ’ and 4 atu ’ are always used in opposition to
each other, so that if I am awaiting the arrival of a
friend who is coming to me (mai), I am considered to
‘ tatari atu,’ await (atu) for him.
Tenei ahau te tatari atu nei ki a koe kia haere mai,
Here I am, waiting for you to come to me.
Ka roa pea tou taringa mai ki au, kia tae atu
ahau, you will perhaps be long waiting for
me to reach you.
E tatari ana ia kia a Mea; kia tae atu, he is
awaiting till Mr.---------arrives at some place
(more distant from the speaker than the
place from which Mr.-------started).
E tatari ana ia ki a Mea, kia tae mai, he is
awaiting till Mr.----------arrives at some place
(nearer to the speaker than the place from
which Mr.-------started).
Katahi ano koe ka kitea mai ki konei, this is the
very first time you have been seen here.
Ka kitea mai ranei tatou ? I wonder whether
we are seen ?

Supposed to be said by one of a party making a
signal to persons at a distance.
Kitea mai, seen by looking hitherward.
Ake, upwards, as in 4 tupu ake,’ 4 shoot up as a
plant? Also upwards (in direction towards the
speaker, who is above). A person above, speaking of
persons seated below him, would say of them, 4 E
noho ake ana,’ 4 they are seated upwards to me.’
Also 4 onwards,’ or, in fact, motion from any place
in relation to the speaker different from what is
expressed by 4 mai ’ or 4 atu,’ thus—
Tu ake, stand aside,
Tu mai, stand in front of me.
Tu atu, stand away, or off.
Iho, downwards.
A person cannot say, with regard to himself, 4 ka
haere iho,’ but 4ka heke,’ 41 descend.’ But 4 ka kite
iho,’ 41 look down on,’ can be said in reference to
objects below the speaker. Referring to persons
above him, the speaker describes them as 4 tu iho,’ or
4 noho iho,’ standing or sitting downwards to him.
The use of 4 ake ’ and 4 iho ’ in such a sense
appears strange, but perhaps it may be better under-
stood from the consideration that the Maori extends
our application of ‘upwards’ and ‘downwards’ in
reference to speaking and looking to other conditions
or states, such as sitting and standing. We say of
persons below us that they look up, or of persons
above us that they look down. The Maori extends
this application of 4 upwards ’ and 4 downwards ’ to
bodies not in action, and speaks of persons below as
sitting or standing upwards to him, and of persons
above as sitting or standing down towards him.
Suppose a party start from a place A, and arrive
at a place B, where some remain, while the rest pro-
ceed on their journey. Speaking of those left at B,

the expression would be 4 waiho ake a Mea ma ’;
speaking of the party going on, it would be ‘ haere
Compare 1 waiho atu/ ‘ leave it alone ’; ‘ waiho
ake/ ‘leave off something you are doing?
Kua mate noa ake ireira, had been dead then
some time.
Kua mate noa atu ireira, had been dead long
before that time.
‘ Ho atu/ ‘ go on/ is said to a person in front of
‘ Ho ake/ ‘ come up to me and go on before me/
in reference to a person behind you.
In reference to time past and future.
For years to come, mo nga tau e takoto mai ana.
Ko te kupu mai i tika, no te mea ko te tangata
e haere atu ana, ko nga tau e noho mai ana,
the word 1 mai ’ was correct, because man is
going forwards (atu), while years to come
are awaiting his arrival (e noho mai ana).
For years that have passed, mo nga tau kua
pahemo ake.
E kore e tika te ki ‘ pahemo atu/ no te mea mo
mua o te tangata te ‘atu/ it will not be
correct to say ‘ pahemo atu/ because the
word ‘ atu ’ refers to direction from the
front of a man.
In this case man is regarded as travelling onwards
to meet years future, years past being left behind
Hei te iwa ka haere ake ai koe ki taku whare,
come to my house at nine o’clock.
Neither ‘mai’ nor ‘atu’ would be applicable in
such a case, for neither of those words could be cor-

rectly applied to the relative position of the speaker
and the person spoken to in respect of the time of
setting out.
Ka piki a Tawhaki, ka karanga ake te ruahine
(50), Tawaki climbs, the old woman calls
up (to him).
Kua riro : he Iwi ke, nana i tiki mai, i tango atu
(55), they have gone ; a strange tribe came
for them, (and) carried them off.
Ka-ore ano i roa ake te urunga ake o te Ra, kua
po, kua torengi ki te pae, ia ra, ia ra, pena
tonu (18), the brightness of the sun never
lasted very long before it became dark, and
disappeared at the horizon every day, always
the same.
A roa kau ake ka hoki ano ki to raua whare (63),
and after some while they returned to their
Ka wahi ake a Rupe (32), Rupe mounts upwards.
Ka tahi ka rere atu, noho ana i runga i te tihi o
taua rakau, e nohoia ake ra e taua rangapu.
E hara! kua kite tonu iho i ton a matua
wahine, e takoto tahi ana raua ko tana tane.
Ka mahara ia ‘ E ! ko aku matua tonu enei,
e noho ake nei? A, ka tino rongo ia i o
raua ingoa, e whakaahuatia ake ana e nga
hoa noho tahi (16), then he (Maui in form
of a pigeon) flew on, and perched on the
top of a tree, underneath which those per-
sons were seated. What was his surprise
to see his mother below, lying beside her
husband. So, thought he, ‘Ah ! these must
be my parents lying there below? Besides,
he distinctly heard their names repeated by
their companions about them.
Ka rongo ake te tuahine ki nga iwi ra e tangi
ana ‘Tauparoro, tauparoro.’ Ka karanga
ake ai te wahine, ‘E tangi, e iwi kainga e
te tini o te Ati-hapai, kowai tou tangata hei
tangi i a koe, hei ngaki hoki i tou mate ? ’
(40), the sister heard the bones crying

‘ Tauparoro, tauparoro.’ She thereon thus
addressed them, ‘ Cry on, 0 bones, gnawed
by the many of the Ati-hapai, who is your
friend to mourn over you, (and) to avenge
your death ? ’
Po iho ano ka whanga mai; me te haere atu, me
te whanga mai. Taro kau iho, e hara ! ka
puta atu : warea ki te kai, whakatikanga
mai o nga kai-whanga; e hara ! ka mau
taua hunga (64), when it was dark they lay
in wait for them; so while (the two) were
going towards them, the others were lying
in wait for them. Presently (the two) make
their appearance : they are off their guard
occupied eating (the fruit): those lying in
wait arise, (and) they are caught.
Members of the body are treated as the subject of
the verb. A Maori does not say ‘ open your mouth ’
or 1 stretch out your hand ’ when addressing anyone,
but ‘let your mouth open ’ ‘ hamama tou waha,’ 1 let
your hand stretch out ’ ‘ totoro touringa’: addressing,
as it were, the mouth and the hand, and so for other
similar cases.
Whetero to arero, let thy tongue protrude.
Kia tau mai tou taringa, let thy ear incline
Ka tahi ka hamumu atu te waha ‘ae’ (17), then
the mouth mutters ‘ yes.’
In some sentences of anomalous construction ‘ te ’
has been considered to have a negative sense, and to
be altogether distinct from the definite article. It is
remarked that, in such sentences, more or less stress
is laid on ‘ te,’ giving it a lengthened sound—although
in some of the constructions referred to the emphasis
is but slightly marked.
He aha koe te korero mai ai imua ? Why did
you not tell me before ?

Is such a sentence; but though the English given is
the correct meaning of the Maori words, I cannot
agree that the negative sense of the sentence depends
on the word 1 te.’
If by the side of this sentence we place the some-
what similar one—
Apopo taua te whakatika ai, to-morrow you and
I will set out—
We observe that ‘te,’ similarly used and similarly
pronounced—in both cases with but slight emphasis
—has no negative sense. If we render, word for
word, the Maori, we have “ to-morrow (apopo) you and
I (taua) the act of setting out (te whakatika) then (ai),”
where the demonstrative particle ‘ ai ’ refers to
‘ apopo,’ to-morrow, the time of setting out. The
other sentence, similarly analysed, is ‘ a what you (he
aha koe) the (not) telling me (te korero mai) there-
fore (ai) formerly (imua).’ The negative sense, which
in English must be expressed by the word ‘ not,’ is
in Maori only implied; for both the person spoken to
and the speaker knew that the matter referred to had
not been mentioned before, and it is observable that
what is well implied is not necessarily expressed
verbally in Maori.
The following Maori sentence from the grammar
of Dr. Maunsell (p. 156, edition 2), with his transla-
tion :—
Ihea koe imua ka kimi ? Where were you be-
fore that you did not look for it 1—
Is confirmative of these remarks, for there is evidently
nothing negative in the words ‘ ka kimi.’ The nega-
tive sense of the sentence is therefore implied from
the facts of the case, and not expressed by a Maori
negative word.
Archdeacon Williams, in his dictionary, gives
Te, adv., not,
And, as an example of this meaning of ‘te/ the
Mahi noa ki te to, te panuku, te aha.

On this it may be remarked that, in a Maori
sentence, the place of the adverb is after, not before,
the word which it qualifies, the same being the rule
as in the case of the adjective and the word which it
qualifies. The meaning of the above sentence is ‘ we
laboured in vain to drag (the canoe), but it would not
move a jot.’ In Maori idiom the negative sense is
implied in the word ‘ noa,’ in vain.
Compare the Latin ‘ut’ ( = that), which after
words expressive of negative notions (fear, doubt,
&c.) is in English rendered by ‘lest not’ or ‘that
not,’ as—
Metuo ut redeat, I fear that he will not return,
The negative sense of ‘ metuo ’ being passed on to
‘ ut,’ in order to adapt Latin to English idiom.
With regard to the lengthened pronunciation of
‘ te,’ it may be due to either one of two causes.
(1.) It may be merely the effect of emphatic pro-
nunciation, which would take place when ‘ te ’ is the
first word of an interrogative sentence.
(2.) It may be due to the union of the definite
‘ te ’ and a following vowel ‘ e,’ viz., that ‘ te ’ = te e.
It appears that each of these causes is applicable
in different cases.
The sentence ‘ te ai te aha hei whakaoho mai,’ is
given in Williams’ dictionary under the word ‘ aha ’
( = what), and is there rendered into English, ‘there
was nothing whatever to disturb ’; but the sentence
may be correctly rendered, ‘ what was there to cause
alarm 1 ’ which conveys the same idea ; for the word
‘aha’ is most commonly used as an interrogative.
Many examples where ‘te’ has been regarded as
having a negative force admit of explanation by
merely considering the sentence to be interrogative.
It is also to be observed that a general and favourite
mode of expressing a negative in Maori is by means
of an interrogative : thus the word ‘ nohea ’ (= whence-
ever) is very commonly used to express a decided
negative in conversation, or otherwise.
Nohea i matauria ? ‘ Whenever was it known V
for ‘ It was never known.’

Nohea matou i kite?’ ‘Whenever did we see
her ? ’ for ‘We never did see her.’
Me i waiho tonu, nohea e pa atawhai ia ki tona
peke maui ? ‘ If he had allowed it to take
its own course, whenever would it have
gently hit his left shoulder ? ’ for ‘ it would
never have hit, &c.’
Similarly in such sentences as ‘ Nawai i tata ? a
----, ka tahiti noa atu, ka tahiti noa mai ? ’ (70), ‘ By
whose act was there an approach ? After a while
they were far distant in that direction, in this direc-
tion,’ meaning ‘ neither of them approached; but after
some time became far apart from each other.’
In other sentences where ‘ te ’ is pronounced long,
it is evidently a combination of the definite i te ’ and
the verbal prefix ‘ e,’ as in the sentence—
Mahi noa ki te to te panuku te aha,
Where ‘ te panuku, te aha ’ may be written
Te e panuku, te e aha, the would (not) move,
the would (not) anything.
In Maori poetry ‘ te ’ is found frequently at the
beginning of negative-interrogative sentences, in which
the negative and interrogative sense is not verbally
expressed, but only implied from the context, as in—
Nui noa, e Wae, o rongo piharoa;
Te homai nei kia tui i taku ringa ?
Very great, 0 Waero, is the fame of your axes ;
Why would you not give me one to loop on my
wrist ?
Te hoki noa atu i tarawahi awa ? * Why would
you not turn back from other side the rivers ?
It will be observed that the meaning of the words
Te homai nei, &c. ?
Te hoki noa atu, &c. ?
If fully expressed in Maori would be
He aha i kore ai te e ho mai nei ?
He aha i kore ai te e hoki noa atu.
* Sir G. Grey, “ Maori Waiata, &c.,” p. 38.