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Proverbs

Loan words

Historical loan words

māori

1. (modifier) normal, usual, natural, common, ordinary.

“He tino momo rānei te hōiho naka?” “Kāhore, he hōiho māori noa iho nei anō." (JPS 1893:117). / “Is that horse a thoroughbred?” “No, it is just an ordinary horse.”

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Synonyms: urutapu, horomata, kaipaipa, kai parāoa, noa, kai paipa


2. (modifier) native, indigenous, fresh (of water), belonging to Aotearoa/New Zealand, freely, without restraint, without ceremony, clear, intelligible.

Kakū ana tana ngao i ngā kai papai a te Pākehā, engari ko tēhea atu hoki i te kānga kōpiro, i te toroī, i te kōura mara, i te kina i rāua ki te wai māori mō ngā rā e toru, i te kōuka, i te mangō me te kererū huahua, he mea kōtutu katoa i roto anō i ōna hinu (TTR 1998:206). / He enjoyed the finest of Pākehā foods but relished fermented corn, pickled pūhā and mussels, crayfish fermented in fresh water, sea-urchins steeped in fresh water for three days, inner baby fronds of the cabbage tree, shark, and wild pigeons preserved entirely in their own fat.

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Synonyms: toi, taketake


3. (modifier) freely, without restraint, without ceremony, without object, unannounced.

Mō te tūpono peka māori mai koutou kia kite i tēnei whakahaere e kī nei mātou e mate ana i te tuakoka, i te pōhara, he whakatūpato noa atu tēnei kia kaua e whētuki i te āhua o tō mātou tari (HM 3/1994). / In case you make an unscheduled visit to see this operation, we are saying we are poverty-stricken, which is a caution to not be shocked at the nature of our office.

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4. (noun) aboriginal inhabitant, indigenous person, native.

I runga i te tima ka tūtaki ahau ki ētahi māori nō ngā motu, nō Hāmoa (TP 2/1903:10). / On the ship I met some indigenous people from the islands, from Samoa.

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See also Māori

tuari māori

1. (noun) normal distribution.

Ka kīia he ānau māori te rārangi e whakaatu ana i te tuari māori (arā, he hangarite te āhua o te rārangi) (TRP 2010:296). / A line showing normal distribution is called a normal curve (that is the shape of the line is symmetrical).

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huruhuru

1. (noun) hair, feather, coarse hair, bristles (not normally of the head), fur.

Ka hūhunutia te poaka, kātahi ka waruwarua te kiri kia ngahoro mai ai ngā huruhuru (PK 2008:147). / The pig is singed and then the skin is scraped to remove the hair.

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ānau māori

1. (noun) normal curve (maths).

Ka kīia he ānau māori te rārangi e whakaatu ana i te tuari māori (arā, he hangarite te āhua o te rārangi) (TRP 2010:296). / A line showing normal distribution is called a normal curve (that is the shape of the line is symmetrical).

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toto rōnaki

1. (noun) normal blood pressure.

tītari māori

1. (noun) normal distribution.

taea

1. (verb) to be able, accomplished, possible - although this word derives from tae and its passive ending -a, it has developed a feature distinct from the normal passive construction, in that the action of which someone is said to be capable is preceded by te and no preposition. Unlike other verbs in the passive which do not take a passive ending when following me, taea may occur after me. If taea is modified by a base and/or a particle, which would normally take a passive ending after a verb in the passive, then that base or particle also has a passive ending (usually -tia).

(Te Kākano Textbook (Ed. 2): 75-76;)

Ka taea ēnei kōrero e ia te tuhi. / He is able to write down this account.
Kīhai i oti i a ia tana tohu paetahi; ahakoa i taea ngāwaritia noatia e ia te nuinga o ngā mahi (TTR 1996:66). / He did not complete his BA; although he was able to do most of his subjects quite easily.

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See also tae, tareka

Synonyms: kaha, tare, āhei, waewae kai pakiaka, tareka, kei a [koe] mō te ..., toa, ringa rehe, Kei a ... mō te ..., riwha

ritenga

1. (noun) likeness, custom, customary practice, habit, practice, resemblance, implication - the normal way of doing things.

Otirā ehara i te mea ko te pītiti anake, engari ko ngā āhua rākau katoa pēnā tonu tō rātou ritenga tae iho ana ki ngā huarākau ririki, arā, ki te karani pango, mā, whero, me te rāhipere, me te kūpere me ētahi atu o ngā huarākau ririki katoa (TP 12/1905:7). / But it's not as if it is only peaches, but all sorts of trees that are treated in that way, including small fruits, that is, black, red and white currants, raspberries, gooseberries and all the other small fruits.

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Synonyms: oho, āhua, āhuatanga, rite, taurite, ariā, tikanga, tairitenga, ōrite, whakaritenga


2. (noun) ritual.

I muri tonu iho i tēnā ka tīmata te iriiri, te ritenga i whakatakotoria hei urunga atu mō te tangata ki roto ki taua rōpū (TP 4/1911:7). / Straight after that the baptism began, which was the ritual for a person to join that group.

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Synonyms: whakaritenga


3. (noun) place corresponding, thing corresponding, vicinity.

Ka tata ki te ritenga ki Ruapehu ka tīmata te ua (TPH 20/3/1905:3). / When we approached the vicinity of Ruapehu it began to rain.

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4. (noun) version.

Kotahi anake te wāhi e whiwhi ai koe ki tōna ritenga Māori, mā runga i te tono ki te nama waea kore utu e mau ake nei (HM 2/1999:3). / There is only one place where you can obtain it with its Māori version and that is by requesting it at this attached free phone number.

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tae

1. (noun) hue, dye, colour, stain, pigment - not normally used before the names of colours.

(Te Kākano Textbook (Ed. 2): 86; Te Pihinga Textbook (Ed. 2): 162-165; Te Māhuri Study Guide (Ed. 1): 63-64;)

Ko te tae o ngā hune, e rite ana ki te pūkohu, ā, he kōrangorango te āhua (HM 4/1998:4). / The colour of the down feathers is similar to moss and is mottled.
Ina ranua te kōwhai me te whero, ko te karaka ka hua mai (HJ 2012:98). / When yellow and red are mixed together, orange results.

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Synonyms: kano

taipō pīwa

1. (loan) (noun) typhoid fever, typhus - an example of two words that commonly go together being treated as though they were one word when borrowed into Māori. With normal word order in Māori, one would expect the loan to be pīwa taipō, which is also common in the literature for the first half of the 20th century, but taipō pīwa, or mate taipō, is much more common in modern Māori.

I whakaatu anō ia i te āhua o te taipō pīwa, te pūtake mai me te rongoā (TP 5/1901:11). / He gave instruction on the nature of typhoid fever, the origin and the cure.

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See also pīwa taipō, taipō, taipō piua

tamariki

1. (verb) (-ngia,-tia) to be young.

I te wā e tamariki ana koinā te mahurutanga o te tangata. Ko tēnā te wā hei whāwhātanga ki te mātauranga (TTT 1/2/1925:179). / During the time of childhood a person is untroubled. That's the time to tackle education.

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2. (modifier) young, youthful, immature (of people).

Kāore i pērā ngā rangatira tamariki ake (TTR 1990:231). / He is not like younger chiefs.

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3. (noun) children - normally used only in the plural.

E rua ngā kōti tēnehi, me tētahi wāhi purei hōkī, otirā he wāhi motuhake mō ngā tini tākaro a ngā tamariki (TTT 1/12/1930:2201). / There were two tennis courts and a place to play hockey, indeed a special place for the many children's games.

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whaka-

1. (particle) to cause something to happen, cause to be - prefixed to adjectives, statives and verbs that do not take a direct object, including reduplicated forms.

(Te Kākano Textbook (Ed. 2): 111-112;)

E whakatikatika ana te kaiako i ngā mahi a Hirini. / The teacher is correcting Sydney's work.

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2. (particle) Used with a few verbs of perception that take a direct object, i.e. kite, mōhio, rongo, inu, and ako.

(Te Kākano Textbook (Ed. 2): 111-112;)

E whakakite ana ia i tana pūtōrino ki ngā whakaminenga. / She is showing her pūtōrino flute to the audience.

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3. (particle) When used as a prefix with a stative the word becomes a verb that takes a direct object and takes a passive ending in passive constructions.

(Te Kākano Textbook (Ed. 2): 111-112;)

Kua whakapaua aku moni e taku tama. / My son has spent my money.

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4. (particle) to become a, translate (with names of languages) - prefixed to some nouns to form both verbs that take a direct object and verbs that do not.

(Te Kākano Textbook (Ed. 2): 111-112;)

I mōhio iho au ki ngā tāngata i whakaingoatia. / I knew the people named.

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5. (particle) towards, in the direction of - when prefixed to location words, especially mauī, matau, katau, mua, muri, raro, roto, runga and waho, and to nouns, in which case they will be preceded by te. With mauī, matau and katau, te may precede the location word or it may be omitted. With these they are sometimes written as three words separated by hyphens, e.g. whaka-te-moana. These words are normally used only as second, qualifying bases in a phrase.

(Te Kākano Audio Tapes/CDs (Ed. 2): 112;)

I Waihī ka huri whakauta te ope taua ka whai i te whārua o Pongakawa (TTR 1900:171). / From Waihī the war party turned inland and proceeded along the Pongakawa river valley.
Huri whakatemauī! / Turn left, please!
I te atapō tonu ka maunu te pā nei, ka haere, ka ahu whaka-Waikato (JPS 1899:180). / Just before dawn they retreated from this pā, departed and headed towards Waikato.
Ka titiro whakatemoana te iwi rā; hoki rawa mai te titiro kua ngaro te wahine nei (M 2004:160). / The people all looked towards the sea, and when their gaze returned this woman had disappeared.
Ka patua ko Tākaha i Ōtāwhao i te taha whakauta o Waipāwa (TTR 1990:347). / Tākaha was killed at Ōtāwhao on the inland side of Waipāwa.

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See also whakawaho, whakatekaraka, whakamauī, whakamatau, whakamua, whakamuri, whakararo, whakaroto, whakarunga, whakatehauāuru, whakatekatau, whakatemarangai, whakatemauī, whakatemoana, whakateraki, whaka-tētehi-taha, whakatetonga, whakateuma, whakateuru, whakatonga, whakauta, whakaterāwhiti


6. (particle) In a few words of some other classes whaka- may also be used, e.g. āe, atu, kāhore and kore.

(Te Kākano Textbook (Ed. 2): 111-112;)

Kīhai rāua i whakaae kia haere au ki te pakanga i Irāki. / They did not agree that I should go to the war in Iraq.

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7. (particle) a particular use of the prefix whaka- with numerals is for fractions, but this use is uncommon in modern Māori. Used this way as a noun or to follow a noun as a modifier (i.e. as an adjective).

Āta wehea te whakatekau o ēnei moni mō ngā mahi a Ihowā, tō tātou Atua, arā, mō Tōna Hāhi, mō te kawe i te Rongo Pai ki ngā Tauiwi, mō te whāngai rawakore, pouaru, tūroro, me ērā atu tini mahi pai, mahi aroha (TP 1/9/1901:5). / Carefully divide off a tenth of this money for the work of Jehovah, our God, that is, for His Church, for conveying the Gospel to the heathens, for feeding the poor, widows, invalids, and for those many good works and deeds of charity.

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See also whakatekau

ake

1. (particle) from below, upwards, in an upwards direction - indicates direction upwards when following verbs of motion. It may indicate an upwards direction towards the speaker or away from the speaker, a group, or someone else. Like the other three directional particles, atu, mai and iho, it always follows manner particles (i.e. kau, , noa, rawa and tonu) if they are present in the phrase.

(Te Kākano Textbook (Ed. 2): 27, 120;)

Piki ake ki konei! / Climb up here, please!
Ka titiro ake ia ki ngā whetū e kapokapo mai ana i te rangi. / She looked up at the stars twinkling in the sky.

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2. (particle) upwards, in an upwards direction - used with verbs which designate perception or attitude. It may also be used to reinforce words with positive connotations, such as progress, enlightenment, good health and to indicate an action that is performed quickly and with ease.

Ka mīharo ake i te mea ko te wā i tuhia ai e ia ngā kōrero nei kua eke kē a Hēmi ki te taumata o te tangata e kīia ai ia 'he kōkōmuka noho tara-ā-whare', arā, ko ōna tau whakahingahinga, whakatā hoki (HP 1991:v). / It is amazing because the time when these stories were written was when Hēmi had reached the age of being a stay-at-home, that is, his years of retirement.
Ko ngā mea i ora ake, i taki omaoma ki ngā whāruarua i uta huna ai (TTR 1990:153). / The ones who survived fled inland to the valleys to hide.
I haere ia ki te Kura Māori o Raukōkore, ā, pai ana te haere o te ako i a ia; kitea ake ana e ōna kura māhita tōna pūmanawa (TTR 2000:1). / He attended Raukōkore Native School and the learning progressed well; his teachers quickly recognised his talents.

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3. (particle) Implying direction to some place connected with the speaker, the listener, or someone else, but not where she/he/they are at the time.

Engari, ki te peka ake koe ki tōku kāinga, haria ake anō he kai māu. / But if you stop off at my home, take some food for yourself.
I mua i tana nehunga i Kōkōhīnau ka mauria ake a ia ki te mahau o Ruataupare, takoto ai (TTR 1996:231). / Before her burial at Kōkōhīnau she was carried to the veranda of Ruataupare to lie in state.

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4. (particle) immediately, without delay, from that time, from that time on, forthwith - indicating a further immediate action.

Titiro ana a Hana Kōkō ki te tamaiti, tangi ake ia. / When Santa Claus looked at the child, the child cried.

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5. (particle) just, recently, promptly, thereupon - used in time expressions, seemingly for emphasis. In this usage ake is often followed by nei to indicate that the action will take just a short while, or it has been over for a short while.

(Te Kākano Textbook (Ed. 2): 121;)

Kua kōrerotia e au tēnei i mua ake nei. / I have spoken about this just before.

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See also ake nei

Synonyms: tonu, wawe, tere, tou, noa, noa iho, tōkeke, noa ake, ia, ia rā, heipū, mārie, mārika, mārire, kau, tata, tika, inakuanei, ināia tata nei


6. (particle) Used to emphasise distance, especially with location words.

(Te Pihinga Textbook (Ed. 2): 45;)

I kuhu te titipounamu ki roto ake i te puare o te tīwai o te tawhai. / The rifleman went right into the hole in the trunk of the beech tree.
I tanumia a ia ki Korowhata, e whakatāiri rā i runga ake o Pūtiki (TTR 1990:17). / He was buried at Korokata, above Pūtiki.

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7. (particle) Used when comparing things. This includes iti, although it may often be followed by iho. This usage will normally be used with adjectives, but verbs created by prefixing whaka- to adjectives (e.g. whakarahi, whakapoto, whakaroa) or location words may be used.

(Te Kākano Textbook (Ed. 2): 101;)

He pai ake tēnei i tēnā. / This is better than that.
He nui noa ake te taupori o Kirikiriroa, tēnā i tō Rāhui Pōkeka. / Hamilton's population is a lot more than that of Huntly.
Me whakapoto ake te kōrero i konei, me kī i mīharo, i whakamihi, ngā mema Pākehā ki te ahua ki ngā mahi a ngā iwi o Te Tai Rāwhiti i kitea e ō rātou ake kanohi (TKO 31/3/1921:4). / The account here should be abbreviated, but I should say that the Pākehā members were amazed and they praised the nature of the work of the tribes of the East Coast that they saw with their own eyes.
(Kei te whakairia e Rangi he whakaahua ki te pakitara.) Rangi: Ki konei? Hine: Kāo, ki runga ake (HJ 2015:176). / (Rangi is hanging a picture on the wall.) Rangi: Here? Hine: No, higher up.

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See also kaha ake


8. (particle) original, indigenous, own, real, very own, personal, personally - to emphasise to whom something belongs or for whom something is intended. With possessive pronouns the word order is variable, e.g. tōku waka ake or tōku ake waka.

(Te Pihinga Textbook (Ed. 2): 45-46;)

Ko te iwi Māori te iwi ake o Aotearoa. / The Māori people are the indigenous people of New Zealand.
Ki te haere ia ki ngā hui, me mau te tangata i tōna ake tauera (TTT 1/11/1927:686). / If he goes to gatherings a person should take his own towel.

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Synonyms: taketake, tūturu, , anō, tipu, tupu, tinana, tino


9. (particle) myself, herself, himself, yourself, ourselves, themselves - indicates the reflexive when it occurs with ki te or i a followed by a pronoun.

Hei reira, i roto i tō wira, ka tukua e koe ō taonga ki aua kaitiaki, ā ka whakahaerea e rāua me te mea nā rāua ake anō aua taonga, otirā he mahi kau tā rāua i aua taonga mō ō tamariki anō (TWMNT 7/4/1874:83). / Then, in your will, you give your property to those trustees, and they will use it as if that property belongs to themselves, but they will do it for your children.

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10. (particle) exactly, right, truly, just - can intensify certain words, including question words, locative nouns and sometimes kore.

Kei hea ake ngā tamariki weriweri rā? / Just where are those horrible children?
konei ake te nuinga o aku hoa. / The majority of my friends are from right here.
Kore ake a Timi i toa ki te whakapākehā i te ‘pōkokohua’ a Eruera ki te Kāwana Tianara (EM 2002:214) / Timi was just not brave enough to translate Eruera's 'pōkokohua' for the Governor General.

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Synonyms: mōtika, tonu, matatika, tōtika, take, heipū, tikanga, tika, matau


11. (particle) and so on, and the like, and other places, elsewhere, etc. - to indicate things that are additional to those already mentioned.

Ko ia tonu te tangata tiaki i ō rātou pānga i Te Wairarapa, i Kaikōura, i Taranaki, i hea ake, i hea ake (TTR 1998:210). / He himself was the person looking after their land interests in Wairarapa, Kaikōura, Taranaki and elsewhere.
Āpiti atu ko ngā taputapu whakatangitangi - kia rangona atu te tangi a te pūtōrino, a te pūtātara, a te pahū me te aha ake (HM 3/1998:8). / In addition there are the musical instruments - so that the sounds of the pūtōrino (large traditional flute), the conch shell trumpet, the gong and other instruments can be heard.

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kaikaranga

1. (noun) caller - the woman (or women) who has the role of making the ceremonial call to visitors onto a marae, or equivalent venue, at the start of a pōwhiri. The term is also used for the caller(s) from the visiting group who responds to the tangata whenua ceremonial call. Traditionally this role was based on one's status within the hapū or whānau, the eldest sister normally being given the role. Skilled kaikaranga are able to use eloquent language and metaphor and to encapsulate important information about the group and the purpose of the visit.

Ki tā Iranui, i ngā wā o mua i haere ngā wāhine me te kaikaranga o te manuhiri ki waenganui o te ope whakaeke ki runga i te marae, ā, ko ngā tāne kei ngā taha ki te tiaki i ngā wāhine. / According to Iranui, in former times the women and the caller of the visitors went in the middle of the group going onto the marae and the men were at the sides to protect the women.

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ruahine

1. (verb) to become elderly, grow old - of a woman.

I a Te Puea ka ruahine haere, ka pupū ake te wehi o te rangatahi i a rātou e mātakitaki ana i a ia e whakahaere ana i ngā take a te marae (TTR 1996:52). / As Te Puea grew older the young ones were in awe of her while they were watching her directing the affairs of the marae.

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2. (noun) elderly woman.

Ka kī atu ki te ruahine, “E kui e! Tāua ka haere." (JPS 1905:76). / He said to the old woman, “O old woman! Let us go."

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Synonyms: pou, rūruhi, hākuikui, ngoingoi, kui, tāua, kuikui, hākui, pēperekōu


3. (noun) woman of importance used in certain ceremonies for the removal of tapu, e.g. house openings - normally this would be the eldest female from a family of rank.

I te patunga i ngā tautīaki, me te paepae-tapu-nui-a-Tāne tae noa ki te pikitanga a te ruahine i te paepae-tapu-nui-a-Tāne; me te whakatuwheratanga o te tatau; me te pikitanga i te paepae poto a te ruahine: kāore i te eke ngā karakia e hāngai ai te piki i ngā paepae e rua me te whakatuwhera o te tatau (TTT 1/5/1930:2055). / From the striking of the upright posts beneath the front bargeboards of the meeting house and the sacred threshold of Tāne including the climbing over of the sacred threshold of Tāne by the ruahine; the opening of the door; the climbing over of the door sill by the ruahine; the ritual chants used were not appropriate for stepping over the two thresholds and the opening of the door.

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makehua

1. (modifier) innumerable, numerous, countless - normally follows tini.

Ka tiraki ana ngā kapua i ngā pō, ka kitea ngā whetū tini makehua o te rangi. / When the clouds clear at night the multitude of stars in the sky can be seen.

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Synonyms: tuarea, maruru, mahamaha, rea, tini, tokomaha, maha, tuauriuri, papata, wene, makiu, rahi, huhua, nui, hira

matakopa

1. (noun) floor space and corner on the left on entering a wharenui - normally the place where the local people of the marae sit or sleep.

Ka uru a Tukutuku ki roto o te whare ... ka tīkina ki te matakopa titiro mai ai (NM 1928:165). / Tukutuku entered the house and was taken to the corner on the left to watch.

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See also kopa iti

a

1. (particle) Used before people's - names, wai, mea and personified objects when they stand as the subject of the sentence and when they follow i, ki, hei and kei.

(Te Kākano Textbook (Ed. 2): 13, 57, 83, 102; Te Kākano Study Guide (Ed. 1): 25;)

Kua riro te paoro i a Māia. / Māia has taken the ball.

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2. (particle) Used before personal pronouns (except ahau) when they follow i, ki, hei and kei. NB a is pronounced long before koe and ia.

(Te Kākano Textbook (Ed. 2): 57, 83, 102;)

Kua mau te tuna i a ia. / She has caught the eel.

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3. (particle) Used before place names and location words when they stand as subject of the sentence.

(Te Pihinga Textbook (Ed. 2): 24-25;)

He wera a waho. / It's hot outside.

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4. (particle) Sometimes used as a literary device before words that would normally be used as nouns or verbs.

Kāti, kua huri te ihu o tōu ake waka ki Waitematā i runga anō i te āki a rūrūtake, a wheori (HM 2/1992:1). / Well, the prow of your canoe has turned towards Waitematā because of the urging of shaking and quivering of old age.

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he ... te patunga

1. the only thing that we can do, the only outcome, the only thing I'll be doing - an idiom to indicate an activity is the normal outcome or result of some other activity or state.

Rangi: Kua tino hiamoe nei au. Pare: Tāua tahi. Ka tae atu au ki te kāinga, he moe te patunga (HKK 1999:138). / Rangi: I'm really sleepy. Pare: That's both of us. When I get home the only thing I'll be doing is sleeping.

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kopa

1. (noun) space in front of a house.

E puta ki waho rā, kia tāpapa koe te kopa o te whare (MM.TKM 1/2/1855:29). / Go outside to lie in the space in front of the house.

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2. (noun) floor space and corner on the left on entering a wharenui – normally the place where the local people of the marae sit or sleep.

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The App

Te Aka Māori Dictionary is also available as an iOS and Android app. Download below.

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The Book

Te Aka Māori-English, English-Māori Dictionary and Index by John C Moorfield comprises a selection of modern and everyday language that will be extremely useful for learners of the Māori language.

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He Pātaka Kupu

Te kai a te rangatira

He Pātaka Kupu is a monolingual Māori language dictionary, and was designed using its own culturally authentic terms.

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