1. (particle) always, regularly, usually - shows habitual action. In this usage the verb is followed by ai, but no particle is used before the verb. In this and all the following subentries, if present, a manner particle (i.e. kau, kē, noa, rawa or tonu) will follow immediately after the verb, then a directional particle (i.e. mai, atu, iho, or ake), and then ai. Other particles (i.e. anō, hoki, anake, koa, rānei or pea) will follow ai in the phrase. The other locative particles, nei, nā, rā and ana do not occur when ai is used.
Haere ai rāua ki te whare karakia i ia Rātapu. / They go to church every Sunday.
Ahakoa haere ia ki hea, haria ai e ia tana kurī. / No matter where she goes she takes her dog.
Haere ai ngā tāngata i ētahi wā, heoi anō, hoki tonu mai ai rātou (TWK 35:19). / People go away sometimes, but they continually return.
(Te Pihinga Textbook (Ed. 2): 8;)
2. (particle) and then, consequently - when ka preceeds the verb and ai follows it, this denotes an action or state consequent upon some previous action. This usage may also follow another clause beginning with mā.
Whakarongo ki ngā tohutohu, ka tīmata ai i ā koutou mahi. / Listen to the instructions and then start your work.
Kua pāhitia e te Kāwanatanga kia toru ngā tau kātahi ka hoki ai ngā minita ki ō rātou mīhana (TTT 1/11/1921:9). / The Government has passed a law that after three years the ministers then return to their missions.
Mā tāu rourou, mā tāku rourou, ka ora ai te iwi (HJ 2012:190). / With your small flax plaited food basket and my small flax plaited food basket the visitors will be sustained.
(Te Pihinga Textbook (Ed. 2): 68; Te Kōhure Textbook (Ed. 2): 29;)
See also ka ... ai
3. (particle) when will, when did - used in questions and statements about when something happened or will happen. For the past tense i will preceed the verb and ai will follow, but in the future tense ai will follow the verb, but no particle, ka or e may preceed the verb.
Nōnahea ō mōhiti i ngaro ai? / When did your glasses go missing?
Āhea kōrua haere ai ki Te Waipounamu? Ā te 14 o Poutūterangi. / When do you two go to the South Island? On the 14th of March.
Hei te Rāhoroi tāua whakatā ai. / On Saturday you and I will rest up.
Kua hikitia tā tātou hui - hei ātahirā rā anō ka tū ai. / Our meeting has been put off - it will be held the day after tomorrow.
Mō āwhea e tuwhera ai te huarahi hou? (HJ 2012:185). / When will the new road open?
(Te Kākano Textbook (Ed. 2): 46, 85;)
4. (particle) by what means, by what way, via where - in questions and statements about how someone is travelling or via what place.
Mā hea koe haere ai? Mā runga pahi. / How did you travel? By bus.
Mā hea kōrua hoki atu ai ki Tāmaki-makau-rau - mā Tauranga, mā Rotorua rānei? Mā Tauranga. / What way are you two returning to Auckland - via Tauranga or Rotorua?
(Te Kākano Textbook (Ed. 2): 47-48;)
See also mā hea
5. (particle) when, where, which, who, whom, that, during which, at which (time), that caused, by which, whereby, why - In clauses in the past tense expressing a resultant action in relation to a particular time, place, reason, way, thing or person already stated in the first part of the sentence. In these subordinate clauses, i will preceed the verb and ai will follow.
Ko Te Arawa te waka i ū mai ai ki konei. / Te Arawa was the canoe that landed here.
Ko te 1840 te tau i hainatia ai te Tiriti o Waitangi (HJ 2012:187). / The year that The Treaty of Waitangi was signed was 1840.
He hōhā nōku i kōrero pēnā ai. / It was because I was fed up that I spoke like that.
Koia rā te huarahi i tae mai ai rātou ki te marae. / That was the road by which they reach the marae.
Kāore taku mokopuna i whiwhi i tāna i hiahia ai ia. / My granddaughter didn't get that which she wanted.
(Te Māhuri Textbook (Ed. 2): 43-44; Te Pihinga Textbook (Ed. 2): 23-24; Te Kākano Textbook (Ed. 2): 28-29, 120;)
6. (particle) when, where, which, who, whom, that, during which, at which (time), that caused, by which, whereby, why - In clauses in the future tense expressing a resultant action in relation to a particular time, place, reason, way, thing or person already stated in the first part of the sentence. In these subordinate clauses, e (or sometimes ka) will preceed the verb and ai will follow. Also used for habitual actions and for subordinate clauses when time is more general and not just the future.
Ko te 7 o Haratua te rā e haere ai māua ki Potukara. / The 7th May is the day that she and I go to Portugal.
Ko te Hōhipera o Waikato te wāhi e pokaina ai ahau. / Waikato Hospital is the place where I will be operated on.
Mā te hīkoikoi i ia rā e ora ai ahau. / By walking each day I will become healthy.
Ko Aroha te wahine e tūtaki ai koe i te whare pukapuka. / Aroha is the woman who you meet at the library.
Me pēwhea ka ora ai tātou? (HJ 2012:189). / How will we survive?
7. (particle) to (do something) - after verbs following location as an alternative to ki te.
Haere atu ki korā tākaro ai! / Go over there to play!
Ki whea tātou tūtaki ai ā mua o te konohete? / Where will we meet before the concert?
(Te Kākano Textbook (Ed. 2): 129;)
9. (particle) mainly because.
I wera katoa i te ahi, i te maroke ai hoki o aua rākau. / It was burnt completely by the fire, mainly because the timber was so dry.
10. (particle) why?, that - the negative tē also combines with ai, often to follow he aha to ask 'why', or following a reason that something didn't happen. A verb will be placed between tē and ai.
He aha kōrua tē haere tahi mai ai? / Why didn't you two come together?
Nā te pāngia o Hare e te mate tē tae mai ai ia ki te hui (HJ 2012:192). / Because Harry went down sick, he didn't make the meeting.
See also tē ai he ...