Showing possession using tā tātou, tō tātou (your (2+) and my, our), tā mātou, tō mātou (their and my), tā koutou, tō koutou (your 3+ people), tā rātou, tō rātou (their 3+ people)
In Kōwae 8 you have learnt to use dual possessive determiners, now it is time to learn the plural possessive determiner forms. All the rules of dual possessive determiners apply to the plural forms. However, when using plural possessive determiners there are three or more people possessing one or more things. In the table below are the plural determiners which are used when referring to one thing.
Notice how the English ‘our’ has two possible translations in Māori using plural possessive determiners.
Kua tae mai tō mātou māmā.
Our (their 3 and my) mother has arrived.
Kua moe tā tātou kurī.
Our (your 3 and my) dog has gone to sleep.
In the above sentences three or more people possess only one thing. In possessive determiner sentences when the first t is retained there is only one object being possessed, when the first t is omitted there is more than one thing being possessed.
Kua mutu tā tātou mahi.
Our (your 3 and my) work has finished.
Kotahi tō tātou waka.
We (you 3 and me) have one car.
Nā wai tā koutou keke i hari mai?
Who brought your (3+) cake?
Ko wai tō koutou kaiako?
Who is your (3+) teacher?
Ko Rongo tō mātou kaiako.
Rongo is our (their 3 and my) teacher.
Ko Kereama tā mātou irāmutu.
Kereama is our (3+) nephew.
Kei hea tā rātou kurī?
Where is their dog?
Ā hea tō rātou haerenga ki Whakatū?
When is their journey to Nelson?
You must use the ā and ō categories to establish the relationship between the possessor and the thing being possessed. Remember if the possessor has control of the relationship or is dominant, active or superior to what is being possessed then the ā category is used.
If the possessor has no control of the relationship or is subordinate, passive or inferior to what is possessed then the ōcategory is used, as shown in the above examples.
For further explanations and examples see Te Kākano pp. 52-56, 140-142; Te Kākano CDs Mahi 51-54; and Te Aka.
Whiriwhirihia te kupu tika hei whakakī i ia āputa.
Kei wareware i a koe ngā piko, ngā tohu pātai, ngā ira kati me ngā tohutō i ngā wāhi e tika ana.
Anei tō tātou waka. Kei hea
Here is our car. Where is your (3+) car?
Where is our (theirs and my) puppy?
E haere ana
tuahine ki te kura rā.
Their (3) sister is going to the school over there.
Kua tae mai
māmā, e hoa mā.
Your (3+) mother has arrived, friends.
E mōhio ana koe ki
Do you know our (their 3 and my) last name/family name.
Kei Ōtautahi tonu
pāpā e noho ana?
Does your (3+) father still reside in Christchurch?.
Where is their (3+) nephew from?
Ko Moi te ingoa o
Moi is the name of our (your and my) dog.
Kei te pūrei whutupaoro
Our (yours and my) team is playing football.
Kia tere, e Eru. Kua tīmata
Hurry up, Eru. Our (yours and my) game has started.