Exercise Two

Singular possessive determiners

In previous modules you have learnt the following possessives, taku (my), (your - 1 person), and tana(his/her). These possessive determiners are sometimes referred to as the ‘neutral, ‘short’, or ‘informal’ forms and are always followed by a noun.

Hei tauira:

Kei hea taku pōtae? Where is my hat?
Kei hea tō paihikara? Where is your bike?
Anei taku pōtae. Kei hea tana pōtae? Here is my hat. Where is his hat?

Now it is time to introduce and explain the use of other possessive determiners which share a similar function. These possessive determiners are:

tōu/tāuyour (1)

These are sometimes called the ‘long’ or ‘formal’ forms and are often used in the same way as the ‘short’ forms above. However, one distinct difference between the ‘formal’ possessive determiners compared to that of the ‘informal’ is that the ‘informal’ possessive determiners must always be followed by a noun, whereas the ‘formal’ form, while often followed by a noun, can stand without one.

Hei tauira:

Ko Rīpeka tāna tamāhine. Rebecca is her daughter.
Ko Himiona tāu tama? Is Himiona your son?
Ko Wiremu tōku pāpā. William is my father.
Kei hea tōu hingareti? Anei tōna. Where is your singlet? Here’s his.

Notice how in the first two examples above the a form is used (tāku/tāu/tāna) while in the bottom two examples the o form is used (tōku/tōu/tōna).

When the possessor has control of the relationship or is dominant, active or superior to what is being possessed then the a category is used. As shown in the first example the mother is superior to the daughter, and in a sense has, or had control over the birth of the daughter, therefore the a category is used. Similarly in the second example the father is superior to the son, therefore the a category is utilised.

However, when the possessor has no control of the relationship or is subordinate, passive or inferior to what is possessed then the o category is used, as shown in the last two examples. In the third example the person whose father it is is inferior to the father and had no control over establishing the relationship, therefore the o category is used.

This distinction between a and o categories is a very important part of the language. It will require a lot of practice before the use of them is fully mastered.

Whakamāoritia ngā rerenga kōrero pēnei i ngā tauira e whai ake nei.
Translate the sentences into Māori like the examples that follow.

Hei tauira:

Allen's chairte tūru o Ārana
the old lady's dogte kurī a te kuia

Kei wareware i a koe ngā piko, ngā tohu pātai, ngā ira kati me ngā tohutō i ngā wāhi e tika ana.

Wiremu’s socks

his car

Jamie’s goat

my strength

your teacher

Tio’s house

Eruera’s pens

Poia’s wife

that child’s shoe (over there)

my dog’s friend

the people of Hamilton

Neihana’s water