Exercise Seven

More on possessives

The possessives taku (my), (your – 1 person) and tana (his/her) have been covered in the earlier chapters. Possessive determiners, such as these, determine whether there are one or more things that are being referred to. It is important to note that when the ‘t’ is retained there is only one thing being referred to. However, if the ‘t’ is omitted, there is more than one thing being referred to.

In this section where we revisit possessive determiners, we look at the ‘long’ or the more ‘formal’ forms of the possessive determiners as opposed to the ‘short’ or ‘informal’ forms.

Notice that sometimes the use of ā is applied (āku, āu, āna), and others the use of ō is used (ōku, ōu, ōna). Using ā or ō is determined by the relationship between the person and what is possessed.

āku/ōku - my (more than one thing being referred to)
āu/ōu - your (more than one thing being referred to)
āna/ōna - his/her (more than one thing being referred to)

Here are some examples on the appropriate usage of these possessive determiners.

Hei tauira:

Kei hea ōu kākahu, e hine?Where are your clothes, young lady?
Kei roto āku kai i tāna pēke.My food is in his bag.
I kitea e koe āu pukapuka i hea?Where did you find your books?
Whakahokia ōna pera ki a ia, e tama.Give him back his pillows, young man.
Tokorima āna tamariki.She has five children.
Ko Te Arawa, ko Ngāti Maniapoto ōku iwi.Te Arawa and Ngāti Maniapoto are my tribes.

For further explanations and examples: Te Kākano pp. 52-56, 140-142; Te Aka

Tuhia te kupu tika mō ia āputa.

Don’t forget to use commas, question marks, and fullstops and macrons where appropriate (ā,ē,ī,ō, and ū).

Kei hea


Where are your clothes?

He rite tonu ngā tarau rā ki

Those pants are similar to his.

Kei roto

pukapuka i taku pēke.

Your books are in my bag.

Kei hea


Where is your food?

Kei te werawera haere


My feet are getting hot.

He pai ake

kai i ērā.

My food is better than those.

He rite

makawe ki ō Pita rā.

Your hair is the same as Peter's.

He nui rawa


His bulls are enormous.