Exercise Two

Asking for the right word

He aha ake nei taua mea?
What to do when you don’t know the appropriate word.

It is common to forget a specific word when conversing in any language, here are some words and phrases to enable the speaker to keep the conversation flowing. In English, some of the common terms are "what d'ya call it", "thingamabob", "what's the word" and "ya'know". Here are some useful phrases that have the same function in Māori.

He aha kē nei taua mea?What the heck is that thing?
Taihoa ake nei.Hang on a minute.
Aue! Kei te ngaro te kupu i a au!Heck! I’ve lost the word!
Kia kimihia ake nei te kupu.Let me think of the word.
He aha ake nei te kupu mō taua mea?What’s the word for that thing?
Kei te mōhio koe. You know.
Ko Mea. Ko wai hoki tōna ingoa? Thingamabob. What’s her name?

We can also paraphrase describing the characteristics of an object, here are some more examples.

Ko te āhua o te mea nei . . . The thing is shaped . . . Ko te mea nei, he āhua rite ki te . . . This thing is a bit like . . . He mōhio koe ki te āhua o te . . . Do you know what a . . . looks like?

For further explanations and examples see Te Pihinga pp 5-6.

Tirohia ngā kōrero e whai ake nei, ā, whiriwhirihia te kōrero tika mō ia rerenga.
Look at the following statements and choose which statement is correct for each sentence.

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

He aha kē nei taua mea?

Taihoa ake nei.

Aue! Kei te ngaro te kupu i a au!

Ko te mea nei, he āhua rite ki te tīrairaka.

Kei te mōhio koe.

Kia kimihia ake nei te kupu.

Ko Mea. Ko wai ake tōna ingoa?

Ko te ahua o te mea nei, he porowhita.