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Grammar of the New Zealand Language


The personal pronouns of Maori are as follows:
Taua, you and I.Tatou, you all and myself.
Ahau, or au, I.Maua, he and I.Matou, they and myself.
Koe, thou.Korua, you two.Koutou, ye.
Ia, he.Raua, they two.Ratou, they.

The first person dual and plural has, as may be seen in the above table, two forms, taua and tatou, maua and matou; the former class may be denominated inclusive, the latter exclusive. For example:

The speaker of a company, who is addressing a person just come in, uses matou; e tatari ana matou ki a koe, we are, or have been waiting for you. If he means that only himself and another have been waiting, he uses maua, e tatari ana maua kia a koe: but when he addresses the whole company he uses tatou; Tatou ki te kai, let us go to dinner. If however he is addressing only page 28 another beside himself, he uses taua; Taua ki te kai, let us (two) go to dinner. Again, if he says, No matou tenei kainga, he tells you, the hearer, that he and others possess this farm. If he says, No maua tenei kainga, he tells you that he and some other person already mentioned possess it. If however he use tatou, No tatou tenei kainga, he means that all that he is addressing have a share in it. If he says, No taua tenei kainga, he tells you, the hearer, that it belongs to you and himself.

Note.—The student will find hereafter that the dual number is sometimes used for the plural.

In addressing an individual ia is sometimes used in the second person by Ngapuhi; e.g., Eia. It is used in a very strange combination also with wai by some tribes; e.g.,

  • Ko wai ia? who said so?

The Personal Pronouns admit, in the singular, of declension; e.g.,


  • Nom. Ahau or Au, I.

  • Poss. Naku, or Noku, mine.

  • Obj. Ahau, or Au (preceded by some preposition) e g.,
    • Ki a au, or, ki ahau, to me,

    • E a hau, or, e au, by me,

    • Maku or Moku, for me.


  • Nom. Koe, thou,

  • Poss. Nau or Nou. thine.

  • Obj. Koe (preceded by some preposition); e. g.,
    • kei a koe, with thee.

    • Mau and Mou, for you.


  • Nom. Ia, he.

  • Poss. Nona, or Nana, his or hers.

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  • Obj. Ia (preceded by some preposition); e. g.,
    • I a ia, from him or from her.

    • Mona and Mana, for him, or for her.

Pronouns, in common with nouns, have no gender. There is no word in Maori to denote the pronoun it with its dual and plural Their place is generally supplied by some artifice of the construction, as will be shewn in the Syntax.