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Grammar of the New Zealand Language

Demonstrative Pronouns

Demonstrative Pronouns.

The demonstrative pronouns are as follows: Taua, tenei, tena, tera, and their respective plurals, aua, enei, ena, era.

Tenei and aua are used for that and those. Tenei is applied to the object nearest at hand, or to the point of discourse to which the speaker had last alluded; tena to an object near to, or connected with, you the person spoken to; tera to an object farther remote; e. g.,

  • No Hone tenei ware, this is John's house.

  • No Penehamine tena, that one near you.

  • No Kukutai tera, that one farther off is Kukutai's.

The same distinction is to be observed in the plural number.

It may be questioned whether tenei and its branches are not, like to, (vid. article) compounded of two words, viz. te and nei, &c. They can always, at least, be resolved into them; e. g., Ho mai tena mea, give me that thing, is the same as ho mai te mea na. There is, however, a little difference in the uses of these two forms which the attentive student will discover by observation.

Nei, na, and ra. are mostly added (like the ci, and la of French) to point at the object more forcibly.

When the speaker wishes to denote the object with familiarity, contempt, &c. he generally uses the resolved form; e g., Ka hinga ahsu i te wakatakariri ki te tangata nei, I fall with anger at the fellow here.

Sometimes we meet with nei and its branches twice repeated; e. g., tenei na, tera ra.

Nei, &c., are often used in asking questions; e.g., nei na? Is this il? Rara? Is that it?

Note.—The speaker should be careful in speaking not to confound this demi-pronoun with the interrogative particle Ne.

Sometimes we meet with ia used as a demoastrative, e. g.,

  • Tona wenua kai ha ia, that is the very land of food.

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NoteAnei, and ara are often used by Ngapuhi for enei and era.