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toki pona page 3 - verbs and objects

The vocabulary for this page:

word meaning
e (specifies an object)
ijo thing, object
ilo tool, machine, device
lipu book, document, paper
lukin eye, to look, to see, to seek to
olin love, compassion, affection
pali to do, to work, to make, labor
pana to give, to send, to emit
telo water, fluid, to water, to clean
tomo home, room, structure

To add a verb to the sentence, use the following structure:

[noun] li [verb]

For example,

mije li pali. - A man is working. / A man works.

Both the noun and the verb can have adjectives added after it. If added after a verb, the adjective functions as an adverb.

jan wawa li pali pona. - A strong person is working well.

There is no way to determine whether a word in such a sentence is an adjective or a verb. For example, the phrase “mi moku” can mean either “I am eating” or “I am food”.

Verbs don’t have any tense information in them. A way to specify time will be explained in a later page.

To add an object – the thing that the verb applies to – use the particle “e” for a following structure:

[subject] li [verb] e [object]

jan wawa li pali e tomo. - A strong person is (building/working on) a house.

Objects can also have adjectives added to them.

jan pali li pana e moku pona. - A worker gives out good food.

Here are some sentences:

jan pona mi li pona e ilo lukin. - My friend is (improving/fixing) a looking instrument (glasses, binoculars, microscope, etc.).

mi telo e moku. - I clean the food.

mi olin e meli mi. - I love my wife.

Since the word “lukin” itself describes the act of seeing someone, rather than their appearance, complimenting someone on the latter would usually be expressed as:

sina pona lukin. - You look good (are “good visually”).


Now, try to figure out the meaning of these sentences.

And try to translate the following sentences into toki pona.


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