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toki pona page 5 - this and that

The vocabulary for this page:

word meaning
ante different, changed, to change
awen keep, stay, endure, protect, continue
en and (combines subjects)
kalama sound, noise, to read/make sound
kulupu group, community, society
lape sleep, rest
mute many, more, quantity, very
ni this, that
pakala break, mistake, (generic curse)
seli fire, heat, warmth, chemical reaction

Before we discover a whole new type of words and new grammar, let’s fill in some blanks.

The word “en” lets one combine several subjects in one sentence:

mi en sina li moku. – You and I are eating.

Note that it is not used to combine several verbs or objects – the way to do that was explained on page 4.

The word “mute” allows to specify whether the subject (or object) is singular or plural.

jan utala mute – many warriors

mi mute – we, us

Here are some example sentences:

jan lili mute li lape. – The children are sleeping.

kiwen suli li pakala e tomo lipu. – A big rock damaged the library (“house of books”).

mi pakala lili. – I made a little mistake.

ilo sina li kalama mute ike. – Your instrument is making lots of bad noise.

The word “ni”

The simplest use of the word “ni” is to mean “this” or “that”:

kulupu ni li pona mute. – This community is very good.

However, it is much more powerful than that. The word “ni” can also be used to create more complex sentences.

It can be used to talk about what other people say (or even quote them, depending on context):

jan lili li toki e ni: sina pona. – The child said that you’re good.

ona li toki e ni: “toki! sina pona lukin.” – They said: “Hello! You look good.”

Or it can be used to provide even more detailed descriptions of subjects or objects.

jan pali ni li pali e tomo mi: ona li jo e kiwen mute. – The worker with lots of rocks built my home. (“This worker built my home: they have lots of rocks.”)

Dialectal differences

This part of the document describes how certain toki pona courses differ in explaining certain ideas.

There doesn’t seem to be an agreement whether or not “en” can be used within phrases that use the particle “pi” (will be explained in page 9). In addition, Sonja Lang herself said that using “en” to combine several objects is “not completely wrong”(1), but rather stylistically inelegant.


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

And try to translate the following sentences into toki pona.


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