The articles are:


  • te, se, a


  • ni, ne, a

They cannot easily be classified into definite or indefinite.


Te generally takes the place of the English "the". For example te ika (the fish).

Se is almost equivalent to the English "a" or "an", but is not used in all cases where these would be used. Its use can be learned only by experience. For example, aumai se potu tifa (bring me a piece of pearl shell).

Ni and ne are almost equivalent to the English "some". For example, e iai ni fale lelei i te fenua tela (there are (some) fine houses on that island), or se ai ne lakau loa i konei (there are not any long sticks here).

A is used before personal names and personal pronouns, especially after the prepositions k and i. For example, tuku ki a Penaia (give it to Penaia).

A is sometimes used as the equivalent of the English definite article plural. For example, a tamaliki i kona ko foki i te taulekaleka (the children there are beautiful indeed).

Please email me if you have any corrections, suggestions, questions, ideas, or content to add. I'd love to hear from you!

changed May 16, 2010