Giving Commands and Instructions in Te Reo Māori

Learn how to give commands and instructions in Te Reo Māori

 

NB  The flashcard plugin I used here doesn’t recognize macrons so I’ve doubled any vowels that should be stressed, remember this means just to stress the syllable with that vowel, hold on to the syllable that has that vowel in it, don’t change the sound of the vowel as you would in English.

  • E tuu!
    Stand up!
  • E noho!
    Sit down!
  • E moe!
    Go to sleep!
  • E oho!
    Wake up!
  • E oma!
    Run!
  • E karo!
    Dodge!
  • E inu!
    Drink up!
  • E kai!
    Eat up!
  • Titiro mai!
    Look here!
  • Titiro atu!
    Look over there!
  • Titiro ki te kaiako!
    Look at the teacher!
  • Haere mai (ki konei)!
    Come here!
  • Haere atu!
    Go away!
  • Haere ki waho!
    Go outside!
  • Mauria atu!
    Take it away!
  • Haria mai!
    Bring it here!
  • Waiho ki reira!
    Leave it there!
  • Kaua e penaa!
    Don't do that!
  • Kaua e tangi!
    Don't cry!
  • Taihoa!
    Wait!
  • Maranga!
    Get up!
  • Whakarongo!
    Listen!
  • Kuhu mai!
    Enter! Come in!
  • Heke iho!
    Get down! Get off!
  • Piki ake!
    Climb up!
  • Hoki atu!
    Go back!
  • Kia kaha!
    Be strong!
  • Kia tuupato!
    Be careful!
  • Taihoa e oma!
    Don't run yet!
  • Kaati te tangi!
    Stop crying!
  • Kaua e patua te kurii!
    Don't hit the dog!
  • Me haere koe ki te kainga!
    You should go home!
  • Me whakarongo koe ki toou whaea!
    You should listen to your aunty!
  • Patua te pooro!
    Hit the ball!
  • Patua te kiore!
    Hit (kill) the rat!
  • Whanaia te pooro!
    Kick the ball!
  • Kia toa!
    Be determined!
  • Kia pai!
    Be good!
  • Ka haere taaua ki te toa!
    Let's go to the shop! (you and I)
  • Ka haere taatou ki te toa!
    Let's all go to the shop!
  • Ka moe taatou!
    Let's all go to sleep!

 

 

GRAMMAR NOTES:

1.  To give commands or instructions using command words that have one long or two short vowels begin your command with the particle ‘e’.

E piki!    Climb!    E moe!   Off to bed!    E kai!   Eat up!

1a.   Once you add directional words such as  mai  (towards the speaker), atu (away from the speaker), iho ( downwards) or ake (upwards) to these commands the ‘e’ is omitted.

 Piki ake!   Climb up!     Kuku  mai!   Come in!    Heke iho!   Get off!

2.   If the command word has more than two vowels the ‘e’ prefix is not used.

Whakarongo!   Listen!       Taihoa!  Wait!     Haere mai!  Come here!

3.   If the command is encouraging someone to ‘be’ something, to enter a particular state,  or condition or to have a particular quality then the command should begin with ‘kia’.

Be quick!   Kia tere.   Be strong!  Kia kaha.   Be careful!  Kia tuupato!

4.   Another way to deliver commands or instructions is to use the prefix ‘me’ which suggests that someone ‘should’ do something.

Me haere koe ki too kainga!     You should go home!

5.  Adding a passive ending to a verb is another way to issue a command.  NB  if the command is directed at a person using ‘i’ then you can’t use the passive ending.  Eg  Horoi i a koe.  = Wash yourself.   Not Horoia koe.

Whanaia te pooro!   Kick the ball!

6.   You can express a command as ‘let’s’ do something with ‘ka … taaua’ or ka … taatou’.

Ka haere taaua ki te toa!   Let’s go to the shop!  (2 incl speaker)     Ka waiata taatou!   Let’s sing!  (3+ incl speaker) 

7.   Negative commands can be given using either ‘kaua e’ (don’t). ‘kaati’ (stop) or ‘taihoa e’  don’t …. yet.

Kaua e patua te kurii!   Don’t hit the dog!      Kaati tangi!   Stop crying!       Taihoa e oma!   Don’t run yet!