Grammar/when to use li and e

Language learning: How to speak Toki Pona, translation problems, advice, memory aids, tools and methods to learn Toki Pona and other languages faster
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JanKanle
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Grammar/when to use li and e

Postby JanKanle » Fri Oct 23, 2015 5:48 pm

a toki jan ali,

I don't know how to use li and e correctly. Every time I try to write a sentenced I'm handicapped by not knowing how to use verbs properly. Sometimes it feels like I have to write li and other it feels like I don't. If a word is commonly used as a verb, do you use li, or no? (i.e. kama and tawa)

for example: "My girlfriend is wants to learn toki pona too"

Would it be " mi meli pona wile sona e toki pona"? Would it be "mi meli pona wile li sona e toki pona"? Am I getting anything write?

I need a lot of help, and anyone willing to explain would be awesome.

thanks

ffuentes
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Re: Grammar/when to use li and e

Postby ffuentes » Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:16 pm

Surely jan Kipo who is like the grammar expert is on the way but I understand your "affliction" at this moment. It's not that easy because it's nothing like English.

Here I come:

Li is what you use to introduce the action of the subject (the noun: a thing or an animal, like a human or a dog), the verb in the sentence. It's not used in the first or second singular person.

mi (I) moku
sina (you) moku
ona (he/she/it) li (particle) moku
mi mute (we) li moku
ona mute (they) li moku

>Would it be " mi meli pona wile sona e toki pona"? Would it be "mi meli pona wile li sona e toki pona"? Am I getting anything write?

You're almost there!

I assume "meli pona" is what you've crafted as a noun to express the idea of a girlfriend. There's already a more common compound word called "jan olin" which is easier to understand but it's ok. However, whatever you do in order to express the idea of posession you need to put the pronoun after the noun: meli pona mi (or jan olin mi). Since it's a third person what we're talking about you have to use li after the noun and the pronoun, this way: "jan olin mi li wile sona e toki pona".

mi awen e ni: sitelen ni li pona e toki sina. (I hope that this post helped you).
o sina pilin e ni: ale li pona.
o lukin e ni.

JanKanle
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Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2015 3:38 pm

Re: Grammar/when to use li and e

Postby JanKanle » Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:56 pm

You are a life saver. Thank you!

So the sentence "I played the saxophone" would be "mi kalama e sasopo"

and the sentence "we played saxophone" would be "mi mute li kalama e sasopo"

that makes so much more sense to me :D

ffuentes
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Re: Grammar/when to use li and e

Postby ffuentes » Sat Oct 24, 2015 1:20 am

JanKanle wrote:You are a life saver. Thank you!

So the sentence "I played the saxophone" would be "mi kalama e sasopo"

and the sentence "we played saxophone" would be "mi mute li kalama e sasopo"

that makes so much more sense to me :D


Yep but remember that sasopo is not an official word so you have to distinguish it from other words writing it with an initial cap.
o sina pilin e ni: ale li pona.
o lukin e ni.

janKipo
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Re: Grammar/when to use li and e

Postby janKipo » Sat Oct 24, 2015 10:07 am

And, as an unofficial word, it is an adjective and so need a noun before it. 'ilo Sasopon', say. Of course, it is also not a proper name, so can't officially be even an unofficial word. I don't know how to express it, but I am sure some descriptions will turn up.
This first lesson of tp ought to be to drill in the rhythm thing li is/does (e to thing). Once you have that rhythm in mind -- put a 'li' in when you get from the doer to the doing (and 'e' when you get to the done-to) -- you are two-thirds of the way, at least, to writing tp sentences without problems. (You can pick up on 'mi' and 'sina' and on prepositions soon enough).
Last edited by janKipo on Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

JanKanle
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Re: Grammar/when to use li and e

Postby JanKanle » Sat Oct 24, 2015 11:07 am

What about la? I dont know where to put it into context when not using the writing formula "when X happens [la], Y happens"
The site I used said that you use la when you have to separate the adverb from the rest of the sentence, but I can't figure out how there are any adverbs in tp at all. Can you explain using la in that situation?

janKipo
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Re: Grammar/when to use li and e

Postby janKipo » Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:39 pm

'la' marks off a condition on the truth of the main sentence, everything after the 'la'. So, for example, tense is such a condition "in the past,..." which is 'tenpo pini la' "on the condition of its being some past time". And similarly for a number of other time related notions. It works equally well for places, 'ma Mewika la jan li toki ala e nimi 'toki'' "People don't say "toki" in America.". Also a number of other sorts of conditions: whose opinion, where in an outline we are, how I fweel about something, etc. And conditionals in the formal sense, the "if" clauses of "if... then ..." sentences. No one is sure about just how far and in what ways 'la' can be used, so master the core first (there is a bit in tpnimi.blogspot.com and earlier on the toki pona Facebook page, but nothing complete.

JanKanle
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Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2015 3:38 pm

Re: Grammar/when to use li and e

Postby JanKanle » Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:49 pm

Hmm, I'm still a bit confused as to how to use 'la'. I'll take a look at your link and learn from there, but if you could give a few more examples as to how to use 'la' I might get a better grasp of it.

janKipo
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Re: Grammar/when to use li and e

Postby janKipo » Sat Oct 24, 2015 3:29 pm

tenpo suli la "for a long tme'
tenpo mute la "often, many times"
pu la "according to Sonja's book"
mun li utala e oko sina sama pan Italija suli la "when the moon hits yout eye like big pizza pie"
open la "in the beginniing"
pini la "and in conlusion"
tenpo nanpa wan la "on the first time"
ken la "maybe"
ike la "unfortunately,"

JanKanle
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2015 3:38 pm

Re: Grammar/when to use li and e

Postby JanKanle » Sat Oct 24, 2015 3:49 pm

janKipo wrote:tenpo suli la "for a long tme'
tenpo mute la "often, many times"
pu la "according to Sonja's book"
mun li utala e oko sina sama pan Italija suli la "when the moon hits yout eye like big pizza pie"
open la "in the beginniing"
pini la "and in conlusion"
tenpo nanpa wan la "on the first time"
ken la "maybe"
ike la "unfortunately,"


So it's a word that's used to refrence something; an event or person?


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