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First Lessons in Maori

V. Adjectives

page 22

V. Adjectives.

§ 23. Position.

An adjective always stands after the noun which it qualifies.

  • He whare pai, a good house.

  • Tana kuri nui, his large dog.

§ 24.

By doubling the di-syllabic root, or sometimes only the first syllable of the root, of an adjective, the intensity of its signification is diminished, thus:

  • Wera, hot.

  • Werawera, somewhat hot, warm.

  • Maroke, dry.

  • Mārokeroke, somewhat dry.

  • Pango, black.

  • Papango, somewhat black, dark.

In the case of a few adjectives a plural is formed by doubling the first syllable of the root, thus:

  • He rakau nui, a large tree.

  • He rakau nunui, large trees.

  • He tangata roa, a tall man.

  • He tāngata roroa, tall men.

The simple form is, however, often used for the plural as well as the singular.

§ 25. Degrees of Comparison

are expressed by the adverbs atu, or ake, for the comparative degree; tino, or rawa, with the definite article te, for the superlative degree. Tino or rawa, with the indefinite article he, forms an intense comparative.

Obs. Tino always stands before the adjective, and rawa after it.

  • He mea pai atu i tena, a better thing than that.

  • Te mea pai rawa, the best thing.

  • He mea tino pai, a very good thing.

  • Te mea tino pai rawa, the very best thing.

  • He mea pai rawa i tena, a far better thing than that.

page 23

§ 26.

When two or more adjectives are used to qualify the same noun, repeat the noun with each, or substitute mea for the noun after the first time.

  • He whare kowhatu, he whare pai, a good stone house.

  • He kowhatu nui, he mea taimaha, a large heavy stone.

§ 27. Abstract Quality

is expressed by the adjective treated as a noun, thus:

Pai, good. Te pai, the goodness.
Roa, long. Te roa, the length.