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First Lessons in Maori

§ 84

§ 84.

Why, as an interrogative, is expressed by he aha or by na te aha, the verb being followed by ai. He aha is generally used as in reference to a purpose or object in view (a); na te aha in reference to an antecedent cause (b). The construction with he aha may be varied by using an infinitive with a possessive pronoun, in this case the reference is usually to the cause not to the purpose (c).

The reason why is expressed by the use of take followed by a relative clause with ai, (§ 73) (d).

Why is also frequently rendered by paraphrase, by the use of the expression he aha te take, with a relative clause as above (e).

page 54

He aha a Turi i haere ai ki Taupo? He tiki i tana tamaiti. Why did Turi go to Taupo? To fetch his child.


Na te aha ia i kore ai e tutuki ki Waiapu? Na te waipuke. Why did he not reach Waiapu? Because of the flood.


He aha tau e kata, or He aha to kata? Why are you laughing?


Ko te take tena i kore ai ia e haere, That is the reason why he did not go.


He aha te take i haere ai ia? Why did he go?