Tahitian and co

Learn Tahitian with Tahitian and Co

Easter eggs in a basket on the grass. To learn this, that, those in Tahitian with Tahitian and Co

This, that, these, those in Tahitian – Teie, tena, tera – Tē vai nei, tē vai ra

We meet together for a new lesson on the determiners and demonstrative pronouns this, that, these, those in Tahitian, this, that, that over there.

This, that, these, those in Tahitian

First, here is the basic vocabulary of this lesson.

In Tahitian, we locate an object or a person in relation to the enunciator or his interlocutor (compared to me who speaks, or you to whom I speak).

Tahitian English
Teie This, close to me
Tera That, close to you
Tena That over there

How do I use teie, tena, tera?

2 ways

We use teie, tena, tera in two ways:

  • as a determiner
  • as a pronoun

Let’s illustrate with examples:

Tahitian English Correspondence
Teie fare This house Determiner
E fare teie This is a house. Pronoun

Difference between determiner and pronoun

A quick reminder of English grammar:

  • A determiner accompanies a name. It is in front of a name (possibly with an adjective). Example: this house
  • A pronoun is put in place of a name (or a nominal group). It is usually in front of a verb. Example: this is a house

In Tahitian:

  • The determinant is before the name
  • The structure of the sentence being VERB – SUBJECT – COMPLEMENT , the pronoun is placed after the verb

Particle e and presentative ‘o

In the pronoun position, the particle e and the presentative ‘o are often used in Tahitian to accompany teie, tena, tera.

We have already used them in previous lessons:

Particle Detail
E Zero-aspect particle because it does not give any indication of the degree of achievement of the action

Gives information on the nature, the essence of a thing, of a person

With the example:

Tahitian English Matching
E fare teie. This is a house. Present simple tense

And also ‘o:

Presentative Detail
‘O Precedes a proper noun that is mostly in the subject position or when presenting someone or something

With the example of short dialogue:

English Tahitian
Who are you? ‘O vai ‘oe?
   I’m Hina    ‘O Hina vau
   I’m Mere    ‘O Mere au

Teie, tena, tera in 3 space-times

To locate an object or person in relation to the one who talks or the other person (compared to me talking, or you to whom I speak), we use 3 space-times nei, na, ra:

  • Teie in the space-time of the nei
  • Tena in the space-time of the na
  • Tera in the space-time of the ra

We already know the space-time of the nei and the ra, we add that of the na. And also, let’s clarify our definitions. In green, what we already know.

Tahitian English
Nei Here and now, close to me

This is the place and the moment of the present tense, we speak of space-time of the nei

This is the space-time of the enunciator (the one who speaks)

Na There, close to you

This is the place and moment of the present tense of the other (to whom I speak), we speak of space-time of the na

This is the space-time of the co-enunciator (the one I’m talking to)

Ra There, somewhere else, at another time

The place and the moment where the action takes place, do not coincide with the present (the “nei”), we speak of space-time of the ra

Beware, the “ra” is not the space-time of the past


To illustrate this lesson, here is a short dialogue. In green, the words we already know.

Tahitian Tahitian
I teie po’ipo’i This morning
Tē haere nei ‘o Hina e ‘o Mere i te fare toa Hina and Mere goes to the store
E Hina, ‘o vai tena? And Hina, who is she?
    ‘O Mere teie, to’u hoa     It’s Mere, my friend.
    ‘imi ra māua i te huero totora na te tamarii i te fare     We are looking for chocolate eggs for children at home
E huero ‘ute’ute teie, e tano? These are some red eggs, does it fit?
    Aita, tē vai ra te û ê?     No, is there another color?
E huero nīnamu tera, e tano paha tera?

E tē vai ra te huero re’are’a i ‘o

That’s blue eggs over there, maybe they’re right for you?

And there are also yellow eggs there

    E tano roa, e rave māua i te mau û ato’a    It fits very well, we take all colors


With this dialogue, the new vocabulary words are:

Tahitian English
E And, together, with, in the company of
Ê Yes, different, strange, foreign
Te fare toa The store (toa of the English store)
Te hoa The friend
Te huero The egg, the seed, the tablet
Totora Totora
‘Imi Search
Tano Fit, convene, agree, go well to, be adapted
Rave Take, seize, get hold of, act, do
Vai Exist, be, stay, last
Paha Perhaps, no doubt, eventually
I’o There
I’o nei Here
Te û The color, the dye
‘Ute’ute Red
Nīnamu blue
Re’are’a Yellow

Also, we have the construction tē vai nei:

Grammar rule : tē vai nei / tē vai ra
In Tahitian, we translate there is by :

  • tē vai nei in the space-time of the nei
  • tē vai ra in the space-time of the ra

And then what?

Finally, with this lesson, we learned how to say this, that, these, those Tahitian with teie, tena, tera. We also learned 24 words and vocabulary expressions.