Skip Navigation Links

Negatives 

Answering a closed question

Ka haere atu koe ki te kanikani? (Will you go to the dance?)
Kāo! (No!)

Definite sentences

Ko tērā tāne te rangatira. (That man's the boss.)
Ehara tērā tāne i te rangatira. (That man is not the boss.)

Negating an adjective

Kei te whero te pōtae. (The hat is red.)
Kāore te pōtae i te whero. (The hat is not red.)

Verbal sentences

Active sentences are negated using the following form:

  Kāore + subject + tense marker + verb (+ i/ki + object and other phrases)

For example, the negative form of
    Ka haere au ki te marae. (I will go to the marae.)
is
    Kāore au e haere ki te marae. (I will not go to the marae.)

The following table compares the tense markers in active sentences and their negative counterparts.

  Active tense marker Negative tense marker 
Past perfect

Kua

ano (subject) kia 

 Past

 Present

Kei te 

i te 

 Continuous

e (verb) ana 

e (verb) ana 

 Future

Ka

The following table uses the example in all its forms.

  Active Negative
Past perfect Kua haere au ki te marae. Kāore ano au kia haere ki te marae.
 Past I haere au ki te marae. Kāore au i haere ki te marae.
 Present Kei te haere au ki te marae. Kāore au i te haere ki te marae.
 Continuous E haere ana au ki te marae. Kāore au e haere ana ki te marae.
 Future Ka haere au ki te marae Kāore au e haere ki te marae. 

Passive

A passive sentence follows the same form, for example,

I hangaia te whare e ia. (The house was built by Bob.)
Kāore te whare i hangaia e Bob. (The house was not built by Bob.)

Locative sentences

A locative sentence, no matter what the tense, is always negated using 'i', for example,

Kei runga te pene i te tēpu. (The pen is on the table.)
Kāore te pene i runga i te tēpu. (The pen is not, was not, will not be... on the table.)

Note that a locative phrase as part of an active sentence follows the active sentence rules above, for example,

Ka moe au ki tātahi. (I will sleep at the beach.)
Kāore au e moe ki tātahi. (I will not sleep at the beach.)

The Agent Emphatic

Agent emphatic sentences can be negated by simply prefixing them with Ehara, for example:

Nā rātou te whare i hanga. (They built the house.)
Ehara nā rātou te whare i hanga. (They didn't build the house.)

Agent emphatic sentences may also be negated as follows:

Ehara i a rātou te whare i hanga. (They didn't build the house.)

Do not - Kaua e

Patua te taramu! (Hit the drum!)
Kaua e patua te taramu! (Don't hit the drum!)

Stop/cease - Kāti

Kāti te tangi! (Stop crying!)

Footer