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A pronoun is a word we use for a person instead of using their name. 

Here are some examples of pronouns in English:  I, me, he, him, she, her, they, them, we etc.

In Māori we use pronouns in a slightly different manner.  We use the same pronoun for male and female when referring to him or her / he or she (ia).  We also specify which 'we' we are talking about; whether it includes the listener or not - inclusive (of listener) or - exclusive (of listener).  For example; māua = we (2 people) exclusive of listener tāua = we (2 people) inclusive of listener.

Singular pronouns

  Māori English Example 
First person

au, ahau


Kei te hiainu au.
I'm thirsty.

 Second person



Kei te kāinga koe?
Are you at home?

 Third person


 she, he

I titiro ia ki te kurī.
He looked at the dog.

 Plural and dual pronouns



three or more
English Examples

First person plural
(inclusive of listener)



 we, us

Kāore tāua e mokemoke.
We (the two of us) will not be lonely.

Mā tātou katoa tēnei mahi.
This work is for all of us.

First person plural
(exclusive of listener)


I homai te koroua i te moni ki a māua.
The old man gave the money to us (two, but not to you the listener)

I haere mātou ki te whare pikitia.
We (three or more) are going to the picture theatre (but not you the listener).

Second person plural  kōrua



Me haere atu kōrua.
You (two) had better go.

 Tēnā koutou.
Greetings to you (three or more).

 Third person plural



they, them

E tākaro tēnehi ana rāua.
They (two) are playing tennis.

He tamariki noa iho rātou.
They (three or more) are only children.

Pronouns with more examples.