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Te taetae ni Kiribati

The language of Kiribati

Grammar Handbook

 

Lesson 8

INTERROGATIVES

Part 4 - When, Where, Why

a. nningai?   when?

Nningai, 'when' is variable as to its position in the question:

E na roko nningai?
he will come when
When will he come?

Nningai am tai n nako?
when your time of going?
When are you going?

It is sometimes found as nningai raa.

 

b. iia?   where?

Sometimes found as iaa or iaa raa, its use is fairly straight-forward:

E maeka iia Meeri?
she live where Mary
Where does Mary live?

 

c. maiia?   from where? whence?

This can he seen as a contraction of mai + iia, from + where:

A roko maiia?
they come from-where?
Where do they come from?

 

d. bukin teraa?   why, what for?

This is usually followed by ngke for the past, and ngkai for the non-past (ngke = when, past; ngkai = now):

Bukin teraa ngkai ko na nako Tarawa?
for what now you will go-to Tarawa
Why are you going to Tarawa?

Other forms are found for 'why' as well. Sometimes the form is 'inverted'

Teraa bukin nakom nako Tarawa?
what for your-going to Tarawa
What are you going to Tarawa for?

As a one-word interjection, Ao? (and) is often used for 'why?', and also ao teraa?, 'so, what?', 'well?', 'what more?'

Exercises

(click for glossary)

A. Form 'when' questions from the following sentences using nningai:

 1.  A na roko ningaabong au ataei.
 
 2.  E roko ngkoananoa te kaibuke.
 
 3.  N na nako Maiana n te wiiki ae e na roko.
 
 4.  I korea au reta ngke e tairiki.
 
 5.  E na kiba n te ingaabong te waanikiba.
 
 6.  Ti katea te auti aei n te ririki ae e nako.
 
 7.  E a tib'a tia te kootiueei aei.
 
 8.  E mate tibuu ngkoananoa.
 
 9.  I wareka te boki aei ngke I uareereke.
 
10.  Ti nako Bikenibeu ngke e ingaabong.
 

B. Use iia is to form 'where' questions from the following sentences:

 1.  E akawa Tiaon n te nama.
 
 2.  A tebotebo ataei inanon te rawa.
 
 3.  I katuka au kawaerake iaan te baoki.
 
 4.  Ti maeka ma au karo n au auti.
 
 5.  E mm'akuri Beia n te kaibuke n akawa.
 
 6.  E bungiaki natina are Karianako n te oonaoraki.
 
 7.  Ti kabooi taiani kariki n ana titooa Baong.
 
 8.  E kunea te boom Tatin inanon te nono.
 
 9.  Ti tiku i Bikenibeu.
 
10.  E mooi manging Tiaon n te auti n iruwa.
 

C. Form 'from where' questions from the following sentences using maiia:

 1.  E reke au b'aatika mairoun tariu are i Nauru.
 
 2.  I roko mai Maiana.
 
 3.  E oti taai mai mainiku.
 
 4.  E bung taai i maeao.
 
 5.  E uotaki ana rebwerebwe Tiaon man te kaibuke.
 
 6.  A uruaki ara b'ai n am'arake mai Bonriki.
 
 7.  I karekea au kawaerake mai Biti.
 
 8.  Ti reirei te taetae ni Kiribati mai Vermont.
 
 9.  E rabakau n takaakaro Tiaon mai Amerika.
 
10.  E karekea ana rongorongo man te boki.
 

D. Use bukin teraa to form 'why' questions from the following sentences:

 1.  I nako Maiana ibukina b'a e a mate tibuu.
 
 2.  I kan nako Honolulu ibukina b'a I kan reirei.
 
 3.  A nako n akawa ibukina b'a a tangira te ika.
 
 4.  E m'ananga n te kaibuke b'a e beebete iai te kantoka.
 
 5.  E nakon te oonaoraki b'a e maraki birotona.
 
 6.  Ti na kamatea ara beeki b'a iai te iruwa.
 
 7.  A kukurei ataei b'a a tib'a kaaitiboo ma tinaia.
 
 8.  E rangi ni kabuebue ibukina b'a e tuai ni b'aka te karau.
 
 9.  E aki roko te meeri b'a e uruaki.
 
10.  E tangi natina ibukina b'a e tuai n am'arake.
 

 

INTERROGATIVES

Review Exercise

 

titiraki ma kaekaana

questions and answers

 

Replace the blank with the appropriate question word for each pair of questions and answers:

(click for glossary)

  1. __________ aran tinam?
      Aran tinau bon Nei Teretia.
  2. __________ aran am kamea?
      Aran au kamea bon Tatin.
  3. __________ nanon te taeka ni Kiribati ae kariki?
      Nanon te taeka ni Kiribati ae kariki boni 'bread'.
  4. __________ ngkoe ni maeka i Maiana?
      Uoua au ririki ni maeka i Maiana.
  5. Ko na nako Betio __________ ?
      N na nako Betio ningaabong.
  6. __________ Baraniko te aine aarei?
      M'aanen Baraniko te aiine aarei.
  7. E roko __________ te mm'aane aarei?
      E roko te mm'aane aarei mai Beru.
  8. E kabooaki __________ te bentira?
      E kabooaki n ana titooa Bauro.
  9. E reke __________ am boki?
      E reke au boki mai Tarawa.
 10. Te boki __________ ae ko kakaaea?
        I kakaaea te boki ae e uraura.
 11. __________ kabooa am b'aatika?
       E kabooa au b'aatika tamau.
 12. __________ kunea te boom?
       E kunea te boom Tatin.
 13. Ko kabooi kariki __________ ?
       I kabooi kariki aika a buubura.
 14. __________ am ririki?
       Tenibwi au ririki.
 15. __________ ngkoe n reirei i Biti?
       Nimaua au ririki n reirei i Biti.
 16. Ko na kabooa __________ am b'aatika?
       N ra kabooa au b'aatika n te nam'akaina ae e na roko.
 17. __________ e nakon te titooa?
       E nakon te titooa bukina b'a e na kabooa te kariki.
 18. E oti taai __________ ?
       E oti taai mai mainiku.
 19. E na roko __________ te kaibuke?
       E na roko n te Kaabong te kaibuke.
 20. __________ aiine akekei Ten Tiaon?
       Boni m'aaneia Ten Tiaon aiine akekei.
 21. __________ booti aei?
       Bon au booti aei.
 22. __________ auti te auti aarei?
       Bon ana auti Baie.
 23. __________ te teei aarei?
       Bon natiu te teei aarei.
 24. __________ natim aiine?
       Niiman natiu aiine.
 25. __________ bon te maatiati?
       Onoua te tianti bon te maatiati.
 26. E reke __________ am booro?
       E reke au booro inanon te baoki.
 27. Ko na oki __________ man am m'ananga?
       N na oki n te wiiki ae e na roko.
 28. __________ te man aei?
       Te man aei bon te aoti.
 29. __________ ngkoe n tiku i Tarawa?
       Teuana au ririki n tiku i Tarawa.
 30. __________ ko nako Betio?
       I nako Betio b'a N na noora tamau.


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© 1979, 2003 Stephen Trussel, ACTION / Peace Corps, The Experiment in International Living. The Experiment in International Living, Inc., prepared this handbook for the U. S. Government under ACTION Contract number 78-043-1037. The reproduction of any part of this handbook other than for such purposes as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, research, or other "fair use" is subject to the prior written permission of ACTION.