lesson 3 - modifiers


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󱤨 lili - little, small, short; few; a bit; young

󱤼 mute - many, a lot, more, much, several, very; quantity

󱤂 ala - no, not, zero; nothing

󱥁 ni - that, this

󱥵 wawa - strong, powerful; confident, sure, energetic, intense

󱥶 weka - absent, away, ignored

󱤘 ken - be allowed to, can, may; possible


~ modifiers

modifiers go after the word they're modifying.

soweli lili

~ small animal

to do possessive, you modify the word with a pronoun.

soweli lili mi

~ my small animal

~ note about modifying mi or sina

keep in mind that if you modify mi or sina, you need to use li afterwards.

mi mute li wawa

~ we are strong

(remember - number rarely needs to be specified, so this could just be "mi wawa" instead)

~ note about context

toki pona is a very context-dependent language. one phrase can mean many different things in many different contexts.

in order to communicate properly, you need to think about and break down what the thing you're talking about means, and how that can be expressed in context.

jan musi lili

~ young entertainers

~ short clowns

~ a few comedians

since exercises can't really have as much context as real life situations do, the translations you come up with might differ from mine. that's okay!

think for yourself if your translation might make sense in a given context, or feel free to ask me on discord (lottess#5356), or ask another proficient speaker.


~ translate from toki pona to english

ken mute

many possibilities

soweli wawa li lili ala

the strong animal is not small

ona li jan ike

they're a bad person

weka sina li ike

i don't like when you're away

your absence is bad

ni li pona ala

this is not good

~ translate from english to toki pona

small animals are really cute!

soweli lili li suwi mute

bats are capable

waso li ken

the children are gone

jan lili li weka

my strength is okay

wawa mi li pona lili

lots of people speak well

jan mute li toki pona

the children, who are away, are playing nicely

jan lili weka li musi pona


the absent children li play nicely


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