I titiro mākutu a Tom ki te whakaahua.

English Translation

Tom stared at the picture.

“I titiro mākutu a Tom ki te whakaahua.”

Literal Translation: Tom is carefully looking at the picture.

Sentence Breakdown:

  1. “I titiro mākutu” - This is a verb phrase meaning ‘looking carefully.’
  2. “a Tom” - This is the subject phrase; ‘a’ is used before the name of a person when it’s preceded by a verb. So the phrase translates to ‘Tom is.’
  3. “ki te whakaahua” - This is an object phrase. ‘Ki te’ is a preposition meaning ‘at,’ and ‘whakaahua’ means ‘picture’ or ‘photo.’

Maori Grammar:

The basic sentence structure in the Maori language follows a Verb-Subject-Object (VSO) order. In this sentence, ‘I titiro mākutu’ refers to the action, ‘a Tom’ is the subject performing the action, and ‘ki te whakaahua’ is the object that the action is done to.

‘I’ is used before a verb to indicate a present tense, continuous action.

The word ‘mākutu’ is an intensifier, a word used to give emphasis or extra strength to the action being performed, in this case, indicating that Tom is “carefully” or “intensively” looking.

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