tomo ona li lon sewi pi tomo mi.

English Translation

He lives above me.


In Toki Pona, “tomo ona li lon sewi pi tomo mi” is a simple sentence that requires breaking down into individual components to understand.

Let’s analyze each part of the sentence:

tomo ona: "tomo" means building or room and "ona" means theirs or his/her. Together, "tomo ona" translates to "their building" or "their house."

li: In Toki Pona, "li" is used as a separator between the subject of the sentence and the verb or predicate if the subject is not "mi" (I/me) or "sina" (you). It indicates that what follows is the action or state of the subject.

lon: "lon" has multiple meanings, including "in," "at," "exists," or "is present." In this context, it is used to indicate location—similar to "in" or "is at."

sewi: "sewi" means "above," "up," "high," or can also refer to a spiritual or sacred aspect. Here, it's used in a physical sense to refer to "above."

pi: The word "pi" is used for grouping words together to create a compound or complex modifier for a noun. It serves as a sort of "of" to turn multiple words into a compound modifier.

tomo mi: "tomo mi" means "my house" or "my building" with "tomo" meaning "house" or "building" and "mi" meaning "my."

Therefore, the phrase “tomo ona li lon sewi pi tomo mi” translates to “Their house is above my house” or “Their building is on top of my building.”

It’s important to notice that Toki Pona has a relatively small vocabulary, and context is vital for determining the meaning of words which may have multiple translations in English. Here, the context suggests a physical location, so “sewi” is understood to be “above” in the physical sense rather than a spiritual one.