ei, ai, locative particle. (The form ai is used when the preceding word ends in a, when, in traditional orthography it was often written as ‘i and suffixed to the preceding word. E.g. tuatua ai is written tuatua‘i in Bibilia Tapu). A particle which relates the verb preceding it to an adverbial (time, place, reason, cause, purpose, means) or nominal antecedent. The antecedent to which ei refers may have been placed ahead of the verbal particle of the ei-clause for emphasis; Or it may occur in (or comprise) a preceding clause to which the ei-clause is linked.
1. ‘Ei occurs in a main clause where the antecedent is
(a) an adverbial phrase fronted for emphasis (interrogatives are often topicalised in this way).
Ā te Varaire te pa‘ī e ‘akaruke ei,
it’s Friday that the ship leaves / Friday is when the ship leaves (cf. the unmarked word order
ka ‘akaruke te pa‘ī ā te Varaire,
the ship leaves on Friday);
Nō te matangi i kino ei te rākau,
it’s the wind that’s spoiled the tree;
Nō tōna vare‘ae i rutu ei ‘aia iāku
it was out of jealousy that he hit me;
I na‘ea kōrua i tuatua ai i tēnā manako?,
when did you two discuss that idea?;
‘Ei ‘ea tāua kaikai ei?,
where shall we have our meal?;
‘E a‘a te mea i tuaru ei koe iāia?,
what did you drive him away for?
(b) an adverbial clause:
iāku e tū ra, kite atu ei au i te pa‘ī,
as I was standing there, I caught sight of the ship;
(c) an adverbial conjunction:
‘ōu te rā kā ‘opu ei,
before the sun sets;
Māri ake koe i ‘akatika‘ia mai ei au,
thanks to you I was given permission.
2. ‘Ei occurs in a subordinate (relative) clause.
Ko tēia nei te puka tā‘au i ‘apai ei?,
is this the book you were carrying?;
Ko ‘ai te tangata tā‘au i pā ei?,
who was the person you struck?;
‘E painapa tāku i kai ei,
it was pineapple(s) that I ate;
Ko tē‘ea toa tā‘au i ‘aere ei?,
which shop was it you went to?;
‘E tūpito tōna maki i no‘o ei ‘aia ki te kāinga,
it was stomach-trouble that he stayed home with;
Te ngā‘i i rave mai ei koe,
the place you got it from;
Te mataara e tae ei ki runga i tērā maunga,
the path leading up that mountain;
Tē patū ra rātou i te ta‘ua i ‘akaruke atu ei au,
they were cementing the floor when I left;
Ko te tumu tē reira i ‘aere mai ei au,
that’s the reason why I came;
I ‘akapē‘ea‘ia e koe te tamaiti i auē ei,
what did you do to the child to make him cry?
3. Indicating the sequence of action in the second of two clauses, the verbal particle often being omitted from the second clause, (and) then.
Kia tae mai au, ka ‘ārote ei tāua i tā‘au ngā‘i,
let me get there, then we‘ll start ploughing your place;
Kā no‘o tātou kia pō, ka ‘aere ei,
let’s stay till it’s dark and then go;
‘Aere mai ki runga i te moenga, takoto ei,
come on to the mat and lie down;
E taritari mai i te pūtē kōpara ki te pae tai, tuku ei,
carry the sacks of copra down to the beach and put them down there;
Tē ‘aere nei au ‘e tangata kē ‘anga‘anga ai,
I‘m going to go and work for someone else.
In the construction
nā (tēta‘i tangata) ei,
‘Kāvea mai taku ‘āuri’, nā Pā ei,
“bring me my spear”, said Pā;
Nāna ai ē kā inu ‘aia i te kava ‘ānani,
he said he’d have some orange liquor;
“‘e va‘ine mānea tika ai koe”, nā Pā mai ei kiāku. “‘Aere ki kō atu”, nāku atu ei, “‘auraka koe e tāparu mai iāku”. “‘E tika ai nāku”, nāna mai ei,
“You really are a good-looking woman”, says Pā to me. “Get away with you”, says I, “don’t you go flattering me”. “I really mean it”, he says.