ana2, part. The English translation of this particle will vary according to the tense/-aspect particle at the beginning of the clause and according to the time reference (stated or understood) of the sentence in which it occurs.
1. E verb ana, habitual aspect. Translate by the English simple present tense or (when the reference is to past time) by ‘used to’.
E ‘aere ana au ki tē reira ‘are teata.
I go to that cinema;
E tāvarevare ‘ua ana ‘aia.
He is always late;
E no‘o ana ‘aia ki Nīkao i tē reira tuātau.
He used to live (or was living) at Nīkao then.
2. I verb ana or kua verb ana, before, prior to the present or to the time referred to. Translate by one of the English (present or past) perfect tenses.
I ‘aere ana au ki tē reira teata.
I’ve (I’d) been to that film;
Kua ‘akakite atu au kiāia ē kua pati ana au kiāia.
I told him that I had (already) asked him;
‘E tangata kē tei ‘aere mai, kāre ē ko te tangata i ‘aere mai ana.
It was someone else who came, not the one who had been coming before;
I tamariki ana ‘oki tātou pou roa.
All of us, indeed, have been children (once);
I piri ana tōna reo, kua nga‘ā rā.
He had lost his voice, but it came back.
3. In negative sentences, ana is often used where the corresponding positive sentence would have nei or ra.
Kāre te va‘ine e ‘anga‘anga ana
(the woman isn’t (wasn’t) working) is a negative form of the sentence
tē ‘anga‘anga nei (tē ‘anga‘angā ra) te va‘ine
(the woman is (was) working).
4. Used when making a request, and to soften the force of an imperative.
‘Aere mai ana.
Would you come here;
Wait a moment.