ka1, kā1, v.part. Marks inceptive aspect.
1. Refers prospectively to the commencement of an action or state. Often translatable by an English future tense or ‘going to’ construction.
Ka ‘aere au ki te ‘āpi‘i āpōpō.
I‘m going to go to school tomorrow;
Ka ‘ī mene ‘a Mere ākonei i te pō.
Mary is going to sing later on tonight;
Ko te ‘ānani tē ka ‘inangaro mua‘ia.
The oranges will be needed first;
Kua kite au ē kā riri ‘a Tere.
I know (or knew) that Tere will (or would) be angry;
Ka ‘ārote au i nana‘i, nō te ua rā, kua ‘akakore au.
I was going to do the ploughing yesterday, but gave it up because of the rain;
I nana‘i, iāku ka ‘aere ei ki runga, kua kite au iāia.
Yesterday, just as I was about to go up (the road), I caught sight of him;
I teia au marama i topa ake nei, mē mā‘ara‘ara ‘aia i tōna ‘enua ‘ānau, ka auē ‘aia.
These last months, whenever he remembered his native land, he’d start to cry.
2. Used as an imperative (more peremptory than e1).
Ka ‘apai atu koe i teia pēpa.
You take this paper away;
Kā tiki te kana.
Fetch the grater;
Ka tuatua māori tāua.
Let’s speak Maori.
3. Used before numerals (and the numeral interrogative ‘ia) when reckoning up.
Kā rima ā mātou tupa.
That‘ll be five crabs we’ve caught now;
Kā ‘ia pūtē kōpara i kī i teianei? Kā rima nga‘uru.
How many bags of copra are filled now? Fifty;
Kā ta‘i ‘epetoma i teianei, kāre ake rāi i pu‘era ake te mata o te punua kiorengiāo.
That‘ll be a week now, and the kittens’ eyes aren’t open yet;
Kāre ‘aia i kaikai kā toru rā.
She hasn’t eaten for three days now;
Kā ta‘i, kā rua, kā toru, e ‘oro!
One, two, three, go!;
‘Ī toru taime i te toru kā iva.
Three times three makes nine.
N.B. The form kā occurs before words consisting of one long or two short syllables, ka elsewhere (see also kāre, kā‘ore).