Our trip

It can take me months to teach all of the 105 personal and possessive pronouns – and their dialectal variants – and it takes years to master them. So it’s not much of a surprise that there’s still a thing or two for me to learn when it comes to using possessive pronouns.

This is how to say John and I.

I haere māua ko Hone ki Hawa’i
John and I went to Hawai’i.

This is how to talk about our trip.

He rawe tā māua haerenga
We had a great trip. (Our trip was great)

But if you want to say John’s and my trip, you cannot say it like this:

He rawe tā māua ko Hone haerenga.

You have to put the ko after the object.

He rawe tā māua haerenga ko Hone.
John and I had a great trip. (John’s and my trip was great)

Hmm. While I trust that the person who taught me this is 100% correct, I’m still reluctant to use it. Sometimes it sounds really weird, particularly if the possession has an adjective.

He tata tō māua whare hou ko Emere ki te kura.
Emily’s and my new house is close to the school.

I horoia ō rātou kākahu hākinakina ko Hēni, ko Piripi mā.
Hēni’s, Piripi’s and the others’ sports clothes have been washed.

It’s even worse if I wanted to say John’s and my trip to Hawai’i was great. Where is the ki Hawai’i supposed to go? They both sound wrong to me,  but then again I’ve been staring at this page too long so it all sounds like gibberish in my head. If it’s any help, number two sounds more wrong.

He rawe tā māua haerenga ko Hone ki Hawai’i.
He rawe tā māua haerenga ki Hawai’i ko Hone.

See what I mean?

On the other hand I’ve had massive trouble writing the English translations correctly; although it’s my first language nothing I wrote sounded right (John and my? mine and John’s?). It may sound silly, but I find it extremely comforting when grammar is equally irritating in both of my languages.


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