Kē. different, other, of another kind, strange, extraordinary, different place / time / direction, contrarywise, for another purpose, already.

You all would have seen kē a million times in the phrase rere kē (now written as a single word rerekē) meaning different. That’s really as complicated as kē gets, it’s just different to previous, other than expected or not normal.

Turn away / turn the other way

He whero tēnei mea!
But this one’s red! or But this one’s the wrong red!

Haere ki wāhi / ki whenua
Go other places / to other countries

He whakaaro tōna.
She’s got another idea / opinion.

I te titiro mai ki ahau.
He was looking at me kinda weird.

In English, we tend to use already when something has happened contrary to expectation; in Māori, kē is used.

Kei konei ia? Kāo, kua wehe .
Is he here? Na, he’s already left.

Kua oti te mahi.
(Contrary to expectation) the work’s been done.

Kua oma ngā hoiho i te kēti.
The horses are already out of the gate.

Kē is put with a lot of common words to create new ones (huri kē – alter, whiu kē – divert, puta kē – be changed) but as long as you understand the meaning of kē, you’ll be able to work them out.

Next up: Kau


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  1. Pingback: Noa | upokopakaru

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