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Toaq with Ease

Chíetoaı kọcı – Lesson 6

Joaı déo kúne da. The child is looking for the dog.
Kúne bï, tı hó hí raı móq, hóı máma? The dog, where is it, mother?
Kúne bï, nıe hó kúa da. The dog, it’s in the room.
Hí kua? Which room?
Núokua. The bedroom.
Bu nıe hó núokua da. It’s not in the bedroom.
Nuı hó da… Ma tıa hó sófa móq? It’s small… Is it behind the sofa?
Bu tıa hó sófa da. It’s not behind the sofa.
Fa súq tú kua ba. Go to every room.
Kíao bï rıa máq da, hóı máma! The door, it’s open, mother!
Oaı! Ma buı kúne móq? Joaı úmo ba. Uh-oh! Is the dog outside? Let us go looking.


  1. kune “dog” is a root word with more than one syllable. We met another such root in Lesson 4. An interesting point worth appreciating here again is that the words for “dog” and “apple” are verbs in Toaq. kune means “to be a dog”, shamu “to be an apple”. The noun meanings are derived from these verbs, either via a rising tone (kúne “the dog(s)”, shamu “the apple(s)”) or via (sá kune “some dog(s)”, sá shamu “some apple(s)”) or (tú kune “every dog”, tú shamu “every apple”).

  2. hóı is a so-called vocative marker. It is placed in front of a noun and indicates that the noun is the party being addressed by the speaker. Here, it is mother (máma) who is being addressed.

  3. The particle is a topic marker. It’s preceded by a noun in the rising tone, and establishes that noun as the topic of the sentence. In English, this is sometimes expressed via phrases like “As for the dog, …”, or “About the dog, …”. The topic should be definite: that is, it should have the rising tone on it instead of or before it. If you want to move a or noun to the front of the sentence, use as we saw in Lesson 5.

  4. hí X can generally be translated as “which X” or “what X”. Grammatically, it works just like and . hí kua “which (thing that is a) room”, hí kune “which dog”. In the previous lesson, hí raı was given as simply “what”. This is because the verb raı means “to be something”, so hí raı means “which something”, which really just amounts to “what”.

  5. nuokua “bedroom” is a compound whose components are nuo “sleep” and kua “room”. You should have no problem remembering that it means “bedroom”, since that’s the room which is mainly used for sleeping.

  6. bu “not” is placed right before the verb.

  7. ba is what turns this sentence into a command.

  8. úmo is another pronoun. It means “we”, but specifically refers to the speaker and the listener, as opposed to the speaker and some third party.



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