en

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en in sitelen pona
en in sitelen sitelen
Pronunciation /en/ 🔊 🔊
Usage 2023: Core (99% ↗︎ )2022: Core (98%)
Book and era nimi pu
Part of speech Particle
Codepoint 󱤊 U+F190A

en is a particle used to introduce multiple subjects to a single sentence. Despite common misconception from learners, the word en does not mean "and", which is instead implied with the repetition of any particle or preposition.

Function[edit | edit source]

en en introduces a new subject, similarly to how the particles li and e introduce a predicate and direct object, respectively. In standard usage, it chiefly appears in between subjects.

mi en sina li pali e pan

mi en sina li pali e pan

I and you bake bread.

jan en soweli li tawa lon ma kasi

jan en soweli li tawa lon ma kasi

Someone is walking their dog in the woods.

Separating context phrases[edit | edit source]

Caution: The subject of this section is nonstandard and will not be understood by most speakers.
It is recommended to familiarize yourself with the standard style, and to be informed and selective about which nonstandard styles you adopt.

In the dialect used in ma pona pi toki pona, en can be used to separate phrases in the context of a sentence before the particle la.

ma pi (telo ala) en weka pi (ijo-ante ale) la tomo suli li lon.

ma pi telo ala en weka pi ijo ante ale la tomo suli li lon.[1]

In this dry land and far away from away everything else, there are big buildings.

Definitions[edit | edit source]

pu[edit | edit source]

In the "Official Toki Pona Dictionary" section, the book Toki Pona: The Language of Good defines en as:

PARTICLE  (between multiple subjects)

ku[edit | edit source]

For Toki Pona Dictionary, respondents in ma pona pi toki pona translated these English words as en:[2]

and3, plus3

sitelen pona[edit | edit source]

The sitelen pona glyph for en (󱤊) is a symmetrical cardinal cross representing the plus sign (+) and addition, as in adding another subject.

History[edit | edit source]

This section contains historical information that is presented for completeness, and may not reflect current usage.

Historical usage[edit | edit source]

The function of the particle en has changed throughout the development of Toki Pona. Sonja Lang first defined it as such in a forum post from 2002, in the section called "Early Toki Pona":[3]

"en" divided between modifiers = and

jan pona en suli = good and tall person

There was no clear way to divide between head nouns. "en" needed to be repeated to divide between multiple main nouns, which was clumsy at times

en kon lete en suno = the north wind and the sun

(because "kon lete en suno" would have meant "cold and sunny air")

In the original documentation, en is used both to separate modifiers and to seperate the nouns of a subject. This use was also documented in the original toki pona lessons by jan Sonja.[4]

sona-pona li sona sewi ala   iki li sona mute en ale

sona pona li sona sewi ala. iki li sona mute en ale.

True intelligence is not to know elite things, but rather to know many things about everything.[5]

ma ale li jo e toki wan en sama 

ma ale li jo e toki wan en sama.

And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.[6]

It also served to separate the subjects of a sentence, but was originally restricted to a separating subjects that were only one word.[4]

supa en ilo li nasa en sin 

supa en ilo li nasa en sin.

The table and the machine are strange and new.[4]

wile en tawa jo li nasa e lawa jan 

wile en tawa jo li nasa e lawa jan.

Racing and hunting madden our minds.[6]

There was no clear way to divide between subjects,[7] so to accommodate subjects with multiple words Sonja proposed extending en to mark subjects by going before them.[8]

en utala en utala ala li wile lon 

en utala en utala ala li wile lon.

Both war and peace need to exist.[9]

In early works, before late 2002, it was used more freely to separate multiple objects and prepositional phrases.

jan sewi [jan awen wawa en] li tu e suno en pimeja.

jan sewi Jawe li tu e suno en pimeja.

God divided the light from the darkness.[6]

jan o pali e wile sina en lon sewi kon en lon ma 

jan o pali e wile sina en lon sewi kon en lon ma.

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.[6]

Modern usage[edit | edit source]

A reform proposed in October 2002 restricted en to dividing between the subjects of a sentence and no longer dividing modifiers.[7] This reform was accepted unanimously by the online community by 1 November 2002 and became standard usage thereafter.[10]

"en" is now used to divide between head nouns. […] There is no longer a way to divide between modifiers. This is no longer necessary. A "tall and good" person is simply a tall "good person" or a good "tall person", as you will.

Experimental usage[edit | edit source]

Caution: The subject of this article is an experimental or hypothetical style that is not understood by most speakers, or is used only in specific small communities. Learners should avoid using it.
Under construction This section needs work:
Reference nasin kijetesantakalu
If you know about this topic, you can help us by editing it. (See all)

Non-April Fools' grammar[edit | edit source]

In an experimental style, the word en is introduced before every subject, except when there is only a single subject without any context phrases or particles preceding it. Rationale includes clarifying the subject and harmonization with other particles, such as li and e.

en ijo-laso en ijo-loje li lon.

en ijo laso en ijo loje li lon.

There are blue and red things.

taso en tenpo pini en tenpo lon la ni li lon ala

taso en tenpo pini en tenpo lon la ni li lon ala.[11]

However, both in the past and present, that has not come true.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. kule epiku Atawan. (7 February 2021). "tomo kasi nanpa tu" (in Toki Pona). lipu kule. Retrieved 13 February 2024.
  2. Lang, Sonja. (18 July 2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 205.
  3. Sonja Lang. (27 October 2002). "The words "en", "kin", and "kan"". Toki Pona Forums. Retrieved 10 October 2023.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Sonja Lang. "Lesson 5". lipu pi jan Pije. Archived from the original on 21 August 2009. Retrieved 10 October 2023.
  5. Sonja Lang. (1 September 2002). "Toki Pona Proverbs". tokipona.org.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Sonja Lang. (3 September 2002). "Religious Texts". tokipona.org.
  7. 7.0 7.1 jan Sonja. (27 October 2002). "the words "en", "kin" and "kan"". Toki Pona Forums. Retrieved 2 December 2023.
  8. Justin B. Rye and Sonja Lang. (2 March 2002). "Correspondence". forums.tokipona.org.
  9. Sonja Lang. (1 July 2002). "Chat logs". tokipona.nykta.org.
  10. tokipona@yahoogroups.com. (1 November 2002). "Poll results for tokipona". Toki Pona Forums. Retrieved 10 October 2023.
  11. jan Olipija. (3 January 2023). "nasin pi utala meli mije" (in Toki Pona). lipu kule. Retrieved 13 February 2024.

Further reading[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Resources for historical usage[edit | edit source]

Dictionaries[edit | edit source]