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Transitivity is a property of verbs that relates to whether a verb can take objects. In Toki Pona grammar, any content word may be used as a verb, either transitively or intransitively, by being placed in the predicate. A transitive verb introduces the direct object with the particle e.

Interpretation[edit | edit source]

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What about those verbs that don't follow this pattern, such as mi moku e ni ("I eat") or mi len e ni ("I wear this")? Are these set definitions or is there a way to analyse them?

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A given transitive verb may have multiple interpretations depending on context. It may indicate that the verb is interacting with the object in some way. This is common with body part words, where it refers to applying or using said body part on something.

mi luka e soweli 

mi luka e soweli.

I apply my hand to the fluffy animal. I pet the dog.

A transitive verb may indicate causality and application of an attribute.

mi pona e ni 

mi pona e ni.

I cause this to be good.
I fix it.

It may also describing the change of something into another.

mi jan e ilo

mi jan e ilo

I cause the tool to become a person.
I humanize the machine.

See also[edit | edit source]

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