From sona pona

    la is a particle of toki pona used to separate a sentence from its context.

    Functions of la[edit | edit source]

    la indicates that what comes after it follows from or depends on what came before. It is extremely general and can indicate all sorts of antecedant/consequent relationships. For example,

    Fronting prepositional phrases[edit | edit source]

    la can be used to put a prepositional phrase at the front of a sentence. For example,

    "ale ante li kama tan sina".
    "Now the rest depends on you".[1]
    "Dorénavant la suite vous appartient".[2]
    kepeken toki ni la jan Sonja li pana e toki pona tawa kulupu.
    With these words Sonja gave toki pona to the community.
    jan Sonja li pana e toki pona tawa kulupu kepeken toki ni.
    Sonja gave toki pona to the community with these words.

    When fronted, lon is dropped,

    mi moku e kili lon tenpo ni.
    I'm eating a fruit now.
    tenpo ni la mi moku e kili.
    This time I'm eating fruit.

    Sometimes, lon is also used as a content word. In this case, it is retained:

    jan mute li lon ma ni.
    Lots of people are here.
    ma ni la jan mute li lon.
    Around here there are lots of people.

    Cause and effect[edit | edit source]

    la can show cause and effect. The part before the la is taken to bring about or be the condition for what comes after the particle.

    ilo li mu la mi lukin e ona.
    My phone rang so I checked it.
    When my phone rings I check it.
    If my phone rings I'll check it.
    tenpo seli la mi pilin pona.
    "Summertime and the livin' is easy".[3]

    Punctuation[edit | edit source]

    Commas are optional, and can be placed before or after the la. ku calls this a "stylistic choice". In this article, commas are omitted.

    External resources[edit | edit source]