From sona pona

    li is a particle in Toki Pona that separates the subject from the rest of the sentence.

    Function of li[edit | edit source]

    li separates the subject from the predicate. The predicate can be a verb (with or without object), a noun, an adjective, or a prepositional phrase. It is omitted when the subject is mi or sina alone.

    ona li moku.
    They eat.
    soweli li suwi.
    The dog is cute.
    kili li moku.
    Fruits are food.
    mi tawa tomo.
    I'm going home.
    sina en mi li lukin e sitelen tawa.
    You and I watch a movie.

    Multiple predicates[edit | edit source]

    Typically, li is repeated when multiple predicates apply to the same subject.

    ona li kama li tawa.
    They come and go.

    pu says that when multiple predicates are applied to mi or sina, a new sentence should start.[1]

    mi toki. mi moku.
    I speak and eat.

    Some speakers use a second li in this case. This is referred to as "extended li style" in ku.

    mi toki li moku.
    I speak and eat.

    A downside of this method is exemplified in this sentence: it is ambiguous whether toki is meant to be a predicate or a modifier of mi.

    Etymology[edit | edit source]

    The Toki Pona particle li is from the Esperanto third-person singular pronoun "li."[2]

    References[edit | edit source]

    External resources[edit | edit source]