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In Toki Pona, there is no single word for "yes" as in English. This is similar to many natural languages, such as Chinese, Irish, Latin, Thai, and Welsh.[1]

Answering questions[edit | edit source]

For answering yes–no questions, the respondent repeats the word in question, the word surrounding ala. Alternatively, one can form a full sentence as a response:

te akesi li suwi ala suwi to   te suwi to

"akesi li suwi ala suwi?" — "suwi."

"Are frogs cute?" — "Cute."

te akesi li suwi ala suwi to   te akesi li suwi to

"akesi li suwi ala suwi?" — "akesi li suwi."

"Are frogs cute?" — "Frogs are cute."

General affirmation[edit | edit source]

Outside of answering yes–no questions, there are different possibilities to express general affirmation or agreement.

"akesi li suwi"
— lon! / ni li lon.
— ni a!
— suwi a!
— mi pilin sama.
— [...]

Other interjections might also work as "yes" or "yeah", as in to express a positive emotion. For example, when scoring a goal at sport, one may say pona!, wawa a!, or simply, a!

References[edit | edit source]

English Wikipedia has an article on
yes and no.
  1. Holmberg, Anders (2016). The syntax of yes and no. Oxford University Press. pp. 64–72. ISBN 9780198701859.