Tense of Verbs

All verbs are naturally in the present tense, but may give the meaning of another tense by the context of sentence;

Example 4.1. Tense in Verbs

NIA BA BASAR ABAN, he will go to the market tomorrow;

NIA BA BASAR HORISEK, he went to the market yesterday.

Tense may also be indicated by tense particles:

past tense ONA, TIHA

future tense SEI

Since all these particles can be used in other ways, examples are given of their use.

Example 4.2. Ona and tense


1. placed after the verb to form past tense:

AMI HA ONA, we ate;
MAU BERE BA ONA BAUKAU, Mau Bere went to Baukau.

ONA in this use always indicates the immediate past (a short time ago).

2. placed after the word (not a verb) it qualifies to denote a recently completed action:

LEKE MAUK MORAS, MAI BE DI'AK ONA, Leke Mauk was sick, but is well know.

3. placed after the word it qualifies as an adverb, meaning "enough", "sufficient":

NE'E DI'AK ONA, that is good enough, also TO'O ONA and NATON ONA have the same meaning.

4. Used as an interjection; DI'AK ONA, well, alright.

Example 4.3. TIHA and Tense


1. placed after the verb forms past tense:

BERE LELIK LA'O TIHA, Bere Lelike has gone (could be a short or long time ago);
MAU LETO BA TIHA UMA, Mau Leto went home (some time ago).

2. placed after the word it qualifies, to give the meaning of 'instead of':

LEKI NAHAK LA BA BASAR, NIA BA TIHA SORO, Leki Nahak did not go to the market; instead he went hunting.
NIA BA FILA TIHA SORO, or NIA BA TIHA FILA SORO, would mean instead he went hunting

3. placed before ONA it indicates that the action is completely finished:

LEKI BEREK HALAI TIHA ONA, Leki Berek has run away.

4. as a verb, to fish with a net:

AMI TIHA IKAN BARAK, we net many fish.

5. as a verb to cast, fling, or throw:

SIRE TIHA FATUK BA UE, they threw a stone in the water.

Example 4.4. Sei and tense


1. placed before the verb denotes future tense:

ORAS ISA HA'U SEI KBA UA KREDA, shortly I will go to church

2. placed before a verb can indicate that the action is still continuing:

TETI BEREK SEI HARIS, Teti Berek is still having a bath.

3. used with DAUK or DAUN indicates negative future tense (sometimes used with LA, LAE):

ISULINU SEI DAUK MAI, Isulinu will not come.
Note: SEI LA DAUK MAI or LA DAUK SEI are just as correct.
PAULU SEI DAUK HALO KNAAR IDA NE'E, Paulo will not do this work.
Note: same combination as above applies. SEI DAUK on its own means 'not yet'

4. placed before a verb can have the meaning of 'must' or 'obliged to':

AIDA SEI HEMU AI MORUK NE'E, Aida must drink this medicine.
O SEI HALO SERBISU IDA NE'E, you must do this work.