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The simplest type of questions are made by replacing a noun with ā meaning "what".
| o le tusi lea ||» || this is a book
| o le a lea? ||» || what is this?
| o le a lau tala? ||» || what are you saying?
Along similar lines, we can use ai1, meaning "who", if we are expecting a name as an answer.
There are a few more words which can be used like this to ask different types of questions.
Some example questions using these words:
Po and Pe
At the start of a question, po is used before 'o (ie, before nouns and adverbs), whilst pe is used before any other type of word. They don't have an English equivalent when used like this:
| pe aisea? ||» || Why? (as a standalone sentence)
In the middle of sentences, they mean "whether" or "or", and do not necessarily need to be part of a question:
Articles in Questions
Typically, a question will use the article se1 (a, any) and its plural ni (some), whilst the answers will use the definite article le, if the thing exists. For example:
| 'ua ta se fia ||» || what is the time? (lit. it has struck a what?)
| 'ua ta le lua ||» || it's two (lit. it has struck the two).
If articles are translated too literally from English, this can be confusing. The following would be taken as a question, not a statement:
| e iai se saimigi ||» || are there noodles?
To state that there is a packet of noodles, you would need to say:
| e iai le saimigi ||» || There is a packet of noodles
But to state that it doesn't exist, you would use:
| e leai se saimigi ||» || There is no packet of noodles
Questions and possessive pronouns
The same rules as above apply with possessive pronouns in questions. The question is indefinite:
The reply is definite, if the object exists:
But if it doesn't exist, then the reply is indefinite:
|e leai si a'u ta'avale ||» || I don't have a car.
And likewise for a plain statement outside of a question-answer context:
|e leai ni a'u tupe ||» || I've got no money.