How to use adjectives in Maori

You want to learn how to use adjectives in Maori? You've come to the right place! Scroll down and see the short Maori lessons complete with useful examples. Big, small, happy, sad... we'll teach you all you need to know about Maori adjectives.

Maori adjectives

Adjectives are generally used to describe nouns. Unlike English, adjectives in Maori are placed after the noun.


te tatau iti
the small door
te tatau nui
the big door
te tatau hou
the new door
te tatau tahito
the old door
te tatau kura
the red door
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About Maori

About Maori

Māori belongs to the Austronesian language family and is related to Malaysian, Indonesian and Tagalog. If you are planning on doing some travelling, learning Maori would be a great way to make the most of your trip.

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Basic words and phrases in Maori

Learn to get by in Maori with these useful words and phrases. These essential phrases cover everything from Maori greetings to business and workplace communications to love and dating.

He māngere te tamatāne.
The boy is lazy.
He mārōrō te tamatāne.
The boy is strong.
He mōhio te tamatāne.
The boy is clever.
He paku te tamatāne.
The boy is small.
Basic words and phrases in Maori
Kia ora koutou!
More Maori words
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You can learn Maori in just 9 easy steps.

If you want to go from beginner to fluent in Maori in a reasonable amount of time, you'll need a proven study method and daily dedication. Our nine-step Maori learning guide will show you how to teach yourself Maori in a structured,effective way. The steps below will take you through the progression of skills needed to learn to speak, read and understand Maori.

Step 7 : Adjectives in Maori

Adjectives are used to describe nouns. To get started, we suggest you learn the three Maori adjectives nui, paku and tawhito (big, small, old). Using the nouns pukapuka, nohoanga and tatau (book, chair, door) which you learned in Step 3, learn to use each adjective with each noun (the big book, the old chair, the small door). You can scroll to the top of this page to see a short lesson about Maori adjectives including useful examples. After you've learned to use the adjectives nui, paku and tawhito with the nouns pukapuka, nohoanga and tatau you can move on to Step 8 (Maori Verbs).

Step 1 (Maori Greetings)

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Maori verbs
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