Lesson 6: Prepositions Part 1

kama
kama
kepeken
kepeken
kiwen
kiwen
kon
kon
lon
lon
pana
pana
poki
poki
toki
toki
tawa
tawa
tan
tan
colon
colon

Prepositions work as containers, sometimes

If you know how to use prepositions in toki pona, then you’ve already done the hard part of this chapter. Preposition glyphs work like li or e, in that they
are containers for the objects of the prepositions. The only new things here is that they can also appear as glyph blocks by themselves and they all have
‘heads’ that can change orientation.

prepositional “heads”

Before we go any farther, it is important to become aware of the anatomy of the preposition glyphs. Each preposition can be thought of as having a ‘head’
attached to an expandable body.

lon
lon
tawa
tawa
kepeken
kepeken
tan
tan

head rotation

mi tawa.
mi tawa.
mi tawa.
mi tawa.

It doesn’t matter if the head rests on the left, right, top, or even the bottom. It will still be read the same. This allows greater flexibility in getting shapes to fit next to each other.

mi moku kepeken poki.
mi moku kepeken poki.
mi moku kepeken poki.
mi moku kepeken poki.

It doesn’t matter if the head rests on the left, right, top, or even the bottom. It will still be read the same. This allows greater flexibility in getting shapes to fit next to each other.

Using lon, tawa ,and kepeken

working as regular glyph blocks

mi lon e sina.
mi lon e sina.
ona li jo e tomo tawa.
ona li jo e tomo tawa.

As you know, toki pona words often fit into more than one category. If prepositional words are acting as verbs, adjectives, etc. they behave like any other glyph block.

sina wile kepeken e ilo.
sina wile kepeken e ilo.

Just rotate the head of the glyph to the position where it is most legible. Often the best position will be over the side of the rest of the sentence block.

He we can see the top of lon rotated out the left side of mi lon e sina and the hand of kepeken popping out under sina in sina wile kepeken e ilo.

working as prepositional containers

When glyph blocks are used as a preposition, they expand to surround the rest of the prepositional phrase. This includes all of the modifiers if there are any.

mi moku lon tomo mi.
mi moku lon tomo mi.
mi lukin tawa kon.
mi lukin tawa kon.
mi moku kepeken ilo.
mi moku kepeken ilo.

Working as both verb and preposition

Glyph blocks also work as containers when they function as both a verb and preposition.

mi lon tomo mi.
mi lon tomo mi.
mi tan ma lili.
mi tan ma lili.
mi tawa jan pona.
mi tawa jan pona.

Again, the entire prepositional phrase fits into the prepositional glyph. In the next lesson, we will continue to work with prepositions, and look at the rest of the glyph block which have the ability to work in this manner.

The colon

sina toki e ni: kon tawa li lon.
sina toki e ni: kon tawa li lon.
mi wile e ni: mi tawa tomo mi.
mi wile e ni: mi tawa tomo mi.
ona li len tan ni: ona li wile e seli.
ona li len tan ni: ona li wile e seli.

The only other thing we need to cover in this lesson is the colon. Just like the period, the colon is a horizontal bar that the glyph blocks rest upon. In this case though, it is sandwiched between the two sentence fragments.