If you understood how modifiers worked (chapter 5) then negation shouldn’t be too much trouble. Adding ala to negate nouns or verbs follows normal block order rules:
ale / ali
Nothing special here either. There may be two ways to spell it, but only one glyph block for ale/ali.
Just like the modifiers we have already seen, it follows normal block order rules.
yes / no questions
Just as in Chinese, toki pona has the verb-not-verb structure for yes/no questions. Most of the time ala used in this way will behave normally.
The only thing new here is the question mark glyph block is used instead of a period.
questions in the four-block structure
However, if you create a four block structure with the subject-verb-ala-verb, there is an exception to our block order rules:
The four block are grouped in what would really be a clockwise arrangement.
The reason for this is to avoid doubling the same verb glyph next to itself. This way they remain separated by ala.
Think of the entire group as one single block with the subject and ala in two opposite corners, and the repeated verb in the other two corners. The ‘X’ shape in the middle of ala echoes this structure.