Learn How to Form Samoan Commands with Ina Ia

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ina ia = in order to

Ina ia is used in the same way in Samoan as it is in English.  It can be used in the middle of the sentence or the beginning.  

Sentence Examples

Do this in order to get that. Faia lenei mea ina ia e maua lena mea.
In order to receive blessings, you must believe. Ina ia e maua le fa’amanuiaga, e tatau ona e talitonu. 
I work in order to get some money. Ou te faigaluega ina ia e maua ni tupe. 

“Ina ia” is a phrase in the Samoan language that holds significant linguistic weight, often serving as a versatile tool for indicating purpose or intention. Literally translated, “ina ia” means “so that” or “in order to,” and its usage is crucial in expressing the motivations behind actions or events. In this essay, we will explore how “ina ia” is employed in Samoan to convey purpose or intent, its grammatical structure, and its cultural significance.

Grammatical Structure

“Ina ia” is composed of two components: “ina,” which means “so that” or “in order to,” and “ia,” which is a particle often used in Samoan to mark the beginning of a subordinate clause. Together, they form a cohesive phrase that introduces the purpose or intention behind a particular action.

Usage in Expressing Purpose

  1. Verb + Ina ia + Action: “Ina ia” is commonly used to express purpose or intention by linking a verb to the desired action. It indicates the reason why a specific action is being taken or what the outcome is intended to achieve. For example:
  • O le a ou alu i le falegaote ina ia ou mātau ai i le galuega. (I am going to the library in order to study for work.)
  1. Noun + Ina ia + Action: “Ina ia” can also be used with nouns to specify the purpose or intention behind an action. It clarifies the goal or objective associated with the noun. For example:
  • O loʻo ʻou tuʻu atu i le meaā ina ia fesoasoani i le faʻataʻitaʻiga. (I am giving the tool in order to assist with the project.)

Cultural Significance

The use of “ina ia” in Samoan reflects broader cultural values and communication styles within Samoan society. Purpose and intentionality are highly regarded, and expressing one’s motivations behind actions is considered essential for effective communication and understanding.

Pragmatic Functions

  1. Clarity of Communication: “Ina ia” helps speakers convey their intentions clearly, ensuring that their actions or requests are understood in context. By explicitly stating the purpose behind an action, speakers provide valuable information to their audience.
  2. Respectful Communication: In Samoan culture, it is customary to provide explanations or reasons for one’s actions as a sign of respect and consideration for others. “Ina ia” allows speakers to communicate respectfully by offering insights into their motivations.
  3. Effective Planning and Coordination: By articulating the purpose behind actions or decisions, “ina ia” facilitates effective planning and coordination among individuals or groups. It ensures that everyone involved understands the objectives and can work towards common goals.

Challenges in Usage

While “ina ia” is a valuable linguistic tool in Samoan, learners may encounter challenges in its usage, particularly in understanding the nuances of expressing purpose or intention. Mastery of the phrase requires familiarity with Samoan grammar and cultural conventions, as well as practice in applying it appropriately in different contexts.


“Ina ia” serves as a crucial linguistic device in the Samoan language, enabling speakers to express purpose, intention, and motivation behind their actions. Its usage reflects cultural values of clarity, respect, and effective communication, making it an indispensable tool in everyday interactions. By understanding how to use “ina ia” effectively, learners of Samoan can enhance their language proficiency and cultural competence, fostering deeper connections and understanding within the Samoan-speaking community.

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