How To Make a Verb Phrase Negative in Samoan.

Video Lesson

To make verbs negative you can use the word lē before the word.  

Ou te lē fia ai —>  I don’t want to eat.  (descriptive)

fia ai o a’u. –>  I don’t want to eat. (emphatic)

Sa ia  sau. –>  He did not come.  (descriptive)

Sa lē sau o ia –>  He did not come.  (emphatic)

Ua ‘e  fai atu lena. –> You didn’t say that.  (descriptive)

Ua  fai atu lena ‘oe. –> You didn’t say that. (emphatic)


There are also slight modifications in negative tense terms:


Generally used to negate nouns because of the natural contraction of the negative term lē + noun phrase indicator “O”,  but also used with present tense negative statements (O lo’o and “te”) and recent past tense marker “ua”.    For example: O lo’o lē is converted to E le’o, even with verbs.

O lo’o lē moe o ia. —> She isn’t sleeping.

– contracts to –

E le’o moe o ia. –> She isn’t sleeping

O lo’o ou lē fia ai —>  I don’t want to eat. 

-can also be –

Ou te le’o fia ai  –>  I don’t want to eat. 


Translates to “not yet”.  Used to negate past tense negative statements (Na/Sa) to express an action in the past that did not occur yet during that time.   

In this example, someone could be explaining a story in the past. They could say, “I was supposed to cook the meat, but at that time I had not yet went to the butcher“.  

Sa ou le’i alu i le fale povi. –>  I had (not yet) went to the butcher.  

More examples of le’o and le’i.

Ou te le’o talanoa iā latou.I’m not speaking to them.
Sa ou le’i talanoa iā latou. I have not yet spoken to them. 
E le’o ta’a’alo i latou.
They are not playing.
Sa le’i ta’alo ‘oe.You had not yet played. 

Lesson Definitions

so that you don’tina ne’i
uma finish
Don’taua ne’i
not (often used to negate nouns)le’o
O lo’o lē before verb or nounE le’o
escape, run awaysola ese
not yetle’i
negative marker, lest,ne’i
nothingleai se mea
Can not, can’tlē mafai
go (plural)o
driveave ta’avale
no, be lacking, does not existleai
not, do not,
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