Using Ā as a Tense Marker in Samoan

A With Mamafa

Recall that the future tense marker is O le ā.  

O le ā matou o i le fale. / We will go to the house.  The “ā” can stand on it’s own as a tense marker to mean “When”.  (ā = when).  

The literal translation of O le ā is “The when”.  To form a statement such as “When I go to the school, I will get your homework”, it can be formed as follows”:

Ā ou alu i le faleaoga, o le ā ou maua lau mea aoga.  

Since this form of when is referring to something in the future, you will often see the future tense marker “O le ā” to meet the condition of the sentence.  

Condition:  Ā ou alu i le faleaoga / When I go to the school

Result:  O le ā ou maua lau mea aoga. / I will get your homework.  

Āou alu i le faleaoga / o le ā ou maua lau mea aoga.

When using “ā” in the middle of the sentence, the “pe ā” form is used.  For example:

Result:  O le ā ou maua lau mea aoga. / I will get your homework.  

Condition:  pe ā ou alu i le faleaoga / When I go to the school

O le ā ou maua lau mea aoga / pe ā ou alu i le faleaoga.

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