Personal Pronouns in Tetun
Hau: I, Me.
O : You (informal.)
Ita : You (formal - when speaking to an adult.
Nia : He, Him, She, Her, It.
Ami : We (excluding the person you are speaking to.)
Ita : We (including the person you are speaking to.)
Imi : You (when speaking to more than one person.)
Sira : They, Them.
In English you have I, ME, and MYSELF. Tetum does not have these three words. So how do you say it in Tetum? I, ME = Hau. And MYSELF = Hau-nia'an (hau rasik). Here is the sentense: Haun nian = mine. Hau rasik mak hadia'a kareta nee = I fix the car myself. Ida nee hau nian = this is mine.
O and Ita
O is used in informal conversation between friends or colleagues and Ita is used in formal conversation. For example, if you have a visitor at home you call him/her Ita. Ita diak ka lae? or O diak ka lae? = How are you? Ita naran sa ida? = Hau naran/nia naran John.Ita main husi rai nebe. Where are you from? Hau mai husi Australia.
Tetum does not differentiate between he/she, him/her, his/hers, and it. You call male and female the same thing = NIA. Here is the sentence: Ema nia inan nee naran sa ida? = What is her name?Ema nia aman nee naran sa ida? = What is his name? The word nia inan refer to female and the word nia aman refer to male.