Kei te tuhituhi ahau – I’m writing (~5 mins)

The most important word to learn if you’re a writer is tuhituhi, which means ‘to write’.

writer at the writers cafe auckland

Kei te tuhituhi ahau. – I’m writing

But we need to learn a few other words if we want to be able to use ‘tuhituhi’ in some useful ways.

The first thing we need to learn is ‘kei te’.

Whenever you see ‘kei te’  (or sometimes just ‘kei‘) in a sentence, you know that the sentence is talking about right now (and only right now).


For example ‘kei te tuhituhi ahau’ = ‘I’m writing (right now – but I might do something else later)’.

You may have heard people ask ‘kei te pehea koe?’ = ‘how are you? (I’m asking how you’re feeling right now – I don’t want to know how you felt yesterday)’


In contrast, the sentence ‘he pukapuka tēnei’ – ‘this is a bookdoesn’t include ‘kei te’. This is because a book is always a book, it was a book yesterday and will still be a book tomorrow. The same is true of ‘ko wai tō ingoa?’ – ‘What’s your name?’. Your name probably doesn’t change from moment to moment, whereas what you’re doing ‘kei te tuhithui ahau’ – I’m writing, or how you’re feeling ‘kei te pai ahau’ – I’m good, are true only right now. Later, you might stop writing, which might make you feel sad.


The last thing we need to know is the word ‘ahau, which means ‘I’.


And we’re done!

Kei te tuhituhi ahau. I’m writing.


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