- Indicating movement towards the speaker, or the directing of action or emotion at the speaker: cf. its antonym atu2. (cf. oko to barter, oko mai to buy, oko atu to sell.) E oki mai koe apopo. Come back tomorrow; E oki atu koe apopo. Go back tomorrow; Pokaia mai te taura. Coil up the rope (i.e. starting at your end and working towards me), or (elliptically) coil it up and bring it to me; Kua tuatua atu matou kiaia, kare ra aia i tuatua mai. We spoke to him, but he didn’t reply;
- The speaker may sometimes mentally put himself in the position of the person addressed or the place referred to: TE akara mai nei au kia koe. Im looking at you (whereas from his own viewpoint he would say TE akara atu nei au). Tera mai a Manu. There comes Manu (head-ing your way).
- Indicating progression of time towards the present. Kua kino-kino mai te tai. The sea has been getting rougher; Kua meitaki mai taau kapo poro. Your catching has been improving; Kare i te reira mataiti i tera mai e tera mai mataiti i mou ei i te kapu. It wasn’t in that year, but the following year and the one after that that they won the cup; I tera mai taime aia i keia ai, kare i tera atu. It was the time after that that he stole it, not the time before;A tera atu ra aia e moto ei, kare a tera mai. He w be boxing the following day, not the previous day. [Pn. *mai.]
Related to mai