bilong

originated from ‘belong’ and plays a very important role in Tok Pisin.

1. of

  • bilong mi my, mine
  • bilong yu your, yours
  • bilong em his, her, hers
  • bilong en its
  • bilong yumi our, ours
  • bilong ol their, theirs
  • Giaman bilong yu!
    You’re telling lies!
  • Husat i mama bilong dispela pik?
    Who owns this pig?
  • Em bilong mi.
    It’s mine.
  • Laik bilong mi!
    That’s the way I like it!
  • lek bilong mi my leg
  • Pasin bilong stil i nogut.
    The act of stealing is bad.
  • Wok bilong ol!
    That’s their business!
  • wari bilong yu your problem

2. from, showing source or origin

  • Mi bilong Madang.
    I am from Madang.
  • Kakiri i meri bilong Madang.
    Kakiri is a woman from Madang.
  • gris bilong pik ‘grease belong pig’ (lard)

3. for, in order to

  • Redim wara bilong wasim bebi.
    Get the water for washing the baby ready.

4. a special thing about a person or thing, the way of doing something

  • man bilong wok a hard worker
  • man bilong kaikai ‘a man who eats a lot’ (a glutton)

5. bilong wanem? why, for what reason

  • Bilong wanem yu singaut?
    What reason are you calling out for?
Grammar: Bilong + verb: in order to

In Tok Pisin in order to (do something) is expressed simply by placing bilong (or for some speakers long) before the verb, for example:

Mi go long beng bilong kisim mani.
I am going to the bank to get money.

But note that bilong is often omitted in normal conversation especially after the common verbs go and kam when the intention is clear from the context, e.g.

Mi go kisim mani.
I’m going to get money.

Note, however, that one cannot do this if something else comes after go or kam. Thus one can say: Mi go kisim mani long beng or Mi go long beng bilong kisim mani for I’m going in order to get money from the bank but one does not usually say Mi go long beng kisim mani.

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