1. to come up, appear, arrive, grow, become, get

  • Bipo em i liklik, tasol nau em i kamap bikpela.
    He was small, but now he’s big.
  • Em i kamap bikpela nau.
    He’s bigger now.
  • Gras i kamap bikpela gen.
    The lawn has grown tall again.
  • I no inap kamap.
    It won’t happen.
  • San i kamap.
    The sun has come up.
  • ples sankamap east
  • taim dispela i save kamap when this happened

2. to begin

  • Goroka so i kamap long Julai.
    The Goroka show is starting in July.
  • Nupela yia i kamap.
    A new year is starting.

3. to come to, to arrive at, to reach

  • i no kamap yet to be missing
  • kamap pas; kamap paslain long ol to arrive before the others
  • Mi kamap pinis, mi kam kamap.
    I (have) arrived.
  • taim mi kamap nupela when I first arrived

4. kamap ples klia to be revealed, to be in the open

  • Bipo ol tok i stap hait, tasol nau ol i kamap ples klia.
    Before the message was a secret, but now it is in the open.

5. to happen

  • Wanpela samting i kamap.
    Something happened.
  • I kamap pinis.
    It happened.


1. to start, to originate, to begin, to come up with

  • Gavman i kamapim sampela senis pinis.
    The government has started to make some changes.
  • kamapim biknem long haus lain to make a name for the clan
  • kamapim nupela pasin to begin a new custom

2. to reveal, to come up with

  • Gavman i kamapim nupela takis.
    The government came up with new taxes.

3. to improve or help something happen

  • gutpela samting bilong kamapim PNG good things that improve PNG
  • Em i givim mani long kamapim festival.
    He gave money to help the festival improve.

4. to develop


we, us (not including the person or people being spoken to) (see yumi)

  • bilong mipela our
  • Em i samting bilong mipela yet.
    It is something between ourselves (but not you).
  • Mipela i go pinis asde.
    We went yesterday (but not you).
  • mipela olgeta all of us (but not you)
  • Mipela tasol i go long danis.
    Only we are going to the dance.

See also: Personal Pronouns in Tok Pisin


uncivilized person (derogatory), indigenous person. (This can only be used safely in certain contexts, e.g. Mi stap kanaka nating I’m just living in the village (without paid employment), Mi bus kanaka I’m not educated; I’m ignorant, ples kanaka native village. In other contexts it may be offensive to listeners so it should be used with caution. In any case it is stressed on the first syllable and not on the second as in English.)

  • ples kanaka indigenous village
  • Mi stap nating long ples na kanaka pinis.
    I live in the village in the traditional way.