"Hilo is humid."

Translation:Ikiiki ʻo Hilo.

October 15, 2018

This discussion is locked.


Thanks for the observation ... I am really struggling with when to use "o" and when to use " 'o" ... there may be some sort of consistency, but I am not seeing it.


You mainly use ʻo in front of a name! Hilo is a place, so you would put the ʻokina in front of the o to state that you are naming something/someone. Sometimes o (without the ʻokina) can be translated as “of”, depending on the sentence structure. I’m sure it will be more obvious as they add more lessons! :~)


Thanks ... appreciate the help. It seems that I have seen the 'okino used in front of the o when it precedes a place name in some instances, but not in others. I will try to pay more attention to the sentence structure. Mahalo!


When I typed "ʻŌmalumalu o Līhuʻe." I was marked incorrect because I needed an ʻokina before Līhuʻe as it is a proper noun. However, when I typed "Pehea ke anilā ʻo Hilo i kēia lā?" I was also marked incorrect because there should not be an ʻokina before Hilo. This makes no sense. Iʻm trying to recall in the back of my brain what the rule was from my high school classes in Hawaiian (22-20 years ago) and when I took it again during graduate school (15 years ago). Anyone have any suggestions?


Ask yourself if the proper noun is the actual subject or if it is being used to specify the owner or location of something.

In, "‘Ōmalumalu ‘o Lihu‘e," you use the proper noun marker ‘o because the proper noun is the subject of the sentence. There is no translation into English because it's just a grammatical marker.

In, "Pehea ka anilā o Hilo," the actual subject is "ka anilā" and "o Hilo" is just specifying which "anilā" we're talking about. This o can be translated into English as "of". "Ka anilā o Hilo" = "The weather of Hilo"


Thatʻs a great answer. Mahalo!


Thank you! I guess, it takes time to distinguish these nuances.


I was corrected earlier to have “ka” in front of ikiiki at the end of a sentence, but when it starts off with the word, then “ka” is no longer needed. Just an observation I thought I’d share ;~)


It is a good observation to point out. Really, it goes like this - ikiiki would be humid but ka ikiiki would be the humidity.


The word ikiiki means humid and humidity - it all depends on how it is used - today is humid (ikiiki) which can also refer to the humidity of the day. It is a Hawaiian perspective that is hard to explain especially when we are trained to use words literally in English.


I'm confused...I thought that "Hilo is humid" would translate as "The humidity of Hilo" or "Ka iliili o Hilo". Am I confusing it with another sentence structure?


I thought the same thing (that "ka ikiiki o Hilo" should be correct - based on your note below that you meant ikiiki vs iliili). But it's not and still not sure why?


I think you are both thinking of the exclamation that they gave before - Hū ka ikiiki o Hilo! That is more like "Wow the humidity of Hilo!" To say simply Hilo is humid, it would be Ikiiki ‘o Hilo.


Why do some sentences have a subject marker and others don't?


A subject marker? Do you mean "'o"? It's not really a subject marker, it is probably better to think of it as a proper noun marker. It's put in front of the names of people and places, but not in front of standard nouns (which should have another determiner instead, like "ka"). This is very similar to how in English we use articles in front of standard nouns and don't use them in front of proper nouns: The city is humid. Hilo is humid. But in Hawaiian you always have a determiner on the noun, so "'o" fulfills that purpose on proper nouns.

The reason we only see the "'o" on subjects is that other particles are used when the proper noun plays a different role in the sentence and they take the place of the determiner on the proper nouns, but no particle is used to mark the subject, so since you don't have either a particle or a determiner, you have to use the "'o" determiner for proper nouns when they are the subject.

The other two places where "'o" is used is before the pronoun "ia" ("he/she/it" - but not other pronouns) and before the question word "wai" ("who?").


Help! Why "Ikiiki 'o Kona" but "Hū ka ikiiki o Hilo"? Literally translated, "Humid (is) Kona" vs "...the humidity of Hilo". Is this because you can't use ka at the beginning of a sentence, so the sentence structure has to change?


Exactly. For "wow, Kona is humid" I was marked CORRECT for "Hū ikiiki 'o Hilo" (a "no-article (ka) - 'o" combination), although the "also correct" suggestion was "Hū ka ikiiki o Hilo" (a "ka - o" combination)

For "Hilo is humid," "Ikiiki 'o Hilo" (a "no-article (ka) - 'o" combination) is the correct answer but "Ka ikiiki o Hilo" (a "ka - o" combination) was marked wrong. I see no difference from the Kona example, so I flagged my answer as "should be correct." IF I'M WRONG, PLEASE EXPLAIN (sorry, not shouting, just looking for help!)

  • ikiiki, not illili


(Robin156446 - just for info you can go back and "edit" your comment instead of commenting again)


I used "ka Hilo" by mistake and it suggested "ʻa Hilo." Now I wonder: what is "ʻa Hilo" compared to "ʻo Hilo"?


That would still be incorrect in this case. I would think technically a Hilo would be possible but I cannot think of an occasion off the top of my head. The word a is the same as o in terms of translation to English - both are used to mean of to show possession. However, they are not interchangeable options. There are rules when to use one or the other.


why is it 'o Hilo and not o Hilo


Here, "ikiiki" is acting like a verb and not like an adjective or a noun. I'm not sure if you can use "ikiiki" as a noun, but if you can, then "ikiiki o Hilo" would mean, "the humidity of Hilo" or "Hilo's humidity". But then there is no verb in the sentence and it's either just a noun phrase, or maybe an exclamation. In this case, the "is humid" tells us that "ikiiki" is acting like a verb, so then "Hilo" must be the subject of the verb and proper noun subjects in Hawaiian get marked with ʻo: "Ikiiki ʻo Hilo." ("Hilo is humid.")


‘Ae / Yes. ikiiki does mean humidity as a noun.

ikiiki o Hilo = humidity of hilo as a phrase

Ikiiki ‘o Hilo. = Hilo is humid. That is a complete sentence.

I would like to add this curve ball.

Nani ka makuahine o Ka‘iulani. = Ka‘iulani's mother is pretty.

Nani ka makuahine ‘o Ka‘iulani. = The mother named/called Ka‘iulani is pretty.


Why isn't it "He ikiki 'o Hilo"?


That would be, "Hilo is a humidity." In English, "to be" serves many purposes which in Hawaiian use different formulas.

"To be" can be used to connect two nouns ("Hilo is a city"). In Hawaiian you just list the two nouns and start the sentence with either "he" or "‘o" ("He kūlanakauhale ‘o Hilo"). This is why the sentence you suggested looks like two nouns, how I wrote my English translation.

In English "to be" is also used to connect a noun to an adjective ("Hilo is humid"). The formula for this connection in Hawaiian is to treat the adjective as a verb. Just like we would say, "‘Ai ‘o Keoki" ("Keoki eats") with the verb followed by the subject, we say "Ikiiki ‘o Hilo." Hawaiian uses a different formula for connecting two nouns versus connecting a noun and an adjective.

There are a lot of other uses for "to be" in English, but the other one that beginners often get confused about is for connecting a noun to a location like, "Hilo is in Hawaii." For locations in time or space, start the sentence with "aia" and put "ma" or "i" before the location: "Aia ‘o Hilo ma Hawai‘i."

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