"Yes, wear a lei."

Translation:ʻAe, e lei.

October 21, 2018

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In a different lesson, it said "E lei!" meant "Give a lei!" I get that e = imperative, but does it have to be inferred what the actual command is? In other words, couldn't "E lei!" also be "Wear a lei!"?


E lei meaning Give a lei is similar. The context just needs to be explained. E lei meaning Give a lei implies that you will put the lei on the person so that they can wear it. If you use the actual words Give a lei in Hawaiian (hā‘awi i ka lei), then that would imply that you are handing it to the person and the person will hold it instead of wear it.


What does lei mean


to yakov402457, assuming you're serious it is a live (usually) flower garland (necklace (usually about 36" around?)) commonly bestowed in celebration / greeting and draped around the recipient's neck by the giver, along with a warm embrace (at least until COVID19 :( ). One of the most meaningful traditions in Hawai'i :).


Do a google image search for lei. You will see all sorts of them.


Garland. It's in the lesson. Check underlined words.


I would like to know what the various punctuation marks imply. They don’t really look like apostrophes, and the dash over vowels.


They are not punctuation, they are letters and letter modifications. The apostrophe-looking thing is called an ʻokina (glottal stop) while the lines are called kahakō (sometimes called "macrons"). Read more here:


Actually the very first "tips" covers this:



Please help me underderstand the E in the beginning and the e in the middle


E Imperative

E is used before an action to signify a command or a suggestion. When you say, "E hele!", you're telling someone to "Go!"

E Vocative

E is used before a noun (usually a person) to indicate that the person is being addressed.

Ex. Mahalo, e Kawika. (Thanks, Kawika.) ➜ You are saying thanks to Kawika.


That helps a lot for clarification


Just a comment. I seriously doubt that this is something you would ever hear anyone say. Even if you said you were going to party and asked someone if you should wear a lei, nobody would ever say, "ʻAe, e lei." You MIGHT hear "ʻAe, e lei i ka lei" or more likely "ʻAe, e komo i ka lei." So there's a lot of misguided discussion going on about this "sentence" that you'll never hear. This sounds like a problem of someone making up lessons and thinking only of the grammar (or a dictionary definition) and not paying any attention to what people would actually say in real conversations. (My opinion, of course.)

And for a relevant comparison, one dictionary definition of pāpale is "to put on a hat, wear a hat." But in the example, it says "Pāpale i ka pāpale (to put on or wear a hat)." In other words, you don't just say, "E pāpale." Same goes for "lei" in this lesson.

BTW, the dictionary also gives an alternate example, "Komo i ka pāpale, to put on a hat [new form]." This acknowledges that in present-day Hawaiian, we usually hear komo instead of pāpale for the verb, and that pretty much also goes for lei in modern conversational Hawaiian.


Aloha hou e Hōkūlani, and mahalo nui for adding to this discussion!

I myself cannot say that I have ever heard this phrase used in conversation. On another discussion thread, I used the line "E lei hoʻi, e Liliʻiulani ē" from the famous song Makalapua as an example of using lei to describe an action in this way, but I do not know that it would be commonly used in conversation today. I also do not know the manaʻo that guided the teaching of that phrase in the course, perhaps as an example of using "nouns" as "verbs", but I am curious to know, and invested in continually improving the quality of this course, so I will discuss it with the team of kumu that have created the course content.

My role in this project has included mostly technical support, helping with accepting correct, alternate translations, and answering questions to the best of my ability here on the forums, but I do not guide the content of the course. I say this just to provide some transparency.

That said, I will immediately add "ʻAe, e komo i ka lei." as another correct translation here! Mahalo again for bringing your years of experience to this platform. Hope we see you around even after schools are back in session.


Mahalo nui iā ʻoe no ka hoʻomanawanui ʻana i kāu hana maikaʻi no ka pono o kēia polokalamu. ʻAno nui koʻu hoka i ka ʻike ʻana i nā manaʻo maikaʻi loa i loko o kēia māhele, a ʻaʻohe hopena, ʻaʻohe mea i hoʻololi ʻia. Me he mea lā, ʻo ʻoe wale nō ka mea heluhelu!

Aia nō naʻe, i ka hoʻomaka hou ʻana o ke kula i kēia pule aʻe, e pau ana paha koʻu "160+ day streak"! Pehea lā. Aia nō i ka nānā ʻana.

E hoʻomau i kāu hana kūpono!


Thanks for your expertise. Is it fair to say, if you said "e lei a ka lei" you are doubling "lei", using it first as a verb meaning "put on a lei" and then again to emphasize it is a particular lei (due to the "ka"?)


You're right, but be sure to use the object marker "i" (e lei i ka lei). Using nouns as verbs is just one characteristic of Hawaiian language that has transferred to pidgin English. Even today you might hear someone say he's going to "lawn mower the yard," and in standard Hawaiian here in DL you've probably noticed the phrase "kāwele i ke pākaukau" (towel the table / wipe the table). Another example is "pūlumi i ka papahele" (broom the floor / sweep the floor). A pēlā aku (etc.).

That's why the small function words and word order are so important when speaking Hawaiian. The same word might be used as a noun, an adjective, a verb, or even an adverb (to use English grammatical terms that obviously don't always work too well with Hawaiian grammar).

Interesting, right?


Very interesting! Sorry for the munged "i". This language is fascinating... I've been interested in it ever since I learned of it in Hawaii on our honeymoon 33 years ago but I'm just now getting around to learning it. I'm kind of a grammar nerd but most interested in using languages to communicate with people. Thanks again!8


Loved thos explanation


I would say that all of this discussion is eminently instructive after a year's worth of Duo (and mahalo nui for all of it!). But I would suggest that, remembering in my initial lessons (which this is!) that the notion that "e lei" had two meanings (give and wear) is the key (and the instructive moment?), and that was important.

We building on small stepping stones (not all of them necessarily totally grammatically or culturally or whatever complete) :) ?? IMHO.

(BTW, I LOVE Duolingo, and I was elated to see it called out as an important 'Ōlelo Hawai'i resource in the latest (Malaki 2021) OHA newsmagazine (Ka Wai Ola).)


Where does it say 'wear'? I just see 'Yes, the lei.' I'm a beginneer, so don't judge me!!


No judgment. :-) I’m fairly beginning too, but I think this is an illustration of how Hawaiian doesn’t make the kind of clear noun/verb distinction most languages do. “Lei” can be used as a noun, but also as a verb meaning “to wear around the neck as one would a lei” (according to my textbook Nā Kai ‘Ewalu). Also, “e” is a particle that - among other uses - makes a verb imperative.

So, as with the other comments in this thread, it’s not only saying to take the lei, but wear as one.


Hawaiian Culture and little changes that make a difference

Mele Manaka 50: ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi ma KTA (culture link): https://vimeo.com/63499137


Ron, thanks for posting that link. 12Jun20


If Lei means "Garland" Why does "E lei" mean wear a lei


Once a person learns the word lei - right off the airplane generally speaking (any friend who meets you brings you a lei, and they sell them there too), you'd never refer to it as anything but a lei. Garland is what it describes, but a lei is specifically an Hawaiian flower necklace, a lei. :-)


It could mean Wear a garland as well.


ʻAe, e komo i ka lei... akā pololei ʻole kēlā


Because when you use lei as a verb like that, it already implies that the person is putting it on, not just handing it to someone.


I really love this game because it's give you other words you don't know


Why wouldnʻt you say, "ʻAe, e komo i ka lei." When "ʻAe, e lei." could mean, "Yes, give a lei"?


Because when you use lei as a verb like that, it implies that the person is putting it on, not just handing it to someone.


Someone explain to ke the E in the beggining and the e in the middle


The beginning and middle of what? For "e" as a separate word, at this point in the course you should have been shown two uses. If it's before a name or a noun, that means that you are calling to that person rather than talking about them. If it's before a verb, then it's indicating that you are instructing them to do that verb.
"E Keoki, e ‘ai." "Hey Keoki, eat!" But in both cases it is always before that word it is effecting, so I don't understand what you mean by middle.


How do you pronounce the ʻ?



The ʻ you will see in words like ʻae and ʻaʻole (yes and no), is called the ʻokina. The ʻokina is a glottal stop, which can be compared to the stopping of your voice between uh and oh in uh-oh. (The name of this letter literally translates to "cutting off, separation".)


I'm still confused by this simple sentence. So far I've seen two uses of "e": before nouns to make them vocative and before verbs to make them imperative. Is this another use? Or is "lei" a verb meaning "give/wear a lei" (sort of like how "crown" in English could be a noun or a verb)?


A common way to describe Hawaiian is to say that the boundries between parts of speech is less strict. Most nouns can used as verbs. When used as verb "lei" means something like, "do the lei thing". Depending on context this might be interpreted as wearing a lei or giving a lei to someone. It's very similar to "crown" in English, but extends to a much wider selection of nouns in Hawaiian.


I agree with jdmcowan, of course. But in addition let me say, there are many uses of “e” in Hawaiian, including part of the “e [verb] ana” construct (“going to ...”), as a separator for compound sentences (“makemake au e ʻike i nā mokupuni”, “I want to see the islands”), and others.

Read about them: https://hilo.hawaii.edu/wehe/?q=e

Note that the vocative usage is technically “ē”, but I believe I have seen it written without the kahakō also.


Hi, to wear a lei they are really pretty

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