"E wehe i ka puka."

Translation:Open the door.

October 25, 2018

This discussion is locked.


This is a command. So why does it not require the subject (ʻoe), as in: E wehe ʻoe i ka puka


Who else would you be commanding other than 'oe? Just like in English it is not necessary to specify the subject when giving the command, "Open the door!"


The problem is the examples are not consistent. Some of the commands will not accept a reply without ‘oe and others do.


I know what you are talking about, Alan. I have seen that in other topics here. Basically the default is to omit the subject like in English. You can use the subject for clarity or emphasis if you wish. They both should be marked correct.


I have not yet been required to put in 'oe and have had all my commands accepted without it. Perhaps I have just been lucky. I don't know for certain that you can't use it, but the Tips & Notes and my experience in the course so far have certainly led me to believe that it is not required.


'oe, 'olua, 'oukou could all be the intended recipients of a command. Note also that the marker "e" used for commands is also used for future/will and should sentences and for those structures any pronoun could be the intended recipient.


Good point! None of that has been taught up to this point in the course, but all of those are certainly possible. So when can or can't a subject be elided when using "e" before the verb?


Why i is in there and not just ka puka


It shows that the door is being opened. Without the word i then the door is the subject. It is easier to understand with a different example.

kōkua ke keiki = the child helps

kōkua i ke keiki = help the child


I am curious as to whether or not Hawaiian pronounces the "w" as a "v"? I've also noticed this in the sample sound of the name Kawika.


I'm just a student so take the results of my studies with some skepticism. It sounds to me like some people just go full ahead with a w sounds and some people just go full into the v sound. I've seen people try to give context for when it might sound like a w and when it might sound like a v, but I was not convinced.

I have read some evidence that historically it was a separate sound always pronounced half way between those two sounds (w and v). I'll describe how to do that in a moment. I have definitely heard some modern speakers make this sound and I believe this is still the proper modern way to make the sound.

Try making a v sound, but with both lips, instead of putting your lip against your teeth. If you hum with your lips open just a little, but very tight, you get a sound very much like a v, but using your two lips instead of putting one lip against the teeth. For anyone familiar with Spanish, this is the same sound that should be made for b/v in most situations. In fact early Spanish missionaries wrote Hawaiian with a b in place of a w - for example "Habái" instead of "Hawai'i".

Because you are using two lips, it sounds a little like a w before a vowel. But because the lips never fully close and instead make a little buzz, it sounds a little like a v. Since early English missionaries were not familiar with that sound, they wanted to relate it to a sound they knew and could write, but couldn't figure out whether it was a v or a w. The early writings are full of a mixture of the two. Usually (but not always) individual people were consistent in which one they wrote, but two different people might have written the same word with the two different letters. Eventually the standard became to always use the w, but I believe that even today, the most traditional way to pronounce the sound written with a w is to always make that buzz with two lips and no teeth.


In Tahitian it is only a V, but the sound is really between a w and v. There is a pattern of use for w in terms of the w or v sound it makes. Whether this is a modern shift is unknown to me.

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