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Confusion with "no" and "mai"

Can someone explain the difference between these sentences?

No hea ʻoe?

No hea mai ʻoe?

Mai hea mai ʻoe?

I looked them up on wehewehe.org and both No and Mai can mean "from". One of their examples was "Mai hea mai ʻoe?" which looks like "from where from you?" and seems wrong. I'm confused on the usages and different meanings of these words.

Thank you!

October 29, 2018



Mai as a verb means "come", and as a prep. means "from", that's why.

Mai hea mai ʻoe?= Where did you come from?
Hele mai mai o Hilo= He came from Hilo.
No hea ʻoe?= Where are you from?


Thank you! That helps a lot. This may seem like a basic question, but how do you know which is the verb and which is the preposition? I never was very good at remembering these things in my English classes, so I'm trying to learn now.


Great ;) Mai hea mai ʻoe? lit. means "From where come you?"
I think that word order here is easier and more direct than in English, with the pre-position placed before, instead of at the end of the sentence.


Iʻm a beginner, so Iʻm trying to understand this, too. I thought Hele meant Go, but if you add the directional mai to it, mai meaning toward the speaker, Hele mai then means Come (go toward the speaker). 2. Mai also means From, as you say. (And 3. it is also a negative preverb (like Mai ʻai ʻoe/Donʻt eat vs. Mai e ʻai ʻoe/Come eat), which I will save for another day). It sounds so simple, but I am not able to parse Hele mai mai o Hilo. Mai Hilo mai = From Hilo toward the speaker (here). Right? Does "Mai hele mai o Hilo" mean the same thing? I hope someone can shed some more light on this.


Mai hele mai i Hilo= Don't come to Hilo

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