"How is today's weather?"
Translation:Pehea ke anilā o kēia lā?
Todayʻs weather is a possessive, a grammatical case that denotes ownership: the weather of this day. Examples in English: the dogʻs bone / the bone of the dog, the catʻs toy / the toy of the cat.
They are different sentences in English and they are different sentences in Hawaiian. I guess if your goal is just to memorize some useful sentences, then you really only need one of them, but if you want to learn Hawaiian grammar so you can put together your own sentences, you'd better learn what distinguishes one sentence from the other.
OK, I give up. What is the difference between "i kēia lā" and "o kēia lā"?
Or, more to the point, what is the difference in meaning between i and o? OK, this is just the Beta stage, but this does need to be explained in the tips.
And while we are at it, what does the preposition "ma" mean? And how is it different from "i" and "o"?
o kēia lā = of today / today's (possessive)
i kēia lā = today (a temporal prepositional phrase)
No other difference. I think they are trying to teach the difference between o and i here in this section.
I'm just a student, too, but I'll tell you how I think of it. "O" connects the following thing to the preceding thing (I usually read it as "of"). "I" separates the following thing from the previous one.
So, "ke anilā o kēia lā" is "today's weather" (or "the weather of today") and "ke anilā i kēia lā" is, "the weather, today". In this sentence, there is effectively no difference in meaning, but grammatically there is a world of difference and so it is best to learn both forms.
I don't know anything about "ma", as I have not seen it in the course.
Ma - "Indefinite locative, instrumental, manner. At, in, on, beside, along, through; by means of, because of, in behalf of, according to. This very common part. is perhaps more specific than the similar i, at, in." This according to my dictionary. The example it gives is E noho ana ma Ulu-kou i Wai-kīkī/Living at Ulu-kou place in Wai-kīkī. Iʻm not sure how much help the strict dictionary definition is, but maybe a little.