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  5. "The mango is what I want."

"The mango is what I want."

Translation:ʻO ka manakō koʻu makemake.

December 4, 2018



Could this be taken literally as "The mango is my desire"?


Yes! That would be a literal translation, and it should be accepted. The reason that isn't the main translation is because it doesn't sound like something you would typically hear in casual English conversation. At least not in my circles :)


I'm trying to figure out what controls whether "makemake" is found at the start or the end of the sentence. Anyone?


It seems to me to be based on whether it's used as a noun (my wish - therefore at the end of the sentence) or a verb (I wish - therefore at the beginning of the sentence). But at this point that's still an assumption on my part.


You're definitely getting the gist of it. Words used as verbs in simple verb sentences will be at the beginning of the sentence. Words used as nouns usually (a lot of the time, anyway) have some marker like "ka", "ke", "koʻu", "kēia" before them. You're totally correct that "I wish/want/like/desire" -> "Makemake au" and that "my wish/desire" -> "koʻu makemake".


I'm still confused about when to use "he" and when to use "ʻo." I was initially taught the the "ʻo" was used only with proper nouns, but that seems inconsistent here on DL.


Mahalo nui for bringing up this topic in the forums, because I'm sure many others are wondering the same thing. It's a little tricky, because there are two different "ʻo"s.

  1. The ʻami piko "ʻo" - Used when talking about proper nouns. But there are no proper nouns in the sentence "ʻO ka manakō koʻu makemake." So what kind of "ʻo" is being used here???

  2. It is the ʻami ʻaike "ʻo" - Used in the pepeke ʻaike ʻo, a sentence pattern that is used to indicate that two things are "equivalent". "ʻO ka manakō koʻu makemake" is an example of this kind of sentence, where the two parts are "ka manakō" and "koʻu makemake". Another aspect that can be confusing is that you will also see sentences like "ʻO Keoki koʻu kumu". -> "My teacher is Keoki" or "Keoki is my teacher", where the two different "ʻo"s (one for the pronoun and one for equivalence) are in the same position and seem to overlap each other, becoming only one "ʻo". You might also see a sentence like "ʻO koʻu kumu ʻo Keoki", where you would clearly see both "ʻo"s playing their different roles in a single sentence.

Mind boggled yet? :)

Well, there is another kind of equivalence sentence pattern, and that is the pepeke ʻaike "he", which is like the pepeke ʻaike "ʻo", but, where the things connected to "ʻo" are more "specific" (expressing "am the", "are my", "is that", etc.), the things connected to "he" are more "general" (expressing "am a", "are a", "is an", etc.).

Hope that helps a bit!


This is incredibly helpful and I feel like a lot of things make sense now. Mahalo nui!


Ha! The ghosts of Nā Kai Ewalu are haunting me. (Inside joke. No offense, Prof Wilson). Thanks, Maui_Bartlett, for that explanation. Whew!


Is mango an "a" type possession, not an "o" type possession?


I wonder if makemake uses the o form even though food is a form? Thereʻs a translation on the Ulukau link taken from the book Hawaiian Grammar that also shows "Nani ʻino kuʻu makemake!" Pg 90 you prolly know already that kuʻu is the endearing form


Since the speaker does not possess ka manakō, wouldnʻt it have to be an o-class?


No. Possession classes are based on the type of object being discussed, not based on whether anyone actually possesses it. O-class possessions are things you were born with, things that you cannot change, and things you can climb into or on top of. U-class possessions are things that are extremely intimate, such as a lover. A-class possessions are things you acquire throughout life, including money and children. I feel like mangoes are acquired during your life.


That is a very good explanation. Info on possessives seems hard to pin down. Iʻve got an explanation for 0-possessives (thatʻs a zero or null symbol) and N-possessives (neither which Iʻve yet read) but I have nothing on U-possessives. Iʻm sure all these will come up eventually as DL ʻŌlelo continues to develop or I get around to reading about them. Have a lingot.


Typically "a" is used for food. This sentence has the possessive connected to "makemake", however, which often takes an "o" possessive, although it can be connected to "a" as well.

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