"The mango is what I want."

Translation:ʻO ka manakō koʻu makemake.

December 4, 2018

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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!


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


ʻAe! 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 :)


Wouldn't "ʻo aha koʻu makemake ka manakō" also work (switching equvalences)?


For "the mango is my desire (what I want)", you could say "ʻo ka manakō koʻu makemake" or "ʻo koʻu makemake ka manakō". The latter I will add as an accepted answer. Should be accepted in 14 days at the most.

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