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  5. "Kena ka mahiʻai i ka wai."

"Kena ka mahiʻai i ka wai."

Translation:The farmer's thirst is quenched with water.

December 30, 2018



Perhaps the "i" is acting as a causative, meaning "because of" - The farmer's thirst is quenched because of the water. (Hawaiian Grammar, page 134). Also kena is a stative verb here. Kena here is a stative verb


I read through these comments but am still not sure why "the farmer quenches his thirst with water" is not correct. "Kena" was mentioned as a stative verb, but my understanding of a stative verb is that it reflects a "state of being" - like seem, to be, etc. Quench is an action verb (in English - maybe there is a different action verb in Hawaiian that means "to quench"?) In the given translation, "quenched" is an adjective (again in English, but I'm having trouble wrapping my head around this one..." If the sentence is VSO, then isn't "kena" the V, farmer the S and with water the O? Or is thirst the S? (then it would be "'o ka mahi'ai"?) Help? (Or maybe it's sort of an idiom?)


Lots of good questions. I believe this is a verb-less stative sentence. Kena is listed as a stative verb (adjective in English). Ho'okena is defined as a verb meaning to quench thirst. Regarding the "i ka wai" - I still think the "i" is acting as a causative, meaning "because of" - The farmer's thirst is quenched because of the water. Aloha


Yes, the V =(kena) a stative verb/adjective. The S = ka mahi'ai.
"ka wai" marked by i, means the water caused the quench.

kena = to be quenched, ho'okena = to quench


"with" water? Sigh.


As opposed to beer?


No, Mojave. Kena means to quench, so the farmer quenches, and then "i" indicates "the water"... I was trying to get "with" out of that. Being too literal, I guess. Making it harder than it needs to be. But if ma means "with", I now wonder if Kena ka mahiʻai ma ka wai" is horribly, terribly wrong? Anyone? Edit: Me, not ma, for "with." Oops


I think "i" and "ma" are just prepositions that don't always translate the same way into English. The hover-over tip gives "by" as a translation for "i", but in English we don't say "quench our thirst by water", we say "with water". "I ka wai" would be literally "by the water", but contextually it means "with water" here.

In my notes (based on the Mango Languages Hawaiian course), I have "i" as the "direct and indirect object marker used before nouns" and "ma" as "commonly used for time and location prepositions; cannot replace 'i' in direct and indirect object phrases". Based on that, "ma ka wai" is wrong here.

Hopefully that helps.


If you want to indicate the cause of a state of being (adjective) then you tack on a prepositional phrase starting with i + the noun.

We have several options in English - with, by, from, because of, etc.

In Hawaiian, it would be just i. That becomes if a pronoun or name is after it.


Pukui and Elbert insist that "kena" is "BE quenched/satisfied, of thirst," and give only "quenched," = "kena," no "quench," in the E-H section of their dictionary. But "mahi'ai" is clearly in subject position in the sentence so it is hard to understand why "kena" doesn't simply mean "quench/satisfy (one's) thirst." Maybe because that wording doesn't work well for "inu a kena"?


"The farmer is quenched by water" was not accepted. What else BUT his thirst would be quenched?


But a farmer can't quenched. You can quench hot metal, fire, ashes, etc., but not people.


I wonder how one might say "The farmer quenches his thirst with water," like he does it on purpose? Probably has to be "Inu ka mahi'ai i ka wai a kena."


I think 'The farmer quenches his thirst with water', would be.

E kena ka mahi'ai kona make wai me ka wai.

Quenched the farmer his thirst with water.

'me' is with. 'make wai' is thirt or 'water desire'.

Nā puke wehewehe, i have found, is a great dictionary for Hawaiian.

http://www.olelo.hawaii.edu/olelo/hoolele101/index.php This is a site for Audio tracks teaching Hawaiian, very helpful.


"E kena" would be more like "will drink to the point of satiation," and takes an accusative marked with "i."


It also seems that 'The farmer is satisfied with water' should have been accepted, since duolingo also defines kena as 'is satisfied (thirst)'

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