"The key is on the floor."
Translation:Aia ke kī ma ka papahele.
Which one to use before a noun like word, KA or KE = the or the
[Memory hint: ke ao = the cloud ]
Ke is used with ALMOST all noun like words used with k, e, o, or a. (ke kelepona = the telephone, ke ea = the rule, ke one = the sand, ke alanui = the street)
NOTE: the [ ʻ ] ʻokina is not included in this group. (ka ʻōpū = the stomack, ka ʻanakala = the uncle)
(Some words break the rule: ke pākaukau = the table )
Here's a really, really late reply to this question, but it's actually a very good question when related to "aia" sentences. If you want to use "aia" to say someone has something in their possession, it always takes "i" or "iā." Aia iā wai ke kī? (Who has the key?) Aia iaʻu. (I have it.) Aia i kēlā keiki ma ʻō. (That kid over there has it.) Aia iā Keola. (Keola has it.)
Be sure to note that "aia" in these sentences is actually stating that the item is NOW in the possession of the person you're mentioning, and--as stated above--it always takes "i" or "iā."
Even if the question is "Aia i hea ke kī?" (Where is the key?), if someone has it, you would have to reply, "Aia ke kī i/iā . . ." But some people have been asking if you can say "Aia ma hea ke kī?" or "Aia ke kī ma hea?" You can ask the question this way, but if its "location" is in someone's possession, you must answer with "i" or "iā."
So, back to your question, when identifying a location that is somewhere (other than being in someone's possession, and especially without use of locatives), "aia" would definitely take "ma"; using "i" would make it sound like "The floor has the key" (Aia ke kī i ka papahele.)
Wow, how did this great question get ignored for an entire year? BTW, I did give a similar reply on a different thread, but this information is worth repeating in case anyone misses it.