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  5. "kēia lā" and "I kēia lā"


"kēia lā" and "I kēia lā"

Can someone explain me the differences between "Kēia lā" and "I kēia lā"? Here are some examples that make me really confused:

-He lā ʻōmalumalu kēia lā.

-Pehea ke anilā o Hilo i kēia lā?

-He lā makani kēia lā.

January 20, 2019



Putting the i in front of kēia lā turns it into a time stamp. Without the i, it is acting as a noun. I'll use English examples to show you the difference.

"Today is pretty" is using "today" as a noun. "Today" is the thing that is pretty. It also happens to be referring to the current time period, but grammatically, you are talking about the day, not talking about something happening on the day. In this case you would not use the i before kēia lā in Hawaiian.

"Today, it is pretty" on the other hand is saying that something is pretty and it is happening during the time period of today. "Today" is a time stamp for the sentence, not a part of the sentence itself. We would most likely interpret the "it" to refer to "today" and so really it winds up meaning the same thing. But grammatically today is not part of the sentence, it's a time stamp added to the sentence. So for this you would use i to indicate that it is being pretty "on" today.


So, in other words, when functioning as a noun, you simply use kēia lā. If functioning as an adverb, you use i kēia lā. Thanks!


I wouldn't quite call it an adverb, but that might be a good way to think of it for people who already understand the implications of those terms.


Just a guess, but in the first and third examples, kēia lã is the subject noun. In the second example, ke anilã is the subject and i kēia lã functions as an adverb.


Today is a cloudy day.

How is Hilo's weather today? (lit. How is the weather of Hilo on this day?)

Today is a windy day.


There is no difference.


Hi super late on this, and you may have already figured it out lol.

To put it very simply, it is sentence pattern based. In Hawaiian, certain markers/particles are placed before sentence parts to indicate what that part of the sentence is acting as, and therefore defining the structure of the sentence.

For example, your 3 sentences actually illustrate this perfectly. Sentences #1 and #3 are both what would be called "equational". Where A=B or B=A.

Sentence 1: He lā ʻōmalumalu (a cloudy day) = kēia lā (this day).

Sentence 3: He lā makani (a windy day) = kēia lā (this day).

Sentence 2: Different sentence pattern - Pehea _. or "How is"_, where is this case the subject is "ke anilā o Hilo". The sentence pattern is complete weather you add anything else or not. For extra branches added to the base sentence pattern, you need to include a particle before hand.

For example: "I eat rice." in the sentence "ʻAi au i ka laiki." In this case "ʻAi au" is already a complete sentence meaning "I eat". Adding what I am eating is extra information, and anything else you added onto it would be addition info as well. Like in this sentence:

" ʻAi au i ka laika a me ka poi i kēia la e Kawika." I eat | rice | and poi | on this day | (addressing/saying towards) Kawika

Hopefully that SORT OF helps, but the super short answer is it depends on the sentence pattern and itʻs place in it. "Extras" are usually added with a particle in front.


also once more note, going a step further, in the sentences

"ʻAi i ka laiki." and "ʻAi ka laiki." Are they the same?

ʻAʻole, because the presence of the particle lets you know itʻs position in that sentence pattern. The first sentence would read "[someone I reference previously, but omitted for convenience] eats rice." The second sentence reads "The rice eats".

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