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  5. "Don't spend money."

"Don't spend money."

Translation:Mai hoʻolilo kālā.

February 4, 2019



What is the sentence structure or grammar to use in this case?
I thought the sentence would be in the form of a command having an implied subject, and taking an " i ke," but I was wrong.

I thought the structure was - " do not spend [you] the money"

I translated the sentence to be - Mai ho'olilo ['oe] i ke kālā.

I am thinking both "ke kālā" and "kālā" mean money, but I do not know when to use the different syntax or grammar.

If you have information, please share.


Aloha e Barbara! Mahalo nui for this question.

First of all, "Mai hoʻolilo [ʻoe] i ke kālā" is totally correct and should be accepted as a possible answer.

Sentences that follow a pattern like (verb) [subject] i ka/ke (object) can sometimes also be written as (verb) (object) [subject], where the (verb) (object) pair can be thought of as a sort of compound verb. "Mai hoʻolilo kālā" is, I believe, the first demonstration of this pattern in the course, and it is not very clear from this example alone. However, you will see more of this pattern in succeeding lessons (in Habits, for example).

A similar thing can sometimes happen in English, for example, you could say "He was hunting for a house" or "He was house hunting".

Another example:

"E nānā [ʻoe] i ka wikiō" (Watch, [you], the video) can also be written as "E nānā wikiō [ʻoe]" (Video-watch, [you]).


I am getting the impression that "mai" is used to negate a verb and "'a'ole" is used to negate something else in the sentence...is that true or just has been the way the last few lessons seem?


Mai is the negative command "Don't" that can be used ONLY with second-person pronouns (ʻoe/ʻolua/ʻoukou), and the pronoun (if included) always comes after the verb. It doesn't move forward as usually happens in ʻaʻole sentences. For example, Mai hoʻolalau ʻoe! (Don't dillydally!) as opposed to ʻAʻole ʻoe e hoʻolalau. (You shouldn't dillydally.) The latter is probably rare in conversational Hawaiian simply because it lacks the power of a Mai command, same as in English (Don't vs. You shouldn't).

Also, you've surely already noticed that the pronoun (usually ʻoe) is commonly left out of affirmative commands, and the same goes for negative commands beginning with Mai, especially when speaking to one person: Mai hoʻolalau!

Does that help? Be sure to note the word ONLY in the first sentence.


Mai uku kala... Dont spend/ pay money.


Don't pay cash.


Haven't come across "mai" used this way (although I've read comments on other lessons). No warning by using it in Hawaiian first, and offering 'a'ole as a legit option in the hints. :(

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