Does a possessive word change the order of a sentence?
So I've just noticed that in most cases the subject comes BEFORE the adjective or the describing phrase in a sentence, like in 'Aia koʻu tūtū kāne ma ka lumi moe,' ʻMy grandpa is in the bedroom,' in which 'koʻu tūtū kāne' is 'my grandpa' and 'ma ka lumi moe' is 'in the bedroom.' But there are also times when the subject comes AFTER the adjective or describing phrase, like in 'He mākaʻi ʻo ia,' 'She/he is a police officer,' in which 'he mākaʻi' is 'a police officer' and 'ʻo ia' is 'he/she.' Could you tell me the reason for this? It would help to know how to tell the difference for when I'm forming sentences of my own and Duo isn't here to help me.
A pretty typical order for a Hawaiian sentence is: Verb Subject (Object) (Location). I have put the last two in parentheses because they might not be there or only one of them might be there. This kind of order works great when you have a verb (like Aia for where something is located or actual actions like 'Ai for eating).
Sometimes you just want to pair up two things, like "This is that". Hawaiian does not actually have a verb for that (like "to be" in English). In these cases, you just list the two things next to each other and I don't think the order really matters. Duolingo does seem to have some consistent ways it presents those kinds of equivalencies. I'm just a student, but here are the strategies that Duolingo seems to use. If one of them would have "a" in English, list that one first and start the sentence with He. If you are listing a noun with a definite article first (like ka, ke, or nā) then put 'O in front of the article. If you are listing someone by name first, also make sure to put 'O in front of it (and if you are listing the name second, still put 'o in front of it). It also seems that Duolingo has a preference to put pronouns as the second item of the two (and remember that ia also has 'o in front of it). I'm not sure that these "rules" are standard to all Hawaiian speakers or just the preferences of Duolingo's contributors, but for now I'm treating them as law!
The two sentence types you are talking about are (1) the stative, and (2) the equational. The stative sentence describes “where one stays.” In the case of “aia,” the word “aia” is a stative verb, so the subject follows the verb. This is consistent with the [Verb][Subject][Object] construction. “Aia” is roughly translated to “staying over there” but is poorly translated into English. The second type is the equational where this-equals-that. For example Man is a Farmer. The sentence leads with “he.” You can see that it does not matter the order of appearance. Since one equals the other, the meaning is easily understood. The ‘O precedes pronouns and names when the pronoun or name is the subject that is performing the action. Again, I have to give jdmcowan a thumbs-up.