I'd gotten used to thinking in Hawaiian syntax, but for dates and times, the program seems to prefer a more English structure. These are not the only instances where this is true, but they're consistent enough for me to expect pretty much anything and nothing consistent with these. Makes learning more difficult.
The word before the name of the month was ʻo with ʻokina since it is identifying the name of the month. "This is the month, January." = "ʻO kēia ka mahina ʻo Ianuali."
(This information came from (Hawaiian Language Fundamentals | ʻŌLELO ʻŌIWI | MOKUNA 1: Māhele 4....ʻaoʻao 35)
ʻO ka mahina hea kēia? = What (which) month is this?
ʻO kēia ka mahina ʻo Iune. = This is the month, June.
or = This is the month of June
ʻO Iune kēia. = This is June.
ʻO lune kēia mahine. = This month is June.
It makes it look like the 'O sentence has three arguments. How do I make sure a sentence like this doesn't get interpreted as, "This, the month, is January." Or since this kind of sentence just equates the arguments, am I just allowed to add any number of arguments and thus equating them all?
Can I use this kind of apposition in a regular sentence? "He mahi'ai ko'u kupuna kāne 'o Keoki."
I am going to add the rest of the explanation from the book source. In the next two sets of sentences, the word (o) does not begin with an ʻokina since it is stating that the date belongs to that month. This may be confusing since the word (o) is often translated as of, and even though this is also the case in the first set above, it actually IDENTIFIES a NAME rather than any sense of possession.
ʻO ka lā ʻehia kēia? = What day (of the month) is this?
ʻO ka lā ʻeono kēia o Malaki. = This is March sixth.
I ka lā ʻehia? = On what day (of the month)?
I ka lā ʻelua o Ianuali. = On January second.
I am doing a lot of work to learn the Hawaiian language. Perhaps some other students can answer your particular question more precisely. I hope this information helps a little.
That doesn't help me much. The reason I asked my question was that I understood how to use o, but didn't understand when or how to use 'o instead. If I can say, ka lā 'ehia o Ianuali ("day 2 of January"), why wouldn't I say, ka mahina o Ianuali ("the month of January")? Is the 'okina required or is this a case where either word would work?
(I think that the monthʻs name acts like a personʻs name.)
ʻO kēia ke kāne ʻo Kaipo. = This is the man, Kaipo.
(perhaps) ʻO Kaipo kēia. = This is Kaipo.
(Perhaps) ʻO Kaipo kēia Kane. = This man is Kaipo.
I found more information on how the months act as a name in the Hawaiian language. Look at time segment [4:14] to [6:32] in the video (Ka Leo ʻŌiwi | Episode 10)
Look at time segment [2:34] to [2:49] in the video (Ka Leo ʻŌiwi | Episode 11)
ʻO wai kēia mahina? = What is (the name of) this month? (OR literal translation: Who is this month?
ʻO Kepakemapa kēia mahine. = This month is September.