"E uku ʻo Kaʻiulani i ka pila."

Translation:Kaʻiulani should pay the bill.

April 10, 2019

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Is Uku always "should pay," and never just "pays?


Uku is "pays." E uku is "should/will/is expected to pay."


Is EXPECTED to pay?! Wow! That's pretty presumptuous! Mahalo nui for that perspective!


The pros (Pukui and Elbert) make "e" a marker of imperative or exhortative mood. My amateur take is that it means "Here's what better happen:" E uku 'oe, You better pay/Pay! E uku kāua, We ought to pay/Let's pay. E uku 'o ia, She should pay.


Not necessarily presumptuous. Maybe she has the money or it’s her responsibility. Maybe we paid last time. Maybe she said she would and somebody else is pulling out their wallet. It’s just a sentence. Also, remember that the preverb marker “e” actually has a range of meanings, from commands to suggestions and even predictions. Read more here:



Thanks, and thatʻs quite a resource. Definitely one to bookmark.


Similar to Esperanto. Is it because 'ōlelo Hawai'i was also 'man-made', to a certain degree?


I'm not sure of the question. I don't really see the similarity to Esperanto here, and as far as I know the language is pretty natural. Sure, the spelling system changed things up a bit, and there's a lot of English words, but I don't think there's been a lot of grammar changes other than what comes naturally from language interaction (and in Hawaiian's case, suppression). The book The Voices of Eden is a fascinating history of the language over the past couple hundred years.

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