"Uʻi" vs. "Nani"

So I understand these both mean "pretty," but is there a specific use for them? Duolingo tends to have me use "uʻi" when describing people, and "nani" when describing the weather, but does it really matter?

May 6, 2019


"U'i" and "Nani" are na a'ano- which is equivalent to saying that they are adjectives and adverbs in english. They describe a state or condition of something. A'ano in translation means a variety and is part of the categorization of words used in olelo hawaii, meme'a. Na meme'a are a'ano, kikino, hamani, and hehele. But to answer your question, I have always used nani to describe objects or adornments, nothing that is living or is capable of changing overtime. Whereas, U'i is used to describe things that are capable of changing or functioning. Take for example, you would describe your lover or girlfriend as "Ku'uipo," meaning my sweetheart, my lover, my beautiful. Thats not to say that I properly use these words correctly. I will occasionally call those younger than me who im comfortable with nani. Whether it matters... well. It's like the japanese language. Would you want to talk improper towards your superiors, elders, family, friends. It depends where you're at, the occasion. Who or what are you addressing as u'i or nani? I don't think you should worry since it's rare for someone to run into someone from ni'ihau or a certified HAW speaker. But. You know. Maybe you might.

May 7, 2019

Thank you very much. I understand much better now: "Nani" is for describing inanimate objects that will stay the same, and "Uʻi" is for things that can change, like a living thing, right?

May 7, 2019

'ae (yes)

May 25, 2019
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