1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Hawaiian
  4. >
  5. "His mother is short."

"His mother is short."

Translation:Pōkole kona makuahine.

July 24, 2019



I used "he pokole" and it was also marked correct...is there a nuance in meaning with/without the "he"?


"He" would work here because it describes the state of someone, not just a temporary quality. It's actually short for "he mea pōkole" which would mean "a short person." "Mea" is often left out of Hawaiian sentences.


Mahalo for that - and now I know (four months later) that the "he" can go with a noun, not an adjective (which is what I thought I was using) - so it all makes sense.


Why is it wrong to say "Pôkole makuahine ´o ia"? I really do not understand the difference.


'O ia means he or she, not his or hers. That is the difference.


Why is "Kona makuahine pōkole" wrong?


"Kona makuahine pōkole" is not a complete sentence. It just means "His short mother." When "pōkole" follows a noun, it is an adjective describing that noun. When used at the beginning of a sentence, it can be a "stative verb" which works like a verb in Hawaiian although it looks like an adjective in English. They wanted a complete sentence here, and remember that there is no verb "to be" in Hawaiian, so this is one pattern that replaces the need for "to be."


ʻO ia pōkole kona makuahine. Also is marked wrong. I thought it might translate as "She short his mother." Which sounds unfinished in English but reminded me a bit of the Yoda-wording mentioned in other posts. What did I say, is there some grammatical rule I ignored? Mahalo.


You can say "Pōkole kona makuahine" or "Pōkole ʻo ia" (she is short); can't use both, especially at the beginning of the sentence.

Learn Hawaiian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.