"Does he like fish?"

Translation:Makemake ʻo ia i ka iʻa?

August 10, 2019

2 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FlorDLP

Wouldn't fish be plural in this sentence?

August 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/okolenui

Aloha e @FlorDLP, typically the plurals of some things in Hawaiian are understood in context and are typically emphasized in the case when you are actually referring to just one (another example is niho, tooth; you would say "E palaki i kou niho," but it is understood you are brushing all your teeth and not just one tooth). In this type of sentence pattern you mentioned; however, in Hawaiian you must preface the subject word with a "ka" particle, which yes, does mean "the," in English, but doesnʻt not necessary denote a specific fish. It is more general in Hawaiian. Like in English there is a difference between "I like fish" and "I like the fish." Well in Hawaiian, you canʻt just omit the "the" and still have it make sense like it does in English, but refer to fish in general. "Makemake ʻo ia i ka iʻa?" Can refer to fish in general or to a specific fish from context... When being very specific in Hawaiian, you would use other added information to denote a specific fish and not fish in general. "Makemake ʻo ia i kēia iʻa?" Did you like this fish? "Makemake ʻo ia i ka (iʻa) aku?" Do you like tuna (fish)?

Hope this helps somewhat, but these specifics are what make many Polynesian languages difficult to learn for western language speakers >.<"

August 14, 2019
Learn Hawaiian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.