"E kūlauna mai!"


August 24, 2019



The word bubble under "mai" says that it means "do not"... why do we use "mai" here when the statement appears to be affirmative?

August 24, 2019


Aloha e @3CelticVikings , Did it only have "do not," or also included "toward the speaker?"

Mai is a word that has several uses actually. In the same way that "ua" means rain (in noun-like usage), "to rain" (in verb-like usage), and a past tense marker ( when preceding a verb-like usage word)....

"Mai" is a directional marker meaning "towards the speaker." When Mai precedes a verb-like usage word, it creates the Negative Imperative. More or less the opposite of "E" when preceding a verb-like usage word. Examples:

  • E hele ma ʻō. Go there (over there). You should go there (over there).
  • Mai hele ma ʻō. Do not go there (over there).

So long story short, in your example the "mai" is used as a directional, not a negative imperative, but could if in a different order.

Hope this helps!

August 28, 2019
Learn Hawaiian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.