Auwe! Based on the explanation provide with My mother buys clothes (quantity not specified-requiring "ka") vs My mother buys the supplies (quantity specified-requiring "nā.") Can someone explain why "E kū‘‘ai i nā lako" translates to "Buy the supplies"(specify quantity) and "Buy supplies." (quantity not specified). Mahalo
Aloha e @HoferWong, auē nō!! ʻAe, this is very confusing.
So my guess is that one of several things are happening here:
1) the content writers do not know the difference and use them interchangeably [which is done in conversational English all the time and is usually clarified through context as well. Some may call this "bad grammar," but really if itʻs understood, then itʻs understood].
2) there is a context to this in the content writerʻs mental image of the conversation or an implied context in the lesson theme to suggest specific vs. general or
3) It is unimportant to distinguish the two to this content writer either in general or in this lesson context specifically
So if #1 holds true, then the lesson should be corrected to use "ka" as the kaʻi. (which is my vote because really there should be consistency otherwise learning will become obstructed by these small irregularities). If for #2 the implied context is too vague or #3 holds true, then the lesson should accept either as an answer.
My personal suggestion to you, e @HoferWong, is that you understand there should be a difference (and there is), BUT to keep in mind how context-based Polynesian languages are and to be able to adapt to that lol. I hope this helps a bit!!
P.s. content contributors need to be MUCH more careful and attentive at writing the answers / lessons for ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi. People are going to be confused, especially if they have never encountered polynesian languages. Also, add more lesson notes or donʻt introduce new lesson, hello do what is pono.