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  5. "The kids don't want (it)."

"The kids don't want (it)."

Translation:ʻAʻole makemake nā keiki.

October 18, 2019



Why in the other exercises it teaches " ‘A‘ole (subject) makemake" to say "(subject) don't want (it)" but it's a mistake to use that one form here?


Aloha e @Andrea607631 , ʻae, I believe I understand your question. I think the discrepancy is in the difference between how Hawaiian treats, what we would call in English, Pronouns and Proper Nouns.

Contrast the below:

Notice here the use of " ʻO " before Names (proper noun in EN):

  • ʻAi ke keiki i ka laiki. The child eats rice.
  • ʻAi ʻo Pualani i ka laiki. Pualani eats rice.

Notice here the absence of anything before pronouns:

  • ʻAi nā mākaʻi i ke kaʻa. The police officers eat in the car.
  • ʻAi lākou i ke kaʻa. They eat in the car.

The reason why I wanted to illustrate in these examples how those word "groups" are treated differently ma ka ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi is to show how this also applies to NEGATIVE Sentence Forms.

For negative sentences, the pronouns "jump" up BEFORE the action word, instead of its usual place AFTER the action word as will positive sentences.

See the below examples:

  • Hele au i ka papa. I go to class.
  • ʻAʻole au hele i ka papa. I do not go to class.

  • Makemake ʻo ia i kēlā pua. She/He likes/wants that flower.

  • ʻAʻole ʻo ia makemake i kēlā pua. She/He does not like/want that flower.

  • Makemake kēlā mau ʻīlio e hele i ka pāka. Those dogs want to go to the park.

  • ʻAʻole makemake kēlā mau ʻīlio e hele i ka pāka. Those dogs do not want to go to the park.

I hope this helps a bit!!! Just keep in mind that pronouns / proper nouns are always treated differently in hawaiian.


Mahalo, e @KekoaMonkey, very nice explanation! A hui hou, mālama pono!


Noʻu ka ʻolu, my pleasure


but in that specific sentence, why is "A'o'le nā keiki makemake" incorrect? If it's a negative, the subject could come before the verb, shouldn't it?


Im sorry i do realize im repeating the question but im still confused >< english is not my first language so i dont really understand the difference between pronouns and proper nouns here. Isnt "the children" a regular pronoun, just like I/he/you/etc?


Aloha, they're very different actually. Nā keiki would be a determinant, nā, followed directly by a noun, keiki, making them a subject of the sentence you gave in the exact same way as would lākou (they) instead.

However, pronouns act like an abreviated noun and are usually taught as the first part of any verb - I, you, he/she/it, we, you, they. I'm oversimplifying not to spend an hour giving you examples of pronouns, because they can vary a lot, but that's the gist of it: think of the simplest way to reduce the subject of a verb. "Karen likes that" would boil down to "She likes that". "A dozen thieves escaped the prison" would be "They/those escaped the prison"

In the context of this lesson in 'ōlelo Hawai'i, pronouns are shown to be put between the negation (A'ole) and the verb (makemake). They're still the subject, so it would stand to reason that they would come after the verb, but this is an exception to an otherwise constant rule in this language. It sucks, but all languages have exceptions for almost every rule, and to learn a language means to learn those exceptions as well. My birth language is french, and while it isn't that hard to learn, we have millions of exceptions to everything, so I get why this is confusing.

So, to put it simply one last time;

Positive and negative sentences with a noun: - Makemake nā keiki - A'ole makemake nā keiki

Positive and negative sentences with a pronoun: - Makemake lākou - A'ole lākou makemake

(We haven't learned lākou [they] yet in this lesson, don't worry, it's normal if you don't know it)


I'm still learning the language, so don't hesitate to correct me if I've said something horribly wrong ^^


Why is this a'ole makemake nā keiki, but not correct for you don't want it. A'ole makemake 'oe is wrong and must be a'ole 'oe makemake


Can someone explain the absense of "i" in this sentence? Im still a bit confusedn about when it should be used.


i marks objects in the sentence, but not the subject. Since nā keiki is our subject and there are no other objects, we dont need i. i can also be used to show direction, like "to, at, towards, on, ..." but that's also not needed here

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