1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Hawaiian
  4. >
  5. "The adult men go to work eve…

"The adult men go to work every day."

Translation:Hele nā kāne makua i ka hana i nā lā a pau.

November 27, 2019



What is the difference between "makua kāne" and "kāne makua"? They seem to keep flipping them back and forth, and I'm missing the difference! Can someone please explain this to me?

In wehewehe.org, it says " the male cousin or father of a same generation, or something like that, for "makua kāne" and for "kāne makua" it's also a male but not of the same generation?? Very unclear, to me. Can someone clarify, in simple terms, please, perhaps by giving examples? Mahalo!


Makua kāne is basically father, a male parent. Kāne makua is an adult (of the parent generation) man. The adjective after the noun makes the difference.


Should "makua" be "mākua" since "adult men" is being referred to?


That's a question discussed a lot by teachers and speakers of Hawaiian. In this case, I think I would agree with DL since "makua" is merely an adjective describing the "status" of the men rather than emphasizing how many there are. In Hawaiian language preschools, there's a "papa makua/papa mākua" which is a class for teaching Hawaiian to the parents, and it's usually called "papa mākua" since it is a class for all of the mākua; makua is not just an adjective describing the class. But some people do prefer to call it a "papa makua." But that's a really good question that gets a lot of discussion among Hawaiian speakers (especially teachers). As I said, however, in this particular sentence, I think I would agree with DL and call them nā kāne makua since "makua" just describes who they are, not how many there are.

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