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Hawaiian ke and ka--

I'm having trouble figuring out when to use ke and when to use ka.

February 9, 2020



Ke is used before any word beginning with k, e, a, or o. To remember the letters "ke" goes before, remember the word "ke ao" which means the cloud in Hawaiian.

I understand Hawaiian doesn't have masc or fem... So the ke and ka aren't as hard as Spanish or French(or le 4 masc., la 4 fem). It definitely confused me at first as well as someone that studied French.

Ke and Ka are a bit like our English "An" instead of "A" rule. We use "an" instead when "a" precedes a vowel.


Maika'i kou mana'o e @MatthewBarkdull! Only thing I would like to add is that Hawaiian has irregular words, as is the case for all languages, that do not follow the ke w/ "ke ao" rule. Many times these account for foreign loan words or words created recently, but not always. Ka puke wehewehe 'ōlelo Hawai'i (Hawaiian language dictionary) usually will make a note of this in words translations, if it is irregular to the "ke ao" rule.

Some examples of irregular usages are ke hoa, ke pākaukau, ke puna...


The topic of articles doesn't start until 7 minutes and 35 seconds if you watch this video. But it is a decent video to watch all the same! Mahalo!

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