Last updated 2020-05-02 17:32:39



1st au
2nd ʻoe
3rd ʻo ia

Possessive Pronouns

1st koʻu
2nd kou
3rd kona


Adjectives follow the noun.

  1. ka lumi nui
    the big room
    lit. the room big
  2. ka lumi kuke nui
    the big kitchen
    lit. the room cooking big

Articles and Determiners (Kaʻi)


the. One general rule for determining if ka or ke is used is by the word ke ao:the cloud. Words beginning with k, e, a, or o will most often pair with ke. There are some exceptions, such as ke ʻeke:the bag, which begins with an ʻokina, but is paired with ke.KLʻO ep1
another.ʻŌO 0603V
vocative marker, proceeds a person or a place.


There are three determiners in Hawaiian.ʻŌO 0608V These are used in the pepeke ʻAike He, below.

  1. kēia - this
  2. kēlā - that far from me/us
  3. kēnā - that near to you

Pepeke (Sentence Structures)

Pepeke are different sentence structures found in Hawaiian. Rather than try to match the structure with broader linguistic terms, they are taught in relations to the parts of aheʻe:octopus.ʻŌO 0800V

Thus, a pepeke has 3 parts: poʻo:head, piko:center, and ʻawe:tentacles. Each sentence structure below serves a different purpose and fits different parts of speech into each part of the pepeke.

Pepeke Painu (Descriptive Sentences)

This form is used for simple "X is Y" sentences.

structure {
poʻo piko ʻawe
descriptor subject

For example, the poi is delicious.

ʻono ka poi {
poʻo piko ʻawe
ʻono ka poi
delicious the poi

Pepeke ʻAike He (Indicating a thing)

This form is used for "This/That is X" when X is not a person or a place.

structure {
poʻo piko ʻawe
article thing determiner

For example, this is a man.

He kāne kēia {
poʻo piko ʻawe
he kāne kēia
a man this

Pepeke ʻAike ʻO (Indicating a person or place)

This form is used for "This/That is X" when X is a person or a place.

structure {
poʻo piko ʻawe
ʻo person or place determiner

For example, this is Lani.

ʻO Lani kēia {
poʻo piko ʻawe
ʻo Lani kēia
VOC Lani this

Pepeke Henua (When or where something is)

When this form is used as a question, one may see the piko and ʻawe switch places.

This form could be broadly thought of as the "at" form, e.g "where you at?" or "when is it at?"

When used as a question when/where as listed in the ʻawe will be either āhea:when or i/ma hea:where. When it is a statement, ex. I am here, I and ma, without hea can be used interchangeably.KLʻO ep5

structure {
poʻo piko ʻawe
aia subject when/where

For example, Mokulēʻia is in Waiālua.

ʻono ka poi {
poʻo piko ʻawe
aia ʻo Mokulēʻia i/ma Waiālua
LOC Mokulēʻia in Waiālua
  1. Aia i hea ka papaheʻenalu?
    Where is the surfboard?
    Note that the piko and ʻawe have switched places.
  2. Aia i loko? A i ʻole aia i waho?
    Is it inside? Or is it outside?
  3. Aia ʻo Keaukaha i Hilo ma Hawaiʻi mokupuni.
    Keaukaha is in Hilo on the island of Hawaiʻi.

The ʻokina

It is important to note that the character that appears to be an apostrophe ' or ʼ is in fact a letter ʻ, called the ʻokina. It looks more like a raised, tiny number 6, and in fact, in the Unicode standard, is called a "modifier letter turned comma".

The ʻokina represents a glottal stop, most often heard in English as the "stop" between uh and oh in uh-oh.