Hawaiian/He Aha Sentences

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"He Aha Sentences" are statements that tell what something is. For example, one could ask, "What is this?" or "What is that?" and the person spoken to would respond, "This is an apple." "That is a dog." or whatever.

This extremely simple sentence is easy to form, and very helpful. To ask the question, one says:

He aha kēiā?
"He" means "A/an"
"Aha" means "What"
"kēiā" means "this"

Literally: "A what, this?"

Kēiā, of course, can always be substituted for kēlā (that), or any personal pronoun.

One would respond with:

He hale kēiā. He wai kēiā. He kamaʻa kēiā.
(This is a house. This is water. This is a shoe)

Literally: A house, this. Water, this. A shoe this.


Translate the following (be sure to use the standard orthography in your response, i.e. ʻokina a me kahakō):

1 He pua kēlā?

2 I am a child.

3 He kumu ia.

4 Are you a friend?


There now, you see? Not that difficult at all! Now for the new vocab for this lesson.


If you have time in your busy schedule, check out this link to a song on Youtube of children learning their colors. It's a little silly, but it's a good song to get stuck in your head when learning the colors!


Hawaiian English
ʻulaʻula Red
Melemele Yellow
Poni Purple
Polū Blue
ʻEleʻele Black
ʻAkala Pink
ʻAlani Orange
Keʻokeʻo White
Ahinahina Grey
Omaʻomaʻo Green
Palaunu/Makuʻe Brown