ʻAmi Particles #1: i, ma

An Introduction To Prepositions In Hawaiian — Video Lesson 0606V


The closest Hawaiian language equivalent of prepositions such as “in”, “on”, “at”, “to”, and so on in English are the words we call ʻami. They are very important because they allow us to speak and understand Hawaiian in modular “blocks” like little Lego bricks laid end-to-end.

This lesson will introduce you to the first two of about eight ʻami in total that we use when speaking all day long in Hawaiian.

You’ll want to get some paper and a pen ready for this video, because you’ll be creating Pepeke Henua (locational phrases) based on the legendary Hawaiian character Kamapuaʻa, incorporating the first two ʻami prepositions you will learn about: “i” and “ma” meaning “in, on, or at”.

Level Check

If you have arrived at this video but do not yet know what a Pepeke Henua is, then you should go to Video Lesson 0801V Pepeke Henua Locational Phrases #1 and learn about it first, since it is one of the most basic sentence types in Hawaiian and we will build on it in this video lesson.

How To Use This Lesson

This video will be a half-hour long, so make some time for yourself to watch and study it. Perhaps give yourself an hour one day when the rain is pouring outside your window, or when the house is quiet and devoid of distractions, or even perhaps after sneaking your midnight snack!

You can always break it down into 4, 8, or 12 minute chunks and work on it piece by piece.

Write down the vocabulary words you learn in this video, and add some of your own from the online Hawaiian dictionary, and then spend a half-hour after each time you watch the video making your own sentences. If you want to check to see if you got them right, then either record them in your own voice and submit them via the “Voice Recording” menu item on every page, or write them into an email and send them to me at (for Members only), or both!

I hope you enjoy this lesson as much as I enjoyed recording it!

Next Steps

The next video to watch is 0607V ʻAmi Particles #2: me, i, iā which reinforces this lesson and then adds one more ʻami to your repertiore.

“ʻAʻohe ʻulu loaʻa i ka pōkole o ka lou”
(a traditional wise saying meaning “no breadfruit can be had if the picking stick is too short”)
– kumu Kaliko

Video Outline

  1. ʻAmi: a very valuable small set of small words
  2. Used all over Polynesia
  3. Examples
  4. About the name “ʻami”
  5. Introducing the tail segment of a Pepeke, the “ʻawe”
  6. Exercises: “i” and “ma” used in Pepeke Henua
  7. Review
  8. Next Up

Length: 31 minutes

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One comment on “ʻAmi Particles #1: i, ma

Pane mai

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