Note that with pepeke `aike `o, the words used as po`o and piko can be switched, without the basic meaning being changed. With pepeke `aike `o, the thing that is right after “ `o” is the thing that is emphasized as shown in bold below. You CANNOT switch the words in this way with pepeke `aike he.
Note that “he aha” means “what” and “ ‘o wai” means “who.” Although in English you ask, “What is your name?” in Hawaiian you ask, “Who is your name?” as in “ `O wai kou inoa?” To say “He aha kou inoa?” means something quite different as shown in the following example:
In Hawaiian, you always use “ `o wai” when asking for the personal name of a specific individual person, place, or thing. In other words, when you use “ `o wai,” you are asking for an i`oa (proper noun). “He aha” is used when asking for a general term or description known as the name for all things that have the same traits. See the following examples:
`O wai ka inoa o kēia `īlio? What is the name of this dog?
(Spot? Spuds? Bruiser? Princess?)
He aha ka inoa o kēia `īlio? What is the name of this dog?
(a Labrador? a Doberman? a Chihuahua?)
`O wai ka inoa o kēia mele? What is the name of this song?
(Aloha `oe? Jingle Bells? Itsy Bitsy Spider?)
He aha ka inoa o kēia mele? What is the name of this song?
Notice that when you want to give the proper name of something, you need to use `o before it. For example, if you want to say high school, you would say “ke kula ki`eki`e.” If you want to say a particular high school (the name of it), you say “ke kula ki`eki`e `o ____” as in the example below:
`O kēlā ke kula ki`eki`e `o Waiākea. That (f) is Waiākea High School.
`O kēia ka mahina `o `Okakopa. This is the month of October.
Please note that this applies to other types of sentences as well:
Aia ka hōkele `o Naniloa ma ke alanui `o Banyan. Naniloa Hotel is on Banyan Drive.