Kuapo ʻŌlelo
Hawaiian Hawaii & English

SPELLING RULES

Four important rules make the spelling of Hawaiian words easy. If they are studied carefully, they can be learned by everyone.

  1. Every word must have at least one vowel.
  2. There are no consonant clusters.
  3. Words cannot end with a consonant. (This applies to the ‘okina also, because it is a consonant.)
  4. A kahakō occurs only over a vowel.

A common mistake of spelling is the writing of one word as two. This mistake occurs very often in reduplicated words.

Wrong! Right
lau-lau laulau a kind of food
pū-pū pūpū food, snacks with drinks
mahi mahi mahimahi a fish
mu‘u mu‘u mu‘umu‘u type of dress

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