While, as in English, there are many ways to say “I love you,” the most common way in Hawaiian to express this wonderful sentiment is, “Aloha au iā ‘oe.”

Note the Hawaiian diacritical markings: the kahakō, or long-vowel marker over the “a” in “iā,” and the ‘okina, or glottal stop marker, in “‘oe.”

“Aloha,” in this context, means “love.” “Au,” often pronounced “vow” (but with only a very, very soft “v”), means “I” or “me.” “‘Oe” means “you.” “Iā” is a dative article indicating the direction of the action.

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