Hawaiian Customs and Traditions

Hawaii’s traditions are as diverse as its people. Rooted in Native Hawaiian culture that has been passed down through generations mixed with the traditions of the peoples from all around the world who have made Hawaii home.

This is from the the Hawaiian official website, and I'm having difficulty understanding this sentence. It seems like there's no subject here, am I right? Isn't this incomplete sentence?

  • 3
    I think you're correct that the bolded sentence isn't complete. The easiest way to fix it might be to add "They are" in front of "Rooted".
    – ColleenV
    Dec 8, 2017 at 15:09
  • 1
    You could also say "Rooted in Native Hawaiian culture, they have been passed down..."
    – Lars Mekes
    Dec 8, 2017 at 15:21
  • 1
    Maybe the writer was thinking "Hawaii’s traditions are as diverse as its people, rooted in Native Hawaiian culture..." though it is getting rather long. Maybe a comma after generations.
    – user3169
    Dec 8, 2017 at 22:45

2 Answers 2


In sample that is presented, the grammar is confusing. The sentence could be better punctuated or broken up into shorter sentences.

The subject is implied from the previous section which reads:

Hawaii's traditions are as diverse as its people.

So the subject is implied to be Hawaii's traditions.

The sentence is written in the present tense, and often when people write in the present tense, one finds that people slip into a past tense.

To parse this sentence it might be easier to break it up into shorter sentences.

An inelegant example would be:

Hawaii's traditions are rooted in a native culture.  
The traditions are passed from one generation to the next.  
Over the years, these traditions have mixed with the traditions of  
many people who have come from all over the world--people who 
have made Hawaii home.  

The point of this message is to say that Hawaii is a diverse, cosmopolitan place, and the people are easygoing and they get along with people from many different cultures. Notice the tense shift in the third sentence of my example. It would be possible to keep it in the present tense, but the tone would change.

Over the years, these traditions integrate with the traditions of 
many people who come from various parts of the world--people who make  
Hawaii home.       

It is a bit convoluted but the subject is actually Hawaiian cultural diversity. As silly as this suggestion may be, sentences are not required to be complete in order to be gramatically correct. One of my favorite sentences used throughout Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonogut is "Et cetera...". The reader is required to use common sense and combine the meanings of sentences within a paragraph. The author is not required to be polite.

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