Esperanto (anything goes)

Sammondanoj! I figured we might as well make a general thread for Esperanto. If you have questions, want to relate your experiences, want to recruit people for your translation project or whatever, you might as well post here. Otherwise, here’s some good links:

An imageboard.
My lessons that teach Esperanto grammar (they’re very much unfinished!)
Zamenhof’s “first book”, in English
Zamenhof’s “Lingvaj Respondoj” (answers questions that people had about grammar and word usage; ex. that ci is “you singular; thou” and vi is “you plural; ye”, it’s not a difference of formality but only of number.)


A question for any one…

The tiel…kiel combination in a sentence means as…as in English. Does this hold for every comparison?

Example… I have as much time as you? is this still Mi havas tiel multa tempo kiel vi?
or is it mi havas tiam multa tempo kiam vi?

They both make sense to me, the first for a standard constancy, the second for an emphasis on what is being shared between the two.

It’s not a special phrase, it’s just the literal meaning. So “tiel tempo” would be “time in the way that you have time” while “tiom tempo” would be “time in the amount that you have time”, and yes both would make perfect sense, it’s just a difference between how you personally think about the sentence. Standardization is nonsense, Esperanto is meant to be understandable no matter how you write it compared to others (if someone doesn’t believe me, go read all of Zamenhof’s writings about Esperanto) : D

So you can say “tiom, tiel, samkiome ol” or whatever. Likewise you can say kiale instead of ĉar, busatendejo or bushaltejo etc instead of busstaciono… Tiam however means “that time” (=then), not “that amount of time”, so:

mi havas tiam multa tempo kiam vi
= i have that time/then much time when you
== at that time i have much time, when ye…

mi havas tiom multa tempo kiom vi
= i have that amount much time amount (as) you
== i have as much time as ye

mi havas tiel multa tempo kiel vi
= i have that way much time way (as) you
== i have time just like ye do (whether in amount, method, about a subject or what)

Thanks, the only two sources I’d come across both said tiel…keil = as…as, but they also both used exactly the same example sentence and the whole explanation was shorter than this sentence.

Yeah, I’ve noticed people are really bad about this stuff — even in textbooks D :

Sammondanoj, I added that word to my list.

I just spent a lot of time compiling a commented list of memrise courses about Esperanto affixes (courses for german- and english-speakers, that is). Might as well share it:

“Sammondanoj” is just a 5-part compound word (sam-mond-an-o-j), nothing special, so don’t worry too much about it…

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Oh, I put it on the list because I like it so much :slight_smile:
Though maybe I’ll make it “gesammondanoj”

Hello @risgrynsgrot, I just had a read through some of your lessons that teach Esperanto grammar and became a little confused when I saw this:

Try writing:

  1. A garden in a box
  2. A dirty (=opposite-clean) garden
  3. A muddy coat in a garden
  4. An open (=opposite-closed) box in a coat


  1. ĝardeno + keste (= keste ĝardeno, ĝardeno keste)
  2. malpur + ĝardeno
  3. kota + ĵako + ĝardene
  4. malferma + kesto + ĵake

What I don’t understand is why it isn’t malpura - adjectives end in -a after all. Is this just a typo, or am I missing something?

I also saw this:

vintres : winter’s

Till now I would have translated winter’s to de vintro without hesitation, but now I wonder “which is more common?” and " is one preferable over the other in some situations?"
You also wrote:

Most people use “a” instead of “es” to show ownership

So now I have three options to consider: de vintro, vintres, and vintra.

Please help me here. Which one is “best”?

Thank you.

Oh hey, thanks for sending a message and thanks for using my course! That course is reaaaally old and I should look through it, in fact I had completely forgotten I’d even made it.

In correct Esperanto it can be malpurĝardeno, malpuraĝardeno, malpura ĝardeno or ĝardeno malpura. I probably didn’t put all those answers in as options. I have no idea if I wrote it in the course itself or not but the ending vowels -a -e -o aren’t just grammatical endings, they’re actually separate, unique words just as “cat” or “fear” is a unique word in English. So when we compound words, adding -a -e -o in is more like exactly specifying the relationship between the two words instead of leaving it up to common sense.

In something like malpurĝardeno common sense tell us it must be malpura, but we might get confused (not necessarily due to any irregularities in Esperanto, but due to irregularities in our brain from our own native languages) in another word, such as “miaopinie - in my opinion”. Logically there’s no reason why we can’t say “miopinie” instead of “miaopinie” but it’s just easier for most of us to figure out that it must be understood as “my opinion” and not “i opinion” if we add the -a in there.

“de vintro” and “vintra” are both equally as common (also, people can and do say malsomero “opposite-summer” for winter, or “malvintro” for summer). People normally pick which one of the two to use depending on their native language, but frankly speaking the better you get at esperanto the more you crave to make what you’re writing FASTER and SHORTER and thus you’ll more often favor forms like “vintra”. “vintres” is far less common than both those other two but i’ve been seeing it around more and more lately.

As an example of what I mean by shorter forms, I forgot if I put it in the course or not, but you can say for example:

miadomes “my house’s”, instead of “de mia domo”

la aĉetirontes hundo (aĉet-(ej)-ir-o-nt-es)
la aĉetejirontes hundo

“the (person who’s) going to go shop’s dog”, or “the dog of the (person who’ll be) going to the store”

instead of “de la ulo/homo/persono kiu iros aĉeti”, “…kiu iros fari aĉeton” or “…kiu iros al la aĉetejo”. Also, this is a case where saying “la aĉetejironta hundo”, -a instead of -es, would change meaning if context didn’t make it clear (it would then be “the DOG who is going to go to the store”, unless we already know we’re talking about a person)

I especially notice these kinds of things gaining more popularity on places like Twitter where we’re forced to reduce letter count as much as possible, but I’ve seen them in fiction and so on as well.

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Thanks @risgrynsgrot

But, I got a little stuck here:

What does the ir mean? And what does the sentence/clause/whatever-it-is mean in English?
Does it refer to the person who is going to a dog that belongs to a shop or the dog that belongs to the person who will be going to the shop or something else?
If we add a verb, say marsxi, who will be walking? A dog or a person?

And doesn’t -ont- mean about to? Shouldn’t both clauses contain those two words?

And that brings up yet another question: is estas aĉetonta the same as aĉetontas?

That’s a lot of question marks. Sorry.

Don’t worry about asking questions, ask as many as you want!

ir = go (as in physically go somewhere)

ont = “going to (do)”, “about to (do)”, “will (do)”. -o- just means any time in the future whether extremely near future (two seconds from now) or extremely distant future (2000 years from now).

la aĉetirontes hundo = the dog of the person who’s going to go shopping (aĉet = buy, purchase, shopping)

la aĉetejirontes hundo = the dog of the person who’s going to go to the store (aĉetej = store)

-es means “this thing is owning something else”. So the dog isn’t owning anything, because -es isn’t attached to the word dog. Thus if we say “la marŝontes hundo”, it means “the dog of the person who’s going to walk”, “the dog of the person who’ll be walking”. If we say “la marŝonta hundo”, we don’t know if the meaning is “the dog who’s going to walk” or “the dog of the person who’s going to walk” unless we have context. This ambiguity is purely due to grammar and has zero connection with what words are used together with it. Esperanto is always a logical puzzle, you can swap any piece with any other piece and it doesn’t create magical new meanings (unless you’re supposed to fill in the gaps by context). So the rules are the same for -onta no matter what word it’s attached to.

You’re right! “estas aĉetonta” and “aĉetontas” mean exactly the same thing.

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Dankon, tio helpis min multe.

Hello again @risgrynsgrot. I was just wondering about using the -o twice in a single word.


It appears that using -o twice and only once are both used.

But could you write manĝĉambro instead of manĝoĉambro. I find that a little awkward to say. And what about domĉambro? Is that more “better” than domoĉambro?

Hey! :smiley:

Neither one is better or worse, they’re exactly the same. However in my opinion you should put in the vowel when it would be difficult to say otherwise. (By the way, if someone HASN’T put in the vowel and for some reason you’re reading text aloud, you’re allowed to put it in yourself as you speak). What is “difficult to say” varies according to the person’s mother tongue, and on top of that many people accidentally forget that Esperanto is pronounced just like how it’s written so they’ll write words impossible to pronounce without realizing it, so that’s why you’ll see variations. For example instead of “necesejo” you could write “necesa ejo” or “necesaejo”, but “necesejo” is easy enough to say already.

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I tried to prepare a course for Polish-speaking students, but unfortunately the interest is almost zero. so I temporarily left this course without any new lessons and I am waiting for the interest to appear.

ps. end “-es” does not work in Esperanto :slight_smile:

It does work, it’s just rare to see. About as rare as (but older than — it’s been in use since Zamenhof was alive) “ri” and “iĉ”, which you’ll also see around. Most importantly, it’s useful from a learning perspective for people who have a harder time comprehending “-a”.

The interest problem might also be because Duolingo has Esperanto now and a looot of people have left Memrise, unfortunately. Thanks for your hard work, I’m sure someone will use it sometime. When you search on Google for languages you do end up getting Memrise courses so it could happen with your Polish course as well.

@daimere, there is a small error in your “Learning and Using Esperanto Leciono 1”. I think “prezidanta”, with the “-a” ending, should end in “-o”, since “president” is a noun. This also matches the book.



Newbie question. The “c” is pronounced “ts”. In “decidas”, are the syllables split before the “c” (de-tsi-das) or in it (det-si-das)?

“C” is considered as one single sound. “ts” is the same, it’s just a spelling difference - c is when the sound is in the root of the word, and ts is when it’s due to a compound word (in “scienco”, all c’s are part of the root word, but in “katsepo”, ts marks that the roots are “kat - ending on t” and “sep - starting on s”).

So people would say “de-tsi-das”

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