Esperanto/Lesson 3

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We will learn about adverbs in Esperanto, get to know the word "ĉu", the suffixes "-n", "-ulo" and "-ino", and learn the numbers in Esperanto.


Adverbs are words that usually describe a characteristic of a verb, adjective, another adverb, or an entire sentence. Examples can be found in the box directly below.

In Esperanto, adverbs are most often marked by the suffix -e. These are adverbs derived from other words. We will discuss this derivation in the next lesson. Several common adverbs end in -aŭ, which does not specify the part of speech of the word and is shared with some words that function as conjunctions or prepositions, or do not have a specific ending. Examples are in the short vocabulary section below.


Here are the first adverbs to memorize.

Word Audio Meaning
laŭte loudly
bone well
ĝuste correctly
kutime usually, ordinarily
ofte often
ankaŭ also
baldaŭ soon
preskaŭ nearly, almost
nun now
jam already
ja indeed
jes yes
nur only, just
tuj immediately
ĵus just now


Adverbs can be placed preceding or following the verb, adjective, or adverb that it modifies. Adverbs that modify an entire sentence typically come first. There is no difference in meaning.


Sentence Audio Meaning
La infano laŭte ploras. The child cries loudly.
Ŝi skribas bele. She writes beautifully.
Ili bone studas. They study well.
Mi venos baldaŭ. I will come soon.


To ask a yes/no question in Esperanto, one only has to place "ĉu" at the beginning of the sentence (and, of course, like in English, place a question mark at the end of a written sentence). Contrary to in English, word order does not change.

Sentence Audio Meaning
Ŝi volas promeni. — Ĉu ŝi volas promeni? She wants to walk. — Does she want to walk?
Li estas malsana. — Ĉu li estas malsana? He is ill. — Is he ill?
La hundo estas en la ĝardeno. — Ĉu la hundo estas en la ĝardeno? The dog is in the garden. — Is the dog in the garden?

"Ĉu" can also be used in indirect questions, where it translates to 'whether'. It is then always preceded by a comma.

Sentence Audio Meaning
Ĉu li volas promeni? — Mi ne scias, ĉu li volas promeni. Does he want to walk? — I don't know whether he wants to walk (or not).
Ĉu li estas malsana? — Ŝi ne volas scii, ĉu li estas malsana. Is he ill? — She does not want to know whether he is ill (or not).
Ĉu la hundo estas en la ĝardeno? — Ĉu vi scias, ĉu la hundo estas en la ĝardeno? Is the dog in the garden? — Do you know whether the dog is in the garden (or not)?


The subject of a sentence is the 'doer' of the verb and the object is the 'undergoer' of the verb. Examples can be found in the box directly below.

In English, what is the object and the subject of a sentence is indicated by where the word is in the sentence. As can be seen in the examples above, the subject (in italics) comes before the verb and the object (in bold) comes after the verb. Many pronouns in English have distinct subject and object forms: I vs. me, he vs. him, she vs. her, etc..

In Esperanto, the object of a sentence is indicated by adding the suffix -n to nouns and accompanying adjectives (which may already have taken the plural suffix -j) or pronouns, not by the order of the words in the sentence. The article ("la") does not take -n. Even though word order does not matter in Esperanto, there is a default word order, which is the same as the normal word order in English (first the subject, then the verb, then the object).


Sentence Audio Meaning
Mi vidas la hundon.
La hundon mi vidas.
La hundon vidas mi.
I see the dog.
Li ne vidas la grandajn hundojn, nur la malgrandajn (hundojn). He does not see the big dogs, just the small ones/dogs.
La patrino amas la filinon.
La filinon la patrino amas.
La filinon amas la patrino.
The mother loves the daughter.
Ŝi ne aŭdis min.
Min ŝi ne aŭdis.
Min ne aŭdis ŝi.
She did not hear me.
Kutime mi ne komprenas la lecionojn.
La lecionojn kutime mi ne komprenas.
I usually don't understand the lessons.
Mi ĵus vidis la fortan viron. I have seen the strong man just now.

The numbers[edit]

The basic numbers in Esperanto are:

Numeral Word Audio
1 unu
2 du
3 tri
4 kvar
5 kvin
6 ses
7 sep
8 ok
9 naŭ
10 dek
100 cent
1000 mil

These regularly combine as follows:

Numeral Word Audio Numeral Word Audio
20 dudek 11 dek unu
30 tridek 12 dek du
40 kvardek 13 dek tri
etc. etc.



The suffix "-ulo" indicates a word that refers to someone characterized by the base word.

Base word Meaning Derived word Meaning Audio
griza gray grizulo graybeard, gray-haired person
malsana ill, sick malsanulo sick person
blonda blond blondulo blond person
kara lovely, dear karulo darling


-ino is a suffix to indicate female sex.

Base word Meaning Derived word Meaning Audio
viro man virino woman
amiko friend amikino female friend
hundo dog hundino female dog, bitch
patro father patrino mother
frato brother fratino sister
knabo boy knabino girl
blondulo blond blondulino blond female person


Here are more words to memorize.

Word Audio Meaning
havi to have
vidi to see
aŭdi to hear
legi to read
danci to dance
forgesi to forget
dormi to sleep
veni to come
stari to stand
loĝi to live, to reside
hieraŭ yesterday
hodiaŭ today
morgaŭ tomorrow
ŝuo shoe
helpi to help
porti to carry
mordi to bite
ĥoro choir
aĉeti to buy
vendi to sell
butiko shop
aperta open
kvankam although
..., do ... ..., so ...
botelo bottle
..., ke ... ... that ...
aperi to appear
ankoraŭ still
ĉar because
plori to cry
teo tea
kafo coffee
pensi to think
nubo cloud


Write out the following numbers: (answers)

  • 11, 14, 21, 34, 77, 17, 99, 67, 76, 54, 38, 22, 83, 92, 50, 93, 87, 78, 90
  • 108, 104, 112, 184, 200, 307, 503, 808, 818, 311, 271, 511, 401, 837, 983, 543, 651, 765, 345, 813, 173, 148, 713, 607, 670, 573, 963, 842, 633, 752, 937
  • 2014, 2007, 1954, 1945, 1859, 1914, 1801, 1777, 1653, 2373, 8472, 2367, 2151, 2263, 2177, 8371, 8297, 7939, 4567, 7654, 9369, 3713, 5407, 4095

Now, let's play with affixes:

  • Go through the words in this lesson and tack on mal-. What do they mean then? (answers)
  • Go through the words in this lesson and the previous one and tack on -ulo and -ino wherever meaningful. Also see if you can tack on both and either or both with mal-. What do these words mean then? (answers)

There are one or more mistakes in the following sentence. Where?

Sentence (answers)
Mi ne volas vidi li.
Ŝi ne aŭdis la granda ĥoron.
La hundo mordos la viro.
Hieraŭ ni iros al lin.
Ni portis la malsana knabo al la doktoro.

You can continue practicing by translating the following sentences:

Sentence (answers) Audio
La fratino estas bela.
Li amas knabinojn.
Hodiaŭ la bela virino venos al ni, sed la malbela kato ne venos.
Ŝi forgesis, ke hieraŭ vi trinkis la akvon de la hundo!
Ĉu vi volas trinki teon aŭ kafon?
Sentence (answers)
I see two clouds in the sky.

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