Esperanto/Lesson 5

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In this lesson we will introduce Esperanto's correlatives and talk about the imperative.

Correlatives[edit]

In English, most question words begin with wh- and many of the short words to refer to their answers (the demonstratives) begin with th- (e.g. where — there). In Esperanto, this is similar, but fully regular and more expansive. These words are together called the "correlatives". In this lesson we will focus on the question words and their accompanying demonstratives. All correlatives have a beginning (which indicates whether it is a question word, demonstrative, etc.; these always end in -i) and an ending (which indicates the type of information referred to). Those in bold in the chart below are the subject of this lesson.

The ti- words do not specify distance. Therefore, tiu can mean both "this one" and "that one" and tie can mean both "here" and "there".

Correlatives ki- ti- i- ĉi- neni-
-u
(person/thing)
ki-u
(who, which one)
ti-u
(this/that one)
i-u
(some/a person/thing)
ĉi-u
(every person/thing)
neni-u
(no person/thing)
-o
(thing)
ki-o
(what)
ti-o
(this/that)
i-o
(some thing)
ĉi-o
(every thing)
neni-o
(no thing)
-a
(type/kind)
ki-a
(what type, which kind)
ti-a
(this/that type/kind)
i-a
(some/a type/kind)
ĉi-a
(every type/kind)
neni-a
(no type/kind)
-e
(place, location)
ki-e
(where)
ti-e
(here/there)
i-e
(some place)
ĉi-e
(every place)
neni-e
(no place)
-am
(time)
ki-am
(when)
ti-am
(then)
i-am
(some time)
ĉi-am
(every time, always)
neni-am
(no time, never)
-om
(quantity)
ki-om
(how many)
ti-om
(this/that many)
i-om
(some amount)
ĉi-om
(every amount)
neni-om
(no amount)
-es
(ownership)
ki-es
(whose)
ti-es
(this/that one's)
i-es
(some/any one's)
ĉi-es
(everyone's)
neni-es
(no one's)
-al
(causation)
ki-al
(why)
ti-al
(because of this/that)
i-al
(for some reason)
ĉi-al
(for all reasons)
neni-al
(for no reason)
-el
(method)
ki-el
(how, in what way)
ti-el
(this/that way)
i-el
((in) some way)
ĉi-el
(in every way)
neni-el
(in no way)

In general, it is good to be specific in what you ask (this is true regardless of the language you're speaking). For example, if you want to ask about the topic of a lesson, it is best to ask "Pri kio temis la leciono?" (About what was the lesson?, lit. "about what did the lesson talk?"). If you ask "Kia estis la leciono", don't be surprised if you get an answer in the spirit of "(Ĝi estis) bona." or "(Ĝi estis) longa.", because you've asked for a characteristic of the lesson. To ask how the lesson went, you can better ask something like "Kiel fartis la leciono?", then you'll get an answer like "(Ĝi fartis) bone.".

Examples[edit]

  • Kia estas tiu viro? – How is that man?
  • Li estas malagrabla. – He is unpleasant.
  • Kie estis tiu leciono? – Where was that lesson?
  • Tiu leciono estas en interreto. – This lesson is on the internet.
  • Kiu povas lerni Esperanton? – Who can learn Esperanto?
  • Ĉiuj povas lerni Esperanton! – Everyone can learn Esperanto!

Ke vs. kiu[edit]

Both ke and kiu can sometimes be translated as 'that'. Kiu refers to specific people or things, whereas ke does not refers to something specific. In the former case, the word 'that' can be changed to 'which' with little change in meaning; in the latter it cannot:

  • Mi vidis, ke via hundo mordis vian najbaron. – I saw that your dog bit your neighbor.
  • Sekve via hundo mordis katon, kiu estis en la strato. – Next, your dog bit a cat that was on the street.
  • Tiu montris al mi, ke tiu viro ne faris tion. – That showed (to) me that that man did not do that.

Imperative[edit]

To command or request something from the listener, a verb's infinite ending -i is replaced with -u and 'vi' is not used.

Examples[edit]

Sentence Audio Meaning
Legu tion libron. Read that book.
Ne iru al la parko. Don't go to the park.
Dormu bone. Sleep well.
Lernu Esperanton bone. Learn Esperanto well.
Ne faru tion! Don't do that!

Vocabulary[edit]

Here are more words to memorize.

Word Audio Meaning
temi pri ... to be about ..., to talk about ...
farti fare, to go (well, badly, etc.)
najbaro neighbor

Exercises[edit]

Have you memorized the vocabulary of this lesson? Then you can now practice it by translating the following sentences:

Sentence (answers) Audio
Sentence (answers)
How are you?
Where are you going?
Why did you come?

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