Class notes, Feb 16


We began chapter 3 of the text today and went over some of the solutions for chapter 2.

We introduced two new correlative words: kie (where) and tie (there), and talked about Esperanto’s flexible word order. In English, we use word order to distinguish subject from object:

The man eats an apple.

The word order tells us what did the eating (the man) and what was eaten (an apple). Change the word order, and the meaning is completely different:

An apple eats the man.

In Esperanto, the word order doesn’t matter so much. That’s because the direct object takes the ending -n, also known to grammarians as the accusative case. The -n shows the recipient of an action: it tells us who does what to whom.

In each of the following examples, even though the word order varies, La viro always does the eating, and pomon is always the thing that’s eaten:

La viro manĝas pomon.
La viro pomon manĝas.
Manĝas la viro pomon.
Manĝas pomon la viro.
Pomon manĝas la viro.
Pomon la viro manĝas.

If we change the location of the -n, we change the meaning:

La viron manĝas pomo! (Eeek!)

As they do with the plural ending -j, adjectives share the -n of their nouns:

Jen ruĝa pomo.
La viro manĝas ruĝan pomon.
Jen du ruĝaj pomoj.
La viro manĝas du ruĝajn pomojn.

Mazi en Gondolando

We watched the second half of part one of Mazi en Gondolando, where the -n ending is introduced:


  • If you didn’t send me your answers to chapter 2, be sure to check them against the answer key. If you didn’t finish chapter 2, be sure to finish it by next week!
  • Read the first half of chapter 3 and complete the exercises up to praktiko 3.3. Send me your answers at hoss dot firooznia at rochester dot edu for corrections, or bring them to class.
  • How is your journal going? Have you started it, hmm? :-) Try to record about five new terms a day that you have to look up in the dictionary (or in the vortolisto at the end of a textbook chapter). Try to use each word in a sentence if you can.