Class notes and homework, Mar 23


  • Please finish up chapter 5 for next Tuesday. As usual, you can send me your answers at hoss dot firooznia ĉe rochester dot edu for corrections, or you can check them yourself against the answer key in class.
  • Choose one or more penpals (korespondamikoj) in another country and send them an introductory letter about yourself. A good place to look is the Koresponda Servo at I’ll have more posts soon with tips for using the Koresponda Servo and writing a letter.

In class

Using -n to show motion

An important part of chapter 5 is the introduction of -n to show motion. Up to now, the motion indicated by -n has been exclusively of a metaphorical sort, simply showing the direct object in a sentence, e.g.

Ŝi vidas la brunan hundon.
La ruĝan pomon manĝis la viro.
Kiujn librojn vi jam legis?

But the -n can also be used to show more literal motion to a place. Compare:

La kato saltas sur la tablo. = The cat jumped on the table.
La kato saltas sur la tablon. = The cat jumped onto the table.

In the first sentence, the cat is on the table, jumping around. In the second sentence, the cat wasn’t on the table to begin with: it jumps onto the table. This indication of motion with -n can be used with adverbs and some correlatives, too:

Kie ŝi marŝis? = Where was she walking (around)?
Ŝi marŝis hejme. = She was walking (around) at home.
Kien ŝi marŝis? = (To) where did she walk?
Ŝi marŝis hejmen. = She walked (to) home.

Another way of thinking about this use of -n is to imagine that it replaces a copy of the preposition al (to):

La kato saltas al sur la tablo. = La kato saltas sur la tablon.

(Note: the combination al sur isn’t grammatically correct; it’s being used here merely for the sake of example.)

Using verbs together

Sometimes we want to use two verbs together, one right after the other, e.g. “I wanted to drink water.” or “I can see you.”. In Esperanto, the first verb takes whatever tense is appropriate (present, past, imperative, etc.), while the second verb takes the infinitive tense, -i:

Mi volis trinki akvon. = I wanted to drink water.
Mi povas vidi vin! = I can see you!
Ĉu vi devos foriri morgaŭ? = Will you have to leave tomorrow?

More about letter-writing shortly…