Introduction to Esperanto: 35

The sentence kiel vi fartas is used in almost every Esperanto conversation, and now you know how to use it too. Well done!

You also know how to tell HOW you do things. Let’s now learn to tell WHAT exactly you are doing.

Look at any sentence. For example, cat eats Bob.

Eats is the action. What comes before "eats" is a subject (an agent) and what comes after "eats" is the object. How do you know? Well, if you switch them you get Bob eats a cat - totally opposite meaning. There is a huge difference between the cat eating Bob and Bob eating the cat. There is a difference to Bob, anyway. (Note: this course does not endorse any form of violence against pets or people or any combination thereof).

So, again, who does the action is the subject and who the action is being done to is the object. If I hold the book, I am the holder so I am the subject, and the book is the thing that is being held so it is the object.

In English, you don’t mark the difference except with words like he and him. For example, you say He sees the dog and then you say The dog sees him. He is the subject form of the word he and him is the object form (otherwise called the accusative form) of the word he. If you stop using him and start using Tim, you get The dog sees Tim and Tim sees the dog, and there is again no difference (you don’t say timm or something to mark objectivity).

Well, in Esperanto you always mark objectivity: You add the accusative ending n to the word if it is an object of a sentence in Esperanto!

This is probably the most controversial concept in Esperanto among the Esperanto community. On the one hand, such marking does not exist in some big languages of the world, so beginner learners of Esperanto sometimes find the concept a bit difficult to grasp. On the other hand, having it frees up your hands in terms of word order, because you can say both homo manĝas pomon (a person is eating an apple) and pomon manĝas homo and the meaning is exactly the same, because the n marks the object.

Esperanto for to have is havi.

Again, I am not kidding. Almost the same as in English.

The word for it was ĝi. If you want to say I have it, have is the action. So you have I and it, and there is a difference between me having it and it having me. Thus it must be the object. You mark the object by adding n to it, so, how would you say:

  1. Apply the present tense "as" ending to the word "havi", and also mark objectivity on the word "ĝi" by adding an "n". 
  2. Remember to mark objectivity on the word "tio". Also use the appropriate present "as" and "i" endings.
  3. Did you remember to mark objectivity on the word "kio"?
  4. Yes, add an "n" to "Esperanto" to mark objectivity.
  5. Use the present tense "as" form of the word "lerni" ("to learn").
  6. Use the present tense "as" form of the word "studi" and also mark objectivity where appropriate.
  7. Do NOT mark objectivity on this one. See the next lesson for why.
  8. Use a form of the word "ĝi".
  9. Remember the word for "labour".
  10. Don't forget to mark objectivity on the word "saluto"!
  11. We are using it not as a greeting but just describing a day, thus do not mark objectivity on this on. Also, remember that "good" is "bona".
  12. Remember that the word for "to say" is "diri" and use it in the right form. Also don't forget to add the objectivity marker on BOTH the adjective and the noun.
  13. Now do mark objectivity on this one. Remember that you need to mark it on both words.
  14. No need for quotation marks or anything. Also remember to mark objectivity.
  15. This will be just one word, objectivity marked.
  16. Remember that it's similar to the word "salute".
  17. Literally "how you are-doing?"
  18. Use the word "kaj" for "and". Rememeber that "well" is an adverb and will therefore need the "e" ending.
  19. Remember that "badly" is the opposite of "well", so you will be needing to add "mal" somewhere.
  20. Mark objectivity on the word "kio".
  21. "History" is "historio". Mark objectivity on it too.
  22. Literally "where from you are?"
  23. "France" was "Francujo".
  24. Remember the "an" suffix for group members, and also mark objectivity in the second sentence.
  25. Use "kio" as your k-uestion word, and "via" as the word for "your".
  26. Use a form of "study", and also mark objectivity in the second sentence.
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