The most simple words in Esperanto follow an independent system from other words to make them easier to memorize. Not memorizing the table below is perhaps the most common mistake students of Esperanto make, and given how frequently they are used, it is important that you memorize them.
|Interrogative and Relative
(some kind/sort/type of)
(every kind/sort/type of)
(no kind/sort/type of)
(for some reason)
(for all reasons)
(for no reason)
(in every way)
(no-how, in no way)
(some, a bit)
(all of it)
(who, which one;
each [horse], all [horses])
Note that correlative words ending in a vowel can take the accusative ending -n. The accusative ending signals the target of an action. It can be attached to place words to indicate a destination.
- Neniu trovis nin. - No one found us.
- Ni trovis neniun. - We found no one.
- Io estas tie. - Something is there.
- Ni iru tien. - Let's go there.
Make special note of the column marked "Interrogative and Relative". These words serve a double-purpose, before an interrogative (question-asking) clause, and a relative (descriptive) clause.
- Interrogative Clause
- This is a sentence which asks a question requiring a more descriptive answer than "yes" or "no". For example, "What's wrong with that?" or "How are you?", but not "Is that a cake?". These sentences must begin with a word starting with "ki".
- Relative Clause
- A sentence (usually within a sentence) that describes something. For example, "That is the boy who goes to school." or "I see a car which is going very fast." Likewise, these clauses must start with one of the "ki" words.
You can (almost always) distinguish between interrogative and relative clauses by whether or not they end in a question mark.
- Kiu estas tiu knabo? - Who is that boy?
- Tiu estas la knabo, kiu iras al la lernejo. - That's the boy who goes to school.
Ĉi and Ajn
These two words are used in addition to correlatives to create a few additional, very common words.
"Ĉi"Expresses closeness and is used with the ti- and ĉi- words, either before or after them.
- Ĉi tie - Here
- Ĉi tio - This
- Ĉi ĉio - All of this
The word "Ajn" means "ever". Like "Ĉi", it can be used before or after ti- and ĉi- words.
- Kiam ajn - Whenever
- Kiu ajn - Whoever
Words Changing Part of Speech
Verbs and Adjectives to Nouns
In lesson one, we learned that nouns end in -o, adjectives end in -a, adverbs end in -e, and that verbs (by default) end in -i. The reason for this is to make it easy to change one type of word, its part of speech, to another type. For example, "viro" means "man", and "vira" means "manly". At the same time, an adjective such as "happy" ("feliĉa") can be changed to "happily" ("feliĉe") by doing nothing more than changing the final -a to an -e.
It is also possible to change both adjectives and verbs into nouns.
- Verb to Noun
- This, of course, is accomplished by replacing the final -i with an -o. The meaning of the noun now refers to an event. For example, if "kuri" means "to run" and "kuro" means "a run", then "kuro" can be used in the sentence "that was a good run."
- Adjectives to Noun
- As you can assume, adjectives become nouns by changing -a to -o. A noun formed from an adjective refers to someone or something which the original adjective could refer to. For example, if there is a person who is "feliĉa" ("happy"), that person could be refered to as a "feliĉo". This might be helpful in a sentence such as this: "I saw a happy boy and a sad boy, and the happy [one] was standing." Translated, "Mi vidis feliĉan knabon kaj malfeliĉan knabon, kaj la feliĉo staris."
Participles to Nouns and Adverbs
Furthermore, participles are not limited to only be adjectives. They can also be used as nouns and adverbs by replacing the final -a with -o or -e, respectively.
- Adjective to Noun
- Nouns formed from adjective participles refer to somebody who does the action of the respective verb, or has it done to them. In English, these words typically end in "-er" or "-ed". Like adjective participles, English only has two direct translations of these words, those ending in "-anto" and those ending in "-ito".
Examples include "kuranto", for "runner", and "haketito" for "[the] chopped [thing]". Because the other four forms have imperfect translations, they will have to be rephrased when translated into English.
|Esperanto||Rough English||Rephrased English|
|La kuronto falos.||The will-be-runner will fall.||The person who will be running will fall.|
|La arbo haketata alta estas.||The being-chopped tree is tall.||The tree which is being chopped is tall.|
- Adjective to Adverb
- Adverbs formed from adjective participles describe an event taking place during, before, or after the main verb of a sentence. They tell when or why the main verb took, is taking, or will take place. This is best explained by examples.
|Al la vendejo kurinte, mi aĉetis ion.||Having run to the store, I bought something.|
|Pordon malfermonte, li la lumon elŝaltis.||Before opening the door, he turned off the light.|
|Mortigite, soldato entombigata estis.||Having been killed, the soldier was buried.|
|En Eŭropo alvenante, ŝi pretiĝas eliri el la aeroplano.||Because she is about to arrive at Europe, she is getting ready to exit the plane.|
Distraj Agadoj (Recreational Activities)