Speaking very Esperantily

Adverbs make me giggle in Esperanto. I find myself enjoying them immensely, then I feel weird about getting so excited about a feature of a language! But so what?

An adverb is a word that describes verbs (action words like “speak”), adjectives (describing word like “blue” or other adverbs. In English you can make a lot of words into adverbs by adding “-ly”:

  • I ran quickly
Notice how “quickly” modifies the “run” action, telling you that it was particularly fast.
The thing about Esperanto, is that you can make any word into an adverb, by just changing the ending to an “e”!
  • Mi ŝatas paroli Esperante = I like to speak in Esperanto.
“Esperante” is an adverb, so it modifies the “paroli” verb meaning “to speak”, telling you that the speaking is done in an Esperanto way! I like to think of it as speaking “Esperantily”!
In English, when we can’t make a legal adverb with “-ly” or use some irregular form (the adverb of “good” is “well”), we have to resort to prepositions like “in” as in the sentence above, or “by” in the sentence below:
  • Ni iras aŭte = We go by car
The word for “car” is “aŭto”, the “o” was simply changed to “e” to get the adverb. So we are travelling “car-ily”!
Awesome.
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4 thoughts on “Speaking very Esperantily

  1. Mi vidas ke la Esperanto uzas la adverboj pli ofte ol la Anglalingvo. Ofte mi volas utili adjektifon, sed mi ekscias ke iu estas uzinta adverbon; tial mi pensas ke la adjektifon ne pravas. Ĉu ĉiuj tioj estas bonaj? Aŭ ĉu mi estas stupida? Aŭ ĉu la Anglalingvo estas erara per ne utili la adverbojn kiam ĝi devus? Aŭ ĉu la Esperanto malpravas per utili tr’ofte la adverbojn?

    • Nek la Angla nek Esperanto malpravas. Simple ĝi dependas kiel la lingvo funkcias. Jes ja, Esperanto uzas la adverbojn (ne forgesu la “n”!) tre pli ofte ol la Angla.

      Estas ja kialo. Ĉe Esperanto, estas regulo severa, kiu diras ke, adjektifo (a-vorto) povas priskribi nur substantivon (o-vorto), ĝi ne povas priskribi iun ajn alian. Aliflanke, adverbo (e-vorto) povas priskribi iun ajn krom substantivo. Tial, oni vidas aferojn jene:

      labori estas amuze = Working is fun/amusing (ne “working is funly/amusingly”, spite la ‘e’)
      Estas varme = It’s warm (ne “warmly”!)
      Interese! (ekz. respondo al iu) = Interesting! (ne “interestingly”)

      Ĉar ne estas o-vorto!

      Ĉu tio havas sencon?

  2. I’ve learned to use prepositions like,

    I came by bicycle.
    Mi viris per biciklo.

    Is this just another way of saying it, or does Mi viris bicikle have a diferent meaning?

    • Interesting! It seems to me that the preposition makes it absolutely clear what you’re talking about. You’re saying with ‘per’ specifically that the action was facilitated by a bicycle.

      Whereas perhaps there is a slight difference in using “bicikle”, but it’s not so obvious in this example. I think the meaning of the adverb is more flexible (perhaps more general) than the preposition. In a general sense, the adverb is like saying “bicycle-ily”, so if we use it with some verb like “go” or “come” or “travel”, then “bicycle-ily” obviously means that we moved by bicycle.

      If the verb was something like “to use”, then using “bicikle” with it (mi uzas bicikle) would be like saying “to use bicycle-ily” which to me is saying “To use like a bicycle” (in a manner similar to the way one uses a bicycle):

      Whereas if “per” was used in this situation, its meaning remains constant, it would mean “to use by means of a bicycle”….

      So for me, I would use “per” if I think someone isn’t going to interpret my adverb in the way that I planned, or perhaps for emphasis.

      Though this is mainly my intuition from how I’ve seen these things used, I’m happy to be corrected 😀

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