Whatever!

I keep seeing this word around. For some reason, perhaps its tiny nature, I’ve just been skipping over it… Poor little word. But I looked it up today, turns out, it’s an interesting little thing!

The word is: ajn.

So simple! Pronounced like the “ine” in English “fine”.

The interesting thing, is that it adds a notion of indefiniteness or generality. It doesn’t seem to be used to attach to other words, but to follow them as its own little word (I imagine if you were to tack it onto the end of words, it could be easily confused with the adjectival plural accusative ending).

It’s mainly used after the correlatives that start with Ki- and i-, but looks like it can be used with those starting with Ĉi- and Neni-.

Here’s some before and after examples:

  • Kio = what
  • Nenie = nowhere
  • Kie = where
  • Kies = whose
  • Ia = some kind
  • Kiom = how much
  • Kiam = when
  • Kia = what kind
And now with ajn:
  • Kio ajn   = whatever
  • Nenie ajn = nowhere whatsoever/at all
  • Kie ajn = wherever
  • Kies ajn = whosesoever
  • Ia ajn = any kind whatsoever
  • Kiom ajn = however much
  • Kiam ajn = whenever
  • Kia ajn = whatever kind
Pretty interesting little word. Just look how many different constructions you’d have to learn to get the same expressiveness in English!
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