Hmm… Maybe…

A delightful little root/affix today: “ebl-” = “can be done”

A word of possibilities. It’s very simple but useful. First I’ll talk about its use as a word by itself (with the grammatical endings only), then it’s use in word building.

  • Ebla = Possible

This is the adjectival form, used to describe nouns (o-words).

  • La konversacio estas ebla = The conversation is possible.
  • La ebla konversacio = The possible conversation
  • Ebli = To be possible

The root “Ebl-” I think is quality like, which is why “Ebli” is “to be possible”. So you can use it to avoid the “estas” bit:

  • La konversacio eblas = The conversation is possible.
  • Eblo = Something which is possible (a particular thing)
  • Mi ne konsideros la eblon = I will not consider the possibility
  • Eble = maybe,possibly,perhaps.

I quite like how “eble” can be used to get a “might” construction using future tense:

  • Mi eble laboros = I maybe will work (=I might work)

I think this is nice too:

  • Ebligi = To make possible

Which uses the “-ig” suffix “to cause <root>” see previous posts 1,2,3,4.

When used as a suffix, I think it always has to be at the end of a verb. Because, it makes the idea of the root “possible”.

  • Legi = to read
  • Legebla = readable, possible to read, legible
  • Legeble = readably, legibly
  • Legebli = to be legible

Notice how most of the time the verb will have to be transitive (see previous posts on transitivity: 1,2). This means that it can take a direct object: how can something be readable if you can’t read something? The something is the object. If the verb was “to sleep”, “sleepable” doesn’t make sense. Because you don’t “sleep something”.

However the exceptions are intransitive verbs whose indirect objects or prepositionally related nouns can sometimes take the accusative.

E.g. the PMEG gives:

  • loĝi = to live (dwell)
  • loĝebla = liveable, place that can be lived in
  • loĝi ĝin = loĝi en ĝi = to live in it

Did you know that you can make 3 different words for “possibility” out of this suffix (see this post!)?

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