Partying with Participles #5

Yet another participles post! Read the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

This time, I’m talking about using the noun ending “o” on the end of the participles.

  • Ami = to love
  • Amanta = loving
  • Amanto = one who is loving, one who loves (amanta persono)

So notice that with the noun ending, the participle usually describes a person characterised by the action of the participle.

You choose between active or passive participles depending on whether the person is doing the action or receiving it (respectively):

  • Amanto = one who is loving, one who loves (amanta persono)
  • Amato = one who is loved (amata persono)

Note that you don’t use the “-ul” suffix to make it about a person (timi=to fear, timulo = coward), it’s already about a person.

If you wanted to be talking about a thing, not a person, then it usually suffices to note bother with the participle and instead use the “aĵ” ending.

  • Amaĵo = loved thing

Though this could also mean a thing that loves. But since that’s a less likely interpretation, and context helps, you’re normally fine. Though conceivably you could add this ending onto the participles (amantaĵo = loving thing), if you really needed to be specific to stop people misunderstanding.

Also for those few who didn’t already know, doesn’t the ending of “Esperanto” look familiar? It should do.

  • esperi = to hope
  • esperanta = hoping
  • esperanto = one who is hoping, one who hopes (esperanta persono)

Bear in mind that “Esperanto” (with a capital letter) is now recognised as a noun referring to the language. If you want the old meaning, you have to use a non capital letter. For example, Esperanta means relating to Esperanto the language, as in Esperanta kurso (Esperanto course). An “esperanta kurso” is a course that is hoping…

This concludes the bulk of material about the participles! I’m sure they’ll crop up here and there again though! You’re welcome to ask about anything I’ve missed, and if it’s a substantial amount, I may form my answer in a post!

4 thoughts on “Partying with Participles #5

  1. “Note that you don’t use the ‘-ul’ suffix to make it about a person (timi=to fear, timulo = coward), it’s already about a person.”

    Why? As I see it it simply turns the participle into a noun – like “hoping” instead of “hope”.

    • This is simply an Esperanto convention/rule. The “o” form will in most cases be recognised as a person. The relevant discussion is here in Esperanto:

      The are a few exceptions, seemingly in technical language:

      From dividi = to divide

      dividanto = would normally be “a person who is dividing”, but a meaning used in maths is “divisor” (thing that divides).
      dividato = would normally be “a person who is being divided”, but a meaning used in maths is “thing that is being divided”.

      These are like shortcuts for “dividantaĵo” and “dividataĵo”

      So the gist of that Esperanto passage:

      If you use the “ul” suffix in these cases, you’ll usually be in error. It’s like adding “ul” to “viro” (man). “Viro” is already referring to a person.

      Virulo does apparently have a meaning though. It is “persono karakterizata de vireco” which is also “vireculo” (which I think is more clear). This is “a person characterised by virility/manliness”.

      The same is true of the participles, using “ul”:

      konato = acquaintance (person being known)
      konatulo = persono karakterizata de konateco (a person characterised by being known) = famulo (famous person, well-known person, celebrity)

      Apparently this usage is very rare. I’ve certainly not come across it until looking into it to answer this question! 😀 I guess people are more likely to believe you’ve made an error rather than going for this special meaning, which is usually found my other means.

      • So how should one turn a participle into “an act of” – as in, “hoping is a powerful thing”? Should the infinitive be used for this purpose? Or perhaps the suffix “-ad” added to the participle?

        “Amajho” could also be interpreted as “something made out of love”. But that doesn’t really change the meaning of “amatajho” (loving thing/thing made out of loving).

        • As you suggest, I don’t think you’d get that from the participle, but from the original verb. Either the infinitive or with the “ad” suffix (plus the ‘o’ ending) would work, and they’d mean roughly the same thing even more so because that is the logical interpretation here. But be aware that there is a possible nuance to be interpreted between the two tactics in general:

          Labori estas lacige = working is tiring
          Laborado estas laciga = working is tiring

          However if you were to look hard for the nuance you’d say: the ‘i’ form clearly shows that those who work find it tiring. Whereas the ‘ado’ form says that working is tiring in general, not necessarily just for those who do it.

          This is mostly a paraphrasing of the last paragraph on this PMEG page:

          I think the combination of ‘hoping’ and ‘powerful’ here mean that there’d be less of a distinction in practice.

          Amatajxo can only be a thing that is being loved (not a thing that loves, for example). Whereas ‘amajxo’ is a more general term encompassing both, in addition to having the alternative even more general meaning of a concrete thing characterised by love in some way. You’d use the longer forms to specifically select one of these meanings on the occasions when context doesn’t make this clear.

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