Fines on daydreaming

Late posting tsk tsk. Ĉi tiu semajno … malfacilis. Today is for three words I came across. I think they’re neat because of the way they are constructed. The meaning goes together nicely.

  1. pripensinda = worth thinking about
  2. revpensi = to think wishfully, to daydream unrealistic thoughts (the action noun form “revpensado” = “wishful thinking”)
  3. monpuni = to fine (to charge someone money as a penalty)

Here’s how they’re made, and hence why they’re neat!

  1. “pensi” = to think, “pri” means “about, concerning”. So “pripensi” is “to think about, to consider”. The suffix “-ind” means “worthy of <root>”. So something which is “pripensinda” is worthy of consideration, worth thinking about.
  2. “revo” = “dream, daydream”. So to “revpensi” is to think in a way characterised by dreaming, or daydreaming.
  3. “puni” = “to punish, to correct”, and “mono” = “money”. So the action “monpuni” is to perform some kind of correction or punishment, characterised by money. I.e. the taking of it!

Clutch of eggs

Hello Duolingo-folk, 9+ years after I wrote this!  Let me know if you need further clarification in the comments below.


All about Da! “Da” is mostly translated as “of”, but it has a very specific use all to itself. Keep an eye out and you may just find a future post about “de“, which is another word often translated as “of”.

Basically, “da” is used to relate some quantity to some type of thing. In a phrase:

  • X da Y = X of Y

X is some quantity and Y is a type of thing. The phrase shows that you have X amount of Y. X must be a quantity and Y must be an indefinite type.

So X is easy, it could be a bunch, a little, a dozen, a litre, a box, a lot, a flask, you get the idea!

What’s Y though? What’s indefinite? The answer is, Y must only be a type of thing, a concept of a thing, it can’t be a particular group of things. So in the title “a clutch of eggs”, Y is eggs. Eggs is indefinite. “Eggs” does not refer to any particular eggs at all. It’s just talking about the concept of eggs. Then with “da” we take some portion of this type of thing, eggs.

  • skatolo da ovoj = a box of eggs

If we’re talking about certain eggs, and not just the general idea of eggs for Y, then “da” cannot be used!

  • Mi ŝtelis skatolon el viaj ovoj = I stole a box of your eggs

Here Y is “your eggs”, those are particular eggs, not just the concept of eggs. Therefore, “da” cannot be used!

Additional notes:

Numbers are quantities, but they are allowed to directly refer to nouns, so you don’t need a “da“:

  • Mi havas du ovojn = I have two eggs
  • Mi havas skatolon da ovoj = I have a box of eggs

The exception is when you’ve got a number that in noun form (ending in “o”), then it acts like a grouping:

  • Mi havas milionon da ovoj = I have a million (of)  eggs.

This is because a noun cannot describe another noun I believe!

If X is an adjective (a-word), it is allowed to directly describe the noun (Y), so you do not use “da”:

  • Mi havas multajn ovojn = Mi havas multe/multon da ovoj = I have a lot of eggs

Why is it possible to say “glaso da vinoandglaso de vino” ?

Because they mean different things!

Following from a couple examples from the PMEG:

Glaso de vino” is more like “wine glass” – a glass in which wine was present, or is usually present. And “glaso da vino” uses “glaso” as a quantity, it’s a glass-sized amount of wine, or a glass full of wine, a “glass of wine”.

In such cases, “da” and “de” answer different questions:

  • How many soldiers are there? – Grupo da soldatoj (A group of soldiers)
  • What kind of group is that? – Grupo de soldatoj (A group of soldiers)

Word building on fire

I was pleased today. I decided that I wanted to know how to say “to kindle” (as in start a fire) in Esperanto. And instead of looking it up, I tried to think of the most logical way of constructing it…

Okay so I need to start with “to burn” (bruli), but this means, that the subject is burning (mi brulas = I am burning: i’m actually on fire, not burning something else). So I need to make it “cause something to burn”, by adding the appropriate suffix “bruligi” = “to burn (something)”. Then I need to add in the idea of the burning just starting, “ekbruligi”! (see post on ek).

The reason I was pleased, is that I then looked up this word, and found its entry in the dictionary to mean exactly as I planned! I think I’m really understanding word building now.

I really like the rhythm of the word “ekbruligi” too! It’s nice and bouncy.

Oh, by the way

Awesome word today: parenteze (pronounced pa-ren-TE-ze)

It means “by the way”.

The reason it’s awesome in my opinion, is because it makes way more sense (i.e. what do we actually mean by, “by the way”?? What way??).

We often use “by the way” to introduce a parenthetical statement (a statement which is not grammatically necessary, and is like an afterthought, or additional explanation. This was in fact a parenthetical statement by the way, and it is placed in parentheses (in brackets (another parenthetical statement)).

The Esperanto word for “parenthesis” is “parentezo”. By changing the noun ending “o” to the adverb ending “e”, we make the word more like “in a parenthetical manner, parenthetically” in other words, “by the way”!

Prepositions out alone, don’t forget your “e”s

Having a good day is easy when even a new grammatical idea can make you grin. I came across a description in the PMEG today of something that I’ve seen evidence of here and there, and is quite intuitive, but was nice to see the logic behind it.

Prepositions (little words that determine the role of other words in a sentence), can’t really stand alone, as in this phrases where “…” would be replaced with the thing that is in that place:

  • … sur la seĝo = … on the chair
  • … en la melejo = … in the badger den
  • … apud la melo = … near the badger
  • … post la manĝo = … after the meal
  • … dum la manĝo = … during the meal
  • … ekster la kaverno = …outside the cavern

You can’t just go:

  • Mi estas en = I am in…
  • Ĝi estas post = it is after…
  • Mi estas apud = I am near…
  • Mi kuros dum = I will run during…

These are just incomplete sentences! We do all sorts of things to the words in English to make them make sense, but you just add an “e”  to the prepositions in Esperanto (to make them into adverbs, which are allowed to go out alone):

  • Mi estas ene = I am inside
  • La manĝo estas poste = The meal is afterwards
  • Mi estas apude = I am nearby
  • Mi kuros dume = I will run in the meantime/meanwhile

This is helping me to see how to choose between these different ways of expression!

How do I say Andy in Esperanto?

Surprise Sunday Stuff! I was thoroughly amused by the “site stats” of my blog today. You may know that wordpress tells the blog owner which search terms people use that lead them to their site. And today, someone found my blog by searching with the words “how do I say Andy in Esperanto”!

I decided to write a little weekend post about some of the ways people have found me via search!

Two reasons you might want to Esperantisize your name, are:

  1. To be able to use it like any other Esperanto word (apply suffixes etc.): maybe use “Andreo” for “Andrew” (all nouns must end in “o”, and all names are nouns!). Then you can say: ŝi rigardis Andreon (she looked at Andrew).
  2. To make it obvious to a person who doesn’t share your native tongue, but does know Esperanto, how to pronounce your name. So I might use “Andi” for “Andy”, because Esperanto doesn’t have a “y”, and I expect people to pronounce “Andy” as in the made up Esperanto word “Andi”

You might also get “Andy” by applying a diminutive to “Andreo”, like how in English we got from “Jonathan” to “Johnny”. You just chop the word an put “ĉjo” on the end (“njo” for the ladies):

  • Andreo, Andreĉjo, Anĉjo

Though while I really do like “njo”, I’m not to0 keen on “ĉj”.

Search: “Should i revisit an old flame?”

They found me because a long while ago, I made a post with a similar title here. I doubt they were expecting to find someone blabbing on about Esperanto!

Search: “Adjectives for frolicking”

I can’t help it. When I get excited, grammatical concepts and words take up strange forms of their own, and they end up being described in odd ways. As in my previous post: Adjectives and their Antics.

Search: “Esperanto word attraction” 

Having an entire category called “Alluring Words” probably set me up for this one!

Search: “My heart beats fast – transitive or intransitive”

Intransitive! Fast is just an adverb modifying the verb (the beating is fast); it’s not a direct object. The heart is doing the beating, it’s a state that the heart is in, it’s not doing the action to something else.

Search: “Badger in esperanzo”

Aside from the spelling error, I have noticed a large number of my examples being invaded by badgers… Troubling.

Chocolate born to chirp

A desire suddenly happened upon me to look up pleasant-sounding words with the letters “ĝ” and “ĉ” in them, which respectively are pronounced as “g” in “gem” and “ch” in “chin”.

So here are some that I’ve found, and enjoy the sound of:

  1. Ŝanĝiĝi = (Shan-JEE-jee) to change (not change something else. The subject of this verb is the thing that’s changing). E.g. nun ke li havas amanto, li ŝanĝiĝis = now that he has a lover, he has changed (he  changed, became changed). From “ŝanĝi” = “to change (something into something), plus “-iĝi” = “to become <root>”, so “ŝanĝiĝi” = “to become changed into something”.
  2. Naskiĝi = (Nask-EE-jee) to be born.
  3. Ĉokolado = (Cho-ko-LA-do) Chocolate.
  4. Ĉasaĵo =  (Cha-SA-zho, where “zh” is pronounced like “s” in “pleasure”) game, quarry (in a hunt). “Ĉasi” = “to chase/hunt”, and the suffix “-aĵ” means a concrete thing characterised by the root word. Therefore “Ĉasaĵo” is a thing that is chased/hunted, i.e. quarry.
  5. Ĉifi = (CHEE-fee) to crumble, crease (something).
  6. Ĉirpi = (CHEER-pee) to chirp.

In 1, I love the “jee-jee” bit, especially when you have the word in past tense “ŝanĝiĝis”, finishing with the “s” makes it sound very flowing to me.

In 2, I think I almost like the “nask” sound almost as much as “ĝ”!

3 sounds bumpy in a rhythmic way, it’s kinda fun to say over and over…

4 and 5 are generally quite pleasing to pronounce, but the “ĉir” in 6 is my favourite sound out of the three. There’s something much more pleasing about its sound than how “chir” would be pronounced in English (“chirp” sounds so bland in comparison).


It’s a funky word day. In the spotlight we have “jen” and its variants. It’s pronounced “yen”. Easy!

It’s kinda like “see this/behold/voila”. In this state, it’s an interjection (words like “hello”,”bye”,”uh oh!”.

You might use it like this:

  • Jen ĉi tiuj libroj… = See these books/check out these books

It can often replace “here” (ĉi tie), and other non-interjection words that talk about a particular thing or place. It adds more emphasis on drawing attention:

  • Jen estas pomo = Behold it’s an apple (instead of “ĉi tie estas pomo”)

So what happens when we bother it with endings?

Adverb ending “e”:

  • Jene = thus/in the way I’m about to show
  • Kompletigu la dokumenton jene…. = Complete the document thus (in the following way)….

Adjective ending “a”:

  • Jena = that which follows (what I’m about to show)
  • Antentu la jenajn punktojn… = Pay attention to the following (which I’m about to show) points

Noun ending “o”:

  • Jeno = the thing which follows
  • Por defendi kontraŭ la meloj, oni bezonas la jenon… = In order to defend against the badgers, you need the following (things)…

According to the PMEG, when using several “jen”s in a sentence, they introduce alternatives. Here’s an example from that page:

  • la maro estis ja jen ruĝa, jen verda, jen blua

I find this tricky to directly translate, it’s kinda like when we do this in English:

  • The sea was here red, there green, and there blue!

In this kind of sentence “here” and “there” would mostly be interpreted as different locations or parts of the sea. But “jen” can mean equally this or that the colour changed (so the person beheld different colours of sea). Almost like, if you imagined you were there at the time:

  • Behold red! Now behold green! Now blue!

I love the the simplicity of the word. And how it’s meaning neatly fits into the equally useful words “jena,jene, and jeno”.

The main PMEG page for it is here.

Verse 33

Just for fun, I decided to translate one of my favourite verses of the Tao Te Ching (a Taoist text). I have a book with a few different English translations, and the characters used in the ancient chinese text, with explanations about their shades of meaning and how they go together. So first, I translated my favourite English version into Esperanto, and then I produced a translation from the explanations of the chinese characters (Because my chinese is awful, and I know even less about more ancient forms of it!).

Turns out that (if I haven’t made grave errors), Esperanto can get much closer to the format of the original characters in a nice way, than English can.

So here’s what I got from translating the chinese characters directly:

Konante aliajn, oni inteligentas.
Konante sin, oni saĝas.

Venkante aliajn, oni fortas.
Venkante sin, oni ĉiopovas.

Forte alpaŝante vivon, oni ja akiras ion.
Kontentante pri sia vivo, oni ja akiras ĉion.

Dediĉante sin al sia vivejo, oni vivas longe.
Mortante tamen ne forgesote, oni ja vivas eterne.

So, making quite a literal English translation of this, you get:

In knowing others, one is intelligent.
In knowing oneself, one is wise.

In conquering others, one is strong.
In conquering oneself, one is all-powerful.

Approaching life forcefully, one surely gets something.
In being content in one’s life, one surely gets everything.

In being dedicated to one’s place, one lives long.
In dying but not being forgotten, on surely lives forever.

In my opinion, the English version in this style looks stunted and not flowing, it needs more gumpf to make it sound nice (I already had to add all those “in”s!). This is the style that the book I have goes for:

One who knows others is intelligent
One who knows onself is enlightened

And even here, most lines have to be prefixed with “one who”. It kinda helps it flow, and sometimes repetition is part of rhythm, but I think I’m beginning to prefer Esperanto here!

My Esperanto version is much closer to the ordering and use of the chinese characters than this English version (especially given that the Esperanto words mostly map one-to-one with the characters). I just found this interesting!

I also found the following interesting whilst translating:

  • ĉiopova = all-powerful, omnipotent. Literally “everything-able” or like “able to do everything”. I thought this was a nice construction. Not my own, I stumbled across it.
  • alpaŝi = to approach, to tackle, to deal with. “paŝi” means “to tread, to stride, to stalk”, and “al” means “to, toward”. I thought that was another neat construction to stumble across!

Some things I was unsure about:

  • I use “ejo” on the penultimate line. I use it because I’m not talking about any old place “loko”. I’m talking about the place one has in the world, ones own path through the universe. EDIT: changed to “vivejo” (vivo = life),see comments below. I love the idea of a “life-place”.
  • “Ne forgesote” = “not going to be forgotten, not being forgotten” on the last line. “Forgesi” = “to forget”. Here we want “to be forgotten” so we use a passive participle (-ot suffix rather than -ont), I’m sure of this. But I wasn’t sure if it should be “ne forgesate” = “not being forgotten” (present tense), however I felt that this implied that one need only not be forgotten in the present, whereas the true meaning is to never be forgotten, so future tense “ne forgesote”.Another alternative was “ne forgesiĝante” = “not becoming forgotten”, or “ne forgesiĝonte” = “not going to become forgotten. But after I thought of using the future tense “forgesote”, the “become” bit of these alternatives seemed to be unnecessary extra baggage.

An open question:

  • I use “Kontentante pri sia vivon…” = “Being content with one’s life…”. Could this be entirely replaced by “viv-kontentante” does that make sense? From the verb “vivkontenti” = “to be content with life, to be life-content”.Similarly, I use “Dediĉante sin al sia ejo” = “Dedicating oneself to one’s place”. Could I replace this with “Ej-dediĉante sin” = “place-dedicating oneself”.

Do comment if there are any errors! Or if you wish to ask about any of it.

Yet more

Recently been looking at “Laŭ”, a word I think I might have mentioned liking the sound of before (edit: indeed I have! Here). It means “According to/following/along”. I’ve been trying to find or think of uses in word building, because it has such a useful meaning, but is such a neat and tiny word.

So here are some that I’ve found:

  • laŭleĝa = legitimate, legal (leĝ0 = law, leĝa = legal, so lit. “according to law”)
  • laŭe = accordingly, according to that, conforming to that
  • laŭvorte = verbatim, word-for-word (vorto = word, so lit. “according to words”)
  • laŭiri = to go along (iri = to go)
  • laŭnature = according to nature (naturo = nature, nature = naturally, so lit.”by naturally, along naturally”)
  • laŭcela = adequate (cela = goal,aim,purpose, so lit. “according to purpose”)
  • laŭplane = according to plan (plano = plan)

I love the sound of “laŭe”. I think I am indeed hooked on the “aŭe” sound.

I also feel like these words really neatly express the concepts identified. Sentences like:

  • Mi laboras laŭplane = I am working according to plan
So neat!

Be beautiful with nightmare make-up

A few words that I like today! I like them mostly for their actual sound when spoken:

  • Koŝmaro = nightmare. Pronounced “Kosh-MA-ro” (trill that “r”!)
  • Ŝminki = to make-up (a verb for putting on make-up, e.g. “ŝminki sin” = “to make-up oneself, to put make-up on (oneself)”. Pronounced “SHMIN-kee” (try not to say “shming-kee”, but it’s not the end of the world…)

I have a feeling it is again the “ŝ” being following with the consonant that has tickled my fancy. It’s just a quirky sound.

Also, pleasingly, today I was buying lunch at the university, and came across some bottled mineral water, branded with the name “Belu”. It made me smile.

Since in Esperanto, “belu” is the imperative form (probably future post!) of the verb “beli” = “to be beautiful” (from the quality-like root “bel-“, so “bela” = “beautiful”). The point being that, “belu” means “be beautiful!”

So I bought it.


Today’s post is about the suffix “-ec” (which is pronounced “ets”, e.g. “boneco” is pronounced “bonetso”).

This post relies on knowing about the different kinds of roots in Esperanto (quality, object, and action roots). I’ve written a post about this.

This suffix makes words that are the quality of or state of being in the root word. It always shows an abstract concept/quality. This contrasts with the “-aĵ’ suffix, which always shows a concrete thing.

If the root that you attach the suffix to already has a quality-like meaning, like “bona” = “good” then the new word is the property or state of that word. So here, “good” (bona) becomes “goodness” (boneco), which is the property of something that is good. You can talk about the “goodness” of something.

How is this different from the noun form of “bona”, i.e. “bono”. The noun form alone is the concept itself of “good”.

When added to a non-quality root, “ec” adds the idea of the quality, property or state related to that root, what it is like to be that root.

  • homo = human, person
  • homeco = human-ness (the quality of being human)
  • ŝtono = stone
  • ŝtoneco = stoniness (the quality of being (hard) like stone)
  • vivi = to live
  • vivo = life
  • viveco = life-ness? The quality of being full of life.
  • unu = one
  • unueco = one-ness, the quality of being as one.

When a noun form has many different types of meaning, adding the “ec” suffix can serve to disambiguate, and select only the quality meaning:

  • belo = A beautiful thing, abstract idea of beauty, or beautifulness (the beauty quality of something)
  • beleco = Beautifulness

Which I think is cool, so you can be specific when you need to but vague when not. This sort of thing can be done with “-aĵ” and “-ad” too.

You can use “ec” with endings other than “o” too! With “a” or “e” (adjective or adverb respectively), the meaning is something like “of similar quality/type as <root>”

  • ŝtoneca koro = Heart as hard as stone (without feeling)

I particularly like this usage, it seems to have a simple elegance to it!

These examples are courtesy of the PMEG! The page also briefly mentions a couple more minor usages of “ec”, but these were my favourite bits 😛