In Esperanto this is how you’d say it’s 3 o’clock:
- Estas la tria (horo)
Which is literally:
- It’s the third (hour)
Which I think is nice and simple.
The little interesting thing today, is in asking the question “what time is it?”
- Kioma horo estas? = What time is it?
Specifically “kioma” is the cool bit. It comes from “kiom” which is a correlative word (see previous post), meaning “how much/many”. I just like the simplicity of why the “a” is there:
I think the PMEG’s explanation is pretty neat:
You use “kiom” to ask for:
- Unu, du, tri… = One, two, three…
And you use “kioma” to ask for:
- Unua, dua, tria… = First, second, third…
I just found why “which-th” was so natural to my brain. I had indeed read it before. Check out this page of “Being Colloquial in Esperanto”. It has a neat little sentence that is ambiguous in English:
- Which of his sons are you?
Is the answer “the third” or “charles”?
But in Esperanto “kioma” asks for “whichth” (the third): which one are you in order?
And “kiu” asks for “which” (charles): which son are you?