You are on page 1of 36

Esperanto Primer

Compiled by

Shel Hollingsworth
9/26/12

Resources: http://en.lernu.net http://www.esperanto-usa.org/en http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanto http://bernd.wechner.info/Esperanto/psikologio.html

From http://en.lernu.net

What is Esperanto? It's a language that is particularly useful for international communication. Important traits of Esperanto

 

International: Esperanto is most useful for communicating among people of diverse nations who do not have a common mother tongue. Neutral: It doesn't belong to one people or country, so it works as a neutral language. Equal: When you use Esperanto, you feel more equal from a linguistic standpoint than when, for example, you speak Spanish with a native Spanish speaker. Relatively easy: Thanks to the structure of Esperanto, it's usually much easier to master than other foreign languages. Living: Esperanto evolves and lives just like other languages, and it can be used to express the most varied facets of human thought and emotion.

We created this website because we like using Esperanto. Every day we use it to communicate with friends in different countries and continents, mostly online. We find Esperanto to be a good tool for making new friends and working together with people who speak different native languages.

2
Table of Contents

Pronunciation ........................................................................ 4 Vowels ................................................................................... 4 Consonants ......................................................................... 4 The accent ......................................................................5 Diphthong .......................................................................5 Word classes .......................................................................... 6 Definite article ...................................................................... 7 La .......................................................................................7 Plural .......................................................................................... 8 Object ......................................................................................... 9 Comparison ........................................................................... 10 Possession ............................................................................. 11 Pronouns ................................................................................ 12 Personal pronouns.................................................... 12 Possessive pronouns ............................................... 12 Si ...................................................................................... 12 Oni ................................................................................... 13 Verb forms............................................................................. 14 Complex verb-constructions ................................ 14 Adverbs ................................................................................... 15 Prepositions ......................................................................... 16 Use of De ............................................................................ 19 Use of Da ............................................................................ 19

3 Use of Je .............................................................................. 19 The ending -n instead of a preposition ............. 19 Direction by -n ............................................................... 20 Numbers ........................................................................... 21 Questions ......................................................................... 22 Ĉu ..................................................................................... 22 The negation ................................................................... 23 Participles ........................................................................ 24 Active Participles ........................................................... 24 Passive Participles ........................................................ 24 Active Participles ........................................................... 25 Passive participles ........................................................ 25 Correlatives ........................................................................... 26 Ĉi .............................................................................................. 28 Ajn .......................................................................................... 28 Relative words................................................................. 28 Word construction ............................................................ 29 Affixes ...................................................................................... 30 Prefixes ................................................................................ 30 Suffixes ................................................................................ 30

4
Pronunciation You write and speak Esperanto completely regularly/phonetically. Every letter is always pronounced the same way. Vowels Letter Sound clarification Word example A E I O U like a in father like e in pet like i in machine like o in November like oo in moose ami - to love egala - equal infano - infant oro - gold urbo - city

Consonants Letter B C Ĉ D F G Ĝ H Ĥ Sound clarification like English b like English ts like ch in church like English d like English f like g in gay like g in gem like English h like ch in Scottish loch Word example bela - beautiful celo - goal ĉokolado - chocolate doni - to give facila - easy granda - large ĝui - to enjoy horo - hour ĥoro - choir

5
J Ĵ K L M N P R S Ŝ T Ŭ V Z like y in young like s in pleasure like English k like English l like English m like English n like English p trilled like Spanish r like English s like English sh like English t like English w like English v like English z juna - young ĵurnalo - daily newspaper kafo - coffee lando - country maro - sea nokto - night paco - peace rapida - fast salti - to jump ŝipo - ship tago - day aŭto - car vivo - life zebro - zebra

The accent The accent is always on the next to last vowel of a word: vojo , kantado , apud , historio , aŭdi , ilia Diphthong The sound/letter 'ŭ' is used only immediately after 'a,' 'e,' or 'o.' With a/e/o and accompanied consonants, it becomes one syllable. Watch out for the pronounciation differences in the following example: aŭto - car, auto - nonexistent word

6
Word classes Most words in Esperanto have definite endings:

Nouns
-o domo - house knabo - boy muziko - music skribo - a writing

Adjectives
-a granda - large juna - young ruĝa - red skriba - written

Verbs*
-i vidi - to see kuri - to run esti - to be skribi - to write

Adverbs**
-e rapide - quickly buŝe - orally hejme - at home skribe - in writing

*Not counting the basic form (-i), all verbs have five more tenses. You can find more at Verb forms. **Some adverbs don't have the ending -e. You can learn more about this in Adverbs.

7
Definite article La "La" is the definite article. Its form never changes. la hundo - the dog la domo - the house la knabo - the boy la tablo - the table There is no indefinite article. hundo - a dog, some dog domo - a house, some house

8
Plural You can make a word plural by adding -j. bela hundo - a beautiful dog belaj hundoj - beautiful dogs La knaboj estas junaj - the boys are young blua kuniklo bluaj kunikloj ruĝa kaj blua kunikloj

9
Object An object shows which thing is directly affected by an action. For example, for the sentence "The boy writes a letter," you can ask yourself "What is happening? There is someone who is writing." Who is writing? - the boy is writing. Therefore, "the boy" is the subject, the one performing the action. What is the boy writing? - The boy is writing a letter. Therefore, "letter" is an object, that which is directly affected by an action. The ending -n indicates an object. You should put -n at the end of a word which indicates an object of an action. La knabo vidas la hundon. - the boy sees the dog La hundo vidas la knabon. - the dog sees the boy La knabo la fiŝon manĝas. La knabon la fiŝo manĝas. You should also put -n at the end of adjectives that describe an object. La knabo havas belan hundon. - the boy has a beautiful dog You should also put -n after a plural ending -j for objects that are plural. La hundo vidas la belajn katojn. - the dog sees the beautiful cats.

10
Comparison Pli - more, plej - most. granda - large pli granda - larger plej granda - largest You can also use adverbs to compare pli and plej. rapide - quickly pli rapide - faster plej rapide - fastest The comparison word is ol. La tablo estas pli granda ol la seĝo. - The table is larger than the chair La elefanto estas pli granda ol la kuniklo. It's possible to do an 'inverse' comparison with malpli less and malplej - least. malpli granda - smaller malplej granda - smallest (For a clarification about 'mal-' see Affixes.)

11
Possession You express possession by using the word de. La hundo de la knabo. - the boy's dog La pordoj de la domo. - the house's doors La hundo de la knabo. You can also express possession by possessive pronouns and some correlatives. mia hundo - my dog ies hundo - someone's dog

12
Pronouns Personal pronouns mi I vi you ŝi she li he ĝi it ni we ili they oni one himself / herself / itself / si themselves Possessive pronouns mia my via your ŝia her lia his ĝia its nia our ilia their onia one's his / her / its / sia their own

When a personal pronoun is an object, it takes on the ending of -n. Mi amas vin. - I love you Ili vidas ĝin. - They see it The possessive pronouns can have the plural ending of j and the object ending of -n. Ŝi amas mian fraton. - She loves my brother Mi vidas viajn domojn. - I see your houses Si Si is a reflexive pronoun, used with ŝi, li, ĝi, ili, oni or words which can be substituted for them. For example, to show an action to itself and not to another entity. NEVER use it withmi, vi, or ni to show a reflexive action. Mi pensas pri mi. - I think about myself Vi pensas pri vi. - You think about yourself Li pensas pri li. - He thinks about him Li pensas pri si. - He thinks about himself

13
Oni Oni is an indefinite pronoun, used when you want to talk about any person, many people or some undefined people, or a person whose identity you don't want to reveal, etc. Oni is normally singular, but can also be plural. Oni does not indicate gender. Oni pensas pri si mem. - One thinks about oneself.

14
Verb forms Ending -i -as -is -os -us -u Explanation basic form (infinitive) present tense (present) past tense (preterite) future tense (future) Example esti - to be skribi - to write estas - is/am/are skribas - write/writes estis - was/were skribis - wrote estos - will be skribos - will write

conditional form estus - would be (conditional mood) skribus - would write command form (volitive mood) estu silenta - be quiet! skribu - write!

Complex verb-constructions Complex verb constructions consist of a main verb and another verb with the same subject, which always takes the infinitive form. Usually these complex verb constructions are used with the verbs povi, devi and voli. Mi volas manĝi. - I want to eat. Mi ne povis veni. - I wasn't able to come. Mi devos labori. - I will have to work.

15
Adverbs Adverbs are words that indicate manner, place, time or quantity; for example: ankoraŭ apenaŭ - barely, only almenaŭ - at least still, yet just, hardly, scarcely baldaŭ preskaŭ - almost eĉ - even soon jen - behold, here is, jam here are, look, ĵus - just, just now already there, morgaŭ hodiaŭ - today hieraŭ - yesterday tomorrow plu - more, on, else, nun - now nur - only further tuj - at once, right tre - very tro - too, too much now, immediately for - away

It's also possible to create adverbs from other words by using the -e ending. The meaning of the base word determines whether it becomes a manner, place, time or quantity adverb. rapida - quick rapide - quickly (adverb of manner) skribi - write skribe - in writing (adverb of manner) hejmo - home hejme - at home (place adverb) nokto - night multaj - many nokte - at night (time adverb) multe - much (quantity adverb)

16
Prepositions
Preposition al anstataŭ antaŭ Translation to instead of in front of, before near, next to Example Mi iras al vi. - I'm going to you. La kuniklo kuras al la barelo. Mi iras anstataŭ vi. - I'm going instead of you. Mi iras antaŭ vi. - I'm going in front of/before you. La kuniklo sidas antaŭ la barelo. Mi iras apud vi. - I'm going near you. La kuniklo sidas apud la barelo. Mi sidas ĉe komputilo. - I'm sitting at a computer. La kuniklo sidas ĉe la barelo. Mi iras ĉirkaŭ vi. - I'm going around you. La kuniklo kuras ĉirkaŭ la barelo. Ni havis multe da gastoj. - We had a lot of guests. Mi iras de la domo. - I'm going from the house. Ni iris dum tri minutoj. - We went for three minutes. Mi iras ekster la domo. - I'm going outside the house. La kuniklo staras ekster la barelo. Mi iras el la domo. - I'm going from the house. La kuniklo saltas el la barelo. Mi iras en la domo. - I'm going in the house. La kuniklo estas en la barelo.

apud

ĉe

at, near, with around

ĉirkaŭ

da de dum ekster

of (quantities) of, from while, during outside (of)

el

out of, from within in

en

17
ĝis inter until among, between (indefinite meaning) against except with, together according to in spite of with (by means of) for at the rate of after (time) Mi iras ĝis la domo. - I'm going until [I reach] the house. Mi iras inter la domoj. - I'm going between the houses. La kuniklo sidas inter la bareloj. Li kredas je Dio. - he believes in God Mi iras kontraŭ via volo. - I'm going against your wish. Ĉiuj krom mi iris. - Everyone, except me, went. Mi iras kun vi. - I'm going with you. La kuniklo iras kun la barelo. Mi iras laŭ la vojo. - I'm going along (according to) the way. Mi iras malgraŭ la pluvo. - I'm going in spite of the rain. Mi vojaĝas per trajno. - I'm traveling by train. Mi eniras por manĝi. - I'm entering to eat. Po du eŭroj por persono. - Two euros per person. Mi iras post vi. - I'm going after you. La kuniklo kuras post la barelo. Mi iras preter vi. - I walk past you. La kuniklo kuras preter la barelo. Mi pensas pri vi. - I'm thinking about you. La kuniklo parolas pri la barelo. …

je kontraŭ krom kun laŭ malgraŭ per por po post

preter pri

past, beyond about, concerning …

18
pro sen for (because of) without Mi eniras pro la pluvo. - I'm entering because of the rain. Mi iras sen vi. - I'm going without you. La kuniklo iras sen la barelo. Mi iras sub la domo. - I'm going under the house. La kuniklo kuŝas sub la elefanto. Mi estas super vi. - I'm above you. Mi estas sur la domo. - I am on the house. La kuniklo staras sur la porko. Mi iras tra la domo. - I'm going through the house. La kuniklo rampas tra la barelo. Mi iras trans la straton. - I'm going across the street.

sub

under

super sur

above on (position)

tra

through

trans

across

19
Use of De De is used in many ways, for expressing many things, like moving away, origin, cause, time or a property (respectively). Mi venas de la urbo. - I come from the city. Mi ricevis kison de vi. - I received a kiss from you. Mi ridas de ĝojo. - I laugh from joy. De nun mi amas vin. - From now on, I love you. Glaso de biero. - Glass of beer (a glass, which contains beer) Use of Da Da is used between a quantity word and the measurement you're expressing. kilogramo da rizo - kilogram of rice du litroj da lakto - two liters of milk glaso da biero - glass of beer (a glass-sized quantity of beer) multe da bananoj Use of Je When no other preposition works, you can use the indefinite preposition je. Li kredas je Dio. - he believes in God Another usual use of je is in time expressions: je la tria horo - at three o'clock The ending -n instead of a preposition Instead of using a preposition you can use the ending n to express time and measurement. En la 22-a de junio mi venos. - La 22-an de junio mi venos. (I will come on the 22nd of June.) Mi estas je 20-metra distanco de vi - Mi estas 20 metrojn for de vi. (I am 20 meters away from you.)

20
Direction by -n After prepositions, use the basic word form without -n. pri la knabo - about the boy en la domoj - in the houses al la urbo - to the city After prepositions which do not indicate movement, but do indicate a place, you use -n to show motion to that location. Hundo saltas sur la tablo. - A dog jumps on the table. Hundo saltas sur la tablon. - A dog jumps onto the table. Mi iras en la domo. - I go in the house. Mi iras en la domon. - I go into the house. La kuniklo saltas sur la elefanton. La kuniklo saltas sur la elefanto. -n works the same way after adverbs which indicate location. hejme - at home | hejmen - [to] home urbe - in the city | urben - to the city kie - where | kien - to where tie - there | tien - to there

21
Numbers Basic numbers 0 - nul 1 - unu 2 - du 3 - tri 4 - kvar 5 - kvin 6 - ses 7 - sep 8 - ok 9 - naŭ 10 - dek 100 - cent 1000 - mil

Other numbers are created by joining the basic numbers together. 11 - dek unu 12 - dek du 20 - dudek 25 - dudek kvin 237 - ducent tridek sep 1983 - mil naŭcent okdek tri 2002 - du mil du

Tens and hundreds are joined to form one word. dudek, tridek, ducent, tricent Everything else should be spoken and written as separate words, including thousands. dek unu, dek du, du mil The basic numbers are not declined. Mi vidas tri domojn. - I see three houses. Ordinal numbers are created by the ending -a. They are declined like adjectives. unua - first dua - second deka - tenth okdek naŭa / okdek-naŭa - eighty-ninth (correct both with and without the hyphen between the words when it is a number that requires multiple words) Mi skribas la unuan leteron. - I write the first letter.

22
Questions All questions contain a question word, for example kio what, kiel - how, kiam - when(more question words). Kio estas tio? - What is that? Kiel vi fartas? - How are you? Kiam vi venos? - When will you come? Ĉu For yes/no questions, the question word ĉu is used. Ŝi estas knabino. - she is a girl. | Ĉu ŝi estas knabino? is she a girl? Ĉu la knabino estas juna? - is the girl young? | Jes, ŝi estas juna. - yes, she is young

23
The negation Ne - not Mi ne estas juna. - I'm not young Ne, mi ne volas. - no, I don't want La hundo ne volas veni. Ne stands in front of the negated word. This is usually the verb, but ne can also negate other words. Mi manĝas ne pomon, sed piron. - I'm eating not an apple, but a pear For negation one can also use the correlative NENIwords. Mi komprenas nenion. - I understand nothing. Mi neniam estis tie. - I was never there. NENI-words always negate the whole sentence. A double negative can make the sentence positive. Mi ne faras nenion. - I am not doing nothing. (I am doing something) Mi ne povas ne veni. - I cannot help but come. Sometimes after another negative word, we use the conjunction nek, which means "nor". Mi ne vidis lin, nek lian patron. - I did not see him, nor his father. Neniu leciono nek prelego plaĉis al ŝi. - No lesson or lecture pleased her. A double nek means "neither...nor". Mi vidis nek lin, nek lian patron. - I saw neither him, nor his father. Mi ŝatas nek drinki nek fumi. - I neither like to drink nor to smoke. *You will find more NENI-words in Correlatives.

24
Participles A participle is a word that presents an action as a property or state of something: writing, beaten, closed, etc. In English there are two types of participles: present participles, which are usually formed with the ending -ing (e.g. writing, doing, seeing), and past participles, which are usually formed with the endings -en or -ed (e.g. given, closed, written). In Esperanto, there are six types of participles. Active Participles -antPassive Participles -at-

happening now already -int-ithappened -ont-otwill happen (Note the similarity to the present, past, and future tense endings -as, -is, -os.)

25
Active Participles The active participles describe the state of the person or thing doing the action: skribanta - writing skribinta - written skribonta - going to write skribanta knabo - a boy who is writing skribinta knabo - a boy who wrote Mi estis skribanta. - I was writing. Ili estos skribantaj. - They will be writing. Ŝi estis skribonta. - She was going to write. With the -o ending, we present the person who performs the action: skribanto - writer (one who writes, or is writing now) skribinto - one who wrote skribonto - one who is going to write Participles can also be used as adverbs: Skribante li pensis pri ŝi. - While writing, he thought about her. Passive participles The passive participles express a quality of the thing, which is affected by the action: skribata - being written skribita - been written skribota - going to be written skribata letero - a letter which is being written skribita letero - a letter which has been written La letero estas skribata de mi. - The letter is being written by me. La letero estis skribata de ŝi. - The letter was being written by her. La letero estis skribita de li. - The letter was written by him.

26
Correlatives Question and answer words are linked in a separate system. It consists of five beginnings and nine endings which can be combined in many ways.

Beginning kitiiĉineni-

Short clarification [what] [that] [some] [every] [no]

Ending -o -u -a -el -e -am -om -al -es

Short clarification thing one, or person kind of, sort of manner, in ... way place time quantity (amount) reason, for ... reason one's, person's

Together they form a table:
kio what, what thing kiu who, which one tio that, that thing tiu that person, that one io something, anything iu someone, somebody ĉio everything, all things ĉiu everyone, everybody nenio nothing

neniu no one, nobody

27
kia what kind of, what (a) kiel how, in what way tia that kind of, such a tiel that way, thus, like that, so tie there, in that place tiam then, at that time tiom so much, as many, that quantity tial for that reason ties that one's ia - some kind of, any kind of ĉia - every kind of, all kinds of

nenia no kind of

iel somehow, in some way ie somewhere, anywhere, in some place iam sometime, anytime, ever

ĉiel - in every way

neniel in no way

kie where, in what place kiam when, at what time kiom how much, how many, what quantity kial why kies whose

ĉie everywhere, in every place ĉiam always, at all times

nenie nowhere, in no place neniam never, at no time, not ever

iom some, some quantity

ĉiom - the whole quantity, all of it

neniom not a bit, none, no quantity

ial - for some reason ies someone's

ĉial - for every reason ĉies everyone's

nenial for no reason nenies no one's

28
Ĉi The word ĉi expresses closeness and is used with the tiand ĉi-words, either before or after them. tie ĉi / ĉi tie - here tiu ĉi / ĉi tiu - this one ĉio ĉi / ĉi ĉio - all of this Ajn The word ajn means '...ever': kiam ajn - whenever kiu ajn - whoever Relative words The ki-words are also used as relative (interrelational) words. Tio, kion li diris, estas bona. - that, which he said is good La knabino, kiu staras tie. - the girl, who stands there Ĝi estas granda kiel domo. - it is large like a house

29
Word construction One root in Esperanto can make many words when you add prefixes and suffixes to them. That means that you don't need to learn as many words as in other languages. One possibility is to use the diverse word endings.

skrib'

skribo skriba => skribi skribe -

a writing written to write in writing interest interesting to interest interestingly

intereso interesa interes' => interesi interese -

When you create a compound word, you can keep or drop off the word ending of the first word, depending on which is easier to say. skrib' + tabl' => skribotablo / skribtablo - writing table For many prefixes and suffixes, you can create even more words from the same root. See more at Affixes.

30
Affixes The affixes (prefixes and suffixes) are very important in Esperanto. There are 10 prefixes and 31 suffixes. Prefixes
bodisekeksfigemalmisprarelated by marriage in several directions (suddenly) begin no longer bad (in principle referring to character) the two sexes together inverse; opposite not rightly; in error a very long time ago or (when talking about descendents) future again, another time; inverse direction patro doni vidi reĝo - father to give bopatro disdoni ekvidi eksreĝo fidomo gepatroj misuzi father-inlaw to distribute

- to see - king

- to glimpse - ex-king house of shame

domo - house patro bona uzi - father - good - to use

- parents - to abuse ancient times

malbona - bad

tempo - time

pratempo -

re-

veni

-

to come

reveni

- to return

Suffixes
-aĉ-ad-aĵ-an-arbad (in principle referring to quality) continuous or repeated action something concrete, specific member many taken as a whole forms familiar form of male names (after 2-5 letters of the name) can be done quality as an abstract idea very large; very strongly place inclination or tendency must be done domo kanti alta Kristo arbo - house - to sing - high - Christ - tree domaĉo kantado altaĵo kristano arbaro - hovel - singing a height - (highland, etc.) - Christian - forest

-ĉj-ebl-ec-eg-ej-emend-

patro legi rapida varma kuiri dormi legi

- father - to read - fast - warm - cook - to sleep - to read

paĉjo legebla rapideco varmega kuirejo dormema legenda

- Dad - legible - speed - hot - kitchen - sleepy - must be read

31
-erestr-et-id-ig-iĝ-il-in-ind-ingism-istfragment, one of many similar pieces person who guides, rules, presides very small; very weakly offspring cause something to be become instrument, tool indicates female sex good to do, worthy of a holder into which something is inserted way of thought, belief system practitioner of a profession, continued hobby or way of thinking forms familiar form of female names (after 2-5 letters of the name) multiplication; times fraction group of container person indefinite relation sablo lernejo varma hundo labori ruĝa tranĉi knabo legi glavo - sand - school - warm - dog - to work - red - to cut - boy - to read - sword sablero - grain of sand principal/head teacher

lernejestro varmeta hundido laborigi ruĝiĝi tranĉilo knabino leginda glavingo

- lukewarm - puppy to put - someone to work - to blush - knife - girl - worth reading - scabbard

kristano - Christian

kristanismo - Christianity

labori

- to work

laboristo

- worker

-nj-obl-on-op-uj-ul-um-

patrino - mother du du du mono juna - two - two - two - money - young

panjo duoblo duono duope monujo junulo

- Mom - double - half - in a pair wallet, change purse

- a youth

komuna - common

komunumo - community

Several prefixes and suffixes can be used together. patro - father => bogepatroj - in-laws labori - to work => mallaborema - lazy Several prefixes and suffixes can be used on their own. ilo - tool ekas – begins

32
From http://www.esperanto-usa.org/en

Esperanto is a language introduced in 1887 by Dr. L.L. Zamenhof after years of development. He proposed Esperanto as a second language that would allow people who speak different native languages to communicate, yet at the same time retain their own languages and cultural identities. Esperanto doesn't replace anyone's language but simply serves as a common second language. Esperanto can be learned in much less time than any other language. (Some say that it is four times easier). Esperanto is politically unbiased. Although there aren't a lot of people who speak Esperanto in any one place, there are some almost everywhere. There are over a hundred periodicals regularly published in Esperanto. There are thousands of books in Esperanto, both translated and original works. There are millions of webpages. People who speak Esperanto are internationally minded, concerned about social justice and peace, and are helping to preserve linguistic diversity. Meetings and conventions in America, Europe, and Asia provide a fun opportunity to travel and meet new people from around the world. In short...  Esperanto doesn't replace anyone's language but simply serves as a common second language.  Esperanto can be learned in much less time than any other language.  Esperanto is politically unbiased, helping to preserve minority languages and cultures.  Esperanto provides an opportunity to travel and meet new friends from around the world.  Esperanto is fun to learn and fun to speak!

http://www.fluentin3months.com/2-weeks-of-esperanto/