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Lesson Three

It may seem like we packed a lot into Lesson Two, but here are the main things you have learned so far:

subject thing(s)actionobject thing(s)
Mia patrinolavasmian fraton.
Niaj fratinojvidisviajn instruistinojn.

You don't have to write sentences in the above word order, but it is the most common form, and for English-speakers it's easier to learn just this pattern at first.

Once you realize that "grammar coding" tells you what part each word plays in a sentence (its function), you could, for poetry or emphasis, arrange the coded words in any other order without changing the original meaning.

Let's take a look at a couple of examples of different word order and answer a couple of questions (remember to pay attention to the endings of the words).

Ekzercoj, Leciono Tri (parto unu)

  1. Mian fraton lavis mia patrino.

    Who was washed? Who did the washing?

  2. Instruistinojn viajn fratinoj niaj vidis.

    Who did the seeing? Who was seen?

In this 10-lesson course we are going to stick to the subject-verb-object word order, but in well-written Esperanto texts other word orders are frequently used for reasons of emphasis and text coherence. If you use Esperanto you will rapidly acquire a feeling for word order. The best word order to use depends mainly on the context, so it is difficult to give precise "rules".

Let's go on now, right to this lesson's word list below.

Vocabulary, lesson three

NounsVerbs (infinitives)Adjectives
horo (hour)atendi (to wait for)blanka (white)
jaro (year)fumi (to smoke)blua (blue)
mateno (morning)kuri (to run)bruna (brown)
minuto (minute)sati (to be satisfied)flava (yellow)
nokto (night)promeni (to stroll)griza (gray)
semajno (week)respondi (to answer)nigra (black)
tago (day)soifi (to be thirsty)rugxa (red)
vespero (evening)vivi (to live)verda (green)
demandi (to inquire, ask a question)

Note the difference between demandi (related to questions) and peti (related to requests or "petitions"). Both can be translated as "ask" in English.

Remember, j is pronounced like y, so jaro = yah-row.

Adverbs: Adverbs are like adjectives, but instead of describing nouns, adverbs describe verbs and adjectives, usually telling how, when, or where. (Adverbs in English usually end in -ly).

In Esperanto, adverbs derived from other words always end in -e.

We can use the basic idea of a word in different ways by simply changing the grammar-coded ending:

sano = healthsxi havas bonan sanon
sana = healthysxi estas sana
sani = to be healthysxi sanas
sane = healthilysxi sane vivas

Adverbs usually precede the word they describe.

Note: The pronunciation of adverbs, ending in "-e", needs some attention. In general, every vowel makes up one syllable (sound unit) of an Esperanto word. Therefore, we must read the two-part sound of "sane" as "sah-neh" and not as the one-part sound of the English word "sane".

Lesson four will concentrate more on the correct sounds of Esperanto. Right now, let's just say that Esperanto "e" should be pronounced as the "e" in "met". Due to different pronunciations throughout the English- speaking world, it is impossible to give exact Esperanto pronunciation in writing.

subject thingverbadverbobject thing

Ekzercoj, Leciono Tri (parto du)

  1. My brother will-stroll in-the-morning ("morningly").
  2. His friend replied warmly.
  3. The brown pen writes well ("goodly").
  4. The grey teacher runs badly.
  5. Our father smokes in-the-evening ("eveningly").
  6. He loves her.
  7. He loves her sister.
  8. She loves him.

Numbers (cardinal numbers are not grammar-coded: no endings)

unu1dek unu11tridek unu31
du2dek du12tridek du32
tri3dek tri13...
kvar4dek kvar14kvardek40
ses6and so on tosesdek60
ok8dudek unu21mil1 000
naux9...miliono1 000 000

Numbers (ordinal numbers have the ending "-a", like adjectives, and take the plural "-j" and object "-n", like adjectives)


Note: the "aux" is pronounced as "ow" in cow.

Note: the adverb form of the numbers is sometimes translated as: unue = in the first place; trie = in the third place, etc.

Ekzercoj, Leciono Tri (parto tri)

  1. The first man loves the second woman.
  2. The second woman hates the first man.
  3. Two boys firstly asked for three cakes.
  4. In-the-second-place they asked for lemonade.
  5. The shop makes bad brown bread.
  6. The shop makes brown bread badly.

Intransitive verbs do not show action from a subject to an object; instead, intransitive verbs are used to show the state of the subject. Adjectives after intransitive verbs describe the subject.

Li estas sana.Sxi estas instruisto (or: instruistino).
He is healthy.She is a teacher.

The object "-n" is not used after such verbs.

Ekzercoj, Leciono Tri (parto kvar)

  1. Sixty minutes are one hour.
  2. Twenty-four hours are one day (and night).
  3. Seven days are one week.
  4. The third boy is my second son.

If you would like a pronunciation record or other material in Esperanto, write to your national Esperanto organization. The address is in Lesson One. This is not mandatory for this lesson series, but hearing spoken Esperanto is a great help.

Don't forget to mail these exercises to your tutor, with subject: 'FEC ekz 3'.