We need to consider actions (verbs) in more detail. We have already dealt with the simple verbs ending in "is", "as", and "os". Now we take a look at compound (two-part) verbs, in which the first part gives the general time of the action and the second part gives the state of the action.
Before looking at the Esperanto use of compound verbs, let's look at the use of compound verbs in English.
Append to the following sentences either "yesterday", "now" or "tomorrow" (General Time). Add also either "(completed)", "(on-going)", or "(not yet)" (State of Action).
Notice that the first part of the two-part verb, which we call the auxiliary or helping verb, is 'to be' except when the action has been completed; in that case, English uses the auxiliary verb 'to have'.
In Esperanto, the auxiliary verb is always esti (to be).
|(tomorrow)||Li estos||/||\||skribonta||(not yet)|
The idea is simple, but the explanation is somewhat confusing and difficult; hang in there! Let's look now at a fuller demonstration of Compound Verbs in Esperanto....
Compound Verb Tenses - Active (inta, anta, onta)
Jeanne has regular habits. Using simple verb tenses we say:
|every day at 8:00||"She eats her breakfast."|
|"Sxi mangxas sian matenmangxon." (sia - his/her own)|
|every day at 8:05||"She reads her paper."|
|"Sxi legas sian jxurnalon."|
|every day at 8:10||"She writes a letter."|
|"Sxi skribas leteron."|
But none of these actions is instantaneous, and we can show this better by using the compound verb tenses:
|and say at 8:00||"She is eating her breakfast."|
|"Sxi estas mangxanta sian matenmangxon."|
|and say at 8:05||"She is reading her paper."|
|"Sxi estas leganta sian jxurnalon."|
|and say at 8:10||"She is writing a letter."|
|"Sxi estas skribanta leteron."|
Suppose we are spying on her, and we report by phone at 8:05; then at 8:05 we would say: present state of time action
|"She has eaten her breakfast."||"Sxi estas mangxinta sian matenmangxon."|
|"She is reading her paper."||"Sxi estas leganta sian jxurnalon."|
|"She is about to write a letter."||"Sxi estas skribonta leteron."|
Later during the day, we may have to confirm in writing what we previously reported. Then we would say that by 8:05:
|"She had eaten her breakfast"||"Sxi estis mangxinta sian matenmangxon."|
|"She was reading her paper."||"Sxi estis leganta sian jxurnalon."|
|"She was about to write a letter."||"Sxi estis skribonta leteron."|
Also, we must tell the next day's spy what to expect. We tell her that if she gets there by 8:05, she will find that:
|"She will have eaten her breakfast."||"Sxi estos mangxinta sian matenmangxon."|
|"She will be reading her paper."||"Sxi estos leganta sian jxurnalon."|
|"She will be about to write a letter."||"Sxi estos skribonta leteron."|
Compound Verb Tenses - Active Participles
(action is preformed by the subject of the sentence)
|inta||(action recently completed)|
|anta||(action still on-going)|
|onta||(action soon to begin)|
Please note: because participles are actually adjectives, [Cf. kuranta knabo, a running boy] they must agree in number with the subject. For example,
|Ili estas mangxintaj||They have eaten|
|Ni estis irontaj||We were about to go|
|Vi estos skribantaj||You will be writing|
(translate into Esperanto, using compound verbs):
Perk up! The worst is over! Just some odd bits left over for the next two lessons.
Don't forget to mail these exercises to your tutor, with subject: 'FEC ekz 8'.