Why 'estas el'? Should it not be something like the pot is made of plastic?
Why is it "whether the pot is from plastic"
Ĉu doesn't translate directly as whether it is only a question word.
And yes, of course you could take a more cumbersome approach and translate it as:
"Ĉu tiu poto estas farita el plasto?" for a more direct translation, but you wouldn't need to.
I would have translated it as "Cxu tiu poto estas farita el plasto". The "estas el" part just doesnt make sense to me. I guess I'll just have to accept it.
I heard "Cxu tio poto" and got it wrong. What is the difference between using tiu and tio? This pot or that pot?
that is what I heard also; regardless of whether it is the proper word or not.
I think tiu is more like 'that one', where as tio is like 'that' when referring to an object.
what exactly does "el" mean? in one of the sentences in the country lessons, "el" translated to "from" when talking about a person being from some place but now it doesn't say that it translates to "from", just "made of", "of", "out of"
When you think about it, "from" can sort of work in this context. I remember to use "el" by thinking it is made "from something", which is not proper English in every context, but it helps me out.
But remember, words often don't have one direct translation, especially prepositions! It may help to not directly associate "el" with "from" so strongly.
And this feature is not unique to Esperanto! In German the same rule applies, so you translate "es ist aus Silber" to "it is made out of silver". "Aus" can mean from, and it does in the context of saying where you're from (e.g., "Ich komme aus Deutschland") just as "el" does for Esperanto.
Perhaps things work similarly in other languages too, I wouldn't know XD
I hope this helps, and if anything I have said here is wrong, please correct me! Mi estas nur komencanto :)
It is because Esperanto grammar is strongly influenced by Russian language. "Unua libro" was published mainly in Russian, and it was also the most used by Zamenhof language. "El plasto" is almost the same as "из пластика", and if you want to say that someone is from another country you can use "из другой страны".