"Kato ne punos katidon se ĝi manĝis muson."

Translation:A cat will not punish a kitten if it has eaten a mouse.

September 14, 2015

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But it will if it kisses a mouse


Miksataj mesaĝoj! Ĉu la katido aŭ manĝis aŭ kisis la muson?


ERROR. Kato.exe has stopped working.


Malfermu la skatolon kaj malkovru!


Why not "punus" and "manĝus"? Isn't this a conditional sentence?!


Kato ne punus katidon se ĝi manĝus muson.
A cat would not punish a kitten if it would eat a mouse.

The exercice sentence is indeed not conditional.

sfuspvwf npj


Exactly and this is the reason why the grammar book Plena manlibro de Esperanto gramatiko (PMEG) uses its own terms, like os-finaĵo and us-modo instead of future resp. conditional. The conventional terms can have different meanings in different languages or at least the use of different grammatical structures varies from language to language.

The os-finaĵo in Esperanto is one of the real modes (realaj modoj) which show that the action has happened for sure (okazis), is really happening (okazas) or is likely or expected to happen (okazos). Since we cannot predict the future for sure, it is only "likely" or "expected", that is, it contains some uncertainty.

Now, in some languages this uncertainty is expressed by conditional, while others use other means.

In contrast, the us-modo in Esperanto expresses purely imaginary things, as its alternative name imaga modo implies. That is, things that could have happened, but did not happen, or could happen right now or later, but are not likely happening or to happen. Yes, us-modo by itself is timeless, other words or context will define the time.

To put it shortly, Esperanto makes a clear distinction between uncertain (os-finaĵo) and imaginary (us-modo) things.


I'm slightly confused about why past tense is being used for "manĝi"


Because the English is "has eaten," which is also past tense?


It's confusing because the English phrase would be, "A cat will not punish a kitten if it eats a mouse." In Esperanto, the last part has the tense it would have during the proposition (rather than "X happens if Y happens [first]," Esperanto says "X happens if Y has happened").


That would be the right explanation for indirect speech, but se-clauses follow their own rules.

PMEG is pretty bad on this point, but PAG has the details in section 257. Heavy grammar ahead.

The usage in this case is "kaŭzo ebla," which gives se the same sequencing as ĉar, and talks about a specific event, rather than a theoretical if-then rule (kaŭzo teoria). Kaŭzo ebla can have a mixed expression of time and works the same as ĉar.

Kaŭzo teoria uses the same tense in both, usually the present or future, because it doesn't express a connection to real time.

> Kato ne punos katidon se ĝi manĝis muson. (kaŭzo ebla)

this has almost the same meaning as

> Kato ne punos katidon ĉar ĝi manĝis muson. (kaŭzo reala)

The difference is that se is slightly less real. The speaker predicts the future (ne punos) conditioned on the truth of the preterite (se manĝis). With kaŭzo reala, both would be asserted as true.

And in both cases, English requires tense concordance. Present-system future in the main verb (will not punish), so present-perfect (has eaten) in the subordinate


You might be right, at least it sounds somewhat plausible, albeit a tad confusing. However the real question is, how many esperantists know this, recognise it and can use it properly.


I dunno, I've used the construct presented in this sentence before. Depends on how precise one is trying to be in their diction. So I have no problem with it, and, similarly have no problem with your choice of sentence; I just might translate it differently.

Remember that Duo is trying to teach us various ways of saying differing Esperanto words, the whole English thing is a side effect. (sort of like a mousy little rash…)


so irritating when you type your whole sentence and then forget one letter

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