n vs. no n

[deactivated user]

    So in my studies, I have noticed that sometimes, when a noun or adjective is at the end of a sentence, it ends with an n, but at other times, it doesn't. Also, along similar lines, sometimes, I have seen "kio", and at other times, I have seen "kion." Can anybody help me with this, and thank you very much.

    September 22, 2015



    The -n indicates an accusative object. It is a direct object as the last part after the verb in these sentences

    I see the animal. I write the letter. I take the juice. I buy the hat. I read the book. I like the pen.

    I see you learn German as well. So I can give you the German translation. Maybe it helps you. The last two words make the accusative object here.

    Ich sehe das Tier. Ich schreibe den Brief. ich nehme den Saft. Ich kaufe den Hut. Ich lese das Buch. Ich mag den Stift.

    The accusative object / direct object is something or someone with which or whom something is done. Something the subject interacts with.

    Does it help you?


    N at the end of a noun (and it's adjective) means that it's in accusative case, that the action of the verb is done to it:

    Mi havas pomon = I have an apple

    If the noun (and it's adjective) is after a proposition, you don't add it:

    Mi marsxas en la domo = I walk in the house

    Unless the action denotes a change of place:

    Mi saltas sur la tablon = I jump onto the table

    You will encounter this in the course.


    Kio is a correlative, which makes it a question word, 'what' in this case:

    Kio okazas? = What is happening?

    Kio li vidas estas grava = What he sees is important

    If it's in accusative case, than the action of the verb is done to it:

    Kion vi diras? = What are you saying?

    Mi ne volas sci kion vi scias = I don't want to know what you know

    Hope this helps.


    "Kio li vidas estas grava" is not correct.

    "Tio, kion li vidas, estas grava" is correct. (Don't worry about the commas. They're optional, but usually there.)

    This is the combination of two sentences:

    1. "Tio estas grava".
    2. "Tion li vidas."

    When putting them together, making a relative clause out of 2, "Tion" becomes "kion", referring back to "Tio" in 1.

    [deactivated user]

      But shouldn't the word "tio" become "tion?" Does it not refer to whatever the person is seeing, or am I still confused?


      Nope, it's being qualified by the clause "kion li vidas," but is not actually part of it.

      Think of it as a sentence-shaped adjective.


      You need to think of two sentences here:

      tio estas grava
      kion li vidas

      Each of them agrees the cases separately.

      [deactivated user]

        I don't understand how "what" could be an object, but the concept kind of makes sense.


        "What" is an object because it receives the action of the verb. In many languages we put question words at the start of a sentence, to mark it as a question. Even a strictly SVO language like English can become OSV in this case.

        Consider "What are you eating?" "What" is an unknown object, standing in for a known object like "broccoli" or "beef."

        [deactivated user]

          Oh OK. That makes sense. I guess I just never have thought about it that way before.


          It's simple. The object of a verb gets "-n" added to it. Any adjectives of the object are also given an "-n" as well.


          Mi havas vian pasporton.

          "Via" is "yours" and it modifies "pasporto". What do I have? I have your passport. The object is passport and it is described as yours.

          Hope this helps.


          This Youtube lesson should help you, also check out his other videos as they are very informative and helpful when learning.

          [deactivated user]

            Thank you, everybody.


            -n shows up in a few places.

            • Marker of the object

            La infano amas la hundon. -- The child loves the dog.
            La infanon amas la hundo. -- The child is loved by the dog.

            (-n marks the "target" of the verb, even if the -n noun comes first...)

            • Marker of direction:

            La kato saltis sur la tablon. (The cat jumped ONTO the table.)

            La kato saltis sur la tablo. (The cat was already on the table and jumped while ON the table. )

            • Several greetings/"Thank you"

            Dankon (Saying "I give you thanks" is a bit long, so it's customary just to skip to the "Thanks" part.)
            Bonan tagon (Likewise.)

            http://en.lernu.net/lernado/gramatiko/demandoj/n.php covers most of this, plus cases where -n is NOT used. (-n is not used after al, pri, and several other prepositions that make -n redundant.)


            RuthKC wrote an amazing post highlighting when and when not to use -n here:


            [deactivated user]

              Never heard that before. Please don't get mad, but how can a sentence shape an adjective?


              He meant "a sentence that does the work of an adjective". An adjective describes a noun:

              "blanka domo" = "a white house" = "a house that is white"

              Here "blanka" describes "domo".

              Sometimes such a description is not in the form of an adjective, but in the form of a sentence, a subclause. Actually "that is white" is such a case.

              In "tio, kion li vidas, estas grava", the subclause "kion li vidas" is kind of a description of "tio". The simplest form of that sencente is "tio estas grava" ("that is important"). "Tio" is very vague (= "that"). To make it clear which "tio" is meant, you add the description "kion li vidas". "Tio, kion li vidas" = "that, which he sees". You could paraphrase it as "The seen-by-him thing". There you have a (weird) adjective: "seen-by-him" describing the noun "thing".

              [deactivated user]

                But if in this case, teal is like the noun, should it not agree with it subclause adjective?


                I don't understand what you mean. Could you explain?

                [deactivated user]

                  Someone earlier gave an example where one clause "qualified" the other, whatever that means. This person also said to "think of it as a sentence-shaped adjective." That's what I don't understand.


                  Don't worry, I don't understand it either. ;)

                  [deactivated user]

                    Um? I don't know why someone dowvoted what you just said, but at least I'm not the only one confused. I literally thought I was the only one in the entire Esperanto community who was confused.

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