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https://www.duolingo.com/ChristianofPeace

How would you use three verbs in a row?

For example, "I wish I could learn"? If I'm not mistaken "wish, could and learn are all three different verbs. to wish, to be able to, and to learn.

Sorry, I really suck at grammar.

Would you say "Mi deziras povi lerni"

2 years ago

13 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/qwertzqwerty
qwertzqwerty
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Sometimes, it is possible to have 3 verbs in a row:

Mi devas lerni kuiri. Bonvolu provi helpi.

However, I would translate the sentence "I wish I could learn" as something like "Mi deziras, ke mi povus lerni".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ChristianofPeace

Oh thank you so much. That makes sense. :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amuzulo
amuzulo
Mod
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This particular sentence would be "Mi deziras, ke mi povu lerni." Unfortunately I don't have time right now to explain why, so I hope someone else can explain it... :-/

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sarah_SC
Sarah_SCPlus
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Your wish is granted.

"I wish i could learn" is in essence a sentence with two clauses. The primary clause "I wish" and the subordinate clause "I could learn". Both parts could stand on their own as independent sentences. Slightly expanded, the sentence is actually "I wish that i could learn". In English, this use of "that" as a conjunction is often optional, but in Esperanto it must be included. Therefore we use the conjunction "ke" to link the two clauses and establish that "i could learn" is the thing we are wishing for. So we start with "Mi deziras, ke .."

Secondly, since our primary clause "i wish" is expressing a desire of the speaker, subordinate clauses will use the imperative mood (-u) to show that we are talking about what the speaker wants, rather than reality. Speakers of several European languages will recognize this as the Subjunctive.

This leads us to "Mi deziras, ke mi povu lerni"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ChristianofPeace

Thanks so much! :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/truelefty
truelefty
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Is it "ke mi povu"? Wouldn't it be "ke mi povus"?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LangForThought
LangForThought
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What about "I want to go run"?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rubatavolo
rubatavolo
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Personally, I would translate that as "Mi volas ekkuradi." The prefix "ek-" denoting the beginning of an action (e.g., to start to run) and the suffix "-ad" denoting the continuance of an action (to make an activity out of running, instead of just running down the block).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fantomius
Fantomius
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What about "I want to go run"?

That depends how you want to translate the shorter sentence "I go run." However you translate the shorter, you can convert it to the longer by changing the first verb to the infinitive and inserting "volas" right before it.

For example, if by "I go run," you interpret it as "I go to run," you could do this:

  • English short sentence: I go to run.
  • Esperanto short sentence: Mi iras kuri.
  • Esperanto longer sentence: Mi volas iri kuri.

Or, if by "I go run," it's a better fit to interpret it as "I am leaving in order to run," it's probably better to say:

  • English sort sentence: I leave in order to run.
  • Esperanto short sentence: Mi foriras por kuri.
  • Esperanto longer sentence: Mi volas foriri por kuri.

Or you could simple leave out the word "go" altogether, if you feel it doesn't really add anything to the conversation:

  • English short sentence: I run.
  • Esperanto short sentence: Mi kuras.
  • Esperanto longer sentence: Mi volas kuri.

In the end, the best translation for "I want to go run" will be similar to whichever is the best translation for "I go to run," but using "volas + [infinitive]" in place of the first verb.

I hope this helps!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CuriousAtanaa

Or I suppose one might mean "I want to go and (I want) to run" which would probably be "Mi volas iri kaj (mi volas) kuri". Though I'm a komencanto, so don't take my word for it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fantomius
Fantomius
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Would you say "Mi deziras povi lerni" ?

Yes, you absolutely can say that!

When I was learning Italian many years ago, I came up with similar questions regarding chaining verbs. Especially with "volere" ("voli", "to want"), "dovere" ("devi", "must"), "potere" ("povi", "to be able to"), and "sapere" ("scii" or "scipovi", "to know"), words that very often have a verb after them.

For example:

  • English: I want to sing.
  • Italian: Io voglio cantare.
  • Esperanto: Mi volas kanti.

and:

  • English: I want to be able to sing.
  • Italian: Io voglio potere cantare.
  • Esperanto: Mi volas povi kanti.

In Italian, you can say "Io voglio che io canti" ("Mi volas ke mi kantu") instead of "Io voglio cantare" ("Mi volas kanti") but in practice it's hardly ever done. Basically, when the subject matches both verbs (like "io/mi" in these cases), the verbs are instead chained, using the infinitive for all but the first verb.

So while "I want to be able to sing" can translate to "Io voglio che io possa cantare" ("Mi volas ke mi povu kanti"), it's more often translated to "Io voglio potere cantare" ("Mi volas povi kanti"), at least in Italian.

So I think it's perfectly correct to say "Mi deziras povi lerni" in Esperanto (which translates to "Io desidero potere imparare" in Italian). It happens to use double infinitives, but that's how it's normally done, at least in some Romance languages (from which Esperanto borrows prodigiously).

If you want to have a bit of fun, you can make the sentences ridiculously longer and quite repetitive, such as:

  • English: I want to be able to want to sing.
  • Italian: Io voglio potere volere cantare.
  • Esperanto: Mi volas povi voli kanti.

and:

  • English: I must want to be able to want to sing.
  • Italian: Io devo volere potere volere cantare.
  • Esperanto: Mi devas voli povi voli kanti.

Of course, these sentences aren't really useful unless you're trying to understand the intricacies of a language or just engaging in recreational word-play.

Personally, I think there's nothing wrong with double infinitives, in either Italian or Esperanto. (And while others may disagree, I'm inclined to think that Professor Zamenhof would probably agree, having based Esperanto partly on Italian and other Romance languages.)

And just for fun:

  • English: I know how to want to have to be able to dance!
  • Italian: Io so volere dovere potere danzare!
  • Esperanto: Mi scipovas voli devi povi danci!
2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/draquila

"Can" and "to be able to" are different verbs. "Can" is a defective verb with no infinitive. This is also true of "will" and "shall."

I only mention this because it's cool.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CuriousAtanaa

Yep :) definitely cool.

2 years ago