"La instruisto helpis al mi lerni la francan."
Translation:The teacher helped me to learn French.
You can either say "...helpis al mi..." or "...helpis min...".
But you can't say "helpis mi" (that would be like saying "he helped I").
With helpi, you can either use accusative, or al + nominative.
The former is more like English (he helped me), the latter more like German (er half mir, with dative case, which is a bit like "to me" in English or "al mi" in Esperanto).
And I know this was kind of said before but I don't really get it.
Is helpi the only verb that can use al?
Also, what's the point in adding an n after kio, tio, iu, etc?
- La instruisto = the teacher
- helpis = helped (past tense of helpi)
- al mi = "to me" (in Esperanto, you can either helpi iun "help someone" as in English or helpi al iu "help to someone" as in German - this sentence used the "al" way)
- lerni = (to) learn
- la francan = the French (short for la Francan lingvon = the French language). This is in the accusative (with -n) because it's the object of "lerni".
Thank you. I was confused by the role of “lerni” before, because I guessed the last part of the sentence was “to me learning French” instead of “to me, to learn French”.
"To help someone do something" is "helpi al iu fari ion" or "helpi iun fari ion", so the "al mi" and "lerni la francan" are kind of the two objects of "helpi" and are separate, as I think you now understand.
Ok so helpi can either be used "Mi helpas vin" or "Mi helpas al vi".
Do all verbs that use "al" have that option?
Yes, helpi can use either construction.
But that isn't true in general.
For example, aliĝi al "to join" needs the al. And you can diri al iu "tell someone, say to someone" but you can't diri iun "say someone".
Helpi is a bit of an exception in this respect.