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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GrandaUrso

-N accusative. When is it appropriate?

I have a quick question. My grasp of the -n ending is bad sometimes. I had an occasion which caused me to question the proper use of it.

We say "Bonan Nokton" to say good night. We use the -n presumably to show that "Bona" is describing "Nokto" right?

If that's true, if my friend shows me a cute cat picture, is it appropriate to say "Belan Katon" or would "Bela Kato" be more appropriate? Thank you so much!

December 11, 2015

9 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gabzerbinatoEng

Actually, the only reason we use the Accusative case is because, in reality, we wish someone a good night, being "good night" the direct object. Therefore, "bonan nokton" is short for "Mi deziras al vi bonan nokton" :)

December 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GrandaUrso

Thank you! I know I ask many questions on here but you folks are always very helpful. =)

December 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/valid_character

Esperanto has a tendency to omit words in certain common cases.

E.g., the Esperanto for "It's raining." is "Pluvas." Unless you're dealing with an unusual case where something other than clouds in the sky are causing the rain, you can just skip directly to the verb.

Another case is "Ĝis!", which is short for "Ĝis la revido", or "until we see each other again".

December 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eaburns

In the case of "pluvas," some might say that Esperanto is not omitting a word, but that English is in fact adding one!

December 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/etieffen

Exactly what I was thinking.

Pluvi = to rain

Pluvas = it rains / it is raining

No additional word is necessary in the first place (in Esperanto).

But the parent poster is right about "Ĝis!"

December 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/valid_character

A typical sentence is Subject Verb or Subject Verb Object.

The sentence "Pluvas." is just a Verb. There is a Subject in this sentence--the sky--but the Subject is not mentioned because everybody already knows what the Subject is.

The point I'm trying to make is not about if a word is "missing". (It's not; Esperanto gets along just fine without it.) The point I'm trying to make is that there is a Subject in this sentence but that the Subject doesn't have a corresponding word in the sentence.

December 17, 2015

[deactivated user]

    And to answer the second part of your question, the whole sentence might be something like "Ĝi estas bela kato." So since the verb is "esti", which does not take a direct object, the accusative ending(s) are not used.

    If you react to the photo by saying "Vi havas belan katon", then you're using the verb "havi" and any direct object related to it would then take the accusative ending to show that relationship between the verb and the direct object.

    So in Esperanto, it's okay to use sentence fragments but you still have to keep the grammar intact as if you had said the whole sentence.

    December 11, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GrandaUrso

    That makes so much sense, good to have that perspective when writing.

    December 11, 2015

    [deactivated user]

      I actually had a method for figuring out how to make the correct usage more automatic. For a while (I can't remember how long now), I made up sentences using "esti" or "havi" as the verbs. Only those. The sentences using "havi" had direct objects that got the accusative ending, along with any adjectives, and the sentences with "esti" didn't.

      Also, when I began to speak to others in Esperanto, I made a deal with myself that I could mess up any other verb and direct object combos EXCEPT the sentences where I used either "esti" or "havi". It didn't take too long, but I was able to develop a sense or an ear for when the verb I used, when followed by an object, would be a direct object and take the accusative ending. And then if you're not sure, you can always look it up to reinforce it.

      Hey, a lingot! Dankegon! ;-)

      Also you might say "Kia bela kato! (What a beautiful cat!)

      December 11, 2015
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