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  5. "Per kio mi povas malfermi ĝi…

"Per kio mi povas malfermi ĝin?"

Translation:With what can I open it?

December 15, 2015



Shouldn't it be kiel mi povas malfermi gxin?

December 15, 2015


It depends on what you want to ask.

"How = kiel?" could have an answer of "with a screwdriver / by turning the top / by bashing it on the surface / by using the zipper / with force / ...".

"With what = per kio?" specifically asks for a tool, and might have an answer of "with a screwdriver / with a saw / ...".

December 15, 2015


I don't understand this question beginning with "per." Does Esperanto, like English, allow asking questions merely by raising the tone at the end of the sentence? Couldn't (shouldn't?) it be "Ĉu mi povas per kio malfermi ĝin?"

September 7, 2017


The question word here is kio -- As in English, you can put a preposition before such as ki- word to form a kind of compound question word ("for what", "with what", "on what", "with whom", etc.)

You wouldn't use both ĉu and a ki- question word.

September 7, 2017


seem strenge that open is malfermi and not that close would be malopen because usually there's a word for the possitive and the word for the negative is mal plus the other word

August 14, 2018


Fermi means to close (I suppose that the verb might be a cognate for 'to make firm,' or that folk etymology may simply be my attempt at a memory aid); so, malfermi, to open, is the opposite of fermi, to close.

February 24, 2019


In the spirit of conceptual translation, and the implied connection between "per" and use ("(use) by") I wrote, "What can I use to open it." It was marked as wrong though.

August 29, 2018


At least in American English, the natural English word order would be: "What can I open it with?" To say "With what can I open it?" sounds like Yodo in Star Wars.

February 24, 2019


Yoda? Really? To you maybe. To me, it sounds like formal English - the kind used in formal writing.


P.S. To anybody considering a reply to the effect that this is a made up rule, I agree. :-)

February 24, 2019


Why not"kun"instead of per

April 12, 2019


Because you're not opening the container "together with" something or "in the company of" something; you're opening the container "by means of" or "using" something.

English conflates these comitative and instrumental meanings as "with", but Esperanto keeps them separate as kun and per.

That means that Esperanto can't make jokes of the kind "Is it polite to eat sausages with your fingers? -- No; you should eat your fingers separately." which play on the ambiguity of the word "with" ("using" or "together"?).

April 12, 2019
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