No lesson about participles, compound verbs and other complex verb structures?
This might be some of the hardest stuff for me to get down correctly. Mostly the -at, -ant, -atas, -antas (along with their respective -i and -o relatives) endings as well as the combination with esti + participles and basically forming perfect form and when to use this. When I try to translate from english to esperanto I encounter so many of these english compound verb structures "Have 'verb'-ed", "have been 'verb'-ing" along with "'modal verb' + 'verb'" and I struggle with translating them satisfactorily into esperanto.
I don't expect to master this anytime soon, but I'm a little disappointed to note that there seemingly aren't any dedicated course for complex verb structures. I haven't finished the tree yet, but I couldn't find any. Would be great if it was considered to be added.
Anyways, if you have any great tips about advanced esperanto verb patterns and En - Eo verb translation please share. Mi estas tre scivola pri ĉi tiu.
There's a thread about this going on now over on Lernu! One piece of advice that was offered up by erinja:
Good Esperanto style strongly favors only minimal use of these participle-based verb forms. In many if not most cases you can be clearest about the meaning by adding a temporal modifier or two, and using a simple verb tense.
The link is broken for me, but removing the last query 'p=1' did the trick for me. Reading this forum post honestly just makes me more confused... Everyone in there seem to have their own opinion about this and I have a hard time seeing a consensus
In actual use, complex verb tenses are rare, and participles themselves are somewhat unusual outside a few you see all the time (You'll see -it far more often than -ont). Broadly speaking, the consensus is that "good style" involves only using complex tenses in the rare cases where using them is essential to the meaning you want to convey and there isn't a simpler way of saying more or less the same thing. Far more often it's indicative of a beginner directly translating what they would say in their native language.
If a simple tense would suffice, you should probably stick with that (This is why the English present continuous is almost always translated into the Esperanto present). If it needs further clarification it's usually better to use adverbs or prepositions than a participle.
Some forms see more use and aren't so obscure. One obvious case is -anto, as in "komencanto" and "esperanto" (:P), referring to someone who does something, when -isto or -ulo don't fit. Likewise for the related -into. Additionally, the passive forms -at and -it are relatively common, in words like "uzati" and "finita".
-intus sees some use to specify the past conditional, even though -us isn't tied to any tense, some like to use -intus for clarity.
Anything else is at least a little unusual.
That said, I found the easiest way to wrap my head around complex tenses was to think of the tense of the participle as the state of the verb (already happened, happening, going to happen), and then the tense of esti as the frame of reference.
Estas manĝanta - in the present, the eating is happening Estis manĝinta - in the past, the eating had already happened Estos manĝonta - in the future, the eating will be about to happen Estos manĝanta - in the future, the eating will be happening Estus manĝinta - in a non-real scenario, the eating would have happened
It can help to keep in mind that participles are basically adjectives. They describe a noun by how it relates to a verb.
Complex tenses can be contracted like other adjectives, e.g. "estas manĝanta > manĝantas". However, besides the commonly used -atas and -intus, it can be confusing (too much information in too small a form) and therefore is typically discouraged. I like how compact those forms are, but i'd never actually use them in writing, in speech it'd be even less comprenhensible :P
Participles are a pretty big part of the "education" skill, which is on the third to last row, so you'll learn those there. They are the only way to create complex verb structures in Esperanto, as far as I am aware anyway.
But one thing I've learned is that the use of participles is much rarer in Esperanto than the use of perfect forms etc. is in English. So, instead of translating directly, it's a better idea to modify the sentence in another way to capture the most accurate meaning. For example translating "Have you ever written a book?" as "Ĉu vi iam verkis libron?" instead of using a participle.