https://www.duolingo.com/TheLosigist

struggles with kio, kiu, kial, kiel, kiam, kien, tio, tie, tiu, ĉi tie, ĉi tio, ĉi tiu, etc.

Just wondering if I'm the only one struggling with all the "k" questions and answers in esperanto. I just can't to differenciate between all the kio, tio, kiu, tio, tie, kial, kiel, and ĉi tie, ĉi tio, ĉi tiu, kien and tien, kiam and so on. It sounds all the same to me and I just can't seem to remember them.

Zamenhof probably wanted them to be easily recognizable - which they obviously are - however I always mistake them for one of the others, because they all sound so similar and even if I'm right with them I'm still totally unsure of myself, because I unconsiously doubt that I got it right and confused it with another one yet again. I incidentally thought they would just come over time but even many lessons later I just can't remember which one is which at all lol It's like a guessing game every time.

I wonder if I'm actually the only one struggling with those and if I am, or if I'm not, how did you guys remember to differenciate between them? Is this just pure rote memorization or repitition or is there some kind of trick? Or am I just too stupid with them? lol

edit: I don't think I can answer every single one of you...or would probably end up telling all of somewhat the same. But even without a response individually: honestly thank you guys a lot! You are the best!

December 2, 2016

24 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/J.R.Nogal
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Maybe this could come in handy:

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/9277731

December 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/TheLosigist

Omg this is amazing. Even at a first glance. Thank you a lot! This definitely comes in handy^^

December 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/gavicus
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Very useful chart. I've been using memory tricks. The hardest ones for me are Kiam and Kial. So I remember that a.m. is in the morning, so Kiam is when. Al is a character in a TV show I watch, so I picture the guy shrugging his shoulders and asking, "Why?". So Kial means why. Whatever works for you, but make as many mental connections as you can and it'll eventually stick. (Or so I assume)

December 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/gavicus
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Oh, here's another one I use: Superman's name is Kal-El (you may have to be a geek to know that). You see him flying and think, "HOW does he do that?" So kiEL = how. Anyway, the more silly it is the better because it'll be all the easier to remember.

December 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
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No you are not the only one.

My son and I are working on a YouTube Esperanto course with new lessons every Thursday. This week we'll be doing lesson 4 ... but there's still time to catch up if you'd like to. A week after that we're doing lesson 5 which is all about these words. I may spread it out over two weeks or do a supplemental lesson on them. In any event, if you do YouTube, you might consider subscribing so you don't miss the lesson on this topic.

Here's the intro to the course.

https://youtu.be/FVtBVo29HN0

December 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ConchiCastillo
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I totally relate to you, as I have exactly the same problem and can't seem to be able to tell apart all of those question words! I suppose I'm not trying nearly hard enough. :)

December 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/rev_ero

Just do it calmly. Actually it's a very easy thing (and one of the most brilliant things in the language) but it's true that they are a lot of words, that's the problem. Take a group and learn it or may be two groups but no more than three. Learn them and then take another group. Before you finish with all of them you will can guess the meaning of the words of the lasts groups. And yes, this can take more than two days and certainly more than two hours. Take it easy.

December 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/jdroege

Try writing out at least three sentences for each one. This is a little odd, but it will force you to be specific about what you are saying. The sentences will be pretty silly, too!

December 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/gavicus
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This is a very good practice. Let me just stress that the sentences should be silly. The more so, the better you'll remember them.

December 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/JasonMey
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TL;DR - The first part has some English facts I found interesting. The numbered points at the end are the useful part.

The Esperanto correlatives taught me something about English that, for some reason, my teachers never explained, but that is so obvious in retrospect: English does the same thing.

We pair up question and answer words based on the starting sound.

English's pairings are: "Then" and "when." "There" and "where." "That" and "what." "This" and "which." (The spellings changed overtime for this pair, but they used to match up.)

The list used to be longer. "Who" used to be paired with "tho," meaning "that person" or "those people." We used to have both "therefore" and "wherefore." It's the reason "wherefore" means "why." And yes, "thy" did used to mean "because" in Middle English, although "forthy" was more commonly used. "Thy" meaning "your" was only used when the next word started with a consonant. "Thine" was used otherwise, just like we do with "a" and "an." Then, the language began to change. "Thine" got dropped and "thy" only meant "your" and "wherefore" only just survived into Early Modern English long enough for Shakespeare to confuse modern readers into thinking Juliet was asking "where's Romeo?"

This system is really cool to me, and I'm sad that not all of it survived into Modern English. "Tho" would be a great word, and "wherefore" statements would look great alongside "therefore" statements. And we aren't using "thy" to mean "your" anymore, anyway! But, I digress...

For Esperanto, "t-" is the "th-" and "k-" is the "wh-." Simple as that. The main difference is that Esperanto expands on this idea a lot more. "Kiam" means "when" and "tiam" means "then" but then "iam" means "at some time" and "ĉiam" means "all the time" and "neniam" means "never."

There are two real trip-ups for English speakers:

  1. Esperanto lacks the word "who." "Kiu" can mean "who," but really means "which." It basically means "who" whenever it doesn't mean "which," which is where the confusion comes. So "Kiu estas tiu?" usually means "Who is that?" It can also mean "Which is that?" if it is clear from context that a person is not the subject. Whenever speaking about a specific thing, "-iu" is used. "Tiu libro" means "that book." "Tio libro" would be incorrect. "Tiu" by itself usually, but not always, means "that person." "Tio" means "that thing" and never "that person."

  2. Ĉi is what marks something as being nearby. So "tiu" and "tio" can be used in situations where English would use either "this" or "that." "Ĉi" can go either before or after any "t-" word, but usually pairs with "tio," "tiu," or "tie." I have yet to see other "t-" words used with "ĉi" in actual writings, but it is technically allowed. "Kio estas tio?" means "What is that?" while "Kio estas tio ĉi?" or "Kio estas ĉi tio?" means "What is this?" The hyphen is not needed in those cases, but I do see it occasionally in writing.

Ĉi is also sometimes used to mean "this" as in "this year" (ĉi-jare) or "this side" (ĉi-flanke) and the hyphen is expected there.

December 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Zerr_
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I've also found that I can make some very interesting constructions in Esperanto even with the correlatives: tie ĉi, tio ĉi, and tiu ĉi are the most common ones (respectively "here", "that", and "that one"), and I've also seen tia ĉi for "this kind of". Ties ĉi would mean "this person". Tial ĉi doesn't really make sense - "this thus"?

The interesting thing I was mentioning is tiam ĉi. This has an obvious meaning, but English doesn't actually have a word for it - "here-then"? "This time"? The best translation I could come up with is "here and now", but that doesn't quite work.

Anyway, I just thought this was interesting. Excellent answer.

December 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/RaizinM
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tial = for that reason
tial ĉi = for this reason
:)

"tial ĉi" / "ĉi tial" is used very rarely, because you don't often need the emphasis. But it's still there as an option when you do. (e.g. "not for that reason, but for this reason!")

By the way, "tiam ĉi" also works well with this wordier translation:
tiam = at that point in time
tiam ĉi = at this point in time

January 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ConchiCastillo
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Thank you for taking the time to give such brilliant and entertaining feedback!

December 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ionasky
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Great summary - also totally happy to join a movement to bring back the use of of tho and thy ( in the because sense) :-)

December 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/TheLosigist

Oh wow Thank you a lot for that great explanation.I really appreciate it! I think I might slowly start to sort out all of this in my head^^

December 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/balou67
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Great sharing!

I'd precise that "tiu" means "that/this one" (person or not) and "tio" means "that/this". The hyphen is "forbidden" with correlatives.

December 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ConchiCastillo
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Your chart will certainly be of great help, thank you (I can already feel the bundle in my head disentangling)!

December 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/wochenweise

I learned them by doing two courses on memrize simultaneously. They both did beginnings and endings first (ti-, ki-, ĉi-, i-, neni-; -u, -o, -a etc.), then the went along the table, one course in horizontal, the other one in vertical direction. I still get them wrong sometimes, but more from inattention. Here is a list of memrize courses for correlatives https://wochenweiseblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/09/kursoj-pri-korelativoj-en-memrise-com/

December 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/BasCostBudde
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You have to learn them, but because there is method to the madness, it is enough to remember 5 prefixes and (eventually) 10 suffixes. Make a table in your own language for comparison.

December 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
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The short answer on how to learn them - practice and context. Learn whole sentences that include them. I also have some mnemonics that I posted elsewhere. I can try to find them and post them here.

December 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/BasCostBudde
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and don't try to learn them all at once.

December 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
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Exactly. We're coming to that part in our series where the course we're using DOES try to teach them all at once. I've been trying to work around that "little" detail.

December 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/JanPaulido
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I don't know if you still need help with the correlatives but if you do the memrise Esperanto correlatives courses are awesome . they REALLY made sense of them for me

December 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/DuoNem
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Good luck, hope you got some answers that helped! I actually used the memrise course to target just the question words. It was a great decision to focus on it like that. :-)

January 18, 2017
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