Remembering question words
I have such a hard time learning the question words (kio, kie etc.) :p Does anyone have any tools that can help me remember them? I only really remember kio as "what", and the rest I just figure out by the context.
I've been thinking about this a lot and wondering if there is an "Esperanto way" to learn them. Something that reinforces the rest of the grammar while also being free of language bias so it can be used by everyone.
So far, I have this:
Kio is asking about a noun, hence -o
Kia is asking about an adjective, hence -a
Kie is asking what location something is in, on, under, etc., hence -e
Kiu is for individuals, and commands can only be given when one knows about whom or which thing one speaks, -u is used for both commands and individuals.
Kiom ends in -om, it is asking about a quantity of nouns. Nouns are signaled by -o. The answer could be "multe" or "malmulte," but both start with "m," and answer ki-o-m.
Kiam asks about time. When one meets an "am-iko" one does so at a certain time. So one must give their "am-iko" the time to meet them.
Kiel asks for how. How did this get here? It came "el" there.
Kial asks about a reason. To explain why, one must say the reason "al" someone.
Kies asks about possession. Whose is it? It "es-tas" mine.
Work in progress. If anyone has any suggestions for improvement, I'd love to see them.
These mnemonics may help:
- Kiu: individUal. Means both "which" and "who" (Kiu domo? Which/what house? Kiu estas vi? Who are you?).
- Kiel: way, manner. Asks for an adverb. "Vi kantas bone": "you sing wELl.
- Kie: adverbs can also mean a place. Kie vi estas? Mi estas hejme (Where are you? I'm at home). Also remember that these adverbs can take the -n ending to indicate direction (to where, to home).
- Kia: asks for an adjective, because adjectives also end in -a. Kian domon vi volas? Mi volas grandan domon (What kind of house do you want? I want a big house). Kia estas via filo? Li estas alta (How is your son? He's tall).
- Kial: reason. P!nk's song: "Just give me a reason, just A.Little bit's enough..."
- Kiam: time. When will you arrive? I will arrive at 9 AM, my mom will arrive at 12 PM.
- Kies: possession. Whose.
- Kiom: quantity. How much, how many.
Or use them in English sentences, so you learn the meaning by context.
Kio is tio on the table? A vase? How pretty! Kiu is at the door? You saw kiun sitting in the park? Bob? I thought so. Kiu left the book on the floor? Come on, tell me, kies is it? If neniu owns it, it is nenies book, and iu can have it. Do you know kiel to bake a cake? I know kiel to ride a bike. You want me to sit on that chair? Neniel! I know you too well. You put cookies in the oven, so kiam will they be done? At 4:00? Yes, tiam. Oh, the oven broke. they will neniam be done. I don't know kial he cut his hair so short. He must have a good kialo for doing it. Kial do you ask? Oh, so that's tial he did it! Oh, kia wonderful surprise!.
Bubblegum is not ĉiuj. But it can be por ĉiuj.
Ĉiuj maĉgumoj ne estas samaj. Iuj pli ŝatas iujn maĉgumojn ol aliajn.
None of your 5 examples used "iu" words for anything other than people. Remember: "kiu" does not mean "who." It means "which." It just means "who" when there is no other thing clear from context that it could be referring to.
You are right, but as you said, these are examples, not a curriculum. A person learns more by making their own textbook using this as a model. Notice that I didn't use kiom at all.
You could try learning the rules: https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Esperanto/Appendix/Table_of_correlatives
Or use a Memrise, Anki or TinyCards deck, I prefer that. I also made notes in my language journal.
I agree. I found that copying down the chart was really helpful in remembering the correlatives.
You might not have to learn them on purpose. It's hard for your brain to absorb things while you're banging it against the wall. Just do the lessons and they will seep into your brain without any effort on your part. In a couple of weeks, you'll discover you know them even though you can't remember when you learned them.
There is a good YouTube video about these words: https://youtu.be/lmK5EZYAQ6Q
You want to use these tricks and then ditch them as quickly as possible.
When you speak English, the word “house” is directly attached to the object you call a house.
House -> [object]
When you learn Esperanto, you use English words as training wheels for the Esperanto words. You think:
Domo -> House -> [object]
When you use these mnemonic tricks, you are adding a step:
Kie -> [trick] -> where -> [concept]
This is too much intellectual overhead for speaking fluently, because you have to think everything two or three times, go through a round of “proofreading” to correct the results (maybe to add the accusative ending on a noun), then say the results. Right now, you don’t need to think in Esperanto before you speak in English, and ultimately you shouldn't need to think in English before you speak in Esperanto.
To say “kie ni estas?” using the mnemonic tricks, you have to do this:
- Think out the sentence in English.
- Decide that “where” needs to be a “ki-" word in Esperanto.
- Notice the E in “where” and add it to “ki-“
- Come up with the Esperanto word “kie”
- Repeat steps 2-4 for each word
- Say the Esperanto sentence you have constructed.
Your ultimate goal is to make it a one-step process: to say "kie estas nia domo" you have one step:
- Say "kie estas nia domo"
Training wheels are great but they are supposed to be temporary. Make them as temporary as possible. You can’t compete in motocross with training wheels!
The k words are part of a whole set of words called the correlatives which have regular stems and prefixes. As other posters have already said there are tables etc and memrise decks to help,with the remembering. If you are the sort of person who likes video then you might like this new one by Alex M. I have not watched in full or reviewed it yet but it might be helpful as he is always very watchable. (
(if memory serves Airvian also has something similar and Esperanto Variety Show almost certainly covered it in lernu kun logano - if you want multiple sources but I don't have the links easily to hand - they may show up here soon with them or you could just hunt through their channels)
I remember some of the correlatives by correlating (see what I did there) them with their respective words in English via their spelling or other phonetic mnemonics:
- Kiu ends in an "oo" sound, like Who in English. (And if you can remember that when you ask "Who?" you're kind of asking "Which person?", hence an additional understanding of how Kiu is also used for Which.)
- Kie ends with an E, like Where in English.
- Kiel I remember because it rhymes with "hell" in the sentence "How the hell did that happen?" (apologies for the profanity)
- Kiom ends with an M, which is the first letter of "much" and "many," two of the most common English words for portraying quantity. Also, I distinguish kiom from kiam by thinking of "OH My, that's a lot of tacos."
- Kiam I only remember because it's not kiom, lolz. Same for Kial and kiel.
Others I tie to other Esperanto grammatical concepts:
- Kio stands in the place of a noun, and every noun ends with an O.
- Kia modifies, like an adjective, and every adjective ends with an A.