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Estas Shortening

Is the present tense able to be shortened to est (est') because it seems cumbersome to write/type/speak with estas all the time. I also know about the trick to put an s after the adjective (Mi estas bona = Mi bonas) I just want to know if cutting of the 'as' from estas is allowed and if anyone else does it.

May 24, 2017



Remember that Esperanto is a language for use between people who do not have a common language. It might be easy and natural for you, in your native language, to shorten/leave out something, but when you speak Esperanto to people with different mother tongues, you need to put in all the bits and pieces to ensure understanding!


I have heard from a fluent speaker who speaks Esperanto at home that he shortens estas in his "home language".

But that's not official or standard.

A bit like how some people say "You going out now?" -- but that's not Standard Written English, which would require an "are" in the sentence.


Sorry... but that's bizarre. It's not clear to me why someone would invent their own version of a language to use as a "home language."

I will say, that we had certain words that were only used in the family, but they were local words such as poptarto and fromaĝo de ĉedar', not core words like estas.


It's not clear to me why someone would invent their own version of a language to use as a "home language."

It's not a deliberate invention so much as a contraction that arose spontaneously out of natural use. The same effects that give us "I'ma" from "I am going to".

Also, you might have heard of the "someone" -- it's Bertilo Wennergren, author of PMEG.


I had breakfast with him just this morning. :-)


"Estas" can not be shortened.


The Ido version of Esperanto has shortened it to esas. Not much shorter but perhaps also slightly easier to say.


ido!=a version of esperanto


!= equals "not equal to".


The nearest thing I've ever seen to that was in the dialog of a novel where the character shortened it to 'stas. That said, Vanege is correct that in proper, understandable Esperanto it cannot be shortened.


The "trick" about putting an -s after an adjective is best forgotten.

"Bonas" is actually a verb -- so the stem "bon-" plus the ending "-as" -- and it it means "the action associated with 'good'."

It's not always clear what actions are associated with which roots, especially to a beginner, and a lot of beginners end up making mistakes because they assume that "Mi X-as" is the same as "Mi estas X-a". It's not.

  • Mi X-as = action
  • Mi estas X-a = state


an addendum: Zamenhof himself recommended away from stative verbs ("mi x-as"). In Lingvaj Respondoj he stated that whenever a verb ending was attached to a non-verbal root, the new word has to have a verbal nuance to it, e.g. biciklo = bicycle (a noun root), bicikli means to go by bicycle, not "to be a bicycle" Of course with this particular word, it's easy, but with something like "bluas" or "grizas" it is more difficult. La cxielo estas griza means simply, "the sky is grey" but to some, "la cxielo grizas" might add a nuance that the sky is usually NOT grey but right now it appears grey (e..g perhaps the person is in Arizona where the sky is rarely anything but blue), or some other nuance entirey, but for simply "the sky is grey" go with "la cxielo estas griza" in day-to-day conversation. I've heard this usage defended by "Well, in Japanese................" well, hey, this ain't Japanese.


That's exactly right. It's well established that verbs in Esperanto tend to express action, not state.

I've read the LR in question and it's not quite the smoking gun that it's occasionally made out to be. Basically he says that as of April 1907, as does not mean estas. (See full quote below.) Orthohawk and I have already discussed that here. There's also a thread where I correct one of the course authors on this matter and point out where following this "rule" leads even famous Esperanto speakers to make mistakes in Esperanto.

So, verbs are actions:

  • rapida / rapidi = to go fast, hurry
  • malsata / malsati = to feel hunger
  • kuragxa / kuragxi = to demonstrate courage
  • cxetabla / cxetabli = to sit at a table
  • verda / verdi = to give off green

Finally, it's not just old text saying that "verdi" does not mean "esti verda" -- but this is also what PMEG says: not to overuse adjectives-as-verbs, since they have a special nuance, and overuse could cause them to lose that nuance.


La formoj “amatas”, “amitas” k.t.p., anstataŭ “estas amata”, “estas amita”, per si mem ne prezentus ian rompon en nia lingvo, kaj, se la Lingva Komitato volus ilin aprobi, oni povus tre bone ilin uzi. Tamen, se la privataj aŭtoroj per sia propra iniciativo volus uzi tiujn formojn, mi tion ĉi ne konsilus. Privataj aŭtoroj povus enkonduki tiun ĉi novan formon nur en tia okazo, se as, is k.t.p. signifus “estas”, “estis” sed, kvankam pli aŭ malpli frue la verbaj finiĝoj eble ricevos la signifon de la verbo “esti”, tamen ĝis nun ili tiun ĉi signifon ne havas. Respondo 15, La Revuo, 1907, Aprilo

  • 2837

Ah! It's like the opposite of the habitual. Interesting.

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