https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Randybvain

Which transitive verbs are intransitive in Esperanto?

That is which verbs are followed by a direct object expressed by the accusative? It seems that there are verbs which are transitive in other languages and intransitive in Esperanto or sometimes transitive and sometimes intransitive. I think helpi is one of them, visiti another, any more?

August 21, 2019

16 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/carbsrule

Helpi is used as both:

  • a transitive verb, as in English, with the accusative -n (I think this is more common)
  • an intransitive one, as in German, with the preposition al

Viziti is transitive (N.B. vizito al (a visit to) is fine, and fari viziton al is used).

Boli (to boil) is a common one that trips people up; it's intransitive in Esperanto, referring to the water/liquid being in a state of boiling. Hence, boligi is what you do with a kettle.

There's a list compiled by John Wells, but the only place I know to get it is in the files section of the Duolingo Esperanto Learners Facebook group

August 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salivanto

There is no reason to memorize long lists of verbs as transitive and intransitive. Most of the time, this follows from what the word means.

If you have a question on how a verb is used, the best place to check online is vortaro.net

August 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Randybvain

Thank you, but this dictionary is in Esperanto only, so it is for more advanced learners :)

August 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salivanto

I know, but even beginners can tell "tr" from "ntr" -- which is what I was sending you to the dictionary to check. Plus, the example sentences are often helpful.

August 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Randybvain

Yes, unfortunately the syntax is lost when I use Google Translate so intranstitive constructions are translated into transitive ones and vice versa.

August 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doktoro_Kiu

It will be more challenging at first to use an Esperanto dictionary, but it will save you from many pitfalls of a your-language-to-Esperanto dictionary. False cognates are especially troublesome if you're a beginner, and in many cases the meanings of words are not exactly the same between languages. Both of these issues are solved by an Esperanto dictionary that actually describes the words. Many words also have different senses, and the Esperanto dictionaries enumerate them and have examples. Also, they usually take advantage of Esperanto's word construction system and include details about related forms of the same root (or common combinations).

If you have an Android phone I recommend the Praktika Vortaro. It uses an offline copy of the Reta Vortaro, but has a nice feature in that you can tap any word in the definition to look up that word in a preview window. This keeps you from having to keep searching for words used in the definition if your vocabulary is not very large yet. It also only shows the specific portion of the word's entry at first, but you can open the full article on the word to see the root word and other derivations.

I regularly use both an English-Esperanto dictionary and an Esperanto dictionary (either Praktika Vortaro or vortaro.net). I would say that if you know the basic grammar then you can (and should) start using an Esperanto language dictionary. It will be slow at first, but it will pay dividends later.

August 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Randybvain

Unfortunately I am not on a level which would allow me to use monolingual dictionaries and the only translating tool, Google Translate, is not reliable :(

August 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doktoro_Kiu

In that case I would still strongly recommend (as salivanto does) to use one of the monolingual dictionaries along with an English-Esperanto dictionary. They mark verbs with (tr) and (ntr) for transitive/intransitive. Even if you don't loot at the rest of the definition you can still use it to check for transitivity.

Google translate is very strange, and I would not trust it without checking every word against one of the monolingual dictionaries (it is also prone to false-cognate errors). It also translates things very strangely; sometimes it will change its translation of a word randomly based on a completely unrelated change to a sentence.

But I must once again try to push you to at least attempt to read translations in a monolingual dictionary. Unless you are still learning the basic grammar you likely know enough to understand the definitions (with help from a bilingual dictionary). It is very helpful to have the descriptive definition with examples (just like with a dictionary in your native language). Also, sometimes you need to reference a few dictionaries to find a word, and in my experience the monolingual dictionaries have more words.

August 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bajanisto

See also
Reta Vortaro (ReVo)

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bajanisto
September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salivanto

Personally, the only time I use or recommend using Reta Vortaro is if you need a quick translation from Esperanto into English and don't have any other dictionary (e.g. a paper dictionary) handy. It was based on PV (the predecessor to PIV) but has been expanded through the work of a single individual, and therefore contains some real zingers. I prefer having some confidence that the definition I'm investing mental energy in is not a zinger.

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Patty_L

Here is a list of 1,000 common Esperanto words. Intransitive verbs are colored red. Verbs colored green can be either transitive or intransitive. The words are linked to the Reta Votaro, which is mostly in Esperanto. If you scroll down, you will find that some definitions (or perhaps suggestions for meaning is a better way of thinking about it) are given in other languages. I believe this is the list of words one can use when writing for Kontakto, an Esperanto magazine.

Listo de Kontakto

August 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salivanto

Personally, the only time I use or recommend using Reta Vortaro is if you need a quick translation from Esperanto into English and don't have any other dictionary (e.g. a paper dictionary) handy. It was based on PV (the predecessor to PIV) but has been expanded through the work of a single individual, and therefore contains some real zingers. I prefer having some confidence that the definition I'm investing mental energy in is not a zinger.

August 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doktoro_Kiu

I have never really used the ReVo on the web, but have used it a lot in the form of the Android app Prevo (and more recently the Praktika Vortaro app).

It is nice to be able to have a dictionary offline on your device (faster, not needing cell service, etc.). The interface of Praktika Vortaro is also very nice - you can just tap any word in the definition and it opens a preview window with the definition of that word. This greatly helps when your vocabulary is still small. Searching in English or Esperanto is also nice. The search also supports wildcards, which PIV doesn't support (this is useful when listening to music or a podcast when you can't quite make out the full word).

Are you aware of any offline apps which use PIV's contents? I have to think that there must be some reason why everyone making apps is using ReVo. I would love to have an offline PIV with a good interface.

Also, if you know of any lists (or a few examples) of the zingers in ReVo that would be helpful. I did remark that they disagree on the basic sense of the root "fek". ReVo lists fek/i first, but PIV lists fek/o. If they disagree on such an important word who knows what else might be wrong ;)

August 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jacob39

I recommend an easier esperanto dictionary than PIV or REVO in esperanto for beginners: http://web.archive.org/web/20131226080151/http://pilger.home.xs4all.nl/breo-au8.htm or Luiz Portella's "Ilustrita Oficiala Radikoro Esperanto por Lernanto" which is freely available as a pdf on the web.

August 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salivanto

To be clear, I recommended PIV for beginners for one reason.

To check whether a verb is transitive or intransitive.

This was the original concern in this thread. I don't see that the one you're linking there shows that information clearly. It also doesn't show examples of the word in use. My recommendation was look at the examples and a translation in a bilingual dictionary. I fully acknowledge(d) that reading the definitions can be beyond the ability of a brand new learner.

August 23, 2019
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