"Ili estas belaj leteroj."

Translation:They are beautiful letters.

3 years ago

22 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/KainHaart
KainHaart
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Is it correct to use "ili" referencing non-living objects?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MailmanSpy

Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that ili is only used for people. You would use "tiuj" for non-living things.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KainHaart
KainHaart
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In subject sentence they use "Ili" for letters. That confused me, but I have not enough knowledge to say confidently that it is not correct

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MailmanSpy

Oh yes, I forgot, you could use both for this sentence, with "Tiuj estas belaj leteroj" meaning "Those are beautiful letters". Just a slight difference.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/viktorbluhme

Could this also be letters of the alphabet?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MailmanSpy

No, that would be "litero".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zanfoj

Does the adjective "bela/j" change depending on the context? I just completed a question where "Viroj estas belaj" could've meant "men are handsome", however this question refuses to take "they are handsome letters"

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MailmanSpy

My rule of thumb is to translate it to beautiful for nonhumans/ inanimate objects and females, handsome for males, and good-looking for gender-neutral words (something that is not oft ecountered in Esperanto). It's usage is similar to Spanish "guapo"

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zanfoj

I suppose, but this seems unnecessary. I'm sure there would be a word that relegates "bela" to one definition across the board

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MailmanSpy

Good-looking could technically be used for everything, but English's insistence on different words for men's and women's beauty makes it difficult.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/draquila

"Beautiful" should be fine for that, but it sounds a little odd to say a man is "beautiful" unless his appearance is at least a little effeminate, or he is an infant.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/csi
csi
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A handsome letter seems odd. A beautiful letter makes more sense, as in, the content of the letter is beautiful, not the physical appearance of the letter.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/eo5g
eo5g
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Why do adjectives need to be pluralized?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SariniLynn
SariniLynn
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One nice feature of this is to remove ambiguity in some cases. For instance, "the young boy and girl"... Is the girl young, too? In Esperanto, you can tell.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Falsafaa
Falsafaa
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That is a great point. I wasn't even thinking about that when I typed my first comment.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jalnt
jalnt
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They just do, it's a feature of the language.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Falsafaa
Falsafaa
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I would guess that it is just for clarity or something like that.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EuroSpanish

Because there's number-agreement between a noun and its adjective/attribute.

That's very commonplace in European languages other than English but I think it's the opposite to the purported simplicity Esperanto claims to have.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ivy361509

So is belaj leteroj "beautiful letters" but belajn (or is it belanj) "are beautiful?" I know it's when your acting upon something... but it's still kinda confusing to me.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SariniLynn
SariniLynn
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I hope these examples will clear things up...

  • Ĝi estas bela letero. It is a beautiful letter. The accusative (-n) is not used with "estas". In English, we call this a predicate nominative.
  • Ili estas belaj leteroj. They are beautiful letters.
  • Mi sendas belan leteron. I send a beautiful letter. Here we have a direct object of the verb sendas. That is the most basic way to use the accusative.
  • Mi sendas belajn leterojn. I send beautiful letters. The plural (-j) always comes before the accusative (-n).
  • La letero belas. The letter is beautiful. Here we have turned the adjective "bela" into a verb form "belas", meaning "is beautiful".
  • La leteroj belas. The letters are beautiful. The verb does not change regardless of how many letters there are.
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ivy361509

That is extremely helpful! I'll try and apply them when I practice with my husband and see if I can use your examples with other verbs.

Dankon!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DiannaSmit3

This actually cleared a lot of things up with me :)

2 years ago
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