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"He gives us milk."

Translation:Li donas al ni lakton.

May 28, 2015

37 Comments


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

Why can't you say "Li donas lakton al ni"? I thought the word order doesn't matter because "lakton" is in the accusative. Can someone please clarify? Thank you in advance!


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

Now accepted, thanks!


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

I thought that was what I tried today and it didn't take it.


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

Yes, both orders are correct.

(Jes, ambaŭ ordoj estas ĝustaj.)


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

Why doesn't "Li donas ni lakton." work? Shouldn't "Li donas al ni lakton." be "He gives to us milk", or "He gives milk to us"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KX3.

As stated in the tips and notes section:

Note that in English, the word "to" is not used after the words "can" and "must", but this is an oddity of English, not Esperanto!

Hence "He gives us milk" is translated as "Li donas al ni lakton".


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

I will never get over this obstacle. I get that you have to add a lot of words when translating esperanto to english, but when the sentence sounds right, there is no reminder to do so.


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

We no longer use the expansive language of Shakespeare because languages naturally simplify over time. The creation of Esperanto is a jump forward in the simplification process to create a language easier than any other to learn. I think that simplifications that have already occurred within the English language must be acceptable to Esperanto. Failure to accept the simplification is a step backwards.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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languages naturally simplify over time

That's not how it works. Proto-Indo-European was not ten million times more complicated than Modern English. You can't compare the professional writing of a wordsmith to the way people talk in everyday life.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelFre947953

No but you can measure new concepts against the design concept of the language. Esperanto was made to be simple, flexible, and accomodate as many different native language structures directly translated as possible. In other words easier to learn while consistent is always right.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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Esperanto is an artificially created language. English is a natural language that was never created or designed. It developed naturally over time. Natural languages are neither right nor wrong. They just are.


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

I do not have much experience with esperanto(I've only been learning for two days), but my guess is that you need the preposition to/for in order to use an indirect object...I think being able to just say the indirect object after the verb is unique to english.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thejim87

Someone please confirm


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

AdPar is right. In fact since writing this I see that Rae.F says that the "al" is needed to show who the recipient of "lakton" is.

In English we can say either "He gives milk to us" or "He gives us milk". Word order is important in English because English has lost most of its inflections. In the first sentence the "to" tells us that the indirect object follows. In the second sentence the "to" is missing but the word order - indirect object pronoun before the direct object - lets us pick out the indirect object.

Esperanto's creator designed it to have fluid word order. Esperanto cannot follow the second pattern of missing out "to" ("al" in Esperanto) because if it did a strict word order would have had to be imposed instead. We need a way to distinguish between the direct and indirect objects.

It's not true that being able to just say the direct object after the verb is unique to English, as has been suggested. It's done in German but strict word order as well as case distinctions keep everyone right.

The flexible word order in Esperanto means we can say both "Li donas al ni lakton" and "Li donas lakton al ni" and both are right.


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

why "li donas nin lakton" is not correct please thankyouu ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Toasterbot959

Because "Ni" does not take the accusative form

EDIT: In this scenario (thanks to _Feanor for pointing this out)


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

That's not correct. Ni does take the accusative form when it is the direct object. It does not take in this case because it is the indirect object. Example: Li ŝatas nin. -> He likes us


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

Would ""li al ni donas lakton" also be correct? Coming from my native language, that structure sounds more natural to me.


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

It's correct, but somewhat odd, especially if you're not emphasizing al ni. Out of curiosity, what is your native language?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaulDeNice1

Li ni donas al lakton? Using reflective verb format? Comments please.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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You basically said "He we give toward milk".

Milk is the thing being given, so it's the direct object of the verb. It is given to us. Therefore it should be "Li donas al ni lakton" or "Li donas lakton al ni".


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

Why is lakto in accusative? I thought al was a preposition and thus lakto would not get the -n ending.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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Only "ni" falls under "al".

He gives milk to us.

Milk takes the accusative because it is the direct object--it is what is given. Al ni says who the recipient was, making it the indirect object.


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

I see. So would "Li donas lakton al ni" be a correct way to say this as well, or would it sound weird in Esperanto?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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That would be equally valid.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mimi658232

I understand it's equally valid, but does it sound equally natural?

In French, the indirect object would be put before the verb if it's a pronoun: il nous donne du lait.

But if the indirect object is not a pronoun, a preposition would be required to introduce it, and the block would be put after the direct object: il donne du lait au chat. (al el kato)

Maybe because of "ni" being introduced by "al", li donas lakton al ni sounds more natural to my French ears. Moreover, a direct object is by nature more "directly" linked to the verb than the indirect object.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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I'm not sure "sounds equally natural" applies to an artificial language. As far as I know, it is up to the speaker whether they want to use "Li donas al ni lakton" or "Li donas lakton al ni". It could also be a matter of emphasis: "Li donas al ni lakton" vs "Li donas lakton al ni".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/snailsnail1

I thought you could do: "Li donas nin lakton" or "Li donas al ni lakton"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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No. Only the direct object gets the -n suffix. "Lakto" is what is being given, so it becomes "lakton". "Ni" is who receives the "lakton", so it must be "al ni".

However, it can be:
Li donas al ni lakton.
or
Li donas lakton al ni.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VitalyT3

"Li donas nin lakton" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mimi658232

Read Rae.f's comment above…
lin would be for direct objet (accusative)
al ni is required here because it's the indirect object of the verb.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swati944477

Why cant we just write nia instead of al ni


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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Because he's giving milk to us (al ni). He is not giving milk our (nia).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mimi658232

nian lakton = our milk, so we get another sentence without indirect objet ("nia lakton" is grammatically impossible, "nia" must have the -n accusative ending like "lakton").


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alexey387055

'Li donas lakton al ni' It is correct!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ocean6918

is this how you form the indirect object in esperanto? by using to or al

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