1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Esperanto
  4. >
  5. "He or she works."

"He or she works."

Translation:Li aŭ ŝi laboras.

May 29, 2015


Sorted by top post


Does Esperanto not have a gender-nuetral third-person pronoun? That would have been a useful word.

May 29, 2015

[deactivated user]

    I know I'm replying to a 10-month-old comment, but I have only just seen it.

    What we must remember in this course is that we are not given the context. If we had a context in this case, it could be that the sentence means something like: "Here are two people, one male, one female. When the male works, the female rests, and vice versa." Unlikely, I know, but possible.

    Alternatively, it could mean that one person is working, but we don't know whether it is a man or a woman. In that case, we could use the Esperanto word for "person": "Persono laboras".

    Another thing is that in English, it sounds posh or old-fashioned to say something like, "One works," but the Esperanto "oni" is much more commonly used.

    April 1, 2016


    Not officially. There are several attempts to introduce something like that and some other hacks, but none of them is ready to be taught.

    May 29, 2015



    tl;dr version:

    There's no official gender-neutral pronoun, some people think there should be one and some people think there shouldn't.

    Proposed "fixes" are things like adding a masculine suffix, but I think the "just add a gender neutral pronoun" idea is more popular.

    Some proposed not-new pronouns:

    sxli (personally I don't like this one, since it combines both pronouns)

    gxi (I don't like this one either- I wouldn't want to be called "it")

    oni (people tend not to like it, as referring to a person as "one" is a lot more ambiguous like how "one might say" in English doesn't really seem to refer to a specific person)

    si when the subject is known (but this isn't popular because European languages don't usually have reflexive pronouns)

    ili (it would work like the singular they in English)

    Some proposed new pronouns:

    gi (suggested because of its similarity to gxi, works same as ili except it would be it's own word and so there'd be no ridiculous "but they/ili can't be used singularly!" debate or confusion about the number of people you're referring to)

    ri (works same as gi, was a popular option at some point but is criticized because in spoken word it may be confusing since some verbs start with ri- "ri petas" (they ask) and "ripetas" (repeats))

    I read a few threads on the lernu! site too but I can't remember the most popular option.

    August 18, 2015


    I hope they don't change Esperanto for political correctness. Esperanto is fine as it is.

    August 29, 2015


    well, some aren't for it because of political correctness, but for unambiguousity. (Such as me)

    June 25, 2016


    I just got a sentence: "Li au si estas bona." Why does "laboras" end with "-as" in the sentence above, while "bona" ends in "-a?" Does anyone know?

    May 29, 2015


    Because "laboras" is the verb and "bona" is an adjective. The verb in your sentence is "estas".

    May 29, 2015



    May 29, 2015


    Hi :) Suggestion: please write "sxi" if you can't type "ŝi" so people (beginners, for example) will correctly read what you write :) Info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanto_orthography#X-system

    June 2, 2015


    To add, if you are on mobile, look up SwiftKey. You can easily switch between language keyboards and have access to all special characters like ĝ and ŝ. They are adding languages and features all the time.

    July 4, 2017


    so "laboras" comes from wich language?

    May 31, 2015


    I think it originates from Latin. Ever heard of "ora et labora"? Meaning "pray and work".

    June 1, 2015


    Yes, it says you have typos; however, it does not mark it wrong.

    June 2, 2015



    October 21, 2015


    I remember labor as like you work in a lab.

    January 15, 2016
    Learn Esperanto in just 5 minutes a day. For free.