In Esperanto, you can make a verb out of anything. You are right that this sentence could end in estas malvarma. However, you could also turn malvarm- into a verb by adding the -as ending. You can think of malvarmi (the infinitive) meaning to be cold. You can do the same with bongust-. Bongusta means tasty, but bongusti means to be tasty. I hope that makes sense to you!
There can be a slight difference in the meaning.
For example you would say: "La ĉielo bluas." (The sky is blue) and "La suno estas hela." (The sun is bright.) The difference is, that the sun is always bright. The sky sometimes changes its mind and turns grey or black.
But this is a nuance. You would often head "La ĉielo estas blua" and "La suno helas."
I've written a lot about this elsewhere. No, the distinction has nothing to do with differences like "ser" and "estar" in Spanish. It's more like this.
- La cxielo estas blua - "blue" is a quality that of the sky.
- La cxielo bluas - the sky is giving off blueness.
The second is more active and more suitable for poetry and that sort of thing.
In French, you have the following words :
Froid = cold Refroidir = to become cold Frais = cool Rafraichir = to cool
The verb "Froidir" does not exist, but as a neologism it would mean "to be cold". We rather say "J'ai froid"= I am cold" ("Je suis froid", means "I am distant")
You can make a verb out of anything - but there's no guarantee that it will mean what you think it will mean or that it will mean anything at all.
In the case of "malvarm-" the basic form of this is adjectival. If ice is cold say - "glacio estas malvarma".
When you make a verb, it means "to do the action associated with the root." In this case "to give off cold" or "to cause a sensation of coldness."
"Malvarmas" in place of "estas malvarma" is fairly common - but it's very easy to overdo this sort of thing.
The way it was explained to me (and I don't remember who/where/when except it was someone on Duolingo, but that really doesn't narrow it down) is that the difference between "estas malvarma" and "malvarmas" is that "malvarmas" is essentially the anti-habitual. That is, it's the difference between "it's cold" and "it's cold and that's not normally the case."
My question becomes, where did that interpretation come from and is it completely wrong?
The way it was explained to me (and I don't remember who/where/when except it was someone on Duolingo, but that really doesn't narrow it down) is that the difference between "estas malvarma" and "malvarmas" is that "malvarmas" is essentially the anti-habitual.
That simply isn't true. If you can come up with a reference that says that, we can discuss it more. In the meanwhile, I'd ask you to take my word for it.
A clearer example of how this works is the adjective "rapida" (fast). The action associated with this is "to hurry" or "to go fast."
- La kuniklo estas rapida - the rabbit is fast.
- La kuniklo rapidas - the rabbit is rushing, going fast.
It's possible somebody took that and understood it in terms of habitual or non-habitual qualities, but that's not how it works.
Calling it the anti-habitual was my own coinage, based on the way it was explained to me.
I'll take your word regarding what the actual distinction is in Esperanto, but I'll take the idea of what I was told and use it in my own conlang. Because independent of how Esperanto works, that's a pretty nifty verbal mood.
Malvarmi simply means "to be cold".
To chill something means it is becoming cold, or colder.
So you can use the suffix -iĝ- (become) with the adjective malvarma.
This would mean, "Some ice is chilling."
This would not mean that ice chills something else!
To specify "Ice chills (things)" you must use the suffix -ig- (to cause) instead. In writing they can look similar, but the sound difference is sufficiently distinctive.
"Glacio malvarmigas trinkaĵojn." ..meaning "Ice causes drinks to become cold." "Ice cools drinks." :)
It looks like Duolingo has been teaching us bad Esperanto. :-(
"Glacio malvarmas" is not perfectly interchangeable with "Glacio estas malvarma", and in this particular instance it really ought to be "Glacio estas malvarma".
When you turn an adjective into a verb, you're saying that it's not usually that way. As we all know, ice is cold, almost by definition. Warm ice is no longer ice, but water.
Sure, there is nothing grammatically wrong with "Glacio malvarmas", but it's nonsense, and it fails to teach the difference between that and "Glacio estas malvarma".
Tiu ĉambro estas malpura. = This room is dirty. A straight fact.
Tiu ĉambro malpuras. = This room is dirty, but it's usually clean.
Ok. I was not aware of this nuance, and I don't know if it's Canadian only. In my mother tongue, « chaud » (="warm/hot") is the opposite of « froid » (="cold"). As Esperanto is largely inspired by French, I guess that is the reason why there is a difference with english. Or maybe Canadians have a different perception of temperature because of the climate
varma = "warm" is the opposite of malvarma = "cold";
varmega = "hot" is the opposite of malvarmega = "frozen";
varmeta = "lukewarm" is the opposite of malvarmeta = "cool"
Source: Reta Vortaro and some searches in French-English dictionaries.
While I agree with your two sentences, it seems to me that you're reasoning from the point of view of how English works. Esperanto doesn't work this way. "Malvarmas" means "to do the action associated with cold" - and this is usually understood poetically to mean "to give off cold". You're right, though, the normal way to say this is "Glacio estas malvarma."