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  5. "Glacio malvarmas."

"Glacio malvarmas."

Translation:Ice is cold.

May 29, 2015



I'm confused why and how, along with bongustas, this sentence can include a verb like this. I would think that it would be estas malvarma at the end. Could someone explain how this works, please?


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!


"In Esperanto, you can make a verb out of anything." -woowoopants (and I would say "you can make a verb/noun/adverb/whatever out of anything")


You see why I couldn't wait for this course? lol


You can make a verb (or verb/noun/adverb/whatever) out of anything, but there are indeed rules about what the resulting words mean.


Thanks. I'm also wondering if this is commonly said, or my other version I suggested is used more? I would much prefer to use estas malvarma as it seems more natural to me.


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."


Then in this case, wouldn't "Glacio estas malvarma" be more natural? Ice is - by definition - cold, and not just-so-happens-to-be-currently cold.


So saying "La cxielo bluas" is essentially the same as using the verb estar in Spanish, as saying "La suno estas hela" is like using the verb ser in Spanish.


I'm curious whether this is the correct generalization; i.e. do verbified adjectives always indicate a temporary state?


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.


It doesn't look to be as strict as that. If you use ser when you meant estar you would be wrong, not so with -as vs -a estas.


Estas malvarma is the more commonly used version of the two, so stick to it if it fits your bill. Just remember that other word classes can be turned in to verbs like woowoopants explained so that you're aware of this if other people you speak with choose to use this form. :)


Maybe if someone has, for example, a verb in his mother language that means "to be cold", he will find more natural to say "malvarmas".


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")


I bet Finnish would... They have a single word for "in the library."


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.

  • 2566

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.

  • 2566

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.


This explanation is really helpful, thank you! :) (I gave you a lingot!)


Could this not be 'ice chills'?


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.

"Glacio malvarmiĝas."
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." :)


sure. if "milvarmi" doesn't mean "to chill", then how to say it? i'm pretty sure it's some kind of beta bug.

though it can be this way malvarmi - be cold malvarmigi - to chill malvarmiĝi - become cold.


You are completely correct with those verbs!
malvarmi - to be cold
malvarmigi - to chill/cause something to be cold
malvarmiĝi - to become cold


I was thinking the same thing. How would one say that?


You can generally turn an adjective into a verb that means "to be ..."

So "esti malvarma" and "malvarmi" are synonyms. The latter one is idiomatically slightly newer or a little more slangish.


estas malvarma = malvarmas

  • 2566

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.


You're right that there's a distinction, but this isn't quite it. A verb is generally the action associated with a root. "Glacio malvarmas" is something suitable for song lyrics or poetry... not everyday language.

  • 2566

I'd lost track that I'd made this comment in this thread, and I just essentially repeated myself in a question to you elsewhere here. Sorry about that.


I didn't notice. :-)

Nenia problemo.


Yeah, I wrote "Ice colds". I refuse to back down from this!


Could this be translated as 'ice is not warm'?


I don't think so- not being warm could mean that it's lukewarm. "Cold" is more specific than "not cold." If you wanted to say something was not warm, I'd use "ne" instead of "mal."


why do not we say " glacio estas malvarma"


You can say that, it is also correct. :)


Not only correct- but it's a better way to say it.


why isn't there estas in this sentence?


Because malvarmas is a verb in it of itself


Why isnt there a estas in this sentance


So if I said "Mi malvarmas" would that be correct?


I thought malvarma was the opposite of varma, meaning 'warm'. How did it become 'cold'? Thank you.


I'm not sure to understand your question. What is the opposite of "warm", according to you?


Hi Eric. To me (a Canadian), the opposite is cool. Hot/cold, warm/cool. Ice is cold. Lake water in summer can be cool. I drink hot coffee. I would give a baby warm milk. Thanks :)


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.


You know, I have never had any reason to question the word "warm" in French. Here, for a hot day, we say, "Phew, comme il fait chaud!" How would one say that it is a warm day? Thanks :)


So would "Glacio malvarma." be "Ice cold."?


Malvarma kiel glacio. Glacie malvarma.


How would one say "Cold ice?" I read this as also meaning that. I can't think how to say the other.(Perhaps I should be ashamed!)

  • 2566

"Glacio malvarmas" is the sentence "Ice is cold". It is more commonly rendered as "Glacio estas malvarma".

The noun phrase "cold ice" is simply "malvarma glacio". In the accusative, that would be "malvarman glacion".


Kio estas pli malvarmeta ol esti malvarmeta?


This translation is just plain wrong. Ice is cold would be "Glacio estas malvarma". Malvarmas is a verb, so the phrase translates as "Ice cools"


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."

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