1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Esperanto
  4. >
  5. "La granda aligatoro estas du…

"La granda aligatoro estas du metrojn longa."

Translation:The big alligator is two meters long.

May 29, 2015



Hmm, I'm not seeing why the accusative is being used here. I think that's a mistake, isn't it?

And thanks to some googling, I find out that it is correct, that you should use the accusative in a case like this. See http://www.gutenberg.org/files/7787/7787-h/7787-h.htm and the section "accusative of measure." I'm very glad to learn this because it certainly answers how I should write, "I ran 20 kilometers." Mi kuradis dudek kilometrojn.

Thanks for putting this course together. I already know Esperanto fairly well, but it may help to clear up and reinforce some of the trickier concepts for me.


This is discussed in the Tips & Notes of this lesson if you want to brush up!


I don't see anything about the -n ending in this lesson's Tips & Notes.

The link provided by Izabela_K is helpful however.


Here are the original course notes: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oJBRP-KN1y8BwMOrGjw0ezT7fJUSrnbF6ujzEuc0T0Y/edit#heading=h.xuiu957mbglm


Besides being used to indicate a direct object, the -n ending is also used to indicate length, quantities, price, distance and measures. For example:

La ŝtofo estas du metrojn longa. - The fabric is two meters long.

La domo kostas tricent mil eŭrojn. - The house costs three hundred thousand euros.

Ili marŝis dudek kilometrojn. - They walked twenty kilometers.

Why the need for the -n?


and possibly greetings? (Bonan tagon)


I see, it's possible that the text has changed (or this question moved) in the year+ since I wrote this!

  • 1620

Besides being used to indicate a direct object, the accusative ending -n is used to indicate quantities, measurements, prices, distances, duration etc.:

Bone, sed kial? Ĉu estas alia senco sen akuzativo?

Is there another meaning without the accusative?


It's a little like asking why it's wrong to say something like:

  • I Thursday went to the store.

Things can be clear and understandable but still wrong.

In this specific case, however, yes, without the -n it means something different:

  • La granda aligatoro estas du metroj longa.
  • The big alligator is two long meters.

Alligators are not meters. They're measured in meters.



Counter examples like that really help me remember why something is wrong.

For 'estas', it's easy to see. What about other verbs?

Would, "Ili marŝis dudek kilometroj." be saying something different as well, or it it just wrong?

Unless the kilometroj take an -n as an indirect object. They are being walked (on), in a sense...


The same rule applies. It's the accusative of measurement.

  • "Ili marŝis dudek kilometrojn."

It might look like a direct object, but it's not. Be sure to check out the tips and notes - and read this thread.



Mi KURIS dudek kilometrojn. Kion vi diris estis "I WAS runnING 20 kilometers". Ankaux, mi pensas ke eraris mi antauxan frazon.


I once saw an alligator around twelve feet (3.7 meters) long. It was in SC, and chasing a turtle. The turtle dove, then the alligator. Some bubbles came up. The turtle never did.


Ĉu nur du metrojn longa? Kreskitaj aligatoroj povas kreski pli ol 4 metrojn longa! Du metrojn estas relative mallonga!


Estas vera! Sed estas ebla ke la parolisto(*) ne scias multa pri aligatoroj, do tamen ne estas malbona frazo en mia opinio.

(*) Is there a way to say "speaker" with a suffix that doesn't (usually) indicate a professional connection to the root? Would "parolisto" work here in this regard?


ne, ne estas malbona frazo -- mi konsentas. tamen, gxi ne estas /vera/ frazo.

You are right that -isto has a professional context. For example, a programisto is a programmer.

You are looking for -anto => parolanto, which means speaker. You also see the ending in komencanto (beginner, one who begins) and esperanto (one who hopes)


Of course, how could I have forgotten. Thanks for reminding me! Parolanto, then.


Tiu frazo ne malveras. Se estas du aligatoroj, kaj unu de ili estas unu metron, kaj la alia estas du metrojn, la dua aligatoro estas la granda aligatoro.

Ĉiuj de la frazoj de Duo pravas, se oni korekte vidas ĝin. :-)


The n after metroj is not an accusative n, but a measurement n, longa is not part of any an object and therefore doesn't receive an n-ending.


*"any object" (not "any an object")


I don't think this is about metaphorical alligators anymore … or is it?!


A big one could be about 2 metres tall.


So why isn't the word "longa" plural to match "metrojn" since it's "2 meters long"?


Probably because estas is used. It's not a direct object.


I can only think that they have a lot of little alligators; otherwise, they would not point this alligator out as being the big one.


I used "large" and it was not accepted. I checked on Translator and both large and big are translated to "granda" I think that my answer should be accepted. I used it to test!


By "translator" do you mean Google Translate? That's not going to tell you what you need to know. The difference between "large" and "big" is a subtle thing in English. Many bloggers and English grammar sites explain the difference.

The correct word here is big.


According to https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/24499/whats-the-difference-between-big-and-large The difference is mostly on how it sounds. This sentence isn't a common phrase, so I would think either should suffice. With set phrases, like big brother or a large income, you know the difference. But here either should do since your only talking about size.


Keep googling. There are other opinions.

In fact, there are plenty of significant "howevers" even in that same page you linked to.


Well that was the point. They're opinions. I would think most native English speakers wouldn't see a real difference in either one. I'm a native speaker.


Well, the fact is that many native speakers do see a difference. Another fact is that to learn the difference, one needs a more sophisticated tool than Google Translate.

As for dictionaries - lots of good info here:



Thanks. The translator is indeed the Google. That is why in some other request for explanation I asked your suggestion for a good Esperanto /English dictionary if there is any.My bookstore has stopped carrying languages books!

Learn Esperanto in just 5 minutes a day. For free.