"La granda aligatoro estas du metrojn longa."

Translation:The big alligator is two meters long.

May 29, 2015

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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.


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")


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. :-)


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)


Those are from a longer phrase. The accusative on Bonan tagon result from how they're used in a complete sentence. That is: "I wish you a good day." or Mi deziras ke vi havas bonan tagon.


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

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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 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"?


Because "longa" refers to "aligatoro", not to "metrojn". The alligator is long; the meters are just a measurement of that length.

-La aligatoro estas longa.


-Du metrojn.

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