Translation:The big alligator is two meters long.
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.
Here are the original course notes: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oJBRP-KN1y8BwMOrGjw0ezT7fJUSrnbF6ujzEuc0T0Y/edit#heading=h.xuiu957mbglm
THE -N ENDING AND QUANTITIES
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.
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.
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)
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.