"La instruisto demandas al la knaboj pri io."

Translation:The teacher asks the boys about something.

May 30, 2015

18 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chelsea1101

How do you know when to use "al"? I would have translated the English phrase to "La instruisto demandas la knaboj pri io." Is there a tip for when "al" is used or not used?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mico12345

It's used for the indirect object. English has ditransitive verbs with two positional objects ("he told me everything"), Esperanto doesn't. One object gets the -n role and the other uses a preposition. "Li rakontis al mi ĉion" - He told (to) me everything / He told everything to me

http://literaturo.org/HARLOW-Don/Esperanto/rules.html#nouns http://www.grammar-monster.com/glossary/dative_case.htm


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Whoaholycow

What is the rule around using 'al la'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ben9937

Is it also acceptable to use "demandas la knabojn"? It seems strange that this verb is taking two objects and neither is in the accusative.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fantomius

Both of these sentences exist in Duolingo:

  • La instruisto demandas la knabojn pri io.

  • La instruisto demandas al la knaboj pri io.

According to Duolingo, they both translate to:

  • The teacher asks the boys about something.

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mico12345

You can ask a question. You can't ask "a boy".

'A question' is implied and left out. The full sentence of this would be - "The teacher asks (a question to) the boys about something."

Objects of prepositions don't normally take the accusative.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ben9937

I understand that prepositions can replace the accusative, so I was wondering if you could remove the "al" and use the accusative instead.

Thanks for pointing out the implicit question that is being asked - I didn't think of that. But still, I'm not sure what you're arguing in your first paragraph. In English at least, it seems to me that you can both "ask a question" and "ask a boy" though I agree you can't *"ask a topic". But making analogies with another language seems to be of limited use - e.g. in my limited understanding of German, both objects of "fragen" are in the accusative here (https://german.stackexchange.com/questions/40839/why-does-fragen-take-two-accusatives).

So I guess it's not like there's a "right" answer that all languages can agree on. Is there a dictionary or something where I can find out which object takes the accusative in Esperanto?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mico12345

Demandi is a transitive verb. It needs a direct object. When I say you can't 'ask a boy', I mean literally, you can't. 'a boy' would be the indirect object. You can ask a question to a boy, or you could ask a boy a question, but you can't actually 'ask a boy'. It doesn't truly make sense because that's not what's being asked (even if we do say it in English). A question is being asked.

In English you can throw in the indirect object without a preposition. For example, "John gave him money." him is not what's being given. That wouldn't make sense. In Esperanto, you have to indicate the indirect object with a preposition. So it would be, "John gave money to him." John donis al li monon, or Donis monon John al li. Or however you want to order it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ben9937

vortaro.net lists as examples for demandi: "kial vi min demandas pri bono?", and "li demandis ŝin, kion ŝi faras tute sola" (http://vortaro.net/#demandi).

Are these not the same as my proposed "la instruisto demandas la knabojn pri io"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mico12345

Your sentence is also correct. But from what I understand the "n" in "ŝin" is there because the action has a direction, which is "towards her".

https://www.duolingo.com/skill/eo/Questions/tips-and-notes Kien vi iras? Mi iras tien. To where are you going? I am going to there.

So "la instruisto demandas la knabojn" is really "the teacher asks (a question to) the boys" as I understand it as a boy is not a thing that can be asked, rather a question to a boy.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TomMarshal1

Any reason "the teacher is asking something of the boys" wouldn't be right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JackBond

When I see that, I get the impression that the teacher is asking the boys to DO something.


[deactivated user]

    "pri io" means "about something".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kwonnnn

    How would we say 'The teacher is asking the boys ABOUT something'?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JackBond

    "La instruisto demandas al la knaboj pri io."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ana508225

    The prompt for the words are providing the wrong options.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Juha_Metsakallas

    Do you mean that there were not any correct options at all among all options?

    According to the dictionary PIV the verb demandi has a rection demandi iun pri io, i.e. not with al iu. So next time try with that PIV-approved rection, and report if necessary.

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