"Excuse me, I am sleeping."

Translation:Pardonon, mi dormas.

May 31, 2015

This discussion is locked.


I just encountered a "Choose all correct answers" question, and "Pardonu, mi dormas" was required as an equally correct answer, but I have never encountered any verb form ending in '-u' before and had no idea that this was an equivalent form.


-u is the imperative verb form.

In English it is usually denoted with an exclamation mark.


Imperatives in English have nothing to do with exclamation marks. Imperatives are verb forms that denote an order, command, request or suggestion. "Give me that book" (Donu al mi tiun libron), "Pardon me" (Pardonu min), "Let's go to the park" (Ni iru al la parko).

In English they are in the simple present tense, and we indicate them either by using the verb "Let" (e.g. "Let me do that") or by leaving off a pronoun but implying it e.g. ("[you] Don't do that").

They are occasionally accompanied by exclamation marks, but an exclamation mark is not an indicator of an imperative sentence nor is it necessary.


Learning koine Greek in school, the professor does describe it as a command but also translates it with an exclamation point since we haven't quite learned the imperative form (ex. Donu = Give!).


You only need to know one or more possible answers for the sentence to show up, unfortunately. So occasionally this situation will happen. I've had it once so far, too.

This is due to technical limitations of Duolingo, I believe.


Why is it "pardonon" and not "pardonu min"? It seems like the latter would be acceptable but apparently it isn't. (This is the en -> eo translation.)


Same boat, same confusion. I'm actually reviewing this chapter for the hundredth time and just encountered this for the very first time.

My progress is somewhere around level 3, and this structure was brand new to me. I'll certainly never use it, but I suppose it's good to encounter obscure phrasing?


Pardonon and Pardonu min are both correct. Pardonon is not obscure phrasing. It's just a different way of asking pardon/apologising. IMO, pardonon is a little more polite than the imperative "pardonu min", but someone more skilled in Esperanto than I may have a different opinion.


I was kinda referring to the sentence as a whole: my introduction to the term pardonon aside, the non-English structure of "dormas mi" is more Master Yoda than anything else I've encountered here, to my memory.

I mean I get it (I did take three years of Spanish), but I was sure it was a fakeout option until I realized it was the only one the answer could be.

Oh well. There's still so much for me to learn. I can only take it one lesson at a time and keep reviewing the lesson history like a person possessed.

I'll be as good as anybody someday, so long as I can maintain my present appetite.



Maybe it comes from a phase like: "Mi petas pardonon".


Could I translate "I am sleeping" as "Mi estas dormanta"?


Dormas mi! How come?!!

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Esperanto word order is a little more flexible than English is. Consider "She kisses him." You can say any of the following, and they all mean the same thing (although some sequences are less common/more poetic than others)

Sxi kisas lin
Sxi lin kisas
Lin kisas sxi
Lin sxi kisas
Kisas sxi lin
Kisas lin sxi

"He kisses her" would be:

Li kisas sxin
Li sxin kisas
Sxin kisas li
Sxin li kisas
Kisas li sxin
Kisas sxin li

This is possible because the direct object (the accusative) is marked with -n. So we always know who is kissing whom.

For non-transitive verbs, there's even less to complicate things. There's just the subject and the verb, so "Mi dormas" is just as valid as "Dormas mi".


Hi, are you saying that there's no difference between "mi dormas" and "dormas mi"? Is it correct? Thanks

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Denotatively there is no difference.

Connotatively, one is the unmarked default (mi dormas) and one is putting emphasis on the thing brought to the front (dormas mi -- I'm sleeping, as opposed to merely resting).

In the same vein, the unmarked default is "Ŝi kisas lin" -- She kisses him -- where as "Lin kisas ŝi" is more like "He is the one she is kissing".
"Kisas lin ŝi" would make a good tabloid headline. They're KISSING. And HE'S the one she's kissing!


Why "mi pardonpetas" doesn't work?


Pardon-o: forgiveness
Petas: ask for
So I think 'pardonpetas' is only used when you made a mistake and ask for forgiveness.


Are the two really equivalent? "Pardonon" = (Mi petas) pardonon. Or, I ask for forgiveness. (Vi) Pardonu (min) = you should or ought to forgive me. I think there's a difference in direction here (not to mention attitude) and wonder if this might be misleading.


My understanding is that “pardonu min,” being in the imperative, has no implication of “ought or should” but rather, in this case, that forgiveness is being asked (ie “forgive me”). Please correct me if I'm wrong


You're right. The imperative/volitive mood is used a lot more in Esperanto than in English, and it doesn't have the same implications of command and rudeness that the English equivalent often does. It's used frequently for polite suggestions and requests.


I'm not 100% sure I have a handle, but I think something like "legu tiun libron" is an order for you to read that book, while "vi legu tiun libron" (with the deliberate inclusion of "you" as the subject) becomes "you should read that book."

If I'm right, then I would think so are you. Vi pardonu min would be "you should/ought to forgive me," and Pardonu min would be nothing but an order that you forgive me.


Why can't you say 'mi estas dormas'? Wouldn't that mean 'I am sleeping'?


Nope, that’s ‘I am sleep’ (li estas dormas = he is sleeps).


In Esperanto and some other languages, present tense (I sleep) is the same as progressive tense (I am sleeping). "Mi dormas" could mean either. It's weird for me too, because I took 2 years of Spanish in high school and I kept doing that as well.


"I am sleeping" is "Mi estas dormanta". "Mi estas dormas" would be "I am sleep(s)". (see mirkosalaris' question above)


Interesting that this honest question has been voted down. People are still asking the same question. Could we maybe vote it back up to zero so other people can see it?

AnCatDubh and SebastianLindon have posted good answers. Here's a longer explanation from me:



I said dormas it says dormanta. I am confused

  • 3034

Did you perhaps try to say "Mi estas dormas"? That would be why it corrected "dormas" to "dormanta".


What's the difference between 'I sleep' and 'I am sleeping' in Esperanto? Seems like both can be translated to 'Mi dormas' but how would you differentiate if it came up in a conversation?

  • 3034

Ordinarily, "mi dormas" can be just as easily translated as "I sleep" as "I am sleeping". But if you really want to emphasize the progressive aspect, you would say "mi estas dormanta".


What is the difference between "Pardonon" and "Pardonu"

  • 3034

Semantically, nothing.

Grammatically, "pardonon" is the direct object of the implied "Donu al mi pardonon", and "pardonu" is the imperative mood, "Pardonu min."

[deactivated user]

    So you would use "pardonon" with phrases like "excuse me", and "pardonu" with phrases like "(I'm) sorry"? Just trying to wrap my head around different ways to say things.

    • 3034

    As far as I know, the two are interchangeable. Same sentiment, different grammatical construction.


    What is the difference between "Pardonon" and "Pardonu"?


    I can't recall the last time I saw a Mod tag. Did Esperanto get course volunteers back, or is this a vestigial graphic?

    Or perhaps are you a forum mod?

    Edit: I realize the post is two years old now, but I suppose I just thought they might have removed the mod tags from any users they sacked.


    I see MOD tags all the time. Just saw one very recently in the recent Gender Free Esperanto thread. I think Rae.F is almost certainly a current and active mod - otherwise the tags would go away.

    I suspect you're conflating "moderator" with "contributor" - which has always been two different roles.


    I think I see. So mods pertain more to the conduct in the forums? Mind you, my only interaction with the "forums" is through the Duo app exercises, which is to say barely at all.


    Talk in your sleep?????????


    Then, how are you talking?


    Why isn't it "mi estas dormas" but only "mi dormas"?

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