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  5. "Excuse me, I am sleeping."

"Excuse me, I am sleeping."

Translation:Pardonon, mi dormas.

May 31, 2015



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.)


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


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.


Dormas mi! How come?!!

  • 2403

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".


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.


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


Finally some normal human which finds this weird!


I said dormas it says dormanta. I am confused

  • 2403

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?

  • 2403

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"

  • 2403

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.

    • 2403

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


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

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