"Adamo, what is your address?"
Translation:Adamo, kio estas via adreso?
Why do we sometimes use "kio" and sometimes use "kion"? For example, here we use "kio," but in the sentence "Kion la urso trinkas?" (I think that's the sentence) they used "kion." I understand the difference between the literal translations, that latter is not used in the nominative case while the former is, but why would you use one over the other?
"Kion" is used for questions that will give you a direct object (which will need the accusative marker -n); "Kio" is used in every other sentence (with a linking verb like "esti" that doesn't take the accusative, or a preposition that also removes the marker from the reply):
- Kion trinkas la urso? La urso trinkas akvon.
- Kio estas Esperanto? Esperanto estas lingvo.
Kio, Kiu, or Ĉu?
I see I have been asked in this thread to comment on what the right question word is here. Unfortunately, I'm only just seeing these comments now (11/11/2020).
First the easy part: it's not ĉu. Ĉu is used for yes/no questions (and "yes/no" includes either/or or multiple choice questions of a similar structure.)
As for kiu vs kio - you're both right. For a long time, I was firmly on the side of "KIO and only KIO here, but I've come to see that usage is split (same thing for "what is your name") -- and in fact, these aren't the only two options you'll see.
My advice? Say "Kiu estas via adreso" but don't correct people who say it differently, and don't panic if you catch yourself using the "wrong" one.
Why is it kio and not kion?
Use kio when asking about subjects, and kion when asking about objects. "Kio" is the subject here -- and besides, no -n with estas. (It doesn't have a direct object.)
Shouldn't this logically be kiu, but never kio? We're not asking what an address is, or if Adam's address has any special qualities we would like to be made aware of, we want to know which, out of all addresses, is his.
As long as what we want to know with the English "what" is something out of a known group, the correlative should be kiu. If we don't know what group it belongs to, it is kio.
Now, I've not studied Esperanto for long, but if this is not the case with an address, the difference between a known group and not knowing what group something is, is starting to get a bit too fuzzy for the ghost of Zamenhof's liking. =P
I know the question is "what is your address" but that is also the same as "which address is yours?" or "which address is your address" - the category of the "what" is defined as an address, which is why we can use "which" (and kiu).
"What", on the other hand cannot readily be replaced by "which" if the category is not known, as that is a question regarding category.
kio estas via domo?
kiu estas via domo?
what do the two different questions mean? What kind of answer would you expect for each one?
We cannot treat "kiu" and "kio" as the same as "which" and "what" in English, for in the latter language they are often ambiguous, in Esperanto they aren't – unless people start applying the English use on Esperanto grammar.
that is also the same as "which address is yours?" or "which address is your address"
No, it isn't. "What is your address?" is an open question. "Which address is yours?" means "Which of these options I'm presenting you with is yours?" And there are no options present to select from.
In other words, it's a fill-in-the-blank question, not a checklist question.
So yo're saying kiu is definitely the wrong answer, yet whoever made the course thinks that too is correct?
If you accept that whoever made the course might know what they are doing, do you have a good explanation for how kiu can be correct at all since it clearly is against the reasoning in your counterargument?
Anyway, you don't have to answer that. I've seen this discussed elsewhere online and I know what is supposed to be correct and why even seasoned Esperanto speakers may not get it.
I'll save the longer discussion for my future book, or blog, or something.
Anyway, thanks for the short if not very fruitful chat. Even when I don't get my point through, I still enjoy a bit of grammatical sparring. =)
And since Esperanto is the language meant to lead to world peace, I'll offer my imaginary virtual hand for you to shake and leave it at that. =)
Ĝis la revido, mia amiko. Lernu lingvojn bone!
Salivanto, bonvolu helpi min! (● ˃̶͈̀ロ˂̶͈́)੭ꠥ⁾⁾ Which one would you prefer: kio or kiu?
Before Salovanto chimes in, this is how it was originally meant to work: kio implies an unknown noun, whereas kiu implies a known noun, which loosely corresponds to English "what" and "which", except in English, we often use "what" when we could use "which".
In this case, the noun it stands with is "address". As we are not questioning what (kio) thing we are talking about (an address), just which (kiu) of those things (addresses) is Adam's, the only correct word should be "kiu".
Many seem to think "which" (kiu) is only used as in English, when presented with a specific set of known options, for instance a short list of addresses from which one is to be picked out, but that is not how Esperanto was supposed to work.
Kiu estas via nomo? = "What is your name?" and the answer could be "Adam".
Kio estas via nomo? = "What is your name?" and the answer: "the word which others use to address me, and which I call myself."
The problem with kio/kiu, and with Esperanto usage in general, is that people – and by "people" I mean English speakers who don't generally understand English grammar – impose their own inconsistencies on it, and therefore end up ruining what could have been a good and consistent language.
So, in practical usage, kio and kiu are used interchangeably in cases like this. Not because Zamenhof said so, but because people make mistakes and the language evolves based on those mistakes, just like natural languages do all the time.
Esperanto wasn't supposed to, of course, but it's becoming a big mess of inconsistencies now, simply because Esperanto learners don't exactly tend to be linguists.