1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Esperanto
  4. >
  5. "Ŝi demandas min, ĉu mi havas…

"Ŝi demandas min, ĉu mi havas panon."

Translation:She asks me whether I have bread.

June 3, 2015

7 Comments


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

I believe I've seen this sentence in two forms in this lesson: "Ŝi demandas min..." and "Ŝi demandas al mi..." I was starting to think that the preposition 'al' was required with the verb 'demandi' but now I see it in this sentence without. Can either be used? Do they have the same meaning?


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

They both can be used, but as a literal translation, "Ŝi demandas al mi..." would be like "She asks whether or not I have bread to me". But saying that is very unnatural. The only thing to be mindful of is they when using "al (pronoun)" that the pronoun remains nominative (or technically dative).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Phineas738215

It only seems unnatural in English because we don't distinguish between "me" as a direct object and "me" as an indirect object. If you look at this sentence grammatically, I think the "me" is undoubtedly an indirect object. Therefore I think it should be "al mi."


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

Wouldn't "al" be "to" in English? And if so...you wouldn't say "She asks to me," would you?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Phineas738215

Prepositions don't always have direct equivalents from language to language, and remember that English is the highly irregular of these two languages.

The preposition "al" doesn't just mean "to," it means "in the direction of." In this case, she's asking a question (d.o.) and she's doing so "in the direction of" me (i.o.). If you wanted a one-word equivalent for this sentence, consider "She asks of me," although you wouldn't use "de" because we're not indicating possession or origin.

It's often important to divorce your native language from the one you're learning and think of the latter in the abstract; just because a sentence doesn't have an easy "word-by-word" equivalent in your native language doesn't mean that it's wrong on its own language.


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

Here is something I thought was interesting. I used "if" instead of "whether" and they corrected my "...I have" for "I've." I lost for either both or one or the other.


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

Shouldn't it be "if" rather than "whether," because the sentence does not give more than one choice?

Learn Esperanto in just 5 minutes a day. For free.