"Can you close the door?"

Translation:Ĉu vi povas fermi la pordon?

June 3, 2015

This discussion is locked.


How do you say:
Hold the Door :(


Does this mean please close the door in esperanto


Would a more accurate english translation be "Are you able to close the door?"


Can someone please clarify this for me? Why is "pordo" listed in the accusative? The question is essentially if you are able to close the door. The conjugated verb is POVI, which refers to the action of closing the door. The door is not receiving the action, as far as I can see. Please advise, much thanx.


The door is the thing that you are closing, so it is receiving the closing action. This is why it is in the accusative.


Yes, I can, but will I? That's another question.

Kiel oni diras "Will you close the door" kiel peto?


I have since learned:

Ĉu vi fermos la pordon?

Bonvolu, fermas la pordon.

Fermu la pordon, mi petas.


Are you going to close the door?
Please, closes the door.
Close the door, please,


The second of your three sentences should be, "Bonvolu fermi la pordon".


Is this right in Esperanto? In English you usually say, "please can you..." (Although technically it should be "would you mind...? Please do so."), Does it mean the same, or is it literally is it physically possible for you to close the door? Or is it more a case of technically the latter, but usually the former?


Why vi povas and not povas vi?


The 'ĉu' makes it a question. The word order is only changed in English, not in Esperanto, when making a question.


The question is from May 2018, and while I tend not to reply to questions from that long ago - this is exactly the answer I would have given - even after Salvesen reworded his question:

In other words why is "Ĉu povas vi fermi la pordon?" a wrong answer?

It's a wrong answer because ĉu doesn't change the word order. I won't claim to be able to read Salvesen's mind from two years ago, but I will say that I see this kind of question much more often about sentences with ĉu in it.

If he'd asked a different question (perhaps in a different thread) - along the lines of "why is povas vi fermi la pordon not accepted (for "you can close the door")? - I might give a different answer. Basically, it's a very strange word order not warranted in this context.


Thank you for your response it helps. I realize that the word order does not change with Cxu and that was not what I was asking then or now. I was not even sure if it was wrong or just not entered in Duolingo yet. So povas vi is wrong because it is a strange word order and that is good enough for me. Thanks again.


It's rare but not unheard of. Mostly you'll find it in certain kinds of poetry.


FWIW, your responses come across as hostile, which is not warranted and I assume was not intentional, so you might want to know.

Just like salivanto, I've also seen word order questions primarily attached to ĉu-sentences. So with no other context to go on, and no further explanation, it was a good-faith assumption that your post was about word order in questions, just like everyone else.

It would have indeed been different if you had asked this question at the "Vi povas fermi la pordon." sentence.


I think it's possible to read all sorts of comments as hostile... or with charity.


I am sorry if I seemed hostile, that was not my intent and after rereading I still do not see it. I am also sorry that I was not clear with my question. Please know I thank you for trying and I did finally get my answer from Salivanto, which was partly because you tried even if you were incorrect. Please accept my thanks. btw I hope that saying you were incorrect is not hostile. :)


btw I hope that saying you were incorrect is not hostile. :)

Haha. I feel like this all the time. I finally made an explicit decision not to worry about it -- which is why so many people think I'm rude all the time. Thanks for reading my comments with charity.


Thanks for your reply (which I can't reply to, probably because we went too deep already).

I read way too much in these message; I'm glad I posted (even though it derails the thread) so you could clarify that. In the end it is the community that makes duo lingo work and Esperanto is probably small enough that we'll 'meet again'.

E.g., I do think that saying someone is incorrect can be hostile, but now it is clear that it doesn't come with a value judgement when you say that, so I won't be offended.

As for salivanto: don't be so modest. Your comments are usually so respectful that I see you as a role-model. You defused this as well.


It seems we've crossed paths on the forum before. Why not again. :-)

I like to flatter myself and think that the majority of readers find value in my comments. I'm regularly called all sorts of names though - to the point where "bully" is one of the more mild ones.

It's possible to reply to very deeply nested comments, but after a certain point you have to trick the system into giving you a reply button.


While that is true, it was not the question I asked two years ago. The question was/is why must vi come before povas and is not correct if povas comes before vi. In other words why is "Ĉu povas vi fermi la pordon?" a wrong answer?


I'm learning, just like you, so cannot give you a definite answer, and mainly answered to help others.

After some research it seems that your suggestion to switch the words is technically correct Esperanto, but uncommon. Just as it is possible in English to not switch the words, e.g. in a surprised way, raising your tone towards the end. (The difference in meaning is probably not the same in Esperanto; I don't know.)

This module is early in the course, so it makes sense to only allow the most common answers, because students should learn the default way to ask questions first.

Keep up your streak!

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