"I trust you."
Translation:Mi fidas al vi.
I guess my thought was that any verb that could govern a direct OR indirect object in Esperanto could function as either intransitive or transitive. Does Esperanto have verbs that are strictly transitive or intransitive other than ones that conceptually do not perform an action on any object, such as "to be red" or "to be born"?
But take for example "to live" (I'm guessing it's 'vivi', but not certain, so I'll stick to English examples). I can make a sentence with no object like "I live." But I can also make a sentence with an indirect object: "I live in France." In all the languages I have studied the indirect object France is governed either by a preposition or the dative case, as in German.
But what's to stop Esperanto from allowing "to live" to function as a transitive verb using the accusative case to mark the relationship of action in space, with something like the following sentence?
'Mi vivas Francon'
as an alternative to
'Mi vivas en Franco'
(or whatever the correct version of that is).
What I'm trying to say is, it is not obvious to me at all that a preposition is not always interchangeable with an accusative case-marker. Can you give an example in which they are NOT interchangeable?
There were many questions here at once, but I shall try to answer as best I can.
In Esperanto some (most) words are indeed strictly either transitive or intransitive (more so than in English)
But different from English an intransitive verb in Esperanto is very easy to turn transitive, and oppositely.
You just add the suffix "-igi" to make an intransitive verb transitive, and "-iĝi" to make a transitive verb intransitive.
Take for instance this example:
Boli (to boil) this word is strictly intransitive, the water can boil, but you cannot boil the water.
La akvo bolas.
If we want to make it transitive so that we can boil the water, we add -igi.
Mi boligas la akvon.
It's that simple, the only thing you need to know is if a verb is transitive or intransitive, but in most cases this is obvious. If not use Wiktionary.
Ex. It will tell you that the word droni is intransitive, and thus needs -igi attached to it if you want to drown someone dronigi.
Let's take one more example:
The verb "bani" (to bathe) is strictly transitive. And thus you can bathe a baby, but you cannot bathe yourself. Thus you would need to add -iĝi.
Mi banis la bebon - I bathed the baby
Mi baniĝis - I took a bath
The verb vivi is strictly intransitive, you can not live something. However note that Esperanto differs between "to live" as in to be alive and to live somewhere. The word for "to live" in the sense you're thinking about is "loĝi".
So "Mi loĝas en Francio" is correct. (Note Franco = french person)
What you are trying to do however can be achieved with the use of adverbs in Esperanto. So you could for instance say "Mi estas sur la strato" or you could say "Mi estas strate" making the word for street an adverb, both sentences meaning the same thing.
This clears up all my confusions. Thanks!
p.s. Well actually I'm still confused... Is "fidi" then strictly transitive, even though it can govern both a preposition and an accusative suffix?
Maybe the issue is that I once learned to use prepositions vs. cases as a rule of thumb for distinguishing intransitive from transitive verbs. I gather from your explanation that that is not always the case...?
Fidi is actually transitive as far as my knowledge goes, and it is when you use an intransitive verb transitively that you would need a preposition.
Fajfi = to whistle
Mi fajfis = I whistled
Mi fajfis al vi = I whistled to you
So there is actually no reason as far as I can see as to why "Mi fidas al vi" is used here instead of "Mi fidas vin", the only reason I can see is that it might be more commonly used this way.
Try to see this as an exception and rather focus on learning about transitivity and intransitivity of verbs without focusing on this exact example.
And to make it regular for yourself just write "Mi fidas vin", which is 100% correct.
Edit: I checked an Esperanto bible, and it contained the sentence "Sed mi – mi fidas Vin, ho Eternulo;".