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"Kiu estas la numero de via telefono?"

Translation:What is your phone number?

June 4, 2015



why kiu? instead of kio


"Kiu" is actually used to refer to something from a closed set. That's why we have the rule of thumb that it refers to people. There are only so many people in the world. However, it can refer to other closed sets -- like the finite set of possible telephone numbers -- which of these is yours?

The answer to "kio" is generally a noun, so the answer to "kio estas via telefonnumero?" would be "it's a series of digits which can be used to reach me by phone. In practice most people would just roll with it, and opinions may differ among fluent speakers of Esperanto.


Me too. I thought kio is for things and kiu for persons.


No, kiu is more specific than kio, like 'that one' rather than just 'that'. Here, we're asking about a defined thing, 'your telephone number', so it's kiu.


Was wondering the same thing.


Well, the speaker assumes that the person asked already knows their telephone number. That's why 'kiu' is being used in that case.


I thought kiu meant which, which in English is used for selecting from a group of some sort. You could argue that any "what..." question assumes the listener knows the answer, so why is kiu the word to use here?


I think of kiu as which also, but that makes it work here in my mind. "Which number is the one for your phone?" is kind of how I hear it in my head. (Although the literal translation would be "Which is the number of your phone?" of course...)

I think that... kiu is used like an adjective, when the noun is stated. kio is used in place of the noun. You would say "kiu numero estas kvin" or "kio estas kvin" ("which number is five" or "what is five"). Here, it's a little tricky, since "kiu" is separated from "numero" in the sentence, but it is my thinking that because it is still explicitly stated, and because the "kiu" obviously refers to a "numero", we use "kiu" rather than "kio".

... but I am merely a komencanto trying to figure it out, so a more experienced esperantisto can certainly correct me...


Also a komencanto, but that is pretty much in line with my own thoughts on/impressions of it.


This reminds me that, “kiu,” is used for something that is known, but you’re just asking about it, and, “kio,” is used for something that is unknown.


That's close.

  • Kio means what.
  • Kiu means which or who.

Since there are only so many possible phone numbers, it's possible to conceive of this as a "which" question. Of all the possible numbers, which one is your phone number?

I haven't actually looked into it in this case, but there's something similar in terms of personal names. It can be either kio estas via nomo? or kiu estas via nomo? - and in practice, both are about as common.


Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy,



Mi ĵus renkontis vin

kaj ĝis frenezas.

Sed jen mia numero,

do voku min eble.

(Ĉu pli bone "telefonu al mi"?)


Why is it "numero" instead of "nombro"?


"nombro" describes specifically a quantity. Ekzemple, "Kio estas la nombro de gastoj, kiuj venos?"

"numero" describes a number kind of more abstractly.


What if I said "Kiu estas via telefona numero?" Is that potentially acceptable by speakers?


Mi havis (kaj havas) la samajn demandon. (Vidu supre.)


I wouldn't say that this is the usual way to ask this question, by the way. Usually one uses a compound noun "telefonnumero". To this question here I'd rather reply with "LG-D821".


Would you be able to phrase the question as such "Kiu estas via telefonnumero?"


Yes, that's the way I say it.


Dankon! Mi povas kompreni tiun pli facile.


I didn't know that "telefonnumero" existed, but the placement of the possesive ("via") seemed strange to me, if the question isn't about the serial number of model number of the physical phone device.

Would "Kiu estas via numero de (la?) telefono?" or "Kiu estas via telefona numero?" also be correct and closer to the intended meaning than "Kiu estas la numero de via telefono?" (maybe on par with "Kiu estas via telefonnumero?")?

To me, "Kiu estas la numero de via telefono?" also implies that the asked person has exactly one phone (or only one which connected to the mainline or extension with the phone number in question), while in reality, many people have several devices with a shared phone number.


Mi respondi al via tria frazo, das-g.

It's exactly the same situation in English: we would ask 'What's your (phone) number?' of somebody, even though there's a reasonable chance that person could be contacted on more than one number (eg mobile, landline, work mobile, work landline). I don't think I've ever heard somebody say 'What are your phone numbers?'


I feel

Kiu estas la numero de via telefono?

would correspond to

What is your phone's number?


What is the number of your phone?

rather than to

What is your phone number?


Finally some useful phrases


Ah yes, when Adamo first met Sofia.


Estas malrekta akcento en "telefono": la viro prononcas gxin kiel en la itala


There is a crooked accent on "telefono".

But I agree, the sound is FL2. I'll tell someone.


What is the correct pronunciation of kiu"? The voice says "ciu" like ciao in Italian but I also have heard "chi.." like in Italian "chi". Dankon por via helpo!


"kiu" is pronounced pretty much as one would pronounce the (there probably imaginary) word "kiu" in Italian.

That might correspond with how a stand-alone word "chi" followed by a separate "u" would be pronounced Italian. It's not how a single word "chiu" would be pronounced in Italian, as there, the "i" would be silent, while in Esperanto, "kiu" is two syllables and the "i" even has the stress. It's also definitely not like the "ci" in "ciao". The consonant at the beginning of "ciao" might be similar to Esperanto's "ĉ" and "ĉiu" is a different table-word meaning "everyone", while "kiu" means "who" or "which".

Listen to "kiu" and sentences with "kiu" on its Diolingo dictionary page or on Wiktionary.

Listen to sentences with "ĉiu" on that one's Duolingo dictionary page for comparison.

The "i" in "kiu" and "ĉiu" (and in "iu" and other table words ending in "u") is sometimes pronounced very short and sometimes even with a voice color making it sound more like the "j" in German "Jäger". That's OK as long as the stress is still on the first syllable and therefore on the "i". But it's also fine to stretch it out longer, so you could pronounce it somewhat like "key ooh" would be pronounced in English.

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