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  5. "He wants me to receive his l…

"He wants me to receive his letter."

Translation:Li deziras, ke mi ricevu lian leteron.

June 6, 2015



Umm, isn't "sian leteron" wrong (I would think lian leteron)? Because I learned that si/a can only refer to the subject of its own clause (i.e. can't cross the boundaries of a clause, thus shouldn't refer to the li, which is in a different clause). Or is it acceptable because the subject in its own clause is mi (which obviously can't be referred to by sia)? Someone clear this up for me, please :)


I agree. It seems to me "Li deziras, ke mi ricevu sian leteron" would mean "He wants me to receive my own letter." If that's not the case, it would be helpful for the lesson to clarify why - maybe give it as an example in the notes, etc.


Actually, I think "sia" works in the same way as "autos" in ancient Greek -- not helpful I know, but let me explain what I mean.

Maybe "sia" can mean "his own/her own/my own/their own", depending on the context.

It would make sense then, that both "sian leteron" and "lian leteron" are acceptable responses, because, although "sian leteron" is more explicit ("lian" could also mean "his" referring to another male person that is not the subject of deziri), a word like sia working the way I have described is tricky for English speakers, and since the purpose of Esperanto is ease of learning over "absolute unmistakable precision" (an impossible goal for any communication), allowing both to translate "his own" keeps the language practical and flexible.


Yes, "sian leteron" is wrong (probably that's why the sentence says "lian leteron" now). PMEG explains: http://bertilow.com/pmeg/gramatiko/pronomoj/si/kompleksaj_frazoj.html#i-6ah

La ĉefverbo de subfrazo havas propran subjekton. Se oni uzas sisia en subfrazo, ĝi reprezentu ĉiam la subjekton de la subfrazo, neniam la subjekton de la ĉeffrazo (translation: The main verb of the subordinate clause has its own subject. If you use si or sia in a subordinate clause, it always has to mean the subject of the subordinate clause, never the subject of the main clause)


I answered "sian leteron" which was not accepted so I looked in here to see why. Thanks for this perfectly clear explanation. It's going to take some practising to learn this fine point of Esperanto.

Interesting to see the history here. Seems even the setters of the exercises can get this one wrong!


For sure the original sentence hasn't been changed. The original Esperanto sentences can't be changed. They can only be deleted and replaced -- which breaks the link to the threads. If the course ever accepted "sian" it was as an "also correct" sentence - which could still be there, for all we (as regular users here on the forum) know

The specific details of gnthrgrmm's concern from 5 years ago are probably lost to us at this point.

Edit: In case my comment here added any confusion, let me be clear: As danielqsc said, yes, "sian leteron" is wrong because it would have to refer to the subject of ricevu which is mi. You don't use si/sia with mi.


True Tomaso, interesting point about the history of the threads.

The meat of the thing though is the division and hierarchy of clauses and how that affects the Esperanto. From that perspective I don't think "sian" can be allowed here in the strict sense. I freewheeled into the trap but I'll be more wary in future!


I don't understand this either. The information given in the lessons is unclear.


'volas" is a better translation of 'wants'.


I swapped the imperatives. I Used "volu" and "ricevi". What did I say, then?


Isn't "akcepti" the word for receive?


"Akcepti" is more active, along the lines of "to accept" (i.e. to acknowledge or accept someone/thing). "Ni akceptas vin kiel vi estas," "We accept you as you are."

"Ricevi" is more passive, "to receive" (i.e. to receive a package). "Mi ricevis vian pakaĵon," "I received your package."

ReVo isn't incredibly clear differentiating between the two, but that's how I've seen it in common usage.


Do moderators for Esperanto exist on Duolingo? I feel like questions go unanswered, except by people that are still learning the language.


Well, that is what these discussion forums are for, for users of the course to discuss various points that arise. Some are real experts (Salivanto comes to mind). If you want to be sure of reaching people responsible for the course, click on the "Report" button rather than the "Discuss" button.


I only just discovered this thread (thanks to David's comment), so as for this thread, this is the first time I've seen any questions in it. I do go to great lengths to work within Duolingo's clunky forum interface to follow as many threads as possible so that I can help out by providing accurate information about Esperanto to learners.

I don't think it's the moderator's job to teach Esperanto, however. Moderators are supposed to moderate. That is, they're supposed to remove inappropriate posts, remind people of good forum behavior and so on.

Speaking specifically to David Lamb, Patty13647 knows pretty well who I am, but she doesn't like me. Of course, the last time I posted about my own conclusions she accused me of speaking for her -- so let me rephrase this. It is my conclusion that Patty is aware of who I am, and it is also clear that she has reacted to me in a way which has caused me (and perhaps only me) to think that she doesn't like me. Specifically, I have observed that her posts generally strike me as complaints and are rarely worded in a way which have left me with the impression that she is interested in the answer.

In at least one case, her complaint did manage to bring my attention to an issue - but another learner had to explain what the issue actually was. Once that happened, I was able to fix it. (It had to do with distorted sound on one of the word tiles.)

This particular comment is interesting. In isolation it actually looks like an honest question. I admit, however, that with my own baggage of having seen many other posts best described as "crabby", I am having a hard time interpreting this one any other way. I mean, why would anybody be under any obligation to answer questions?


Why is it not "ricevi"?


Two reasons. One - verbs that end in -i don't have subjects. Two - you use -u when there's pressure to do something.


I'm still unclear about the difference in usage between voli and deziri. Can someone help?


"Voli" is usually used to translate the English "to want", as in "The boy wants that big red apple" - "La knabo volas tiun grandan ruĝan pomon". "Deziri" is more like the English "to desire", or "to would like" (yes, we never say, "to would like" - I put it to distinguish it from "to like", which is "ŝati). "The boy would like a more modern bike" - "La knabo deziras pli modernan biciklon".

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