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  5. "They see the flag."

"They see the flag."

Translation:Ili vidas la flagon.

June 8, 2015



Why "flagon", not "flago"? Thanks!


Flag is the object of the sentence, or the thing the subject is doing the verb to (in this case, the thing they are seeing). Objects in Esperanto take the -n ending. Does that make sense?


I see! It totally makes sense.

I was confused comparing "Ili vidas la flagon" with "Ili estas bona" (not "bonan"), for example.

With a little bit of research, I understood that "vidas" acts as a transitive verb, that's why "flag", as a direct object, gets an "-n", while "bona" is not an object to "estas", that's why it doesn't get the "-n".

Am I right in this assumption?



Yes, basically estas is special. "Is" says that two things are equivalent (an apposition); the thing the subject is equivalent to does not take the accusative -n ending.


Perhaps, rather than signifying an equal relationship. It may be that because Estas, like the verb 'to be' in English, is a copular verb. What do you think?

  • 2437

Yes, that's exactly it. "Esti/to be" is a copula and therefore is a stative verb and takes subject complements.

Only active verbs can be transitive, and it's transitive verbs that take direct objects.


Wonderful, dankon!


Why is "oni vidas" incorrect?


"Oni" is a neuter personal pronoun - the "one" in "One gets wiser with age", and it can only be used (and sparingly at that) for general statements where the people involved are not identified.


Can it be used as a singular gender neutral pronoun as well? Because "they" can be used as a singular gender neutral pronoun, so if "oni" can be as well, then they might be equal in that case.


In the right context, I would say this would be a good translation. My hunch, though, with no extra context, is that this clearly refers to a specific "they" seeing the flag.

John, Mary, and Mark are in America - they see the flag.

Compared to

They drive on the right side in America - this would be "oni".


the determiner never takes the accusative?

  • 2437

Right. la for whatever reason never inflects.


I failed to put the n on flagon and the correction said "Ili vidas la standardon" instead of "Ili vidas la flagon." Seemed odd.

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