"Kio estas tiu objekto?"

Translation:What is that object?

June 8, 2015

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I don't understand why we use kio and tiu. The "u" ending usually signifies a person and the "o" ending an object. So why isn't it "Kio estas tio objekto?"?


Kio/Tio represents nouns. Kiu/Tiu acts a bit like an adjective and always have to have a noun associated with it -- expressed or strongly implied. Kio means "what" and the answer will be a noun. Kiu asks which of a closed set of things and the answer will be one of those things. It's basic meaning is "which".

There is a secondary use of Kiu, which is "which person" -- that's why you'll read explanations saying that kiu means who or is for people.

So, to the original sentence Kio (the answer will be a noun) estas tiu (it's got to be tiu, because the next word is a noun) objekto?


Thank you. I find this and your other explanations very helpful.


Kiu means "who" or "which". Kio means "what". Tiu is used with nouns "tiu knabo".


I have the same question

[deactivated user]

    "Kiu", like the English "which" and "who", refers to one of a known group of people or things. A teacher might say, "Who is talking in the lesson?" A tourist may ask, "Which bus goes to the zoo?" In Esperanto, those questions would be, "Kiu parolas dum la leciono?" and "Kiu buso iras al la bestoĝardeno?" In both cases, we know the group referred to (pupils in a class, and buses).

    "Kio" is like the English "What". You might ask a person who looks worried, "What is troubling you?" It could be anything, not one person or thing from a known group. In Esperanto, that would be, "Kio ĝenas vin?"


    Question: would "thing" work in this sentence instead of "object"?


    Yes, I also wrote "thing". Seems more natural to me.


    I was wondering if I could simply say, "What is that?" I may try it the next time this comes up.


    It doesn't work. I just tried it.


    How would you say this if "objekto" were plural?


    • Kio estas tiu objekto?


    • Kio estas tiuj objektoj?


    • Kioj estas tiuj objektoj?

    (Both seem strange to me, because in the first example "kio" and "tiuj objektoj" don't match endings, whereas the second has "kioj", a word I'm not sure is correct.)


    I'm pretty certain that it's "Kio estas tiuj objektoj". I have never seen Kioj as a word. Also, if it was another verb instead of estas, you would not put the -n ending on the Kio, but you would put it on the last part "... tiujn objektojn".


    Thanks for the reply!

    I got the idea of querying http://tekstaro.com , and I discovered there that it's done both ways, yet both ways are very rare. (I wrote up another post in this thread with more details.)


    I just got the idea to make some queries at http://tekstaro.com , and I found only these four examples of "Kioj", all of which came from "La Ondo de Esperanto":

    • Kioj estas tioj?
    • Kiojn mi aĉetu en la bazaro?
    • Kiojn mi precipe atentu aĉetante komputilon?
    • Kioj estas Petro, Maria, kaj Paŭlo? Ili estas patro, patrino, kaj filo.

    I also did a search for "Kio estas tiuj", and I found three examples:

    • Kio estas tiuj blankaj nuboj?
    • Kio estas tiuj urboj?
    • Kio estas tiuj torĉoj?

    (I would have rather searched for "Kio estas (plural noun)", but that's not so easy to search for, which is why I searched for "Kio estas tiuj" instead.)

    Out of curiosity, I also searched for "Tioj/tiojn", and I found eight examples, all from "La Ondo de Esperanto".

    I'm hesitant to say that one way is right and the other is wrong (such non-blackwhite situations are quite common in languages). Instead, I'll say this about it:

    In the end, using tekstaro.com I found that either way is rarely ever used, but using "kio estas (plural noun)" seems to be used by more sources than "kioj estas (plural noun)". In fact, "kioj(n)" and "tioj(n)" only seem to be used in "La Ondo de Esperanto".

    Both ways seem to be valid (and rare), but the "kio estas (plural noun)" usage seems to be the (slightly) more common usage.

    Edit: I found two more places where "tioj/tiojn" is used:


    So...Kio can mean "that" also? When I tap the dropdown translation, it says that Kio is "what" AND "that"


    This is the problem with translating words. Your goal should be to learn to translate meanings. Yes, it can sometimes be translated as "that":

    • Mi vidis ion, kion vi ne kredus.
    • I saw something, that you wouldn't believe.

    But no, it doesn't mean "that" in the given sentence.

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