In this lesson, we had 'Do you want a piece of bread?" and there is 'pecon' for 'a piece' and yet here it is not used. Why is it so?
Perhaps if You want to have a piece of bread, someone will tear the bread into pieces and give You one, which is called pecon. However, a piece of paper is one sheet, which does not need to be torn apart.
and still not clear for me.
Seems, like Esperanto uses the same word papero for
- a piece of paper (say, an A4 printed document), and for
- paper as a material.
It is uncommon for this planned language with a wide set of suffixes/prefixes.
Am I right about papero?
It can be used for "a sheet of paper" but you can also say "paperfolio"
Irregularities like this are unfortunately somewhat common in Esperanto. (See the lessons on countries/nationalities.) Zamenhof, being an opthalmologist and not a linguist, did not seem to consider not everyone would be interested in needing to learn the etymology of certain words in order to use them correctly.
jungerstein: Maybe one sheet of paper is too big, so one may need only a "piece of paper"; i.e., "peco da papero".
The Esperanto sentence doesn't specify how much paper. If you want to specifically say "some paper", i.e. more than just one sheet, you could say, "Ĉu vi havas iom da papero por mi?"
The reason I asked was because "Do you have paper for me?" was marked as an incorrect translation of this sentence.
I also wrote "Do you have paper for me?", and it was accepted, so Duolingo appears to have now added this as a correct translation.
For all the confused esperanto speakers, how does esperanto say "one sheet of paper"? It might not be a torn off piece, but it is still a specific amount, not the unspecified amount in the question. The sentence in the question would be asking for multiple sheets at least as often as asking for a single one.
No, the '-n' ending is only for direct objects, not indirect. In other words, if there's a preposition (like "en", "por", "al", "kontraŭ", etc.) then you don't add the '-n' to the following word.
To put it another way: when you've got two Things in a sentence, you need to mark one of them as the subject and the other as the object (the "do-er" and the "receiver of the action"). The unadorned noun in Esperanto is the subject, while the object needs to be marked either by a preposition or by the '-n' ending.
Hope that helps.
I had a teacher once, where when you'd ask him for a piece of paper, he'd tear off a tiny bit of paper and hand it to you, until you asked for a SHEET of paper, and then he'd give you the whole thing. Ha.
shouldn't "Mi" be in the accusative form? Or is it not the direct object?
Exactly. It's not the direct object/accusative. You don't have me, you have a paper (accusative) for me (benefactive).
Your own answer is the right one — the -n ending is for direct objects only. If there's a preposition (like "por") then it's already marked as an object, so it doesn't need the -n.
I read the last two posts, however I still have a question. would 'Ĉu vi havas pecon da paperon por mi? be incorrect? To me "Ĉu vi havas paperon por mi? Sounds like a snarky prof asking if you have your paper to turn in, Or you're at a news stand, and are asking for a newspaper. I guess I'm still unclear on why "pecon da" isn't used.
It's just your English-speaking sensibilities telling you it needs to be "a piece of" paper. What the others are saying is that in Esperanto, it's only "pecon da" if you've removed a portion from a whole. If you tore off a corner, that would be "pecon da papero". But one single sheet of paper is whole unto itself. Think of it this way: We don't say "a piece of grape" even though they come in bunches. We only say "a piece of banana" if we want a portion of one.
After reading other comments on this sentence, I'm still not clear on the meaning of "papero". Is it only a single sheet of paper, as the provided translation suggests, or can it also mean the substance, or uncountable noun, paper? Can it in addition mean a paper as in a written piece of text (e.g. a submission to a conference, or an essay to be marked)?
Yes, papero is a sheet of paper as well as the substance. Paperoj estas folioj el papero It can also mean a document written or printed on a sheet of paper.