1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Esperanto
  4. >
  5. "The hot oil smells very good…

"The hot oil smells very good."

Translation:La varma oleo odoras tre bone.

June 11, 2015



Why is it bone and not bona? It smells good - adjective describing the smell, not it smells well - adverb describing it's prowess at smelling things.


Someone actually explained this very well in another discussion. Basically, English is kind of stupid for using an adjective and not an adverb, as it should in that sentence. But that's because both verbs are the same word. In Esperanto, there are actually two different words. odori- to smell, as in, has an odor. flari- to smell, as in, to sense an odor. Bona is an adjective and bone an adverb, which is why they use it to modify the verb, odoras. If you wanted to say that the oil is good at smelling things, you could say, "La oleo flaras bone", which would be the equivalent of the English "The oil smells well." Hope that helps.


It actually depends on the verb in Esperanto. Verbs like "gustas" and "odoras" take an e-word compliment. Verbs like "sxajnas" usually take an a-word compliment. Verbs like "aspektas" can take either/or.


I agree. Is "odori" not serving as a linking verb?


I know you asked this quite some time ago. But in case anybody reading this is wondering about the answer... I've been speaking Esperanto almost two decades and I found I have the same question. I've found several explanations, but they all strike me as "just so" answers. I'm not saying there isn't a good answer, it's just that I have not yet found one. The best answer I can give is that "odoras bone" is the common way to say it in Esperanto.

In English, we can say that something "seems good" or "seems to be good" but not "tastes good" and "tastes to be good." I'm sure the answer lies in there somewhere - deep in how the human brain processes language.


You'd think that it'd be an adjective - like it is in English, but in Esperanto I don't think that's the case.


It is an adverb describing how it smells.


So what would 'la varma oleo odoras tre bona' actually mean then?


I'm not sure .-. What I do know, however, is that the adjective would be modifying a noun, not a verb, so probably you'd be saying that the oil is very good and smells (with a weird word order).. or something like that. It doesn't make much sense to me.


Tjays a dangerously oversimplified way of stating it. For instance, a dog smells well but often a dog smells bad. But humans smell badly yet often smell good.


"Bona" priskribus la subjekton de la frazo "oleo" kiel "La bona oleo odoras" (la ordo de la vortoj ne gravas). Geaŭskulatantoj ne scius kiel ĝi odorus, nur ke ĝi estus bona (ekz. ĝi povus esti saniga, sed malbon-odora). Nur se oni uzas la adverbon (anstaŭ la adjektivon), geaŭskultantoj scias, ke la oleo estas bon-odora.


Smells good is bonodoras. Could I use bonegodoras for smells very good?


I don't believe so... I think it'd just be tre bonodoras, but I'm not completely sure. Check the above comments.


To me, the difference is there. In English "smells well" implies that it's subjective, I. E. A person has a keen sense of smell. Smells good is objective, an object with a pleasant aroma. This breaks my brain using "bone" instead of "bona". No comment so far has explained why this is so. Is this just common usage even though there is no evidence?


The first thing to watch out is that "smell" has two meanings in English and that these meanings are represented by different words in Esperanto. Flari means to detect a smell with your nose. Odori means to give off a smell. Your comments is based on a double meaning that doesn't exist in Esperanto.

Since posting elsewhere in this thread that I have the same question (after almost two decades of speaking Esperanto every day), I've discussed this with other fluent speakers online, checked reference books, and even had an opportunity to discuss it face to face with the author of PMEG.

So... with all that in mind, here's the explanation I would give now. First, don't try to think of it in English. Saying "smells well" will mislead your brain. Think that "odori" means to give off a smell. "Bona" would describe the subject, not the smell being given off - that's why we use "bone".

Quite honestly, my gut still tells me that it should be different, but this usage is very common - basically standard - so I must admit that something real is going on here and that my gut is steering me wrong.


With that explanation, for the first time I really "get" it. Thank you!


Haha - then you can explain it to me. :-)

I'm trying to unlearn a 19 year habit!


You discuss about bona or bone but the right answer suggested here is bonege. Someone can explain "bonege"? Thank you


Yes, and why does the hint say "bonega" but the correct answer is "bonege" abd "bone" is not accepted at all, after all that helpful discussion?


The hot oil smells well? I didnt think hot oil to have an olfactory sense.


I know this is 11 months old, but 12 months ago there was a discussion in this thread which addressed your comment. Be sure to read all the comments.


Is there a way to combine "smells very good" into one word? I tried "bonegodoras", but Duo didn't accept it. "Tre bonodoras" worked, though.

Learn Esperanto in just 5 minutes a day. For free.