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"Estas necese, ke la bebo ricevu sufiĉe da lakto."

Translation:It is necessary that the baby receive enough milk.

June 12, 2015



Okay, I didn't put an 's' on 'receive' because it just sounds right to me, but what is the actual grammatical explanation for that? Something about "subjunctive"?


Yes, it is the subjunctive, which is used in cases where you aren't speaking about facts, but desires, beliefs, intentions, etc, which is when you would use the indicative form in Esperanto. The only times where it's actually noticeable in English is with third person singular verbs where the -s is dropped, and also with the verb "to be", where in the present "be" is used for all subjects ("I wish that she be notified"), and in the past "were" is used ("I wish that she were notified").


At least, in Australia so many people use "receives" that it's kind of pseudo-correct!


I failed because I wrote "sufficient" instead of "enough". I also wrote "receives" and so would have failed anyway.

I'd have thought "receives" was correct. If there were more than one baby then they would "receive". With just the one baby, it "receives".


I used "receives" and got it correct! However this is because the subjunctive form in English - which drops the -s in the third person singular - is very often optional in English, so in this case both forms are acceptable.


Indeed! Fun fact: one of the few contexts where the subjunctive is still required is after ‘lest’. (For the people who wondered about an example of why you wrote ‘very often’ instead of ‘always’ :).)

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The subjunctive is the bare infinitive.

"I request that you be here at 8:00," not "I request that you are here at 8:00."


For those who may still be confused as to why the subjunctive shares the same tense as the imperative:

It may help to think of the imperative as a special case of the subjunctive. When you tell someone to do something, you're really expressing the DESIRE that they comply with your demands.

Even if that desire is backed by the full force of authority (e.g. parent to child, or boss to subordinate) it's still expressing the thought that, "I want you to do [X]." And wanting to have something happen is the very definition of the subjunctive.

[Many thanks, by the way, to the Spanish language for helping the above make sense to this native English speaker.]


I feel like I'm the only one who doesn't understand why it's necessary (required?) to use the imperative in this case. Can someone help me out? I pride myself on my better-than-average grasp of (English) grammar, but I can't wrap my head about this.


Because it also functions as the subjunctive. In English you can (and should) say "it is necessary that the baby receive enough milk" rather than "receives", just like in Esperanto you have to use a different ending to express that you are talking about necessity.

It makes a lot of sense to use the imperative, since saying that something is necessary is basically the same as giving an indirect order to someone, and, in fact, it's exactly the same in English: "it is necessary that the baby receive enough milk" = "you, baby, receive enough milk!".


Shouldn't it be "Estas necesa...", since necessary is an adjective?


Good thought, but no. You use the adverb ending (-e) when:
• the subject is missing (e.g.: Estas varme.);
• the subject is an infinitive (e.g.: Lerni Esperanton estas amuze.);
• the subject is a subordinate clause (like here) (e.g.: Estas bone, ke vi venos.).


I would not say that the subject is missing. Rather, I would say that the subject is the subordinate clause "ke la bebo ricevu sufiĉe da lakto" itself. And, what I cannot understand is why cannot I express a predicate from a subordinate clause? Ekz. ("ke vi venos") estas (bona ideo). Is that wrong? Since "ke vi venos estas bone ideo" is not the same thing. Thanks for the explanation


In "Ke vi venos estas bona ideo" the "bona" is referent to "ideo", the "ideo" is "bona" not the "ke vi venos".

In "Ke vi venos estas bone" the "bone" referes to the subordinate.


Oops, my bad. You're right! I'll edit that.

I am not sure whether you can do that, but I don't think a sentence can start with ‘ke’.


Pretty sure it can, just like putting the subordinate clause first in english.


Not the best argument, as there are other things that can be done in English, that do not work in Esperanto. I have never come across a sentence that started with ke. (But that of course doesn't mean it isn't allowed.)

EDIT: I've seen sentences start with ke; this seems fine.


why is the imperative used here?, "estas necese" doesnt seem like a want, desire ,demand or preference but a fact.


You're kind of ordering someone to give a baby enough milk.


I don't understand why "sufiĉa de lakto" is incorrect. Could someone explain?


The sentence indicates a quantity of milk, not some part of milk or something that belongs to or otherwise relates to milk.

Botelo da lakto = bottle of milk → the amount of milk described by how much of it is in a bottle; the bottle is full of this amount of milk.
Botelo de lakto = milk bottle → bottle meant for milk, no indication as to whether or not there is actually milk in there.

So sufiĉe da lakto describes a quantity of milk, namely ‘sufficient’.


So why not "sufiĉan lakton"? Why can't the word for the quantity just describe the noun as an adjective?


You can say that, but there is a subtle nuance, clarified in PMEG here (in Esperanto).


This sounds like a sentence that one could understand if they spoke only English.


Why "suficxe" not "suficxa"?


I think the reason is that sufiĉa would just relate directly to the thing it was describing: La bebo ricevu sufiĉan lakton. (which sounds kind of weird to me, but stitll). The expression with sufiĉe da is essentially equivalent to sufiĉo(n) da. So

La bebo ricevu sufiĉe da lakto.

is the same as

La bebo ricevu sufiĉon da lakto.

That's the only reason I can think of. Saying sufiĉa da is ungrammatical (line 12, in Esperanto).

More information about how this construction is used can be found here (in Esperanto).

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This has been explained on this page before.


I don't actually explain why sufiĉa da is wrong (whereas sufiĉa de is grammatical); I really just explain the difference between de and da.


why is enough not and adjective that describes milk


See my comment replying to breezecccp.

It expresses a quantity of milk and does not describe the milk itself.


is suficxe an adverb here?

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