"Yes, birds eat insects, because they are delicious."

Translation:Jes, birdoj manĝas insektojn, ĉar ili estas bongustaj.

June 18, 2015

This discussion is locked.


Did Timon and Pumba write this sentence?


Insektoj estas glitigaj ankoraŭ kontentigaj!


Question: Is there anything in this sentence that implies the "ili" in the second clause refers only to the insects, and not (potentially) to the birds? Or is it indefinite, the way the original sentence is in English? Thanks!


There is actually a specific pronoun to refer to an introduced subject, "si". So if we were referring to the birds we would need to say "ĉar si estas bongusta".


Except that 'si' always refers to the subject of the sentence -- so "Jes, birdoj manĝas insektojn, ĉar si estas bongustaj" would mean the "Yes, birds eat insects because birds are delicious.

See here -- search on "reflexive": http://esperanto.50webs.com/EsrGrammar-3_05.html


Seeing your response downvoted has me confused so I attempted to look this up. As far as I can tell sia in that case would indeed be describing the birds as delicious.

However for clarity my research says it's not actually the subject of the sentence but rather the SUBJECT of the VERB, as in the case of "Mi vidis lin batin sin." (I saw him hit himself.) Sin refers to the subject of the verb bati, which is li. Taken from here: https://esperanto.stackexchange.com/questions/1093/when-do-you-use-si-and-sia-instead-of-li-and-lia/1268#1268


In the sentence "Yes, birds eat insects, because they are delicious." "because" introduce a new clause, of which the subject is "they". "Si" cannot be used as a subject, so it doesn't work in this sentence.


I am not entirely sure, but I believe that since the insects are the last plural before the pronoun, it is assumed that the pronoun applies to them. Sorry if that's not a clear explanation, I get hard to understand sometimes.


I'm confused. If the adjective ends with -as, there's no need for 'estas'?


Yes, if you strip off the adjective ending and stick on a verb ending, with the appropriate tense, you get a verb meaning "is <adjective>." Makes for shorter Duo answers, among other advantages.


Where do you see an adjective ending with -as?


I was doing one of the multiple choice questions are "Jes, birdoj manĝas insektojn, ĉar ili bongustas" was a correct answer.


"bongustas" is not an adjective as it ends with "-as".


So is "bongustas" a verb which means "to be delicious"?


Bon + gust = good + taste/flavor. Add whatever suffix to get the desired result: bongusti - to taste good, bongusto - a good flavor, bongusta - tasty. Esperanto is agglutinative :D


"bongusti" is the infinitive form of the verb. "bongustas" is the present tense form.


Would bongustaj not take the accusative n also?


Because "bongustaj" in those words are not referring to the activity. Unlike insektojn that referring to the "bird" who eat those (the birds have an activity, which is eating/mangxas).

Hope it helps you!


I selected all three options and it says I'm wrong? Can't get past this one, ❤❤❤?


It would be helpful if you confirm what you are selecting.

For me, one of the answers ends in "ĉar ili estas kafon" meaning "because they are coffee" which is an incorrect translation of "because they are delicious".


I have the same problem >.<


Tial mi manĝas insektojn


I noticed that only some words are spoken when I click on them. Shouldn't all of them be spoken?


I think the Esperanto course authors just never got around to recording some words, which is unfortunate, but understandable. That's a lot of work for something done as a volunteer.


What is this "bongustegaj" thing? Shouldn't it be "bongustaj"?


Both are fine here.

Bongusta = good tasting, delicious

Bongustega = very good tasting, delicious, very delicious

Adding the -eg- affix makes the property (in this case tasting good) even stronger.

You can use it in many many words. Another example: granda = big, while grandega = huge

  • 1021

Estas is missing?


At first I thought, "even with the availability of an accusative case, this lesson's sentence requires a subjective decision about whether the birds or the flies are tasty." Then I realized that the clause "ĉar ili estas bongustaj" can't have an accusative case, because "estas" doesn't take an accusative.


Yep, and here we'd use SVO to find the subject (in this case "birds") which tells us that "ili" refers to "insects". And we would have to use "si" instead of "ili" to refer to the birds instead.


Could you use "gxij" / "gxijn" instead of ili?


No. The pronoun "ĝi" cannot be pluralised. In this it is the same as the English "it". "Ili"/"They" must be used.


I typed "Jes, birdoj mangxas insektojn, cxar ili bongustegas" and it wasn't accepted. Is my sentence really wrong?


Jes kaj ne. All accepted alternatives have to be keyed in, so it is very likely that an alternative with "bongustegas" isn't among them. I can see two reasons for this:

  1. there isn't any amplifier in the English text

The -eg- in bongustegas is an amplifier, that should be expressed somehow in the English text, e.g. "very/really delicious". Now the Esperanto text is always the original one in Duolingo, so absence of "very/really" in the English text confirms, that absence of -eg- is intended.

  2. verbified adjectives vs. esti + adjective

While you can verbify any adjective or noun in Esperanto (e.g. bongusta → bongusti; martelo → marteli) you should ask yourself, whether you should do that. For adjectives verbification works in few cases, mostly not. There are a couple of established expressions (pravas, malsatas, gravas etc.). Bongusti is a border-case. For more info see Esperanto Language blog by Salivanto.


Thank you for the answer!

Ad 1. My impression was that "delicious" is more delicious than just tasty, which, as I understand, translates to "bongusta". Maybe it is rater a nuance of English (also not my native) than Esperanto :)

Ad 2. Thank you for the explanation and the link. Up to this point, I thought that "estas X-a" is fully interchangeable with "X-as".


Plural, singular, DO, IDO, my primary language isn't that good so learning a new language is frustrating.!


Do you mean your primary language is Ido (a sort of "reformed Esperanto")? If that is not what you meant, what did you mean by "DO, IDO"?


Why is using the accusative ending on "ili" wrong in this translation: "Jes, birdoj manĝas insectojn ĉar ilin estas bongustaj." "Ili" is referring to the insects (insectoj) which received the accusative ending and "ili" is not part of a propositional phrase, so should it not also receive the accusative suffix?


I think this has been answered in the other comments.


I read the other comments before asking this question. I would like a clear concise answer.


"Ili" does refer to the insects, but it is not an adjective describing them — it's in a new clause. And in the new clause "ili" is not the target of a verb (it is not a direct object), so it does not get an accusative ending.


It is because "Jes, birdoj manĝas insectojn ĉar ili estas bongustaj." is in effect two sentences linked by the conjunction "ĉar". "Birdoj" is the subject of the first section, and "ili" is the subject of the second section. Take a simpler (but similar) sentence: "Paŭlo batas Petron ĉar Petro batis lin" (Paul hits Peter because Peter hit him). There, "Paŭlo" is the one who does the action in the first section, so "Paŭlo" is the subject. It's the other way round in the second section - Petro has done the hitting there, so he is the subject. I hope that makes things a bit clearer for you.


Yes. That makes perfect sense. I presume this holds true for all compound and complex-compound sentences, does it not?


I'm not sure what you mean by compound and complex-compound sentences, but I would like to make a slight correction to what David Lamb said. The exercise has one sentence with three parts:

  • Jes : a responding word
  • birdoj manĝas insektojn : the main clause
  • ĉar ili estas bongustaj : the subclause

To be a clause a predicate verb, ĉefverbo, is required in Esperanto. Even if the subclause here is a subordinate clause (as David pointed out the conjunction ĉar combines the clauses), the requirement is still there.

Most of the verbs in Esperanto also require a subject (not all as in English). Both manĝi and esti are such. In the main clause the subject is birds, and in the subclause something that refers to the insects.

(A different question is that to my ears that referring word should be tiuj, because I associate it with the object in the main clause, i.e. insektojn, whereas ili gets associated with the subject of the main clause, i.e. birdoj. Thus the birds would be tasty.)


I wonder if pro could be used here instead of ĉar. Or would that contort the sentence into something like "Birdoj manĝas insektojn pro tio ke ili estas bongustaj."


Nope. Most of the time you can translate pro to "because of" in English, and that should reveal that pro and ĉar are not interchangeable.

A much longer explanation…

Ĉar has two meanings:

A conjunction indicating that the following clause, a subclause, is a clarification to the preceeding one. Such a clarification is usually after the main clause.

  • Li estas mia onklo, ĉar mia patro estas lia frato (Z) : He is my uncle, because my father is his brother.

A subjunction indicating that the following clause, a subclause, shows motivation or reason for what is in the main clause, that may be either before or after the subclause.

  • Ĉar ni decidis kunvenadi ĉiujare, tial ni devas klarigi… (Z) : Because we decided to meet every year, (that is why) we must explain…
  • Ne voku diablon, ĉar li povas aperi (Z) : Do not call for the devil, because he may appear.

First take a note that pro is a preposition, i.e. it must be followed by a noun or noun phrase, not a (sub)clause. Already this prevents direct replacing, but let us see what pro means. Pro has a couple of meanings, of which we are interested in two.

  • shows the cause       - Pro multo da arboj li arbaron ne vidas (Z) : (lit.) Because of lots of trees he does not see the forest → He does not see the forest for the trees.
  • shows the motivation for an action       Mi venis pro serioza afero (Z) : (lit.) I came because of a serious matter.

Now if you think the exercise here, the latter suits as the tasteness of insects is the motivation for birds to eat them. So you need to express that motivational part with a noun phrase, if you want to use pro.

  • Jes, birdoj manĝas insektojn pro ties bongusteco. : Yes, birds eat insects, because of their tasteness/deliciousness.
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