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  5. "Yes, birds eat insects, beca…

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

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

June 18, 2015



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".


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.


Also my ear says, that "ili" refers to birds. "...ĉar tiuj estas bongustaj" would refer to insects.


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.


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


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 >.<


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!


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


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.


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.)

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