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  5. "Labori ofte ne estas facile."

"Labori ofte ne estas facile."

Translation:Working often is not easy.

June 20, 2015



Is it clear if it means it's hard to work frequently, or that work is often difficult?

Does it mean "Working is often difficult?" Should Duo accept that?


I wondered too about this - maybe it's an ambiguous sentence in Esperanto? I wrote: "working is not often easy" which was accepted. But I see it also accepts "working often is not easy".


Hey, I think you're right. (Labori ofte)(ne estas facile) or (labori)(ofte ne estas facile.)

Is there any reason to pick one over the other?


Duo accepts "Working is often not easy"


To do away with the ambiguity, I guess we could use "Ofte labori ne estas facile" to make sure it is "[Working often]" that "is uneasy", since it is more standard to put the adverb before what it modifies, or am I mistaken?

sfuspvwf npj


Your proposal does not really remove the ambiguity as even an adverb at the beginning of a sentence can relate to the whole sentence (imagine a comma after the adverb):

  • ofte, labori ne estas facile

Of course there are other ways to make “ofte” relate to “labor-” (rather than to “estas”) but not without changing the structure of the sentence:

  • Labori ofte, tio estas ne facila. [To work often, that is not easy.] (note the -a ending, as “facila” now is related to “tio”)
  • Ofta laborado ne estas facila. [Frequent working is not easy.]

So you can make it unambiguous but at the cost of changing the structure.


It's been five years and I was about to ask ChuckBaggett's exact question. I don't understand which meaning is meant in either language :(


ChuckBaggett's question has been discussed here, and in my opinion the result was that the sentence is ambiguous in both languages, so the proposed translation is fine. I don't quite get what you are trying to say. Could you elaborate?


So I'm kind of confuses why the infinitive verb is used her. There isn't a subject so wouldn't you use a noun form of "labori" since we are describing the concept of working?


The infinitive or gerund behaves like a noun, not a verb.


Yes, the infinitive “labori” is used here as a kind of subject, except that the Esperanto grammar prescribes that the following adjective becomes an adverb (facile).

If you want an alternative for the English gerund (“working”) you may use the -ado suffix:

  • Laborado ofte ne estas facila

Here facila refers to the noun laborado and so is an adjective. The difference in meaning is, in my humble opinion, negligible. Certainly experts could prove me wrong.


"Labori" has a verb root. You don't need the -ad suffix to make the action noun; "laboro" is enough. When used with a verb root, the -ad suffix adds the idea of duration or repetition.


Working sounds like it has a certain element of duration and repetition to me.


Hey, I'm just happy to realise that the course is teaching rich enough to teach daily usage and poetics.


I've read through the foregoing comments and I'm still confused. Is it possible for the infinitive to act as a noun, in which case could it take an adjective rather than an adverb? Also, someone mentioned gerund, but surely labori is an infinitive, not a gerund?


I'm fairly convinced that the infinitive of a verb is a noun in this example. However, it appears to be a just a rule that you use an adverb instead of adjective when the subject is an infinitive (as written in the course notes for Abstract Objects). I'm also interested in learning why this is the case – I don't understand the logic.

  • Labori ofte ne estas facile = Working often is not easy
  • Ofte labori ne estas facile = Working often is not easy
  • Labori ne ofte estas facile = Working is not often easy
  • Labori ne estas facile ofte = Working is often not easy
  • Ne labori ofte estas facile = Not working is often easy
  • Ofte ne labori estas facile = Not working often is easy



Just checking: Because 'Labori' is an infinitive verb we use the adverb 'facile' after estas rather than the adjective 'facila'?


Why facile and not facila


In Esperanto, if the subject is a verb, or there is no subject (pluvas, neĝas, etc), the descriptive word modifies a verb, even if that verb has a syntactical function as a noun, and therefore, consistently, the adverbial form is used.

  • labori ne estas facila.
  • Mia laboro estas facila.
  • Erari estas home.
  • Neĝas multe, tial estas multa neĝo.
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