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  5. "I like to run fast."

"I like to run fast."

Translation:Mi ŝatas kuri rapide.

June 21, 2015





Sanico la erinaco


Mi satas kuri malrapide


Mi ne ŝatas kuri multe


What's the difference between adjectives ending in -e and adjectives ending in -a


The words that end in -a are used to describe nouns.

The words that end in -e are used to describe verbs, dependent clauses, and other words that end in -e.

Generally, if it ends in -a we call it an adjective, and if it ends in -e we call it an adverb.


ending in -e are adverbs


The ending -e is for adverbs, not adjectives. Mi' likes to run quickly. Quickly is telling us the manner in which Mi* runs, and because 'run' is a verb a word that adds to it is an adverb. (N.B. Not all adverbs in Esperanto end in -e.) Adjectives end in -a and add to the meaning of nouns, e.g. ball (noun); what about the ball: it may be round, red, large (adjectives). Adverbs are more widely used because they can add to the meaning of verbs, adjectives, other adverbs, etc.


I am not sure why I translated this sentence incorrectly. I wrote: Mi ŝatas rapide kuri. I thought this would be acceptable for two reasons. First, because Esperanto word order is more flexible than English. Secondly, because I've read (don't recall where) that in Esperanto you generally but the adverb before he verb it qualifies. Just checked a quick source and Kellerman says adverbs generally come before verbs.


This point is one where Kellerman simply didn't grasp some things about how Esperanto works.

André Cherpillod, a former member of the Akademio de Esperanto, has a chapter entitled "Vortordo (Loko de Adverbo)" in his book "Lingvaj Babilaĵoj" (La Blanchetière, 2005), which is in print and available from UEA. I strongly recommend tracking it down and reading it, because he does a superb job clarifying the fact that there are several different kinds of adverbs in Esperanto, and they require different word orders.


One interesting thing to pay attention to with this sentence is that the location of adverbs does matter.

Consider the English equivalent. "I like to run fast." You can't say "I like to fast run" -- or if you did, you'd be referring to a specific kind of running (I like to fast run, not slow run).

Adverbs that directly modify a verb almost always come after the verb in Esperanto.

Mi ŝatas vesti min elegante. Mi studas diligente. La hundo bojas konstante.
La vitro de la fenestro frakasiĝis komplete.
Ŝi kantas bele.

There may be occasional reasons to deviate from this word order (literary effect, special emphasis), but for a course like Duolingo that teaches basic, standard, normative Esperanto, there's no reason to do so.

If there are intervening words after the verb, the location of the adverb may change. Consider:

Ŝi kantis bele. Ŝi bele kantis la melodion, sed tute forgesis la vortojn.

Do you have the page number in Kellerman where she said "adverbs generally come before verbs"? Because that's a flat-out incorrect statement, and I'd like to keep the reference as an example of why her book is best avoided.


When I said I thought adverbs came before verbs I went to Kellerman out of sheer laziness. I have her book in PDF format on my computer so I looked to see what she said. It meant I did not need to leave the computer and start pulling books off shelves and consulting them. However, while I cannot remember where I had previously read that adverbs should generally be put before the verb I do know it was not in Kellerman. Indeed, until I consulted her for ease rather any other reason I did not know what she had to say on the matter. She says it on page sixty-eight. I fully concur with your English sentence examples. I thought there was more leeway with Esperanto because syntax is different. For instance, in the sentence ‘Mi ŝatas rapide kuri’ we know the role of each word and I thought we could just as well write ‘Mi ŝatas kuri rapide’. In either version it only makes sense that the manner of running is quick. With the second example I do not think anyone would reach the false conclusion that the person was liking quickly.

Being less lazy and wanting to delve into this more I am about to consult other sources once this sentence is typed. Therefore, I do not know what I shall discover. Cox (1939) seems to sit on the fence: ‘The adverb, as a rule, immediately precedes or follows the word to which it refers, or which it qualifies’ (para. 88, p. 56). Butler (1948) does not seem to say where they should be placed but his simple example sentences put the adverb after the verb. Like Butler (1948) Sullivan (1987) does not say where to place adverbs but in the three example sentences provided he puts the adverb after the verb. I would love to know what my latest acquisition, Teach Yourself Complete Esperanto, has to say on the matter. However, sadly there is no index and the contents do not list things using grammatical terms. Therefore, without spending more time than I would care to just now I cannot readily see what Owen and Meyer have to say about them. It seems the general consensus is put adverbs after verbs. I am now annoyed with myself because I know I read generally put adverbs before verbs. However, the source of that seems not to be in any of my books.

I am now going to very quickly check my Kindle library. Alas nothing to be found there. None has an index nor an especially useful contents page. They are no help for a quick search.

I have no problem accepting that adverbs will be put in various positions to make clear one’s meaning. That orphan memory I have will, therefore, be discarded.

Butler, M. C. (1948) Step by Step in Esperanto. London: The Esperanto Publishing Company Cox, G. (1939) Esperanto Grammar and Commentary. London: British Esperanto Association Sullivan, J. H. (1987) Teach Yourself Esperanto, Third Edition. Sevenoaks: Hodder and Stoughton Ltd


Thanks for your thorough and thoughtful reply.

Cox, by the way, although reprinted many times, is not from 1939, but is from the same era as Kellerman. His book was published in 1906, and there were no real changes to the text in subsequent versions and reprintings.

I generally warn people that textbooks from 1900-1910 written for English speakers are of interest to historians of teaching Esperanto, but are really not useful for modern language learners. Esperanto was still in a very formative stage, these authors were largely enthusiastic beginners themselves, there was no real Esperanto literature to draw from, and there were limited resource materials available.

So while these early authors were pioneers, and got some things right, they also got lots of things wrong.

And that doesn't even touch issues of syntax, style, vocabulary, and their understanding of the grammatical structure of Esperanto. Kellerman's presentation of grammar, for example, is totally foreign to how Esperanto is understood and used. Her terminology even mystifies me: what in the world is "the distributive temporal adverb"? No one talks about Esperanto that way.

The lack of an index in Complete Esperanto is one of the things I mentioned in my review of the book. My recommendation is for users to create their own reference document for sections they may want to go back to later. But it's important to understand that the book isn't designed as a reference book. It's an intense, interactive course that has to be followed for maximum benefit.


Lee, Could you please explain the following. I've just had to transcribe what I heard. I got it correct but am confused about the placement of the adverb. The sentence read out said, Ĉu viaj gepatroj pensas ke vi bone manĝas. Why is the adverb in front of the verb in this example?


There is a nuance of difference between:

a) Ĉe miaj geavoj mi ĉiam bone manĝis b) Ĉe miaj geavoj mi ĉiam manĝis bone

It's the same difference you can detect in English pairs like:

During my visit I ate well. My father is eating well, now that he's out of the hospital.

"bone manĝi" is a particular kind of eating, "manĝi bone" is a particular manner of eating.

In many contexts the nuance here isn't going to matter. But it exists.

The meaning of the sentence in the exercise is basically "Do your parents think you're getting enough to eat?"


I could only go off the date in the book. It was interesting to learn some of the book's history. I have no recollection of when I bought it. We moved last year and when we unpacked my extremely large number of books it was in the very last box of books. As the boxes became fewer and fewer I thought it had been lost. When it was discovered my partner and sister couldn't understand why I'd been so concerned about it. Maybe it isn't the best of grammars but as a bibliophile it's a book I really like and would have been most upset if it had been lost. I do recall, though, buying Step by Step. It was on sale at a one-day meeting of some kind about Esperanto (I don't remember the details) on a very miserable Saturday when I was 19-years-old (the subject of ancient history). Where is your review of Complete Esperanto. I should be interested to read it.


And if anyone prefers to listen than to read, here I am reading Lee's review.



I just bolded the following words in my original reply:

My sense here is that putting the adverb at the end puts the emphasis on how you like to run, as opposed to whether you like fast running as an activity.


While Kellerman is correct here (and underscore "generally"), it's an old book from Esperanto's infancy written by someone who had really only just learned Esperanto herself. It may be of historical interest, but it's not really a "source".

First, because Esperanto word order is more flexible than English

Yes and no. Actually, in some cases, the word order is actually more flexible in English.

Another common location for the adverb is at the end of the sentence. My sense here is that putting the adverb at the end puts the emphasis on how you like to run, as opposed to whether you like fast running as an activity.


I am not sure what provenance you would like someone to have before I should rely on them. You have also rejected someone who has been an Esperantist for a long time, an academic linguist, is an ex-president of UEA and is a member of, and former president of, AdE. To say Kellerman is not a source is to not understand what a source is.


You have also rejected someone who has been an Esperantist for a long time, an academic linguist, is an ex-president of UEA and is a member of, and former president of, AdE.

Care to be more specific?

As for Kellerman - I am not alone in this recommendation.


I fully support Salivanto's assessment of Kellerman. Her book was published in 1910, when Esperanto was still in its infancy, and she missed a lot of things and got other things wrong.

No one, in any other modern language, would refer to a peculiar grammar published more than 100 years ago as a standard for how the language is actually spoken today. It wouldn't happen for French, Chinese, Icelandic, Hindi, Tagalog . . . and it shouldn't happen for Esperanto.


Specific: Professor John Christopher Wells, MA (Cantab.), MA PhD (Lond.), FBA.

Kellerman: I accept you would not elect to use Kellerman, and that others are in accord with you, that does not, however, mean she is not a source.

I know those who do like Kellerman. We all have our preferences.


For some reason I can't "reply" to your most recent comment about Kellerman.

You have a Freudian slip: It is a type of resource I very muck like.

No one is telling you how you should learn, but Kellerman's book is not a good choice for anyone learning Esperanto in 2020, 110 years after her book with all its flaws was published.

If you've spoken to Tim Owen, I'd suggest you speak to him further.


Kellerman is a source, just not a good source.

Given the wide availability of newer and better material, I'm always amazed people go back to her 1910 textbook. If it were a truly amazing book, I'd understand it, but it's not. It's antiquated, incomplete, and in places inaccurate.

People who actually prefer Kellerman as a source either haven't actually read the book carefully, or haven't read anything else to compare it with, in my opinion. I've done both, and it's why I always try to warn people away from her.

John Wells is a great source, one of our true scholars in Esperantujo. Even so, his dictionary has some definitions that just don't reflect actual usage (that's inevitable in a book that one person puts together by himself). His book "Lingvistikaj Aspektoj de Esperanto" (UEA, 1989) is well worth reading and digesting.


I can only guess her book is being perhaps pushed by someone. I'm not sure what it takes to be given preference on Google but if you google for an Esperanto grammar her book comes up in many number of hits. Perhaps that is what leads people to her book. Plus it is freely available. I have not noticed much out there as an alternative and that is not for want of looking. May be not many have produced a similar type of formal grammar book. It is a type of resource I very muck like. I even asked Wells on one occasion for a recommendation to be told all I needed was his dictionary. I admit to not being too pleased with that answer. I cannot blame him for promoting his book but found it rather presumptuous that he should tell me what I needed. Having been speaking to Tim Owen at the UK 's Esperanto association I have just invested in his and Judith Meyer's Complete Esperanto. I haven't delved into it very far yet but am not overjoyed at being told how I should learn.


When did I disagree with Wells? Was this my "just one person" comment? I don't recall the details.

Nonetheless, I do remember that you refuted what he was saying

I submit that the details matter and that there's a difference between "I think Wells is wrong on one point" and "I agree with Kellerman on this point, but in general, I wouldn't consider her 100 year old book an authoritative source."


I don't recall exactly when but the when doesn't matter. I can't remember at all what you had to say. Nonetheless, I do remember that you refuted what he was saying. So, all I'm doing is trying to get a feel for whom I could cite when making an argument without you gainsaying them. As you provide opinions on Esperanto it would be interesting to know your credentials to put them into perspective.


Details matter but I simply was not that interested to remember what you said or when. Because I know Wells' credentials and considerable contribution to Esperanto over many years it would be quite understandable for me to go with him rather than with you.


You were interested enough to bring it up.

Those who are interested are encouraged to read what was actually said in the linked discussion. (I'll repeat the link below.) You'll see that I quoted two current and active members of the Akadamio who disagreed with Marko's summary of Wells, - plus I cited myself as a reference - plus I pointed out that Wells never said anything specific on the point in question.



A follow-up to Marko's original question: If I have to verbs in a sntence, how do I determine which one is modified by an adverb? Here "rapide" is obviously belong to "kuri", but consider this sentence: "mi volas tre ami sxin": Is it saying "I very much want to love her" or "I want to love her a lot"? And maybe this exact confusion is the reason for not allowing adverbs between two verbs?


"tre" always goes before the verb it modifies.

The only reason for a variation from that would be literary or poetic effect . . . which really doesn't apply in a context of language learning.


OK, thanks!

So the example is bad, but the principle remain unclear. How about "mi provas nokte labori"? Does it mean "I'm making nightly efforts to work", or "I'm making efforts to work ant night"?

(I'm having a bit of a difficulty to find good examples because I learnt very few adverbs at this stage of the course.)


"Mi provas nokte labori" = "I'm trying out working at night."

"I'm making efforts to work at night" = Mi strebas labori nokte, mi klopodas labori nokte.


Thanks again!

So, aside for expanding my esperanto vocabulary, may I deduce that adverbs located between 2 verbs are automatically being affiliated to the second verb? In other words, is the only way to say "I nightly try out to work" is "mi nokte provas labori"?

Or maybe it is just another bad example? :)


No. Esperanto isn't a logic project, but a living language, used by actual people.

And there are multiple ways to state that concept. Some much clearer:

Ĉiunokte, mi klopodas labori

for example.


Mi strebas labori ĉiun nokton.


Instead of "Mi ŝatas kuri rapide" could one say, "Plaĉas al mi kuri rapide" OR, "Mi plaĉas kuri rapide"?


"Plaĉas al mi kuri rapide" is fine.

"Mi plaĉas" means "I am pleasing (to someone or something)". It's not correct in this context.

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