"He is poor as a church mouse."

Translation:Li estas malriĉa kiel preĝeja muso.

June 23, 2015

This discussion is locked.


Would "Li estas malriĉa kiel preĝejmuso" also be correct?


Kial 'preĝejmuso', ne 'preĝejomuso'?


They're both correct, but if it's easy to pronounce, we usually drop the -o in the first word when making a compound word.


Is this idiom (or simile) commonly used in Esperanto?


It's an English idiom that is probably used a lot in the rest of Europe, making it a commonly used idiom amongst Esperantists.


it's used in my language as well: biedna jak mysz kościelna


Shouldn't this be «Li estas tiel malriĉa kiel preĝeja muso»? Or is leaving out the «tiel» equally as acceptable?


I agree. I have a bit of a problem with the English too. ‘He is AS poor as a church mouse’.


I agree with this. Since "kiel" is the questioning form of this correlative, it really doesn't make sense without the "tiel" if this is supposed to be an example of the "tiel . . . kiel" usage.


"Tiu ĉi malfreŝa pano estas malmola, kiel ŝtono."

That is a sentence taken from the Ekzercaro de la lingvo internacia. It's part of the Fundamento.


I don't like using 'place of worship' interchangeably with church since it could also be a mosque, temple, etc.

Would it be acceptable to say 'kirka muso'?


Why preĝeja instead of preĝejo?


Because preĝeja is an adjective, so since it is describing what kind of mouse it is, it needs to be in the adjective form.


Why isn't "li estas malricxa kvazaux pregxeja muso" accepted?


Kvazaŭa = proksimuma, preskaŭa, iaspeca (Approximate, almost, sort of) I think that would be more like "he's poor, almost/approximately, as a church mouse".



Do not confuse kvazaŭ and preskaŭ. Kvazaŭ shows a metaphorical comparison, while preskaŭ shows an approximate but real similarity.

Li estas malriĉa kvazaŭ preĝeja muso.
Li estas malriĉa preskaŭ kiel senloĝejulo.


Louis, I tend to agree. It's interesting because Kivo is indeed quoting PIV. Sometimes care needs to be taken, and we need to keep in mind that PIV was written by ordinary human beings with limits on their time.

In addition, though, he STOPPED citing just before the example sentences - and strangely, the example sentences seem to include paraphrases of the words that were just defined - and the paraphrase doesn't seem to match the definition given!

First example setence:

  • ĉiu rakontado pri ia kvazaŭa (ŝajna, onidira) senviveco k senforteco de nia L.K. estas simple malvero Z

For sure preskaŭa doesn't seem to fit in the second example sentence.

  • estas ia kvazaŭa trompo, se oni silentas pri la vero;

I could be convinced that it works for the third... but I'm not yet actually convinced.

  • oni povis ekkoni el tio kun kvazaŭa certeco la evoluskalon de la astroj.

But from the basic meaning of kvazaŭ, as I think Louis is saying, it has to do with things that are not real -- so in the third example, this is "pseudo certainty" - not "near certainty." It would be interesting to know the actual context. I can't find it now quickly - but I will point out that "evoluskalon" SEEMS to be suggesting kind of a chain of being - and if so, then it seems to me that only pseudo-certainty is possible about such things.

  • oni povis ekkoni el tio kun kvazaŭa certeco la evoluskalon de la astroj.

It looks almost like a gallicism to me : "avec une quasi certitude"

The only example of "kvazaŭa certeco" in Tekstaro is from Le Monde Diplomatique, which strengthens my opinion.


Oui, selon toute probabilité.


Why is it not "li estas KIEL malricxa kiel pregxeja muso"? (and yes I would say the same thing about the English sentence "he is AS poor as a church mouse".)


Different languages have different ways of saying things. In English we use the as ... as ... construction to make comparisons. In Esperanto, we use tiel ... kiel ...

Here the tiel is implied: Li estas (tiel) malriĉa kiel preĝeja muso.


I used two words, "pregxejo muso" and it was marked right, except the space (one combined word). What is the rule for this? Is there a lesson?


The rule is that you can combine two or more nouns together into a new compound noun, if the new word makes sense and would be understood by others. It's very similar to English. In English we combine church and mouse into churchmouse, and in Esperanto we have:

preĝejo + muso = preĝejomuso (or preĝejmuso)

Another example you'll find in the course - in English we combine rain and bow into rainbow. In Esperanto we have:

ĉielo + arko = ĉielarko (a rainbow, or literally a 'sky arch')

You may notice the -o in ĉielo is dropped when it becomes ĉielarko. In Esperanto, we usually drop the first -o in a compound noun if the word is easy to pronounce without it.

So, if it's two separate words it should be preĝeja muso because preĝeja is an adjective describing the noun muso. But the system thought you were trying to create the compound noun preĝejomuso and just had a typo, so it marked you correct.

Hope that helps :)


The English seems unnatural to me. ‘He is AS poor as a church mouse'. This would give, in my opinion, the better answer of ‘li estas fiel malriĉa kiel preĝeja muso'


Does povra exist in Esperanto or am I confusing Ido with Esperanto again ugh


'La Vortaro' < http://pagesperso-orange.fr/la-vortaro/ > does list:
povra (povr·a) = poor


However, I think it's better to use "malriĉa" for this particular sense of "poor".

"Povra" is probably worth knowing as meaning something similar to "kompatinda".


La povra princo kies edzino mortis ne estas malriĉa. Tiuj vortoj ne estas sinonimoj.


Would "muso de la preĝejo" also be a right answer?


That would be church's mouse (a mouse belonging to the church) rather than a churchmouse (a mouse who lives in a church).


Does the order of tiel/kiel matter?


What order did you have in mind?


Why: li estas kiel malrica kia pregeja muso is not acceptable? ( sorry for the bad punctuation). Thanks!


It's not grammatically correct. Kia means "what kind, what type", which doesn't fit here. Your sentence would mean something like "He is how poor what kind of church mouse".

You can either use the estas tiel ... kiel ... construction here or use estas ... kiel ..., with the tiel implied.

Also note the spelling of malriĉa - don't forget the ĉapelo!

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