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  5. "I want to change my dollars …

"I want to change my dollars into euros."

Translation:Mi volas ŝanĝi miajn dolarojn en eŭrojn.

July 4, 2015


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Why should we say "en eŭrojn" instead of "en eŭroj"? "Dollars" is indeed in the accusative position, since it is the direct object of "ŝanĝi", so we should say "dolarojn", but why "eŭrojn"? I would appreciate your explanation :)

July 4, 2015


There are a number of prepositions that can take either nominative or accusative depending on whether they express location or movement (similar to German). Accusative is used for movement.

Here, you have metaphorical movement of the dollars INTO euros (not that in English we use the movement form "into" rather than the location form "in"), hence the use of the accusative with "en".



I didn't realize that "the directional -n" also applies to abstract directions, like "from dollars to euros". I think this should be added to the notes of the module "Prepositions".


I though these are the exact situations to use je as the preposition.

Dollars into Euros is an idiom


My top-of-the-head reply (i.e. without looking for model sentences or checking reference books) is that you will see "en euxrojn" and "al euxroj" -- and maybe even "per euxroj" or "por euxroj" ... but not "je euxroj."


Al euxroj makes sense, the sentence used en euxrojn


So, I got curious and started looking things up. Here are some sentences from a translation by Lydia Zamenhof.

  • ŝangis en polvon la potenco de la “Monstro”
  • Dum la vivo ankoraŭ li ŝangiĝis en estaĵon preskaŭ senkorpan,


Yes, I see that. Again, off the top of my head, I agree that "en euxrojn" is not how I would say it, but I wouldn't go out on a limb and call it wrong.


Jes, "al" ankaŭ al mi. Temas denove pri translativo: kazo, kiu indikas ŝanĝon de iu antaŭ stato al iu nova. Do E-o malhavas precizan kazon por ĉi tiu, oni uzu "al".


Seems to me that ŝanĝi logically takes the preposition en + accusative, just like in English "change into". In the commonly found "change to", the "to" is really just short for "into" (sense 4 and not 1 in the Wiktionary entry for "to" https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/to#Preposition )

Thus, it really should not be "al" in Esperanto.


E-o "en" carries an idea of inside-ness, you can't be in euros, in a coin or a note. Look at my answer above, the grammatical case here is translative: something becomes something else.


Are you sure you're not applying your own grammar on Esperanto with your idea of translative? Most languages express translative not with a case, but with prepositions. Why should that necessarily be "to" and not "into"? Translative in English is certainly expressed with into, and if it uses to, it is in sense 2 (into) in Wiktionary, not 1 https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/in#Preposition

"Al", on the other hand, unlike English "to" isn't a shortening of "into", and should not be used in cases where English can replace "to" with "into".

While Zamenhof uses "en" for inside whether a physical location or a length of time, he also uses it for an outside location which doesn't have any inside-ness, just a location-ness. He also uses it for abstract things like being in a certain mood — more an in-the-state-of than an inside-ness.

Also, the sentence does not speak of moving anything into a Euro coin or note. Money is an abstract concept. The perceived value of money can be in the abstract of the currency Euros or Dollars.

I know I prefer my money to be in pounds.

So, why "al"? I still haven't seen any good arguments why "al" should be more correct than "en".

If anything, if it were to be anything else than "en" + accusative, should it not then be "je" since it seems to be unclear which preposition is best suited, thus invoking rule 14?

Anyway, it's an interesting point to be aware of, and if there are different established and frequently used alternatives that are accepted, then the most important thing might be to be consistent in which option to use in one's own writing.


No, I'm not sure :-) I would hesitate to say, that most languages express the translative with prepositions, but that's not the point. Anyway the question is, how to express the translative in E-o.

I checked PIV. It says for "ŝanĝi" item "3 Aliformigi: la feino ŝanĝis la citrolon en kaleŝon ; ili ŝanĝis maron en polderojn", i.e. en + accusative. Furthermore for "en" it says "(I- Prep. montranta:) La finan staton de ŝanĝiĝinta objekto, la rezulton de aliiĝo" with an example "traduki libron en alian lingvon".

I stand corrected.


Thanks for checking. I didn't think to check the PIV myself, though I have been reading the Fundamento to see how Uncle Zam =) does it.

I did know about the PIV a few weeks ago, just after I started learning, but the first few weeks of learning Esperanto a bilingual dictionary is a bit more useful (if often very confusing when it tries translating things into the inconsistencies of English).

Since it has been almost five weeks now, however, it is about time I start using the PIV instead.


Here are a couple of online dictionaries, which you might find useful.

The bilingual dictionary of Lernu (E-o ↔︎ several languages) gives you a rough a translation. By "rough" I mean, that the dictionary contains errors and there are no examples of use.

A little less user-friendly is Reta Vortaro (Revo), which is basically E-o to E-o, but it contains translations to some languages. This varies from word to word. It contains a lot of examples. There is a Iphone/Ipad app called PoŝReVo, which uses the same word base.

And then there is PIV, which is the authoritative source. No other languages, but examples of use, albeit a little less than in Revo (at least IMHO).


To add to what Juha said, I think PIV is a great choice. For English to Esperanto I use this:


ReVo is OK to go the other way, but it's good to double check PIV because in some places ReVo is slightly questionable.


I think en + -n is a good way to express this idea, I note, however, the following example sentences from PIV.

  • mi konsentas esti ŝanĝita al kafmuelilo, se tio ne estas vera!
  • la cirkonstancoj ŝanĝiĝis al pli malbono
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