"Ŝi ne agas tiel bone kiel vi."

Translation:She does not act as well as you.

July 5, 2015

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The way the correlatives tiel and kiel are used here took me a long time to understand, so here's my interpretation (full disclosure, I'm not an expert).

At first I thought the sentence would translate to "She does not act that way well how you." That really doesn't make sense.

Correlatives are just words that perform a single function in a pair. For example in "I like neither wasps nor hornets", neither and nor are correlatives. Understanding that, I still was confused how question words (the correlatives starting with k) are considered correlatives, because they always seem to be used alone.

However, I found that many romance languages phrase relative clauses in a way like this: "I eat that, what you eat.", where it would normally be "I eat what you eat" for English speakers. Additionally, I thought about how demonstratives sometimes can modify the word that follows.

So, I ended up with a better translation, "She does not act that well how you act", by letting the 'agas' verb be implied after 'vi'. This is awkward, but at least it makes sense. Hopefully this helped somebody other than me understand this usage of tiel and kiel. Corrections or additional explanations are always appreciated.


Ultimately, as one learns Esperanto, one will need to learn to express (and understand) words. Of course "She does not act that way well how you" doesn't make sense. It's not English and it's not Esperanto.

For those still in translation mode, simply accept and learn that "tiel... kiel..." is a pattern that often translates to "as... as...". In that case, your literal translation becomes She does not act as well as you" - which is also the correct translation.

For those who want to know why it means "as... as..." - think of it as She does not act well in that way in which way you do."


Like tan... como in Spanish


I think of it as: She does not act .. the good way, the way you do.

(.. added for clarity)

As in, "kiel vi" is a subordinate clause describing "tiel bone." It's like a combination of:

"Ŝi ne agas tiel bone." and "Ŝi ne agas kiel vi (agas)."

It also makes me think you could omit tiel, but that is just an English-centric way of thinking.


but that is just an English-centric way of thinking.

I'm Brazilian and I'm still wondering that, too :D


In Portuguese it relates directly: tiel = tão and kiel = como. "ela não age tão bem como você"


BlazeCyndaquil, there are some useful constructions where correlatives act together as a pair, like tiel and kiel do in this example.

But they often act alone, too! "Kiel vi estas?" uses the correlative kiel alone.

They're the question and answer words, and in Esperanto, they're constructed in a systematic way. Here's what the Esperantist Don Harlow had to say about them: "Correlatives are the words used to ask questions which require specific answers -- the "who, what, when, where, how" of a language, and their general answers ("there, here, everywhere, nowhere, somewhere")."

Much more here, plus the chart that tells you how to construct them: http://literaturo.org/HARLOW-Don/Esperanto/correlatives.html


Ah! I accidentally translated this as "She does not age as well as you ;) "


The similarity of "aĝas" and "agas" always messes me up


Could you translate as "does not behave as well"? Can agas translate as behave?


[Wiktionary] A better translation of 'behave' (verb) is 'konduti', from 'konduto' (behavior).


I am confused! Does "agi" mean act as in behave or as in role play?


This is answered in another comment, but "agi" means "to act" as in "to take an action". So in this sentence it's somewhat the same meaning as "behave."

[deactivated user]

    Yes, it's a pity the English translation is not given as "She does not behave as well as you". Yes, I know there is another Esperanto verb, "konduti" for "behave", but in English, the sentence "She does not act as well as you" would normally refer to what an actor does on the stage, which would be "aktori" in Esperanto.


    Well I have read the rest of this thread and if it's answered elsewhere it went over my head. Thanks, though.


    Do you think this sentence is about acting as in pretending/performance?


    That would be aktori, I think.


    I would have done it that way. Unfortunately, I also typed "as well as yo" by mistake, so my answer was rejected. I have no idea whether the course accepts "behave" here, even though that seems to me to be more natural English in this context.


    Why not "not as well as you do"?


    Yeah, why not? Same problem! Nice name, by the way! Mi tre ŝatas lian vocon


    Is agas used also in the sensing of dramatic acting? Or is there another word for that?


    There are "ludi" and "aktori".


    So then, in this case "act" == "behave"?


    Is this "act" in the thespian sense, or behaviorally?


    Behaviourally. The thespian "act" is "aktori".


    Just some side thought for those, who speaks Russian: tiel - так, kiel - как.


    Why can't you use "pli" and "ol" here, as in "coffee is better than tea", or coffee is "more good" than tea? ("kafo estas pli bona ol teo")


    Did you post this on the wrong sentence? There's nothing about coffee or tea here.


    no sorry i just used hot drinks as an example. i mean why can't it be "si ne agas pli bone ol vi" (excuse my lack of accents)


    "Ŝi ne aĝas pli bone ol vi" has a slightly different meaning: "she is not aging better than you". Using tiel and kiel makes it unambiguous that she's not even on par with "you"

    edit: agas -> aĝas.


    Minor correction: agi means to act. aĝi means to age.


    Additional correction: Aĝi means to have as an age, not to become older.


    ok I thiink I understand, thanks!


    So could agas be switched with any verb? Li ne kantas tiel bone kiel vi. Vi ne laboras tiel bone kiel ni


    Yes, exactly. "He does not sing as well as you (do). You do not work as well as we (do)."

    You can switch the adverb as well: Li ne laboras tiel rapide kiel ni. "He does not work as quickly as we (do)."


    Is there a reason why "... tiel bone kiel..." should be translated only as "... as well as..."? I translated it as "... better than..." but it was marked wrong and I don't know why.


    Well, tiel means "like that".

    So you are "like that well: like ....".

    Only the same level of goodness (= as well as) and not a higher level of goodness (= better than).


    Thanks! I guess I got confused by the negation part of it (for some reason, I thought "not acting as well as" -> "acting better than").

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