"La suno estis tiel varma, ke ni vidis la buteron fandiĝi."

Translation:The sun was so hot, that we saw the butter melt.

July 5, 2015

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A wonderful example of fandi. To start solid and then to melt into a (potentially) new shape. As opposed to deĝeli, which is more what ice does.

Of course, for it to be truly hot, the butter needs to melt on the sidewalk and then cook an omelet.


Why use the infinitive in that last word? It seems like that second half of the sentence reads, "...we saw the butter to melt". Would something like "ni vidis la butero fandigxanta" be correct?


First, it would be “fandiĝantan”, not “fandiĝanta,” as it's not the seeing that melts the butter.

Second, why are you putting a “to” in your translation? “fandiĝi” means both “to melt” and “melt,” depending on the English context.


I wonder this too. IIUC butero plays two roles here. Firstly it is the object of my seeing, mi vidis la buteron. Secondly it is the subject of melting, la butero fandiĝis. I thought these kinds of double roles are not allowed in E-o.


Good question. I first met this construction in my school Latin, where it is called aci (accusativus cum infinitivo, akuzativo kun infinitivo), and I have been using it for decades in Esperanto without thinking much about it.

Now I consulted Plena Analiza Gramatiko (PAG), § 233, p 321, which says:

Post la verboj de sensado (vidi, aŭdi, aŭskulti, percepti) oni povas transformi la subprop-on tiel, ke ĝian predikaton oni metas en infinitivon kaj ĝian subjekton en akuzativon (akuzativo kun infinitivo). Tiu akuzativo estas samtempe la objekto de la ĉefprop-a predikato: mi vidis lin ŝteli (ke li ŝtelas); ili aŭdis la birdojn trili (ke la birdoj trilas).

That's just what you say about the “double role” (samtempe).

So one of the most renowned Esperanto grammars explicitly allows this for “verbs of perception.” It would not be allowed for other verbs, especially those where English uses the full infinitive with “to” (such as “want:” I want you to help me = *mi volas ke vi helpu min).

For non-perception verbs using the short infinitive I would, however, tend to use the aki: “He had his brother help him” = li igis sian fraton helpi lin (?) It seems more elegant than li igis ke lia frato helpu lin but contradicts the above PAG section. Any ideas, anybody? Salivanto? ☺

P.S: Certainly the Esperanto grammar should not depend on the short or long infinitives in English. There must be some fundamental difference… but I fail to see it at the moment. So I suggest we just apply the rule quoted from PAG.


La butero en mia poŝo fandiĝas!


En jaro 2018: La suno estas tiel varmega, ke ni vidis la ovo kuiriĝi.

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