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Agxas vs Agxa?

Sorry, couldn't find anything on this. Age isn't a verb, why is there a -s ending for some adjectives such as agxa? Is it present tense?

July 12, 2015



It's actually a very common pattern in esperanto to use verbs for things that would normally be expressed by adjectives in english. "kiom vi aĝas" (= "how old are you") does in fact contain the present tense conjugation of the verb "aĝi". Similarly I can say "tiu floro ruĝas" just as legitimately as "tiu floro estas ruĝa" --- both mean "that flower is red". Even though the first is sort of literally "that flower reds", it's a quite ordinary, idiomatic, well-understood esperanto way of saying it. (but "estas ruĝa" is also fine!) "Mi feliĉas" = "Mi estas feliĉa" = "I am happy", and there are several more examples here: http://bertilow.com/pmeg/gramatiko/gravaj_verboj/esti.html#i-hjm (It says: "Alia maniero forlasi esti estas verbigi tiun priskribon, kiun esti ligas al la subjekto" = "Another way to leave out 'esti' is to verbify the description that 'esti' connects to the subject")

Oh, huh, actually now that I re-read PMEG on the topic, maybe ruĝas is supposed to have a slightly different, more poetically intense meaning than a plain old "esti ruĝa". Iu pli sperta ol mi eble povas aldoni klarigon :)


I wouldn't even call it idiomatic. It quite reminds me of Japanese, where it's perfectly ordinary to have the word for "delicious" or "red" be almost functionally identical to any verb.


Yeah, good comparison! By "idiomatic" I only meant the dictionary definition of "using, containing, or denoting expressions that are natural to a native [hah!] speaker.", though I might still be wrong about that, mi ne konas neniujn denaskulojn :) --- were you thinking of "idiosyncratic", maybe?

It also reminds me of the bit in Borges's story "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius":

"There are no nouns in Tlön's conjectural Ursprache, from which the "present" languages and the dialects are derived: there are impersonal verbs, modified by monosyllabic suffixes (or prefixes) with an adverbial value. For example: there is no word corresponding to the word "moon,", but there is a verb which in English would be "to moon" or "to moonate." "The moon rose above the river" is hlor u fang axaxaxas mlo, or literally: "upward behind the onstreaming it mooned.""

eble: "supren, malantaŭ tie, kie alfluis, lunis"? :)


I generally understand idiomatic to refer to something that means something other than its literal meaning. For example, the English phrase "It's raining cats and dogs," is a good example of an idiom because its literal meaning has nothing to do with cats or dogs.

I wouldn't call this idiomatic because it's a perfectly ordinary part of the language's structure, much like the sentence 車がほしい (kuruma ga hoshii, lit. "car [is] want," but more accurately "I want a car") is formed using rules and words that are a perfectly ordinary part of the structure of Japanese.


It's also something Zamenhof advised against.


age can be a verb. "you age well", "as i age i get more gray hair", etc.

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