"They cost three euros each."

Translation:Ili kostas po tri eŭroj.

July 24, 2015

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How come you can't place "po" at the end of the sentence?


Because it's a preposition, meaning it comes before the word that it modifies ("pre-" = before).

Similarly with something like "Li mortis antaŭ tri jaroj", where "antaŭ" is a preposition and so comes before the "tri jaroj", even though in English we would say "He died three years ago", using the postposition "ago". (One of the very few postpositions in English.)

"Po" is not an adverb whose position in a sentence you can choose a bit more freely but a preposition that's closely associated with its object.


"Because it's a preposition, meaning it comes before the word that it modifies"

But that's not happening in this example. 'Po' is coming before 'tri euroj', not 'ili".

Edit: so it seems a translation that could help people remember 'po' better would be "each (of [subject] are)".


Yes, exactly. "po tri eŭroj" = "three euros each".

"po" comes before "tri eŭroj" because that is what it modifies.


it is best to think of "po" meaning "at the rate of". they cost at the rate of 3 euros.


Why isn't eŭroj accusative? In the sentence, "La krokodilo estas du metrojn longa", the word for meter is in accusative to show measurement. Ili kostas po tri eŭrojn.


Because it's after the preposition po, and most prepositions take the nominative case, not the accusative.

Similarly with Li havas multe da eŭroj "He has lots of euros", where eŭroj is in the nominative due to coming after the preposition po.

(For advanced students only: Ili kostas po tri eŭrojn is, to my knowledge, also grammatically correct, but it's a bit different - it's equivalent to Ili kostas eŭrojn po tri, i.e. the complement of the preposition po is only the number tri. Something like "They cost euros; three each". But the more common construction, I think, is to have tri eŭroj be the complement of po and say Ili kostas po tri eŭroj.)

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