"Ili estis legantaj leterojn."

Translation:They were reading letters.

3 years ago

23 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/IrennaNicole
IrennaNicole
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i don't understand why we use "estis legantaj". I thought it suppose to be "Ili legis leterojn". Do they have a different meaning?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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"Ili legis leterojn" is the preferred answer. The system will accept the other answer, but "Ili legis leterojn" is better Esperanto.

Even if FredCapp says otherwise.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FredCapp
FredCapp
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I'll start with a bronx cheer.
I won't precisely disagree, but there are times when estis leganta is preferable and clearer Esperanto than a mere legis. Where I feel that this lesson maybe fails is in making clear when such times, might be. Granting that the topic is one fraught with subtleties and disagreement.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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There is less disagreement than you probably think. The consensus among fluent speakers is that the -is form covers all the meanings as those formed with the participles do. Here is a relevant bit from PMEG if you don't want to take my word for it.

> Se oni volas montri nuancojn de pasinta tempo, oni povas uzi diversajn aldonajn vortojn, sed oni ankaŭ povas uzi kunmetitajn verboformojn. Preskaŭ ĉiam tamen simpla IS-verbo sufiĉas.

http://bertilow.com/pmeg/gramatiko/verboj/reala/pasinta_tempo.html

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FredCapp
FredCapp
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Simile http://bertilow.com/pmeg/gramatiko/participoj/a-vortoj.html diskutas la participojn kaj diras, ke estas tempoj kiam ili estas uzinda. Samtempe mi legas, en la bona libro Being Colloquial in Esperanto (tre bone verkita libro kiu estas verkata por la anglelingvanoj kiu havas demandojn) la Appendix on Participles-on. S-ro Jordan kaj S-ro Wennergren, laŭ mia legado estas tute agordanta. Estas foje kiam la participo vere klariĝas ian temo, kaj foje kiam ili malklariĝas.

La tasko de la lernanto estas lerni kiam estas kiu.

Persone mi ne deziras rebruligi nek la ata/ita batalojn, nek ia batalo simila. Sed mi refuzas permesi la lernantojn ĉi tien mallerni la participojn.

Do I really need to translate the above for anybody?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StephieRice
StephieRice
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Different meaning? Usually not. More specific meaning? Certainly in some cases.

Just like we use the exact same forms differently in English.

"We read" == "ni legis"

"We were reading" == "ni estis leganta"

It is simply to teach you about participles. Think of every exercise as A way to say something and not THE way to say something. The lessons are here to teach the words and the grammar, not to teach a specific way to communicate a specific idea. Languages are very flexible and expressive, with usually multiple ways to communicate the same information.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NigelGentry

"Ili legis..." means "they read", whereas "Ili estis legantaj..." means "they were reading". As in English, they probably mean the same thing, but just have a subtle difference to show that the activity was ongoing.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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"Ili legis leterojn" can mean the activity was ongoing as well.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FredCapp
FredCapp
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It can, but it's normally perceived as being something that happened in the past. They have read letters as opposed to They were reading letters.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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I am asserting the opposite. I believe the course gives a false impression - and it's natural for native speakers to fall into that trap and I was attempting to correct that perception.

  • Edit

Fred and I seem to be crossing messages here a bit. Since he's mentioned twice that this topic is "full of disagreements", I will repeat my reply from elsewhere in this thread.

Fred,

There is less disagreement than you probably think. The consensus among fluent speakers is that the -is form covers all the meanings as those formed with the participles do. Here is a relevant bit from PMEG if you don't want to take my word for it.

Se oni volas montri nuancojn de pasinta tempo, oni povas uzi diversajn aldonajn vortojn, sed oni ankaŭ povas uzi kunmetitajn verboformojn. Preskaŭ ĉiam tamen simpla IS-verbo sufiĉas.

http://bertilow.com/pmeg/gramatiko/verboj/reala/pasinta_tempo.html

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FredCapp
FredCapp
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No consensus, obviously. http://bertilow.com/pmeg/gramatiko/participoj/ Use the links. Why spend so much time and energy explaining something which he believes is useless?

In the quote you use is the phrase Preskaŭ ĉiam; that means that there are still times when they are effective. The problem is that most students of the language, and I have been guilty of this too, can, and do overuse the things. Just as bad is never using them when they can make an issue clearer.

As someone someplace else said: If it's clear, it's correct.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FredCapp
FredCapp
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Mi unue legis tiun kiel "Ili estis elegantaj literoj" :/

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elechim
elechim
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vi elegantas se vi legantas

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FredCapp
FredCapp
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Aŭ, se vi el legantas. :P

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zerr_
Zerr_
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Sorry if I missed something, but shouldn't it be "legantajn"?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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No -n with estas.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zerr_
Zerr_
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I meant that since there's leterojn.

I understand it now, though, thanks!

I think!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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Right, "leterojn" is the object of "legantaj."

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/-CEREZA-
-CEREZA-
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Still confused. How can something be an object of an adjective? Also, why does leganta have -j ending but not -n?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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In this sentence, leganta(j) isn't an ordinary adjective. It's a participle. Participles in Esperanto can have objects - just like they can in English. (e.g. "reading a book.")

Esperanto participles work a little like verbs and a little like adjectives. So they can have a direct object. They also have to agree with the word they modify.

  • Ili estas kontentaj - they are content
  • Ili estas legantaj - they are reading
  • Ili estas legantaj libron. They are reading a book.
1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/-CEREZA-
-CEREZA-
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Shouldn't there be no accusative (-n ending) on letero since the verb is "esti"?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
salivanto
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No, because "leterojn" is the object of "legantaj."

It's "legantaj" that doesn't take an -n.

See my replies to your other question.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jacquelinemmm
jacquelinemmm
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Which other European languages besides English have the -ing continuous form? Curious as to where zamenhof got this from. When I find a characteristic in a foreign language that is too similar to English, i start wondering whether I'm interpreting the grammar (of the foreign language) correctly.

1 year ago
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