F R E E   E S P E R A N T O   C O U R S E


                                Lesson One

Language is all about things (nouns) and their actions (verbs) of energetic


     One thing...        Acts on...          Another thing

     birdo               kaptas...           insekton.

     a bird              catches...          an insect.

     subject noun        verb                object noun

Esperanto is "grammar-coded" - you can tell what part each word plays

in a sentence from the word endings:

     -o                       -on

     single subject noun      single object noun

     -oj                      -ojn

     plural subject noun      plural object noun

To show when the action takes place, the verb tense (time) is changed by

putting these endings on the verb roots:

     past tense     --is      shows an action completed

     present tense  --as      describes it as it happens

     future tense   --os      action still to begin

     Birdoj         kaptis    insektojn.

     Birds          caught    insects.

     Birdoj         kaptos    insektojn.

     Birds          will-catch insects.

Every noun and every verb follows the above rules without exception.

In Esperanto, things have no gender (they are not male or female, as in

many other languages.)  There is only one word for 'the', no matter if the

noun is singular or plural, subject or object.  Therefore: 

     La birdoj kaptas la insektojn.

     La birdo kaptis la insekton.

In Esperanto the word order matters less than in English.  All the

following sentences describe the same action (only the emphasis is


     Viro legas libron.       Viro libron legas.

     Libron legas viro.       Libron viro legas.

     Legas viro libron.       Legas libron viro.

                    A man reads a book.

Here are some words in Esperanto (the apostrophe indicates an incomplete

word, a root):

     Nouns                 Verbs (roots)          More nouns

     amiko (friend)        far' (do, make)        kafo (coffee)

     filo (son)            forges' (forget)       kuko (cake)

     frato (brother)       hav' (have)            lakto (milk)

     instruisto (teacher)  trink' (drink)         pano (bread)

     knabo (boy)           vend' (sell)           sukero (sugar)

     patro (father)        vid' (see)             teo (tea)

Each Esperanto letter has only one sound, always.  Here is a guide to some

of the sounds.  The stress is always on the next-to-last syllable of a


     A             E             I             O             U

     palm          there         three         glory         too

c = ts (in lots);  oj = oy (in boy);  G = g (in go)

kn are always pronounced separately: k-nabo


                           Study Aid for Lesson One

Read Lesson 1 thoroughly, but before trying the exercises below,

try these translations and check your answers with ours.

(We have supplied some words and endings to help you get started).

1.   The friend will-sell milk.


2.   Mother drinks coffee with milk and sugar.

     Patrino            -n kun      kaj

3.   The teachers forgot the tea.

               -j                -n.

4.   The boys will-make the cake.


5.   La knabinoj vidos la instruiston.  [knabinoj = girls]

6.   La instruisto vidis la knabinojn.

7.   La filoj trinkas teon sen lakto.  [sen = without]

8.   La birdoj vidis la insektojn.

After checking these sentences, do the exercises of Lesson 1.  

If there is anything you do not understand, be sure to ask your tutor.

We will try to be prompt, but be patient, and most of all:  

Bonvenon al Esperanto (Welcome to Esperanto)!

Answers to the above exercises

1.   La amiko vendos lakton.

2.   Patrino trinkas kafon kun lakto kaj sukero.

3.   La instruistoj forgesis la teon.

4.   La knaboj faros la kukon.

5.   The girls will see the teacher.

6.   The teacher saw the girls.

7.   The sons drink tea without milk.

8.   The birds saw the insects.

__________________________ extract from here ____________________________

                         Ekzercoj, Leciono Unu (Exercises, Lesson One)

Take your time and translate the following sentences into Esperanto.  

Type your answers between the questions.

     Examples: The  men    sold    cakes.

               La   viroj  vendis  kukojn.

               The  man    sold  a cake.

               La   viro   vendis  kukon.

[Note: the word 'a' does not exist in Esperanto; the simple noun is enough.

Also, a dash indicates that the two English words are translated by one

Esperanto word.] 

1.   Father makes a cake.

2.   The boy will-have the sugar.

3.   The son forgot the milk.

4.   The boys drink tea.

5.   The friend sold the bread.

6.   The teacher sees a boy.

7.   The son has a friend.

8.   The brother made bread.

9.   The boys will-have cake.

10.  Father forgot the sugar.

11.  The boys had friends.

12.  The sons saw the bread.

13.  The brothers sell sugar.

14.  The teacher forgets the boy.

15.  The friend will-drink milk.

16.  The sons are-making cakes.

17.  Father will-sell the cake.

18.  The friend had bread.

19.  The boys will-see the teachers.

20.  The teachers drink coffee.

__________________________ extract to here ____________________________

Now, don't forget to add your name and e-mail address, and mail these

exercises to the address for your tutor in the Welcome Letter, with

subject: 'FEC ekz 1'.

Well, we hope we haven't scared you off in this first meeting with

Esperanto. Just remember - the language ability you used in the above

exercises might take months to reach in secondary school French or Spanish.

The Free Esperanto Course begins simply, but by Lesson 10 you will

understand sophisticated Esperanto with complex syntax.

Upon satisfactory completion of the series of ten lessons, you will receive

a framable 'Certificate of Completion'. 


While waiting for a reply from your tutor, you can learn some numbers

and colors:

0    nulo (say: noo-lo)

1    unu (say:  oo-noo)            flava (FLAH-vah)    yellow

2    du (say:  doo)                verda (VER-dah)     green

3    tri (say:  t-ri)              blua (BLOO-ah)      blue

4    kvar                          blanka (BLAN-ka)    white

5    kvin                          nigra (NEE-gra)     black

6    ses                           griza (GREE-zah)    grey

7    sep                           bruna (BROO-nah)    brown

8    ok                            rugxa (ROO-djah)    red

9    naux (say: now)              ("gx" as in "gem", "gentle")

10   dek

11   dek unu


20   dudek

21   dudek unu


30   tridek

31   tridek unu


100  cent (say:  tsent)


Go back to the index for other lessons.