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


                               Lesson Three

It may seem like we packed a lot into Lesson Two, but here are the main

things you have learned so far:

  subject thing(s)       action        object thing(s)

       -o                 -as              -on


       -oj                -os              -ojn

    Mia patrino --------- lavas --------- mian fraton.

  Niaj fratinoj --------- vidis ------- viajn instruistinojn.

You don't have to write sentences in the above word order, but it is the

most common form, and for English-speakers it's easier to learn just

this pattern at first.

Once you realize that "grammar coding" tells you what part each word plays

in a sentence (its function), you could, for poetry or emphasis, arrange

the coded words in any other order without changing the original meaning.

Let's take a look at a couple of examples of different word order and

answer a couple of questions (remember to pay attention to the endings of

the words).

__________________________ extract from here ____________________________

                         Ekzercoj, Leciono Tri (parto unu)

     Mian fraton lavis mia patrino.

1.   Who was washed?                             

     Who did the washing?                        

     Instruistinojn viajn fratinoj niaj vidis.

2.   Who did the seeing?                         

     Who was seen?

__________________________ extract to here ____________________________

In this 10-lesson course we are going to stick to the subject-verb-object

word order, but in well-written Esperanto texts other word orders are

frequently used for reasons of emphasis and text coherence. If you use

Esperanto you will rapidly acquire a feeling for word order. The best

word order to use depends mainly on the context, so it is difficult to give

precise "rules".

Let's go on now, right to this lesson's word list below.

Vocabulary, lesson three

Nouns               Verbs (infinitives)      Adjectives

horo (hour)         atendi (to wait for)     blanka (white)

jaro (year)         fumi (to smoke)          blua (blue)

mateno (morning)    kuri (to run)            bruna (brown)

minuto (minute)     sati (to be satisfied)   flava (yellow)

nokto (night)       promeni (to stroll)      griza (gray)

semajno (week)      respondi (to answer)     nigra (black)

tago (day)          soifi (to be thirsty)    rugxa (red)

vespero (evening)   vivi (to live)           verda (green)

                    demandi (to inquire, ask a question)

Note the difference between demandi (related to questions) and peti

(related to requests or "petitions").  Both can be translated as

"ask" in English.

Remember, j is pronounced like y, so jaro = YAH-row.

Adverbs:  Adverbs are like adjectives, but instead of describing nouns,

adverbs describe verbs and adjectives, usually telling how, when, or where.

(Adverbs in English usually end in -ly).

In Esperanto, adverbs derived from other words always end in -e.

We can use the basic idea of a word in different ways by simply changing

the grammar-coded ending:

     sano = health            sxi havas bonan sanon

     sana = healthy           sxi estas sana

     sani = to be healthy     sxi sanas

     sane = healthily         sxi sane vivas

Adverbs usually precede the word they describe.

Note:  The pronunciation of adverbs, ending in "-e", needs some attention. 

In general, every vowel makes up one syllable (sound unit) of an Esperanto

word.  Therefore, we must read the two-part sound of "sane" as "SAH-neh"

and not as the one-part sound of the English word "sane".

Lesson four will concentrate more on the correct sounds of Esperanto. 

Right now, let's just say that Esperanto "e" should be pronounced as the

"e" in "met".  Due to different pronunciations throughout the English-

speaking world, it is impossible to give exact Esperanto pronunciation in


  subject thing         verb     adverb         object thing

     -a   -o             -as       -e             -an  -on

     -aj  -oj            -is                      -ajn -ojn


__________________________ extract from here ____________________________

                         Ekzercoj, Leciono Tri (parto du)

3.   My brother will-stroll in-the-morning ("morningly").

4.   His friend replied warmly.

5.   The brown pen writes well ("goodly").

6.   The grey teacher runs badly.

7.   Our father smokes in-the-evening ("eveningly").

8.   He loves her.

9.   He loves her sister.

10.  She loves him.

__________________________ extract to here ____________________________

Numbers (cardinal numbers are not grammar-coded:  no endings)

nulo 0      dek         10     tridek      30     

unu  1      dek unu     11     tridek unu  31

du   2      dek du      12     tridek du   32

tri  3      dek tri     13     ...

kvar 4      dek kvar    14     kvardek     40

kvin 5      ...                kvindek     50

ses  6      and so on to       sesdek      60

sep  7      dudek       20     cent        100

ok   8      dudek unu   21     mil         1 000

naux 9      ...                miliono     1 000 000

Numbers (ordinal numbers have the ending "-a", like adjectives, and take

the plural "-j" and object "-n", like adjectives)

     unua      first          dudeka         twentieth

     dua       second         sepdek unua    seventy-first

     tria      third          centa          hundredth

     unue      firstly        trie           thirdly

     due       secondly       kvare          fourthly

Note:  the "aux" is pronounced as "ow" in cow.

Note:  the adverb form of the numbers is sometimes translated as:  unue =

in the first place; trie = in the third place, etc.

__________________________ extract from here ____________________________

                         Ekzercoj, Leciono Tri (parto tri)

11.  The first man loves the second woman.

12.  The second woman hates the first man.

13.  Two boys firstly asked for three cakes.

14.  In-the-second-place they asked for lemonade.

15.  The shop makes bad brown bread.

16.  The shop makes brown bread badly.

__________________________ extract to here ____________________________

Intransitive verbs do not show action from a subject to an object; instead,

intransitive verbs are used to show the state of the subject.  Adjectives

after intransitive verbs describe the subject.

     Li estas sana.                Sxi estas instruisto (or: instruistino).

     He is healthy.                She is a teacher.

The object "-n" is not used after such verbs.

__________________________ extract from here ____________________________

                         Ekzercoj, Leciono Tri (parto kvar)

17.  Sixty minutes are one hour.

18.  Twenty-four hours are one day (and night).

19.  Seven days are one week.

20.  The third boy is my second son.

If you would like a pronunciation record or other material in Esperanto,

write to your national Esperanto organization.  The address is in the

Welcome Letter. This is not mandatory for this lesson series, but hearing

spoken Esperanto is a great help.

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 3'.


Go back to the index for other lessons.