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


                                Lesson Four

Now let's look at statements, questions, and answers:

A statement:   La pano estas bruna.

               The bread is brown.

A question:    Cxu la pano estas bruna?

               Is the bread brown?

The answer:    (a)  Jes, la pano estas bruna.

               (b)  Ne, la pano ne estas bruna, gxi estas blanka.

Note:  Every question is based on a statement; we identify that statement,

placing the 'doubting' word cxu (literally, 'whether') in front, and then

we are asking "Is this true?"  Also note that the word order in Esperanto

is not changed; only the word 'cxu' is placed in front of the statement.

English question:        Will the boys sell the cake?

Underlying statement:    (The boys will sell the cake.)

                         (La knaboj vendos la kukon.)

Esperanto question:      Cxu la knaboj vendos la kukon?

All 'yes-or-no' questions are handled in the same way.

__________________________ extract from here ____________________________

                         Ekzercoj, Leciono Kvar (parto unu)

Change the following statements into questions:

Mia filo forgesis la teon.    ->

Lia patro faras panon.        ->

La tago estas griza.          ->

__________________________ extract to here ____________________________

In the first three lessons, you have learned how to write simple statements

correctly, and now know how to make questions and give answers.  As soon as

you have learned all the sounds of Esperanto (detailed, as best as possible

in writing, see below) we can start in on conversations, in Lesson Five.

(Remember to complete the exercises at the bottom.)

The Esperanto alphabet:

a b c cx d e f g gx h hx i j jx k l m n o p r s sx t u ux v z

Note that the names of the letters (used when spelling aloud, etc.)

are a, bo, co, cxo, do, e, fo, go, gxo, ho, hxo, i, etc.  That is, the

consonants get an 'o' after them, and the name of each vowel is the

sound of the vowel itself.  Note that "uxo" is pronounced sort of like

English 'wo'.

There are 26 letters in the English alphabet; 28 in Esperanto.  In

Esperanto there is no q, w, x, or y.  In Esperanto there are 6 letters not

found in English (all 6 have accent marks):  cx, gx, hx, jx, sx [all

circumflexes], and ux [a u-breve].

The Esperanto letters 'j' and 'ux' are not vowels and can combine with real

vowels (a, e, i, o, and u) to make 'vowel glides' which must be learned as

separate sounds (below).

Pronunciation Guide 

Remember, in Esperanto:  one letter - one sound.  No exceptions.

Vowel Sounds (accented/emphasized vowels are capitalized)

a as in Ma, father:      blANka    sAna      grAnda    vArma

e as in send, met:       bEla      plEna     vErda     pEti

i as in me, three:       vIvi      Ami       trInki    fIlo

o as in more, or:        Ovo       dOmo      kIo       nOva

u as in two, soon:       Unu       plUmo     sUno      butIko

Consonant Sounds (mainly as in English, except:)

c pronounced 'ts' in nests:    dAnco        leciOno      bicIklo

cx pronounced 'ch'in church:   cxAmbro      sandvIcxo    cxokolAdo

g pronounced 'g'  in great:    sagEto       gustUmi      geografIo

gx pronounced 'g' in George:   mAngxi       lOgxi        sEgxo

hx pronounced 'ch'in Bach:     jAhxto       hxOro        Ehxo

j pronounced 'y'  in yet:      jEs          jAro         jUna

jx pronounced 's' in leisure:  jxurnAlo     teatrAjxo    jxalUzo

sx pronounced 'sh'in shoe:     sxAti        pOsxo        sxUo

ux is used most often in the combination 'aux' or 'eux' (otherwise it has a

'w' sound, as in weather).

Remember:  All sounds presented in this Pronunciation Guide are

approximations.  They are the closest approximations for North American


Vowel Glides (diphthongs).  The following combinations between a vowel (a,

e, o, u) and 'j' or 'ux' make one sound:

aj pronounced as 'eye':            mAjo      kAj       semAjno

oj pronounced as in 'boy':         knAboj    vojAgxi   gxOjo

ej pronounced as in 'they':        plEj      mEjlo     lernEjo

uj pronounced 'oo-ee' (quickly)    tUj       AnglUjo   monUjo

aux pronounced as in 'cow':        nAUX      Antaux    jxAUXdo

eux pronounced as in 'wayward':    EuxrOpo   neuxtrAla EuxklIdo

In all the examples above, the vowel of the stressed (or accented) syllable

has been capitalized.  This follows the rule without exception that every

word in Esperanto is stressed on the next-to-last syllable.

Here is a list of words (and translations) that represent sounds in

Esperanto [not just those covered above].  Practice them carefully and your

pronunciation will get better and better.

Anglujo        England                  lernejo        school

antaux         before                   majo           May

acxeti         to buy                   mangxi         to eat

biciklo        bicycle                  mejlo          mile

cxambro        room                     monujo         purse

cxokolado      chocolate                neuxtrala      neutral

danco          dance                    ovo            egg

domo           house                    plej           most...

ehxo           echo                     plena          full

Euxropo        Europe                   posxo          pocket

Euxklido       Euclid                   sageto         dart

geografio      geography                sandvicxo      sandwich

gustumi        to taste                 segxo          seat, chair

gxojo          joy                      suno           sun

hxoro          choir                    sxati          to like

jahxto         yacht                    sxuo           shoe

juna           young                    teatrajxo      (theatrical) play

jxaluzo        jealousy                 tuj            immediately

jxauxdo        Thursday                 vojagxi        to travel

jxurnalo       newspaper

kio            what (thing)

leciono        lesson                   best advice:  practice! practice!

libro          book                     practice!

logxi          to reside

__________________________ extract from here ____________________________

                         Ekzercoj, Leciono Kvar (parto du)

(translate, but don't answer!)

1.   Is father making a cake?

2.   Did the son forget the milk?

3.   Will father sell the cakes?

4.   Does a healthy boy drink warm milk?

5.   Will the daughter eat a sandwich?

6.   Did the new teacher forget your sugar?

7.   Do they sell tea and coffee?

8.   Did the sick girl write badly?

9.   Is he healthy?

10.  Are seven days one week?

Answer in Esperanto; use complete sentences, not just jes or ne.

11.  Is milk white?

12.  Is water dry?

13.  Is the sun warm?

14.  Is your mother a man?

15.  Are you wearing an empty shoe?

16.  Do two and two make four?  [Use "estas"]

17.  Do you eat water?

18.  Is coffee blue?

19.  Are seven days one week?

20.  Do you drink cakes?

(Sorry about the silly questions, but the answers are easy.)

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 4'.


Go back to the index for other lessons.