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


                               Leciono Ok 

We need to consider actions (verbs) in more detail.  We have already dealt

with the simple verbs ending in "is", "as", and "os".  Now we take a look

at compound (two-part) verbs, in which the first part gives the general

time of the action and the second part gives the state of the action.

Before looking at the Esperanto use of compound verbs, let's look at the

use of compound verbs in English.

__________________________ extract from here ____________________________

                         Ekzercoj, Leciono Ok (parto unu)

In the following diagram, under 'General Time', write either yesterday,

now, tomorrow.  Under 'State of Action', write completed, on-going, or not


                         General Time        State of Action

He is reading                                                     

He was reading                                                    

He will have eaten                                                

He is about to go                                                 

He will be reading                                                

He has eaten                                                      

He was about to write                                             

He had eaten                                                      

He will be about to go                                            

__________________________ extract to here ____________________________


Notice that the first part of the two-part verb, which we call the

auxiliary or helping verb, is 'to be' except when the action has been

completed; in that case, English uses the auxiliary verb 'to have'.


In Esperanto, the auxiliary verb is always esti (to be).


(yesterday)         Li estis     \/     mangxinta      (completed)

(now)               Li estas     --     leganta        (proceeding)

(tomorrow)          Li estos     /\     skribonta      (not yet)

The idea is simple, but the explanation is somewhat confusing and

difficult; hang in there!  Let's look now at a fuller demonstration of

Compound Verbs in Esperanto....

Compound Verb Tenses - Active  (inta, anta, onta)

Jeanne has regular habits.  Using simple verb tenses we say:

every day at 8:00   "She eats her breakfast."

                         "Sxi mangxas sian matenmangxon." (sia - his/her own)

every day at 8:05   "She reads her paper."

                         "Sxi legas sian jxurnalon."

every day at 8:10   "She writes a letter."

                         "Sxi skribas leteron."

But none of these actions is instantaneous, and we can show this better by

using the compound verb tenses:

and say at 8:00     "She is eating her breakfast."

                         "Sxi estas mangxanta sian matenmangxon."

and say at 8:05     "She is reading her paper."

                         "Sxi estas leganta sian jxurnalon."

and say at 8:10     "She is writing a letter."

                         "Sxi estas skribanta leteron."

Suppose we are spying on her, and we report by phone at 8:05; then at 8:05

we would say:

                                        present   state of

                                         time      action

"She has eaten her breakfast."          "Sxi estas mangxinta sian



"She is reading her paper."             "Sxi estas leganta sian jxurnalon."


"She is about to write a letter."       "Sxi estas skribonta leteron."


Later during the day, we may have to confirm in writing what we previously

reported.  Then we would say that by 8:05:

"She had eaten her breakfast"           "Sxi estis mangxinta sian


"She was reading her paper."            "Sxi estis leganta sian jxurnalon."

"She was about to write a letter."      "Sxi estis skribonta leteron."

Also, we must tell the next day's spy what to expect.  We tell her that if

she gets there by 8:05, she will find that:

"She will have eaten her breakfast."    "Sxi estos mangxinta sian


"She will be reading her paper."        "Sxi estos leganta sian jxurnalon."

"She will be about to write a letter."  "Sxi estos skribonta leteron."

Compound Verb Tenses - Active Participles

(action is preformed by the subject of the sentence)

inta (action recently completed).

anta (action still on-going)

onta (action soon to begin)

Please note:  because participles are actually adjectives, [Cf. kuranta

knabo, a running boy] they must agree in number with the subject.  For


Ili estas mangxintaj                    They have eaten

Ni estis irontaj                        We were about to go

Vi estos skribantaj                     You will be writing

__________________________ extract from here ____________________________

                         Ekzercoj, Leciono Ok (parto du)

(translate into Esperanto, using compound verbs):

1.   Father is reading a book [libro].

2.   Mother is making a cake.

3.   The boys are about to write.

4.   The boy is about to drink tea.

5.   Who has washed the small boy?

6.   Father was reading a book.

7.   Who has eaten my cake?

8.   Mother was making a beautiful cake.

9.   The boy was about to write.

10.  They were going to write.

11.  My brother has washed [lavi] my car [auxto].

12.  My sister had eaten my cake.

13.  Father will be reading a book.

14.  I will be selling tea and coffee.

15.  The boy will be about to write a letter.

16.  He will have eaten.

17.  He is shooting [pafi].

18.  He is going to score [trafi].

19.  He has scored.

20.  He had scored.

Perk up!  The worst is over!  

Just some odd bits left over for the next two lessons.  

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 8'.


Go back to the index for other lessons.