Always talking in the present is fun, and somewhat mindful I guess, but wouldn’t it be nice to express other moments in time?
If I wanted to say “I saw a person”, then we would be talking in the past tense since the event has already happened.
In Esperanto, talking in the past is easy. Instead of removing the “-i” and adding ‘-as’ like in the present, we just have to remove the “-i” and add ‘-is’. There are no exceptions to this rule.
|I went||Mi iris
|I drank water||Mi trinkis akvon
|I liked the cat||Mi ŝatis la katon
If I wanted to say “I will learn esperanto”, we would be talking in the future tense since it is not currently happening, but is planned to happen.
The future is just as easy as the past and present. For future tense, we drop the “-i” and add “-os”. Again, no exceptions.
|I will go||Mi iros
|I will drink water||Mi trinkos akvon
|I will like the cat||Mi ŝatos la katon
In English, we are able to use certain verbs to modify the intent of the main verb. For example, “I want to go”. We used “want” to modify the main verb “to go” to change the meaning -- our intention -- of the verb.
Esperanto can also do this. We simply conjugate the modifying verb, and leave the main verb unconjugated (in the infinitive), like so:
|Mi volas iri
||I want to go|
|Mi volas trinki akvon
||I want to drink water|
|Mi volas lerni esperanton
||I want to learn Esperanto|
|Mi volis iri
||I wanted to go|
|Mi volos manĝi
||I will want to eat|
Some other verbs can be used like this. Grab a pen and paper, or use your favourite writing program, and try making 5 of your own sentences with these verbs:
|Esperanto Verb||English Verb||Esperanto Phrase||English Phrase|
||to want||Mi volas vidi
||I want to see|
||to be able||Mi povas iri
||I can go|
||must (to have to)||Mi devas lerni
||I must learn / I have to learn|
To express the negative in English we often add “(do/does) not” before our verb.
In Esperanto, all we have to do is add the word “ne” before our verb.
|I do not want to go||Mi ne volas iri
|I do not have a cat||Mi ne havas katon
|He cannot see||Li ne povas vidi
Using the 5 sentences that you constructed earlier, try making them mean the opposite using the negative that we just learned.
And with that, we can now make statements in the past, present, and future, and even negate all of them to mean the opposite. Be sure to study the vocabulary for this lesson, and take the quiz before continuing to the next one.
See you soon for the next lesson!