Languages > Esperanto > Lesson 5: The Spice of Life

Lesson 5: The Spice of Life
Past, Future, and Negatives

After this lesson, you will be able to make your sentences a little more exciting with the use of adjectives and adverbs.

Adjectives

These are words that are able to modify a noun. For example, “big”, “happy”, and “warm”.

In Esperanto, all of these words end with “-a”.

English Esperanto
big granda
happy feliĉa
warm varma
good bona

To use an adjective with a noun, we simply need to place it near the noun that we want to modify. It can go on either side of the noun:

a happy cat

  • feliĉa kato
  • kato feliĉa

And you can have as many as you’d like.

a big, happy cat

  • granda feliĉa kato
  • granda kato feliĉa (a big, happy noun sandwich)
  • kato granda feliĉa

This is so that Esperanto can be more flexible, such that no matter your native language you can mimic the patterns that you already know.

It's a Match

If the noun that’s being modified happens to be plural, or the object of the sentence, then the adjective must take on the same endings as the noun.

Singular Noun Plural Noun Objective Noun Plural Objective Noun
granda domo
grandaj domoj
grandan domon
grandajn domojn
bela aŭto
belaj aŭtoj
belan aŭton
belajn aŭtojn

This is important, because when sentence structure is as flexible as a yoga instructor, we still need to know where the hands and legs connect; without matching endings, the adjective could describe any noun in the sentence.

Esperanto English
La bela kato granda hundojn havas
The big, beautiful cat has dogs
La bela kato grandajn hundojn havas
The beautiful cat has big dogs

We are spicies

A slight "gotcha" with adjectives matching the noun that they describe, is that this must hold true even when separated by the verb "esti". This is because adjectives used with "esti" are describing the subject noun.

Esperanto English
Ili estas feliĉaj
They are happy
Ni estas bonaj
We are good

Now, if you still have your sentences from Lesson 4, let’s spice them up! Take the time to add adjectives to the nouns in those sentences. If you don’t have them, no worries! Try creating 3 new sentences with words that you know, and make sure that every noun has an adjective.

Adverbs

These are words that are able to modify verbs, adjectives, or even other adverbs. For example, “quickly”, “happily”, and “well”.

In Esperanto, all of these words end with “-e”.

English Esperanto
quickly rapide
happily feliĉe
well bone
truly vere
completely tute

Spicy Hot Adjectives and Zesty Verbs

Let’s hit our adjectives and verbs with the spice weasel: BAM!

English Esperanto
The moon is truly beautiful La luno estas vere bela
I have to quickly read the book Mi devas rapide legi la libron
I happily drink water Mi feliĉe trinkas akvon
The water is not completely warm La akvo ne estas tute varma
You know me well Vi bone konas min

Can you taste the difference between the spicy adjectives, and the zesty verbs? Try to differentiate them in the examples above.

Build up your tolerance

We can now spice up our sentences using adjectives and adverbs. Be sure to practice using these, as they are vital to creating interesting and emotionally charged sentences. When you feel confident with them, and have studied the vocabulary, then attempt to complete the quiz.

We’ll see you next time for one of the most fun topics in Esperanto. We can’t wait.

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EsperantoEnglish
alta
high, tall
bela
beautiful
bezoni
to need
bona
good
bone
well
dika
fat, thick
facila
easy
facile
easily
feliĉa
pleased, happy
feliĉe
happily
forta
strong
granda
big
infano
child
lerta
skillful
longa
long
multe
a lot
nova
new
provi
to try
rapida
fast, quick
rapide
quickly
serĉi
to look for, to seek, to search
trovi
to find
tuta
whole
tute
completely
varma
hot, warm
vera
true
vere
truly
viro
man
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engepo
The man is happyLa viro estas
A fat cat eats a lotDika kato manĝas mult
We are completely happyNi estas tut feliĉ
He easily reads his bookLi leg lia libr
Happy cows really don't like fireFeliĉa bovo vere fajr
Good dogs vizit good people hundo vizit bona homo
Long flights are not easy flug estas facila
Tall people like to drink milk homo ŝat trink lakt
My beautiful bird tries to talk bela birdo prov parol
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