After this lesson, you will be able to create much more complex sentences by adding additional information to them using prepositions, or by stringing together multiple sentences using conjunctions.
Prepositions allow the addition of more information to a sentence. Using them, we can specify locations, timing, context, and other useful concepts. These are words such as “of, on, to, in, after, before, about, etc.”. A preposition must act on something else to be useful - “to where? In what? About what? Before when?”. These question words can expand to become places, objects, times, etc. When this happens, the entire result is called a “prepositional phrase”.
Prepositional phrases are easy to make in Esperanto (surprise, surprise). We simply use a preposition followed by the object of the preposition. An object following a preposition should not use the accusative (-n) case. Let’s see some examples:
|Her son went to the park||Ŝia filo iris al la parko
|He is talking about his mom||Li parolas pri lia panjo
|They meet in the book store||Ili renkontiĝas en la librejo
A wild exception has appeared! Let's battle it.
When using prepositions we said that the accusative case should not be used. There is a case when the accusative should be used! If any sort of motion is being shown, then we denote this motion using the accusative case. For example:
|English||Esperanto||English with Motion||Esperanto with Motion|
|I jumped on the table||Mi saltis sur la tablo
||I jumped onto the table||Mi saltis sur la tablon
|I walked in the store||Mi marŝis en la butiko
||I walked into the store||Mi marŝis en la butikon
But wait, the preposition “al” (to) also has motion. In fact, it indicates motion all of the time. This is why the accusative case is not included with “al”.
What? Our knowledge is evolving!
What if a preposition doesn’t exactly fit? Maybe we don’t mean it literally, or we simply want to turn a phrase into a prepositional one without the extra meaning of an existing preposition. This is a job for the preposition “je”.
It’s used just like a normal preposition, but it allows you to express a prepositional phrase when no other preposition seems to fit just right, or you’re too lazy to find a good one. Be careful though, because using “je” can have many different meanings, so make sure you’re being clear. Here are some examples:
|Kiu frapas je la pordo?
||Who is knocking on the door?|
|Ĉu vi kredas je Dio?
||Do you believe in God?|
What is the function of a conjunction? It allows two phrases to be combined in a logical way, where one phrase modifies the meaning of another phrase.
Here are some of the very common conjunctions that we will use. The full list of conjunctions can be found here.
They work by placing the conjunction between the phrases that you wish to join. For some, order doesn't matter ("kaj", "aŭ") because logically either order means the same thing. For others, the modifying phrase should go after the conjunction, just like in English. Let's look at some examples:
|I'll do it if you'll do it||Mi faros se vi faros
|Animals drink water, and they eat food||Bestoj trinkas akvon kaj ili manĝas manĝaĵon
|Did you drive to the city, or did you walk there?||Ĉu vi veturis al la urbo, aŭ ĉu vi marŝis tien?|
|I want to buy it, but I don't have money||Mi volas aĉeti ĝin sed mi ne havas monon
|I got married with my husband because I love him a lot||Mi edziĝis kun mia edzo ĉar mi amas lin multe
The words "kaj" and "aŭ" can also be used between noun phrases, exactly like they were used for full sentences. Here they are in action:
|Vi kaj mi estas amikoj
||You and I are friends|
|Ĉu vi preferas la kinejon aŭ la teatron
||Do you prefer the movie theatre or the theatre|
|Ŝi miksis akvon kaj oleon
||She mixed water and oil|
|Mi volus iĝi katon aŭ birdon
||I would like to become a cat or a bird|
Do you remember my precious from last lesson? This table is extremely useful, especially the interrogative column. Not only can these words be used as question words, but most can also be used as conjunctions! Let’s take a look:
|I become happy when I learn new words||Mi feliĉiĝas kiam mi lernas novajn vortojn
|? I want to go where the people are ?||Mi volas iri kie la homoj estas
|I don’t like those who hurt me||Mi ne ŝatas tiujn kiuj dolorigas min**
|I like languages, therefore I study them||Mi ŝatas lingvojn, tial mi studas ilin
|I forgot how to breathe||Mi forgesis kiel spiri
**Note how “kiu” aims to match the plurality of the object of the sentence, but not the accusative. A conjunction should not use the accusative case.
Wow! You can now technically make an infinite sentence using these new tools! But I wouldn’t try it…
Make sure to learn the words for this lesson before moving on to the quiz. Every bit of practice helps. If you have questions, and you’re a member of Langful, then pop on over to the forums for help from us or the community.
See you in the next lesson!